Vargo Titanium Hexagon Stove + Ultralight Bikepacking Kitchen

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The Vargo Titanium Hexagon Stove was one of the most impressive new pieces of gear that we carried on our tour through Africa; and Vargo’s knack for efficiency innovation and elegant design doesn’t stop there, so we put together a full Vargo bikepacking kitchen…

While hiking the Appalachian Trail back in 2000, Brian Vargo sparked the idea that ultimately led to the creation of his company when he asked himself, ‘Why is my pack so heavy?’ Bikepackers can relate. Whether sporting an ultralight setup for racing the Tour Divide, or a minimal setup for long distance dirt touring, we can all agree that pedaling a bicycle is much more pleasant when you have a lighter load. Vargo creates equipment with both lighter and leaner in mind. Each product that we’ve tested seems to be purposefully crafted for packing, stowing, nesting, or tackling multiple functions. And they’re all feather-light.

The first cook kit I carried was a standard camp kitchen typical for fully loaded bike touring: an aluminum pot with nested frying pan, bowls, titanium silverware, and an MSR multi-fuel stove. It probably weighed two pounds over my current kit, not to mention the fact that it required a square foot of luggage space. In Africa we carried something in between this and a the ultralight kit featured here. After being smitten with the Hexagon Stove and equally as impressed with the BOT, a few more Vargo products were added to round out the kit. Here is a full review of what we’ve tested, and initial impressions of the new stuff followed by the kit specs:

Vargo Titanium Hexagon Wood Stove – A Wilderness Bikepacking Necessity

We picked up the Vargo Hexagon stove as a last minute add-on before setting off to Africa. It doubled as a windscreen and pot stand for the Trangia, and still does on occasion. But its deeper purpose was to act as a safety net for times in the wilderness where we might not have access to fuel, times where it could be used as it is intended… as a wood burning stove.

Vargo Hexagon Titanium Stove, Bikepacking

The stove accordion folds into a small flat pouch that is easily stowed in the frame bag. It’s simple to setup; the panels wrap around the base and latches via two male tabs.

Vargo Hexagon Stove Bikepacking

  • Vargo Hexagon Stove - Burning Wood
  • Vargo Hexagon Stove / Windscreen for Trangia Stove
  • Vargo Hexagon Titanium Stove, Bikepacking

Using the Titanium Hexagon Stove with wood is fairly straightforward. I typically shave down tinder from small dry sticks with a knife, then gradually build it with smaller kindling. But you could also use something like a cedar fire starter and small twigs to build the base. When using a narrow pot such as the BOT, the hinged door can open freely and allow the fire to be stoked without disturbing the pot (click here for our review of the BOT). The conical shape of the stove creates a chimney effect to channel heat and boil water relatively quickly.

Vargo Hexagon Titanium Stove, Bikepacking

This Hexagon Stove has definitely has definitely been tested to the nth degree…and is still sturdy and works flawlessly.

Vargo’s titanium products are built for the long haul. The model tested above has been carried a long way, dropped, and burned on hundreds of occasions; it still assembles and works flawlessly. In conclusion, this versatile stove is lightweight (148 grams), easy to use, multifunctional, and well built. It retails for $59.99 at VargoOutdoors.com.

Vargo Titanium Spork

The spork is the best friend of the bikepacker. The Vargo Spork, which they dubbed as ‘the original,’ is said by many to be the perfect spork. It’s design is slightly different from the popular Snow Peak model which has a 1mm wider spoon and 2mm longer fork blades. The Vargo spork also features a narrower neck (where the handle meets the spoon), a tapered handle, and polished finish. The Vargo Titanium Spork weighs 14 grams, is 162mm long, retails for $9.95, and is available in several colors.

Vargo Titanium Spork

  • Vargo Titanium Spork - Bikepacking
  • Vargo Titanium Spork vs Snow Peak
  • Vargo Titanium Spork

Vargo Titanium Mug – 450ml

450ml is about the perfect size for a coffee mug, cereal bowl, beer glass, or wine flute. I actually sat on my Snow Peak 450ml mug, so it was the perfect time for an upgrade. The Vargo Titanium mug features very unobtrusive foldaway handles, a stay-cool rim (which is nice as I have burnt myself on several occasions), and a nice mesh storage bag. The mug weighs 54 grams and retails for $26.95.

Vargo Titanium Mug 450ml

Vargo Titanium Pot Lifter

This extremely lightweight and minimal pot lifter makes a great replacement for the larger and heavier classic aluminum models. It is surprisingly sturdy, stows easily, and only weighs 23 grams. The Titanium Pot Lifter retails for $26.95 and should be the last pot lifter you’ll ever need.

Vargo Titanium Pot Lifter

Vargo Titanium Flint Lighter

The last time I was deep in the wilderness, on the Virginia Mountain Bike Trail, I realized my lighter flint was completely worn out. Luckily I had some spare matches, but I saw this tiny 8 gram lighter with replaceable flints and thought it would be a good addition. The Titanium Flint Lighter is 2.5″ long and retails for $19.95.

Vargo Titanium Flint Lighter

An Ultralight Bikepacking Kitchen

Here is my current ultralight solo bikepacking cook kit that all nests within the Vargo BOT and stows in the middle segment of the framebag. The same cook kit could also easily strap to an Anything Cage:

  • Vargo BOT bottle/pot/lid
  • Sideburner can stove (click here to see how to make one)
  • Vargo Titanium Spork
  • Vargo Titanium Mug 450ml
  • Vargo Titanium Flint Lighter and backup matches
  • Vargo Titanium Pot Lifter
  • MSR Salt/Pepper
  • Rag

Bikepacking Cook Kit Titanium

The entire kitchen shown here weighs 319 grams (11.25 ounces). Add in the Hexagon stove and a Trangia it weighs 570 grams (20 ounces).

2014-10-vargo-cookkit-00

The BOT fits perfectly n a frame bag. Make sure to check out our review of the BOT.
  • Dan

    Tons of Vargo gear = QBP account?

  • http://www.pedalingnowhere.com/ Logan

    Never heard of it… sounds great though.

  • Bob Jenkins

    First of all, I love this website. I’ve learned more here than anywhere else on the web. The DIY projects and gear reviews are fantastic. I do have one question though, where do you pack the fuel for the can stove?

  • http://www.pedalingnowhere.com/ Logan

    Thanks Bob! I use flask size plastic bottles from REI. They slide in my framebag next to the BOT…

  • http://www.gypsybytrade.wordpress.com/ Nicholas

    I still don’t understand the spork, but I’ve always liked the looks of the Hex stove. It bothers me to cook in a pot that is taller than wide. Any preferences regarding pot shape?

  • LifeAndItsAdventures

    I agree. Can’t clean a pot or eat liquidy food well with a spork and tall pots are inefficient, unstable, & hard to clean and eat out of, IMO.

  • http://www.pedalingnowhere.com/ Logan

    I’ve been on the VMBT for the last six days and eaten everything from oatmeal to pasta to chicken breast with the spork… love it. It’s all I need, aside from a pocket knife (picture Steve Martin in The Jerk). Maybe it’s a byproduct of being raised in the south. The Vargo version definitely works better for liquids than the Snow Peak model.

    Regarding the pot, we got used to a tall narrow shaped pot in Africa; I definitely would choose a wider one if given the choice, but space is a greater concern for me… storing a pot in the framebag just makes perfect sense for my kit. It’s now become second nature to stabilze it with a pot lifter when stirring.

  • http://www.gypsybytrade.wordpress.com/ Nicholas

    Makes sense. The Vargo spork looks considerably better than the Snow Peak and most others. I think I put a spork in my mouth many years ago and decided I couldn’t do it. I’ve used either a fork or a spoon, sometimes carrying both, but currently carrying a slightly too small but very sturdy steel spoon borrowed from a coffee shop in Luxembourg. Ideally, I’d just have a simple cheap steel spoon in the right size. Things like pasta and chicken, which might seem a challenge without a fork, find their way into my belly.

    The relatively shallow height of the MSR Titan fits in my framebag.

  • http://www.pedalingnowhere.com/ Logan

    The Vargo spork isn’t bad for liquids… much better than the snow peak. I agree about the tall pot issue, but I’ve gotten used to it an just like the stowage aspect.

  • Bob Jenkins

    Just got my Hexagon wood stove in the mail today, and am really looking forward to using it. THANKS for the review and recommendation.

  • http://www.pedalingnowhere.com/ Logan

    Cool, let me know what you think!

  • http://www.theironlyportrait.com Their Only Portrait

    Hola, it looks like an awesome kit! I hope Santa brings me one next Xmas :)
    Right now I’m still trying to decide which DIY alcohol stove version to use for my trips. I think I’ll try the sideburner for my next warm up trip… have you ever tried them at higher altitudes (13000+ feet)?
    Saludos,
    Federico

  • http://www.theironlyportrait.com Their Only Portrait

    Hola Logan, it looks like an awesome kit! I hope Santa brings me one next Xmas :)
    Right now I’m still trying to decide which DIY alcohol stove model to use in my trips. I think I’ll try the sideburner for my next warm up trip… had you ever tried one at higher altitudes (13000+ feet)?
    Saludos,
    Federico

  • http://www.bikepacking.com/ BIKEPACKING.com (Logan)

    Whoops, just saw this comment… sorry Federico. I haven’t tried one above 13k… Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever tried an alcohol stove about 13k.

  • http://www.theironlyportrait.com Their Only Portrait

    Hola Logan, don’t worry I didn’t realized it was an old post!
    Well, I guess I’ll be trying one in the next couple of weeks :)

    Saludos,
    Federico

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