We test out the Vango Fuel Gel, an eco-friendly and safer alternative to meths. But how well does it perform?
The Vango Fuel Gel is much safer to have around kids than liquid fuels.
Our Score: 8.5/10
We've given the Vango Fuel Gel the Thumbs Up award.
- There's no doubt that this is much safer than meths. And it's good for the environment too.
The not so good
- It's not going to cook as quick as a gas burner.
This was a hands-on product review. The product was supplied to us to test and conduct the review.
Vango Fuel Gel Photos
Anyone who appreciates the outdoors will be concerned with any environmental impact.
We may all follow the mantra of "Leave No Trace" but what about the wider impact? Are the things we are wearing, doing, and even the travelling to the countryside causing a negative environmental impact.
So it's great to see that Vango has introduced an eco-friendly camping fuel.
The Vango Eco Fuel Gel
The fuel is a bio-ethanol gel.
It's smokeless and non-toxic.
A Safer Alternative
If you are using traditional liquid fuels, such as meths, which has bean used in Trangias for decades, then there's a risk as the stuff is very flammable, can easily leak, and it also stinks when burnt.
The Eco Bio-Ethanol fuel is much safer.
You if you get the gel on your finger, it doesn't matter.
It doesn't easily spill, and if it did, it can be easier to wipe up.
It's very easy to extinguish. Just cover it up.
Oh, and it's not toxic to the food you are cooking and eating.
These safety features has meant that this fuel is now approved by both the Scouts Association and the Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme.
But is it any good?
On a very cold winter camp, I pitted the Eco Fuel in a Trangia against a typical not-so-eco camping gas stove to boil the water for the first brew of the day.
Now it should be noted that the Trangia isn't going to boil a kettle full of cold water anywhere near the time it takes a modern gas stove designed to put out a lot of heat.
And sure enough, despite giving the Trangia a head start, the gas stove got to the boil first.
So apart from the speed, how did they compare?
Well, the gas stove got to a good rolling boil in a full kettle of water.
The Trangia never quite got that far.
I had filled the Trangia burner full of the gel, and it had burnt out before the kettle got to a rolling boil. The water was hot enough to make a good warming drink.
It also would have been easy to re-fill the fuel on the Trangia and continue, but I wanted to see just how far a burner full of fuel would go. .... and it did burn for ages, but it wasn't enough to bring it to a rolling boil on that cold morning.
If you use something like a Trangia, I think this Eco Fuel is a no-brainer over meths. Putting its eco credentials aside, it's a lot safer all around.
It will be good enough to warm food and even make hot drinks, but obviously, a less eco-friendly gas burner will be quicker. ;-)
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