For the next several weeks Unofficial is stoked to have the knowledgeable gals and guys from Tahoe City’s Alpen Glow Sports share some beta with us to get us all ready for another gorgeous summer/fall in Tahoe. Here’s their first offering about the Optimus Crux Lite Stove.

In the last five years, the advent of lightweight backpacking equipment has revolutionized the sport so many of us Tahoeites love. Employing a “light is right” trend, the outdoor industry has dumped weight in all categories at a staggering rate, while still maintaining quality and efficiency.  This has enabled users to travel further, faster and with more confidence in their equipment, whether sleeping bag, pad, tent or backpack.

Stoves began this paradigm shift in early 2003 with MSR’s ever-popular Pocket Rocket. At the time, a 3oz. stove that boiled a liter of water in sub four minutes was unheard of. Since then there has been a litany of ultra-light stoves weighing in 3 to 5oz range with average burn times for a liter of water hovering in the 3.5-4.5 minute range.

In our eyes here, the Optimus Crux Lite takes the cake for weight and efficiency for the summer of 2011. Weighing in at 2.5 ounces (72g)it is ridiculously light and not much larger than a paperclip. While 0.5 ounces might not seem light a huge drop in weight, imagine losing 20% of your body weight and the changes that would accompany it. At least your friends wouldn’t poke your stomach and make the Pillsbury Dough Boy sound in any case.

In addition to it’s ultra-light weight, the Optimus Crux Lite boils one liter of water in as little as 3 minutes. This raises the bar for burn time yet again. With a burn rating of 10,200 BTUs (3000 watts) this little guy burns extremely hot and hard on a standard butane/propane fuel canister mix. Dimensions come in at71x57x56mm and physical characteristics consist of a larger burner head, three serrated pot supports for stability, and precision flame control for simmering. Best yet? The Crux Lite is only $40!

If you are looking for a ultra-light backpacking stove to get you through that big Desolation Wilderness push or your John Muir Trailthrough hike, we recommend considering the Optimus Crux Lite. Built to last with German engineering, it’s pretty much a no-brainer. We hope to authenticate the stats of the Crux Lite later this summer.

The Optimus Crux Lite is part one of an on-going series on lightweight backpacking equipment and most things outdoor and rad. Tune in next week for Jetboil’s newest stove, the titanium Sol.

Alpenglow Sports is Lake Tahoe’s leading experts on all things outdoors light, right and fun. From backcountry skiing to trail running and everything in between, Alpenglow Sports is steeped in user-based expertise and loves sharing beta.

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