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Hands-on Gear Review
Eureka Spire LX Review
Cons: Small burners, low BTUs, carry handle is shallow and uncomfortable
Bottom line: A competent stove on its own, this contender will also allow you to connect a JetBoil or other Eureka stoves and run it all off the same fuel source.
The Spire LX didn't dominate any individual test metrics. It did, however, keep up with the big dogs with strong scores across the board. Our testers liked the reliability this model provides, despite having relatively low burner power and small size. What truly impressed us is the adaptable design of this stove. It's able to connect with a JetBoil or another Eureka stove for additional burners that all run off the same fuel source. For this reason, we honor this stove with a Top Pick for Expandability award. Our testers loved being able to run a JetBoil Flash for super fast coffee water in the mornings without it interfering with getting breakfast going. If it's ever taken you hours to get fed and out of camp in the morning because boiling everyone's water took forever, this feature is something you will love.
For top-of-the-line performance from a two-burner stove, consider our Editors' Choice Award winners, the Stansport 2-Burner or the Camp Chef Everest. These both provide improved cooking ability at a lower price. If you need an extra burner, add an inexpensive single-burner like the Gas One GS-3000.
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Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results
The Spire LX is for the gearhead in your life that gets infinite amounts of joy from creative outside-the-norm items. Or perhaps for the camper that loves coffee as much or more than food. Or the foodie that requires a ton of burners for every meal because they love to get fancy. Whatever the reason, you can have a lot of fun with this capable and innovative stove. Read on to find out how.
The chart below shows where the Spire LX ranks in Overall Performance compared to the other camping stoves in our review.
Time to Boil
Despite only having 10,000 BTUs per burner, this stove boiled water quite quickly. A quart of 60-degree water boiled in 4 minutes and a quart of 50-degree water in 4:30.
The compact design and effective wind guards were a perfect example of how BTUs aren't everything when it comes to efficient cooking. For comparison, the Coleman Hyperflame Fyrecadet and the Coleman Triton both have an extra 1,000 BTUs per burner, but both boiled slower in every single test scenario. We attribute this to the Eureka having better wind resistance, as it did better in our wind resistance test than almost all the other stoves.
On the particular stove we tested, the piezo ignitor was very finicky, something we also saw in other reviews online. We had more trouble with it on this stove than any other we tested, usually having to turn the ignitor over and over again to get it to work at all. And sometimes it simply wouldn't ignite and we had to use a lighter. However, once the stove was up and running, it was a pleasant cooking experience.
The knob for the burner is one of those that has a really wide range — from off to blasting is a full four 360-degree rotations. Instead of a tiny turn taking you from medium to low with the fear of accidentally extinguishing the flame, you can adjust more liberally without fear of overdoing it. However, having so much room for adjustment on the knob also means it can take awhile to find your perfect setting, especially because there are no markings on the stove to indicate where you are. It was easy to have the burner too hot, and it took a little while to dial in. Once we did, though, the cooking performance was excellent.
Our favorite stoves for simmering were the Stansport 2-Burner and the Camp Chef Everest; both excellent stoves for detailed cooking. The Coleman Butane Instastart was also fantastic and would be an easy and cheap one-burner to add into your camp kitchen for large meals.
This is an interesting category for this stove. On its own, the Spire LX is very average regarding group cooking with a compact stove. With an 18 x 9.5-inch cooking area, it's an inch narrower than the Stansport 2-Burner and the Camp Chef Everest, yet an inch wider than most of the other compact stoves we tested. On top of that, it has the third lowest BTUs and smaller three-inch burners. Like most compact car camping stoves, you can squeeze a couple large skillets or pans on the cooking surface, but if you're cooking for more than about four people, it'll be tight. It is on the merits of this stove by itself that we chose its scores.
However, we gave this stove a Top Pick award for a reason. The accessory options for this model have the ability to change the game for a group of hungry campers. The patent-pending JetLink port allows you to hook up another stove via a Jetlink Accessory Hose and power all of it from a single fuel source. You can even daisy-chain many stoves together and have four or six or eight burners! Also available for this stove is the Luna Satellite Burner that allows you to run a JetBoil Flash off the side of your stove. You get rapidly boiled water without having to give up valuable burner space. Using a 20 lb. Propane Tank Hose and a large propane tank are recommended if you're planning to string stoves together.
Ease of Setup
Setting up the Spire LX is very straightforward and as simple as setting up any other compact camp stove. The metal propane adapter elbow attaches on the side next to the Jetlink port, and the windscreens fold out and get secured to the lid. All that needs to be done to attach another stove or a JetBoil is to screw the appropriate adapter hose into the JetLink port.
One thing of note about the Satellite burner is that the JetBoil simply balances atop the burner and could easily get knocked over if you're not careful. It does not clip into the burner like a traditional JetBoil setup.
Ease of Care
Cleaning the Spire LX is the same as most of the compact models we tested, with a removable cooking grate and a stainless steel drip tray underneath.
We did notice with this stove, just as we did with the Stansport 2-Burner, that the metal fuel adapter elbow was a bit trickier to attach. To properly catch the threads, the adapter had to be pushed rather deep into the port. Not a big deal, but it can be a bit annoying, especially if you are setting up your stove with cold fingers.
This contender seemed to do quite well with the wind. Our big wind test involved setting up a box fan 24 inches to the side of each stove and then timing how long it took to boil a quart of water. This stove did better than any of the other low-BTU stoves, taking 5:15 to complete the task, only 1:15 longer than without the box fan. The only stoves that performed better were the Stansport 2-Burner, the Camp Chef Everest, and the Camp Chef Pro 60, all of which have much higher BTUs and larger burners. All the other stoves took anywhere from just over two minutes longer to well over 20 minutes longer to complete this challenge.
Also, as mentioned above, we did have some trouble with the piezo ignitor on the Spire LX, and we noticed this when direct wind was involved. This was the only stove with an auto-ignition system that wouldn't work while the box fan was on. We had to turn off the fan to get the ignitor to work at all. If this is a regular issue and not just an anomaly of the particular stove we tested, you may need to have a lighter handy for windy days.
The Spire LX packs down to 21.5 x 13.1 x 4.2 inches, just slightly narrower than the Stansport 2-Burner and the Camp Chef Everest. We noticed the loss in width on the cooking surface when compared to these two other stoves — we were unable to use the same two large skillets and had to switch to a smaller pan on one side.
This competitor by itself is best used for smaller groups of about one to four people, though cooking for four may be a bit tight depending on what you are preparing. However, if you upgrade and purchase the adaptors to attach another stove or a JetBoil, then you can easily cook for more people. Our favorite addition was the Satellite burner for a JetBoil because our testers drink a lot of tea and coffee in the mornings. Having to wait to prepare breakfast while tons of water gets boiled can be a pain. On top of that, the Spire LX only offers 10,000 BTUs per burner, so boiling large amounts of water takes time. With a JetBoil, hot water is ready extremely fast, so we recommend this setup for groups that love their hot beverages.
This stove is definitely in the luxury item category. At $150 for the stove itself, it is one of the most expensive compact models we tested. For the same price, you can get the freestanding Stansport Outdoor Stove and have 25,000 more BTUs per burner! Or you can get our Editors' Choice, the Stansport 2-Burner for $115 and also have more BTUs and burner space. The Coleman Triton is slightly more compact than the Eureka with 1,000 more BTUs per burner, and you would be dropping only $100. Long story short, this stove is pricey for what you get.
The main reason to get this stove is if you want to take advantage of the JetLink port and attach other burners. But be forewarned that this won't be a cheap undertaking. The JetLink accessory hose to connect another stove is $40, plus the price of another Eureka stove (the regular Eureka Spire Stove is more affordable at $99.95). The Satellite burner to attach a Jetboil is $60 and doesn't include the JetBoil itself. So while the expandability of this stove is fun and innovative, there are plenty of ways to have lots of burners and options without dropping nearly this much money.
The Eureka Spire LX was our Top Pick for Expandability due to it having the unique capability to attach other Eureka stoves or a JetBoil and run it all off the same fuel source. While this is innovative, the Eureka products and accessories are expensive, so be sure this setup is something you want before you invest. The Spire LX by itself offers only 10,000 BTUs per burner despite its high price tag. It is also a couple of inches narrower than some of the more powerful stoves we tested that are cheaper. All-in-all, it is a fine stove with a sturdy design and good wind resistance, but for the price is probably not worth it unless you plan to take advantage of the full Eureka suite of products.
— Penney Garrett
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