Where reliability is essential.
You can depend on the Primus OmniFuel Stove with ErgoPump & Fuel Bottle in the backcountry's faraway places whether you're ski touring in winter or alpine climbing in summer. A simple pumping process works with multiple knobs to ensure proper heating in demanding situations and harsh conditions. This stove is compatible with most fuels, and the manual explains how you can get the most out of this stove. Primus included a foldable windscreen, heat reflector, storage bag, and multi-tool for even more convenience.
- Compatible with gas, petrol, diesel, kerosene, aviation, and white fuel
- Easy-to-use ErgoPump
- OmniFuel bottle included
- Multi-tool, cleaning needle, foldable windscreen, heat reflector, storage bag, and manual also included
- Q & A
Good first impressions
- Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
I bought this stove because I wanted to give something else a try besides the MSR Dragonfly and Whisperlites. I have used friends' MSR stoves quite a bit, and know some of their quirks, so wanted to see what another manufacturer had to offer. I took this stove on a trip to Mt Rainier where we camped at 11,000' with some windy weather but fairly mild temps, roughly 50 degrees on average. Only gets 4 stars because I haven't had enough time to test its long term durability. Based on that trip, here is my review:
- Compact, I can fit it inside a 3 liter pot with enough room to store a cup and accessories.
- Quick to set up, just fold out the legs and attach the fuel bottle.
- Ergo hose and pump allows you to situate the fuel bottle in a variety of positions for easy pumping or valve adjustments from wherever you sit. If you have to shovel your camp out of a mountainside or glacier this is a surprisingly useful feature.
- Nice that you can leave pump connected to the bottle but disconnect the fuel line.
- Not sure if other stoves do this as well, but to turn off this stove you just flip the fuel canister over. The stove will then run for about a minute until the fuel bleeds out of the line and you hear a hissing noise (just air running through the line). This helps keep the system clean and also de-pressurizes the fuel bottle a bit so you don't have to worry as much about fuel spraying out on your hands when you take the pump off.
***Simmer control for priming - I really like that you can prime the stove, light it, then use the simmer to feed it a small volume of fuel while it continues to prime. Really easy to dial this in so that it doesn't flare up, which is incredibly important if you are using inside a vestibule. This is especially helpful when you are in really cold or windy weather and / or at high altitude where it takes a minute or so to prime. Nice that you can set the simmer control to keep feeding it fuel and not have to watch over it while you wait until the jet starts running.
- Stove runs very consistently. I melted snow and boiled water on it our crew for about 3-1/2 hours straight one morning with no flame-outs. Some reviews of this stove and similar ones note that they run better on the .6L fuel tanks. I ran mine of a 1.5L fuel tank and it ran just fine. Never had to re-pump. I did increase the number of start-up pumps from 20 to 35, consistent with some recommendations from other reviews.
- The jet is very powerful, will boil 1 liter of water at room temp in just under 3 minutes. Snow took quite a bit longer, obviously, and timing was hard to quantify as I usually start with a small bit of snow to melt and add more as I go along and as it heats up. Probably about 20 minutes per 2.5 liter batch of boiling water, starting with snow.
- The stove is pretty heavy vs its competition from MSR. You can get the light weight titanium version of this stove for some extra $$$.
- Like all white gas stoves you do need to clean the jet. Doesn't have the shake-to-clean function that MSR stoves now have. The tool that comes with it makes this pretty simple. If you are a weekend warrior like me this isn't a big deal as it will easily go 3 days of heavy use without needing to be cleaned.
- Loud. You wont realize it until you sit next to it for an hour and then turn it off. The silence is noticeable. If you like the reassuring sound of a little jet engine boiling your water then this isn't necessarily a bad thing.
- Simmer control is sensitive. This control is great when priming the stove, but to dial it down to a simmer while cooking you have to be really careful as the line between simmer and off is pretty slim. This is a common complaint with many stoves, but with this stove and some practice you can probably get a good simmer. Personally I use the stove as a water boiler so could care less.
I hope it continues to hold up over time. We shall see!