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Review: Kovea Spider Stove

Review: Kovea Spider Stove


Postby Paul Webster » Sat Oct 19, 2013 9:54 am

In his latest gear review, Phil Turner tests the Kovea Spider Stove - and gives it the thumbs up...

Phil Turner wrote:...the remote canister design has definite advantages over a canister-mounted stove for winter use: by moving the burner away from the gas canister the stove can be lowered and the pot supports/legs widened to increase stability on uneven ground and accommodate wide pots. There’s far less risk of inadvertent soup spillage...


Read the Kovea Spider Stove review
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Re: Review: Kovea Spider Stove

Postby whiteburn » Sat Oct 19, 2013 2:15 pm

A great little stove, pity that Kovea don't substitute the brass/ steel for titanium they could probably reduce the weight by 40% and it would be a world leader but I guess than would increase the £££'s.
For those who have never heard of Kovea (Korean) try 'Googling' for reviews, there's a lot of positive postings. Quality is good, reportedly Kovea manufactures a lot of stoves and components for other mainstream makes.
They only seem to be available on Ebay, bought mine for £35 inc delivery from Hong Kong, took a week.

I added a windshield to mine to help increase the efficiency.
IMG_0946.jpg
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Re: Review: Kovea Spider Stove

Postby Rudolph » Sun Oct 20, 2013 9:42 pm

That's an interesting review so thanks for it - and also the link to the multifuel stoves too.

There was one bit I didn't understand:
the canister can be insulated to help the propane/butane mix burn off efficiently

Can someone explain how I should use this idea? Is that after warming it?
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Re: Review: Kovea Spider Stove

Postby stevesey » Sun Oct 20, 2013 10:25 pm

Rudolph wrote:That's an interesting review so thanks for it - and also the link to the multifuel stoves too.

There was one bit I didn't understand:
the canister can be insulated to help the propane/butane mix burn off efficiently

Can someone explain how I should use this idea? Is that after warming it?

With a propane/butane mix if the cannister gets too cold i.e between the boiling points of propane and butane - the gas coming out will be mainly propane. Not sure what that has to do with efficiency as such - but it does mean you could (theoretically) end up with a can of butane - which could be useless below -1C (so not very efficient!!)
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Re: Review: Kovea Spider Stove

Postby Rudolph » Mon Oct 21, 2013 7:25 am

Thanks Stevesey. I think I understand that bit- but if the canister is cold anyway how does insulation help?
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Re: Review: Kovea Spider Stove

Postby stevesey » Mon Oct 21, 2013 8:35 am

Rudolph wrote:Thanks Stevesey. I think I understand that bit- but if the canister is cold anyway how does insulation help?

Warm it before use (in hands, jacket, sleeping bag) then insulate during use to prevent it cooling back down.

Think the reference to efficiency must purely be about vapourisation and pressure rather than the burn as the pre heater should take care of that.
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Re: Review: Kovea Spider Stove

Postby basscadet » Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:03 am

I'm not sure of the science behind it, but a gas cannister kept in the tent porch all night, will ice up when it is used for the first cup of tea in the morning.. Its a bit odd, but I have regularly noticed the phenomenon. I guess insulating the cannister would stop this from happenning. I don't think it's as much of a problem as folk make out though.. I have noticed slight dips in performance once you get down past -10 or so, but I've never had to go without, even at -18 to 20 :?
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Re: Review: Kovea Spider Stove

Postby stevesey » Mon Oct 21, 2013 9:48 am

Boiling point of butane is -1C, propane -45C. So things will still work below -1 but you will more than likely just be using the propane in the mix ( plus any isobutane as this liquifies at more like -10). If the temperature stays below -1 you could end up with a canister with just butane that won't work below -1.

The difference between propane and butane is highlighted by the fact that you'll find those who live in a caravan as a lifestyle choice will have red propane bottles connected up (and why some campsite owners will give you a suspicious look if you pitch up with a red bottle).
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Re: Review: Kovea Spider Stove

Postby basscadet » Mon Oct 21, 2013 10:06 am

But if that were the case, surely the gas cannister would stop working before it was empty ( when the propane is used up) :crazy:
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Re: Review: Kovea Spider Stove

Postby stevesey » Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:01 am

Yes - theoretically if the canister remains at a low enough temp. A canister top stove will probably do enough to warm the canister, a remote canister is more likely to have the problem. Even then I suspect you have to make a conscious effort to keep the canister cold.
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Re: Review: Kovea Spider Stove

Postby Rudolph » Mon Oct 21, 2013 11:17 am

stevesey wrote:Warm it before use (in hands, jacket, sleeping bag) then insulate during use to prevent it cooling back down.

Ok that makes sense. Insulating it when it was already at (or close to) ambient temperature didn't make any sense to me.
basscadet wrote: a gas cannister kept in the tent porch all night, will ice up when it is used for the first cup of tea in the morning..

That's the cooling effect of the gas vapourising in the canister. Essentially you've built yourself a fridge - and was why I was confused by the suggestion of using insulation. If you allow the gas to vaporise in the canister (by using it upright) and stop heat flowing into it with insulation the temperature will drop very rapidly.

As Stevesey says if you have the cansiter warm so it has enough heat to vapourise the gas itself insulation may help - especially if you use it inverted. Mur wilson posted in a previous thread about the dangers of using inverted cansiters.

Thanks all. :)
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Re: Review: Kovea Spider Stove

Postby PhilTurner » Tue Oct 22, 2013 10:52 am

I keep meaning to make or get hold of one of these for winter:

Suluk 46 Canister Cozy

Anyone got access to a vacuum forming machine, some plastazote and an empty gas canister? :D
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Re: Review: Kovea Spider Stove

Postby Ben Ime » Tue Oct 22, 2013 12:06 pm

If you leave a gap in the downwind side of your windshield, the heat from there can be used to keep your canister warm. Make sure the canister remains warm to touch (and not hot) by adjusting the distance between it and the flame, and you should generate enough vapour pressure in the canister to keep the whole thing humming along safely at low temperatures. I've used this technique many times with my Spider over the last year and it works really well.
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Re: Review: Kovea Spider Stove

Postby tenohfive » Sun Oct 27, 2013 5:09 pm

Quick question that's vaguely related and not worthy of it's own topic:

I've just ordered a Pocket Rocket due to weight etc, and on the odd occasion I'll be using it for winter camping. I know that to be efficient a different fuel mix helps, but any ideas what? The MSR canisters don't seem to be for sale (at least not online.)
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Re: Review: Kovea Spider Stove

Postby whiteburn » Sun Oct 27, 2013 7:29 pm

tenohfive wrote:Quick question that's vaguely related and not worthy of it's own topic:

I've just ordered a Pocket Rocket due to weight etc, and on the odd occasion I'll be using it for winter camping. I know that to be efficient a different fuel mix helps, but any ideas what? The MSR canisters don't seem to be for sale (at least not online.)


The standard Primus Power gas (butane/ propane/ isobutane) works OK but you with any canister mounted stove you have to coax them to get them to be work efficiently below zero. Sleeping with the canister, fully enclosed windshield (canister needs to be monitored to make sure it gets no more than warm to the touch) etc.

By my scales the Micro rocket + windshield + canister stand (a necessity IMO) weighs 60g less than the Spider, I'll carry the extra 60g in winter and save all the messing about.
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