A new purchase- a simple titanium cone windshield sized to fit my favourite Evernew pan. It may be expensive, but improved efficiency is something always to be sought.
Three Points of the Compass has been looking in the gear locker at the various windshield options I have for use with gas stoves and, more importantly, a meths/alcohol set up. I have a few, however many are pretty heavy and not all are particularly efficient. I shall be looking at a couple of other options in later posts. The most efficient windshield I have is my titanium sized-to-fit Caldera ‘Ti-Tri’ Cone, but at 78g that is no great lightweight and it was time to consider an alternative that still provided the desired efficiency.
Manufactured by Amplius s.r.o. in the Czech Republic, the Vesuv windshield is a titanium windshield sized for specific sizes of pan. The lip of the pan is supported on the upper edge of the assembled cone. There is more than a passing resemblance to the aluminium and titanium Caldera Cone windshields available from Trail Designs however the method of fastening the cone together in assembled form is different. The Vesuv windshield is sized for the popular and very good titanium pans from Evernew. There are windshields available for Evernew 0.6 (No. 1: ECA421 (non-stick) or ECA532), 0.9 (No. 2: ECA422 (non-stick) or ECA533) and 1.3 (No. 3: ECA423 (non-stick) or ECA534) litre pans. My Evernew pan is the ‘ultralight’ 0.9 litre pan, code: ECA252, and I bought the windshield for that size. The Vesuv windshields can be purchased from dealers in a number of countries worldwide, I purchased mine from Valley and Peak in the UK. Advertised online as weighing 24g, the packaging it came with says the weight is 28g. Mine actually weighs 29.4g, including a 1.5g velcro strap that holds it in the rolled stored condition, so the packaging is more accurate than the web description. Vesuv advertise their smaller windshield as 22g and larger windshield as 32g, no doubt those weights will require close scrutiny.
At almost £29 in the UK this windshield, specifically sized for my Evernew 0.9 litre pan, was not a cheap accessory. What I got though, is a very efficient windshield. With the pan sitting tight, resting on its rim, there is very little heat loss and fuel efficiency, and boil times are reduced as a result. With a 57mm gap between the bottom of pan and the ground, this will only suit some types of stoves or burner, mostly meths/alcohol, gel and solid fuel tabs. I specifically purchased this windshield for my more minimal set-ups when I am using my 0.9 litre pan with my Evernew EBY254 burner, Toaks Siphon STV-01 burner, or Vargo Triad T305 stove. Which turns out to be most suited remains to be seen. Any of these will nest in the pan alongside the windshield. This is a cone type support and while it is possible to make your own, I cannot be bothered. A lighter thinner piece of titanium foil would be almost as effective as a windshield for stopping side breezes but a tighter fit to the pan permits less heat to escape up the sides and simply improves efficiency. I have always admired the efficiency of my Trail Designs Caldera ‘Ti-Tri’ Cone in that respect and the Vesuv windshield may prove to be equally as effective while also shaving off a few grams.
The base of the windshield when assembled is 155mm diameter and provides a decent stable, low-profile support to a pan heavy with almost a litre of water. Airholes are punched in the top and bottom edges of the windshield, also the punched Vesuv logo. There do appear to be a lot of large holes and while oxygen supply is obviously a necessity, I would have thought a few less holes might be preferable, however I suppose that I must have faith that the manufacturer has trialled and assessed different prototypes, and this is the result. The windshields used to be supplied with a tyvek sleeve, just like Trail Designs include with their Ti-Tri Cones. The latest versions of the Vesuv windshields come with a short piece of velcro. Easily lost, it would be infuriating attempting to keep it rolled in a pan without this, though an elastic band would achieve the same.
Unrolled, the windshield measures around 500mm x 125mm. It stands 125mm high and is clipped into the assembled state by two metal poppers. Time will tell how these hold up. Constructed from 0.1mm thick titanium, corners are rounded for safety, but thin foil can still cut, so a little care is required while assembling and disassembling. This is the same gauge as the Trail Designs cone. I already have a few crumples in the material but that doesn’t affect construction or use. My biggest issue with this windshield is that I prefer to carry my 0.9 litre Evernew pan with a GSI sipper mug nested inside. While the rolled Vesuv windshield fits easily inside my Evernew pan, it will not fit inside the nested GSI mug.
There are any number of titanium and aluminium windshields available. Some fold, some assemble, some roll. Many are far cheaper, and a great many are also lighter. For a while we had a very similar 35g cone type windshield, sized for the 0.9 litre Evernew pan available from Norman Reeves of Stormin Stove Systems but that is, sadly, no longer the case. What I get with the Vesuv windshield is simple (quite) lightweight efficiency if I am not using my favoured gas stove set up. With a reduction in boil times and resultant saved fuel, it may tip the balance in favour of this handy little rolled cone windshield instead of my lighter ti alternatives.