Description

Four seasons of cooking from a canister stove? It's true.

Cold weather can turn a canister stove into a sputtering heap, but not the Optimus Vega Stove. This backpacking stove packs a four-season function that allows you to invert your gas fuel cartridge so it delivers liquid fuel. Liquid fuel helps the Vega burn with more power and greater efficiency so you can keep cooking and actually reduce your cooking time. The Vega is lightweight and compact enough for your summer backpacking bag, and capable enough to earn a spot in your winter camping kit.

  • High-output burner head offers consistent, even heat so you can cook on a pan, boil water in a pot, or melt snow in a pinch
  • Wire fuel-control handle gives you fine burner control so you can set the burner to simmer without burning your food
  • Stove links to gas cartridge by hose so the stove sits lower to the ground for added safety and stability
  • Hose valve interface has integrated support legs so you can invert a gas cartridge for maximum cartridge life and to keep it off the ground
  • Integrated four-season mode allows you to cook with liquid gas so you can reduce cooking time in cold conditions
  • Gas mode function is aided by a preheating tube that maximizes the effectiveness of liquid fuel
  • Windshield adjust to two sizes to accommodate pots of different sizes
  • Stove includes stove bag and aluminum windshield

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Here's what others have to say...

Jetboil Fluxring pot with my Vega...

Jetboil Fluxring pot with my Vega...

Great combo.
Everything fits in the pot, even a 230g isobutane canister.
Note the heat reflector base.
I grabbed that from my Optimus Nova liquid fuel stove.
The Vega comes with a windscreen, but not the reflector base.
I've found the combo of windscreen and base to be very efficient, especially when using it on snow.
Fantastic stove. (sweet pot, too...)

5 5

Remote-canister isobutane = robust...

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I love stoves. In fact i totally nerd-down on them.
I have hexamethylenetetramine 1-3-5 trioxane stoves, multi-liquid-fuel stoves, alcohol stoves, isobutane stoves, remote-canister isobutane stoves...
I love them all for different reasons.
The top of the food chain when it comes to portable stoves is the remote-canister isobutane variety. That's not to say they are the best choice for every occasion, but they are the only stoves that hit all the bullet points of usability/efficiency in inclement conditions and at elevation. Without getting too sciency, canister-top n-butane and isobutane stoves perform poorly below freezing due to the boiling points of those specific liquified petroleum gases. Isobutane canisters these days also contain small amounts of propane, which has a much lower boiling point, but requires much more pressure to contain. (thus the small percentages of propane in the mixes). In very cold weather and at moderate elevations, this causes performance lag, and burning will totally stop if you're low enough and it's cold enough. (unless your canister does indeed contain propane in the mix, and will cease when you burn through that propane.) (Boiling points decrease as you gain elevation, making isobutane stoves more efficient, so you can actually climb your way out of this problem, like many others...)
A remote canister solves this issue, because when you tip it over, it's not relying on vaporization for fuel to leave the canister, it's relying on gravity. The vaporization takes place in the preheat coil.
Here's a photo of mine on Mount Rainier at 10k feet in what was probably 20ish degrees. Technically, i didn't need to invert it, but the canister was emptying and the pressure was dropping. With a canister-top model, I wouldn't have been able to melt snow (efficiently or for very long)for drinking-water. And that would have sucked. So I flipped it, and in doing so, turned it into a 12000BTU liquid fuel stove.

Remote-canister isobutane = robust...
1 5

Terrible stove

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

I purchased this stove last year and it almost started a forest fire, the regulator would not work right, the distributor exchanged it for another one, worked great in the garage, then took it out hunting was gonna boil some water and the stove would not work at all, regulator would not allow gas to flow, the gas spurted out of the canister, I took it back immediately and exchanged it for a jetboil, would not have been good if I was relying on this stove in the backcountry!

Responded on

Gas spurted out of the canister? How did that happen? Define "regulator". Do you mean the control valve? Or the burner? Did you invert the canister initially, turn the control valve and attempt to light the stove? That won't work. The preheat coil has to be...hot...when you invert the canister, because inverting the canister sends liquid fuel down the hose and, if the preheat coil is cold, directly to the burner, because there will be no heat to vaporize the (now) liquid fuel. I guess you'd also have to define "spurted". In the years I've been using isobutane stoves, i'd never define what happens when gas escapes the canister during the burner attachment process (or an accidental cross-thread) as a "spurt". More like a "hiss". Are you saying that when you attached the control valve, gas just started to come out regardless of wether the valve was open or closed? If the control valve was properly attached (not cross-threaded) but the mechanism that controls how much gas is allowed to leave the canister was malfunctioning, gas would come out of the BURNER. (liquified, if the canister was inverted and the stove was cold.)
Your description a bit confusing...

I've had this stove for about 6 months and it has performed flawlessly in extremely cold temps and at elevation. In fact it's the best stove i've ever used for that purpose. The fact that it inverts is a bonus, but you should never need to do so unless the temp is around 18F at sea-level. There's a mathematical correlation/falloff curve that dictates the decreasing boiling points of n-butane/isobutane/propane with altitude gains, thereby making isobutane stoves more efficient the higher you go, but that's not too relevant to why yours almost exploded. Care to share more details?

Responded on

Do you have a graph or something to that affect for the altitude vs temperature use? 18F at sea level but what about at 4k, 8k, 14k 17k etc?

Responded on

Hey Rabbit.

There are a few charts online. Do an image search for “boiling point of isobutane with elevation.”
But, you can do it with math, too…

Boiling Point is T.

T = (Boiling Point of liquid or gas in question) - (.00184)Elevation

*Assumes you’re using Fahrenheit.

So basically, multiply whatever elevation you want by .00184 then subtract that from the boiling
point of whatever substance you are curious about.

Boiling point for n-butane = 30.2F
Boiling point for isobutane = 10.94F
Boiling point for propane = -43.6F

If the temp of the canister is less than the boiling point of a compressed gas, that gas will not vaporize (i.e. boil…)
But that doesn’t mean you can’t use your stove where the numbers tell you that you can’t.
You can warm the canister in lots of ways and coax it into functionality.
And with this stove, once you get the preheat coil hot, you don’t have to babysit the (inverted) canister.
(By, for example, having 2 or 3 canisters, keeping two in your jacket, and swapping out the cold one with a warm one…)
Inverted, it’ll just drain liquid fuel into the preheat coil where it’ll vaporize.

Also, don’t forget to take the environmental lapse rate into account.
Temp drops from 3F to 5F per 1000 feet of elevation gain for a given location (depending on a few factors).
I usually use 4F and it’s usually correct, or close enough.
(34F at 4K feet in the valley = -1.2F at camp at 12.8K feet, for example.)

4 5

Low and Slow..

Low and Slow is what I was going for when I purchased this stove. I have an Optimus Crux stove and know they are a stove head you can simmer with. I also wanted to get a stove that was as low to the ground as possible and had a wide base for stability reasons.

I had a chance to Fondue this last weekend at our local Winery. Once the water gets boiling in the double boiler set up you want a stove that can be reduced down to a very low flame. You don't want steam and boiling bubbles shooting out all over the place. I didn't see any issues with the stove at all except for the fact I had it in the center of the blanket and set it on a cutting board to protect the blanket from any sort of heat because the stove is very low to the ground. I will most likely make a stove base for it so it can be mounted more securely.

It is a great little stove that can pack into the Snow Peak 1400 along with their Ti nesting bowls along with a fuel canister.

I am glad I got one and looking forward to using it this winter when we go on some adventures.

Great wind guard

Great wind guard

This stove has an included aluminum wind guard that helps keep the heat going where it needs too! Also folds up nice and small to fit inside the nylon carry case!

Stove folds up very small

Stove folds up very small

Folding legs allow for very small storage and yet the ability to use an 8+ inch pan for cooking up your feast!

Super Portable!

Super Portable!

I love how small you can pack this stove! It comes with a durable nylon carry case that fits your stove and a great wind screen.

5 5

4-season CANISTER stove standard.

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

Best 4-season canister stove on the market. Extremely light, works great in cold temps, boils water like a boss (I use the Optimus HE Weekend Pot). And can also be used to actually cook, the adjustability on this thing is excellent.

Remember however when the canister is inverted the adjustments are not instantaneous like they are with the canister in the upright position, it takes about 10-15 secs to adjust because the line is full of liquid fuel, same goes for shutting it off. Overall if you like the ease of use of a canister stove and have plans for doing some winter expeditions, this is what you are looking for.

I have tested it in the mid teens and the thing roars, I have no doubt that it will work in 0 degree temps (and will update if it doesn't). Not sure about the $95 price tag, I bought mine at EMS on sale for 80 bucks.

Used this to cook and melt snow at around -5F. Worked great.

UPDATE: I Used this stove to melt snow and cook in 15-30F temps during my last trip, using a coleman fuel canister purchased from walmart. I had some severe loss of BTUs and incomplete emptying of the cartridge. Stick to Jetboil, MSR, Snowpeak and Optimus brand of fuel cartridges. Coleman cartridges have proved to suck with this stove

4-season CANISTER stove standard.
Responded on

Unless you were using Coleman PowerMax canisters (highly unlikely), the reason you had flagging performance and incomplete emptying is because normal Coleman canisters are 30% propane and 70% n-butane.
Propane has a very low boiling point (-44F at sea level, which means a 100% propane stove would vaporize fuel down to -44F)
n-Butane (the crappy kind of butane, as opposed to isobutane) has a boiling point of 30F, which means that at your 15-30F temp range, you didn't even USE n-butane. You burned off the 30% of the propane in the canister, then the n-butane couldn't vaporize, so it stayed in the canister. But that begs the question: Why didn't you invert that canister?

For that n-butane to vaporize, you would have had to ascend to approximately 15,000 feet. (where the boiling drops low enough that at 15F it would have vaporized.)
Why didn't you just do that?

:)

Jokes.
Yeah. Use isobutane/propane mixes (boiling point 11F/-44F at sealevel respectively...)

Responded on

Well said. And yes the canister was inverted, and a handwarmer was resting on top of it. I have not has this problem with any other canister. Just a little buyer beware if they intend to use this in winter conditions.

Responded on

Hmm. That's weird though. So liquid fuel was was running through the hose and into the HOT preheat coil and it was still not vaporizing and then igniting? Was the stove above the canister? Meaning...was the stove perched on a rock and was the canister on the ground? If so, even at 30F, n-butane alone probably wouldn't generate enough internal pressure to push liquid UP the hose. If you held the canister above the stove, inverted, liquid would have run down the hose and into the preheat coil, which, if hot, would have vaporized it and thus burned it. Would be a fun science experiment, anyway.
Now i wanna get my hands on a Coleman canister and test...

Splitting hairs, now, I guess. 'Moral of the story is that n-butane sorta sucks for this use, as you've already eluded to.

The stove is solid, I've used it in extremely cold conditions and it works great.

Responded on

Thats correct. The canister and stove were on the same table. So they mustve been at the same height +- maybe an inch. And I urge you to try it out yourself.

Yea its a great stove, i just avoid those coleman canisters for winter stuff, its nice to have them as a cheaper option for summertime cooking. Usually cost a dollar or two less at walmart than the other canisters.

5 5

What happens in Vega...

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

Stove works great, just as advertised. Have only used in warm temps. Will try out on AT in Feb. So far no complaints.

5 5

The best 4-Season canister stove!

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

We have been doing some winter testing of the Vega. Below 30 degrees F, you need to invert the gas canister for great performance (4-season-mode). At 4 degrees F. it boiled a pint of water in 2 minutes 30 seconds.

At 17 degrees F. with no wind, I tested the Vega in 4-season mode with a nearly empty 4 oz. Optimus fuel canister.
Boil time of 1 pint of water was 2 minute 42 seconds.

I then used the same canister on a conventional up-right canister stove (Optimus Crux). The flame barely burned and when it went out 5 minutes later, the water was only 100 degrees F..

The best 4-Season canister stove!
Responded on

might the reason be partially also because the canister was depleted even further after the 3mins of usage with the Vega?

Responded on

Partially, yes, but what should stand out to you in that test is that, because an inverted isobutane canister is in essence a liquid fuel stove, using almost depleted canisters does not effect efficiency in any real way.
Practical example:
You're at 13k feet, and it's 5F. You have a JetBoil Sol. The canister (a Jetboil one, and thus 20% propane and 80% isobutane) is about 25% full. You boil water for your buddy first. Now it's less full, which means less pressure. There's probably no propane left (it burned out first, because that's what propane does). You're attempting to vaporize pure isobutane at 5F (bad, actually impossible below 5k feet or so...) and at 13k feet (helps, and would be sufficient to vaporize isobutane at that temp due to the lower boiling point because of your elevation, were it not for the added drawback of having less pressure in the canister due to it being almost empty).

Result? You don't eat hot food.

If you brought your Vega instead of your JetBoil Sol, you'd be eating hot food.

Of course...that is all predicated on having a hot preheat coil...