Another Hot Cooking Tip – Primus Stoves

Earlier this month, we might have suggested that using National Preparedness Month as an excuse to buy some new camping cookware would make it easier to get that purchase past whoever holds the checkbook. If you’ve succeeded in adding some new cookware, you might as well take a look at stoves too.

One of the most comprehensive lines of camp stoves comes from Primus. With flyweight (2.4oz!) stoves up to multi-burner units, they can accommodate just about any budget and need. Here are a few highlights from their current lineup, including two new for 2012 models:

If you’re looking for extremely low weight along with the ability to burn just about any fuel, the New for 2012 ultralight OmniLite Ti (about $218) has you covered. Only 8.5 ounces (excluding the bottle and pump) thanks to the generous use of titanium, this durable stove can burn white gas, canister gas, gasoline, and diesel. Designed to be user-serviceable, changing jets and cleaning are easy tasks. Expect an output of 8,900 BTUs, which gets you a liter of boiled water in 2 minutes, 40 seconds.

Their $30 ClassicTrail™Stove weighs only 8oz, and puts out 10,000 BTU/hour, which translates to about a 3 minute boil time. There’s a pot support that does double-duty as a built-in windscreen, and it can be upgraded with a piezo igniter. At this price, pick up a couple.


Moving up in price but down in weight, the 3.3oz Express Stove ($45-$54) offers nearly the same boil time but less than half the weight, even with the included piezo ignition. You could save about $9 and 4/10th of an ounce by getting the Express without the built-in igniter, but the convenience easily offsets the very minor weight penalty.


For weight watchers and titanium fans there’s the (not pictured) Micron Ti 2.5 and Express Ti stoves.  Priced around $67 without an igniter, the Micron Ti weighs a scant 2.4oz, thanks to being constructed primarily of titanium and aluminum. Giving up only 1/10 of an ounce in additional weight, the $72 Express offers a more robust support for your cookware. Adding a few dollars and a half ounce to either gets you a piezo ignition.

Our top pick for backpacking, the EtaExpress™with 1.0L / Fry pan lid (pictured at right) has a suggested retail price of $108, but offers features and accessories that easily justify the initial outlay. The included stove mounts directly to an LP gas cartridge, and the 1 liter pot has a lid that can be flipped over and used as a frying pan. Both are coated inside with a non-stick surface that’s actually three layers of titanium. There’s even a windscreen to help you get the most out of each fuel canister. The best part? Everything included (plus a 230 gram LP gas canister) fits inside the pot for ease of packing. In speaking with various company representatives withing the industry, we’re repeatedly hearing that many consumers prefer the “all inclusive” option when it comes to buying gear. While some may prefer the flexibility of choosing each component individually, we feel that you’re definitely not giving up much by going with something like the EtaExpress, as this incredibly compact cooking solution makes it easy and efficient to prepare a multi-course meal for one or two people while only taking up about as much space as a couple of fuel canisters.


Got more than two people to feed, or just like to go big? Check out the Njord 2 Burner, Profile DUO and FireHole 300. All three can accommodate 1-10 people, with the $72 Njord being a still-packable 4 pounds. At nearly 12 pounds, the $120 Profile DUO is not going in my pack any time soon, but its 12,000 BTU burner and 9,700 BTU BBQ grill burner with stainless steel drip tray make quick work of bigger meals. The non-stick coating on the removable grill tray speeds cleanup time too.


We have limited info on spec for the New for 2012 FireHole 300, but we can tell you that it runs on propane, and is full of clever features and accessories at a reasonable ($295) price point. Food prep can be done on the side windscreens, which fold down to become work surfaces. Unclip the integrated fuel line and attach it the tank, hit the (battery powered) piezoelectric starter, and BAM!, you’re cooking. There’s even a cutting board, spatula, and spoon that attach to the lid with magnets. Want more? An included spring turns the spoon and spatula into tongs. How about recessed control knobs, a built-in light, and even a cook timer? (this is nicer than the one in my kitchen) Expect 12,000 BTUs per burner, which boils a liter in around three minutes.


While that doesn’t nearly cover all their offerings, it certainly gives you an idea of the variety available from Primus. To see the full line, as well as their other great outdoor products, head to

– Brian

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