BackpackGearTest
  Guest - Not logged in 

Reviews > Cook Gear > Stoves > Primus PrimeTech Stove Set > Test Report by Duane Lawrence

PrimeTech Stove Set 1.3L

Reviewed By – Duane Lawrence

Initial Report - May 14, 2017
Field Report - August 7, 2017
Long Term Report - September 28, 2017


Tester Information
 
Name:                Duane Lawrence
Email:                duanesgear (at) yahoo (dot) com
Location:           Sparwood, British Columbia Canada
Gender:             Male
Age:                   44 years
Height:               5’9” (1.75m)
Weight:              160 lbs (73 kg)
 
I have been an avid outdoor enthusiast for over 25 years.  I enjoy a variety of outdoor activities including mountaineering, day hikes, multi-day backpacking trips, river and ocean kayaking, back-country skiing, snowshoeing, mountain biking and rock climbing. I have climbed throughout British Columbia, the United States and when opportunity presents itself in Europe and India. I carry a wide variety of gear depending on the type and length of trip.  I am a search and rescue team member in the Southern Canadian Rockies and am part of the swift water, rope rescue and avalanche technical teams and ground search team.

Initial Review – March 14, 2017


Product Details

Manufacturer Primus
Model PrimeTech Stove Set 1.3L
Manufactured In Sweden
Web Site www.primus.us
MSRP $119.95 USD
Listed Weight 727 g (25.6 oz)
Measured Weight (Total) 880 g (31 oz)
BTU 7000 BTU (2000 W)
Listed Boil Time 3:30/1 l (33.8 fl oz)
Listed Run Time 119 min on 230 g (8.1 oz) gas canister
Gas Consumption 198g/h/2.6 kW or 198 g/h/8600 BTU/h
Dimensions 180 x 105 mm (7.1 x 4.1 in)
Measure Dimensions 180 x 115 mm (7.1 x (4.5 in)
Use 4-seasons
Designed For 1 – 3 People
Warranty 2-years


Component Weight (Measured)

Lid 71 g (2.5 oz)
Aluminum Pot 148 g (5.22 oz)
PrimeTeck Pot 194 g (6.84 oz)
Pot Gripper 66 g (2.33 oz)
Piezo Igniter 36 g (1.27 oz)
Burner Base 294 g (10.37 oz)
Tote Bag 52 g (1.83 oz)
Ground Barrier 20 g (0.71 oz)


Initial Observations

I am always excited about getting new gear to test out and I am thoroughly pleased with what I am seeing in the Primetech Stove Set.  The designers took great care in this design to ensure the primary components, two pots and stove, as well as the lid and handle were well thought out.  Although I initially thought this was fairly large for a stove I had to recall that it’s actually a stove set with two pots.  

The stove comes with two pots, a basic 1.3 l (44 fl oz) anodized aluminum pot and a second ceramic non-stick 1.3 l (44 fl oz) pot that has an integrated heat exchanger.  The stove itself has an integrated wind screen with three pot levels to choose from.  The pot supports for the heat exchanger pot and the standard pot will allow them both to sit at the same level.  There is also a third level to the supports which will allow me to place a larger pot or possibly a frying pan on top of the stove.  It appears to be a very simple yet versatile system that looks like it will maintain flame height proficiency across regardless of the size of pot used or whether using the heat exchanger pot or the basic one.  

 

The stove has a flexible fuel hose which looks like it will allow me to use any size (volume) fuel canister I choose to pack.  The windscreen integrated base looks to be well designed but until I actually use it in windy conditions I am hesitant to say if the integrated wind screen will really do the job or not.  I am optimistic that it will but I will be looking at this closely during the test period.  The other nice feature about the burner unit is that the base is quite large, 150 mm (5.9 in) in diameter with three tiny little feet that should give the unit good stability.  There is even a little clip for what I believe is for clipping the gas line to when the unit is stored.

After remembering that this is a pot and stove set I was quite impressed with the compactness of the unit.  All the pots and stove fit easily inside one another and, aside from the stove component, it seems that it really doesn't matter which way they fit together.  The set even comes with a nice padded storage bag to put everything in.  

In addition to the pots and stove the set comes with a transparent plastic lid with integrated pasta strainer and with a heat resistant silicon handle and a lockable pot gripper.  The gripper is very light weight with a locking handle that can secure the handle to the pot.  Someone was really thinking here as the lid has a notch in it that allows the handle to be attached to the pot while the lid is on, very nice!  The set comes with a ground barrier, I must admit I never use these things but it is nice to have in case it is needed.  Lastly, the set comes with a small igniter that creates a spark when the button is pressed. 

               

The stove temperature is managed through a wire regulator that is attached to the end of the gas line at the fuel canister.  The web page indicates that it has good fine tuning making cooking more precise. Although I have not be able to try it out yet, no fuel, it appears to be easy to grip and simple to use.  It will be interesting to see how it performs overall with boiling water and simmering.  The manufacturer also notes that the regulator is designed to improve performance by managing the fuel consumption through the optimization of the gas canister effectively reducing the fuel consumption by half.  Generally speaking I focus on three items in a stove, how fast it will boil water, how long a fuel canister will last and if it is able to simmer.  In my next report I will make sure to bring back some detailed information on all of these aspects of the stoves performance.  

The set comes with a manual with some very useful information on its operation with one interesting miss. In the maintenance section it states that regular cleaning and an overhaul of the stove will extend the life of the stove but it completely fails to say how to overhaul the unit in order to achieve the extended life. The rest of the instructions talk about how to use the stove safely, using the stove in well ventilated areas, not to light it when the user smells or hears leaking gas.  I am assuming that they don't want anyone to blow themselves up or singe their eyebrows off.

Overall it looks to be a nice camp stove that I am looking forward to trying out in the field.  Check back in a couple of months for a detailed field report.  

Field Report

Test Conditions

During the first couple of months of testing I have used the PrimeTech stove to cook a variety of meals on 18 occasions.  Depending on how I look at it the cooking conditions have been very accommodating with next to no wind except on one occasion and no rain at all.  Nice to hike and cook in but doesn’t give me much variability in the test so far with respect to how it performs in mixed conditions.  Hopefully over the next couple of months I'll hit some more interesting weather conditions to cook in. All of my cooking so far has been at an elevation of about 3000 to 6500 ft (914 to 1981 m). 

Observations

The very first time I used the PrimeTech stove I noticed two things.  The stove is incredibly quiet and very good on fuel.  It feels odd to note this but the stove is so quiet I have a hard time figuring out if it is actually on or not.  On a number of occasions I found that I needed to look closely at the stove flame to see if it was on or not and also to determine how high the flame was.  The stove being so quiet is a very nice feature especially since I am used to really noisy stoves but it is a little annoying not knowing if the stove is actually on or not and how hot the flame is.  I would normally determine output partially on how noisy the stove is but with this stove it is just not possible.  The only way to determine how high the flame is to actually look and with the integrated windshield the only way I was able to do this is to lift the pot off the stove.  This is hardly a complaint just an observation and something to get used to.  

For fuel consumption I found the PrimeTech stove to do an excellent job.  I had a 450 g (16 oz) fuel canister that I thought was virtually empty and expected it to get me through maybe a meal or two at the most and it made it through 4 meals plus boiling water twice for coffee as well as cooking a batch of pancakes. I picked up a small 100 g (3.5 g) canister of fuel and after a weekend trip cooking meals and coffee for two people, two dinners and breakfasts plus five pots of coffee and tea, I used up 79 g (2.8 g) of fuel.  Dinner is generally boiling water and adding it to a rehydration meal whereas breakfast was cooking the non-instant oatmeal.  Based on the current fuel consumption rates it looks like I would be able to make three breakfasts and boil one or two more pots of water off of a 100 g (3.5 oz) fuel canister.  If my calculations are accurate for every liter of water the stove is using about 7 g (.25 oz) of fuel.
 
Although I keep forgetting to actually time how long it takes to boil water I have noticed that it is quite fast especially when using the pot with the heat exchanger. Each time I was surprised that my water had already boiled.  I will have to make a point of timing how long it takes to boil 1 liter of water in each of the pots but my general observations are that the stove does a great job with both pots. I would suggest that this is due primarily to the integration of the heat shield and wind screen into the base of the stove.  With this design there is no choice but to use both the heat shield and windscreen all the time which focuses the heat directly onto the bottom of the pot.  Also, the pots are made to fit the base perfec
tly with only a little bit of room between the heat shield and wind screen with the outer edge of the pot which maximizes the focus of as much of the heat generated from the stove as possible to the base of the pot.  In addition to the aforementioned both pots sit at the specified level regardless that one has a heat exchanger built into the pot due to the multi-level pot supports.  All of these features look to increase the stove's efficiency and reduce fuel consumption while decreasing the time it takes to boil water or cook food.  This integration of the windscreen and heatshield with the stove also creates a very stable platform to work off of.

Aside from how quickly the stove boils water the other aspect that really determines a stove's performance and versatility for me is how well it simmers.  Normally I would determine this by how well it cooks oatmeal, not the instant stuff but the slow cook simmering oats.  Each time I have cook my breakfast I have found that the PrimeTech stove has done a great job with absolutely no scorching of the bottom.  Because I had so much success with oatmeal I decided to try out pancakes.  I used a small frying pan which didn't quite fit directly on the stove surface but the pot supports have a third level which is slightly higher than the top edge of the heat shield and allowed me to set the frying pan comfortably on the stove.  The versatility of the heat adjustment worked out very well allowing me to cook a perfect set of pancakes.  A definite first for me at camp.  One thing that I did notice is that while it was simmering the flame can turn yellow which will generate carbon residue on the bottom of the pot.  It does make a little bit of a mess on the pot but it is a very small price to pay for awesome simmering capabilities.

Although I have really been focusing on how well the stove performs I would be remiss in not mentioning the pots, lid, lifter and igniter that this stove comes with.  The two 1 liter pots have a wonderful non-stick coating that is working very well.  Aside from the fact that I am not burning anything on the bottom of the pots due to its versatile flame height I don't think it would matter as the pots are very easy to clean with nothing sticking to them so far.  I was a little concerned about scratching the coating especially when nesting them over and over again but so far I have not seen any scratches marring the non-stick surface.  The lifter is very nice to use with these pots with the most notable feature being its ability to be locked onto the pot.  This is a really nice feature as once the lifter is locked onto the pot I no longer have to squeeze it to keep from dropping the pot.  When draining pasta it is hard not to notice this feature.  

The integrated strainer in the lid, although a nice thought needs some work. The main issue here is that the holes to drain the water are too far from the edge of the lid and pot as well as being to small to quickly allow water to drain.  If there were more holes closer to the edge I think this feature would work but as it is, it is not very effective.  The little silicone tab on the top of the lid is nice to use, never getting too hot to touch, but is a little small when used to hold the pot lid on, again, while draining pasta.  I do like the fact that the manufacturer made a cut out specifically for the lifter which allowed me to keep the lid on and the handle at the same time.  It is important to note which way the wind is blowing though as the handle needs to be upwind otherwise it will get very hot if not removed.  

The one item that I had a problem with is the igniter.  It worked the first couple of times and then died.  Not sure what happened to it but it's not working.  This is not a major deal for me as it can only be used for lighting the stove and is relatively heavy at 36 g (1.2 oz).  I would prefer to carry a lighter which incidentally weighs less and I can use it to light a fire as well as the stove.  I would also like to comment on the stove set as a whole.  When I first got the stove and weighed it I thought it was a little heavy but I took the opportunity to compare it with a few of my other stoves and what I quickly realized was that this set was no heavier than any of my other stoves once I added a couple of pots.  The full set takes up just as much room in my pack as any other 1 liter pot with a stove with all of the other components.  

The one aspect that of this pot set that I don't particularly like, and this is just me, is that fact that it uses isobutane canisters.  I do not like the fact that I have to throw away these canisters after I use them as there is no way to refill them.  They are also fairly expensive compared to white gas canisters that can be refilled over and over again.  The isobutane canister is nice because it is easy to use but annoying as well as it is difficult to customize how much fuel to bring on a given trip.  

Summary

Although there are a couple of minor flaws in the lid design specifically around its ability to strain water and the igniter that doesn't work I really like this pot set.  The non-stick coatings for the pots are wonderful and thus far very durable.  The built in heat exchanger allows for the very effective boiling of water and subtle changes in heat allow for great simmering abilities.  The integrated heat shield and windshield work very well adding to the stoves efficiency as well as lending to the overall stability of the stove.  Any of my minor complaints are easily outweighed by how enjoyable it is to use this stove set.  The designers really paid attention to small details such as integrating a third pot resting position which allows the use of oversized pots and pans all of which lend to a versatile stove set. I am really enjoying using this stove and look forward to using it during throughout the rest of the summer and test period.

Long Term Report 

The last couple of months only provided me with another three opportunities to use the PrimeTech stove although there were some important observations.  Weather conditions were virtually the same throughout the summer, warm, dry and not much wind.  Performance wise the stove continued to be a nice piece of equipment to use and was very consistent with my expectations from the previous test period.  There were a couple of things that occurred though.  First, I finally figured out how to store the valve and fuel line.  There is a little clip on the bottom of the stove that the fuel line clips into but I was confounded as to where the valve was to go, it just did not seem to pack well.  Eventually I finally realized that I could stuff it through the bottom of the stove where the fuel line attaches to the burner and magically it packs so much better.  The discovery would likely have saved me from scratching one of the pots as I was originally wrapping the fuel line over the edge of the stove base then nesting the pots together.  

 The next observation, and this one should not be very earth shattering for readers, is that there is a notable depreciation of BTU output when a canister nears empty.  It is actually quit hard to tell as the stove is so quiet but it is noticeable.  This, again, is not really surprising as it I anticipated that the canister pressure would decline as the fuel was used up which would lead to the reduction in output.  Sadly, my last observation was a significant one, that being that the valve broke.  I was happily cooking on the first night of a three-day backpacking trip in Banff, as I was putting the stove away I attempted to remove the fuel canister from the fuel valve.  I am still scratching my head as to what happened but there is a brass ring that the fuel canister screws into and that piece was stuck.  I had only hand tightened the canister to the fuel valve but I was unable to unscrew it.  After about 10 minutes of fighting with it to remove the canister it finally undid in a most unfortunate way, the valve came away but left the brass ring attached to the canister.  It actually took a pair of vice clamps in my shop at home to remove the ring from the canister.  I did inspect it once I got it removed and found no evidence of sand or debris in the rings.  I also attempted to reattach the brass ring into the fuel valve but the seal was pooched.

I have put in a warranty request, including photos of the problem, and am still waiting on a response. It has only been a week but I am a little surprised that I have not received even an acknowledgement email as of yet.  I am hopeful that the year warranty will cover this but will just have to wait and see.  The warranty process seems fairly simple so far and the web site indicates that this should be a warrantable problem. I will just have to wait and see what happens.  I had a look at their parts page and was not able to find the valve on the page so am a little concerned that I might not be able to have a new valve sent if it is not covered under warranty.  I'll do a follow-up on this once I work through the process.  

Summary

Even though there was a major failure with the stove I still really like it.  The stove is very light, quiet and the nesting non-stick pots were great to use.  Even if I cannot repair the stove I will be using these pots for a long time.  The overall design with the built in wind screen is effective and did not seem to add too much additional weight to the stove set.  The multi-level pot supports are versatile and very effective.  There are a couple of things I didn't like about it but they are very minor.  I don't like isobutene canisters because I have to throw them away after each use, but this is just me.  It's hard to tell what level the flame is at because it so quiet and at low burn it does leave black residue on the bottom of the pot, all very minor and nothing that has any influence on the usability or effectiveness of the stove.  Really it is a nice stove that I really hope that I can get repaired so that I can continue using it.  

 Likes

  • Quiet
  • Boils water very quickly
  • Great on fuel consumption
  • Non-stick surface 
  • Locking pot lifter
  • Integrated heat/wind shield

Dislikes

  • Uses isobutane canisters
  • Leaves residue on bottom of pot when burning on low flame
  • Hard to tell if it is on or off
  • Igniter doesn’t work
  • Strainer isn't effective

Thanks to BackpackGearTest.org and Primus for the opportunity to test the 1.3 L (44 fl oz) PrimeTech Stove Set.

 

Read more reviews of Primus gear
Read more gear reviews by Duane Lawrence

Reviews > Cook Gear > Stoves > Primus PrimeTech Stove Set > Test Report by Duane Lawrence



Product tested and reviewed in each Formal Test Report has been provided free of charge by the manufacturer to BackpackGearTest.org. Upon completion of the Test Series the writer is permitted to keep the product. Owner Reviews are based on product owned by the reviewer personally unless otherwise noted.

If you are an avid backpacker, we are always looking for enthusiastic, quality reviewers. Apply here to be a gear tester.


All material on this site is the exclusive property of BackpackGearTest.org.
BackpackGearTest software copyright David Anderson