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Corporate Runaways

Overland travelers and certified geeks, based in Vermont.


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Optimus of Sweeden (part of the Katadyn Group)

Reason(s) for recommendation:

  • pro-active concern about customer safety
  • willing to go the “extra mile”
  • well reviewed products


When it came time to choose a camp stove we did a lot of research, and read a lot of reviews on the available choices. Typical stove reviews involved complaints about stability, burners that lacked any degree of control (either fully on or nearly off), longevity, etc., etc.. In the end we decided it was worth the extra money to get an Optimus Nova stove because there were only two stoves we found that got continuously excellent reviews from serious users, and the Optimus didn’t screw around with any plastic parts like the other one did. While we’ve only used it on test runs so far, it’s been living up to its reviews and we’ve been quite pleased.

Optimus Nova Camp Stove

Unfortunately, Optimus discovered a problem in the manufacturing of our model and decided to order a recall. While some people might think a recall is a sign of a bad product, we’ve chosen to look at it differently. Optimus has had zero problems in the field with this. No-one has experienced any problems. So, they could have crossed their fingers and hoped it would continue that way. Instead, they chose to pro-actively take on the expense of a recall, and that means a lot to us. We like to support companies that go out of their way to do the right thing.

The only problem, of course, is that recalls take time and we’re about to leave. So, I dropped them a line a couple weeks ago explaining that we were about to hit fourteen countries and asked if there was any chance we could get our stove addressed before we left, or if we should buy a different one.  I didn’t expect to hear anything back, but I just received a call from Katadyn (their parent company) today saying in light of what we’re doing they’re going to expedite the process and get our stove fixed before we depart.

We’ll be sure to comment on its performance as the trip continues, but for now giving them a little good press is the least we can do.

Side note: While we’re definitely recommending the Optimus Nova, there’s a successor which looks even better: Optimus Nova+ but seems to have limited availability in the US right now (Nov, 2010).

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