Reviewing Backpacker and Eagle together

Verified Buyer Reviewed by Adirondack Ace from Northernmost NY State on Sunday, July 20, 2014
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, word for word. FYI before you read further, I haven't used them in the field yet.

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.

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 attached leak-free to all canisters. ! 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:
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 some 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.
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 and flame intensity is more evenly distributed over bottom area of pot.

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.
BP 5 1/8" diameter across pot rests. more stable. Top of pot rest is 6" above base of 8 oz canister.
Eagle 3 3/4" diameter across pot rests. less 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,
BP My scale read almost 2 oz/55g. less than STP's specs/ weight shown on the box
Eagle My scale agreed pretty much w/STP's specs/box specs.

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. :~)
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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.



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