Holiday Gift Guide 2011: Optimus Crux Lite Canister Stove

Do not underestimate this tiny stove's competence!

The aspiring fast-and-light backpacker on your holiday gift list is going to love this mighty stove that weighs just 2.6 ounces and performs as well as many full-sized stoves. For the weight, this Lilliputian cooker has a large burner head—it’s about 2” across—that helps avoid the dreaded hotspots I see all too frequently in the titanium pot/canister stove combination.

Like virtually all of the stoves in this category, performance in high wind is not fantastic, but for the weight, size, and cost, this is a fine little stove; I reach for it when every gram counts. I’ve had my Crux Lite since 2008, and in that time it’s been to Idaho’s White Clouds, as well as all over the Washington Cascades. Its compactness means it fits perfectly in my coffee cup and the flame is adjustable down to a bare simmer as long as the fuel canister doesn’t get too cold. Bonus: The pot supports and handle (which doubles as a flame adjuster) fold down for storage.

The Specs:

2.6 ounces