Napoleon’s new TravelQ TQ285X is one impressive little clam shell style portable BBQ gasser, with some unique features not found from competitors. The collapsible stand is functional and solid, even Weber’s Q Series portable cart is rickety in comparison. Large wheels coupled with quality design and construction make the 285X an all-terrain tailgater that can easily be folded up and stowed in a vehicle then pulled across, pavement, gravel and grass by one person.
The powder coated blue steel body snaps shut, holding the coated cast iron cooking grate in place for easy, secure transport. Two stainless steel circular burners independently heat the right and left side making 2-zone, direct/indirect grilling possible. Most little portables have only one burner, limiting cooking performance. With 2-zones you can gently cook chicken parts on the moderate, indirect heat zone, then crisp the skin on the hot, direct zone. Likewise, you can avoid sausage explosions by starting indirect and finishing direct.
Napoleon employs JETFIRE ignition: electric igniters that fire up each burner separately when you turn the control knobs, a nice feature usually reserved for full size gassers. A stainless steel windscreen over the back vent helps maintain heat and prevent burner blowout.
Napoleon’s folding scissor cart is heavy duty, yet lightweight at 42 pounds total including the grill. As demonstrated in the above video, it pops up and snaps firmly in place for use, then collapses and snaps shut for travel. You’ll notice the solid feel of this superior device compared to collapsible travel carts for other portables. Two large side tables have integrated towel and tool holders. There is a small, removable grease tray underneath and it runs on standard one pound propane cylinders. An optional hose enables use of a 20 pound LP tank.
Heat Flux is the BTU per square inch and is a more useful measure of how much heat a grill delivers than BTU alone.
Looked Closely At It
We have seen this product up close and we have also gathered info from the manufacturer, owners, and other reliable sources.
Napoleon is a Canadian company that manufactures a wide variety of grills, smokers, accessories and books. They started in 1976 as a small steel fabrication company in Ontario, Canada, then branched out into making fireplaces and grills. Although Napoleon sightings are rare south of the Canadian border, they produce quality products and are essentially Canada's answer to Weber. In fact it's hard not to draw comparisons between Napoleon and Weber, even their logo and website are similar. But Napoleon comes up with just enough distinctive ideas to make them a viable contender.