Gear Institute Expert Test Menu

Kovea Booster +1

- published February 2015

88

2015

RATINGS

Boil Time
7
Weight
7
Fuel Efficiency
8
Ease of Use
8
Durability
9
Value
9
GEAR INSTITUTE RATING
88

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MSRP
LOW PRICE
$157.00
Support Gear Institute. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site.

THE GOOD

  • 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

THE BAD

  • 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 VERDICT

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.

FULL REVIEW

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.

Fuel Efficiency
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.

Boil Time
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.

Weight
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.

Durability
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.

How We Tested It

The Kovea Booster +1 was tested for about a year in weeks of professional guiding situations throughout the southwest, trips into the high elevation Sierra Nevada mountains and in a number of basic front-country camping scenarios.

The products featured in this test have been loaned to the Gear Institute. For more on our policies regarding editorial objectivity and sample returns, see here.

About the Author

Craig Rowe

Craig Rowe

Craig is a backpacking guide, copywriter, occasional climber, sometime surfer and fair-weather snowboarder. He went to NOLS, Leaves No Trace, and lives in Truckee, CA. He also invented TripTarp.

Shop for the Kovea Booster +1

MSRP
LOW PRICE

$157.00
Support Gear Institute. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site.

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MSRP
LOW PRICE
$157.00
Support Gear Institute. If you make a purchase after clicking on the links above, a portion of the sale helps support this site.

RATINGS

Boil Time
7
Weight
7
Fuel Efficiency
8
Ease of Use
8
Durability
9
Value
9
GEAR INSTITUTE RATING
88

Specs

  • Fuel Type: Hybrid (Liquid or Canister)

Weight

19 oz

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