First of all, we chose the Optimus Nova among other multi-fuel stoves. Any other type of gas stove (propane, butane etc) isn't an option for us, because a) we are on a long-term trip around countries where it can be difficult to replace or refill the bottle, b) we use our stove not only for a quick meal or a cup of coffee, but for more demanding recipes and c) our stove rarely takes a rest, we use it almost everyday for long periods.
We need a robust stove that can hold a quite large pot or even our pressure-cooker (yes, we carry a pressure cooker!), so a small stove could be a headache. This is exactly what Optimus Nova is: robust. Plus, low center of gravity and a wide base, make it more stable. Its components, from the legs to the fuel pump, have been designed to withstand a significant amount of vibration and cramming along with other stuff in a soft pannier – we travel on a Vespa scooter, smoothness is not our strongest point. The durability starts ground up with the thick turbine shaped legs that fold in a tight bundle around the burner housing (after some time the legs get a bit stiff, but this can be seen as an advantage because they will definitely stay in place when the stove is being carried in its bag). The burner itself is encased in a sturdy, yet compact roundish frame.
Size & weight: It's neither small nor lightweight (dimensions: 140x80xØ65, weight: 460gr) but that's exactly why we preferred it over others. And please note, that for what it offers it's the most portable and compact stove we could find. Actually, we used to have a similar one (of another popular brand) and we are not interested in carrying any smaller or more “sophisticated” model. We are two on the trip and we have to admit that we eat...ahem...well – in terms of quality AND quantity!
For someone with no experience with such stoves, it may seem complicated at first, but this isn't a disadvantage. Actually, we didn't find it more complicated than our previous stove. On the contrary, we think that its details – such as the magnetic tool to clean the nozzle, the all-aluminum fuel pump with the flip-stop switch or the fuel control valve – come in really handy.
The only fuel we have used for our stove is petrol (gasoline) which, in many cases is of very questionable quality. Believe it or not, with some proper maintenance, we had 0 problems until now, after 15 months of continuous use.
The first few times we used the stove, we had some difficulties: it wasn't easy to turn on, the flame would easily go out, and it wouldn't burn evenly. After thorough research, we found out that all the issues were caused by a faulty needle which we immediately replaced. From that moment, we never had the slightest issue again (if you're off on a long-term trip, it's highly advisable that you carry the “spare-parts kit”, too).
Our overall impression after 15 months of almost everyday use of the Optimus Nova Stove is that it is ideal for long-term trips for more than one person. Its quality and efficiency are not disputable. So, do we recommend it? Yes, we do!
You can find the Optimus Nova Stove HERE
The product reviewed here were given to us as a sponsorship from KATADYN GROUP. We need to clarify that we asked for the specific product after we had already made our own research and we don't have any obligation to “promote” it or “advertise” it. The review comes after 15 months of almost everyday use.
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