Ultra-sleek Optimus dual-burner stove feeds van life and trail life
Over the past few years, we've seen some of the weight/bulk-cutting passion usually reserved for backpacking make its way over to car camping, particularly in the design of lighter, sleeker stoves like the GSI Pinnacle Pro. Optimus brings its own ultralight gear expertise to vehicle camping, blurring the line between car camping and backpacking gear with its new aluminum-bodied two-burner Gemini stove. The extra-slim stove carries easily, whether camping by motor vehicle, bike, boat or foot.
To create a sleeker dual-burner camping stove, Optimus ditches the usual rectangular shape and goes with a body that's more like a pill-shaped portable Bluetooth speaker. Measuring a foot (30.5 cm) long when folded, the stove is designed to fit in any backpack and will clearly save room in car trunks and chuck boxes.
At camp, the Gemini readies quickly with the unfolding of four stabilizing legs that double as pot holders. The stove runs on a gas (propane/butane/isobutane) canister and fires out 10,200 BTUs per burner, adjusted via variable flame control. The burners are sunken into the stove body to provide integrated wind protection. Optimus estimates a boiling time of four minutes for a liter of water and a runtime of 80 minutes operating a single burner on full power with a 230-g gas canister.
At 1.8 lb (820 g), the Gemini weighs much less than dual-burner car camping stoves, even light, sleek models like the aforementioned 9.5-lb (4.3-kg) GSI Pinnacle Pro or the 6.2-lb (2.8-kg) JetBoil Genesis BaseCamp. Dual-burner backpacking stoves are rare, but the Gemini takes on a more robust form than skeletal models like the discontinued Coleman Xponent Expedition.
Backpackers looking to save the most weight will still undoubtedly opt for tiny, ultralight options like the the 3.5-oz Primus Firestick, but Optimus should find a more inviting audience among less weight-conscious backpacking twosomes and groups interested in more cooking power. Backcountry campers who travel on light vehicles like motorcycles, bicycles or canoes and car campers looking for smaller, lighter gear should also find the Gemini intriguing.
Whether or not it ultimately carves out a light-vehicle backcountry cooking gear market, Optimus is already impressing members of the outdoor community on both sides of the Atlantic. This month the Gemini took home an Outdoor Retailer Innovation Award in the US and an ISPO Award in Europe. The stove will launch in the US in April for $1`49.95.
Source: Optimus/Katadyn Group