PRIMUS PRIMETECH STOVE SET 2.3 L
TEST SERIES BY STEVEN M. KIDD
September 19, 2017
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Steven M. Kidd
5' 9" (1.75 m)
185 lb (83.90 kg)
Backpacking Background: I've been a backpacker on and off for over 30 years. I backpacked as a Boy Scout, and then again almost every month in my twenties, while packing an average weight of 50+ lb (23+ kg). In the last several years I have become a hammock camping enthusiast. I generally go on one or two night outings that cover from 5 to 20 mi (8 - 32 km) distances. I also do several annual outings lasting four to five days covering distances between 15 to 20 mi (24 - 32 km) per day. I try to keep the all-inclusive weight of my pack under 20 lb (9 kg) even in the winter.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
|Primus Copywritten Image|
Manufacturer: Primus 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: 37.9 oz (1074 g)
*The weight variance between the listed and measured weight perplexed me. I noticed the manufacturer also offers a PrimeTech Lite kit that happens to match the listed weight from above. When I removed the second pot that comes in this setup, the weight was precisely 30.6 oz (867 g). My measured weight is all inclusive of the entire cook kit.
-Windscreen with integrated burner
-One (1) PrimeTech anodized pot with ceramic non-stick coating
-One (1) anodized scratch resistant aluminum pot
-Transparent lid with integrated colander
-Locking pot gripper
-Insulated storage bag
-Aluminum Ground protector
-Available in two sizes: 1.3 L and 2.3 L
The PrimeTech 2.3 L is a three-season all-in-one trekking stove set designed for two to five people. I feel as if I could feed an entire Cub Scout Pack with this kit! Well...at least a Den! The stove burner itself has an integrated windscreen and there are not one, but two 2.3 L (78 oz) pots. One of them is traditional anodized aluminum and the other has an integrated heat exchanger that nests inside the stove. The latter pot also has a ceramic non-stick coating.
|Entire PrimeTech Kit|
For me this a beast of a stove set! When I backpack alone I generally just boil water for dehydrated meals and I typically use a minimalist stove and a 600 - 900 ml (20 - 30 oz) pot, so 4.6 L (154 oz) of volume is a massive departure from my normal. However, my son and are in a very active camping oriented Cub Scout Pack and my daughter is often a tag-a-long on these events, so I will have no problem putting this set to use!
There are some features I find nice. The lid is transparent, so I can see water beginning to boil or have the ability to watch food simmer. It also has an integrated colander and a silicone handle. The pots come with a locking pot gripper that was quite stable when the pot was filled nearly to capacity. I find the piezo igniter unique, but fear it could be something I could lose. I own several stoves that have an integrated piezo built into the stove itself, but I've never had an entirely separate igniter. All the items nest into one another and fit into the insulated storage bag. The storage bag could be used for rehydrating food if I chose to do so.
There are still a few other features I see as beneficial. Both pots have graduated volume markers ranging from 0.5 - 2.0 L (17 - 68 oz). The stove itself has burner legs that can be extended to raise the pot higher for more precise simmering at lower temperatures. The kit also comes with a simple piece of aluminum cut into a circle that is designed to protect the ground from heat while in use. That is a nice 'green' feature in my opinion.
Now for the important part...the boil test. Using a fuel canister that was 2/3'ds empty on a cool clear night with no winds at 66 F (18 C) I achieved a slow boil in 4 minutes 24 seconds and a rapid boil in 5 minutes 46 seconds. This was boiling 2 liters (68 fl oz) of water! I can barely think of a stove that I've used that can bring half that volume to a boil in a similar time frame. This thing is a beast, and if I can truly get it to simmer I can have some serious culinary delights while camping. The colander and the silicone top worked perfectly. My only gripe would be the right-handed set up design of the gripper for pouring with the colander. But, alas it is a right-handed world this lefty has to live in!
|Compared to a 7 qt Crockpot|
I'm really excited about the Primus PrimeTech stove set. It's unlike any backpacking stove set I've ever had. It is much larger than anything I'm accustomed to using, but when I'm with my children or Pack we do minimal trail miles and the ability to cook full on meals is an appealing option! If weight were a concern I could always leave one of the two pots at home basically turning it into the Lite Kit that Primus offers, but I really don't see that being something I would do during the test series.
I have plenty of roses I foresee with this set: quick boil time, graduated markings, the lid in general (translucent, colander, silicone), the nesting system and the ability to fine tune cooking.
I really only have one thorn and that is the potential to lose the piezo igniter...and I will also toss in my left-handed gripe but I'm sure that'll fall on deaf ears.
All-in-all, I'm super excited to start using this cook set and even told my wife when I walked inside after the boil test that if the power ever went out we could still have a four course meal should we decide!
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
2 - 4 June, 2017: South Cumberland State Park, the Fiery Gizzard Trail near Sequatchie, Tennessee. This was a three-day/two-night outing with my wife and two children to the Small Wilds area. The hike covered a 6 mi (10 km) stretch with a relatively consistent 1700 ft (518 m) elevation, save when we entered the Gulch or went to the base of Foster Falls for a swim in the natural fall pool. Temperatures dropped to 61 F (16 C) at night and were as high as 86 (30 C) during the day. It sprinkled a little on the third day, but was dry and clear for the majority of the weekend.
|Notice the Flame!|
16 - 18 June, 2017: Boxwell Scout Reservation, Gallatin, Tennessee. This was a three-day/two-night Cub Scout Resident Camp outing with my Bear Scout. We worked on advancement through fun activities like hiking, swimming, boating, fishing and more. We slept in Scout platform tents on vintage cots. Temperatures were as high at 90 F (32 C) during the day and dropped to around 75 F (24 C) in the evenings. It was sunny and humid and hot during the days!
1 - 3 July, 2017: Smith Mountain Lake, Moneta, Virginia. This was a three-day/two-night island camping (glamping) adventure near my brother's lake home. There was some coming and going from the island with days spent on the lake motoring about and swimming and evenings spent camping at night. Evening temperatures averaged around 75 F (24 C).
28 - 31 July, 2017; Green River, in and near Mammoth Cave National Park, Kentucky. This was a three-day/two-night kayaking trip covering 30 mi (48 km). Temperatures were as low as 58 F (14 C) in the evenings and almost 90 F (32 C) in the day. It was beautiful and sunny in the day and crisp at night. We hammock camped on islands and banks along the river.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
Compared to the much smaller isobutene or alcohol stoves that I typically use in the backcountry the Primus Primetech Stove Set is definitely huge! That stated, it has been ideal for the style of camping I've used it for during the Field Testing series!
|My Wife Tending to Pasta|
From a short backpacking trip with the family, to a Cub Scout outing, motor-boating to islands on a lake or kayaking down a river make the Primetech Set ideal for group outings. It is definitely not a product I'd use alone on a long distance backpacking outing where I'm feeding only myself, but it is great for the group outings like those previously mentioned.
I've cooked a variety of meals in the stove set, ranging from merely boiling water, to prepackaged pasta meals to slow cooking stews and soups. The clean-up is simple and easy with the coated pot. The other pot is nice for boiling hot water, but if weight were a concern I could see myself leaving it out of the kit at home. I've had no need to do so at this point, and as stated, I've boiled water in it at times and then set it aside and cooked in the coated one.
Boil times are amazing! I've never seen a stove using isobutene boil water at such a speed. I have boiled 1+ L (33+ fl oz) in mere minutes. It's like an inferno! I'd be interested to know a verified BTU power of this stove.
|A River Trip with a Few Buddies|
Also as important for a stove like this, is the fact I can simmer and cook at a slower rate without scorching food. I've been able to simmer some items like the earlier mentioned pastas, stews and soups without scorching them. It can cook slow enough to not boil off water and allow these types of foods to rehydrate or heat through thoroughly.
To summarize, I've clearly excited and happy to be testing the Primetech Stove Set. It's very large compared to the normal kit I'd use in my ultralight setup, but it has been ideal for the group outings or kayaking/boating trips I've experienced over the last several months.
Primetech can boil water at an amazingly fast pace. It can easily handle a group of 4, the maximum I've fed on several occasions, but I'd see it easily see it handling a group twice that size based on volume availability and leftovers.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
9 - 10 September, 2017; Fiery Gizzard Trail, near Tracy City, Tennessee. It was cool and nice before the effects of Irma began making her way north, so on a whim my buddy pinged me to do an overnight on the trail. We covered 6 mi (10 km) of hiking and had a dry but seasonable cool night of 52 F (11 C) for early September in Tennessee.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD & SUMMARY
I only had an opportunity to utilize the Primetech stove set on one more outing during the Long Term portion of the test series, however, I was able to put it to plenty of use over the entire course of the test series and I remain pleased with the product.
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.
Copyright 2017. All rights reserved.
My final use was a quick overnight outing covering minimal distance and only cooking dinner that evening and breakfast the following morning. That stated, it almost appeared as if I were using 'a bazooka to swat a butterfly' for my needs. To reiterate, the trip came very last minute when a buddy texted me and asked if I could head up and meet on the mountain for a quick overnight in some much needed cooler weather. I hit the trail late and barely made it to camp before sunset. That evening I boiled water for coffee and to rehydrate a dehydrated meal and the following morning I did the same for more java and to heat some water for oatmeal. The setup was definitely overkill for my needs! That stated, boiling 2 cups (1 L) of water took less than two minutes with the stove. It's a torch!
I really do enjoy the stove and find it very useful for group outings or kayaking trips. However, solo supported meals like the recent one I find the stove to be excessively heavy, bulky and unnecessary for my uses.
I will definitely keep this setup in my gear kit and use it regularly on outings like those I had during the Field testing portion of the test. In fact, I have a Cub Scout Pack outing coming up in a few weeks and I believe an entire Den of boys (8-10) can use this for one meal with the help of a qualified adult. I also have another kayak outing planned for late October that will allow me to continue to use the set, and I foresee it being a regular part of my river kit!
This concludes my test of the Primetech stove kit. Thanks to BackpackGearTest.org and Primus for the opportunity to test the PrimeTech 2.3 L stove set.
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