Stove Review : Optimus Nova

Stove Review : Optimus Nova

You may have doubts about the utility of a stove for your adventuring outdoors. If you are more of a weekend camper than a complete outdoorsman, you might not see the point of burdening yourself with a stove. Prepacked sandwiches might be more your thing. However, receive the Optimus burner as a birthday present, and though you’ll remain doubtful in the beginning, the little burner will more than prove its worth since. The price isn’t too high considering the quality. With the Optimus, you get your money's worth.

Considering what it does, it’s incredibly light. In terms of shape etc., it’s not at all cumbersome. If your previous experience of stoves has not been good, partly because the pot supports always seem to snag on things, note that the Optimus folds up into a very compact package and doesn’t take a lot of space in your backpack. You’ll hardly notice the extra weight, if at all, which is nice.

The simmer function is great. You may not need to replace the little tank throughout a two-day stay in the woods because it’s very fuel efficient. It has excellent flame control, so it's easy to calibrate to your needs. You can soft boil an egg or make a piping hot drink. Cook food fast without burning.

One of the best features is the flexibility of the Optimus. It works with different types of fuel. This is extremely handy if you're going to remote areas where there might be a limited choice. Kerosene works like a charm.

The design is very functional, with a typical Swedish no-nonsense approach, which many will appreciate. You don't need a Ph.D. to make it work. Although nothing is likely to go wrong with the burner, the design is so straightforward that you could probably tell what the problem was at a glance. Some have said that they have had a problem with the pump, but that’s not the case for all users.

Set it on the ground and the burner stays put thanks to its low center of gravity. Even when loaded with stacking pots, it’s stable. This is a definite advantage when camping on uneven ground.

It won’t be silent, but with the pot on and the wind shield set, it will be barely noticeable. Even if you don’t agree, you’ll get used to it. The green control at the end of the hose gives you the option of controlling the flame without having to remove your gloves. It's good to know it's there if you need it.

In general, you can expect the Optimus to work without any issues with the pump or the intensity of the flame once lit. It’s very versatile, especially since the stove has an easy to use and calibrate flame control. Cook everything from refried beans to early morning pancakes.

I also liked the magnetic cleaning tool that it came with: very nifty! It cleans the jet as you cook, saving you a lot of time and aggravation in the long run.

This little burner packs a punch, so it's a fire hazard inside a flammable tent. And you want to avoid inhaling any fumes in an enclosed space. It comes with a warning to use outdoors only, and you’d better believe it. Take all the same precautions as if you were lighting a fire in the woods. Be responsible

The Optimus is to be recommended. It's good value considering the quality of the product: solid and easy to pack, with spare pieces. Its best features are that it lights right away and has a versatile flame control, it is fuel efficient, and can function with different types of fuel.

Adding a reflector underneath would make the Optimus optimal. That, however, is only a minor point. Some have mentioned the noise levels as a disadvantage, but it isn’t going to be a factor that disturbs most people. If you are very sensitive to noise or plan on using it on a hunting trip, however, then perhaps that will be something that is worth considering when you are making your stove purchase decision.

Buying a good stove is an investment, and it’s worth a little extra to get the Optimus. Considering its versatility, weight, and convenience, it’s a winner.