This is an awesome winter stove for 1-2 people, and is light and compact enough that you may end up carrying it year round.
- Great winter stove
- Great for 2 people
- Lighter options for summer
- Better options for groups of 3+
Kovea Spider (KB-1109) Stove Review
Backpackers need a stove that is compact, lightweight, and can be packed and set up easily—and of course, it has to function well. Kovea, a Korean company with a solid reputation in stove design, has addressed all of these issues and created what could be one of the best remote canister stoves on the market. If you need better cold weather performance than an upright canister stove can offer, and don’t want to fuss with white gas or other liquid fuels, then this may be the stove for you.
As of this review (January 2013), Kovea is working with a distributor, but the Spider is not yet available in stores in the US. I ordered mine from eBay, and it was shipped from Korea in about two weeks with no problems. In the box are the stove, directions and warning labels (in Korean), a tiny stuff sack to hold it, and a piezo igniter. I discarded the igniter since I always carry a little lighter anyway, but some people may prefer to use it. It does spark just fine with the push of a button.
When I was shopping around, the two main competitors for this stove seemed to be the MSR Windpro II and the Primus Express Spider. All are remote canister stoves with a preheat tube (vital if you want to be able to invert the canister for better cold-weather performance), all weigh from 6-7oz. and have favorable reviews. However, the Kovea Spider is the lightest of the bunch at 6oz. and by far the most compact, allowing it to fit inside my Open Country 2 Quart Pot along with a larger 220g fuel canister. That coupled with a competitive price tag of around $50 made it the clear winner for me.
In my testing so far this stove has performed quite well, meaning everything has operated smoothly and without hiccups. The coldest I’ve used it so far was a measured 10 degrees Fahrenheit, and while the hose was stiff at those temperatures, it still performed well in inverted mode. (Just make sure you keep the canister warm enough to light it using gas before inverting, otherwise it will be a challenge to start safely.) The hose is sufficiently long and usually quite flexible, which makes positioning the canister an easy task. It also has a swivel connector so you can easily invert the canister, which some stoves like the original MSR Windpro lack.
Though the legs are thin, they click into place reassuringly and are quite stable. I haven’t had any issues with pots that I’ve tried up to two liters in capacity, though the very smallest mugs and pots are too small to sit in a stable position on the pot supports. The pot supports grip well, and I haven’t had any issues with pots slipping.
The flame pattern seems to get the job done, and I’ve been told that the CO emissions are reasonable (around 10ppm after the initial spike when lighting), such that cooking in a well-ventilated tent vestibule isn’t out of the question. (For more on the subject of CO emissions, the hazards of cooking in vestibules, and everything else you ever wanted to know about stoves, check out backpackinglight.com.)
I use a tiny half-ounce Esbit stove when I’m trying to shave grams from my pack weight, and a Jetboil Sol Ti for three-season trips where I want fuel sipping performance and fast boil times, but when I need better cold weather performance than an upright canister can provide, I choose the Kovea Spider.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $50
A lightweight, packable, and dependable stove suitable for four-season use.
- Light, small, dependable remote stove that delivers the goods
If they play their cards right I think the South Korean-based Kovea will be rivaling the top stove manufacturers on the market today.
(Video review below).
As it currently stands, this stove is not available via the regular 'players' but both Amazon and CampSaver.com have stepped up to offer this dynamite, very well-priced, remote canister stove. Another site, Fatcatgear.com offers the Spider and has an aftermarket windscreen available as well.
I'd exclusively used canister stoves prior to picking up the Spider for what I (mistakenly) thought was their easier use and lighter weight. While I've only had the Spider out about 20 times I know that I'll never give up the flexibility of a well made remote stove. I'm a convert.
At the time of this writing we're just entering winter but I have no doubt the Spider will be up to the colder temps. I almost exclusively hike above 7K and have been very impressed with its flame strength compared to my prior canister stoves. But it was a recent night in the low 20s and snow where the ability to invert the canister so the stove is burning liquid instead of gas that I knew that this would be a rock solid four season performer. (Let the heating coil heat up for at least 30 seconds before inverting the canister).
The legs securely snap in to place to form a very stable, low profile surface and, along with the wire flame control, (easy to negotiate with gloves and PERFECT simmer ability) folds up for small storage in a well made carrying case. It easily stows away in a pot and adds just six ounces to your pack. It even comes with its own piezoelectric lighter so if you forgot to check the fluid in your lighter you'll still be eating a hot meal.
I did see very early on that a windscreen (not included) is almost a must-have for this stove. But that's a $2 DIY project. If you want to really reflect the heat you can position the windscreen inside the legs as opposed to outside on the ground. Keep an eye open for any melting of the windscreen but I haven't had this problem and it seemed to decrease the boiling time.
I might be gushing a bit over this stove, but that's just because it's performed so well for me. Long term durability is the only question now, but with the evident workmanship and materials I expect the Spider to hang in for years to come. A big thumbs up to Kovea for making this awesome little stove.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $65
Kovea Spider Stove
- Great stove
- Comes with sparking device
- Fold small
- uses standard fule cartridges
- Needs a windscreen
- Needs a larger pot
This is a remote canister stove. My wife won this as a door prize. It is pretty nice. The stove is easy to light. It does need a windscreen and not too small of a pot.
The first time we used it was with a Snow Peak Trek 900cc titanium cup, without a windscreen, and it took a while more than it should have to boil a couple cups of water. The small pot and the lack of windscreen were my fault. My wife had just won it and we wanted to try it out. It would have been better with a wider pot.
There are three legs that fold out and fold back, and then the hose wraps around it. I note that the fuel tube is routed up by burner to allow burning of liquid fuel by turning the canister upside down in cold conditions. It uses standard EN417 fuel canisters. It also comes with a sparking device.
In use (I assure you it is lit):
Folded in comparison to a generic Chinese stove and the Rich Moore 7000:
Source: received it as a sample, freebie, or prize (Door prize raffle at event)
It work really well with the Flat Cat windscreen. The Flat Cat windscreen is made for the Kovea Spider. Flat Cat sells the whole kit, stove, and windscreen for a good price. Without the wind screen the Spider has really slow boil times. With a proper windscreen it really is a fast stove. Always keep the flame just above simmer for best fuel economy.
- Very packable
- Great simmer
- Poor performance without a windscreen
- Would like to see the legs/pot stand made out of titanium
The Kovea Spider is a really nice small remote canister stove that has great performance with a windscreen. I normally get good fuel performance if I use the Flat Cat windscreen. Consistently 6g of fuel for 16oz of water, not great but not the worst.
Can fit the Spider, 230g fuel canister, windscreen, lighter, small rag, small sponge, all in the Keith 1200 titanium pot. Not ultra lightweight, but very functional.
Great for gourmet camp cooking. I have made some great meals bike touring because you can stop at a grocery before you get to your campsite.
Used this stove for bike touring
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: Around $60 with wind screen
- Ease of use
- Price compared to US manufacturers
I have been using this stove for a few months. I have run about five 200-gram MSR canisters through it.
I paid 42, free shipping and no tax. It took 12 days for Amazon to get it from Korea to Tennessee. Happy about all that.
It is a solid stove. Well made. Easy to operate, even in sub-freezing temps. I have used it on a few mornings below 20° F and no issues. Warm the canister a little in the bag or jacket and after it is fired up, it takes 10 seconds to heat the pre-heater tube enough to roll the canister over into liquid feed mode. It seems to be very efficient in LF mode. Sips the gas.
Good flame pattern that is spread nicely. Will support a pot 550 or larger. I have been using the Evernew .9 l Ultralight pot on it and it is fast. I also use a full windscreen.
Six ounces is a lot, but for what it allows me to do with a canister in the winter, I will take the penalty.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: 42 usd
Where to Buy
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Current Retail: $64.95
Historic Range: $64.95
Reviewers Paid: $42.00-$65.00
10.60 × 9.40 × 4.60 cm
iso-butane, screw-type gas canister
130 g/h consumption