|The Kovea Spider's package|
UPDATE 10 Mar 2013: I've added a cooking report for the Kovea Spider.
Why I've been lusting after one of these ever since I saw it in the Kovea catalog. Aye, and she's a nice one.
|The Kovea Spider|
|A Kovea Spider (right) next to a Monatauk Gnat (left)|
But weight's not the whole story, now is it? Packability ranks very high on my list thank you very much. I like to be able to put my stove and a canister of gas inside my pot. It is here, in the packability department that the Kovea Spider shines. I tried my Kovea Spider in my 780ml Snow Peak Ti pot. It fit great, along with a 110g Snow Peak canister of gas. Note: The 780ml Snow Peak pot has a frying pan lid. Not all 780ml pots will work.
|A Kovea Spider fits easily along with a 110g canister of gas inside a 780ml Snow Peak Ti pot.|
|The Kovea Spider will fit into an MSR Titan kettle along with a 110g Snow Peak canister of gas.|
|An MSR Windpro II (left) in a 780ml Snow Peak pot.|
A Kovea Spider (right) in an 850ml MSR Titan kettle. With the Spider, there's room for a 110g gas canister!
Now don't get me wrong, I like the Windpro II; it's a good stove. It's just that I've been wanting something lighter and more packable for some time. For groups of 3+, I might still choose the Windpro II, but for smaller parties, say from 1 to 3 people, I think the Kovea Spider will do very nicely.
Here's a video where I compare the packability of the Kovea Spider with that of an MSR Windpro II. In the video, I state that the Windpro II weighs 8 ounces, which is NOT correct. I must have been thinking about the stuff sack and windscreen or something. The correct weights are 168g/5.9oz for the Spider and 187g/6.6oz for the Windpro II.
Well, that's very nice that it's a bit lighter and a whole lot more packable, how about the stove itself?
Ah, good question. And in answer, let me say that I'm suitably impressed by Kovea's workmanship.
|The Kovea Spider is very well made|
|The Kovea Spider has a fold out flame adjuster. Works great with mittens.|
The stove comes with a pre-heat loop, so that you can gain about a 20 Fahrenheit degree (about 10 Celsius degrees) cold weather advantage over conventional upright gas stoves by running with the canister upside down, which causes the stove to be fed liquified gas.
|The pre heat loop on a Kovea Spider|
The burner head of the Kovea Spider is small, but this should be nothing new for those who have been using light weight conventional (upright) gas stoves.
|The burner head of the Kovea Spider|
|The legs of the Kovea Spider click into place for use. |
The legs are then pushed down as indicated by the arrow to release the lock and fold for stowage
|A Kovea Spider simmering|
|A Kovea Spider on high flame.|
|A vigorous boil|
|A Kovea Spider with the canister inverted|
|A Kovea Spider in use with a full 360 degree windscreen. No problem; works great.|
In terms of pot sizes, the legs can support a wide variety of pots. The smallest diameter pot I tried was an MSR Titan kettle, but a smaller pot would be no problem. However, if you want to fit both the stove and a canister of gas in your pot, you can't go smaller than a Titan kettle.
|A Titan kettle on a Kovea Spider|
|An Evernew 1300ml pot on a Kovea Spider. Very stable.|
The stove comes with a detached piezoelectric ignition.
|The Kovea Spider comes with a separate piezoelectric ignition|
|The Kovea and MSR piezoelectric ignitions appear to be identical|
The Kovea Spider is easily my favorite gas stove to have come out in 2012.
|Testing the Kovea Spider on the PCT this past summer with my daughter.|
The Spider (KB-1109) remote canister gas stove from Kovea
What's Good about it
- Relatively light
- Capable of inverted canister use for cold weather
- Compatible with a full 360 degree windscreen
- The flames from the burner head angle outward which helps prevent "hot spotting"
- Well made; well designed
- Very affordable.
- At 168g/5.9oz, it's still a little heavy for what it is. More on that in my concluding remarks.
I mentioned that I thought the stove was a bit heavy for what it is. Now, don't take that out of context. This is a very nice stove and has definitely made it into my "go to" gear bag. But I think more progress can be made here in future generations of the stove. The stove should be at least one ounce lighter than it is now and preferably two. To you Kovea, I throw down the proverbial gauntlet. If you don't do it, the Chinese will. I'd like to see you succeed because I know you will make a far better stove. I sincerely hope that you will take up this challenge. I want the stove that you will build!
Lastly, the Kovea brand is not available through conventional channels in the United States, but I do see the Kovea Spider being sold on eBay. The price I see listed is $52.90, which is roughly half of similar stoves from American producers. The Kovea Spider is not only a darned good stove, it's a darned good deal. It's my favorite inverted canister stove and my first recommendation to anyone looking for either a remote canister or inverted canister stove. In case you haven't already figured it out, I really like this stove.
UPDATE 31 October 2014: The Kovea Spider is now available through several US retailers. Note: The links below do not constitute an endorsement of any of these retailers. I haven't necessarily ever purchased anything from them. This is just for your information.
Thunder Adventure Company
The Gear House
Flat Cat Gear
Flat Cat Gear has what may be a most interesting package: The Bobcat Kovea Cooking System which includes a windscreen and pot that together with the Kovea Spider make for a much more efficient, wind resistant stove set up. I hope to test the Bobcat Kovea Cooking System from Flat Cat Gear soon.
I thank you for joining me on another Adventure in Stoving,
Appendix I, Radii of Stoves Featured in this Post
|Stove||Radius (cm)||Radius (In.)|
|MSR Windpro II||7.2||2.8|
Appendix II, Additional Video
I shot a video with my new camera. I'm still learning the ins and outs of my new camera, so I managed to cut off the video before I was done. Since it's cut off, I won't put this video in the body of the review, but even though it's cut off, the video should still give you some idea of what the stove is like.