Optimus Crux Backpacking Stove Gear Review

Optimus was kind enough to provide this stove for testing purposes. All opinions are my own. You can read more about the Optimus Crux Stove here and the accompanying Terre HE Cook set here.


Before the Optimus Crux Stove my main backpacking stove was the Jetboil Flash. I had no plans to buy another stove since it adequately covered my needs for boiling water for dehydrated backpacking meals. When Katadyn reached out and offered to send me one of their Optimus Crux stoves I was excited, but didn’t think it would sway my opinions on my Jetboil. I WAS WRONG.


I have used this stove extensively over backpacking season this year, and it’s quickly become the only stove I reach for when packing for a trip. I have way more temperature control than I do with my Jetboil, and it’s so small and lightweight! I can pack up my gas canister, the Optimus crux stove, cutlery, and the included sponge in the Terra Cookset. All together it weighs less than my Jetboil!

The Terra Cookset has also completely changed how I view cooking in the backcountry. I can fry up slices of spam for my ramen in the fry pan, and also utilize it as a bowl or a lid for the pot. It gives me so much versatility with my meals and I am still figuring out ways to experiment with that (fried spam is as far as I have gotten with that so far!) The one problem I have noticed with this cook-set is that while it’s lightweight it does impact it’s durability. I have taken it on all of my trips this season and noticed some dents and scratches. It definitely cannot handle being knocked around quite as much as my Jetboil. I avoid this now by wrapping the system in my puffy jacket when I pack it, easy peasy!

The small fry pan is being used as a dehydrated guacamole mixing bowl in the background!

The small fry pan is being used as a dehydrated guacamole mixing bowl in the background!

I love this stove and cook-set. It was sent to me for free but after a season of using it I can say I would 100% buy it again for myself if something were to happen to it. If you are looking for a lightweight inexpensive backpacking stove I can’t recommend the Optimus Crux and Terra HE cook-set enough!

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