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Brunton Optimus NOVA Multi-Fuel Stove
(3 Epinions reviews)
Epinions Product Rating:
latest stove from optimus
Mar 10, 2004 (Updated Jul 29, 2005)
Review by pstan
Rated a Very Helpful Review
Pros:compact, lightweight, good heat output
Cons:Does not come with a windscreen
The Bottom Line: This stove is too new for a track record. Construction is excellent and it is supposed to be multifuel.
I purchased this stove new from REI in Mar 2004. List was 130 dollars but they had 20% off. The stove comes with a fuel pump, fuel bottle, storage case, a tool and some spare grommets. I have a MSR dragonfly stove and this stove is comparable. Initial impression is positive as the stove is made of what appears to be very strong metal and the pump is also made of metal. I had two pump failures with the MSR dragonfly over 5-6 years. Also the Brunton nova has a lifetime warranty. Like the MSR fuel pumps the Brunton pump is left in the fuel bottle. There is a small plastic cap to cover the fuel hose connector. The connector is interesting in that it has a quick connect feature, push in to connect and pull back on a sleeve to disconnect. The stove legs are curved and when folded for storage fit closely against the stove body. The fuel hose is flexible but covered in a sheath of metal braid. The fuel valve sticks out from the stove body a few inches but still fits compactly in the storage case.
Recommend this product?
The documentation states that after cooking is over the fuel bottle can be flipped after which the stove will burn off any fuel remaining in the fuel hose. It should minimize any fuel leakage while in storage and additionally release some pressure in the fuel bottle. My procedure was to flip the bottle a couple of minutes before I would normally turn the stove off. The stove keeps going for awhile then the flame goes out and it starts venting air with some gas. Although I close the valve at this point, it seems likely that the valve may need to be left open a bit longer to vent off any remaining air but that could be dangerous as the stove is still hot, so there will be some air pressure left in the bottle. I can confirm that flipping the bottle does not release all the air pressure as loosening the pump causes a little spray from the bottle. Update - a reread of the supplied documentation states that after flipping the bottle over to the off position and letting the remaining fuel burn off and the flame go out continue letting the stove vent any remaining air and gas.
Although it really doesn't matter, there is one side effect that is annoying. The pump shaft is a metal rod and when the fuel bottle is under pressure the shaft tends to back out. Since the shaft is lubricated if the bottle and pump combination is not covered the lube can get on anything in contact. I keep it covered at all times.
I am updating this section based on a lapse of memory. I was using the stove and forgot to flip the bottle over after cooking my meal. When I disconnected the fuel line the pressure in the bottle caused some fuel to spray out from the connection point. Not enough to create a spill but it is something to watch out for, always flip the bottle over after cooking and vent before taking the stove apart.
The only item missing is a windscreen, the MSR type should be perfect with this stove but you will have to buy it separately.
Updated: 13 april 2004
I had the chance to use the stove for two weeks in baja california, mostly on the beach and in some windy conditions, I used the windscreen from my MSR dragonfly stove.
Priming the stove is a bit tricky as I couldnt tell how much fuel was accumulating in the stove base. On one occasion I over primed which caused some soot to form on the stove. Now I just prime for 4 or 5 seconds.
Pumping the stove up after each use is required if you use the feature mentioned above of flipping the fuel bottle to burn off fuel in the fuel line. I had to pump up to 30 - 40 strokes to get adequate pressure. Once lit the stove burns hot and although adjustable down to a simmer; I had to fiddle with the stove when turning it down low as the stove tends to chug. I think more pressure may be required to simmer but this could also be a more general problem with the stove.
Although I had zero problems with this stove camping on the beach with it made me wonder what might happen if a grain of sand was to get in the fuel line connector on the pump or in the fuel line on the stove. I kept the pump covered at all times but there is no cover for the fuel line connector on the stove. I used the stove placed directly on the beach sand several times without problem.
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