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Re: StarLyte XL 4.5

Posted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 10:27 am
by zelph
cadyak wrote:I would love to get one of these whenver they become available. It seems that among other uses, it would be great for a short trip without having to carry additional fuel containers.
I recently used my old starlite for over a week of very cold and windy temps and was again thrilled with its steady quiet performance. I even pan fried a new york strip for breakfast .
Yes, it's nice to be able to carry enough fuel in the stove for a 2 day adventure. I did a quick redo of a link to the store page, price includes shipping:

Re: StarLyte XL 4.5

Posted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 6:49 pm
by zelph
Cadyak, I'll send one out on Monday with a few extra goodies just for the fun of it :mrgreen:

Re: StarLyte XL 4.5

Posted: Sat Mar 07, 2015 11:29 pm
by cadyak
Thank you :D

Re: StarLyte XL 4.5

Posted: Sat Mar 21, 2015 10:42 pm
by zelph
I'm going to make the Xl-Small available to everyone on Monday.

It will be just the Burner, stainless steel pot support and plastic lid.

Some testing has been completed:

"John Jonas "

Ok....40 test boils later, I have my initial results using the new XL starlyte burners with my .9 evernew ti-tri sidewinder setup.

In a nutshell: Same great efficiency as the original starlyte, but in a larger storage size.

For testing, I'm in Boise, at 2600', with an air temperature of 68* (inside my house). Using Kleen strip green (90/10 mixture). Boiling 500ML (grams) of 32* water (ice bath water...probably closer to 34*), to a rolling boil.


With the nonmodified starlyte xl, I would get a boil with 12g of fuel, and 10:35 boil times. According to the Stove efficiency excel spreadsheet, that is 61% efficiency.

With a modified starlyte, I still averaged the same amount of fuel, so the same efficiency...just longer boil times (slightly above 14 minutes).

In the same configuration, the original starlyte used the same amount of fuel, and boiled on average at 10:25.

I did not have much soot on the bottom of the pot with any of the starlytes.

So, its definitely efficient...its nice getting a rolling boil from ice bath water to rolling in .8 of a tablespoon of fuel.

As for the stove itself, I was able to put exactly 96 grams of fuel in the stove. The storage is crazy....with 96g I can hold it upside down, leave it on its side for 15 minutes, etc and it won't drip. But, if I put in 1g more...then it will spill that 1g.


The original starlyte holds about 30.5 grams of fuel, for a total weight of 43.5 (starlyte weighs 13g). The starlyte xl weighs 29g with lid, and holds 96g of fuel. So, for 17g you can hold an additional 65.5g of fuel. Not only that...but you don't have to keep filling your stove up...just do it once and forget it.

Only downside that I have for the starlyte XL is the it doesn't fit inside my pot and sidewinder setup. But if you used a different setup, like a fusion/fissure cone, then you would have plenty of space in the middle for stove storage.


The stove also came with a green silicone circle that could be used to snuff out the flame and make sure that you do not lose fuel after a burn while it cools. Nice idea. I will mention that as a test, I left the burner with only the silicone cover on and it eventually did lose about 1g every 12 hours of fuel to evaporation. Either the fuel was escaping b/c it wasn't a air tight solution or the silicone itself was air permeable. However, if I just put the normal plastic cap on the stove, fuel evaporated.

Dan also included a round piece of carbon felt, with a circle cut out of it. You could bring the whole thing (2g) or just the outer ring (1g). If you have the whole thing, you could use it to snuff out the stove by tossing the felt on top. Though, I never have an issue with blowing the stove out. Well, blowing isn't the right word, more of a large "puff" of air will do it. If you have the outer ring, and a nonmodded XL, then you can just throw the ring on top and voila....modded starlyte (the hole is the same size as the modded starlyte size). Its my recommendation to just get a normal starlyte, nonmodded.

Oh....and one other difference between the starlyte and starlyte XL. When trying to do only 1 burn on an empty stove...with both stoves you can't put in the exact amount of fuel that you normally need (12g in this particular case). With the original starlyte, I would need to add 2g or so in order to ensure a boil. But with the larger starlyte XL, I would need to have 4 extra grams of fuel. I don't "lose" that fuel though. If I add 16g of fuel, I would get a good burn and still have 4g of fuel left. But if I put in 14g of fuel, it wouldn't get a rolling boil (flame gets too weak with <4g of fuel in the stove.)


"Dan Durston "

I've also done a bit of testing with the Starlyte XL, Starlyte XL Restricted and regular Starlyte. I tested these stoves with two pots: a tall-narrow 0.75L Evernew and a wide-short 1.3L Evernew pot.

I distilled the results into two metrics: efficiency and power. Efficiency is the % of energy from the fuel that made it into the water, while power is the rate of energy delivered into the water (megajoules per minute). So efficiency is a proxy for fuel efficiency while power is a proxy for boil times. These metrics are nice because they allow anyone to compare their results even if using difference fuels, volumes or start/end temperatures. I won't go on about the specific test conditions here unless someone asks.

It is worth noting that these results do not have the replication I would like. The excellent working space I had (concrete bench + top notch lab equipment) is now occupied with expensive new equipment so I was only able to conduct a single test for each stove-pot combination. I think the results are pretty good as the conditions were highly controlled with top notch equipment, but I wouldn't read too much into the smaller differences.

My results generally agree with John's that the regular Starlyte and the Starlyte XL have similar overall efficiency. However, my results also indicate that efficiency is influenced by pot shape (or cone shape) such that there can be a difference for specific pots. My results find higher efficiency for the restricted Starlyte XL as expected.

Starlyte Efficiency

In terms of power, the Starlyte XL consistently lags the original Starlyte by 15% for both pots, while the restricted Starlyte XL was an additional 15-20% slower still, or overall 30% slower than the original Starlyte. All stoves consistently operated at higher power under the larger 1.3L pot.

Starlyte Power

The Starlyte XL had lower efficiency (50%) in the small 0.75 Evernew cone than the regular Starlyte (55%). I suspect this is because the physically large stove occupies a substantial portion of the cone's volume and possibly impairs airflow through the bottom vents as the cone diameter isn't much larger than the stove diameter. The restricted Starlyte XL did the best of all (57%), perhaps because it's lower demand for oxygen meant that it wasn't impaired by some blockage of the bottom vents, but it could also be that the centralized flame lost less heat around the sides of the pot.

The efficiency results are opposite for the larger 1.3L cone, which is the lone seemingly inexplicable result from my testing. The Starlyte XL faired better than the regular Starlyte (57% vs 50%) although the reasons for this are tougher to speculate. Possible explanations include experimental error, cone airflow dynamics and stove temperature (stoves burn faster in the larger cone and maybe the small Starlyte stove was overheating?). I have observed difficult to predict stove differences in different cones in the past (original Starlyte wins in 0.75L but burns inefficiency in Zelph's 0.9L fire pot where a restricted stove wins) so performance seems to be influenced by cone dynamics that aren't well understood.

The "power" results are cleaner and look really nice. Across the board, the larger 1.3L pot heated water faster. This could be the result of the larger bottom surface capturing a larger portion of the energy (vs. escaping) but then we'd expect universally higher efficiency for the 1.3L pot which isn't true. A better explanation is that the larger cone provides a greater oxygen supply, allowing for a faster, hotter burn and thus higher 'power'.

It's not surprising that the restricted Starlyte XL is the slowest stove, but it was interesting that the non-restricted Starlyte XL was consistently slower than original Starlyte. My hypothesis for this is that the larger mass of the Starlyte XL (I tested the stoves 2/3rds full) means that it takes longer for the stove to heat up to full operating speed. A hot stove vaporizes the fuel quicker and thus burns hotter/faster, so the original Starlyte likely heats up quicker and thus has faster burn times.

The XL design probably does slow down boils by ~15% because the larger mass takes longer to heat up. This would be more pronounced for a full XL than a near empty one. It is capable of similar efficiency as the original Starlyte, but this can vary depending on the cone shape.

The restricted Starlyte XL offers outstanding efficiency around 60%, but with that comes lower power. The low power is particularly true for small pots. Hikers should carefully weigh the efficiency-power trade-off when choosing a stove. It took 13 minutes in the lab for a restricted Starlyte XL to raise 500mL of water from 20C to 99C. If you're using a small pot, boiling colder water or boiling larger volumes the restricted stove may be a poor choice despite the fuel savings.


"Dan Durston"
"According to the Stove efficiency excel spreadsheet, that is 61% efficiency

It seems like you're getting great results. The wide bottom 0.9L pot is likely a great setup. Your higher results could also be occurring from a lower starting temperature (I used 70F) because heating is more efficient at lower water temperatures as heat isn't being lost to the room as quickly) or because I used a thick concrete surface for my testing which can absorb a lot of heat.

Boiling is also a little more efficient if you start with a hot stove rather than a room temperature one, not really because of the stored heat, but because a cold stove burns slower for the first couple minutes where it burns more cleanly and efficiently (i.e. similar to a restricted stove).


"John Jonas"

You can find the spreadsheet here -> ... d_id=90329

"Dan Durston"

"I thought it was very do lots of different test boils....Am I correct in that you said you did 1 test only per configuration?"

Yes, I only did 1 test per configuration and yes it is important to do many boils. I was holding off on posting my results because of the lack of replication, but it became clear to me that I couldn't resume testing in the lab, so these results should be taken with the appropriate caveats.

In the past I have done quite a bit of stove testing, so I have learned many of the common pitfalls that add variance to the results. These include (1) using a cool vs. warmed up stove, (2) operating the stove with varying fuel loads and (3) operating the stove repeatedly on the same surface, which gradually gets hotter over time. All of these were controlled in these tests. I also used a scale that measured to 0.001 grams and a thermometer to 0.1 degrees

I also took steps to avoid variance from a vague end point. By using "efficiency" and "power" rather than absolute measures (fuel used or time to a boil), I didn't need to bring the stoves to a consistent end point. I heated the water very close to a boil and recorded the actual finishing temperature along with the fuel used. This gives me the total degrees gained, which is then used to calculate efficiency and power. So replication is absolutely important, but my results are likely less variable than your typical DIY results. The consistent differences shown in my "power" figure also suggest to me that these results are pretty accurate.

On another topic, a better explanation for the consistent differences in "power" between the 0.75 and 1.3 pot is that the 1.3L pot sits higher off the ground (60mm) than the 0.75L pot (49mm). This creates a larger gap between the stove and pot, which lets the stove burn faster but less efficiently, as my previous trials with varying the gap on my 0.75L pot have shown (see below).

Gap 2

Also worth noting, my original Starlyte is shorter (22mm) than the Starlyte XL (26mm), so I shimmed the original Starlyte up 4mm so that the stoves were comparable. The actual stove-pot gaps were 34mm (1.3L) and 23mm (0.75L). I'd be interested to hear the gap for your 0.9L setup.

Re: StarLyte XL 4.5

Posted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 2:18 pm
by cadyak
Man, opening that box was like christmas.
Thanks a lot for the quick shipping and all of the awesome contents. :D
I have only used the one with the original size opening and couldnt be happier. I hope to get some "real" field tests this coming week on a 3 day river trip. Ive got peanut oil and corn meal :geek:
now I just need some fish.

Re: StarLyte XL 4.5

Posted: Tue Mar 24, 2015 7:43 pm
by zelph
cadyak wrote:Man, opening that box was like christmas.
Thanks a lot for the quick shipping and all of the awesome contents. :D
I have only used the one with the original size opening and couldnt be happier. I hope to get some "real" field tests this coming week on a 3 day river trip. Ive got peanut oil and corn meal :geek:
now I just need some fish.
Fill both of them and take off. No need to carry a bottle of fuel. No more filling out in the field. :D You like easy :mrgreen:

The weather was Christmasee here on Sunday night, woke up on Monday with 5 inches of snow on the ground :roll:

Here in Northern IL the walleyes are getting active and so are the fishermen. Lots of cars towing boats heading south to the Illinois River go past my house every day.

I'm hoping you can eat fish every day, twice a day :hungry:

Oh!!!At least once a day use wood for your fuel :D

Re: StarLyte XL 4.5

Posted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 8:29 am
by zelph
The XL is taking on a new dimension to revolutionize the lightweight hiker kits. I've created a carbon felt "heat shield" that permits the XL to be used in confined spaces. You can see the heat shield on top of the XL in the photo.
I've designed a regular straight wall support/windscreen for the Toaks 550. It's 3" tall and fits inside the pot so it hardly takes up any room. Fits snug against the walls of the cup. The XL is used in conjunction with the windscreen/pot support. Both fit so nice into a Toaks550 pot and plenty of room to spare for mini bic etc.

Recent test results using the set-up and a Toaks 750 pot:

Yesterday and this morning I did some water boiling using a Toaks 750 and an XL that was modified with a heat shield so it could operate efficiently in the confines of a small area under a windscreen. I was surprised at the results. I was not interested in amount of time to attain a boil, just efficiency of fuel and the ability of the heat shield to prevent radical fuel vaporization.

Toaks 750

DIY Titanium windscreen/pot support.

2.5 cups water per test (3 tests) start temps were at approx. 55 degrees

Denatured alcohol in the Starlyte XL (slow) with carbon felt heat shield.
1.16gr(0.56oz) used for 2.5 cups
2.19gr(0.67oz) used for 2.5 cups
3.17gr(0.59oz) used for 2.5 cups

My fourth test consisted of 2 cups water because I thought I would not have sufficient fuel remaining.

4. 15gr(0.52oz) used for 2 cups

I suspect I had enough fuel remaing to boil another 2 cups.

The StarlyteXL holds 4 ounces of fuel The burner weighs 26gr(0.917oz)

My Toaks 750 was the one I used during the development of the device used to apply the ridgline to the Ti pots. The photo of the pot shows the test rings. Doubt they had any positive effect on the efficiency. The pot sits 1" down into the pot support, very stable. From the bottom of the pot support to the bottom of the pot is 2".

I have some Toaks 550ml with handles due in today and will take some photos of the windscreen/pot support inside along with the XL to show it's compactness compared to the small Caldera Cone.
Cadyak said:
I hope to get some "real" field tests this coming week on a 3 day river trip. Ive got peanut oil and corn meal :geek:
now I just need some fish.
I spent the winter months down in Columbus, Mississippi and found out how good boiled peanuts taste :D How do you use the peanut oil and corn meal when doing fish? I'm going back down there this fall so I can do more fishing and eating fish ;) The campground I stayed at is on the Tombigbee River system and has plenty of nice size catfish. This spring a couple of guys from the Corps of Engineers sunk and secured their left over Christmas trees alongside a campground fishing dock to attrack crappie/brim. I'm looking forward to some good fishing there.

Re: StarLyte XL 4.5

Posted: Fri Apr 29, 2016 6:29 pm
by zelph
some photos showing the straight wall pot support next to a cone style support. Same efficiency, straight wall is lighter and more compact for storage in the case of using it with the Toaks 550 for the most lightweight solo kit....think Nirvana of the stove world. There is a more recent modification to a Starlyte that works the best in this miniature pot support system, both for the Caldera Cone and the new straight wall.

The XL has the ability to be stored in the bottom of the pot with 4 ounces of fueled stored in suspension.