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Optimus Crux Weekend HE Cook System

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
photo: Optimus Crux Weekend HE Cook System compressed fuel canister stove

Exceptional stove for both the weekender or the serious through-hiker. Great quality at a competitive price.


  • Stove head folds and fits into space under fuel canister
  • Boils water extremely fast
  • Included pot has heat exchanger
  • Packs small
  • Far cheaper than JetBoil


  • Doesn't include wind guard
  • Pot doesn't lock to stove
  • Canister feet not included
  • Doesn't include piezo igniter

This stove is perfect for those of you wanting to get into backpacking without spending a fortune. That said, this is not a cheaply built product. I find myself taking this everywhere, even on fishing trips just to show off making coffee for those long all-nighters that I like to pull.

Setup: Included mesh bag contains the pot and lid, which doubles as a smaller cook pot. Inside of that you can store the fuel canister (not included) and the neoprene bag containing the stove. Unfold the stove head and mount, extending the stove arms, use the heat exchanger pot for rapid heating.

Ignition: Very simple although no piezo igniter is included. Just turn valve until you hear gas and light with a piezo or lighter.

Flame Control: Easy with small adjustments, some will complain that simmering might be difficult, but this depends on how heavy handed you are in adjusting the control.

Cooking: This stove will allow you to have both a boiling pot for water and a cooking pot should you need something more, or even if you just want to put a lid on something while you are cooking. The pot doesn't slide around on the burner so it's fairly stable. There are measurement markings embossed on the inside of the larger boiling pot so you can easily measure the amount of water you are boiling. All handles are coated.

Boil time:Less than 3 minutes for a pint of water

Wind: This does not include a wind guard (which is available), but the burner head is flat and wide so if you are using the pot with the heat exchanger wind hasn't really impacted my cooking experience.

Fuel Efficiency: I would suggest with an 8oz can you should be good for at least three days worth of cooking for two people. Less days if you're cooking full meals instead of boiling water for dehydrated meals.

Stability: Very stable even without a fuel stand, the pot kind of "sticks" to the stove head and doesn't slip. It also doesn't appear to scratch up either. The pot with the heat exchanger is obviously more stable, and the heat exchanger fins are capped with a flat ring so your stove head doesn't bend the heat exchanger fins.

Packability: This packs down fairly small. Usually I would suggest ditching any stuff sacks/bags when backpacking, but this actually helps keep everything together. The head tilts and packs flat in the concave space under the fuel canister, which all fits inside the two pots which slide into the mesh and stay closed by cinching the mesh bag. You can also choose to leave the pots behind and just use a metal Nalgene for a pot, and just keep the head and fuel if you're an ounce counter.

Ease of Use: This is very easy to use, even if you have never used a stove like this before. No priming necessary, you turn on the gas and light, and then adjust the flame with the control arm.

Features: Includes two pots, one with a heat exchanger for rapid boiling, larger pot has embossed measurements on the inside. One stove with folding head which fits inside of a round neoprene pocket that packs neatly under the concave end of an isobutene canister. Black mesh bag is included and is used to keep everything nested together and sealed.  Pots foldable handles are coated and locking.

Construction & Durability: This is very well constructed, and appears durable. The stove head is wide and low with a fine screen which should provide for a very even flame over extended uses. The pots are lightweight but with durable non-stick coatings inside and out. The folding handles on the pots are coated in rubber/plastic to help avoid scratching the pots, making noise, or burning your hand when cooking. They easily fold down to keep everything packable.

Conditions: Used this at night under heavy condensation, and at high summertime temperatures. Have not tried this at extreme altitude but have heard from many that it performs flawlessly. Used with Coleman 7.75oz Isobutane.

About Me:  I am a jack of everything, from computer programming, to hiking, gardening, electronics, wood working.... I could go on and on.. My real persona is a tinkerer and professional researcher. I spend hours and hours searching, reading, and experiencing as many things as I can. That said, I am known to be a very picky and whiny person when it comes to making a purchase. Everything I recommend comes with all of that extreme meticulousness in order to obtain stamp of approval.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $59.96

Hot water fast with the heat-exchange system on the bottom pot.


  • Boils fast!
  • Cleanup is easy.


  • A little bit on the bulky side.
  • Would prefer a pot lid as opposed to a second smaller pot.

What do you get? Crux stove, 0.95-liter Heat Exchange pot, a smaller "fry pan" that doubles as a top for the larger pot, mesh storage bag, and neoprene sleeve for the foldable stove component. Everything stores into the mesh bag. It's a little bulky with the smaller pan, but still a very light system.

The stove itself connects to most any fuel canister and lights up easily. The pot sits atop the foldable stove brackets and remains pretty stable while cooking. Pot handles have a rubberized coating on them that helps with handling while cooking. Just remember to pull out the handles rather than leave them snug up against the pot. The rubber coating can begin to feel a little loose if heated.

Hiker friends asked to borrow my stove over the Jetboil (what?) and they loved it. Great kitchen piece.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $35

Great backpacking stove/pot combo.


  • 8 oz fuel canister and stove fit inside pot


  • No built-in ignitor
  • Slightly larger than others

Stove: Folds flat due to spring loaded mechanism on shaft. This piece is plastic and seems durable for now. Flame control easily adjustable.  

Pot/pan: Pot has heat exchange fins built in which (in theory) increases heat transfer efficiency. Also has spring loaded collapsible handle. .95L capacity. Pan doubles as lid.  

Used this stove once on the porch so far. First time setup 3 minutes.  .6L of tap water to full boil in 1 min 40 secs.

Stove has neoprene sleeve which then wraps around fuel canister. Stove and 8 oz fuel canister fit inside pot, pan goes on top and then everything fits insides the drawstring bag.

First impression: Great stove, durable, would buy again and recommend.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $89

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Price Current Retail: $55.22-$84.99
Historic Range: $55.22-$89.95
Reviewers Paid: $35.00-$89.00
Weight 9.7 oz / 275 g
Dimensions 4.9 x 6.5 in / 12.4 x 16.5 cm
Output 10200 BTU
Product Details from Optimus »

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