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Reviewed by 2 customers
Displaying reviews 1-2
Comments about Primus EtaPower MF Stove System:
My choice came down to the EtaPower MultiFuel or the Dragonfly, and I decided to get this stove. I wanted a reliable white gas stove for backpacking and other camping, something I can trust will still start reliably and boil water quickly even if I'm in a really windy spot at 10,000 feet in the Rockies. I didn't want any of those throw-away fuel canisters going to the landfill or wherever else I have to send them. While there are several choices of stoves out there with a heat exchanger for propane/butane stoves, this seemed to be the only one out there so far that burns white gas.I've heard no other stove does as well as the Dragonfly if you want to simmer. On the other hand I liked the durability, convenience, speed and high efficiency of the Primus EtaPower. Thought it sounded a little too heavy and definitely too expensive - until I priced out what it would cost to buy a comparable stove, fuel bottle, pots, and wind screen separately. I didn't have any of these things yet. And added up what the same items would weigh if bought separately. While the entire set (incl. 9oz carrying case) weighs 3 lbs, the stove, fuel line and valve itself weighs 12oz if you don't include the pot, pan, windscreen, case and included fuel bottle. If you compare to another stove's weight (or price) be sure you don't compare apples to oranges. Now I have the advantage that everything is designed to fit neatly together as a set, and other user reviews made it clear the Eta pot is a great product all by itself. No weak spots there.I cooked with it at home a few times first before I took it on a backpacking trip in the Arkansas Ozarks. I'm new to starting white gas stoves that need primed, and when I got outdoors this one started up right away and performed just the way I wanted and expected it to every time. Found it worked best if I opened the valve at the fuel bottle and closed it again repeatedly (about once a second) until I heard a hiss, and then one more time. That was about right for priming it and not getting any more fuel than necessary for it to start.I experimented at home with how low I could get the flame without it going out, and it may not be the best stove if you want something to give you a low simmer. If that's what you want, get the MSR Dragonfly. It does seem the flow of fuel can waver and go out when I tried to see how low I could go. An experienced backpacker told me the key difference with the Dragonfly is it has a second fuel valve right at the stove for fine control. When you lower the amount of fuel going in the far end of a fuel line and the fuel line stays the same wide diameter, you're bound to get inconsistent flow coming out the other end. Makes sense.Where the Primus EtaPower shines is durability, speed and efficiency. Several cups of water boiled in under two minutes. I packed two fuel bottles with about 10 oz of fuel in each. I boiled at least 9 quarts of water over four days breakfast and dinner, and used maybe 7 oz of fuel the whole time. And I'm sure that stove burned longer than it needed for a boil on lots of occasions when I went to get something out of my tent or was doing something else. Where there's a strong wind I'll bet the difference in efficiency and performance between this stove and ones without the heat exchanger and windscreen gets considerably wider. Everything seems very well-made and well thought out. The included aluminum pot handle even has these rubber-like tips that touch your pots and pans so it won't scratch them. A plastic bowl fits right inside the 2.1 liter pot so it won't get scratched when you pack the handle, fuel valve, etc inside it. And I read reviews of the pot sold separately that sound like it doesn't scratch too easily, either. Consistent attention to quality and the little details like this is a very good sign in my book. I throw a small washcloth in to keep things from rattling in my pack.The included curved windscreen only works with the 2.1 liter pot, and I got an MSR aluminum windscreen so that it's still efficient when I use it with a frypan. I bought a Blacklite aluminum pan that will just manage to fit in the case along with everything else so that I have the option of a little thicker pan plus can then use the included pan/lid on top of it to keep the heat in.Another reviewer commented you shouldn't use pots with an aluminum nonstick surface because of health risks. I've heard about health risks of eating bits of teflon, but it sounds like this pot and pan aren't coated with teflon - they are coated with three layers of a "titanium nonstick" surface (whatever the quotes mean - that's off the box). Allright, how many backpacking cooksets out there don't use either aluminum or titanium?The one I bought from REI is #352085 which includes a 10.6oz Primus fuel bottle small enough to nest with everything else in the carrying case. If you see this stove cheaper someplace else (like [...]) keep in mind that the box says there's also a 352084 version that's sold without the Primus fuel bottle.I burned MSR superfuel (white gas) in it. I imagine Primus-only fuel is only an issue if you're using the throwaway propane/butane canisters, and if that's what you want to use, why would you buy this multi-fuel (MF) version that costs more than the EF version? All the stove manufacturers seem to say you need to use only their fuel bottles. I don't know whether to believe there are issues hooking up an MSR fuel bottle or some other brand to the Primus valve. Primus fuel bottles only seem to be available online. I bought an extra MSR fuel bottle locally I can use to refill the included Primus bottle. The Primus aluminum fuel bottle does have a somewhat thicker neck and is just a little shorter than the MSR bottle of the same capacity, however both bottles have the same screw threads and the fuel bottle caps fit interchangeably.Three different fuel nozzles are included with different size openings for burning white gas, propane, or kerosene. Easy to change, weigh next to nothing, and there's a zip pouch in the lid of the carrying case so you won't lose them.All in all, I'm very pleased with the whole set so far. If someone adds a second fuel valve right at the stove so it will simmer better, I'd say this is pretty close to the perfect white gas backpacking stove.
Comments about Primus EtaPower MF Stove System:
I bought this stove to use primarily for solo backpacking. The included pot makes the set too large for most packers. Also, Primus uses non-stick aluminum, which, in addition to suspected health risks and uneven heating, should not be used over a camp fire, so it's versatility is limited in this regard. Furthermore, this type of pan should not be used if the non-stick surface is ever scratched, an occurrence very likely given that metal parts and accessories are stored within the cavernous pot. I also don't like the fact that while being advertised as "a truly international stove", it only works with Primus gas cartridges, which are hard to obtain in some localities. OTOH, it is a vast improvement over the MSR multifuel stove I'm using currently. The valve is much easier to control, it is much sturdier, and even though I'm confined to a specific brand, gas is a nice alternative. Overall, it displays a sense of quality and craftsmanship I've not seen in any other stove. And, unlike my MSR, the priming stage is much safer and controllable. Though pricey, I'd still recommend it, and I'd honestly have to say that, based on my rather extensive research and experiences, that this stove excels any multi fuel stove on the market today.
Service and delivery comments:
I picked it up at REI, thus saving me shipping costs. My only complaint is that I have to pay California tax, which often neutralizes my membership points. Since REI is based out of state, I can't understand why I have to pay in state taxes.
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