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 fun with this capable and innovative stove.
The Spire LX performed above average on every single metric.
Time to Boil
Despite only having 10,000 BTUs per burner, this stove boils water decently fast. A quart of 60-degree water was bubbling away in 4 minutes and a quart of 50-degree water in 4:30.
The compact design and effective wind guards on this stove are a perfect example of how BTUs aren't everything when it comes to efficient cooking. Other stoves in our review have more BTUs per burner but boil water slower. We attribute this to the Eureka having better wind resistance, proven by how it bested many of our other stoves in wind tests. Additionally, you can use the JetLink Accessory Hose (sold separately) to attach a JetBoil and achieve even faster boil times.
We loved being able to boil water super quickly on the Spire LX's special Luna Satellite Burner without taking up a spot on the stovetop.
The Spire LX performs quite well in breezy situations. 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 the best of all the low-BTU stoves, taking 5:15 to complete the task, only 1:15 longer than without the box fan. The only stoves to perform better on this test were those that had much higher BTUs and larger burners.
We did have some trouble with the piezo ignitor, however, especially when direct wind was involved — the auto-ignition system 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 (which is a good idea regardless).
Despite the low BTUs, this stove cooked most things very quickly.
On the particular stove we tested, the piezo ignitor was very finicky, something people complain about in other reviews online as well. We usually had to click the ignitor button 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 is up and running, it's a pleasant cooking experience with no issues.
The knob for the burner on this stove has an extensive 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 a while to find your perfect setting, especially because there are no markings on the stove to indicate where you are. It's easy to have the burner too hot, and it takes a little while to dial in. Once you get over that hurdle, however, the cooking performance is excellent.
Bacon + whiskey + fast boiled water for coffee = pure camping happiness, right?
Ease of Set Up
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 to 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 Luna Satellite Burner, (the add-on accessory which allows you to hook up your JetBoil), is that the JetBoil simply balances atop the burner, meaning it could easily get knocked over if you're not careful. It does not slot into the burner like a traditional JetBoil setup.
The Spire LX was the only stove that allowed for additional accessories or stoves to be attached.
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 do notice with this stove, however, just like with several of our other tested models, that the metal fuel adapter elbow is a bit trickier to attach. To properly catch the threads, the adapter has 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.
The Spire packs down to 21.5 x 13.1 x 4.2 inches, slightly narrower than our award-winning Everest. And we did notice the loss in width on the cooking surface in comparison — we were unable to use the same two large skillets and had to switch to a smaller pan on one side.
The Spire LX was a convenient size and the grate over the burners allows for large and small cookware.
In general, we think it's silly to close off your options for bigger cookware just to save a couple of inches in the back of a car. You won't ever notice those couple inches in your trunk, but you're bound to notice them when you're hungry, and your favorite pan doesn't fit over a burner properly. Car camping does not ascribe to the same rules and restrictions as backpacking.
This stove 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. But you can accomplish that same thing by just bringing a regular Jetboil or an affordable single burner like the Gas One.
This stove was our top pick for expandability due to the fact you can attach a JetBoil or a whole other stove and run them all off the same fuel source.
This stove is definitely in the luxury item category, being one of the more expensive compact models we tested. You can get our Editors' Choice Everest and have twice the BTUs per burner and a bit more cooking space for less. The Coleman Classic, our 2-Burner Best Buy, is slightly more compact and even cheaper. You could then get a cheap-but-awesome one-burner like the Gas One GS-3000 and still have piles of dollars left over. Point being, this stove is pricey for what you get, and you have a lot of other great options.
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. You'll need the JetLink Accessory Hose to connect another stove and a second Eureka stove. The Satellite Burner to attach your Jetboil is one more expense 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 anywhere near this much money.
Some of our top contenders getting ready for a breakfast cook-off.
The Eureka Spire LX is clever due to it having the capability to attach other 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, you can get more.
The Spire LX wasn't the strongest contender in any category, but it competently held its own across the board and we had to reward the ingenuity of being able to attach other stoves and accessories.