Having spent many nights on the bank, one of the joys of a 24 hr session for me is the perfect brew in the morning followed by a salty bacon sarnie with a little bit of brown.
From as large as a duel coleman petrol burner to a small calor gas pocket stove, I seem to have a neat collection that supports most outdoor activities.
The team at Optimus who are based in Sweden have contacted me to review their Optimus svea stove, man was I excited! Knowing that they started in 1899 they have been about for quite sometime and know what they are doing.
After shaking their hand off for the opportunity a few days later it arrived in the post.
So here it is, the optimus svea review and guide!
Movie to follow!
The Svea came is a rather small box which surprised me, looking at some snaps on the tinter-web I always imagined it to be a little larger. At 130mm tall and 100mm wide its a rugged little stove that will fit in most holdall side pockets. Its made of solid brass and being a keen collector of vintage angling goodies the look and style of this stove ticked many boxes.
It reminded me of an old lantern, one that wee willy winky would carry through the town. The engravings on the stove give it a great vintage look and feel. This stove is solid.
Starting at the top, the stove has a cover which neatly turns into a pan. Holding just enough water for a brew, this also acts as a protector for the stoves pot holder/shield and funnel.
The nifty handle detaches and stores within the system too keeping everything secure.
The “shield” is again in brass and detaches from the main body with a few degrees of a twist, lift it up and away it comes from the main belly of the beast.
At the top of the shield are three prongs, these are held tight but do swivel to expand and increase the base of which your pot or pan will rest. Perfect if you have a variety of cups pots and pans.
The main body of the stove is one of art and ruggedness which makes up for the slightly heavy 550 grams of weight when empty of fuel.
At the top is the flute or funnel, This is where the flame is produced, surprisingly the Svea is not a pressured stove and simply burns the fuels escaping gasses.
Heres how it works.
Fill it up with White Gas. Not knowing what this was I had to do a little research.
A quick wikipedia search lead me to a coleman fuel.
And then onto a store which sells it.
For 1 litre I paid 6 pounds not too bad as this burner will hold 120mls of fuel and will last up to 50 minutes on the maximum burn.
Not too shabby!
Once filled, you need to prime the burner by heating up the flute. Right at the top you can add a little fuel in the top bowl. There is also a reservoir at the bottom of the stem where a little added fuel could be placed to heat up the stem and flute.
I found a small syringe to help me with this as it could be a little fiddly. This also packs away nicely into the kit for safe keeping.
Light it up!
This seems odd and at first try, I was a little anxious but hey ho, eyebrows can grow back soon enough.
Admittedly it took two attempts, but to be fair it was its first burn, the instructions say that when the flame is just about to go out use the supplied key to turn on the stove.
Boom the stove was on and roaring like a lion.
The controls are simple, turn one way for on and another for off. The controls are sensitive and can go from one extreme to another. My thoughts are that this is a beast and should be treated like one.
Earlier I mentioned the key,
Not only is this the main control for the unit but its can also be used as the maintenance tool. Having multiple spanner sizes incorporated into the key covers all maintenance issues. GENIUS!
The design of this stove is very simple and any spare parts can be purchased from their online store at http://www.optimusstoves.com. This stove can be purchased for around 110 pounds and will last a life time if looked after. You will find them also on ebay, vintage ones that have been around the block are still roaring well! The stove is simple with no gimmicks and does exactly what it says on the tin.
One thing that could be annoying is the noise, not when its burning but when being carried. The metal chain and key can clatter about a bit which after a whole did twinge my central nervous system a little. My aim is to design and make a cover for this stove to help reduce the noise and also help to maintain the cleanliness and help reduce injury to this piece of gear. Im not too sure if these can be purchased but any small bag would suffice.
I really do rate this stove and cannot wait to get it out on the bank again. I have also found that the use of a ferro rod can help ignite the stove from a safer distance. These can be found for cheap on ebay and are a must have for any campers cooking kit.
There is one accessory that some clever chap has made in his shed. Its a engineered cap for the flute of the stove which dissipates the flames jets more evenly turning them into a more direct blue flame. Research suggests that this increases boil time and also efficiency but also half’s the noise. Boil time is a little slower in this stove compared to other brands like the jetboil. But whats the rush? Speed vs elegance. Check out http://www.quietstove.com for more info on the quiet cap.
Thats all from me, I hope that you enjoy the review and keep your eyes out for the video review on you tube soon!
See you on the bank folks, I’m off for a brew.