Monday, 27 March 2017 08:50

Primus Micron Trail Stove: Early production sample tested

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We've only looked at an early production sample to date, but the new Primus Micron Trail will hit the shops this Spring as possibly the most adjustable canister top stove on the market.

The final versaion of the Micron comes in three different incarnations: a base model at £35, with a peizo ignition for £40 and the full blown version with piezo ignition and "regulated valve" version at £60. Using the industry standard Coleman thread the Micron Trail is a canister-top stove boasting a 54mm diameter burner that kicks out 2,600W or 8,900TU/h and weighs in at 86.2g, or96.3g with the included storage bag.

Primus MicronTrail Stove Piezo F1

What Primus Say:

MicronTrail Stove combines low weight and compact format with performance and ruggedness. This powerhouse is so small it will fit in your breast pocket yet bring 1 liter of water to rolling boil in under 3 minutes. A narrow, high-speed flame is more wind resistant and especially suitable for Primus PrimeTech pots. The valve is designed to give precise simmering control and the foldable knob is large enough to keep your hands well away from the flame. Choose between simplistic MicronTrail without piezo igniter to keep weight at a minimum, MicronTrail with piezo igniter for extra convenience and MicronTrail with regulated valve and piezo ignition for maximum performance. Piezo igniter offers extra convenience. The regulated valve improves performance when the gas canister is low on fuel or cold. Comes with a storage bag.

Features:

Boils 1 litre of water in under 3 minutes (Primetech pot)

  • Precise simmering control
  • Regulated valve for improved performance with low fuel or in cold weather
  • Built in piezo ignition
  • Storage bag included

 

Micron Trail on Test:

Being an early production model the Micron Trail arrived with a caveat about the pot stand arms, where additional steps would be taken to make the arms lock more securely in place, but to be honest it was never as issue. The arms locked perfectly in place and provided a stable platform, and if anything the issue with the arms was how they fold away after use rather than their performance in use.

Primus Micron Trail 3

For maximum efficiency the Micron Trail is optimised for use with Primua PrimeTech Pots, with a claimed boil time of under 3 minutes for a litre of water, but for our tests we used the ubiquitous MSR Titan with a measured 500ml and ran 5 timed tests without windshield and 3 tests with an Alpkit folding windshield. With a failry constant 8 - 10 mph wind the Primus Trail brought 500ml of water to the boil in an average of 3 minutes 8 seconds without a windshield and 2 minutes 26 seconds with a shield.

Primus Micron Trail 2

The boil time, then, is average to good and at a combined weight, with the bag, of close on 100gm the Micron Trail isn't going to set the ultra-lightweight world alight. The way the arms fold away is bulky with one arm noticeably projecting away from the main body to such an extent it prevented it fitting atop a 250g gas canister inside the Titan, and the piezo ignition was far from consistent. The selling point for the Micron Trail, however, isn't its weight or size but the controllability of the flame in its "regulated valve" incarnation.

Of course all gas canister stoves have regulated valves; they don't just have "on" and "off" flames but an adjustable scale from minimum to maximum. Where the Micron Trail differs is in the level of controllability. On initial testing we actually contacted Primus thinking the stove was broken when no gas emerged in two full rotations of the adjuster, but with the manufacturer's reassurance we persevered  Rather than an adjustment of 3 or 4 full, 360 degree, rotations the fold out wire regulator took 3 1/2 rotations just to open the valve with minute adjustment spread over a further 3 1/2 rotations. Put simply it makes simmering a piece of cake! The result is a reduction in hot spots on your pans, food stuck to the bottom and an improvement in efficiency that will prolong the life of your gas canister.

Primus Micron Trail 1

In use the Micron Trail is above average in stability for a canister top stove, benefitting from a short stem and medium wide arms, particularly when combined with a 250g rather than 100g canister. The arms lock in place simply and securely, despite the warning from Primus, and the central stem rotates freely, making it easy fold the regulator away between the arms. The flame is quite narrow but the level of adjustment from the regulator means you get real control over the output from barely simmering to full-on rolling boil. The timed tests showed a distinct Improvement when combined with a wind shield for standard pots and if Primus could just tweak the arm-folding issue to make it less bulky it would become our default canister top stove.

Last modified on Tuesday, 28 March 2017 08:34