Kovea Booster +1 ReviewFebruary 14, 2015
- Simple transition between bottled white gas and canister fuel
- Highly efficient: boiled 19 liters of water on 16 oz. of white gas
- Boil times: averaged 5:20 for 1 liter in calm, cool conditions on white gas
- Easy to maintain in the field
- Construction and stability; stainless steel support system
- Fuel valve dial is precise, allowing for simmer
- Heavy; stove, pump weigh 15 oz.; with repair kit and bag, 1 lb. 3oz.
- Pump must be carried separately
- Slow boil with canister-based gas, even with windscreen
The Kovea Booster +1 is the most practical and well-constructed universal-fuel stove on the market. It’s efficient, durable, easy to maintain in the field and because of its fuel versatility, it can travel the world. The Booster +1 works with multiple fuel types without the need for jet exchanges or fumbling with small parts, which makes it much more user-friendly than its closest competitor, the MSR Whisperlite Universal.
The Kovea Booster +1 is big brother to the Power Nano screw-on canister stove I tested last season. I became a fan of the Kovea stoves thanks to the Power Nano, and the Booster +1 reinforces my interest. The Booster +1 is a multifuel stove that handles virtually any type of fuel that’s available without major refitting for each fuel type. The Booster +1 uses a common Lindal valve module on its fuel hose, which mates with the fuel pump housing as well as any standard canister gas—there is no jet exchange or fumbling with small parts, like its closest competitor, the MSR Whisperlite Universal. I’m also a big fan of this stove’s construction. It is a bit heavy but that’s balanced by the fact the packing the Booster +1 essentially is like carrying two stoves, and that weight comes with the long-lasting durability of steel construction. The pump is solid and smooth, it primes quickly and simmers very well. I wish the pump didn’t have to be toted separately, but the stove is quite compact when secured in its zippered pouch. Although slower with isobutane canisters, the simplicity of fuel exchange makes the Kovea Booster +1 a better multi-fuel stove than the MSR Whisperlite Universal.
On white gas, the Kovea Booster +1 boiled 19 literson 16 oz. of Coleman white gas, averaging 1.2 oz. per liter. Conditions were calm and cool; so expect fewer boils in blustery climes. When cooking on Primus Power gas, it averaged .5 oz of fuel to boil a liter of water. So, with 8 oz. of canister gas, expect approximately 16 liters to boil, depending on weather conditions.
The Kovea Booster +1 averaged 5:20 over 19 boils on white gas. The fastest measured 4:50, the slowest 5:46. I was surprised at the consistency in time for each boil, especially as the fuel bottle approached empty. When attached to a new 100g canister of Primus Power Gas it averaged a paltry 8:42. However, the flame is very manageable and thus, it simmers well.
The Booster +1 weighs 1 lb. 3 oz. with pump and other components stuffed into its zippered pouch. The Whisperlite Universal is a slightly more fit 1 lb. 1 oz. with the windscreen and heat reflector in tow.
Ease of Use
People tend to avoid liquid fuel stoves because of their priming and pumping “hassles.” The Booster +1 refutes that stigma though as it primes easily and is highly efficient in poor weather. It’s easy to maintain both the fuel line and clear the jet with the included tool. Extra O-rings and a spare jet are included. The canister fuel capability should help entice those new to white gas stoves to the Booster +1.
The Kovea Booster +1 is a tough, well-built stove. The pump is aluminum and brass with only a few pieces of plastic. The geared, expandable pot supports and base are stainless steel. It’s a tough, rock-ready piece of cooking gear.