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Kovea Spider Remote Canister Backpacking Stove Review

Kovea Spider Remote Canister Stove Review

Kovea Spider Remote Canister Backpacking Stove

Fuel Efficiency
Weight
Simmering Ability
Time to Boil
Ease of Use

Excellent

Weighing just 6.0 ounces, the Kovea Spider is an excellent four season stove for group camping and solo backpacking, down to about 0 degrees Fahrenheit. When the temperature drops below 15 degrees, you can turn your canister upside down and burn the liquid component of the fuel in the canister.

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The Kovea Spider Remote Canister Stove is a four season backpacking and camping stove that has many advantages over fully integrated and component canister stove systems.

First and foremost, the Kovea Spider can be used with different pots of all shapes and sizes, making it convenient for group camping as well as solo backpacking trips. The stove has an integrated locking pot stand, set very low to the ground, which provides excellent stability for tall skinny pots and squat wide ones. I’ve cooked everything from multi-person meals to one-pot ramen dinners using this stove and if you only want to buy one canister stove for car camping and backpacking, it’s a best buy.

It is safe to use a wind screen with the Kovea Spider Remote Canister Stove because the burner s physically separate from the canister, preventing it from overheating or exploding.
It is safe to use a wind screen with the Kovea Spider Remote Canister Stove because the burner is physically separate from the canister, preventing it from overheating or exploding.

Second, the Kovea Spider, like other remote canister stoves, can used with a wind screen to improve stove efficiency. This is unsafe when using a stove burner that screws directly into the threaded connector on top of an isobutane canister, because the canister can overheat and explode like a grenade. Using a stove screen is particularly important in winter when melting snow for drinking water, because you want all the heat to hit the bottom of pot and not be lost up the pot’s sides.

By inverting the canister, the Kovea Spider can burn canister fuel in its liquid form enabling operation in much colder temperatures.
By inverting the canister, the Kovea Spider can burn canister fuel in its liquid form enabling operation in colder temperatures. (Normally, you would wrap the wind screen flush with the sides of the pot for efficiency – I’ve just opened them up here so you can see  what’s going on behind the screen.)

Finally, the Kovea Spider can operate at colder temperatures than regular canister stoves because the canister can be turned update down or inverted when outside temperatures drop below 15 degrees Fahrenheit and the pressure inside an isobutane canister drops too low to vaporize.

By inverting the canister, the Kovea Spider can burn the fuel inside the canister in its liquid form down to about 0 degrees Fahrenheit, giving you a 10-15 degree advantage over regular canister stoves that can only burn isobutane in its vapor form.

When the cabnister is inverted, liquid fuel flows through the brass colored loop (to the left of the burner head above) where's to preheated to vaporize. This lets the stove operate in much colder temperatures than a regular canister stove.
When the canister is inverted, liquid fuel flows through the brass colored loop (to the left of the burner head above) where’s to preheated to vaporize. This lets the stove operate in colder temperatures than a regular canister stove.

When you turn a gas canister upside down, the canister fuel flows down the Spider’s fuel hose to the burner where it’s preheated before reaching the burner head. The Spider has a bronze colored tube, which you can see in the photo above, which raises the temperature of the fuel so it can vaporize just like it would if the air temperature was warmer and canister was positioned right side up.

Some flareup is inevitable in winter when lighting the stove with an inverted canister, because the fuel is in liquid not gas form.
Some flare-up is inevitable in winter when lighting the stove with an inverted canister, because the fuel is in liquid not gas form.

If there’s a down side to running the Kovea Spider in inverted canister mode, it’s that the flow of fuel becomes a little harder to control and more like a regular liquid fuel (white gas) stove. For example, when you turn off the fuel valve, the fuel in the line has to burn off completely before the flame goes out. The same holds during ignition, when you can experience a bit of a fireball when lighting the stove.

Push Button Piezo Wand
Push Button Piezo Wand

The Kovea Spider does not have an integrated piezo lighter, unlike many regular canister stoves, where the burner is mated with the canister. Instead, the stove comes with an easy to lose, push-button piezo wand. While the peizo works great in warmer temperatures when burning your fuel as vapor, it stops working in cold temperatures (which piezos are known to do) when you’re likely to use the stove in inverted canister mode. For colder weather, you’ll want to bring an ignition source that will throw a bigger spark or flame, like a firesteel or matches.

The Kovea Spider is compact enough to fit inside a 1.1 liter pot with a large gas canister and a wind screen.
The Kovea Spider is compact enough to fit inside many 1 liter pots with a large gas canister and a wind screen, shown here with a GSI 1.1 Anodized Aluminum Pot with locking handle.

One of the nice features of the Kovea Spider, beyond its utility in hot and cold temperatures, is the packability of the stove, which can fit in a one liter cooking pot with a large fuel canister. If you’ve ever tried to pack a conventional white gas stove that requires a separate liquid fuel bottle, you can appreciate the smaller footprint of the Kovea Spider for cold weather use.

Comparable Remote Upright and Inverted Canister Stoves

Make / ModelUprightInvertedWeight (oz)Price
Fire Maple FMS-121YY10.8$46
GSI Outdoors Pinnacle 4 SeasonYY14.5$80
Jetboil JouleY28$200
Kovea SpiderYY5.9$65
MSR WindBurner DuoYY21.1$180
MSR WindBurner GroupYY20.8$200
MSR WindPro IIYY6.6$100
MSR Whisperlite UniversalYY11.2$140
Olicamp Accelerator TitaniumYY3.5$70
Optimus VegaYY6$95
Primus Express Spider IIY7.1$70
Primus Gravity IIIY10.4$100
Snowpeak Bipod StoveY7.8$90

Recommendation

Weighing just 6.0 ounces, the Kovea Spider is an excellent four season stove for group camping and solo backpacking, down to about 0 degrees Fahrenheit. If you plan on camping or backpacking in colder temperatures, then that you probably want to consider getting a liquid fuel (white gas stove) or a multi-fuel stove like the new Kovea Hydra which can burn canister gas and white gas.

If you’ve never heard of the Kovea brand, they’re quite well-known in the backpacking community for the quality of their stove design and construction. They also manufacture many of the stoves sold today in the United States under other brand names.

Disclosure: Kovea provided the author with a sample stove for this review. 

Editor's note: Help support this site by making your next gear purchase through one of the links above. Click a link, buy what you need, and the seller will contribute a portion of the purchase price to support SectionHiker's unsponsored gear reviews, articles, and hiking guides.

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7 comments

  1. Used the Spider on the PCT this summer from Kennedy Meadows to Sonora Pass(John Muir trail).

    I can verify that it is the real deal. It sucked every drop of gas out of my cylinders and I got 20-25 burns out of a standard canister. It is a little fussy when cold and needs to be readjusted when you invert but work with it and use your head. The stability alone makes it a winner in my book. Used on the highest passes without fail or issue. It’s a workhorse.

    Used it with Flat Cats package.

    http://www.flatcatgear.com/

    Do not hesitate, this is all good stuff and SAVES fuel hikers.

    Flat Cat is very good to work with and his video is top notch.

    Get it and junk the pocket rocket.
    Make breakfast coffee and the evening meal with a new ease.
    Yah it’s a little heavier and a little bigger but it’s worth it to me.
    Not as heavy as the Windpro.
    Get down, get the Spider, go with Flat Cat.

    bill

  2. I want to get a backpacking stove for winter camping and was about to buy an MSR WindPro 2. However after reading this review I am considering the Spider. Can anyone chime in that has had experience with both the MSR WindPro 2 and the Kovea Spider? The Spider is $25 cheaper and quite a bit lighter than the WindPro which are both big pluses for me. How do these to stoves compare performance wise?

    • The irony is that they’re made by the same company, Kovea, which makes most of MSRs stoves. The wind pro 2 uses a modified Simmerlite stove so that it can burn liquid canister fuel. I always found the built in pot stand on the Simmerlite to be most irritating because it wouldn’t stay locked open. It is also a fairly large stove and harder to pack in the pot. Neither of these are issues with the Spider. It fits beautifully in a Gsi Halite 1.1l boiler with a big canister.

      • The Kovea Spider is only $45 on Amazon. Based on the review here and some youtube videos I watched I decided it was a great deal and ordered one. Using the link from this page of course!

  3. Of the dozen stoves I own & teach Scouts, this is the one I carry.

  4. I just finished a hike of the AT through the Smokies. The Kovea Spider worked like a champ at temps in the teens but I did need to run it with the canister inverted even though I slept with the canister in my bag. At one shelter I noticed another hiker using an upright Jetboil canister stove successfully while I needed to invert the canister to keep the Spider working. We were both using Jetboil brand fuel. One difference was I was using a 4oz canister while he was using an 8oz canister. The 8oz canisters look like they have a larger diameter and would have more area for the fuel to vaporize inside the canister. I was using a new full 4oz canister. My experience with winter use of canister stoves is limited. I was wondering if the larger canisters are known to work better in winter or if there could have been some other factor at work.

  5. January 2019
    I just picked up a US version of this stove from an ebay seller for $47 shipped.

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