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Reviews > Cook Gear > Stoves > Primus Micron Ti 25 Stove > Test Report by Curt Peterson
Primus Micron Ti 2.5
Tester Background and Contact
I live in the Cascade foothills, just 20 mi (32 km) from the Pacific Crest Trail via trails leading right from my backyard. My outdoor time in Washington is spent dayhiking, backpacking, climbing, and skiing everywhere from the Olympic coast to rainforests to Cascade volcanoes to dry steppe. I played football in college and often evaluate products from a big guy perspective. My typical pack load ranges from 11 - 20 lbs (5 - 9 kg) and usually includes plenty of wet weather gear.
The Primus Micron Ti 2.5 stove
arrived at my home safe and sound. Included were the retail packaging, instructions,
a cloth carrying case, and the stove itself. After opening the packaging and
skimming over the instructions, I opened up the actual stove to play with it.
The first thing that really got my attention is just how tiny it is. Even
for a mini canister stove - of which I've used almost all on the market - this
stove is small. There are two aspects that make it appear smaller than
most. First, it is very slender. With no igniter added and a
simplified shaft, it is noticeably thin. The other aspect that makes it
seem extra small is the way the supports fold down. Most stoves fold up -
actually increasing the height of the stove when stowed away - or slides them
sideways, which doesn't really decrease the overall bulk by
much. I've only seen one other stove that can hide away this small. It
certainly will not take up much pack space and my initial tinkering shows that
it will fit in all of my pots with ease, my mini-insulated mug with ease, and
can even share a small bowl with virtually all of my kitchen gear. This
makes for a very tight, easy-to-pack kitchen setup. As far as I know, this is
currently the lightest canister stove of this type on the planet.
Micron Ti 2.5 Test Plan
The Micron has been used in just about everything except very cold weather. Most use has been in temperatures ranging from the low 40s F to the mid 70s F (4-24 C). It was used near the Potholes Reservoir in Central Washington for a 2 day/1 night trip and near Easton, Washington near Snoqualmie Pass in the Cascades for another 2 day/2 night trip. I also just used it again near Snoqualmie Pass on a recent backpacking trip. I estimate that I have used it about 6 days total at this point - half car camping and half backpacking. I tend to use it multiple times each day of use.
Perhaps the most impressive feature of the Micron Ti 2.5 so far isnít the incredibly small size or actual performance (Iíll get to that), but the stability. The pot supports have proved amazingly stable. Theyíre very thin, but so far havenít bent or complained with huge loads Ė bigger than Iíd ever used in a normal backpacking situation. In one instance while car camping I put a 2.5 lb (1.1 kg) pot on with 1.5 qts (1.42 l) of water in it. Thatís 5.5 lb (2.5 kg) on a tiny little stove. The supports didnít even sag. It was top heavy and wasnít something I would do on a regular basis, but it surely made an impression on me. The supports are nice and level as well, so the entire surface contacts the pot making it stable even when itís not perfectly centered.
With the ability to handle the weight of a heavy pot, the greatest determiner of stability seems to be the fuel cartridge. Big, wide, short cartridges are much more stable than the smaller ones with a tiny footprint. Of course, these bigger cartridges are much heavier and are not my first choice for backpacking use. For the light compact kitchen setup I use for hiking and backpacking Iíve experienced absolutely no tipping or instability issues.
Every cartridge has worked for me so far. Iíve not experienced any sputtering, leaks, or poor fitting seals on any of the cartridges Iíve tried. I havenít tested comparable performance of cartridges yet Ė at least not in identical side-by-side conditions. In the use so far I have not noticed any appreciable performance differences. There are differences in cartridge weight and size, but so far all provide a nice, hot, consistent flame. One of the things I will do in the Long Term testing is to measure precise fuel consumption to compare fuel economy.
The weather conditions Iíve been in so far have not affected the stove much at all. I have not had it in severe winds or sub-freezing weather, but I have had it in rain a couple of times and temperatures just a bit above freezing. In fair weather, rainy weather, and cool weather the stove performs well with no notable performance drops.
The Micron Ti 2.5 is extremely adjustable. The simmer gets very, very low. I cooked tomato soup in a stainless steel pot during one trip and was able to turn it down so low that I could barely tell it was on. The soup did not scorch at all, although it did take a long time to heat up when set this low. The full power setting is plenty strong for fast boiling. The knob seems to turn past the point where a full flame is achieved, but Iím not sure itís getting any hotter or bigger in this range. I will boil water in controlled conditions for my Long Term reporting and measure if there is any fuel consumption difference between the perceived maximum flame and the knobís fully open setting. So far the short knob that I mentioned in my Initial Report has not been a concern. I have primarily used normal sized backpacking pots so far Ė I will try to use some sort of fry pan or skillet during Long Term testing to see if reaching further under the pan creates any issues in this regard.
Even though Iíve played with and used the stove a number of times, I am still surprised at just how small it is. It really takes up almost no space at all. It fits into my packed kitchen easily and can be wedged into almost any small corner of my pot for storage.
The Micron Ti 2.5 works great as a solo stove in my experience. Itís light, compact, and can simmer a delicate sauce or boil water and do either very well. It serves as a two-person stove just as well depending on how much cooking is needed. For a quart (liter) or two of water, this small stove is more than capable. The only realistic limits on the stove as far as group size are a groupís willingness to wait for access to the single burner. It can Ė and has Ė handle back-to-back boils without any problems.
The Micron Ti 2.5 has quickly become my favorite canister stove. Itís light, small, packs to nearly nothing, and is surprisingly stable. The only thing that would make it even better in my opinion doesnít really involve the stove itself Ė itís the comparatively heavy and limited fuel cartridges. For a screw-on stove meant for backpacking, this is a fantastic design and I have had only positive experiences so far.
This concludes my Field Report. The Long Term Report will be added about two months from this report date. Please check back then for more in-depth field use information.
The stove performed admirably. It worked reliably every time I pulled it out. It boiled a lot of water, but also had the chance to cook a lot of soup, mac and cheese, and even once fried up some Spam. It handled all of these tasks easily. We had a camper two-burner stove attached to a bulk propane tank along on the car camping days and the Micron outperformed it easily. Water would boil in half the time and the flame control was more precise. This came as a bit of a surprise, but it was so consistent that for morning coffee I didn't even consider the big stove - I always reached for the Micron Ti 2.5. I could boil a pot of water, use it, refill it, and boil a second pot before the two burner had one pot going.
Cartridges seemed to last forever. Given the warm temperatures we were in the conditions were excellent for efficient fuel usage, and it showed. It didn't matter whether the cartridge was large or small, it was efficient and consistent. The predictable flame and ultra-sensitive adjustability is really where cartridge stoves shine and the Primus is no exception. From a barely-visible simmer to a mini blowtorch, this stoved did what I expected from the first day of the trip to the last.
I didn't have problems with any canisters. I used four different brands on the trip - all had clean seals and I never had problems with escaping gas or poor performance.
As noted above, the conditions were primarily hot and sunny, but it did see some wind and rain. Wind has the greatest effect on performance. Unprotected from wind, boiling times can more than double. I was always able to shield it enough to get a good boil, but it undoubtedly used more fuel. Rigging up a safe windscreen would make this stove pretty weather resistant, but wrapping the stove with the canister in a traditional windscreen is not recommended. Rather than trying to cut up pie pans or create some sort of custom windscreen I found myself cooking on the leeward side of bigger objects like tents, packs, rocks, trees, etc. I'm sure this didn't reach optimal efficiency but it was good enough to get the job done in a hurry. Rain didn't seem to affect things at all, assuming there wasn't wind as well. I never did get to use it to melt snow.
One of my more pleasant surprises is that the pot supports do not appear to have weakened at all. As pictured above, there is a "click" mechanism that locks the supports in the open position. I'd expected this to soften, weaken, or loosen over time but it's just as firm and reassuring as when new. This stove was opened and closed a lot during the testing period, and I'm confident it's well past the breaking in stages and will continue to be reliably secure. The supports continued to be very strong. While I wouldn't want to routinely put huge loads on the pot, it can handle a couple quarts (liters) if done carefully.
The stove cools quickly and stows away in its tiny bag easily. This is a great little stove to carry inside even the smallest drinking mugs. In fact, it's so small and compact that it's actually pretty easy to lose! There were a few times I had trouble finding it when car camping because it was in a bin with a bunch of small items and it takes up less room than my car keys.
The control knob does appear to open well beyond maximum flow. I can see no flame difference between opening it about 2/3 of the way and all the way. Opening it past full does not, however, seem to increase fuel consumption. I didn't take a gram scale with me on the trips to measure this, but field performance didn't seem any different.
One of my only other concerns was the tiny knob and whether or not it would require my hand to get too close to the flame while adjusting. This proved to be a non-issue. Even with wide pots it was easy to get in there and adjust without much concern. I would still prefer one of the longer wire control knobs, but this is not that big of a deal in my opinion.
The Primus Micron Ti 2.5 did exceptionally well during the long term testing. Used almost daily, it didn't have any clogging or sputtering issues at all. The pot supports remained one of the strongest features of the stove and I'm confident it can handle anything I would dish out in my typical backpacking usage. It packs away to nothing and should definitely fit into any cookpot on the market today. The control knob is not the stove's best characteristic, but it's perfectly functional and performed without issues.
The Primus Micron Ti 2.5 was a pleasure to test. As a fan of small cartridge stoves, this is definitely one of my favorites. It packs away to almost nothing, it's beautifully simple in design, and it most definitely performs well. It was compatible with every canister I tried with it and cooked consistently no matter what I was cooking. It's a fantastic solo stove - even quick morning dayhikes could justify carrying this tiny stove for a morning cup of tea on a summit. It will hide in a pocket and barely be noticed.
In my opinion the only thing that could significantly improve a gas canister stove would be changes in the cartridges themselves. Surely a few stoves will come out that shave a fraction of an ounce (a couple grams) from the Micron Ti 2.5 or have a different pot support system, but as far as really making an impact on how gas cartridge stoves work, I believe it will take a change in the fuel side of the equation. Even the smallest lightest canisters weigh more than double what this stove weighs. With cutting edge stoves like the Primus Micron Ti 2.5, there seems to be few major improvements to be had. This is one tough, light, compact little stove that has left me quite happy to make it my #1 choice in backpacking stoves.
My thanks to Primus and BackpackGearTest.org for the opportunity to test the Primus Micron Ti 2.5!
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