Monday, August 1, 2011

Gear Review - Primus Himalaya OmniFuel Stove

Very impressed with this stove, a few things I didn't like which I will get into but overall, can't go wrong. This review will highlight differences with the MSR Whisperlite International as a comparison. While I like this stove over the MSR, MSR is an incredible stove and works like a charm, still used it on this trip.

Primus stove is incredibly well built, solid and sturdy, not once did it feel tippy, unlike the MSR which always sits on a slant until you put a pot on it which is my biggest pet peeve with that stove.

Used a large gas canister on this trip and it lasted about 10 days for breakfast and dinner, not bad, for a week 1 canister should do for two people, bring spare if you are going longer. Certainly prefer gas over liquid fuel now just because it lights instant and burns clean very clean, no black soot like on the MSR which is liquid fuel only.

Simmer on this stove is incredible, it really does simmer, unlike the MSR which has one setting, instant on full blast, sure you can play with the MSR to get close to simmer but once you use the Optimus it's hard to go back.

Do have some complaints though but nothing I would say would stop me from recommending, some may just be me.

Stove is very loud, sounds like a blast furnace, wasn't that much of an issue but when I lit up the MSR I thought maybe it wasn't working it's so much quieter.

Base heat shield and wind screen are total crap, they were destroyed after 3 days??? Wtf! I ended up using the MSR ones as they are still in great condition after 3 years. Would have expected same quality as the stove itself, which is perfect, expected more seeing as the stove is more than double the price.

Once I switched to liquid fuel, which is a plus with this stove as it supports both liquid and gas, the preheat stage was freaky, seemed to be a lot of flare-ups going on, sure it was just me not used to this stove but seemed tricky, unlike the MSR which is dead simple.

Think it burns way more liquid fuel then the MSR, will have to play with the jets and see what happens, for instance used the MSR for entire trip last year and used 3/4 of a large bottle (28oz) this year I switched to liquid on day 12 and for 4.5 days it used half the bottle, hmmmm, think I may have cooked and boiled more this time though so maybe it's just my perception.

Suppose to be able to turn bottle over and it will automatically burn remaining fuel in the line, could never get that to work, will have to go through the manual again and see If I'm doing it right.

Lastly, they have this clever screw in adapter for connecting liquid fuel bottle, every time I detached fuel sprayed everywhere, unlike the MSR where you just pull out connector, sure it's just me so will play with it some more.

Overall, amazing stove and highly recommend, if you don't want to fork out the extra cash though, MSR is amazing as well

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