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Primus OmniFuel Stove Review

RRP: £145

Available From:

Cotswold Outdoor

Amazon 

Rating: 9/10

Whether or not you need a stove like the Primus Omni Fuel will depend a lot on two things, 1) what your trip looks like and 2) how much you like to cook.

The Primus OmniFuel in Action

The Primus OmniFuel in Action

This stove doesn’t come cheap, so if you don’t plan on doing a lot of cooking, aren’t going anywhere too exotic, (where the availability of “normal” stove fuel types can be limited) and you want to travel super light; then this stove might be overkill for your needs. If you’re planning to cook most days, (especially if you’re a keen cook and want an adjustable flame) are traveling to unknown parts and are willing to sacrifice a few grams for rock solid build and reliability, then read on.

First, what you get. The kit includes;

• The Stove itself

• Pump for fuel bottle

• Fuel bottle, (most of the kits seem to come with the small fuel bottle, 500ml. Most of the time you’d be best served buying the 1L version)

• Three different nipples for different fuel types

• Tool for cleaning and taking apart the stove & some lube for the leather pump head

• Wind break & Foil base

• Pouch for the stove

• Pouch for the other bits and bobs

Fuel Bottle in Bike Buddy Cage

Fuel Bottle in Bike Buddy Cage

We’d also recommend using the Bike Buddy cage to keep your fuel bottle on the frame when in transit. Separate review of the Bike Buddy to follow.

Primus Fuel Bottle On the Bike

Primus Fuel Bottle On the Bike

For the price you pay it’d be nice to get a few more spares, (you have to fork out for the service kit for them) but hey ho… minor complaint.

As I’ve mentioned this thing is built like a tank, you could kill a man with it… then cook him! So far after months of continuous daily use it’s needed nothing more than a tighten of the base screw. However, I did need to Gaffa tape the metal wind breaker as constant flexing fatigued the metal, (see photo), but now it works better than ever… or top tip ;).

Fuel choice is quite wide and we’ve not had to use them all, (yet). The recommended ‘Primus Power Fuel) works perfectly, as you may expect, but is expensive and you’re only likely to find it in specialist camping/climbing shops. Our top choice is white spirit, burns nearly as well, (does require more priming time) as is cheap and easy to obtain at hardware shops; but make sure to get the type without additives and it will burn ‘weird’ and smell funny, also, might kill you… not sure :). It’s simpler to use the gas canisters as you don’t have to pump, (as with the fuel bottle), which can become quite laborious when the bottle get closer to empty, (the more space inside the bottle the more you have to fill with gas), but it’s honestly not an issue, at the most 100 pumps with takes about 30/45 seconds of ‘vigorous action’.

Simmer function is great, you don’t have to ‘nuke’ everything you cook. I’ve cooked up some dam tasty meals on this thing. One thing to note is that if you’re in a very strong wind the low, low flame can go out… but the wind stopper prevents this very well, you just have to use it.

Primus Flame Control

Primus Flame Control. Nice

On a long cycle tour I don’t think the weight penalty is that much of a big deal… the Optimus Terra is a little lighter but doesn’t have the simmer, but to be honest we don’t have any experience with it. A lot of people also rate the MSR Whisper light, but I’ve heard it has reliability problems at altitude, (if you’re going high).

The one main downside is that it’s bloody LOUD! Really, on full power it sounds like a jet. But we don’t mind, it’s only really ever on full when you’re boiling water quickly, (and it does boil water very quick) and when on a more conservative simmer it’s not that bad, (you can talk at normal volume without any probs).

Pros

• Reliable

• Rock solid construction

• Burns most fuel, (although with differing effectiveness)

• Simmer function

• Well designed, (stable, intuitive, compact, etc)

Cons

• Expensive

• A little on the heavy side

• LOUD

So, on the whole a brilliant little device and one we’d thoroughly recommend! But Like I said, maybe it’s not right for your tour? It would be great to get feedback from other Omni fuel users, so please do comment.

1 comment to Primus OmniFuel Stove Review

  • I looked at them all (stoves) and settled on this nice little piece of hardware because I hate being “unprepared” for unforeseen events, like having only the wrong type of fuel available in this or that country. Not that I’ve had to suffer through it (I’m a beginner at bike touring) but I find it reassuring to know that my stove can just about burn ANYTHING if needed.

    All I can say is that I love this stove: solid, polyvalent, efficient, easy-to-use. Now I only have to find the time to go around the world with it :) I fully recommend this stove for anyone with big dreams …and enough pocket money for this more expensive choice.

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