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Cooking

Gear Review: Optimus Vega Stove

Feel like you have an entire kitchen in your arsenal with this versatile stove from Optimus

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[versatile group cooker]

“I cooked 10 feasts for a group of five, from simple mac ‘n’ cheese to delicious apple pies,” bragged a California tester. “I could churn out hot water at a fast clip, but dial the heat back to simmer sauce.” A standard screw-on canister attaches to the stove via a flexible hose, so the squat, 7-inch-diameter burner sits only two inches off the ground, making it stable on uneven surfaces and under 4-liter pots.

In efficiency mode, in-the-field (i.e. real-world) boil times* averaged 4:45. In four-season mode (with the canister inverted so the stove feeds fuel in its liquid, rather than vapor, form), times decreased to an average of 3:40. The 4-inch-tall aluminum windscreen adjusts to fit large or small pots. On a 23°F night in Utah’s Wasatch Range, our tester warmed the canister in his jacket and achieved a 5:08 boil time. Ding: The simmer control is a bit finicky at the lowest setting. $95; 6.2 oz. (without windscreen); optimusstoves.com