AB-13 Hybrid alcohol stove by TATO Gear

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AB-13 Hybrid alcohol stove by TATO Gear

Postby simonm » Mon 07 Oct, 2013 10:25 pm

Disclaimer: I am entering into a commercial relationship with the manufacturer of these stoves. So feel free to read in any bias you wish, though I have tried to keep it objective.

I was on the look out for a compact stove and I have a natural or unnatural attraction to alcohol stoves. I wanted something lightweight but also compact, and came across the AB-13 Hybrid by TATO Gear in the USA, which ticked most of my boxes. It weighs 16-17grams on it's own, and 154grams including the plastic case and full 4oz (120ml) bottle.The stove is about 40mm wide and 25mm deep.

AB-13 Hybrid - size.jpg
AB-13 Hybrid - size.jpg (157.4 KiB) Viewed 10421 times


It seems well engineered, made from anodised aluminium, with 3 folding legs on the bottom and corresponding legs on the top to support the pot. The AB-13 Hybrid consists of a remote feed in which the bottle is attached to the stove via silcone tubing which attaches to a recessed fitting which is machined into the stove. Fuel is fed into the stove by inverting the bottle and squeezing until the wick material is wet out.

AB-13 Hybrid with remote feed.jpg
AB-13 Hybrid with remote feed.jpg (169.67 KiB) Viewed 10421 times


It is called a hybrid stove as it a combination of a wick and jet stove, with small holes surrounding the wick material on the casing of the stove.

My first opinion was that it is a really well designed and made piece of gear. It is so tiny though that I worried about the stability of the pot, but the top folding legs seem to hold the pot well in my trials. On the grass it seemed quite solid. Initial tests had the stove boiling 2 cups of water in around the 8-9 minute mark with an air temp of 14degreesC, and water probably colder than that, and it used about 30mls of fuel. Last weekend I cooked up some noodles for the kids after a walk and it used about 15ml of fuel, but I didn't time it as I was too busy trying to get my kids not to play with it :roll:. It didn't seem to take too long though.

AB-13 Hybrid with pot.jpg
AB-13 Hybrid with pot.jpg (129.52 KiB) Viewed 10421 times


In my first tests I had trouble keeping a consistent flame. It would start off strong with good output from the jets but would then die off and I found it hard to get the jets back into action fully. What I realised that I had to keep feeding the stove fuel by inverting the bottle and squeezing more fuel in at least one or two times. One I did this I achieved more consistent heat output. So it is not a set and forget stove, i think this is due to the small nature of the stove in that it cannot store a heap of fuel within it. Bryan from TATO suggested i mark the bottle to know how much fuel to add, which I have done and this makes it a little easier.

It will burn for an extended time without re-fueling on a lower flame so it would be good for simmering and perhaps baking. Another of the benefits of a wick stove is if they are tipped over there is no spillage of fuel.

Things I like:
Compact
Lightweight
Seems to be efficient
Seems to produce good heat output when the jets are fully in action
Quality construction, strong for its size.
No pot stand required

AB-13 Hybrid packed up.jpg
AB-13 Hybrid packed up.jpg (146.2 KiB) Viewed 10421 times


Possible down sides:
Requires a certain level of finesse with the re-fueling
Once the pot was on the stove it was difficult at times to see the flame to judge whether it needed more fuel.
Once more fuel is squeezed in some fuel seems to be sucked back out the stove and up the tubing - I am not sure how much this impacts on the stove output.

I feel like there should be more down sides for balance but I really like the stove, and the more I use it the more I like it. It won't be for everyone but it suits me.
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Re: AB-13 Hybrid alcohol stove by TATO Gear

Postby Smarteee » Thu 10 Oct, 2013 8:13 pm

I've just bought one of these AB-13's direct from TATO to replace my much heavier MiniBullDesign Choke Hazard II remote stove. I'm used to the procedure of regularly resqueezing more fuel during the boil period, as with the choke hazard. It's no real biggy and once you're used to it (knowing how much to squeeze in per time) you'll have no trouble. To stop 'suck back' I squeeze in fuel, keep the bottle pressed, then invert it and crack open the lid a little to allow pressure to equalise. That leaves all the fuel, from the squeeze, inside the stove. I use it with a Snow Peak 600 Titanium Cup/Pot. Fabulous & Light combination.
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Re: AB-13 Hybrid alcohol stove by TATO Gear

Postby simonm » Thu 10 Oct, 2013 8:32 pm

Good to hear Smarteee. I do a similar procedure with the bottle to stop such back. It is an amazingly compact stove that's for sure.
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Re: AB-13 Hybrid alcohol stove by TATO Gear

Postby edzknows » Thu 10 Oct, 2013 9:02 pm

An automatic alcohol feeder would probably work well if you wanted.
This is a cool video about them
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGCD1_2J ... TCdQEwOgww
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Re: AB-13 Hybrid alcohol stove by TATO Gear

Postby simonm » Fri 11 Oct, 2013 9:25 am

edzknows wrote:An automatic alcohol feeder would probably work well if you wanted.
This is a cool video about them
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EGCD1_2J ... TCdQEwOgww


Thanks mate. That's a good link.
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Re: AB-13 Hybrid alcohol stove by TATO Gear

Postby vorpal » Fri 11 Oct, 2013 10:59 am

Seems like a decent compact stove. Any idea when you'll have them in your shop Simon, or the rough cost?
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Re: AB-13 Hybrid alcohol stove by TATO Gear

Postby simonm » Fri 11 Oct, 2013 12:45 pm

vorpal wrote:Seems like a decent compact stove. Any idea when you'll have them in your shop Simon, or the rough cost?


PM sent.
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Re: AB-13 Hybrid alcohol stove by TATO Gear

Postby nocens » Wed 08 Oct, 2014 6:49 pm

Hey guys, I was wondering if anyone has had a chance to use the AB-13 MAX. i have been looking at these 2 stoves and quite like the idea of them if anyone can supply any comparisons as to boil times/fuel spent. It doesn't have to be too exact, just enough to make sure i don't make a mistake in purchasing
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Re: AB-13 Hybrid alcohol stove by TATO Gear

Postby Lizzy » Wed 08 Oct, 2014 8:46 pm

So is there any chance of flame being sucked back in the tube and who oomph!!!???
When using a maths stove it was always drummed in to keep the fuel bottle well away from the flames and even watch for vapour igniting between stove and fuel bottle. Guess this must have some safety feature to prevent this....
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Re: AB-13 Hybrid alcohol stove by TATO Gear

Postby simonm » Thu 09 Oct, 2014 5:36 am

I am biased now obviously but as an example in 3 days in the Walls of Jerusalem I used about 140ml of fuel using the MAX which included boiling highlands temperature water for meals for 2 each night, cup of tea for 2 each morning and washing up water. On average I would expect to use about 30ml of fuel to boil 2cups of water, though I have had a customer say he used 40-50ml when he first got the stove, which was more than he and I expected, I am not sure how he has gone since.

The Max obviously has a bigger capacity and so requires less fuel to be fed to the stove during use, so in many ways is simpler to use.

A good windscreen is certainly beneficial with these stoves as with most.

Lizzy I have never heard of any issues with remote feed metho stoves. Metho is not as volatile as other fuels, and the vapour is not likely to ignite like shellite or similar. The silicone tube has a melting point of 200 Celsius.
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Re: AB-13 Hybrid alcohol stove by TATO Gear

Postby nocens » Tue 14 Oct, 2014 5:10 pm

Thanks for the info Simon, might hold off for a little bit as i have just been made redundant unfortunately :( but will definitely be purchasing one of these from you in the near future.

one extra question though, what is the balance of the MAX with the flat bottom vs the AB-13 with the 3 legs, is one more sturdy than the other? Not many reviews out there for the AB-13 MAX, might have to do a review of it if/when I got it.
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Re: AB-13 Hybrid alcohol stove by TATO Gear

Postby simonm » Tue 14 Oct, 2014 5:34 pm

I find the MAX a bit sturdier, also due to the support arms being a bit larger it makes balancing the pot a little easier. The MAX wins in every way except weight and size.

Hopefully the redundancy opens up some other doors.
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