Optimus Nova Stove Review

If you’re in the market for a higher end product to go backpacking with, the Optimus Nova Stove may be the one for you. While having a mid-level price tag, there are a few features unique to the Nova that separates it from other stoves.

These features include an extra long flexible fuel line, a flip switch on the fuel pump for safe shutoff, and a quick priming burner. optimus novaThe Nova is slightly larger and weighs more than your typical backpacking stove, but serves better than the lighter stoves when hosting 2-3 people.

Setup and Design Features

Along with the purchase of the stove you get a pump, windshield, multi-tool for adjustments, handy carry bag, some spare parts, and lubricant. Everything you need to keep the stove well serviced, and perform basic maintenance of the wearable parts.

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Liquid stoves need priming before use, this means allowing the stove to heat up before operating at normal temperature. The Nova has been designed to prime quickly, user feedback suggest it’s anywhere up to 25 seconds quicker than other stoves. Meaning it’s quicker to start using, and there will be a decent saving on fuel over the life of the stove.

In addition, the all-aluminum construction of the fuel pump is something that separates this stove from others. The feel and control of the flame benefits from being aluminum, its a strong yet lightweight material.

Comparison Information

Under non-bias testing the Optimus Nova took approx 4.13 minutes to boil a litre of water. This is noticeably slower than the MSR Dragonfly that is in a similar class, however Optimus do claim that it can achieve this in 3.5 minutes with favorable weather conditions.

Cleaning the jet uses an innovative and effective method via optimus fuel bottlea magnet.   You attach the magnet to the tool that comes with the stove and swipe it under the burner to remove debris.

At a snapshot, if you compare the Nova to the Dragonfly or the XGK EX, you have a stove that is constructed from stronger materials, built to last, and will be reliable. As a result it’s slightly heavier than average, and does take a little longer to set-up and get to optimal temperature,

Dimensions – 6” x 5.5” x 2.8”, and weighs 15.3oz

The Pros

  • Primes very quickly making it an efficient stove
  • High quality, durable construction
  • Thick legs give good stability under windy conditions
  • Flame control valve has good sensitivity
  • Long and flexible fuel line
  • Handy carry bag with pockets for all the accessories

The Cons

  • One of the more expensive stoves in it’s classoptimus repair kit
  • There are a lot of parts to assemble taking longer than other backpacking stoves
  • Heavy for a backpacking stove at 15.3oz

Insider Tips

If you are planning to use the stove again without moving on, just shut off the valve fully. The bottle will stay pressurized and you can prime it much quicker when using again.  For additional information and models see the Optimus home page.

Optimus Nova Summary

Optimus has manufactured the Nova with quality and durability at the forefront. This does add some extra weight to the stove, which may seem counter-intuitive, but 15.3oz is by no means too heavy to have in your backpack.

I would say this stove is geared more towards people who are going to use it for several days at a time, and in a variety of different conditions. The strong legs are a big plus to setting up on rough ground.   Some of the issues with less expensive stoves is the stability.

Coming with a long, flexible fuel line gives you a greater sense of safety too. The Nova comes across as a higher end product, and looks like it will have a long life if treated well.

Conclusion

The Optimus Nova Stove certainly gives backpackers something else to think about other than the popular MSR range of stoves. It’s a reliable option when backpacking, easy to use, and has a great flame. I would love to hear any comments from anyone who has used the Nova.

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