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Reviews > Cook Gear > Stoves > Primus Micron Ti 25 Stove > Test Report by Michael Wheiler
PRIMUS MICRON TI 2.5 STOVE
By Michael Wheiler
Name: Michael Wheiler
Location: Southeast Idaho
Email: jmwlaw AT ida DOT net
I have about 39 years experience hiking, camping, and backpacking. I have been active in the Boy Scout program as a youth and as an adult leader. I was a Scoutmaster for seven years with an active monthly outdoor program. Since being retired from that position, I still try to get out monthly. I haven't really classified myself as having a specific backpacking style. Prior to joining BackpackGearTest, my pack weight would frequently go as high as 65 pounds (29.5 kg). Since joining BackpackGearTest, I have have experienced the advantages of carrying less weight. Now, due mostly to lighter equipment, my pack is generally under 40 pounds (18 kg).
Product Specifications Per Manufacturer Unless Otherwise Noted:
Field Testing Environment:
Most of my camping, hiking and backpacking occurs in the southeastern Idaho area but spills over into western Wyoming and western Montana. I occasionally get into the mountains of central Idaho as well. The areas I frequent generally range from 5,500 ft (1,600 m) to 8,500 ft (2,600 m). The weather in southeastern Idaho is fairly typical of a high desert plain. Spring weather is generally windy and wet. Summer weather is usually dry, hot, and windy. Average temperatures from May through September range from 38º F (3º C) to 86º F (30º C). However, we have been known to have frosty mornings even in July.
Item: Micron Ti 2.5
Manufacturer's Web Site: http://www.primus.se
Manufacturer Suggested Retail Price: Not Available
The Micron Ti arrived from North American Gear, LLC in excellent condition. On the side of the Primus box, the manufacturer claims that the Micron Ti 2.5 is "one of the lightest stoves in the world." The stove is viewed through an opening in the face of the box and is stored with the three pot supports folded into the stowed position. After removing the stove from the box, I raised each of the pot supports and locked them into place in the clips attached to the base of the burner. The stove looked like what I expected after visiting the Primus web site.
In the very top of the Primus box were the written instructions (printed in several languages). The instructions are easy to read and contain the usual warnings. In particular, Primus states, "This appliance shall be used exclusively with Primus Propane/Butane mix cartridges 2202 (3.5 oz/100 g), 2206 (7.9 oz/220 g) and 2207 (15.9 oz/450 g)." Given the mandate from Primus, I immediately set out to find a canister of Primus fuel. I was somewhat surprised to learn that not a single sporting goods store in Idaho Falls or Pocatello (approximately 50 miles south) carried Primus fuel. Fortunately my wife was in Boise, Idaho (approximately 4 hours drive time away) on business and she agreed to stop by REI and pick up several canisters for me.
According to the instructions, stove set-up is accomplished by "placing the valve squarely on the cartridge" and "gently screwing the cartridge into the valve until it meets the O-ring of the valve. Screw hand tight only. Do not over tighten or you will damage the cartridge valve." The operator is advised to place the stove attached to the canister on a firm, level surface; turn the flame adjuster knob counter-clockwise; and immediately light the burner. The instructions also contain general information regarding changing the cartridge, cleaning, and routine maintenance. The hang tag (which had to be cut off the flame adjuster) suggests keeping combustibles at least 20 inches (500 mm) from the sides and top of the stove while in use.
The titanium pot supports fold down out of the clips and swing loosely in that position. In that position, the stove slides nicely into the nylon storage sack. I must admit, I found it was a bit trickier removing the stove from the storage sack due to the ends of the pot supports catching on the inside of the bag.
Side View of the Stove And Plastic Flame Adjuster
Top View of the Stove With the Steel Mesh Burner
The pot supports have serrated edges to help hold the pot in place. The black plastic flame adjuster turns easily. I intend to wait until my wife returns with Primus fuel canisters to fire up the stove and will report on those findings in my Field Report. The nylon storage sack for the Micron Ti is found under a false floor in the box the stove is packaged in and I would have never known the storage sack was in the box had I not read the information printed on the side of the box.
The Stove In The Storage Sack
The Stove In Its Stowed Position
In keeping with current backpacking jargon, the Micron Ti 2.5 (not to be confused with its predecessor, the Micron, which is still in production), falls into the category of "mini-canister stove." It is extremely light weight and collapses into a small package. The two biggest problems I've experienced with mini-canister stoves are their susceptibility to wind and their flame thrower effect when cooking. I plan to report on how wind affects the Micron Ti 2.5 in my field use of the stove and report on methods to help reduce any impact wind may have on stove efficiency. I will also report on how diverse I can be with the meals I prepare on the Micron Ti 2.5 (and still enjoy eating what I cook).
FIELD REPORTI would like to thank Primus and BackpackGearTest for giving me the opportunity to test the Micron Ti stove.
I first used the Micron Ti during the Grand Teton Council's Jamboral on May 4-5, 2007 near Blackfoot, Idaho (elevation 4,079 ft/1,243 m). Due to parking restrictions no vehicles were allowed into the camping area and I packed in about 1/4 mile (0.4 km) with a 41.5 pound (19 kg) pack. It was a cold, windy night. The wind was strong enough that the Council was considering not doing the firework display. By dark, with the drop in temperature and the strong wind, I needed all the clothes I packed and my gloves. Using my headlamp for light, I attached the Micron Ti to a Primus gas canister, filled my MSR titanium cook pot with 24 ounces (0.71 L) of water, and set the pot on the stove. I used a windproof lighter to start the stove. Given the gusty wind and cool temperature (it was 41º F/5º C at bed time), it took longer than I anticipated for the water to boil to make hot chocolate before I retired for the evening. According to my wrist watch, it took just over 4 minutes and 30 seconds to bring the water to a boil. The stove was easy to assemble and disassemble and it stowed nicely in my cook pot with the lighter. I noticed that the metal portions of the Micron Ti stayed very hot to the touch for what seemed like several minutes after I shut off the gas.
By morning the weather was worsening. The temperature at 6:30 a.m. was 34º F (1º C) with increasingly high winds (9-30 mph/14.5-48 km/h) and light rain. Humidity was at 49.5%. My planned breakfast menu consisted of boiled eggs, a toasted bagel, and hot chocolate. Because a service vehicle ran over my pack and crushed my eggs, I had to borrow a couple of eggs from my father who was camping with me. I first assembled my backpack grill and filled my MSR titanium pot with 24 ounces (0.71 L) of water. I then easily attached the Micron Ti to the Primus gas canister and placed the stove near a tree for some protection from the wind and rain. I again started the stove with a windproof lighter and put the pot of water on to boil. Due to the fact that I had to attend to some administrative matter, I did not time how long it took the Micron Ti to boil the water for my chocolate. I then placed two eggs in the pot, covered them with water and placed the pot back on the stove. At approximately five minutes, the water started a rolling boil. I removed the pot and set the eggs off to the side. I then placed the Packflat Grill on the Micron Ti and put one-half of a bagel on the grill. The bagel turned a golden brown in just under one minute.
I next used the Micron Ti on an overnight backpack trip with my daughter Traci to Lower Palisades Lake (elevation 6,131 ft/1,869 m) on June 8-9, 2007. This is an 8 mile/13 kilometer round trip hike. I was carrying a 45 pound/20 kilogram pack. The Micron Ti was stowed inside my MSR titanium tea pot along with my windproof lighter. The Micron Ti is so light, it is barely noticeable inside the pot. On this trip I took a canister of MSR fuel and a canister of Primus fuel. The temperature during the day was 63º F/17º C. It had rained just before we started the hike but the cloud cover disappeared and the temperatures began to drop. By morning it was 31º F/-0.55º C. Humidity ranged from 54% to 79%. There was little to no wind.
Our evening meals consisted of a cup of instant soup, freeze dried Mexican spicy chicken with beans and rice, and raspberry cobbler. We boiled approximately 48 ounces (1.42 L) of water (24 ounces/0.71 L at a time) for this two person meal using the Primus fuel canister. As before, the stove quickly and easily attached to the canister. The stove easily ignited with my lighter and with the valve open only half way, produced a good flame. (See photograph below.)
I was busy setting up my tent while Traci prepared the meal. As such, I do not know exactly how long it took to bring the water to a boil. However, the stove functioned properly and within less than five minutes, she had poured hot water into the cups of soup and was putting on another pot of water to boil. Enough water was heated to prepare all of the food in less than ten minutes. We enjoyed a hot meal before cleaning up and by then the stove was cool to the touch.
Our breakfast menu consisted of hot granola, a toasted bagel, and hot chocolate. This time I used the MSR fuel canister. The stove attached easily to the canister and I obtained a good, tight seal between the stove and the canister. Again the stove ignited easily with on flick of my lighter. I again used the MSR titanium tea pot to boil 24 ounces/0.71 liters of cold water. At two minutes, I observed tiny bubbles in the water and it was hot to the touch. I had a full rolling boil in four minutes and fifteen seconds. (See photograph below.)
I then replaced the pot with my Packflat Grill and, while eating my hot granola and drinking my hot chocolate, I began to toast one-half of a bagel. The bagel was nicely toasted within 30 seconds. (See photograph below.)
At this juncture, the Micron Ti has functioned with two different brands of fuel without any difficulty. It is extremely light and compact. It attached to the canisters of fuel without complication and ignited without hesitation. The serrated pot holders work nicely and have held a very light titanium pot and a heavier grill stable throughout the cooking process. The Micron Ti heated water within two minutes and even in cool temperatures was able to produce a rolling boil in just over Primus' reported boil time of four minutes.
As with all mini-canister stoves, the weather (especially the wind) has a significant impact upon the efficiency of the stove. It also, consistent with its design, produces a fairly significant flame which is hard to regulate for purposes of simmering or lighter cooking. Even while toasting the bagels, I had to pay close attention to the food. The first bagel I toasted burned because I thought it would take longer than it did and I began packing some of my gear--not paying attention to the heat being produced by the Micron Ti's flame.
In the future, I plan to do a side-by-side comparison of a variety of fuels available in my area. I will continue to use the Micron Ti for all of my outdoor cooking, including some more delicate food preparation and some baking. Now that summer is in full swing, I expect to be using the Micron Ti in much warmer weather with some wind. I will report on how well the Micron Ti continues to perform.
LONG TERM REPORT
I used the Micron Ti on June 23, 2007, at Treasure Mountain Scout Camp near the Tetons (elevation 6,300 ft/1,920 m). It was 42º F/6º C when I rolled out of my sleeping bag and began to prepare breakfast. There was no wind. I was just boiled water for hot cereal.
On July 5-7, 2007, I used the Micron Ti for two days near the Teton Range (elevation 6,688 ft/2,039 m). Generally the weather was warm and windy with afternoon thundershowers both days. In addition to boiling water for meals, I performed two timed tests using two different fuel canisters (both non-Primus band canisters). I used a stop watch to determine boiling times. I was looking for small bubbles in the water and a rolling boil. There was a fairly strong wind blowing during both tests. I did not use a formal wind screen but did attempt to block the wind by placing the stove behind objects to provide some protection from the wind. From this test, I learned three things. First, given the number of bystanders watching me perform the tests on the Micron Ti, a BGT tester can entertain other camp dwellers while testing equipment.
Second, and more importantly, both non-Primus brand threaded fuel canisters attached easily to the Micron Ti and performed equally well. Boiling times for both canisters was very close to three minutes and twenty seconds for bubbles in the water and five minutes and thirty-two seconds for a full rolling boil. Third, I learned that wind significantly impacts the efficiency of the Micron Ti even when objects such as rocks are used as a wind screen. This did not really surprise me since my other two mini-canister stoves are also adversely impacted by windy conditions.
I next used the Micron Ti on July 26-27, 2007 when I climbed Mt. Rainier (elevation 14,410 ft/4,392 m). Although our plans originally were to hike from Paradise to Ingraham Flats Thursday morning, because our guide was delayed about three hours, the Micron Ti only went as far as Camp Muir (elevation 10,188 ft/3,105 m). The Micron Ti was stowed in my cook pot (with my salt/pepper shaker and butane lighter) which was placed near the bottom of the upper compartment in my Lowe Alpine Summit pack.
Our climbing team arrived at Camp Muir at approximately 6:00 p.m. and we were the next to last team in camp. Amazingly the public shelter was completely empty. As such, our team of seven climbers set-up camp inside the public shelter. After the sun went down, the temperature outside dipped to near freezing (0º C) with estimated overnight temperatures in the upper teens (-7º to -9º C). There was a fairly stiff wind outside. Inside the shelter, the temperature remained pretty constant all night at 52º F/11º C. After unloading my gear in the shelter, resting, taking some photographs, and making my bed, it was nearly 7:00 p.m. Contemplating a very arduous climb beginning in roughly six hours, I fired up the Micron Ti which was attached to a Primus fuel canister and began heating 24 ounces/0.71 liters of water in my MSR titanium pot. The Micron Ti did not even hesitate to light and produce a serious flame. I used my wrist watch to check the boiling time but because I was multi-tasking by getting equipment ready for the next day, I wasn't paying real close attention to the heating water. However, I did observe that the water was at a rolling boil within approximately four minutes.
I used the boiling water to prepare a large cup of chicken noodle soup and two servings of Beef Stroganoff--all of which I ate by myself. Because we carried a great deal of water to Camp Muir and due to the limited time available to get some sleep before beginning to climb again, I did not attempt to melt snow with the Micron Ti.
The Micron Ti at Camp Muir. Some of the water actually boiled right out of the pot.
I next used the Micron Ti one morning during the latter part of August while day hiking near Hawley Creek (elevation 6,430 ft/1,960 m). The weather was warm and dry. There was a slight breeze from the southwest. I used the Micron Ti to hard boil two eggs for breakfast. As usual, the Micron Ti was easy to light with my butane lighter, reached a boil fairly quickly, and I was able to adjust the flame to control the heat on my eggs. Both eggs were perfectly hard boiled within about 15 minutes.
In summary, this is one sweet little stove. It is compact, light weight, easy to use, and the flame is easy to control and adjust. I can have a miniature torch or a small flame with a simple twist of the control knob. I used four different brands of canister fuel with the Micron Ti. All four canisters were new or nearly new and I experienced no problems attaching the canisters to the Micron Ti or fuel leakage during use. I have had no mechanical issues with the Micron Ti. Despite repeated locking and unlocking, the pot holders continue to lock firmly into place at the base of the burner. The stove is generally really hot to the touch after use and needs a few moments to cool down before removing it from the canister. It folds up into a small package which can be held entirely within the palm of my hand. I regularly had some difficulty placing the stove into its storage bag which is barely large enough to hold the folded stove. However, given its impressive performance to date, I believe I have found a new favorite backpack stove.
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