This little brass stove has been in production since 1955 but in today’s world of backpackers seeking the next holy grail of light weight stoves, is the SVEA 123 really an option anymore? Over the past few weeks I have talked to numerous people (and when I say numerous I mean numerous) that have either owned, used or have been around a SVEA 123 in use and the majority of those people say 100% they are one of the greatest stoves ever produced.
Cult Following – comprised of a group of fans who are highly to a work of culture. The stove does have a pretty incredible and devoted following so maybe it is a good choice. Let’s look at some points brought up with current and previous SVEA 123 stove owners.
(1) Looks – Every single person said it was hands down the coolest looking stove they have ever owned. Who wouldn’t want a retro shiny brass looking stove? (2) Size & Weight – This stove packs down to a small 5” x 4” size and while that’s small it isn’t as small as some new stoves. Fully fueled it comes in at around 15oz. (3) Reliability – IT ALWAYS WORKS! Plain and simple it just works. (4) Wind – It’s wind proof.. (5) Boil Time – This is where the 123 drops off a little. The consensus of those interviewed said the boil time is around 6 minutes which is considerably longer than some of the newer MSR stoves. So is this going to require you carry additional fuel and thus increase your overall pack weight? Maybe… (6) Longevity – Everyone claims to have owned one for 25+ years and they are still to this day described as brilliant, compact, never failed me, incredible, fuel efficient, reliable, stable and easy to use… what else do you need to hear?
Yes these little beauties have a cult following but from those I spoke to, and let me assure you it was a lot of people… the SVEA 123 is still a fantastic backpacking stove. And who wouldn’t want a bright, shiny and cool camp stove?
Check them out on eBay for a true vintage model (open up your checkbook and get ready to shell out some dollars) or you can still buy new models at numerous locations on the web for about $87. Yes they are still a good backpacking stove option……