The Optimus Crux Lite is a typical canister top camping stove in use. It’s fast to set up – just screw it into the cartridge – and easy to light. The three curved, serrated pot support arms fold over the burner and the large wire flame control folds inwards so the packed size is very small, the smallest in the test in fact. It’s also the lightest.

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Overall the Crux Lite is best kept for three season use for which it is excellent.
  • Powerful
  • Lightweight
  • Low cost
  • Not wind resistant
  • Not suitable for big pots
Quick specs
Price: £45
Weight: 75g 
Accessories: none
Fuel: butane/propane canister
Packed Dimensions: 7.1 x 5.6
Burner Diameter: 4.7cms
Weight: 75g
Power: 3000w/1200 BTU
Boil time: std pot 3 min 15sec. HX pot 1min 50sec.
Fuel used: std pot 10g. HX pot 8g.

The Optimus Crux Lite is best used with small pots for good stability as the pot supports aren’t very wide. At the same time the wide burner means narrow mug type pots aren’t ideal as the flames shoot up the sides wasting heat unless the stove is turned down a fair bit.  Wider pot supports would be better. There’s no wind resistance so a windshield is needed. A foil one round three sides of the stoves works fine. This leaves one side open for ventilation and so you can touch the cartridge every so often to ensure it’s not getting hot.

In above freezing temperatures the Crux Lite performs well. It boils water quite quickly and simmers well, only using a little more gas than the heat exchanger stoves and boiling water fast. The burner isn’t regulated so unsurprisingly the performance is not so good in cold weather. At -2°C with a half-full cartridge the Crux Lite took eight and a half minutes to boil 500ml of water and used 14 grams of fuel to do so, nearly four times as long and nearly twice as much fuel. Warming the cartridge and insulating it from the ground will help but overall the Crux Lite is best kept for three season use for which it is excellent.