Weekend kit, Brunton Remote Canister Stove Convertor, Alpkit Pipedream 400

I saw this Brunton doodah at a trade show earlier in the year, and I was quite enthused. It’s a set of legs for your mini stove, you just screw your stove on (it’s an Optimus Crux Lite above) and you’re away. It lacks a preheater for the gas so it’ll never be as good as a true remote canister stove, so your canister has to stay upright or there will be flaring and burning and much despair as you sit in what’s left of your tent.
But, it all went quiet on the Brunton front. It was supposed to be launched with much rejoicing at Friedrichshafen, but all I got were rumours of no CE Mark going their way and no one has mentioned it again. The distributors never wrote, they never called, so I got one sent from the US. I got a folding canister stand as well, but it’s pish as it only fits Brunton canisters so don’t buy one.

The convertor comes with an aluminium windshield wich was nice and inadvertantly made me soft on the thing at first. But. It’s not really bringing the heightof the stove down any lower than if it was screwed into a 100 size gas, and although it’s got a wider base the legs are quite loose and it’s hard to keep them equidistant if you’re moving it around, trying to get it to sit straight. It’s also possible for a leg to swing right back and for the whole thing to fall over if you put it down without noticing. It needs a lock on it. But if the legs are set right, the thing is rock solid.
I used it with the canister sitting on the snow, sitting on my pack and with it wrapped up. The canister didn’t frost up, but apart from that I can’t tell you anything about the actual performance as I left my tricorder at home. The adjustment at the canister end is a small ribbed barrel, not the best with gloved hands.
I have a feeling that this bloody thing is a total waste of time and effort. I’ll try some adjustments on the legs and do a side by side test with other stoves the next trip out (I won’t be solo). I may yet change my tune.

I slept in an Alpkit PD 400, the best test I’ve given it so far. It’s the biggest sleeping bag I’ve packed since there was snow on the ground back at the other side of summer, but the weight is okay, and the packsize is workable. It lofts well and the slim fit means less air to heat and more insulation. The hood is better than the old one that I used to piss and moan about. I’d still have it higher at the sides, winter bags should have a porthole above your face in fact, you don’t need good periferal vision in your sleep. The cord adjustments are okay, maybe using dissimilar-feeling cords for the neck baffle and hood would be a better idea as inside a slim fit bag in the dark it’s more of a task to get a hold of the right cord. 
I was warm enough, and at times I was cooked as I was still dressed. But I found a happy medium before sleepy time and didn’t get woken up by temperature or comfort concerns.
The bag got a stack of condensation thrust upon it where I was breathing, and it beaded well on the Toray fabric and moisture didn’t seem to penetrate it. The same goes for all the bits of snow I kept dragging inside the tent and the bag, I found damp patches of fabric, but no clumps of wet down. The down did migrate inside the channels in the night leaving several large empty spots, but down bags can do that and you just can’t see it normally with dark or thicker fabrics.  I’ll fluff it all up evenly again before the next trip with it and all should be well.
It’s a perfectly decent bag, and I’m quite happy in it. It’s super popular as well, to the point where criticism and nit picking is irrelevant. Folk don’t care about the construction, the main zip snagging, the down quality or even actually seeing it before parting with the cash. It’s cheap, it’s got limited availability and Alpkit are everybody’s best mate. Marketing and presentation that beats the big companies about the head with a big stick.
What I like is that they’re raising their game to match that hype with product development. So, we shall see.

20 thoughts on “Weekend kit, Brunton Remote Canister Stove Convertor, Alpkit Pipedream 400”

  1. I like the Pipedream 400. The down quality is surprisingly good, given the price. I use Jetboil feet under my canister stove (Snow Peak GST 100), which has been an excellent find. I’m looking forward to a review on the tent ;)

  2. nice review ptc, i too like the pipe dream and think it offers great value for money also like robin i use feet under my cannister stove…i got some primus ones from somewhere, they are light, cheap and plastic.

    having said that i like the idea of that the remote stove adapter!

  3. It’s a pity that the Brunton device seems quite poor. A remote cannister device for pocket rockets, F1 Lites, etc would seem like a good idea.

    If I’d had the engineering skills I would have liked to have had a bash at the Colab thingy with the idea (anyone from Alpkit reading this?)

  4. Clothes worn were, Haglofs LIM vest, Triton Hoody and Rugged Mountain Pants, Montane Prism 2.0, Chocolate Fish Taranaki merino longsleeve crew and boxers.
    A good set of kit indeed, the light layers were warm but I stayed dry. Nosingle big bulky insulation, it’s the way to go much of the time I think.

    Feet on stoves are the way to go, but I’m going to dig out a proper remote canister stove for the next trip and bugger the weight.
    Aye, the PD400 is fine. I’ve had it airing since I got back. I’ll squeeze trhe down back into place and get into some snow again.

    I’m afraid any unusual tents seen on here in the next few weeks are guest appearances only, the reviews are bound for elsewhere. Rest assured I’m giving them all a proper test.

  5. That’s a thought, most of my insulating layers are pretty slim fit and the Velez is quite bulky. I don’t think the Prism would go over it.
    I’ve got a Furtech Claw 2 on test and it’s a much slimmer fit than Paramo so my insulation fits over it easy.
    I think for the Velez my old Montane Solo would be perfect.
    The Barrier Hoody is a looser cut that the Prism I think, I’ll try when a Velez comes back my way!

  6. I feared as much. You could wear them under the velez I guess but that’s bit of a pain taking stuff off and on.

    There’s Paramo’s own Torres insulation stuff for over-layering I guess but it strikes me as being very heavy and bulky though I’m sure it’s warm I’d rather not carry it when there’s lighter solutions.

    If you could keep us posted on the Barrier Hoody that’d be good.

    See I’d have none of this trouble if they’d just make a haglofs cut of the velez. Or if I got another winter jacket…

  7. The Torres stuff is indeed really heavy.

    It’s a bugger trying to get everything to mesh together when you’re using different brands isn’t it?
    There must only be a handful of folk that make stuff that fits me well and works well, and it’s so frustrating when the best features are on the stuff that doesn’t fit.

  8. Another vote for the Primus feet. They fit all the canisters I have tried and cost £3 from Snow and Rock in Bristol a year ago. They must have been the only thing in the shop that didn’t require a second mortgage though.

    If it’s really too cold for the F1 then it’s the trusty Epigas Alpine (minus windshield – see I am learning).

  9. I suggested on the BPL forum the use of those re-usable gel handwarmers placed under the canister of an upright stove, to warm the gas and make the stove usable year round instead of having to buy 2 stoves. They are cheap and can be re-charged in a few mins if you leave them in a pot of boiling water.

    THe suggestion got the typical gutless response I’ve seen on that forum a few times, about it being dangerous as it’s too hot (gets to ~54C, max recommended is 50C!!) but I doubt this would be an issue in sub zero temps. Also to me it seems safer than using bits of hot metal to pre-heat a liquid gas feed!

    In summary I think you should give it a try and let us know if it works, as my current ‘no suitable sleeping bag’ situation means I have no chance of doing any camping anytime soon.

  10. The only question mark is regulation: heat fluctuation and dropping gas pressure and the effects that’ll have. But as the heat diminishes the gas is getting used, so it might cancel out to some extent?
    Interesting, worth having a look.

  11. My Claw V1 is still going strong, and worked well with my Berghaus Infinity (the original, not the light) in the Alps this summer. Just wear a finisterre merino long sleeve base layer underneath (with a cheapo Aldi wicking vest underneath if it’s REALLY cold).

  12. Pete,

    will you at least give us a snipet of how you got on with the Hubba HP tent on your recent travels? I am interested to see how you got on in snowy conditions with that porch “beak” and also howit coped with high winds (if you had any)

    PS photos are top notch

    Dave

  13. “The Barrier Hoody is a looser cut that the Prism I think, I’ll try when a Velez comes back my way!”

    An XL Barrier Hoody will fit over a Large Velez nae bother. The combo’ works very well. Almost “optimal”, in fact.

  14. travisb
    Good to hear, I like the Claw2 so far. The clear hood thing isn’t even an issue of note and it’s the thing folk have concentrated on. A Haglofs jacket in Paramo fabric? Maybe…

    Backpackbrewer
    The tent reviews are for the March issues of Trail, sorry (lots of interesting models in there though).
    I will say that I wasn’t at all unhappy in the Hubba HP :o)

    Kev
    That’s good news.
    I think I’ll get a Large Barrier Hoody over a Large CLaw2. I’ll away and see in a minute.

  15. March? March????

    I cant wait until then!!!

    :-)

    I have one myself just not used in anger yet…… Speaking of which Pete, I have just come back from the Beacons. It was wet, wild and windy. I took the LC, put a few extra guylines and better pegs on it and on Friday night the wind measured 67mph on the anenometer. The LC stood up to it magnificently. Chuffed or what…….?

    Dave

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