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Optimus Climber Svea 123R Stove Stoves Review

Optimus Climber Svea 123R Stove


Description
Beautifully crafted of solid brass, the ultra-classic Climber Svea 123R stove looks like a museum piece-- but fires up like a mini blast furnace. Generations have relied on the dependable performance of this nostalgic stove. Clean the fuel jet while the stove is in operation--built-in cleaning needle keeps the jet clear by pushing deposits out; no parts to lose. Control-valve key doubles as a mini tool box; wrenches required for field maintenance have been stamped into the key. Brass windscreen has built-in pot supports which fold-in for compact storage. Aluminum lid also serves as a small pot to cook in; detachable handle.


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Reviews 1 - 5 (21 Reviews Total) | Next 5

Review Date
February 27, 2015

Overall Rating
 3 of 5

Value Rating
 3 of 5

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Reviewed by: Roger ,  Car Camper

Summary:
This is a review of the original SVEA 123, which some prefer to the 123R. The original has no self-cleaning needle but does come with a little pricker tool to clear a blocked jet. It is reputed to simmer better. The stove is beautifully made (mine is Swedish, I understand they are Chinese now - boo!).

Priming the stove is fairly easy with a squirt of meths onto the priming recess. You may need to do this twice in cold conditions, or use fire paste. Carex hand sanitising gel is very good as a fire paste, incidentally, and also useful for its intended purpose when camping.

Just before the priming flame has gone out, you use the key to turn on the fuel supply. This may not always work first time, meaning you need to re-prime. There is minimal pressure in the tank at this point and it takes a while to build - having a pot on the stove helps as it reflects heat onto the tank. In cold weather it can take an age for pressure to really build up, so you may want to keep the stove under clothing or at the front of a rucksack where it can get some body heat.

Best fuels are Optimus's own Power Fuel, Coleman fuel or Aspen 4. Don't even think about using pump petrol.

The stove has a reputation as the "Swedish hand grenade" because it can fail in one of two alarming ways if the tank becomes over-pressured; either the safety valve opens, releasing hot fuel vapour which ignites into a large fireball, or the valve fails to open and the brass tank explodes (worse). You don't want either, so avoid extended cooking runs with large pots, especially in hot weather. The stove was designed for the little pot it is supplied with.

Overall, a pump-up Coleman stove like a 442 Feather, 533 or (my favourite) 550B is a lot less hassle, but this SVEA a bit smaller and is really quite fun to use.

Customer Service:
Not used.

Similar Products Used:
Coleman 442 Feather, 533 and 550B (the latter on white gas and kerosene). Coleman 422 suitcase stove.


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Review Date
February 25, 2012

Overall Rating
 5 of 5

Value Rating
 5 of 5

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Reviewed by: jeff ,  Backpacker

Summary:
excellent stove. The best way to prime: soak a cotton ball with alchol and put it where you would normally eye drop. Lots of flame and it doesn't run off everywhere. Cotton ball burns away. If it is really cold, put the stove on sticks and put a flaming c.b. under it too.


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Review Date
November 18, 2010

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Value Rating
 4 of 5

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Reviewed by: Bill Zaspel ,  Backpacker

Summary:
I have used this unit very lightly but I have had it since the late 70s when I use to sell them while employed at an outfitter. I sold quite a few Optimus and other brands but I chose the Svea123 for it's simplicity.

Customer Service:
Not used

Similar Products Used:
none other


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Review Date
October 20, 2010

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Value Rating
 4 of 5

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Reviewed by: Brumby ,  Backpacker

Summary:
Having researched extensively on the net I ended up buying 2 stoves, the SVEA 123R and the Primus Omnifuel……and I love them both. I do however love one more than the other and that’s the 123. I’m often asked why and for me, it’s all about reliability. The 123 is a very simple and very dependable stove and when you’re in the middle of nowhere, it’s nice to know you have it as you know it will work.
I’ve also read where people say they are less efficient that modern stoves, however all the testing I’ve done indicates this is generally not the case at all. I use on average 15-17ml of shellite (Coleman fuel) to boil 1 litre of water compared with 16-20ml with more modern stoves, particularly the Omnifuel. I will admit however the pump pressurised stoves are quicker to boil by around 1-2 minutes for 1 litre.

Weight is also mentioned and yes, it’s about 100g heavier than the Omni (remembering the pump) which for me at least, is easily offset by the ease and dependability of use.

Not sure if it’s just because I hold my mouth right, but I’ve never had a problem priming the 123. It’s not as easy as the pump units, but equally I don’t have to pump and continue to pump the 123 to keep it going.

I don’t normally write reviews, but this little gem deserves one. Sometimes simple can be the best. And I'm staggered why these are so hard to find in Aus!

Customer Service:
Difficult at first in Australia, but slowly finding places that can assist with spares.

Similar Products Used:
Omnifuel, Dragonfly (and other MSR's), Trangia


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Review Date
July 1, 2009

Overall Rating
 4 of 5

Value Rating
 3 of 5

Visitors rate this review
5.00 of 5, 1.00 votes

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Reviewed by: George ,  Backpacker

Summary:
This is a rock solid reliable classic petrol burner. 19oz of classic brass simple and reliable. A bit heavier than some of the newer Ti white gas, iso or alky stoves, but my favorite. I pack it in a 1l Al coffee perk (Open Country), add an MSR 11oz fuel bottle and I am set for a long weekend. Never has let me down.

RTFM (Read the Fabulous Manual) and the stove will serve you well. The key to this stove is to learn to prime properly. Always open the fuel tank before you start (equalize tank and outside pressure) and never fill more than 2/3rds full. Next presurize the tank by applying heat (body heat or by priming). Lastly preheat (prime) the burner with a splash of petrol. Turn the fuel valve on just before the prime burns out and you are cooking with gas.

I add an eyedropper to the stove (for priming) and a pour spout to the MSR fuel bottle (eliminate the need for a funnel) to round out the package. I don't use the Al pot(cup/handle) that came with the stove and add my own plastic bowl and cup.

Boil 1l of water twice a day; half goes into the coffee(AM)/Tea(PM) and the other half into the meal.

Customer Service:
Simple, reliable, never broke, easy to fix, parts still available, valve key is a multi wrench. Buy the field service kit (won't need it).

Similar Products Used:
Optimus 96, 8R; Coleman 400, 442, 445, 533, 550, Apollo, Fyrestorm; MSR Wisperlite, Simmerlite, Dragonfly, Reactor(iso), Rapidfire(iso); Snowpeak GS100 (iso), Bushbuddy(wood), Spenton(wood), Caldera(Alky) and various others.


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Reviews 1 - 5 (21 Reviews Total) | Next 5

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