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I'm very disappointed to see this item even for sale on mass drop. I would except MD to do some research before selling this kinda stuff. Unfortunately this is very poorly made offshore product with limited quality control. Buyer beware, buy something northamerica made MSR. With warranty.
I made the mistake of buying a kovea and had to toss it in the trash it was unsafe. And this offer isn't even cheap ;(
@camshaft - I think you have this all backwards. Your highly touted MSR stoves? They are made by Kovea in Korea. Kovea has the highest quality factory in the world, and makes not just MSR stoves, but also SnowPeak and many other brands. I'd be curious to know what Kovea stove you previously owned and what you found unsafe about it.
Not sure your source about Msr
(From Msr web page)
Almost every MSR stove is manufactured in Seattle, including the Reactor, XGK-EX, SuperFly, DragonFly, WindPro II, and the three WhisperLite models.
Kovea highest quality? Offshore? Are you serious ?
I had the exact same pump and it was unsafe the machined parts off. The threaded parts cross threaded just a normal offshore poor quality product. No quality control
Why buy offshore when Msr makes in the USA and any warranty issues they are in WA. Any issue I have had with Msr they are just a phone call away. And customer service is amazing ? How do you get warranty and customer service from kovea?
Personally if your are backpacking and need to count on a product. I'm going with a Usa made product
Alot of the MSR gas canister stoves are made by Kovea and are of a very high quality. Never had an issue with any Kovea stove, prehaps you lucked out. Still if it makes you sleep better at night, go with your gut and buy local
@camshaft - Thank you for correcting me. I would say we're both half right, or half wrong. MSR does make many of their stoves in Seattle, but their most popular selling ones (pocket rocket and micro rocket) are made overseas. The point remains the same though: Kovea makes excellent stoves, gets high marks across the board from reputable reviewers (like adventuresinstoving), and manufacture for other highly respected companies (MSR, SnowPeak, Primus, and more). Kovea has their US headquarters in Utah, so any customer service issues will be handled promptly and conveniently. I use these stoves and trust them, just as many other backpackers in our UL community. Thanks for your feedback though!
There are plenty of high quality products coming out of Korea. The USA isn't the only country with QC.
I'll just chime in for redundancy. Kovea is capable of producing very high quality parts and equipment, and generally does so. It's correct that they manufacture the Pocket Rocket and the Micro Rocket, and presumably the new Pocket Rocket 2...probably make the Super Fly as well. MSR has retained 100% in-house production and assembly of the Whisperlite and derivatives (minus pump) but I've heard that some of their other stoves are a mix of parts made in-house and brought in from elsewhere, and are then assembled in Seattle. MSR has had their bottles made in the US and Canada over the years (Canada being the more recent of the two based on the bottles I own)...not sure about their current source but I suspect they're made by Kovea overseas. Kovea makes stoves and gas cartridges and accessories for a number of brands and has for a very long time. I can't speak for this particular model being offered on Massdrop but there is no way that anyone should feel poorly about Kovea's quality especially in an across the board statement like that. I mean, buy what you like from who you like for whatever reason you have, just don't let opinion override fact. If you happened to get a dud part or an entire unit from Kovea, well, stuff happens. Believe it or not, it happens with MSR once in awhile, too - probably can name just a few manufacturers/companies in the world who do not have errors slip out the door from time to time. I've seen a handful of Kovea-branded stoves and every one was pretty impeccable in quality and finishing, truthfully. I've got one of their cook kits and I'm not sure if they actually make those themselves or not, but it's typical average HA aluminum riveted cookware...but well done for what it is. I would have no hesitation to buy and use one of Kovea's stove models, original or copy of another's design. I would hesitate more with Primus even though I like them as a company...I'm mostly an MSR guy and always have been.
You should also learn something about other countries. Korea is not China! Koreans are very proud workers, doing a very good job at what they do. If you were to compare American verses Korean products I would say they would perform equal in all ways. Yes it's good to buy American made cause it keeps money here, but don't think because it's not American it's poor quality. Germans, Swiss, Koreans, Canadians, Japanese etc are all countryman putting out well made products.
thank you for the intelligent response stepbystep,
Presently I own, universal msr, reactor msr, old whisper light, SNOW PEAK GIGAPOWER, PRIMUS EXPRESS LPG, jetboil,
PRIMUS OMNIFUEL II STOVE,OPTIMUS NOVA+ MULTIFUEL STOVE.
I appreciate the other comments but do any of you own a kovea and other brands of stoves ?
Have you compared these stoves build quality and operation against each other ?
Do you have some sort of engineering or mechanical background to provide overview of the build quality ?
Have you tried to contact the manufacture about support and warranty ?
Just for a test I tried to find Kovea warranty information, google kovea warranty nothing comes up, going to kovea web page has no warranty info, So try to google msr warranty and contact info ?
And as well I have no problem with Korean , Chinese people or the country they are in or from. The issue is PRODUCT CONTROL and the lack of it and customer service and warranty. Please refer to the line above and contacting Kovea
Do you own a Kovea stove ? or any other stove from another manufacture ?
I beg to differ the quality control from many of these offshore companies is lacking. And they could product great products if they actually had a level of quality to adhere and have it inspected after being built.
As I noted above have you ever tried to contact Kovea for warranty ?
Please try and google it ?
So whats the purpose of saving a couple dollars when you can own a north american made stove. You can pick up the phone and call MSR for help and warranty. And they will bend oever backwards to help you..... what does Kovea have to offer ?
I guess you can call 82 – 32 – 621 – 2170 ? in SouthKorea
As I posted above:
I have no problem with Korean , Chinese people or the country they are in or from. The issue is PRODUCT CONTROL and the lack of it and customer service and warranty.
I invite anyone to find some info from Kovea about warranty/ customer service/ and FAQ,
Go to the MSR web page and you can spend hours educating yourself on stoves, usage, maintenance etc.
Does Kovea have any of that ?
msr-whisperlite-international-stove Cost Vs this:
89.99 usd, https://www.lifeviewoutdoors.com/products/msr-whisperlite-international-stove
20ox bottle 20.00
so 110.00 usd for a USA made stove... why buy this ? 129.99?
Yes the 30oz bottle is made in china
11 OZ 20 OZ 30 OZ
Volume 11 fl. oz / .325 liters 20 fl. oz / .59 liters 30 fl. oz / .887 liters
Country of Origin Made in Seattle, USA Made in Seattle, USA Made in China
Well, you're welcome...just sharing my experience both first- and second-hand. Warranty information comes with the products and they have a good one like we've come to expect from most of our outdoor gear companies. Hadn't looked at their website in a long time but it's odd that they don't have any information about warranty, and still no .pdf product manuals. One caveat is that if you buy one of the Korean-labeled products from E-Bay or one of the many overseas online sites, you will not get a warranty here in the US. This is because of their non-compete agreements with companies that they manufacture for (like MSR and Snow Peak) and because like many companies they participate in some pricing and regional sales protection. That's a bane to consumers but it's very common these days in all kinds of markets (backpacking and cycling are notorious for it). Basically what you'll do is email Kovea and they'll take care of you. If I'm not mistaken it'll probably be handled by their Amazon affiliate warehouser (the giant Synex company) but I'm not sure. They had their own office in Los Angeles when they first entered the US market several years ago but I think they gave that up in favor of outsourcing rep services (such is the trend these days). It's not as easy or customer-direct as what we get with MSR, etc., but it's no worse than trying to deal with Primus (they are a pain and like to deny warranty issues...snooty about it sometimes, too). Kovea is pretty fantastic about communication and they've also been really receptive to consumer input & ideas for improvement/modification to several models they introduced. They are not your typical Chinese wholesaler...they are a well established and award winning manufacturer in the industry for the last 30 years or thereabouts. If you view the "about us" tab on Kovea's site, they list their full portfolio of certifications (impressive, but standard fare for good manufacturers). So while warranty may not be typical American/REI easy, it's not difficult, either, and you can mostly rest assured that you're never going to need it...you can expect more potential needs in the future for a multi-part white gas stove compared to the simplicity of canister stoves (standard or remote feed), but that can be said for any manufacturer. Recently saw a fellow's Dragonfly that had a busted pot support after years of use and then the head popped off...he was screwed in central Europe with no way to fix his situation...you know MSR will eventually take care of him, but not the same as they can here stateside. Stuff happens. Good manufacturers like Kovea and so many others give us stuff that actually is well designed and tested before market so that we an minimize those hassles of failure. Rest easy, imho.
Your Snow Peak Gigapower is made by Kovea....
Kovea makes excellent stoves. I have a kovea spider and it is great. They are a first quality provider and the OEM for msr. They actually collaborate to design the MSR stoves, so they are legitimate.
First of all, I'm sorry to hear that you had such a bad experience with one of our stoves before and so have a bad impression of our company. Would like to know what stove you purchased and from where, as we do not sell to many retailers in the US. There are a lot of copy cats on the Ebay and Amazon market that sell Fake Kovea prodcuts, this is why we advise our customers not to purchase from an unauthorized dealer, especially on EBAY.
In terms of our quality we hold one of the strictest quality standards on the market and there are reasons why we still manufacture for many of the top Outdoor brands for over 15 years. Its quite safe to say that they brands can go to China or any other supplier to manufacture their products for a much cheaper price, but would they want to ruin the image of their brand to save a couple of dollars or be assured that the quality of those products are in line with what their company stands for. In terms of QC controls, our products go through the most stringent controls worldwide. As a OEM manufacturer for numerous companies, we need to make sure to pass all the Gas certifications for every country that it is sold in. I can assure you that its because of our QC that we are always being sought after by many companies to make their products for them. Kovea could possibly manufacture all the stoves for all the brands had our price point been lower, but it isn't, why? Because we have so many checks and balances in place to ensure its quality and that increases the cost of the final product. Some companies cant afford that cost or don't feel like their brand needs that kind of quality control because it doesn't fit their price point.
We are always trying our best to improve our customer service efforts internationally. Currently we distribute to 39 different countries worldwide and since they have their own language, we rely heavily on our distributors to handle the customer service and issues locally in their region. We are in the process of doing updating our website to include valuable information for our customers when it comes to the products they purchase and use along with warranty information. As we have only really been selling Kovea products in the US the past 2 years, its still a bit behind.
I frequent retail and third party sites just to make sure that I can help increase the brands awareness and also see what negatives there may be to correct them and help bring peace of mind to our customers of their purchases.
In terms of non biased reviews, I would even suggest going on Gearinstitute.com and checking out their reviews of all the stoves that you carry and see how it compared to the Kovea stoves. This may help alleviate some concerns you may have of our products.
Another useful site that was made by our one of our distributors in the UK, is mercatorgear.com. http://mercatorgear.com/index.php/frequently-asked-questions
He has been able to put up very useful information about Kovea and its products and may be the kind of information you are looking for. We are in the process of incorporating some of this into our new website which should be out before Jan 2017.
As you are very concerned with the customer service of the product, you can personally call me as we have set up a Kovea USA office in Salt Lake City. We are still very small and really considered a start up here in the US, so its a 1 man operation that does everything, but call me or email me anytime. You don't even have to call an 800 number, here is my personal cell phone number to your disposal or anyone who owns a Kovea product, anytime.
Hope this may alleviate any concerns of Kovea's customer service you may have. If you need any information on how to use the stove or any other questions, feel free to give me a call. Thank you
Also anyone on the site who has any concerns with Kovea in the US, feel free to email me or call me anytime.
(I am in Korea until Oct 17th, so if you receive my voice mail, please leave a message and I will get back to you asap)
Now that is some good customer service. Thanks for the great information in your answer. Great to see such a personal response on behalf of the company. I personally will be looking into kovea stoves next time I'm in the market.