Primus TiLite Stove ($165)
Lately Iâ€™ve been posting some reviews on gear that Iâ€™ve tested over the summer. This latest report covers the new TiLite offered by Primus, a stove maker that has seen the dawn of this and the last century and will probably be around for the next. Quite different from the classic, original Primus stove, the TiLite is an ultra light, compact model that comes with a titanium pot. It presents the user with a featherweight tool able to transform fuel into fire with impressive control.
How hot, how fast? Capable of 13,500 BTU/h, this stove is fast, yet can simmer as soft as a whisper in the dead of night. I tested it with a liter of 65Â°F water at an altitude of 5,300 feet with an ambient air temperature of 70Â°F and barely detectable wind. (I had to use a different pot, because the included titanium version is just shy of a full liter.) It actually beat the manufacturerâ€™s claim of a three-minute boil by 30 seconds. Just for kicks, check those figures against the winning stoves in the Winter 2007 issue of Overland Journal.
So, what else can it do? Iâ€™ve been using the stove all summer for backpacking and overland trips and it adapts wellÂ to both scenarios. If youâ€™re the type of person who likes to travel light on foot, in a small 4WD, or on a motorcycle, this is a stove worth considering. If you’reÂ a person who takes too much stuff on a trip, then it’s definitely worth considering. The folding support arms have serrations effective at keeping not only the included pot, but larger cookware stable on uneven surfaces. Folded out they provide a 5 Â¾â€ diameter surface and when folded up tight they reduce the size of this 3.5 ounce stove to a svelte 3.6â€ x 2.9â€x 1.2â€. As such, Iâ€™m not restricted to using the titanium pot, but free to use a large pot, whistling kettle, or even a twelve-inch pan.
Thereâ€™s no need to fuss with matches or a lighter thanks to the piezoelectric ignition, and the sensitive fuel knob makes it a snap to adjust the flame from rocket-boost to a sultry simmer, even with gloves on. Aside from the weight and space savings, the versatility provided by the flame adjustment is one of the main benefits Iâ€˜ve experienced. The option to go from a mild simmer for delicate foods (with steady fuel delivery; no sputtering) to a 13,500 BTU/h blast torchÂ for boiling or heating quickly is a great benefit. The TiLite pot and stove each come with their own drawstring pouch and the whole kit can be stowed in the larger of the two; an eight-ounce fuel canister fits in the pot and the stove in its smaller pouch sits on the lid. Either of the pouches double as a pot holder if needed. According to Primus, the TiLite should only burn their proprietary Power Gas propane/isobutane fuel blend, but Iâ€™ve used the MSR and Coleman versions with no ill effects. Primus lists a 45-minute burn time for a standard eight-ounce fuel can, though I havenâ€™t verified the claim.
So what are the disadvantages?Â The only one I could come up with is the limitation of fuel type when considering global travel and extended trips. In that case, a multi-fuel stove would be a better choice.
Once you fire this thing up, you canâ€™t resist rolling the knob and will no doubt need to be honest with yourself about pyromaniacal tendencies. Though you may be tempted to impress your friends with the flame throwing capabilities, be mindful of fuel consumption so youâ€™ll have some left for coffee in the morning.
Heat output: 13,500 BTU/h
Burn time (not verified): 45 mins.
Boil time (as tested): 2:30 mins/secs for 1L water
Stove dimensions (folded): 3.6â€ x 2.9â€x 1.2â€
Stove weight: 3.5 oz.
Stove burner platform: 5.75â€ dia.
Pot dimensions: 3.7â€ h x 4.75â€ dia.
Pot weight: 4.3 oz.