KOVEA Spider + ultra-light windshields made from drinks cans

The MercatorGear R&D Lab has been experimenting with windshields made from  aluminium drinks cans. These greatly improve boil time and fuel efficiency.

We have developed 3 designs and tested them extensively in different conditions.

Here are some of our test configurations.

MARK 1: Original version (18g)

 Mark 1: 2 sections of drinks can. Optional foil pie dish base. Air inlet on down-wind side.

Foil pie dish reflects heat and provide stability in a gusty wind.

The wide base of the aluminium kettle makes for an extremely efficient and light weight water boiling system.

The windshield covers most of the sides of the kettle. This increases the heating area, and prevents heat loss through the sides.

Large air inlet on the down wind side helps to maintain efficient combustion and provides a heat outlet to help prevent overheating.

By retaining and reflecting the heat, the windshield contributes to even heating of the base of the pan. This further improves frying/cooking performance.

Mark 1. System Weight: KOVEA Spider (168g) + aluminum kettle (140g) +windshield (18g)  = 326g (11.5oz)

KOVEA Spider and windshield Mark I
KOVEA Spider Windshield Mark I

MARK 2: Ultra light solo version (12g)

Mark 2: Ultra-light solo version. Weighs 12g. Clips onto legs of KOVEA Spider. Air-inlet on down-wind side. Windshield fits inside titanium pot. 

This configuration is optimised for solo usage and minimal size. The large air inlet provides plenty of oxygen for combustion and acts as a heat outlet to prevent overheating.

Mark 2 System Weight: KOVEA Spider (168g) + MSR Titan kettle (118g) + windshield (12g) = 298g (10.5oz)

KOVEA Spider and Windshield Mark II

MARK 3: Wrap Around Version (22g)

Mark 3: Wrap around version made from 3 sections of drinks can, stapled together. Cut-out for pot handles.  Cut-out for gas pipe inlet. Air holes at base. Using large/tall beer cans allows the wind shield to go most of the way up the pan, thereby improving heating efficiency. Weight 22g. Used with any 1.3 litre pan. For lightest weight configuration we use an Evernew Titanium 1.3L pan. When packed, the windshield wraps around the butane canister and is held with rubber bands. This takes up virtually no space and is quick to deploy, and is extremely efficient.

Mark 3 System Weight: KOVEA Spider (168g) + Evernew 1.3 Titanium (115g) + windshield (22g) = 305g (10.8oz)

MercatorGear Beer Can Windshield III
KOVEA Spider Windshield Scottish Beach


  • Windshield greatly improves fuel economy and reduces boil time
  • To maintain safe operations the KOVEA Spider is NEVER used at full power with a close fitting windshield
  • 50% power is usually enough to prevent overheating which could damage the stove and windshield
  • Reduced airflow adversely impacts combustion efficiency resulting in an increased generation of dangerous carbon monoxide. All testing is conducted outside for this reason. When used inside a tent (where wind in not a problem) make sure there is a large air gap on one side of the windshield to allow plenty of oxygen to reach the flame.

If you have any good ideas for windshields, or want to discuss our designs, please send an email to info@mercatorgear.com


You can also buy an excellent titanium windshield designed specifically for the KOVEA Spider, at :Scramble Spider Ultralight Titanium Windshield (giantpygmy.net)

Calculate the number of gas canisters you need for your trip or multiperson expedition by clicking on the MercatorGear Gas Canister Calculator

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