If you’re looking for a backpacking stove, you’re spoiled for choices these days. There are a number of high quality ultralight backpacking stoves offering similar features. I was excited to review the Optimus Crux Stove because Optimus is a company often overlooked.
They are a Swedish company specializing in small outdoor stoves and accessories. Their Crux model really shows off how innovative, practical and sleek their designs are. It stands out as being very portable and compact, and comes with a well-designed carry bag.
Setup and Design Features
The Optimus Crux Stove only weighs 3.3 oz, yet is constructed from tough stainless steel. It sits very sturdy on rough ground, and is easy to put together quickly and collapse and pack up again.
It has a 2” diameter burner, giving a good even cook on large pans. The flame is a stable and powerful 3000W burner, giving you the ability to simmer or boil water and cook a wide range of food.
It comes with a decent wind shield. Not perfect, as you would expect from a small backpacking stove, but set up in the right location you will not have a problem keeping the flame alive.
Using an 8 oz canister you’re looking at around 60 minutes of high maximum output, which is great for a small group of backpackers. Carry a spare canister in your pack if you can manage one though, always best to be prepared.
The dimensions folded are – 3.3 x 2.2 x 1.2, and it weighs 3.3 oz.
This video walks you through the steps to setting up and lighting the Crux.
The manufacturer’s specifications state that the Crux can boil a liter of water in around 3 minutes, depending on the climate and conditions. I couldn’t find any information from actual field-testing, but 3 minutes sounds very impressive.
Take the Optimus Nova for example, the manufacture specs claim around 3.5 minutes to boil a litre of water, and the stove actually boiled at 4.13 minutes when tested.
The Crux is one of the more compact and easy to carry stoves you can buy. A huge advantage when keeping your backpack as light and spacious as possible.
2” burner gives a good wide heat distribution
Ergonomic user-friendly design collapses to a small compact form
Optimus Crux Lite Stove With Terra Cook Set
Constructed from durable stainless steel materials
The carry bag is well designed and gives additional support in transit
As with most small stoves it can be bent out of shape if you’re not careful
Valve can be fiddly and hard to find a simmer point
After reading a lot of feedback from owners of the Optimus Crux Stove I have a couple of handy tips to enhance your backpacking experience, and ensure you get the most from the stove.
Firstly, for those of you that don’t keep a flint striker in your backpack, you should pick one up. It makes lighting the flame easy, especially in wet conditions. No more wet matches and fiddly lighters, and a homage to the Boy Scout days.
Secondly, the tank is small and can freeze in extreme cold temperatures. So add a little extra insulation in your backpack if camping in extreme conditions.
Optimus Crux Stove Summary
Overall this is a great little stove. It folds down to a nice, small manageable size. Fits into the bottom of a canister, has good wind resistance, heats up quickly, and comes in at a very competitive price.
The carry case is well designed and keeps the stove tightly packed, so there is no risk of damage in transit. Hard to find a negative thing to say about the Optimus Crux Stove, the feedback from owners is overwhelmingly positive.
At this price point you’re not going to find a more compact, versatile, and reliable backpacking stove. Optimus offers something a little different than what you expect from the usual brands like Camp Chef, Coleman and MSR.
Optimus specialize in small outdoor stoves, this is what they do – and they do it very well. I’d love to hear any feedback you have if you’ve used the Optimus Crux stove, or any other Optimus Products.