Primus Omnilite TI Review
Cons: Requires lots of maintenance, expensive
Our Analysis and Test Results
Primus is a stove company with a long history that pioneered many early backpacking stove innovations. While the Omnilite Ti makes some improvements but doesn't deliver in a few key areas, including the pump.
In our no-wind test, the The Omnilite Ti used 0.6 oz of white gas to boil 1 liter of water. In our 2 - 4 mph wind test, about the same amount was used.
The Omnilite fared well against other liquid fuel stoves in weight. Its trail weight is 11.5 oz (326 grams). It weighs about the same as most other liquid fuel stoves, though it has one of the more complicated feature sets. The lightest stoves we tested were the small canister stoves.
The Omnilite is one of several liquid fuel stoves that are designed to simmer better than their brethren. We used it on an expedition to make pancakes and also to thaw frozen chicken before turning the stove up and frying it. While it certainly does simmer, and does so more easily than the other liquid fuel stoves, it does not simmer as easily or well as a small canister stove. If simmering is important on your backpacking trip we recommend any of those stoves.
Ease Of Use
The pump cup of the Omnilite is made of leather. Rubber is the more modern material found in the pump cups of all MSR liquid fuel stoves. Our testers had problem after problem getting the leather pump cup to do its job and pressurize the fuel bottle sufficiently. We first discovered the issue after a day or so of use. The pump cup was misshapen and we had to reform it. It required regular attention after that. This was a big disappointment, we really wish Primus would replace it with a rubber pump cup.
We did grow fond of the quick and easy deployment of the legs of the stove. There was no wrestling the legs into place as with some of the other models. The pot supports are among the biggest in our review. This stove comes with an 11 oz Primus fuel bottle. The stuff sack that comes with the stove is spacious and made of very heavy duty material. The Omnilite can burn white gas, automotive fuel, diesel, kerosene, and also isopropane canister fuel.
The Omnilite was one of the slower stoves in our boil time test. Though we don't think differences in boil time of a minute or two are particularly important, this stove is a bit slower than the liquid-fuelled competition.
Our testers are not convinced this stove is a good value. Its multi-fuel capability gives it some good versatility, But there are other liquid fuel options that sport the same versatility for less. Heck, for the list price of this stove you could purchase a good liquid fuel stove and a good small canister stove (on sale).
The Primus Omnilite Ti has good simmering capability, is fairly light, and its multi-fuel capability makes it versatile. It could be the best liquid fuel stove in the review except for its old-fashioned and finicky leather pump cup, which makes the most basic function of a backpacking stove - heating water - difficult.
— Ian McEleney