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Optimus Nova Stove

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    19 Reviews


    Boil water and cook your dinner in the highest, coldest places on earth with the Optimus Nova Stove.

    The lightweight, compact, dependable Optimus Nova Stove takes on the harshest conditions from arctic travel to high-altitude mountaineering. It runs on white gas, Optimus arctic fuel, kerosene, diesel, and jet fuel, which is why it has become a popular choice for expedition travel where fuel may be limited. The Nova Stove's quick-priming gets a roaring flame going quickly, and the adjustable heat lets you simmer as well as boil. This burly white gas expedition stove weighs only 15 ounces and packs smaller than a fuel bottle. Get one for base camp and one to pack for your ultralight summit push.

    Proposition 65 Warning for California Consumers: This product contains chemicals known to the State of California to cause cancer and/or birth defects or other reproductive harm.

    • Item #OPS0003

    Tech Specs

    Fuel Type
    white gas, jet fuel, diesel, kerosene, Optimus arctic fuel
    Boil Time
    3.5 min
    Burn Time
    2.5 hour
    3.5 x 2.5 x 5.5 in
    Claimed Weight
    15 oz
    Recommended Use
    Manufacturer Warranty
    2 years

    Tech Specs

    • Reviews
    • Q & A

    What do you think about this product?

    Have questions about this product?

    A gallon of fuel into this already

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    Decided its time for a review after running a gallon of fuel into this. I have had zero issues with this device even with using older not so clean fuel. The only downside is the weight. Melts snow just as fine as other stove and I have boiled several huge pots of water on this running it for 5 hours nonstop.

    Stove rips

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    This stove rips and is my top choice for backpacking stoves. My favorite features are the unique folding legs that allow the stove to pack small and the metal gas pump. MSR Whisperlite has a plastic gas pump which is a delicate situation to put yourself in when you are out in the woods. Plus the Optimus Nova has one valve that will burn all fuel types so you don't have to switch valves for different fuels like the Primus stove. This stove rises above the rest.

    Beware of replacement parts

      I own a previous generation Nova (prior to the Katadyn acquisition). It worked great for about 4 years and numerous trips but I recently discovered my fuel line had a small puncture in it rendering the whole stove useless. The newer models have a different style fuel line connector and there's no existing replacement parts for a stove that's only 4 years old. Ebay also turned up nothing in the parts department. So either I have to shell out $80 for a new fuel pump + compatible hose or buy a new stove completely. I think I'll switch to MSR -- they offer lifetime warranties and replacement parts seem to be much easier to get your hands on.

      Conclusion: great stove. poor warranty and parts availability when you need it.

      Beware of replacement parts

      Lives up to its claims

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

      This stove does everything it claims it does. Its is reliable; I have used this stove on many backpacking trips with out any issues what so ever. The stove is extremely accommodating; I have used gasoline, diesel , camp fuel and even alcohol to operate this stove. The stove is durable; I have had my stove since 2004 and it is still going strong. Overall, this is an excellent stove.

      Awesome Stove

        This is a great light weight backpacking stove. While I was always a huge fan of my Primus stove I needed something a bit lighter. I love the convenience of using whatever fuel I can easily get. The adjustable heat takes a light touch but worth it!

        Favorite liquid fuel stove

          all metal construction makes it very durable (hate the plastic msr pumps). Flame adjustment is the best around. Magnetic cleaning needle is actually very handy. I have burned only white gas and kerosene in this stove and both performed perfectly although kerosene was harder to get lit. I only use this as my snow melter or when cooking for three or more, overkill for solo use.

          Used the Nova on a winter backpack and though it is not the most compact to carry, it was the only one in our group that could simmer. The reason is the fuel valve at the STOVE and not trying to control the fuel flow at the bottle/pump. The others used my stove to cook their meals requiring a simmer.

          I use alcohol to prime as it's much safer (no exciting flare-up if too much used) and it doesn't soot up everything.

          A great stove and highly recommended.

          Great stove

            I bought an Optimus Nova (Brunton version) in 2007 & the only problem has been the thread stripping on the fuel bottle, which was probably my fault
            In Scotland I used mainly kerosene as fuel in winter, pre-heating with methylated spirit (alcohol) but used unleaded petrol for pre-heating as well as the main fuel in summer since the flame from petrol is easier to see.
            The stove has been very reliable, easy to use & will light practically anywhere using a flint&steel sparker, which benefits from being attached to 12-15 inches of reflective guyline. Harder to lose but easier to use.
            I keep a windshield wrapped around the fuel bottle where it doesn't get damaged and find the 600ml bottle is easier to pressurise than the larger one.

            Great stove

            A Great Stove Ruined by Quality Control Problems

              I loved the design and, in theory, function of this stove and was excited to get it for use on my winter and mountaineering treks. The first one I got was defective such that fuel could not enter the burner - there was metal debris blocking the jet that was confirmed by the service rep when I sent it back. I was concerned, but gave it another chance and had them send me another.


              I have used this stove over a dozen times including x-c ski trips, snowshoe overnights, and a few climbs in the Cascades. I wanted a highly reliable and powerful stove that would melt snow and get me hot water in rough conditions. between a recall and several difficult field fixes, I have to call this stove completely unreliable. When it works, it has the power of any stove I know with wonderful flame control. Problem is that there is always a ripped seal, leaking pump, misfit part, clogged part or some other issue. I have seen every part to this stove because I have had to dismantle both the pump and burner to varying degrees multiple times. I cannot take it into the field without the expectation of it working properly for more than a single use, if that.

              I have used white gas primarily, although also tried kerosene. I prime the stove with denatured alcohol, keep it clean, oil the pump, and yet still it fails me. I will be contacting Optimus to see if they will refund or do something about it. I will not accept another one of these stoves however. My next one will be a Primus or MSR multifuel type.

              I know there was a recall of this stove for ones made between certain dates, but that did not fix many of the problems for me. I do a lot of stove tinkering and have Coleman 442 and 400 stoves, Svea 123 and 123r stoves, and would use any of those in a heartbeat over this because I know they will work. The only thing impressive about this stove is the list of things that have managed to go wrong on a stove that inherently seemed so well designed. I hear that the QC issues started after production was moved to China, but all I know is this stove stunk for me, and I would not try to sell it because I would feel lousy for the new owner.

              I was bought a svea 123r by my father when i was old enough to warrant my own for my birthday. All of my friends and those i bump into on the trail have used my svea, when their msr's and new designs have failed. People poke fun at me that svea weights a lot, its old and i reply its never failed me. I carry spare parts (o-ring, valve packing, needle valve and a jet) i can rebuild the stove in seconds. I agree with you jades. These newer stove have quality issues which are the reason I will not buy new. It is interesting when everyone breaks out their new stoves and I start my svea and they all are saying whats that thing.

              I can't agree with you more. I had exactly the same experience...including the recall. As much as I wanted to love this stove because of its design, t
              he quality control absolutely stunk for me as well. I experience some sort of problem every other trip. As much as everyone loves the metal pump, what good is it if the leather cup that creates the pressure is consistently made out of cheap, dried up leather. I miss my svea 123. I miss my whisperlite. I'm going back to MSR and whisperlite. Their quality control is a 9 or 10 as well as their support. It's a proven standard. I'd consider primus omnifuel, but contrary to public opinion, metal pumps are not necessarily better. They are heavy. Aluminum bottle to aluminum threads on pump is inherently problematic as well!

              Oh forgot...single jet design not everything its cracked up to be. I found my Nova burned kerosene MUCH better than white gas. I would have preferred 2 jets optimized to white gas and kerosene, respectively. I don't think most campers appreciate the compromise in performance when going to single jet design.

              I should add that after a few trips, my initial review would have been a 5 or 4, but the more experience I had with the stove, the more experience I had with the ramifications of poor QC, the more I realized that I wanted to love the stove, but couldn't. I should add that I am a very experienced backpacker and winter camper, and that my view is not based on either a single bad experience nor made in haste based on a first or second impression. Stick with MSR'll be better off in the long run.


                I've never owned a more versatile stove in my life. I love that you can use basically any type of fuel with this stove. It is good for other things than just boiling water. It will boil water fairly quickly, but you can also actually cook food and not scorch it. Optimus got it right with this guy.

                It's the stove!

                  This is the best stove I have ever owned. I have gone through the whole generational thing since the 1970's and at one time thought MSR had finally figured it all out, but this stove is it. Years of backpacking, traveling, and guiding, and this is the stove I bring every time. Buy it!

                  I love this stove

                    First, I have way too many stoves. Several SVEAs, a couple TRANGIAs, and Primus as well as several gas canisters. I do a lot of baking when camping using an Outback 10" and always take my coffee press and plan my meals more than my route. I purchased this stove wondering if it could replace any of my others since we go with a large group of Scouts and we need stoves that are trustworthy and reliable. This one is my most favorite which says a lot.

                    I can simmer, bake and the fuel last a very long time compared to the others. I have not had any fuel issues but only use Coleman fuel and never anything that could clog the ports. I have used it snow camping and on high it melts snow fast and has created lots of meals. I give this one a real five stars. I have camped with people using a whisperlite and those things are tempermental. This one is not. Period!

                    Not What I expected

                      I hate to give a bad review on something, but I was very disappointed with this stove.

                      Pros: It will cook your food, and it simmers well.

                      Cons: Very Leaky. It leaked BAD from the control valve on the pump, and the o-rings on the quick connect kept getting torn somehow, and therefore it leaked there as well. Also, it is hard to get the fuel out of the fuel line, so when you disconnect it, an unwanted amount of fuel comes out of the hose. I do not know if I just got a bad one or something, but this is my experience. I only had it 1 week.

                      Try following the instructions by flipping the bottle over before you are finished and use up all of the fuel in the line. That way, you should never have a problem. I always keep mine in the case unless it is on, and stored in a closet when not in use at home. Hope this helps.

                      The leak you describe is a known problem with a certain set of serial numbers that were produced. These have officially been recalled (Google should lead you to Katadyn's recall notice). Basically there was a QC lapse and the female connection on the pump was not machined properly, leaving rough/sharp edges that can cause a leak by shredding the O-ring. COntact Katadyn about it and they will ship you a new pump if your serial number matches the recall.

                      Cooked my food

                        At first I was having trouble lighting the stove. Turns out I wasn't using the magnetic thing to clean it before each use. To anyone that buys this stove, you MUST clean the jet before each use. Once I figured that out I was lighting it effortlessly, even in the rain. The stove is powerful wait a fairly good flame control. Boils water fast and cooked for 2 people no problem. The versatility in what fuels you can burn is a huge plus even though I've only burned coleman fuel so far. The leather in the pump was dry when I got mine so I had to put some of the included silicon lube on it so the pump would build pressure. Their are lighter options on the market but I would take the optimus nova over all of them.

                        Better than the whisperlite..

                          I've used the whisperlite on numerous occasions and it will always be a good white gas stove for its price, but I've had too many experiences where it just crapped out on me. If you are willing to spend a little extra money I'd say get this one. What won me over was that you can practically use any type of fuel with this stove, which is important to me since I travel abroad often. This is my second summer using it and I've never had a problem with this stove. Its really easy to put together and prime, very user friends. All my friends who are used to the whisperlite are always suprised and impressed with the nova. I really like the on/off feature where you just lie the bottle from one side to the other, allowing or blocking fuel from entering the hose. My stove has never broke on me yet and in the the summer I use it every weekend.

                          Rock Star Stove

                            This is simply the finest stove I have ever seen or used. This stove is built like a rock! It also has lit on the first try for me every single time using white gas. I am interested to see if that holds true with other fuels. Water boils quite rapidly, and you really can achieve a true simmer. The granularity of control over the amount of heat output far surpased what I expected! The stuff sack is excellent and the stove packs down small. The self purging of the fuel line along with the fact that the fuel pump is solid aluminum, not plastic justifies the cost in my opinion. I would not hesitate to recommend this stove to anyone and consider it more than worth the price.

                            I need a new leather cup for my Nova. Is...

                            I need a new leather cup for my Nova. Is it possible to purchase just the cup without buying the entire replacement kit? Ebay has cups for the Trangia. Are they compatible?


                            I received this stove less than two weeks...

                            I received this stove less than two weeks ago and test drive it. The "ON" "OFF" feature on the pump doesn't work. I bent the tube away from the body and the "OFF" mark on the pump, yet it continues to roar. What else could be the problem?

                            I was hesitant to email "Optimus" because of a previous discussion about a problem with another stove, but I did it anyway, and I haven't received an answer yet. The discussion I was referring was that the customer rep from Katadyn Optimus haven't even read the users manual on that particular stove! There's no way he'd understand.

                            Does this stove burn Gasoline/Petrol? I'm...

                            Does this stove burn Gasoline/Petrol? I'm suprised that it seems every fuel is listed except for gas. I'd rather burn Gas than diesel at cold temps anyways, knowing about the diesel gel point. Anyone know about this?

                            Best Answer

                            Yes, it burns regular unleaded gasoline. Number 2 diesel gels at about 10 degrees F, so gasoline, kerosene, or white gas are always going to be better performers for temps below that. Gasoline freezes at -43f, K-1 at -30f, white gas at -22f. Hope that helped.

                            Most descriptions take for granted the Nova burns gas however this stove burns white gas the best. Whenever burning unleaded gas, I've experienced an erratic flame due to additives including ethanol. Also the jet needs cleaning/maintenance more often. I've used unleaded gas only in emergency situations.

                            Anybody have any input on the version of...

                            Anybody have any input on the version of this stove that actually ships?
                            You can't see it in the product photo, but the shipping version of this stove has an on/off knob built onto the pump near the shank/sleeve that connects to the fuel line hose. I have an older version of this stove (all green...2005 model, I believe...) that does not have such a knob built into the pump. The only on/off is controlled via the simmer lever on the burner and the orientation of the bottle itself. Why the triple-redundant on/off functionality?
                            (On/off based on the orientation of the bottle...on/off based on the state of the knob on the pump....on/off based on the state of the simmer lever on the burner...)
                            Also, the version that I has different connector firmly snaps into need to twist, like you have to with this version. The first time I tried this version it leaked whitegas from that twist shank...not cool.

                            The off/on valve on the pump is a handy feature to save the pressure in the fuel bottle. Simply turn the bottle over to the "off" position and when the flame goes out, close the valve on the pump. The pressure remaining inside the fuel bottle stays there reducing the pumping the next time you use the stove.

                            Since the fuel bottle is not included and...

                            Since the fuel bottle is not included and not for sale, should I presume that other fuel bottles will work with this stove? Can I use my MSR fuel bottles with it?

                            Just to be safe, I'd use only the specific fuel bottles designed for each individual stove. The threads could be slightly different between manufacturers. sells the Optimus fuel bottle:


                            Best Answer

                            Do not ever ever ever use the MSR bottle with this stove!!! I used one with the stove a few times and let me tell you, you might not notice it but gas is going to leak out around the pump. The top of the MSR bottles are rounded while the Optimus bottles are flat on the top. If one uses the MSR bottle the pump will not make a good connection with the tank because of the rounded surface and fuel will leak out slowly, sometimes to slow to notice. Since Optimus uses a metal pump if that leaked gas catches fire you could literally have a bomb go off in your camp. Not good!

                            I also have the optimus nova and have been using it with MSR bottles that I have. I have no problems in warm weather but in cold weather (under 30) I had the bottle leak several times. At first I did not realize how bad it was until one time backpacking in the snow and the leaked fuel caught fire which ruined the black caps which cover connections and also melted the O-ring inside the quik fitting on the fuel line. I was able to use some plastic to "seal" the line enough to hold some pressure to barely warm some water but not cook. When I got back I contacted Optimus and they sent replacement parts for no charge.

                            In all, do not use MSR bottles. Use only Optimus or maybe Brunton bottles. Unless you want to risk a fire. Remember that it may seem to seal but in cold weather you will most likely have a leak.

                            I have saveral stoves and fuel bottles from Optimus, Primus, and MSR. The threads are all the same but the sealing lip on the fuel bottles are quite different on the MSR vs. the Optimus and Primus bottles. The top inside of the MSR is tapered similiar to a funnel and will work wel with a round o-ring (MSR stove pumps). The Optimus and Primus have a flat surface below the lip of the bottle with the verticle side above that contains the o-ring (flat in the case of the optimus stove pump) from bulging outward and creating a leak when compressed too far or due to pressure inside the bottle. Use your MSR bottles to carry exyra fuel but use an Optimus bottle with the pump.

                            I purchased a Nova. I am having difficulty...

                            I purchased a Nova. I am having difficulty getting it lit, the fuel bottle pressurises, but no fuel comes into the stove when I open the valve. I am using shellite.
                            Any suggestions?

                            Hi Emily,
                            Sounds like you have a clogged burner jet, fuel line, or control valve. 1. Make sure the magnetic cleaning needle is functioning properly, 2. Make sure the fuel is unimpeded by pouring a small amount into the line @ the valve attachment. Fuel should come out of the jet @ this point, 3. Inspect the valve assembly to make sure it is working properly. Turn the attached valve completely off & pressurize the fuel bottle/tank with twenty pumps. Open the valve & see if liquid fuel is spraying out. Repeat steps one & two if necessary. The below link has some additional information:


                            How noisy is it?

                            How noisy is it?

                            Best Answer

                            Slightly louder than you need to know that it is running. Some people find it slightly annoying, but as I said, its good to know that it is still running and hasn't blown out. Don't worry about it. It's definitely one of the best white gas stoves out there.

                            It all depends on your perspective. To me, this stove is LOUD as are all plate burners. One consolation is it keeps critters @ bay! If you're concerned about noise, consider a canister stove.