By connecting the burner to a gas canister via a hose, it’s possible to have control of the flame without risking burning yourself. This is because the Optimus Vega’s pan is more stable due to its lower centre of gravity and the flame control can be placed near the gas canister – away from the burner or the pot of boiling water. The Vega also benefits from an inverted gas canister, as shown below, which improves performance of the gas when the cylinder is nearly empty, and when it is cold. The stove also comes with a foil windbreak that provides good performance in windy conditions. To further aid pan stability, the pan supports gently slope toward the burner and are serrated, so pans tend to sit over the burner more stably. The burner is small in diameter though, so it works best with small pots. The burner and windshield can be packed into a neat stuffsack and all together they weigh in at 237g, which while heavier than the lightest of stoves, is still fine for regular backpacking, if you rate stability and ease of use most highly.
Includes windshield, stuffsack
Packed size 12x7.5x6cm
Pan support diameter 16cm
Weight (without fuel) 178g burner
If you prefer a pan that’s more stable when its contents are bubbling away, then the low centre of gravity of the Optimus Vega is ideal for one or for two campers to share.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine June 2013