I owned the pocket version of the Esbit stove, but the only review on REI of the new cookset says that it doesn't work any better than the old. I found it hard to believe that the new one isn't more efficient with its wraparound style base, so I decided to do a side-by-side test between the Esbit Pocket Stove and the new Esbit Stove and Cookset. Same conditions, same amount of water (1 1/2 cups), and in the garage so there was no wind.
The old style just killed the new one. At just a little over 6 minutes, the old one was boiling and the new one was barely showing any bubbles. It took a full 10 minutes for the new one to reach a rolling boil. What the hell?
Then I noticed the problem. Fire needs oxygen to burn. The old one has holes in the bottom all around the fuel cube. The new one only has the one large hole in the side to introduce air. It was blowing the fire all to the opposite side and only catching on the cup at the edge. Hmmm . . . how do I fix that?
I know!! I'll drill some holes.
The fire now sat directly in the center of the cup and while it still took a little longer than my old one (about 7 minutes) to reach a rolling boil, I think once you take them outside the new one with the lid and the wind protection will win out. That and it is just a bitchin' little stove
It's probably kind of hard to see, but that flame is directly in the middle now with the holes drilled in the bottom.