AlpKit BruKit out of the box review and test

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  • AlpKit BruKit out of the box review and test
  • Stoner
    Member

    following on from http://singletrackworld.com/forum/topic/psa-alpkit-cookware-in-stock-to-buy-now my BruKit arrived this morning already! CRC delivery speeds or what!?!

    Since Im trying to avoid doing anything more constructive I thought I’d test it out and see how it performed side by side with my usual bivvy kit.

    For the last 7 or 8 years Ive been using an MSR Pocket Rocket paired with a Kovea Air Titanium pan set. Depending on what Im doing I can take both the 750ml and 1,000ml pans with their lids, or just one. The Pocket Rocket and fuel nests inside.

    300g for the 750ml set

    only 20g more for the 1L set, 320g.

    BruKit obviously entails more insulation and heat exchanger, and is Al so comes in more at 440g

    Out of the box, the Brukit has a nice feel and solidity to it. A 250g cannister nests snugly inside as does the burner. Barely room for tissue thin packing if you want to stop any rattles.

    So is it faster/more efficient than the old Pocket Rocket?

    First test, 500ml water in the BruKit vs 500ml water in the 750ml pan on the Pocket Rocket

    Time to a rolling boil was 3m30s for the Pocket Rocket and 4m30s for the Brukit. Unexpected.

    I was wondering whether the more efficient “design” (insulation/heat exchanger) would lend itself better to boiling larger volumes of water…

    Second test then was 1,000ml of water in the BruKit vs 1,000ml of water in the 1,000ml Ti Pan. This time I also weighed the gas cannisters to get a sense of efficiency.

    Time to rolling boil was 7m00s for the Pocket Rocket (expected/unexpected @ 2x for 500ml?) and 9m30s for the BruKit. ❓

    Furthermore, the Pocket rocket used 10g of fuel, while the BruKit used 18g.

    So conclusions.
    It’s a nice easy to use package. The straining/drinking lid is a nice design. It’s more stable than the pocket rocket with a lower CoG, but both would be improved with some stabilisers for Β£6 or make your own.

    But, it’s a quite a bit slower and uses more gas than the MSR, and if I were to use my foil wind shield as well the MSR would probably be quicker again. You cant use a windshield with the BruKit as the cannister can overheat.

    However, the Pocket Rocket is notorious for making a v hot spot at the centre of the pan and is really difficult to cook on without burning. The BruKit has a much wider spread heat across the base of the pan and would be my choice if I were cooking a pasta in sauce or meal kit bag, say, rather than just boiling pasta/straining and then mixing in a pesto.

    Im looking forward to testing it out next week. I fancy a walk up Snowdon which Ive never done before and a bivvy near the top for some early morning mountain coffee action. Will see how it performs in the field…

    Premier Icon Speshpaul
    Subscriber

    Was it sent by postypost or courier?

    I at home today awaiting mine and the postie has just been not parcels:-)

    Stoner
    Member

    recorded delivery by my postie, the most excellent Wes.
    Got a text first thing this morning from RM saying it was at Malvern depot to go out for delivery. He usually arrives around 9:30ish in these parts.

    Premier Icon Speshpaul
    Subscriber

    poo, i’ll have to find something else to set fire then.

    scotroutes
    Member

    stoner – I use a Primus clip-on windshield with my Optimus Crux. It definitely reduces boil time and gas usage.

    Stoner
    Member

    that looks nice.
    http://www.backpackinglight.co.uk/bushcraft/QE105.html

    TBH, Im a bit more low-tech/tight and use some 4-5x folded foil and a rubber band πŸ™‚

    Bob (at that there ^ backpackinglight) pointed me towards some heavy guage foil, but Ive never got round to buying it:

    http://www.backpackinglight.co.uk/bushcraft/QE101.html

    Stoner
    Member

    Hmmm, bit of a minus point. I know I said that the burner and the cannister can fit inside, well they cant both fit inside at the same time. At least not a 220g Primus.

    On the previous thread AlpCol mentioned the Coleman 250 being recommended for stability purposes but I cant believe it’s any smaller than the Primus 220g, so even that wont fit. Obviously the 100g can will.

    AlpCol – I’ll ask AlpKit support the same question, but if you get this first: what size and brand of cannisters have you tested this with for nested storage?

    Mounty_73
    Member

    Mine has just arrived πŸ™‚

    Premier Icon cynic-al
    Subscriber

    Homer meths stove or Trangia all the way, who’s in a hurry for coffee when bivvying? πŸ˜›

    scotroutes
    Member

    Some brands of canisters are slightly narrower (1 or 2mm) than others.

    A good source of thick tin foil would be those disposable roasting trays from your local supermarket.

    Premier Icon stever
    Subscriber

    Thx, missed the feeding frenzy of the first batch but will click sooner when they’re back.

    Stoner
    Member

    A good source of thick tin foil would be those disposable roasting trays

    good thinking, tonto.

    Its not the can diameter that’s the problem (although if it were a couple of mm narrower I could probably sit it inside the burner lip, giving me another 5mm height). But that’s still probably not enough. The primus 220g is about 85mm tall, and that’s about 10mm too tall.

    ir_bandito
    Member

    Anyone bought a Koro? I’d be interested to see how it compares to a Pocket Rocket, especially with the Brewpot on it.

    Stoner
    Member

    V quick reply from Alpkit: “Having played around the 100g/125g is the best fit. ” so small tins best. Probably leaves enough room for some can legs though for additional stability.

    scotroutes
    Member

    That sounds like a pretty major fail for the sake of a few mm. 100g cartridges aren’t anywhere near as easy to find when travelling

    Stoner
    Member

    aye. There’s room in the burner design to lose 5mm+, the rest could come from the pot.

    Premier Icon winston
    Subscriber

    Hmmm after that review….i’m out.

    The little titanium remote canister stove still looks good though – something to pair with my Trangia mini for times when I am in a hurry

    akak
    Member

    Why do you think that it is slower? Because it has more mass to heat up before the water boils?

    aracer
    Member

    It’s more stable than the pocket rocket with a lower CoG, but both would be improved with some stabilisers for Β£6 or make your own.

    I normally use 3 tent pegs around the sides of the gas canister, makes it pretty much bombproof, and is totally free and no additional weight for those of us using a tent (assuming you can spare a few pegs whilst cooking).

    Of course if I’m on a proper lightweight trip carrying stuff I’d be using my solid fuel stove made from a tin can along with foil takeaway containers for boiling water in…

    So would it be correct to summarise that the new brew kit is pretty much worse in every respect than the thing you tested it against?

    Slower
    Heavier
    Uses more gas
    Doesn’t fit together properly with a gas cannister inside.

    That’s a pretty impressive fail Alpkit..

    Rorschach
    Member

    1/3rd of the price.Utter fail.

    Stoner
    Member

    Why do you think that it is slower? Because it has more mass to heat up before the water boils?

    Yes, I think so.

    The Ti pans are thin (yet strong) and the Pocket Rocket produces a ferocious cone of concentrated heat which conducts to the water v quickly.

    Im guessing the BruKit heat exchanger captures spilled flame heat better, and of course smoothes out the heat around the whole pan bottom more effectively. The centre still the hottest though. But there’s just greater losses from all the material at the bottom before it gets to conduct to water. My uneducated guess, anyway.

    However, I still think it would be far better for cooking a thick sauce/food on than the pocket rocket, which has always been tricky to control meaning I usually end up heating water rather than food in the past. The BruKit will encourage me to take more pre-prepared meals.

    scotroutes
    Member

    It’s such a fail that I’m forced to question stoners abilities πŸ˜€

    Still, they sold them all and have a few things they can feature as “upgrades” for V2, V3 etc.

    Stoner
    Member

    thegeneralist – if one was being brutal, yes those are the facts of the test. But there are less numerical things at which the BruKit is better:

    1) gentler cooking
    2) insulated pot keeping food/drink warmer while being consumed
    3) drinking/straining lid
    4) cheaper than a mytipot & burner.

    It’s certainly not a slamdunk, but I’m happy with it. Id be miffed if it was Β£80-100 like the jetboil. But I wonder how the jetboil peforms. Anyone?

    EDIT: Despite the sterile lab conditions that are my kitchen, Im willing for my deeply scientific methodology to be repeat tested by other researchers for validity πŸ˜‰

    PS good idea aracer. I can see those profile pegs being perfect for that.

    Premier Icon spooky_b329
    Subscriber

    Is it a height problem with the cylinders? How about putting the cylinder in last so you don’t waste the domed space on the bottom of the cylinder?

    Stoner
    Member

    Ive tried it every which way. any order or orientation does not allow the 220g can in with the burner and the lid to close over.

    Marko
    Member

    Well I have a bit of a stove obsession – about 7 at the last count and I’ve never been tempted by the Jetboil ones. I suspect these are best when it’s very cold and you can hang them up and get the gas canister away from the snow/cold ground.

    Best all weather gas stove will always be one with a hose:

    There is a neat way of getting the cylinder warm when the weather turns cold πŸ˜†

    Best summer gas stove is:

    It folds flat and fits into the hollow bottom of a 250 cylinder. Cylinder and stove then slip into a Snow Peak/MSR titanuim pot. Not the lightest option, but it takes up a very small space – and I need one!

    Marko

    samej
    Member

    Presumably the burner casing and heat exchanger add up to a nice effective windshield? I wonder how the comparison would fare if you were outside on a breezy day, even with a windshield around the pocket rocket? Foil windshields are always a bit fiddly anyway, and I’ve never found them to be super effective around a gas stove mounted on top of a canister (although considerably better than nothing).

    scotroutes
    Member

    I’m using a Crux at the moment (well, not actually whilst sitting typing this….). The folding feature is great.

    The stove is an Optimus Crux. It folds so that it can be stored in the concave underside of a 250g gas cartridge. It seems to be very efficient but suffers from not having a great simmer. If set low it will often go out altogether.

    For lighting the stove I have a Light My Fire Swedish Firesteel. This works in all conditions so I’m less worried about trying to keep matches dry or having a lighter simply fail on me.

    I have a windshield that clamps onto the gas cartridge. It’s made by Primus and I reckon it pays for itself in fuel saved in windy conditions.

    The Titanium Spork is handy as a single eating implement and, being foldable, stores in the pans. However, the wire handle collects bits of food and eating off titanium isn’t the most pleasant sensation (or maybe that’s just me).

    The wee sponge scourer is handy for getting the remnants of last nights meal off before breakfast and also for mopping up any spills and leaks.

    The pans are the Optimus Terra Weekend HE cook-set (271g). I find some of the smaller “solo” options a bit small for decent portions sometimes. The Terra Weekend is large enough to take all the items I’ve mentioned above.

    The pot cosy is home-made from silver “bubble wrap” and duct tape. It’s an efficient way of cooking whilst using less gas as it keeps everything hot. Even cook in the bag meals work better as they remain warm while rehydrating.

    http://www.blog.scotroutes.com/2013/05/bikepacking-kit-list.html

    If going lighter, simpler, more compact, the stove and a 100g canister will fit into a Mytimug which I team up with a home-made foil windshield and a similar pot cosy.

    wl
    Member

    If you’re not bothered about posh brands, Hi Gear do a tiny ti stove available at Go Outdoors – weighs nowt, costs peanuts. Got one and it’s great.

    Stoner
    Member

    onion: what’s the purpose of the green wire on the Crux?

    scotroutes
    Member

    That’s the control “lever”

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Subscriber

    It’s certainly not a slamdunk, but I’m happy with it. Id be miffed if it was Β£80-100 like the jetboil. But I wonder how the jetboil peforms. Anyone?

    JetBoils are okay, they have a new one coming out early next year with better simmer control and low temperature performance – which you don’t really talk about here – but the thing about the all-in-one stove units / PCS or whatever you want to call them, is the one-pot convenience thing. They’re a bit like a mutant gas-powered kettle.

    If you want proper fast, I suspect the answer is the new MSR one which uses the burner design from their bonkers fast-hearing Reactor mountaineering stove. But it’s really expensive.

    You also need to compare the performance / ease of use in windy conditions I guess.

    Premier Icon BadlyWiredDog
    Subscriber

    Oh, and surely a more like-for-like comparison with the Pocket Rocket would be Alpkit’s little canister-top stove, the Kraku.

    willard
    Member

    Nutballs. I was looking at getting one of those for work2, but forgot. Does anyone know when they will be coming back in?

    Stoner
    Member

    You also need to compare the performance / ease of use in windy conditions I guess.

    indeed, windshields can be a bit of a pain to set up right.
    I guess the heat exchanger/wind shield mechanism makes that a lot easier. Bound to find out up Snowdon! πŸ™‚

    Junkyard
    Member

    Can I have the spreadsheet for results and graphs please

    E-mail in profile

    Seriously ta for the info..interesting thread

    aracer
    Member

    Had been meaning to test mine out again, so thought this was the ideal excuse:

    [IMG]http://i.imgur.com/UHioWcAl.jpg[/IMG]
    (though I forgot the foil lid which is another couple of grammes)

    This is actually going full bore – you can’t see the flames which are coming out of all the holes as they’ve gone blue rather than yellow (though you can just about see where the edge of the foil is starting to melt/burn from the flames):

    Used 18g of fuel to boil 500ml of water in 8 minutes, so a lot slower than the gas burners, but still a lot faster than usual with solid fuel or meths, and as al points out, what’s the hurry? In case anybody suggests it’s using a lot more weight of fuel, here’s an empty gas cannister:

    Here’s a final weight for Stoner πŸ˜‰

    Oh and I normally use a foil windshield (either normal thin foil, or I have a thick foil one which came with my XGK), but since Stoner hadn’t used one in his testing I thought I should follow the same procedure.

    Junkyard
    Member

    His was inside whereas yours was outside

    Different Methodologies

    go back inside and do it in your kitchen

    Premier Icon Johnny Panic
    Subscriber

    Stoner, it looks like you’re using different size canisters on the two stoves. Were they both full?

    In either case, if the canisters were supplying gas at different pressures perhaps not a comparative test.

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