Review Optimus Nova

First and foremost, after cycling more than 4 years, only a few brands are so good that I chose them again, would I have to. Therm-A-Rest, Cumulus and Optimus.

Each time I use the Optimus Nova automatically one sentence comes to my mind: ‘This thing really works!’ Sometimes this sentence is slightly different, when I add: ‘It álways works!’ And time after time, cycling from the Atacama, the beginning of the Nova in my life, up to a few weeks ago, cycling in the humidity of Paraguay, I was having this thought when I started to prepare food.


Nearly a year where I used the Optimus stove with regularity went by.

The quality of fuel in Paraguay is bad and the beginning of troubles started.

It must be my own fault, my very own mistakes and simply a neglect of care. Someone had told me not to touch the spindle and so I never touched it. I did clean the needle and it’s housing and moisturized all the rubber rings regularly.


I place the stove in it’s protecting pouch with a soft cloth covering it, and nest it in a pan. Things might still have shaken the stove because the crown (the thing holding the burner plate) came loose.

My friend who has the exact same stove was wondering what I do with my stove, and the same reaction was to be read on the production manager’s face, would I have been sitting opposite him.


Then one good day, the stove simply stopped spewing fire, it would take me much effort to have a bright yellow flame to turn blue. Once it was blue it would extinguish quickly and I had to turn the control valve fully open.

Then I did clean the spindle, because the production manager told me to. The great thing with good products is that there is always some one (often the same person for a long period of time) answering to your complaints, unforeseen troubles or simply questions about the product. I had the spindle cleaned and it seemed the stove worked.


Then the fuel would gather between the quick connect and fuel hose. Would I move those parts just a bit than the fuel would spray like an inferno, just as it is supposed to. But I can not cook while holding these connecting parts, besides, the risk of having a fire on the side may occur. And since the Primus Multi Fuel stove did blow up, I wish not to have another such experience.


No one I know has ever these kind of problems with their stoves. It must be me, although I am really careful. I do take care for my expensive products, but I should clean it more thoroughly, which means certainly not not touch the spindle.

Again, and I admit how stupid I feel, for not being able to keep something longer than 6 months working properly where others can, a new stove is send to me. My old stove is send in for further investigation so the products of Optimus only get better in the future.


May I say Cindy-proof better?

Note I: my problems have only been seen once by the team of Optimus.

Note II: whereas I have never been able to keep a stove working longer than a year and a half.

Another big THANK YOU for R!

Januari 2017: An excellent stove, but new every decent product is good. So I need to give it some years able to be objective about it. So far I can tell you this, summoned in positive and less positive.

I use gasoline which I filter through two baby socks consisting of a very fine netting. I do not mix fuels, so if I have a little left over I make sure to throw that out of the bottle before I refill it.


  • Low design, therefore very stable

  • Switching the flame off, between two tea’s for example, is very easy with the switch on the fuel bottle

  • Disconnecting the hose from the bottle is without a tiny spillage of fuel and goes very easy (except when it is freezing, then it gets a bit troublesome because of cold fingers)

  • The cleaning of the needle, if necessary, is very easy

  • The booklet is excellent

  • Fuel control valve is very supple, and has a good design

  • The two protecting caps on the end of the hose and bottle are thoughtful, and will protect it from dirt getting in

  • The stuff bag is thoughtful designed

  • Contact info is beyond magnificent! A very big THANK YOU for R. who helped me replace this stove and fill me in with little questions once I start using it

Less positive

  • The quality of the fuel does have an impact on the working of the stove, this will have the force of the flame and fuel amount differ when starting up

  • Sometimes the flame goes out when I switch pans

  • Wind sensitive

  • The top of the pump mechanism is a bit too small, would like to see it broader for a better grip

  • Legs of the burner way too stiff, sometimes I hurt my fingers with closing and opening them

  • Flimsy wind screen which will break within half a year

  • The stove produces much sound


It needs quite an understanding how to handle the stove, as there a few very little ways important for its optimal working. Such as: the control valve should not be closed after having switched off the flame, as it will easily get stuck. Each time you start using the stove it is best to move the magnet underneath the stove so the needle will not get stuck. Do not switch off the stove by turning the control valve, this is best done by flipping the bottle or with the valve at the fuel bottle.

By Cindy

Years of traveling brought me many different insights, philosophies and countries I needed to be (over 90 in total). I lived in Pakistan, went over 15 times to India and when I stopped cycling the world, that was after 50.000 kilometer through 45 countries, I met Geo. Together we now try to be more self-sustainable, grow our own food and live off-grid. I now juggle with the logistics of being an old-fashioned housewife, cook and creative artist loving the outdoors. The pouches I create are for sale on

17 replies on “Review Optimus Nova”

100% to the point! While reading your article i had to nod my head and smile. I used optimus during my last cycling trip in Asia.

When i read words from a completely stranger describing his/her experiences which are actually similar to mine, my heart gets warm and .. somehow.. it feels like we know eachother for a long time. Even though the writer might have absolutely no clue about that!

Liked by 1 person

Isn’t that funny, Kalli! We are just talking about… stoves : )) and no, I would never think someone might get the feel he or she knows me well by just reading a review, but it turned out it can be so! Funny. I had my share of troubles with stoves!


I now use rather a hobo stove

All stoves can be problematic, they all need cleaning and care, although sometimes it is not clear whether they need maintenance. I usually carry spare parts for the stove too, it is such a hassle to find them in a city, in shops for car parts (as many countries have not such fancy little stoves).

One excellent thing is the feedback of the Optimus stove!! Their help and assistance is simply amazing!! And, of course, I do love the Optimus Nova : ))


“Flimsy wind screen which will break within half a year”
I simply wrap wind screen around fuel bottle. That way any small radius bending can be avoided, substantialy prolonging life of a wind screen.
One small difference through: my fuel bottle is of an older red 590ml (if I recall correctly) type. I guess it is higher than your 300ml green one, and that allows nearly whole height of the wind screen to be supported by the fuel bottle barrel. In a tightly packed pannier that may make a difference.

Liked by 1 person

Hi Piotr, I experienced the same and likewise did I wrap the windscreen around the bottle. My first set up was a large bottle. A windscreen was always a bit of a hassle anyway, as it would easily be blown away by the wind. I often needed stones or the panniers to block out the wind to keep the windscreen functioning ; )

My first windscreen ended up in neat evenly pieces, like a cake cut in 4.

Greetings Cindy


Der Unterschied zwischen billigem Tankstellen-Cocktails (wenig Benzine, viele nicht brennbaren Additive) und teurem Rein/Weiß/Feuerzeug-Benzin zu unterscheiden, solle man fähig sein!
Öffne einmal einen Kfz-Motor und vergleiche das mit Deinem Kocher! Schwarze Ablagerungen, verkrustet, oxydiert, nicht waschbar sind die Wirkung einer unkontrollierten Verpuffung von chemischen Cocktails einer jeden Tankstelle.
Mein uralter Coolman litt darunter extrem wie ein Lamborghini in Deutschland, bis er überhaupt vor lauter Ersatzteilen nicht mehr reparabel war.


Ich bin glücklich geworden mit dem SOTO-Stormbreaker, der sowohl an Reinbenzin-Flasche als auch an Gas-Kartusche betrieben werden kann, zudem energetisch stark isr, ausgesprochen leise und effizient beim Braten/Wasserkochen. Nur Garen/Köcheln bei kleinsten Flammen gelingt weniger gut, da einfach zu heiß. Mit meiner Erfahrung werde ich ihn niemals mit billigem schlimmem Tankstellen-Sprit-Cocktails befeuern!


Don't just stop here, I appreciate your thoughts too : )

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