The Premise. So you plan on spending some time in the great outdoors. Most of the essentials are small and readily portable: water, compass, map, maybe a multitool. But what about cooking? How do you go about fitting something that can contain your fire, shield it from the wind, and prop up your pot/pan into your backpack?
The Product. The Vertex Ultralight Backpacking Stove addresses this problem. With no moving parts, it is literally nothing more than three stamped-out sheets of metal that assemble into a base for your pot, a support for your fuel, and a wind shroud for your fire. These sheets have holes and tabs stamped out to accommodate the Vertex’s interlocking assembly, and arc along their long ends, which form its base and the stand for your pot. It can burn solid fuel tablets, or also be used in conjunction with the Trangia Spirit Burner to burn denatured alcohol. It then disassembles into a flat, 3×5-inch package that fits easily into its rip-stop nylon storage sleeve (fancy name for pouch), and almost any pocket.
The Pitch. While clear and demonstrative, most of the product video consists of a slide show There’s little more than a couple clips of the creator in the woods and some panning shots of the product in action, with “action” meaning “sitting there on fire,” in this case. About a third of the video focuses on the fuel the Vertex uses rather than the product itself which, let’s face it, consists of little more than a few thoughtfully configured sheets of tempered stainless steel.
The Perks. Backing the project for with $50 will get you a Vertex of your own ($45 if you get in early enough).
The Potential. The Vertex is a clever and elegant product, but with such a small foot print, and nuanced design, it might not work on a rough or slanted surface. Conventional burners and emergency stove kits cost as little as $4, folding aluminum wind shrouds as little as $8, and other folding stove kits as little as $9. That being the case, 50 bucks doesn’t seem like much of a deal for a device whose purpose can be outsourced to a bunch of tactically arranged rocks.