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Reviews > Cook Gear > Stoves > Primus PrimeTech Stove Set > Test Report by Kathleen Waters

PRIMUS PRIMETECH STOVE SET 2.3 L
TEST SERIES BY KATHLEEN WATERS
LONG-TERM REPORT

INITIAL REPORT - May 10, 2017
FIELD REPORT - July 31, 2017
LONG TERM REPORT - October 01, 2017

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Kathleen Waters
EMAIL: kathy at backpackgeartest dot com
AGE: 66
LOCATION: Canon City, Colorado, USA
GENDER: F
HEIGHT: 5' 4" (1.60 m)
WEIGHT: 125 lb (56.70 kg)

Living in Colorado and being self-employed, I have ample opportunities to backpack. There are over 700,000 acres/280,000 hectares of public land bordering my 71-acre/29-hectare "backyard" in addition to all the other gorgeous locations which abound in Colorado. Over the past 15 years, my husband John and I have also had the good fortune to hike/snowshoe glaciers, rain forests, mountains and deserts in exotic locations, including New Zealand, Iceland, Costa Rica, Slovenia and Death Valley. My hiking style is comfortable, aiming for lightweight. I use a tent (rainfly if needed). Current pack averages 25 lb (11 kg) excluding food and water.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: Primus AB (Fenix Outdoor AB)
Year of Manufacture: 2017
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.primus.us
MSRP: US $129.95.
Listed Weight: 30.6 oz (867 g)
Measured Weight: 37 oz (1049 g) (whole kit and caboodle)
Listed and Measured: Diameter: 7.1 in (18 cm) Height: 4.3 in (10.9 cm)

Other details:

* Uses Butane Canister Fuel
* Features Piezoelectic Auto Ignition
* For Two to Five People
Stove set
Photo copywrite Primus

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

I actually saw the Primus PrimeTech Stove Set at the Outdoor Retailer Winter Market so I wasn't expecting to be "wowed" once again. But I was! This is a super-neat combination of cooking tools.

While the PrimeTech is configured to be as compact as possible, this is not a small item. However, a lot of cooking versatility is packed into the space and the set can be used for two to five people according to the manufacturer. Since I always backpack with at least one other person and most often, two or three, this is exactly what I need and I will definitely be checking out!

The set has several individual parts. First there are two 2.3 L (78 fl oz) pots and a transparent lid with an integrated colander. One pot is a hard anodized pot with a ceramic non-stick interior coating. The other is hard anodized aluminum pot with a scratch resistant interior. Both pots have line "markers" stamped into the interiors for measurements. There is a hand-sized detached gripper handle which doubles as a set of tongs.

The stove itself is an integrated burner enclosed in a windscreen the same size as the 2.3 L (78 fl oz) pots and comes with a regulator and piezoelectric igniter.
All of the above items nest together and fit nicely in an insulated carrying bag that doubles as a cozy which closes via a drawstring and barrel lock to keep it all secure. It's a little thing, but I'm very excited about the insulated bag! Many times I've struggled with trying to keep cooked food warm while impatiently waiting for the rest of the meal to heat up.

Despite the relatively light weight of the total package, each individual piece feels sturdy. The quality is apparent as I couldn't find a single blemish, scratch, sharp corner, dent, or any other defect in any of the components.
Set in Bag
Primetech Stove Set Ready to Go
Pot on Stove
Primetech Stove Set-Up
Burner
Primetech Stove Burner
Connector
Fuel Canister Connector

READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

Wow, there are almost 50 pages in the Primetech Stove Set User Manual! Fortunately, they are small pages and since they cover 11 different languages, that breaks down to only nine I have to pay attention to, three of which are safety instructions. Subsequent pages are devoted to preparing the stove, lighting the stove, turning off the stove, maintaining the stove and a two-liner on gas cartridges. Uh-oh. Cartridges? Not canisters? Hmmm. Looks like I'll be making a trip to the store.

No need for me to have panicked. Cartridges and canisters are the same thing apparently and canisters I have!

Anyway, the instructions are very simply and clearly stated. I think even I will be able to handle them!

SUMMARY

I'm very impressed with the obvious quality of the Primus Primetech Stove Set and obvious thought behind the design. I'm very excited to have the chance to use it and anticipate lots of nice hot meals on the trail.

I have never actually used a stove before. I mean a camp stove! I'm really experienced on a 6-burner Jenn-aire! But in the outdoors, I usually leave that task to my husband or son when backpacking and camping. So, this will be something really new for me and my perspective as a very green camp stove-user will be interesting for sure. And since I generally hike/backpack with my son who is a professional chef and his wife who is a foodie in her own right, we can always use another stove for our home-made dehydrated creations!


FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

I used the Primus PrimeTech Stove Set on several different occasions during the field report period of mid-May through the end of July. Three of those occasions were multi-day car trips when I used the Stove Set at roadside rest stops. Four other trials were two day-long mountain trail hikes and two day-long beach "strolls". Twice more, I used the Stove Set on dayhikes in the mountains near my home. Alas, I did not take the Stove Set on any overnights.

The locations and the conditions of the car trips were as follows:

June 28 - July 1, 2017: traveled from White Lake, Michigan to Canon City, Colorado with stops in Indiana, Missouri and Kansas. Temperatures (outside) were in the high 80s to low 90s F (30 - 34 C) though we kept the car cooled down to about 67 F (19 C). Humidity was high throughout the trip.

July 23-24 and July 29-31: traveled from Canon City, Colorado via Colorado I-70 to Salt Lake City and then back to Canon City, Colorado through Wyoming with a couple nights in Wyoming. Temperatures (outside) were again in the high 80s F (30 C). Humidity was down in the lower double digits, thankfully.

All but two of the day hikes took place while I was visiting the Leelanau Peninsula in western Michigan. Twice, my husband John and I took day-long hikes along the sand dunes along Lake Michigan in Sleeping Bear National Lakeshore. Very humid weather with mid-80s F (29 C) temperatures to make it rather miserable. The other two hikes were in what are called "mountains" in the lower peninsula and were much cooler - I estimate in the high 70s F (25 C) though I didn't have my weather gauge.

Lastly, here in Canon City, I used the Stove Set in the Cooper mountain range Bureau of Land Management (BLM) uncharted space which abuts my property. The landscape is a wild high desert of juniper and pinon pine, lots of boulders and unmarked trails. It's been rather hot - never below the mid-80s F (29 C), mostly above 90 F (34 C) and dry.

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

Things I learned during this portion of my Field Evaluation of the Primus PrimeTech Stove Set:

Even though there are no instructions on how the stove is assembled, it is easy enough to do the assembly. I just have to attach the fuel source securely to the fuel tube/valve and VOILA, I have a ready-to-go cooking stove! The first time I attached the gas canister to the fitting, the gas "spurted" out at me. I quickly realized the gas canister needs to be held horizontal (and straight/flat) or I waste precious gas.

To start the fuel flowing, it takes three full revolutions of the valve, then a fourth full revolution before the stove can be ignited. For an adequate flame height, two more revolutions are needed. At this point I am able to efficiently boil water or heat up my meal.

In no time at all, small bubbles appear on the bottom of a pot of water. In measured tests, I found within three minutes the water temperature was 170 F (77 C) and within 3 minutes 50 seconds, I had a rolling boil. These times were confirmed in the field though I didn't carry a thermometer so no temperatures were measured at campsites.
The above times were gained using the "vented" pot with the lid on which disperses heat more efficiently. I found the stated specifications on the Primus website to be true - when using the alternate pot, again with the lid on, boiling times (and solid food cooking times) were roughly 50 percent longer. Water took a full four minutes to reach simmering state. Once the water reached simmering though, it progressed rapidly to a full rolling boil.

In the above cases (and in the field), the times are calculated using ambient temperature 1 L (34 oz) of water after a couple hours of trekking, starting out with cold water and ending up with lukewarm water.

I averaged 0.5 oz (14 g) of fuel to boil two instances of 1 L (34 oz) of water for tea. I can't get an accurate measurement of anything smaller than that on my scale, so I judge the PrimeTech to be very fuel efficient.

The included handle is wonderful! It eliminated the need for a "pot holder" when moving the pots off the stove after heating. I never - per the obvious instructions - attached the handle to the pot until I was ready to remove the pot from the stove lest it get too hot to handle (pun intended)! The handle is easily placed on the pot's edge and locked in using one hand. Once attached, the handle provides a secure, steady, inflexible way to carry the pot. I felt very confident it would not tip the pot or bend even when pouring directly from the pot.

The whole stove with the integrated windshield does get very hot when the stove is in use. But on the occasions where I actually remembered to "time" the cool-down, I found that within four minutes or so - in hot summer temperatures of 85+ F (29+ C) - the unit was cool enough to pick up. By the time I had dishes washed, it was cool enough to put back in my pack. And, if I needed to move the stove when it was still hot, the pot handle worked perfectly to complete that task as well!

Despite the size of the whole kit and caboodle, I find that it doesn't really take up that much more space or weight than all the separate components that make up the cooking gear I normally take on a weekend trip. I weighed a previously used assortment of stove, windshield and small pot and compared it with the whole PrimeTech Stove Set minus one (larger) pot and found that the difference in weight was only 4 oz (113 g).
Side by Side Comparison
Comparison of Cooking Gear Size

And since I always hike with buddies, I love that I can cook up bigger "batches" of food for me and my trail mates all at the same time in one pot rather than making food in "shifts" or separate pots on one or more stoves!

The single best feature of the Stove Set, however, is the fact that with the integrated windshield, the stove base is relatively large so it is much more stable on uneven ground than any other stove I've used in the past. This stability means I don't have to worry about top-heavy pots tipping over and spilling out what was going to be a great meal! I've been there in the past and it makes for a hungry evening!

The Stove Set has been very easy to carry, use and clean so far. I have been very careful to not scratch any of the surfaces. The carrying bag keeps everything nice, neat and protected.

SUMMARY

Anyone who knows me knows that food plays an important part in my enjoyment of the outdoors. I sacrifice a good portion of my backpack's capacity to food and food prep items. While others might prefer to fill precious pack space with electronic gadgets like a solar charger, I'll take a nice cutting board and a wheel of sharp cheddar instead! That said, I still try to maximize what cubic inch/centimeter space I have.

I didn't get as much use with the Primus PrimeTech Stove Set t as I would have liked. "Best laid plans" and all that. It was a disappointing summer. I do, however, have lots of big plans for fall, including a 7-day trip in the Rocky Mountains of Summit and Eagle counties in Colorado!

I will be writing all about my wonderful trail-side culinary experiences in a couple of months, so be sure to check that out early October!


LONG-TERM REPORT

LOCATIONS, CONDITIONS and PERFORMANCE

In this last field evaluation period, I continued to use the Primus PrimeTech Stove Set in my home territory of Fremont County as described above in my Field Report. I also used it exclusively on several day hikes in Summit County, Colorado recently, some as detailed below.

1.) Where: Upper Piney Lake Trail, Vail, Colorado - Very well-traveled (ridiculously busy!) dirt trail along the edge of Piney Lake along a broad meadow and then through aspen and pine forest to Piney Lake Waterfall.

Weather Conditions: Sunny and dry with sustained winds (measured with my husband John's handheld anemometer) of 6.7 mph (10.8 kph) and gusts to 10.6 mph (17.1 kph). 41 to 51 F (5-11 C)

Elevation: 9362 - 9800 ft (2854 - 2987 m).

On this particular hike, lunch was cold tuna and cooked spicy Korean wild rice with carrots, mushrooms and spinach. The rice mixture was a dehydrated serving for one which my husband and I planned to split along with the pouch of tuna. Preparation of the rice was simple - add mixture to one cup (237 ml ) boiling water, stir, let sit for 20 minutes. What? 20 minutes? Good thing the Primus PrimeTech Stove Set boils water quickly at least! Despite the fact that it was very windy, there were no problems getting the stove to light up and keeping the flame going strong - gotta love that built-in windshield. In less than two minutes, the water was boiling and in went the rice. Stupidly, we totally forgot about the insulated cozy and by the time the rice mixture had rehydrated, it was cold and we had to re-heat the pot. No worries, we were starving as we had already devoured the tuna and the rice was warm enough to heat in barely three minutes.

Love that the pot has interior measurement markings! This really came in handy since "someone" forgot to pack a measuring cup!
Turning on PrimeTech
Turning up the heat!
Lunch in the Aspens at Piney Lake
View of Aspens at Piney Lake
Spicy Korean Rice Dish
Spicy Korean Rice coming up!

2.) Where: Stag Gulch Trail and Squaw Creek Trail, Edwards, Colorado - 5 mile (8 km) very steep hiking, mountain biking and horse trails of hard packed dirt through aspen forests and wide meadows. Mostly dry but some muddy spots and lots of horse pucky!

Weather Conditions: Partly cloudy with no wind at all. Temperatures ranged from 51 - 65 F (11 - 18 C) depending on the shade and the time of day.

Elevation: Over the 5 miles (8 km), there was approximately a 1000 ft (300 m) elevation gain to a high point of about 9300 ft (2800 m).

On the menu for lunch on the trail for this hike was something my family affectionately calls "gook" which I've converted to a home-made dehydrated meal consisting of ground beef, bread crumbs (secret dehydrating secret to speed rehydration of ground beef), onion gravy and pasta noodles. To hasten rehydration, I add the water to the zipper-closure plastic bag of food about an hour before we plan to heat. That way the meat is already pretty much rehydrated and ready to cook.

Once we picked a spot on the trail to picnic at, we set up the PrimeTech and within three minutes, the "gook" was bubbling away merrily. Divvying up the meal is easy as the food sort of "slides" out of the non-stick pot and once we took off the pot cover, we did that quickly as the smell of the gravy was strong. We ate it all with one eye out for wild beasts looking for a free meal!
Lunch on Stag Gulch Trail
Stag Gulch Trail Lunch
Gook on Stag Gulch Trail
Beef and Pasta - Yum!

3.) Where: Old Vail Pass - Ten Mile Canyon Recreation Trail - for most of the way, this is a blacktop-paved path (used to be Highway 6 from Vail to Frisco, Colorado), then it turns to well-marked and maintained dirt hiking and mountain biking trail through aspen and pine trees. We only walked about 6 miles (10 km) of it.

Weather Conditions: Cloudy to a steady drizzle with light intermittent breezes averaging 2.8 mph (4.5 kph). It was a cool 43 - 50 F (6-10 C)

Elevation: a gain of 900 ft (270 m) to a high point of about 9000 ft (2700 m) over the 6 miles (9.6 km).

On this hike, at lunchtime, we debated whether or not to even fire up the stove as it was drizzling a bit. Both my husband and I had rain jackets, but how would the stove work in the cooler, damper weather? Well, there is only one way to find out we reasoned, so we picked a fairly level spot and got the Stove Set out. To make it short - the PrimeTech worked just fine. No hiccups at all with lighting the flame or keeping it burning throughout the cooking time of just under three minutes. It's so nice to be able to have a hot meal when the weather is not!

As with all other meal preps, the whole kit and caboodle was cool enough to touch and pack away long before we were finished eating our meal.
Old Vail Pass - Ten Mile Canyon
Lunch on Old Vail Pass
Old Vail Pass
Cooking in the Rain

CARE

Both pots that come with the Primus PrimeTech Stove Set clean like a dream. Even after sitting in a pack on the return trip and even sitting in said pack overnight, a little dishwashing soap and hot water along with a soft sponge wash out any gunk (or "gook") with no elbow grease needed. I've never put the pots in the dishwasher.

The windshield component has stayed clean enough with just a brush off of dust from resting on the ground.

I do put a paper towel inside the pot to prevent scratches from the igniter, handle and fuel canister.

SUMMARY

The Primus PrimeTech Stove Set is perfect for backpacks and overnights on the trail for TWO to FIVE people. I wouldn't use it on solo adventures but then again, I never go on solo adventures. It's big, but the utility of it makes that a non-issue as I don't need multiple stoves and pots. The whole set fits snugly but ably into my husband's and my current day packs - the Camelbak Sundowner LR 22 L - with room to spare for extra layer, hat, gloves, water bladder, and the usual day hike paraphernalia. No space concerns at all with our larger 65 L overnight packs.

Food is a priority for me and my hiking partners and the PrimeTech makes cooking for more than one and more than one dish at a time, easy and enjoyable.

Thank you to Primus and for introducing me to this great stove set!

Kathleen (Kathy) Waters

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5 Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.

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