User Review: Optimus Svea
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $110
Simple and almost bullet proof and will SIMMER. Highly recommended.
- Great temp control, easy to start
- Compact--fits into a lot of pots.
- Not the lightest or hottest.
- Requires priming unlike a canister stove.
I have 2 of these stoves. The first I purchased new from an online retailer in 2011 and discovered after extensive examination of the box that it was made in Taiwan. I think the price was about $110 plus shipping.
The second I purchased on eBay recently for considerably less and was a used stove. It was advertised as a 123 and the box it came it said the same but upon examination, I could see the cleaning needle protruding from the jet when the fuel valve turned fully counterclockwise making it a 123R. The fuel tank was stamped Sweden and the box said "Made in Sweden". Both these stoves work great, are very simple to use, and most importantly for me, they will simmer.
I like to use alcohol for priming as it prevents exciting flare ups if over primed. The down side is that the flames are hard to see in the daylight.
It is not the highest heat stove available (4700 BTU's) but unless all you want to do is boil water, the ability to simmer is very important and the Svea 123 will do just that!. When you're camping, what's the hurry? It's also a bit noisy but not objectionable to me. The built in windscreen's pot supports will accommodate different shapes and sizes of cooking vessels. The base is rather small and not as stable as a stove with legs but it is about the same as a canister stove sitting on top of a fuel canister. As the heat from the burner pressurizes the fuel tank, it should be insulated from snow or very cold ground when cooking. It required no pumping, only warming the fuel tank to operate and I do have the pump and cap when it gets very cold.
I highly recommend this stove whether purchased new from an online retailer or on eBay. I can't think of a more reliable stove for solo or camping with 2 people.