I received an Optimus Crux Stove (from now on called stove or crux) from Optimus of Sweden a little while ago, but finally had the time to properly review this product. Once the stove was in my hands, I decided to buy the matching accessory cookware set; the Optimus Terra Solo Cookware, and also a few tanks of fuel from a local sports supply store. Before I was even able to use the stove, I was in awe by its size and weight (or lack thereof).
About Optimus of Sweden
Optimus is a Swedish company that has been manufacturing outdoor stoves for more than a century. At the end of 2007, Optimus was integrated into the Katadyn Group. Since its formation in Stockholm in 1899, Optimus has been developing and improving its products to become the clear first choice of demanding users throughout the world. Open air life is very much associated with activity, movement, and physical endeavour, often struggling with the weather at the same time. Optimus wants to give its users the opportunity of an hour’s peace with products that are safe and easy to use.
Optimus Crux Stove
Optimus’s crux is the king of tiny stoves. Thanks to its folding burner head with spring-loaded locking mechanism and folding wire flame control knob creates a stove with a footprint like you wouldn’t expect.
The burner on the crux is very wide, and has adequate length and spacing for the pots on the folding pot support. The control knob for flame height/power is pretty simple to operate. After swiveling the stove on the fuel tank, you open up the valve until you hear the hissing of the fuel, and ignite it with a match or lighter. I can only guess that many hours of design and research were put into the manufacturing of the burner head, since the flame output is oh so strong, but very consistent/stable no matter what flame strength.
There is also a little pocket/sleeve attachment that came with the stove to securely stow away the stove on the underside of a 230 or 450g canister. It is a neat idea, not always needed, but more than appreciated to avoid damage or jingling noises from cans/pots/stove hitting each other.
The Optimus Crux is so lightweight and compact that you wont even know you’re carrying this powerful burner. Thanks to an innovative folding burner head and the convenient strap-on protective stuff bag, Optimus Crux packs down to nothing and stores in the bottom of your gas canister. A technical wonder designed for weight chasers who refuse to compromise cooking performance. Enjoy every meal! Includes burner with valve and stuff bag. Optimus provides a 5-year warranty against manufacturing defects. Proof of purchase showing the date the product was purchased and where is required for this warranty to be valid.
- Average boil time for 1L of water: ~3min/1l water, depending on climate, altitude etc.
- Average burn time: Up to 60min at maximum output (220g canister) Dimensions 8,4 x 5,7 x 3,1cm
- Fuel type: Butane/Propane gas canister
- Kit includes: Burner with valve and stuff bag
- Output: 10200 BTU / 3000 W (Highest output of any of their Optimus Series Stoves!)
- Technology: Gas Weight (grams): 83
Optimus Terra Solo Cookware
The Optimus Terra Solo Cookware set (from now on known as set, or cookware) is tiny; most definitely for one to two people for a weekend backpacking trip. There are bigger kits, there are nicer kits; none of those kits are as svelte or as fairly priced as this. None of this should be a surprise because the cookware’s name says it all.
I have used this cookware to boil water, cook oatmeal/muesli, make cups of tea, melt snow, make an egg; I even attempted pancakes with this set with no problems. While this cookware pot and pan are tiny, as long as you have some basic cooking skills, and know how to use a gas range, I’m sure your culinary expertise would only be limited to the size of these vessels… but then again we are not typically trying to be Bobby Flay out in the wilderness.
Ultra light 0.6L hard-anodized aluminium cookset with fry pan and mesh bag. Designed to accommodate a 110g gas canister, Optimus Crux or Crux Lite and a folding spork.
- Weight: 166g.
- Dimensions: 12.1cm x 10.5cm
This is the kit to get if you are trying to follow in Grant Peterson’s steps, in vein with the S240 cyclocamping movement. The stove is light, strong and efficient; the only weakness I found were that the folding pot holders started to oxidize after a single use and I am not sure if this is normal. The pots are very purposeful and can really help you fill you and your friends’ stomachs, just remember that it can cook about 1.5 servings at a time of just about anything. Both the stove and the cookware will be a long-lasting part of your ultra light camping gear for years to come. (I found the 110g fuel tanks very hard to find in WV, but Wal-Mart carries the 250g tanks for around $5) Definitely a 3… maybe even a 4 season item. (Optimus suggests to not allow the fuel tanks to drop below a certain temperature or the performance of the stove decreases exponentially, if this happens – place the fuel in your jacket or tent to warm up with body heat.)
Optimus Crux Stove: 4.5/5
Optimus Terra Solo Cookware: 4.5/5
If you want to see more footage of these products at work, just watch my YouTube video reviews below: