Reviewed by ipartner48 from Alberta on Saturday, September 13, 2014
Did some research on this stove before I bought it as I never heard of Kovea - seems they have been manufacturing stoves for years under the MSR, Snow Peak, Optimus and Brunton names.Used for 2 weeks off and on - day trips and some overnight trip. Unit is light and packs small - all metal components...
Based on 5 reviews:Overall:
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Reviewed by Former Philmont Ranger from Idaho on Tuesday, November 4, 2014
I used to use my alcohol stove as my single source for cooking while backpacking until I bought this little gem. It weighs almost nothing and takes up very little space in my backpack. Wish I could say the same about the iso-butane canister. This well built unit is easy to light and easy to adjust from doing a slow simmer to a roiling boil. We still take our alcohol stove out with up (the wife carries it in her pack nestled in the pots) because I believe in having a backup for critical systems. It has the same problem as the alcohol stove though, the flames are nearly invisible during daylight - so be careful. I would recommend this stove for backpacking, a bug-out bag, or along with your cars emergency equipment. The price at STP is so low it would be foolish not to have at least one of these.
Reviewed by Steve from Mississippi on Friday, October 17, 2014
Used on a backpacking camp out last weekend - Perfect! Boiled water at 2,000 feet for dehydrated backpacking meals three times and didn't even use half of a small can of fuel. I used the small can of jetboil isobutane fuel.
Reviewed by ipartner48 from Alberta on Saturday, September 13, 2014
Did some research on this stove before I bought it as I never heard of Kovea - seems they have been manufacturing stoves for years under the MSR, Snow Peak, Optimus and Brunton names.Used for 2 weeks off and on - day trips and some overnight trip. Unit is light and packs small - all metal components - no plastic on this unit. It has great simmering abilities and a nice widely spread flame so that the heat isn't concentrated and burning your food in one area - very easy to control as well as precise. Highly recommend this unit - can't go run with the price, quality and performance..
Reviewed by Adirondack Ace from Northernmost NY State on Sunday, July 20, 2014
FYI before you read further, I haven't used them in the field yet.
I bought the Kovea Backpackers Gas Stove and the Kovea Eagle stove at the same time. This review will cover both of them. I'm posting the same review under the Eagle., but I've added a few more comments to this review, so if you're reading this first, don't bother with the other.
I had just decided to change over to this type of stove for AT section hiking, and bought a Snow Peak LiteMax Titanium. I got a good deal on that, but when I saw how inexpensive [$15.36 and $13.26 with online deals flyers !] these were from STP, I thought "one for my bugout bag, one for the car, some for needy friends/relatives, maybe buy a bowlful to hand out at Halloween..." Before ordering them at this ridiculously low price, I remembered the adage "you get what you pay for!". But after looking them over for a couple of weeks, and boiling a quart of water on the Eagle, I haven't found any reason yet to think they're cheap quality. Time and field use will tell.
CANISTER COMPATIBILITY: I attached them easily and firmly to Primus, JetBoil, and MSR canisters, and they all fit. I put a bubble solution around the connection area to check for leaks. The stoves seem to attache leak-free to all canisters. But they have a gasket that covers the full valve top, so that could hide a leak. ! OFF TOPIC WARNING ! : The 8oz/227gram net MSR canisters leaked from the canister itself while the stove was connected, and for 10 -30 seconds after disconnecting. The leak was NOT from the gas connection between stove and can. The fault appears to be in how the canister valve was mounted to the canister body. I had a number of these canisters on hand, and every one I tried had the same leak. The lot # is 020714, found on bottom, dot-printed. It's a very slow leak, and probably only dangerous if you leave the stove connected and put it away in a backpack, tent, car trunk, covered gear bin, or closet. The canister has a warning, in tiny print, not to leave appliance attached to canister. I've contacted MSR and DOT Hazmat dept. about this.
SIMMER, FLAME CONTROL:
Eagle- very good simmer. Pressure on the wire valve handle will not affect flame while simmering extremely low. Valve handle turns 1 1/4 turns, but like BP, goes from off to full blast in 1/2 turn. Flame is finely adjustable from 1 1/4" burner width to 5 1/4" full pot width and 1" up the sides. Burner head is angled outward more than BP, with only 4 jets aimed straight up, so flame intensity is more evenly distributed over bottom area of pot.
Backpacker(BP)-Very good simmer, but not extremely low. When simmering extremely low, If you happen to push in or left on the control KNOB when you grab it, the flame will go out. The gas flow resumes when the inward pressure is relieved, and you can restart it. Just don't think you turned it off. Control knob turns 7/8 of a full turn, but goes from off to full blast in about 1/2 turn. Still, the flame is finely adjustable from 1 3/4", burner width, , to 5 1/4", the full width of my pot, and 1" up the sides. Burner head has a whole ring of closely spaced jets pointing straight up, so even when flame covers whole bottom of pot, there's a ~2" ring of higher intensity flame in the middle.
POT RESTS: Each stove has 4 pot rests made of bent steel rods. Rod's don't have any wind screening ability. Be sure rods drop into their securing notch so they don't shift while cooking. This might be a little hard with numb or mittened hands...or red-hot rods.
Eagle 3 3/4" diameter across pot rests. less stable. Top of pot rest is 6" above base of 8 oz canister.
BP 5 1/8" diameter across pot rests. more stable. Top of pot rest is 6" above base of 8 oz canister.
WEIGHT: I just have a kitchen scale, maybe not very accurate, so FWIW,
Eagle My scale agreed pretty much w/STP's specs/box specs.
BP My scale read almost 2 oz/55g. less than STP's specs/ weight shown on the box
BOIL TIME: I tested only the Eagle for this. Water temp 74F, air temp 83F, covered pot, very high flame, but not quite highest possible, which I think is less fuel efficient. On kitchen table. I carefully measured 1 quart. Unfortunately, specs are based on 1 liter.
I got a rolling boil in 4:25/quart, compared to 4:39/liter in the specs. To those of you already working out the conversions for those figures to get a precise, meaningful comparison: I hope you you are able to leave that mindset behind while you're actually backpacking. :~)
When packing the Eagle, the valve handle is in its most compact/secure position when it's almost 1/4 turn open. Remember to close it before attaching it to the canister.
These stoves seem to be such a good buy that I'm tempted to give them 5 stars. The reasons I don't are that the pot holders don't screen wind, and they both seem a bit hefty. Even the Eagle, the lighter one, is still 0.7 oz heavier than the MSR Pocket Rocket.
The Eagle has an edge with lower weight and being less likely to have a hot spot on the bottom of the pot, but the BP's wider pot supports seem to be a huge plus. At only $3 or less price difference between the two, buy the one you want and ignore the price diff.