Elemental gas canisters quality?

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Elemental gas canisters quality?

Postby tigercat » Wed 13 Jun, 2018 12:15 pm

How does Elemental brand gas canisters compare with jetboil canisters at freezing temperatures?
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Re: Elemental gas canisters quality?

Postby RonK » Wed 13 Jun, 2018 12:40 pm

You will need to verify this, but I think Elemental canisters contains a 75/25 isobutane/propane blend which should give slightly better performance in cold weather than Jetboils's 80/20 blend.
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Re: Elemental gas canisters quality?

Postby north-north-west » Wed 13 Jun, 2018 12:47 pm

I've never done any formal tests, but the Elemental canisters have always performed well for me in low temps (down to -5).
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Re: Elemental gas canisters quality?

Postby Franco » Wed 13 Jun, 2018 12:53 pm

You would think that the mix would be listed but it isn't and neither is easy trying to find out what it is.
I happen to have both brands , both listing : IsoButane-Propane mix.
Apparently JetBoil is 80/20 however I have not found one source that can confirm that.
I would be surprised if the Elemental mix was different.
There is another local brand that advertises a 75/25 mix (better) but not sure what it sells for.
I used to deal with GMA (the Elemental agents) but that was sometime ago.
BTW, I have just read Ron's comments and he could be correct.
The other brand I alluded to has a cartridge that looks exactly the same as the Elemental (all made in Korea) so might be the same.
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Re: Elemental gas canisters quality?

Postby Gadgetgeek » Wed 13 Jun, 2018 6:49 pm

I've had good luck with both the elemental and the primus bottles. I've not run them side by side, and not to sub-zero temps. I'd suspect that the percentage points wouldn't make that much of a difference, but I could be wrong.

I found the MSDS sheets for one maker at one point, but that is at work, I think it had the ratio listed there. So that might be an avenue to look down.
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Re: Elemental gas canisters quality?

Postby Orion » Thu 14 Jun, 2018 2:04 am

I did a whole bunch of tests with various canister brands about a dozen years ago. I found cases where the manufacturers listed the fuel mixtures on their websites but it didn't jive with the experimental results. Look at the chart below. At that time Jetboil, Bruntane, and MSR all claimed an 80/20 isobutane/propane mixture. But they clearly performed differently. Subsequent tests of MSR canisters revealed that they changed, more closely matching Bruntane, but still inferior to Jetboil.

Image

The main distinction that held up was whether or not the base fuel was butane or isobutane. Some contained both. The best performers had essentially zero regular butane. When using Campingaz or Primus in the winter this difference really stood out.

As I recall, Elemental canisters list both isobutane and regular butane on their labels. To me this is a red flag that they wouldn't work as well as, say, Jetboil or MSR in winter conditions (unless you invert them). But I never used them other than in the summer so I can't say for sure.

The easiest thing to do would be to buy one, use up at least half of it (weigh it), and then compare it to a Jetboil canister that is equally used. Run the stove with the canisters in an ice bath (stick a big magnet to the bottom of the canister to weigh it down) so you know they're at close to the same temperature. If there is a significant difference you should be able to see it.
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Re: Elemental gas canisters quality?

Postby tigercat » Fri 15 Jun, 2018 8:47 am

Thanks everyone, heading into the Overland Sunday with the Elemental!
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Re: Elemental gas canisters quality?

Postby Franco » Fri 15 Jun, 2018 10:00 am

take a look at this thread :
https://backpackinglight.com/forums/topic/98947/
as long as you can keep your hand on the cartridge (without scalding yourself....) , it isn't too hot.
BTW , a cozy by itself (often suggested), like any insulation, does not warm up the canister .

It just helps to keep the canister temperature the same for longer.
(your blankets don't warm themselves up...)
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Re: Elemental gas canisters quality?

Postby Orion » Fri 15 Jun, 2018 11:34 am

Franco wrote:BTW , a cozy by itself (often suggested), like any insulation, does not warm up the canister .

It just helps to keep the canister temperature the same for longer.


Canisters don't stay at the same temperature. Since the fuel has to vaporize the canister requires heat input or else it gets colder. So a blanket/cozy isn't an effective strategy.
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Re: Elemental gas canisters quality?

Postby Franco » Fri 15 Jun, 2018 2:03 pm

Orion wrote:
Franco wrote:BTW , a cozy by itself (often suggested), like any insulation, does not warm up the canister .

It just helps to keep the canister temperature the same for longer.


Canisters don't stay at the same temperature. Since the fuel has to vaporize the canister requires heat input or else it gets colder. So a blanket/cozy isn't an effective strategy.

years ago when I pointed out that cooling bit , the maker of one of those cozies did not like it much...
kind of disappeared from the forums after that.
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Re: Elemental gas canisters quality?

Postby Gadgetgeek » Fri 15 Jun, 2018 3:46 pm

It could be helpful if you had a warmed can, line from your sleeping bag first thing in the morning, and it was cold outside, as the steel will likely loose heat faster than it cools from the gas evaporation. But on its own, yeah, not going to help much. You could put something warm into the cosy, like a warmed up rock or similar.
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Re: Elemental gas canisters quality?

Postby Orion » Sat 16 Jun, 2018 12:54 am

Gadgetgeek wrote:It could be helpful if you had a warmed can, line from your sleeping bag first thing in the morning, and it was cold outside, as the steel will likely loose heat faster than it cools from the gas evaporation.


It may well be that passive cooling from the air would occur faster than from the running of the canister. But insulating a pre-warmed canister would provide a very short reprieve from the ultimate failure.

If you assume a modest fuel rate of 1g/min (about 750W) the fuel vaporization would require over 6W of heat. A half-filled 100g canister, totally insulated, would drop at a rate of 7°C/min.

So in very short order you'd have a cold canister.
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