Esbit-brand or Bleuet-brand?
I use a Caldera Cone from Trail Designs and, up till now, I’ve only used Esbit-brand tablets. I found the only drawbacks of Esbit to be the price and the seemingly long time it took to boil a liter of water, compared to alcohol and canister stoves. As the trip’s departure dated neared, I discovered I could acquire only half the number of Esbit tablets I wanted, so I bought Bleuet tablets for the mail drop — the second half of the trip — thinking they probably wouldn’t be as good.
I was pleasantly surprised to find the Bleuet-brand tablets boiled water more quickly than the Esbit tablets. Though they smelled a lot worse when they burned, left behind ash after they were spent, and weighed a tiny bit more, I appreciated the faster boil times, which meant more hot tea in more scenic places along the trail. The price difference between Esbit and Bleuet was negligible. Going forward, I’ll probably buy Bleuet when I have the choice, though I’d recommend Esbit for those concerned about the very nasty smell of the Bleuet flame.