Svea 123 -- Five Year *Optimum* Life?

Discussion in 'Stove Forum' started by hikin_jim, Mar 14, 2011.

  1. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark SotM Winner Subscriber

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    Hi, Rob,

    You put it so very well, and now those who don't know him can go pick up a few of your favorite Fletcher books, so they can meet this wonderful man and writer, in the flesh, so to speak!! Well done!! As you say, he was quite a guy, and I remember when I heard he had passed, I cried. Still miss him, and his wonderful way of phrasing things, as well as his outstanding sense of humor!! I never tire of rereading all his books, either!, and just wish he were still around, so he could write more of them. Again, nicely put, Rob. Thanks, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc

    P.S. The true magic in the writings of Colin Fletcher, IMHO, was that he not only told you "how" to backpack, but he also showed you how to "feel" about your experiences, and through his musings we learned to look at nature, and backpacking, with new, enthralled, and curious eyes. God rest his soul!
     
  2. Spiritburner

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    Wasn't it himself who so eloquently described the special silence after turning his 123 off?
     
  3. ulysses

    ulysses Subscriber

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    Colin Fletcher was someone who's been there and back again. He was a good enough writer to make a living writing about his hiking experiences. It's my guess that he probably put more miles / hours on his 123 in five years than most people would in 50.

    I agree with others about his ability to inspire others. Reading his books opened a new world for me and created an interest in backpacking that has lasted for decades and still fascinates me today. A good mechanic can keep a vehicle on the road for years after others would have traded it for a new one. If Fletcher noticed a decline in performance after five years and traded it in for a new one, he made his living testing and evaluating backpacking equipment and it gave him the opportunity to test the latest models.

    I agree with Doc and Snowgoose; Fletcher is a great read, and recommend him to you. My first Svea 123, a 1970 model, is still going strong and it makes my heart glad to see it burning with one of Gary's silent burners. A perfect backpacking stove, and still my favorite.

    Paul
     
  4. hikin_jim

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    I think that about sums it up.

    Similarly, I'm surprised at how many people who are avid back country travelers know very little about the stoves their lives depend on. I had a very well respected Sierra Club leader tell me the other day that alcohol priming was for high altitude. What?!

    Indeed.

    HJ
     
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  5. steve coomber

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    are the svea 123 now made in china. i dont like anything from china. cheap knock off stuff. i am looking at this website http://www.moontrail.com/home.php?cat=331 these items are half the price of australian prices including shipping. and the Optimus Hiker is only $159.00+ postage $33. about $400 in aus if you can get one
     
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  6. hikin_jim

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    Be aware that Optimus has been recently bought out and is no longer a Swedish company. Any Optimus product may now be made in China. The Hiker is based on the Nova. I haven't heard of any specific problems with the Hiker, but there was a recall on the Nova recently. Optimus' quality control has really gone down hill recently it would appear.

    HJ
     
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  7. steve coomber

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    i cant believe that. the chinese just bought them (optimus /svea) out. they are also buying lots of farms in australia to guarantee their food future whatever that means. but when it comes to stoves there is no quality control now. is the svea123 climber going to be as reliable as it was and can you get service kits. might look at msr where are they made.
     
  8. SNOWGOOSE

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    There is no evidence to support the statement that the Optimus SVEA 123 has ever been made in China that I am aware of.Made in the far east yes, but China?

    Also, as far as I am aware, the Optimus SVEA 123 has not been made for sometime now. Hence BASECAMP having little stock.

    One of my brothers has a Optimus SVEA 123R made in Sweden I have the same - but not made in Sweden. I can detect no difference.

    I also have several Sievert 123's which I prefer as they don't have the cleaning needle. (Make your 123R go better...remove the cleaning needle.

    Whether you have a Sievert 123, A Optimus 123R made in Sweden or an Optimus 123R not made in Sweden or merely a clone...there is not much to go wrong with them....unlike modern stoves.

    Cheers,

    Rob
     
  9. anlrolfe

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    "Made" and "assembled" are two touchy subjects.

    I had an offset flame pattern on a new SVEA 123R that was corrected with a replacement jet from KATADYN. They indicated that Chinese QC was lacking and apologized. I'm sure that most of the parts are made "elsewhere" but don't know where they are put together to make the final product.

    Case in point; that American flag on my BriteLyt 150CP lantern.

    I would still recommend a 123R to a new buyer and say that its the best 19oz of "complete stove" you can carry.

    AR
     
  10. hikin_jim

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    The Svea 123 (no "R") was discontinued in the early 70's. The Svea 123R started production in the early 70's and is still made today.

    Katadyn recently bought out Optimus (last several years). There have been many quality control complaints about Optimus stoves since Katadyn took over. There has been a recall on the Optimus Nova. My understanding is that production was transferred out of Sweden some time ago, even before Katadyn purchased Optimus. I had heard that production of the Svea 123R had been moved to China, but I've not seen anything that I would consider authoritative. The rights to the Svea 123R have certainly NOT been obtained by any Chinese firm.

    I have never owned a non-Swedish made Svea 123R, but I have heard some complaints to the effect that they're not as well made. Other than that hearsay (and it is complete hearsay), I can't comment on the quality of the non-Swedish made Svea 123R's.

    HJ
     
  11. davidcolter

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    If anyone has a 123 that is more than five years old I am offering a safe disposal service free of charge, you only pay the postage ;)
     
  12. hikin_jim

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    That is so very kind of you. :lol:

    HJ
     
  13. hikin_jim

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    Well, I went to Campmor.com, a site on which Svea 123R's are sold. I asked via one of the options on the screen, "where are Svea 123R's made?" I received an answer today: Taiwan.

    HJ
     
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  14. Spiritburner

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    The 123R is made in China. It could be made as well there as anywhere if the right price was paid & checks made.

    It was discontinued for a while & then reintroduced subject to minimum orders & is now back in the range. Quality control was a source of frustration to those who responsible pre-Katadyn. Hopefully lessons will be learnt.
     
  15. steve coomber

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    so no matter where it is made i am better off with a svea 123 less to go wrong than a modern msr with lots of plastic bits especially in the pump and bottle which wont last long in the heat of wa. the svea is also about about half the weight of my 8r. and has an inbuilt cooking pot
     
  16. hikin_jim

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    OK, so Campmor doesn't know what they're talking about.

    HJ
     
  17. Brerarnold

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    A camping/backpacking/hunting/Scouting/ham radio buddy of mine bought a 123R two years ago on my recommendation. We used the heck out of it when we took some Scouts to the Appalachian trail. It performed like a champ. Has to be one of the Katadyn models. So I guess it's like everything else: bad quality control doesn't mean that everything is bad, just that the odds of getting a bad one are higher than they ought to be.

    We had one of my stoves along for a back-up but only used it a couple of times, when we were cooking more than one thing at a time. He wanted to use his hard, to see if it would take it. Sure did.
     
  18. hikin_jim

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    Well put.

    HJ
     
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