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Ortik Heat It

Ortik Heat It

6.4 ounces

US Distributor    Rock Exotica    ( )  

Ortik Heat It (left) MSR Reactor (right)

Ortik is a small company based in Portugal that makes specialized products aimed at alpine climbing.  

The Ortik Heat-It is a hanging kit and windscreen made for use with canister/cartridge stoves.  It is designed to provide increased efficiency and wind protection.  Contrary to rumors I had read on the internet, the Heat-It does NOT provide any warming to the canister.  It does not, therefore serve the function of a heat conductor that transfers heat to the canister.  In cold weather, you will still need to figure out ways to keep the canister warm.  

The Heat-It weighs 6.4 ounces, and folds up into a flat, compact package.      

It is made primarily of heat and flame resistant cloth.  
It will fit many of the smaller canister stoves that screw directly to the cannister.  (Remote canister stoves where the canister is connected by a flexible hose might work also, but would require some modification.)

I was able to fit the Heat-It to an old Epigas micro stove burner, as well as a Snowpeak Giga Ultralight stove burner.  However, my Markill Devil stove burner doesn't work, because the burner does not have integral pot supports. The Heat-It does not have any means of supporting a pot, so your burner needs these to work.  

One quirk of the Heat-It is that it appears to be designed to use the larger 8 ounce/ 200 gram fuel canisters.  When using smaller 100 gram canisters, I had trouble getting enough clearance to get the burner head into the Heat-It with the Snowpeak Giga stove.  This is because the smaller canisters are shorter, and the burner doesn't extend tall enough to be properly positioned.  However, the Snowpeak Lite Max stove has a taller burner head, so it works well with either size canister.   I have also noticed that the stove is more stable in hanging mode when used with a bigger canister.  With a smaller, narrower canister, the burner tends to shift and tilt more, as the elastic band doesn't seem to support the small canister as securely.  Also, after some tweaking, I've found that positioning the elastic band around the center of the canister (rather than right at the bottom) also seems to aid in making it more stable.

Less stable configuration
Less Stable
Elastic band attached at bottom of canister

More stable configuration
Elastic band attached part way up the canister

Pot size is limited.  Pots need to be relatively narrow, with a diameter of 5 inches or less.  I've used a 1.4 liter Snow Peak titanium pan (Trek 1400) with a 5 inch diameter, and it's about as tight a fit as you would want, and perhaps a little too tight.  A slightly narrower pot such as the Snowpeak Trek 900 or the REI Tiware Pasta Pot are about the right size.  I'm currently using the REI Tiware Pasta pot, and find it to be ideal.  With the handles removed (don't need them, and they just get in the way) the pasta pot weighs only 3.4 ounces.    

Set-up is simple, and takes about a minute.  

 I ran some initial tests on the Heat-It, to assess its effectiveness.  I tested my SnowPeak Giga stove with and without the Heat-It.  I checked boil times for 2 cups of chilled water in a gentle breeze.  Ambient air temperature was 62 degrees Fahrenheit.  

The Giga stove by itself took 5 minutes, 45 seconds to boil the water, and consumed  0.4 ounces of fuel.

The Giga stove with the Heat-It in place boiled the water in 4:35 and consumed 0.2 ounces of fuel.  

The greater fuel consumption may be because I had the naked stove turned on to a slightly higher setting.  I kept the Heat-It shrouded stove at a very modest output level.    

The Ortik instructions warn against using the stove at full output.  Prior to my comparison testing, out of curiosity, I turned the burner up to full blast to see what would happen.  Before long, there were some wisps of smoke and the smell of burning material, so I turned it down.  Most stoves aren't all that efficient when running full blast anyway.  

 My initial experimentation seems to indicate that the Heat-It does provide a significant benefit compared to a naked stove.  This isn't all that surprising, as the positive effects of windscreens and heat exchangers is well known and pretty intuitive.  

So, what is the practical use of the Heat-It?  It is marketed as an accessory to be used while alpine climbing.  However, I don't think I would use it on alpine climbs where I was melting snow for my water.  The Heat-It no doubt would improve the effectiveness of a typical canister stove, however, its performance for snow melting still falls way short of the MSR Reactor.  For snow melting on an alpine climb, I will choose the insane heat output of the Reactor every time.  

However, for times when I don't need the snow-melting horsepower of the Reactor, the Heat-It  combined with the Giga Ultralight stove burner is a nice option.  This set-up rivals the performance of my Jetboil, and will likely perform much better in windy conditions, where the Jetboil performance really stumbles.  With a large, 1.4 liter titanium pot, the Heat-It, pot, and stove together weigh 15.1 ounces, almost exactly the same weight as the Jetboil.

With the lighter smaller (1 liter) REI pasta pot, you can shave even more weight, for a complete cooking system that weighs only 12.4 ounces.   For serious weight fanatics, you could knock off a couple more ounces with a lighter stove (like the 1.7 ounce Monatauk Gnat.)  

I'm thinking that this cook system will become my choice for climbing in any conditions where I am not going to be melting snow.  The compact, light, wind-resistant properties of the Ortik, with the added benefit that it is a hanging system, make it very attractive for this purpose.  In short, I think I will likely be using it for activities that in the past I would take the Jetboil, and the Jetboil won't be getting near the use that it has up until now.    

Click HERE for Youtube Video Demonstrating the Ortik Heat It

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