Review Optimus Nova

Update December 2017

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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

Positive

  • 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

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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.

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