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© Copyright 1999

 

Primus / Evernew Titanium
vs. Snow Peak Titanium

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From: Charles Lindsey, 12/27/99

Name of Gear: Primus 3273 Titanium Stove & Evernew .9-liter Titanium Cookpot compared to Snow Peak Gigapower Titanium Stove & Titanium Mini Solo Cookpot

Manufacturer: Primus, Evernew, Snow Peak

Field weight: see below

Stoves & Pots
Snow Peak (left) -- Primus/Evernew (right)

DISCLAIMER:
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There are numerous variables that impact the results of these tests. It's almost impossible to get the same results twice. Air movement, fuel temperature, fuel level/pressure, water temperature all affect the outcome. Nevertheless, I attempted to keep all things equal as much as possible. Before each segment of each test, I tried to make sure the water being tested and the fuel canister being used were approximately the same temperature each time. I tried to use relatively full, if not new, fuel cans. But even so, keep in mind, this test and review isn't to be confused with a scientific study.

PRODUCTS w/ WEIGHTS & CAPACITIES:
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Cookpots:

--Evernew .9-liter titanium cookpot w/lid

  • weight = 4.9 oz.
  • capacity = 4 cups
--Snow Peak Mini Solo Cookset Titanium kettle w/lid
  • weight = 3.81 oz.
  • capacity = 4 cups

Stoves:

--Primus titanium stove w/piezo

  • weight = 3.80 oz. (3.35 oz. without removable piezo)
  • pot support area = 4 7/8" x 3 1/2"
  • output: 12,000 BTU
--Snow Peak Gigapower titanium stove w/piezo
  • weight = 3.05 oz,
  • pot support area = 4" x 2 7/8"
  • output: 10,000 BTU

Fuel Cartridges:

110 g of butane/propane
--Primus = 6.65 oz
--Snow Peak = 7 oz

220 g of butane/propane
--Primus = 11.7 oz
--Snow Peak = 13 oz

TESTS:
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Conditions: still air, little or no air movement, about 34 degrees, elevation 550 feet. Used a NEW fuel which had been stored at room temperature. Used the same fuel can for all four tests below, in the order stated.

Boiled 4 (measured) cups of cold water in blackened Evernew .9-liter titanium cookpot w/lid

1. Primus titanium stove w/piezo = 4 minutes
2. Snow Peak Gigapower titanium stove w/piezo = 4 minutes

Boiled 4 (measured) cups of cold water in Snow Peak titanium Mini Solo Combo cook kettle w/lid

3. Primus titanium stove w/piezo = 8.25 minutes
4. Snow Peak Gigapower titanium stove w/piezo = 8.25 minutes

Next morning. Conditions: very slight breeze, about 38 degrees, elevation 550 feet. Again, fuel can had been stored at room temperature. Used the same fuel can for both stoves, the Gigapower first and then the Primus ti stove.

Boiled 4 (measured) cups of cold water in blackened Evernew .9-liter titanium cookpot w/lid

1. Snow Peak Gigapower titanium stove w/piezo = 6 minutes
2. Primus titanium stove w/piezo = 4.5 minutes

The Gigapower was struggling a little more than the Primus stove in the slight breeze. This is where the Primus stove has an advantage with its built-in windscreen. Although its windscreen is not to be mistaken for a full-coverage windscreen, it, nevertheless is effective to cut the impact of wind and keep the torch blowing, so to speak. The screen effectively divides the stove up into quadrants which has the effect of restricting the wind to individual sections -- usu. one or two sections at a time.

Additional note: the Primus stove's flame seems to spread out more -- covering more pot area. This was confirmed in the "evening" test, below, wherein it was easy to see the Primus flames licking up the sides of the Evernew pot, much more than those of the Snow Peak Gigapower stove. This was clearly an advantage with the Evernew pot which is a wide pot. However, the Primus' flame width appeared to be less effective on the narrower Snow Peak kettle, whereas the Snow Peak Gigapower stove's tighter flame was more efficient on the Snow Peak kettle as evidenced by its faster boil time on the final test.

Evening, 6:30pm. Conditions: still air, little or no air movement, about 30 degrees, elevation 550 feet. Used a NEW fuel can which had been stored at room temperature. Used the same fuel can for all four tests below, in the order stated.

Boiled 4 (measured) cups of cold water in UN-blackened Evernew .9-liter titanium cookpot w/lid

1. Primus titanium stove w/piezo = 4.33 minutes
2. Snow Peak Gigapower titanium stove w/piezo = 4.83 minutes

Boiled 4 (measured) cups of cold water in Snow Peak titanium Mini Solo Combo cook kettle w/lid

3. Primus titanium stove w/piezo = 6.75 minutes
4. Snow Peak Gigapower titanium stove w/piezo = 6.50 minutes

SUMMARY:
----------------
Stoves:
Both stoves performed well. When there was no perceptible air movement, both had almost identical boiling times using both the Evernew and the Snow Peak titanium pots. The Primus was, by a slim margin, the faster to bring a boil, but you would expect that since it is a more powerful stove (12,000 BTU to the Gigapower's 10,000 BTU). Nevertheless, the Gigapower was right there with the Primus and because it is less powerful, it probably uses less fuel. The data, thus far, then, taking fuel consumption and boil times into consideration, seems to indicate a toss-up, draw -- comparable effectiveness and efficiency. Keep in mind, though, this is in a relatively dead air situation.

When there was air movement -- and not much of it -- the Snow Peak Gigapower ti stove struggled and, consequently, had longer boil times. If you cook where the winds blow, you'll boil faster and, overall, probably even use less fuel with the Primus, given you don't use an optional wind screen. If you take a wind screen for the Gigapower, then you've probably defeated the purpose and advantage of its smaller size and weight.

In effect, then, in real world situations where the wind blows, the Primus may actually be smaller and lighter than the Gigapower, in that for the Gigapower, you may need to carry more fuel or a separate windscreen to achieve performance comparable to the Primus ti stove. I also felt that the longer, continuous pot support of the Primus ti stove was more reliable than the Gigapower ti stove.

Cookpots:
The pots weren't even close. Using the Evernew pot -- which has a wider base and is painted with black stove paint -- boiling time for the 4 cups of water was around four minutes. The boiling time for 4 cups of water in the Snow Peak cookpot was approximately 1.5 times longer (and twice as long in one test). The narrowness and height of the pot made a difference. Because of the narrowness of the Snow Peak kettle, the stove flames had much less surface to contact and that was probably the difference.

I also tested an Evernew pot that was not blackened. The unblackened Evernew pot was somewhat slower to boil than the blackened Evernew ti pot, but still significantly faster than the Snow Peak ti kettle.

Although the Snow Peak Mini Solo cooking kettle is a little over one ounce lighter than the Evernew .9-liter pot, it can't compete in terms of efficiency. Any advantage in weight is negated by the additional fuel requirement needed for the longer cook times. Also, I prefer the large, rubberized handles on the Evernew pot and lid. The tiny handle on the Snow Peak kettle lid was very difficult to grasp, even without gloves on. I spilled the water while trying to get ahold of it. The handle on the Evernew lid is large enough to grasp with gloves and it is also covered with rubberized insulation.

RECOMMENTATION:
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Firstly, I must say that I really like the size and weight of the Snow Peak products. As a side note, I really like their lantern and plan to keep a couple around the house for emergency light sources. However, and in brief, I didn't see or experience anything that justifies letting go of my Primus ti stove and Evernew cook pot, based on the data above. As Snow Peak improves their product line, my attitude may change, but again, it will be based on facts and data, not first appearances. Close, but no cigar.

The Primus ti stove is a proven, durable performer, such that I also have my eye on the newest Primus stoves to be made available next Spring -- Primus Alpine Titanium 3274 (3oz) and Primus Alpine Micro 3211 (3.5oz). Both stoves are much less costly than the current Primus Titanium 3273 and will be price competitve with the Snow Peak stoves. In addition, the Primus stoves will no doubt provide the proven Primus reliability.

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