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Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
The Kovea Spider (KB-1109) Remote Canister Stove on 03/03/2013 13:21:43 MST Print View

Inverted canister stoves are a lightweight alternative to liquid fueled (gasoline or kerosene) stoves in cold weather. Not only are they lighter, but they're more mechanically reliable. In my latest blog post, I review a good one, the Kovea Spider.

I've found it to be a really nice, compact stove.


For the future, I'd like to see Kovea do more to lighten the 5.9oz/168g Spider stove. I'd like to see a good remote canister stove down in the four ounce range, but this is such a nice little stove that it's hard to complain.

There is a lighter, by about 3/4 ounce, stove on the market, the FMS-118 Volcano, but there have been some complaints about the Volcano when in inverted canister mode, and I don't think the Volcano packs down anywhere near as small. I can get the Kovea Spider and a 110g canister of gas into either my 780ml Snow Peak pot or my MSR Titan kettle.


The Kovea Spider (KB-1109) Remote Canister Stove. Have a look if you like.

HJ
Adventures in Stoving

Jesse Anderson
(jeepin05) - F

Locale: Land of Enchantment
Optimus Vega on 03/03/2013 16:24:12 MST Print View

That stove looks great, I've recently considered replacing my aging but bombproof Primus Himalaya. It is made to handle any fuel I throw at it from canister to Coleman fuel to automotive gasoline. It's never let me down, but even in canister mode it isn't light.

The only place I can find that lists the Kovea is ebay, is that where you purchased yours?


Just curious if anyone has purchased one of the new Optimus Vega stoves. Weight on the site is listed as 6.28 oz though it includes a windscreen so I'm not sure if that's included in the weight listing.

Also, unlike some of the other remote canister stoves, tho Optimus has little legs to make a stand for the inverted canister.vega open


it also appears to get quite small when folded.vega

Of course the Optimus is about twice the price of the ebay listing for the Kovea.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Optimus Vega on 03/03/2013 17:42:01 MST Print View

The only place I know of that you can get a Kovea Spider in the US is through eBay. Look for seller "Chovin."

I've seen the Optimus Vega. It seems like a decent stove, but it's nowhere near as compact as the Kovea Spider. I tried it in my Titan kettle, and while the Vega itself would fit in the kettle, there was no way I could fit in a canister of gas.

The little swing out "wings" for inverted use are a nice idea although a little piece of a stick or a rock is usually sufficient to invert a small canister.


HJ
Adventures in Stoving

steven franchuk
(Surf) - M
Re: The Kovea Spider (KB-1109) Remote Canister Stove on 03/04/2013 00:13:21 MST Print View

I think it would be very difficult to get the weight down to the 4 once rage. The hose and preheat tube alone probably weigh an once or more. The pot supports have to do double duty by holding the stove upright and holding the pot. The pot supports on the Gnat only have to support the pot. The Gnat uses the fuel canister to to hold it upright and the weight of the fuel canister which is not included in the weight of the stove.

The fire maple 117 and 118 are identical excet the 118 has the preheat tube rotating joint (to use the canister inverted) while the 117 doesn't. The 117 weighs 3.5oz while the 118 weighs 5.1oz. So those minor differences account 1.6oz of weight. Without those items the Kovea Spider would not be such an interesting stove. The only place left on the spider to cut weight is the pot supports. If we use the legs from the fire maple 117 stove we probably would loose a half once,maybe 1oz. I would like to be proven wrong but getting the weight down by 1oz or more without unpromising performance is going to be difficult to do.

Note I don't have any of these stoves. I'm only going by information I see on the web. I am however considering getting a remote canister stove and right now the spider is on top of my list.

Neil Johnstone
(nsjohnstone) - MLife
Re: Optimus Vega on 03/04/2013 02:35:36 MST Print View

The weight of the Vega (without windshield) is 180g/6.3oz, so the website is correct.

The support legs for the cannister are useful and I prefer the larger burner head (do not get me started on the "short and wide" vs "tall and thin" pot debate!).

Neil Johnstone
(nsjohnstone) - MLife
Re: Optimus Vega on 03/04/2013 02:35:36 MST Print View

(double post)

Edited by nsjohnstone on 03/04/2013 02:36:28 MST.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Re: The Kovea Spider (KB-1109) Remote Canister Stove on 03/04/2013 03:45:45 MST Print View

steven franchuk wrote: > The fire maple 117 and 118 are identical excet the 118 has the preheat tube rotating joint (to use the canister inverted) while the 117 doesn't. The 117 weighs 3.5oz while the 118 weighs 5.1oz. So those minor differences account 1.6oz of weight.
Actually, I believe there are some more significant differences. The FMS-117t (98g/3.5oz) has many titanium components whereas the FMS-118 (146g/5.2oz) is steel. The FMS-118 does have a pre-heat loop which the FMS-117t lacks, but I think the steel components account for the majority of the weight difference. Well, that and the large metal block at the base of the FMS-118 which I don't think is strictly necessary.

steven franchuk wrote: > The only place left on the spider to cut weight is the pot supports. If we use the legs from the fire maple 117 stove we probably would loose a half once,maybe 1oz. I would like to be proven wrong but getting the weight down by 1oz or more without unpromising performance is going to be difficult to do.
Well, titanium components in the burner head and supporting assembly might cut some weight too, but I think you're on to something here. There's going to have to be some real "outside the box" thinking for someone to come up with what I'm talking about. Fire Maple has just come out with the Hornet (FMS-300t), see The New Lightweight Champion, which weighs in at 45g/1.6oz and is now the world's lightest canister stove. Add something to support the pot, support the burner assembly, a hose, and a preheat loop. You've got 2.4 to 3.3 ounces to do it in and still stay in the 4 ounce range. Piece of cake. ;)

HJ
Adventures in Stoving

Edited by hikin_jim on 03/04/2013 03:47:20 MST.

Stuart R
(Scunnered) - F

Locale: Scotland
Re: Sub 3.5oz Remote Canister Stove on 03/04/2013 06:20:42 MST Print View

It's been done already
Then there are Tony B's miniature stoves, and Roger C keeps very quiet about his stoves...

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Re: Sub 3.5oz Remote Canister Stove on 03/04/2013 09:49:04 MST Print View

Stuart R wrote: > It's been done already
Aye, that it has, and well done at that. Unfortunately, I can't pop down to the store and pick one up. Maybe I should try my hand at MYOG, but I hesitate lest I get something wrong.

For those of us not willing to undertake the joys (and perils!) of MYOG UL gas stoves, I suppose we have to go with what's available commercially, so I'm excited to see something like the Kovea Spider. It's really a pretty nice stove. With it, I don't feel like I have to drag along a big, clunky thing just to have remote canister/inverted canister capability.

HJ
Adventures in Stoving

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Re: Optimus Vega on 03/04/2013 13:04:44 MST Print View

Neil Johnstone wrote: > The weight of the Vega (without windshield) is 180g/6.3oz, so the website is correct.

The support legs for the cannister are useful and I prefer the larger burner head (do not get me started on the "short and wide" vs "tall and thin" pot debate!).
The little legs on the Vega seem like a good idea, and the Vega seems like a well built stove just based on handling one in a store.

The thing I like about the Spider is that it is so packable. When I tried to fit a gas canister and the Vega into a Titan kettle, I couldn't do it, but I could with the Spider.

Would I buy a Spider if I already had a Vega? Probably not. Looks like it should work well for you.

I'm generally very pleased that so many new stoves of this type (remote canister) are coming out.

With respect to the burner head on the Spider, the flames are angled out, something along the lines of how a Snow Peak GigaPower burner head is. There really isn't the "hot spotting" that you might expect given the small burner head on the Spider.


HJ
Adventures In Stoving

Stuart R
(Scunnered) - F

Locale: Scotland
Re: Re: Re: Sub 3.5oz Remote Canister Stove on 03/04/2013 13:38:01 MST Print View

Maybe I should try my hand at MYOG, but I hesitate lest I get something wrong.

You don't learn anything until you start trying and that is part of the satisfaction to be had. When something doesn't work as expected, you try to work out why, and if that solves the issue then you know you have gained some new knowledge. It's helpful to start with some instructions - I started with a variation on Rogers summer stove conversion article.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Sub 3.5oz Remote Canister Stove on 03/04/2013 14:33:35 MST Print View

> and Roger C keeps very quiet about his stoves...
:-)
Articles are coming. They are in the publication pipeline.

Cheers

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
The Kovea Spider (KB-1109) Remote Canister Stove on 03/04/2013 14:42:22 MST Print View

Saw one of these in action recently; Jhaura from litetrail.com has one he's been using on our last couple of trips.

Looks like a nice, small and compact stove. It fits inside his 550ml litetrail cookpot. Pretty sure he was happy with it so far.

The one thing he found is that he had to open up the valve a lot more than he initially believed to get a good amount of heat coming out of the stove. This may have just been user error and not a shortcoming of the stove though (considering he mostly cooks with esbit and was using the Spider for the first time).

Does it come with a windscreen? I noticed Jhaura didn't seem to have one and I haven't seen any in other photos. Seems like it would be a necessary accessory to use this stove in true winter conditions.

He built himself a little stand/base for the stove as well to use on snow. Made it out of the top of a cheap plastic bucket lid. I'll have to see if I have any photos of the stove and/or stand in use from our trip.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: The Kovea Spider (KB-1109) Remote Canister Stove on 03/04/2013 16:27:07 MST Print View

Looks like a nice, small and compact stove. It fits inside his 550ml litetrail cookpot. Pretty sure he was happy with it so far.
Wow, that's pretty good if it will fit in a 550ml pot. I didn't try it in anything that small. I figured with a small pot, I might lose too much heat up the sides of the pot, but it might be practical if you kept the flame down fairly low.


Does it come with a windscreen? I noticed Jhaura didn't seem to have one and I haven't seen any in other photos. Seems like it would be a necessary accessory to use this stove in true winter conditions.
The Spider doesn't come with a windscreen although it's easy enough to rig something up. Doubled heavy household aluminum foil makes a decent windscreen for most conditions. An MSR windscreen works well, which is what you see in the photo in the blog post. The lid from a caterer's tin or aluminum flashing can also be made into a decent windscreen.

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Sub 3.5oz Remote Canister Stove on 03/04/2013 16:32:44 MST Print View

> and Roger C keeps very quiet about his stoves...
:-)
Articles are coming. They are in the publication pipeline.
Promises, promises. :)

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

Jesse Anderson
(jeepin05) - F

Locale: Land of Enchantment
Re: Optimus Vega weight on 03/04/2013 16:40:00 MST Print View

Thanks for the info. Sometimes it's hard to tell what the mfg. specs really mean.

Both look like great options,and the much lower price of the kovea is certainly a big draw. Good thing winter is almost over and I have several more months to deliberate and see what else pops up.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: Sub 3.5oz Remote Canister Stove on 03/04/2013 16:55:56 MST Print View

You don't learn anything until you start trying and that is part of the satisfaction to be had. When something doesn't work as expected, you try to work out why, and if that solves the issue then you know you have gained some new knowledge. It's helpful to start with some instructions - I started with a variation on Rogers summer stove conversion article.
Very alluring, but I'm afraid my skills aren't quite up to snuff. For now, I'll just have to content myself with admiring your handiwork... and continue to buy off-the-shelf stoves. And I do worry about getting something wrong to the extent that I have rapidly boiling gas spraying about under pressure near a flame. DIY stoves are not something one wants to get wrong.

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Sub 3.5oz Remote Canister Stove on 03/04/2013 17:31:46 MST Print View

Somehow, MYOG canister stoves seem unwise...

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Los Angeles, CA, USA
Re: MYOG canister stoves on 03/04/2013 18:19:34 MST Print View

Somehow, MYOG canister stoves seem unwise...
Well, not something to be entered into lightly, without significant aforethought. There are people on this forum whose stoves are as good or better than what is commericially available, and by better I'm speaking in terms of quality of workmanship and design (certainly better than some of the cheapie "no name" stoves coming out of China). On the other hand, if one were to not know what one were doing... Well, that might be bad.

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

Here There
(cowexnihilo) - MLife
Kovea Spider on 03/04/2013 19:42:07 MST Print View

I picked up a Spider mid-January (I ordered it December 31st but it took two weeks to arrive) and have been really pleased with its performance so far. I've had it down to around 10F melting snow, using it on a couple of weekend trips and a five day trip to Dolly Sods in the middle of February. It performs admirably, and the compactness is great--it easily fit inside an Open Country two quart pot with an 8oz fuel canister, spare lighter, and bandana. That combined with the price made it a steal as far as I'm concerned.

-David