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Reviewed by 2 customers
Displaying reviews 1-2
Comments about Primus FireHole 200 2-Burner Stove:
My 35 year old camp stove died recently, so I decided to get a Primus Profile (this stove's little brother). It had several durability issues, and the frame bent while carrying it the first time, so I talked to Primus and REI, and I was assured that the FireHole stoves were much more durable. I was told that the frames were thicker and designed to withstand the rigors and abuses of camping. [$] was more than I wanted to spend, but I made the jump. The first stove arrived with one end smashed in (and neither the exterior shipping box nor the interior manufacturer's box were crushed). I figured it must have sustained some major drop that somehow damaged the stove but not the box. So REI kindly sent me another. Two days later I received a FireHole 200 with the bottom smashed in and the front face (where the handles are) crushed inwards. This, second, stove can't even be leveled on a flat surface, and the lid doesn't close properly. Again, there was no damage to either the exterior or interior box. I never even got to use either FireHole stove!So, here is my distilled experience with Primus. I went through 3 stoves (1 x Profile and 2 x FireHole 200) in 4 weeks, and not one of them made it to a place of actual cooking use without serious body damage, despite no apparent mishandling. They are flimsy, and I recommend that you do not buy one!
Comments about Primus FireHole 200 2-Burner Stove:
So I picked this unit up at REI a month ago. I was planning on purchasing either a Camp Chef Mountain Series or a Primus Profile model - the firehole series was new on the shelf and felt like a solid piece of equipment so I picked it up.
Wasn't able to find reviews for this series of stoves anywhere online because it's a brand new line from Primus.
This review includes my initial thoughts after three straight weekends of use while car camping.
Weekend 1 I broke this baby in and it performed flawlessly. Some folks might be disappointed that the beautiful chrome-colored elements and grating will blue and discolor immediately after first use. You should expect this. Overall, I found that this unit had ample power to boil coffee and cook up some flap jacks and eggs simultaneously. I found that I was able to cook breakfast and dinner for three people on one canister of propane with about 25% of the fuel remaining. The unit is easy to clean! No sharp edges or nooks and crannies to try to clean out, very simple. The back and side panels are very sturdy and held up well against the wind - the magnets are decent, though they won't hold up if you bump them with your elbow or a utensil while cooking. Overall I was very pleased with the unit.
Weekend two I was cooking for a group of 8 people. Again the Firehole proved to have ample power to supply hot food for the whole group. I did find that dialing down the power to cook over a thin griddle (GSI) was a little difficult, and that I did experience hot spots - but that's to be expected, you just gotta shuffle your pancakes around the griddle to make sure they all get a few seconds on the heat and then keep them warm near the edges. The GSI griddle fits perfectly on this stove and I would recommend the combination! On the second morning the piezo lighter no longer functioned on the left-side burner. I had to light it with a separate propane lighter. This was the first of the quality issues I experienced. This is really only an inconvenience when cooking over a full griddle, which makes it difficult to slip a lighter in to reignite the burner if it goes out on you. On this weekend we cooked 4 meals for 8 people and I burned through about 1.50 canisters of propane - still very respectable because I cooked gourmet - keeping things warm on low heat while we prepare the meal and even while eating.
The third weekend the I was cooking for a group of 7 people and began experiencing problems with fuel pressure consistency. The elements would sputter even when on full blast. If I turned them down to a simmer, they would go out after a few seconds. I had to constantly relight both elements while making breakfast - which proved difficult with only one side of the piezo ignition working. The propane canister I was using was more than half full, but I switched it out for a new tank anyways and had the same problems. I found that I could mitigate the issues slightly by re-positioning the tank every 60 seconds - standing it up, then laying it on it's side, then the other side, then back up again. Each time the flame would return to it's full glory for a while before beginning to sputter out again. Seems to me like there is a quality issue with the fuel hose - which is a bummer because the fuel hose is one of the best features of this stove.
I have not used the stove again since the weekend, but I hope to play around with the hose and fix it.
I can get by without the piezo ignition working on one side - that's not a deal-breaker. If I can't get the fuel pressure to regulate properly, this sucker will be going back to REI - I'll definitely exchange it for a new one and give this model another shot, maybe I just had a bought of bad luck? This is the first Primus product I've purchased before but it seems like folks are generally pleased with their quality.
I'll update my post when I have more to share. I hope this helps if you're looking into buying this thing! The performance is awesome, I just hope these quality issues aren't common with this model. So far with my experience I suppose I can't recommend this unit.
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