User Review: Optimus Nova
Price Paid: too much
I was impressed when I received the stove. It is a work of art. I backpack 3 days a week, or more. I used the stove on two trips and noticed a leak where the fuel line connects to the stove. I tightened the nut and kept on using it.
Next issue - I noticed a lot sputtering and black sooting on bottom of pot. It took repeated pumping to keep the stove lit. On the next use I saw fuel coming out of the "open/close" valve. It did not catch on fire, but there was a lot of fuel. Inside the o/c valve on the pump there is an O-ring and mine was defective- obviously.
I called Katadyn and they are going to send me a pump when their parts order comes in - then I can return the defective pump. I also had to remove the burner plate and tighten the fuel nozzle - that stopped the yellow flame and, thus stopped the sooting on the pot.
The stove roars when cranked up, simmers as low as any I have ever had, and fires up every time. It is sturdy and well designed - just not put together very well. I have faith that I can work all the issues out of this stove and use it for a long time to come.
Check it closely when it arrives in the mail - make sure all is tight. Keep an eye on it for while to make sure nothing is leaking.
Update: February 2, 2010
Follow up -- Well Katadyn has terrible service. They were to ship me a pump when their backorder came in. That turned out to be untrue. I waited two months, spoke with them 3 times and they finally told me that the pump has been redesigned and that it will not fit the hose on my stove. Thanks. I have a leaky stove that is useless.
Campsaver is where I bought it and they directed me to deal directly with Katadyn. When I called them and told them the situation they told me they would have to charge a restocking fee of 50% because I was past my 60 days to return. It was their idea to try and deal with Katadyn, otherwise I could have returned it when it was only two weeks old. I feel like a sap.
Well anyways now I have to find a new stove and I am out 117 dollars. This time I will pay much closer attention to the reviews, and I will certainly use a store with a better reputation this time, like Campmor or REI. This is my first bad internet purchase experience and I hope it is my last. Buyer Beware.
Update: December 5, 2010
These have been made in China since Katadyn took over the North American rights. These stoves have been recalled. Some issues with the Chinese made stoves have resulted the Consumer Protection Agency stepping in and mandating a recall.
Katadyn bought the US and Canadian rights to Optimus -- the results are not good. I would not recommend this stove. Lack of faith in Katadyn to be able to repair my leaking stove is why I am tossing it in the trash.
I should have bought something else in the first place.