Optimus Crux & Flex stoves
Does anyone use one of these stoves? I looked at a friends Crux and couldn't believe how small it is. It looks like you can still buy a Crux, but the Brunton website only shows the Flex. The Flex has longer pot legs and a tiny bit larger burner. My guess is the Flex is replacing the Crux model. I know the JetBoil is the new rage, but these stoves have similar boiling times and are smaller. Curious who else uses these stoves. At 3.3 and 3.4 ounces they look awesome. Inexpensive too!
I have and use the crux quite abit. It's small and light, but not very stable. Brunton or MSR has feet that fits on the bottom of the gas canistor but the real problem is the fold out arms the pot sits on. If the current version addresses this great also a piezo lighter would be handy. Actually, I'm thinkin about going to the jet-boil type system as lately, all my back country food prep is just dumping hot water in a Mt. House pouch and eating out of the pouch. No pots to carry or clean. Simple.
MSR Windpro stove....
Off subject slightly, but I had a MSR Pocket Rocket that I loved because it was so small and lightweight. Similar to the Brunton stove you spoke of. Super small and portable to say the least. Big drawback was stability due to small arms (to support pot) and the fact that it mounted on top of the fuel cannister which made it even more unstable because it was up higher and if the set up was not perfectly level it was easy to tip over. On the gravel bars of the Alaskan rivers I used it on, that was a constant problem. But the real big problem with this type of stove was that since the fuel cannister sit below the stove, no windscreen could be used. It would blow up! That was a big problem on my canoe fly fishing trips above the arctic. Winds pick up in a hurry and not being able to use a windscreen cut my fuel effeciency in half. Yesterday, I got a MSR Windpro. It is very small (6 ounces) yet has longer arms (which fold up compactly) to support pots and the design of the stove head is made to shield the flame from the wind. In addition to that, there is a 15" (roughly) fuel line (flexible) that puts the fuel cannister away from the stove burner. That does two things. One, it has the stove lower to the ground as there is no cannister beneath it. That along with the larger support arms makes for a much more stable stove. And two, the fuel cannister is now away from the heat, so a windscreen (provided) can be used. MSR addressed some major drawbacks with the pocket rocket when designing this stove. Yet using this stove still lets you take advantage of the convenience of fuel cannister stoves. I love my MSR Whisperlite International, but preheating it is a pain in the a#@. Especially in a 30 mph wind. Not to mention how much heavier a gallon of white gas is than a few iso-butane cannisters. A fantastic product worth looking at if you are in the market for a new stove. Selling for around $79 it is competitively priced as well.