The Optimus Nova+ stands out amongst similar expedition stoves. It’s easy field maintenance, fuel versatility and low stance make it easy to use. It falls short however in trying to be too innovative with the Powerline control and the included storage bag doesn’t securely hold the stove.
The Optimus Nova+ is an excellent cooker with good burner control. One tester mainly used the fuel feed dial instead of the Powerline™ control, because the use of which was not very intuitive. Testers liked the low, wide design stance of the burner and the way the supports hug the burner when packed. The fuel pump is sturdy and pumps smoothly, a nice departure from MSR’s plastic pumps. Testers were baffled by the design intentions of the included storage pouch, it’s an awkward pack. Despite drawbacks, this is an otherwise dependable all-conditions stove.
Boil Time The Optimus Nova+ averaged 6:20 to boil a liter of water at an average start temperature of 59° F at 6,600 feet in calm conditions at 70 degrees.
Efficiency The stove boiled 15 liters on 16 ounces of Coleman white gas for an efficiency quotient of .94, using the same temperature water and at the same elevation as the boil time test.
Wind Performance This stove did well in a steady wind, averaging 6:45/liter when wrapped in an aluminum windscreen.
Cooking The Optimus Nova+ is an excellent kitchen appliance. It prepared without flaw an array of basic meals, like oatmeal and grilled sandwiches, and it did well in keeping a pot of mac & cheese warm on a low simmer while guests cleaned up for dinner.
Weight The Optimus Nova+ weighs 1 lb. 6 oz. packed in its clamshell zippered case with its pump, windscreen, and repair tool. It weighs less than the MSR XGK-EX, but three ounces more than the Best in Class Kovea Booster +1.
Reliability This is a solid stove, obviously built to last. All major components like the pot supports and pump, remained out-of-the-box functional after significant use. It held heavy 4-liter pots of pasta or oatmeal, took some drops and was buried under heavy pack loads during field testing.