The Optimus Vega is a small stove packing a big punch. It’s also got some useful versatility too, with a design that allows you to flip the canister for optimal performance in different temperatures.
It’s a really well designed stove, being small and light, it’s an obvious choice for backpackers. Although, being able to hold a decent size pot, and burn in most weather conditions, it can handle cooking and boiling water for a small group.
Setup and Design Features
The Optimus Vega couldn’t be much easier to set up. After pulling the stove out of your bag you just screw on a standard fuel canister. Isobutene, propane, or Butane will do just fine, stabilize the stove and canister then light it.
You need to take some care when attaching the canister. There is a fuel adjustment knob that you need to fold out, otherwise you will trap it between the fuel line and connector. Once lit the stove has good sensitivity with the adjustment knob. You can hold a constant simmer, or fire it up to a strong flame.
Click here for Deals, Reviews & Pricing
One of the main marketing points for the Optimus Vega is the “4 season mode”. This is because you can flip the canister over, giving a faster boil time in the colder months. It’s a simple adjustment, but makes a real difference in the right conditions.
You get a canvas bag with the stove, so protecting and storing it isn’t a concern. You also get an aluminium windshield which folds up nicely, it does a good job of shielding the flame too. The stove can hold an 8” pot, so cooking most of your favourite recipes shouldn’t be a problem.
The dimensions are – 6” x 4” x 4”, and it weighs 1.2 lbs
The manufacturer claims the Optimus Vega will boil a liter of water in around 4.5 minutes. This is while leaning towards ideal conditions, although I have have heard this is possible. However, most field tests in a range of different weather conditions are bit different, with feedback being around 8-10 minutes boil time.
The boil time is slower than some of the other backpacking stoves I have reviewed. But the compact, lightweight design with the ability to flip the canister as explained earlier sets this stove apart from other stoves, like the MSR WhisperLite.
Coming in at around $70 it’s not the least expensive stove for its class. However, it is very versatile, and customer feedback is that it’s very durable and reliable. S
o you get good value for money with the Optimus Vega, whether you use it as your main stove or take it as a backup. Prices range from $75 to $100.
- Lightweight and very portable
- Easy to pack up and assemble quickly
- Ergonomic design allows canister to be inverted, giving faster boil times in cold weather
- Storage bag and wind screen included
- Small and fiddly at times
- Fuel burns quickly when canister is inverted
When using the Optimus Vega with the canister inverted you need to take extra care. You’re burning the liquid in this position, as opposed to the gas. So you can end up with a fuel leak if you haven’t got all the attachments tightly fixed.
If you have other questions about Optimus products, take a look at their site here or see our other Optimus reviews here.
You should always operate stoves with the appropriate caution, but be extra mindful when flipping the canister.
Optimus Vega Stove Summary
This stove ticks a lot of the boxes. Lightweight, check. Portable, check. Reliable, check. Great flame, check. If you have experience with backpacking stoves, the quality of the Optimus will be instantly realized.
It’s incredibly quick and easy to use too, so it’s perfect for beginners. You can’t go wrong with this stove, it’s hard to find a solid negative with it.
The Optimus Vega is a leader in its class. If you’re looking for a reliable, affordable small backpacking stove – this should be one of your top considerations. Even as a backup it’s a great option, it doesn’t take up much room in your backpack.
Take a closer look and let me know how you get on.
Click here for Deals, Reviews & Pricing