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Gear Review

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OC Stove Review

This was my first "backpacking" stove I bought just a couple short years ago. It wasn't so much the weight that drew me to it, but rather the packed size. I was intrigued that the stove would fold over and pack beneath the bottom of the fuel canister.

So, I ordered it, and once it got here, well it was all that I wanted of it. It did 2 things really well. 1. It got really hot which meant it brought my water to a boil very quickly (2 cups in my 700 ml BC Ti pot in just under 2 minutes). And 2. The flame is easily adjustable, over a pretty wide range. I could open it up wide open and it would almost instantly boil water, or I could turn it way down and be able to simmer noodles or Mac-N-Cheese.

However, after reading through other reviews and speaking with someone for Primus, I realized that the head was not as secure as it should have been. The head pivots on a ball joint and there is a locking ring that springs back up to lock the head in place. With mine, the ring did not quite meet the bottom lip of the head so there was a little play in the stability. Primus told me to send it in and they would take a look see.

Well, about 2 short weeks later, they had contacted me and told me that the were shipping me a replacement.

When it arrived, I was stoked. The head did in fact lock down way more securely than the one I sent in. However, I quickly realized that the burner control was not the same. I could turn it up and it sounded like a blow torch, however, if I tried to turn it down low to simmer, well it didn't happen. It would get to a point and then simply poof out rather then burn slower.

I dealt with this though because in the mean time I had switched to using alcohol stoves... I used the new Optimus Crux maybe twice at most, and then it went into my storage bins...

A few months ago my buddy decided to go backpacking with me. I let him use the Optimus Crux. It did fine on the first trip he carried it on, at least that I saw. The next trip, it bit the dirt. He carried a brand new fuel canister, but even with the stove turned all the way up there was hardly a flame. I will just say it like this, 10 minutes after I finished boiling 1L of water using my GSI Kettle and my White Box alcohol stove, his 2 cups of water still had not even begun to form bubbles... The stove acted this way all 3 days.

When I got back home I tried it with 5 other fuel canisters, and I got the same results each time. So, I again contacted Primus. After exchanging a few emails they told me to send it back and they would again check it out. So, I did.

About 3 1/2 weeks later I tried contacting them to see what was going on and they told me a tech would have to check it out. Finally, a couple of days ago I got an email saying that the stove could not be fixed and a new one would be going out in the mail to me.

So, despite the stoves set backs, I am still quite happy with the stove. It is small so it packs in tiny spaces. And it isn't as light as my alcohol stove, but it is fairly light-weight. And between the 2 different stoves I have had, 1 had great heat control, and the other had great stability. So, I am hoping that the one on its way will encompass the best of both worlds! And while the customer service was not as great the second time around, they did still come through for me (or at least I hope so, I don't have the stove in yet...)

For a more detailed review of the stove, check out my review over on backpackgeartest.org:

http://sticksblog.com/gear/kitchen/stoves-extras/optimus-crux/

OC Stove Review
Responded on

Don't be such a "Stick" in the mud.

Responded on

That's my story, and I'm "Stick"ing to it.

Really though, it is what it is...