Hands-on Gear Review

Primus FireHole 100 Review

Primus FireHole 100
Price:  $170 List
Pros:  Auto-ignition system, flexible fuel line, attractive
Cons:  Only 12,000 BTUs per burner
Editors' Rating:   
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Manufacturer:   Primus

Our Verdict

The Primus FireHole 100 has several innovative features, but didn't quite bring enough flame power to really impress us. Out of the box, you will notice that it is very lovely, appears sturdy, and has generous cooking space. It comes with a pre-attached propane hose adapter that is flexible and therefore allows for a more convenient stove set up (note: you still need another propane hose adapter in order to use this stove with a 5 gallon propane tank!). The hose stows under the stove and is secured by some rather chintzy metal prongs. Each of its two burners have 12,000 BTUs of flame power. The Primus FireHole 100 has an auto-ignition system that works about 70% of the time. We found that lighting the stove with the flame on a very low setting increased its chance of lighting. The windscreens of the stove attach to the rear panel of the stove with magnets, allowing for quick attachment. They also double as utensil holders on days without wind.



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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Laura Lingeman

Last Updated:
Wednesday
September 17, 2014

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We can confidently say that the Primus FireHole 100 is the sleekest and sexiest looking camping stove we tested. Unfortunately, that's just about the only really positive thing we have to say about it.

Performance Comparison


Smooth and sleek. This stove didn't earn the highest scores in our metrics  but it does look good.
Smooth and sleek. This stove didn't earn the highest scores in our metrics, but it does look good.

Group Cooking


We cannot recommend this stove for group cooking. It was one of our slowest stoves in the boil test, only surpassing the Coleman PowerPack in this test. Unless you're trying to make your dinner celebrations last all night, you're better of picking another stove.

Time to Boil


This stove took 7:22 to boil a liter of water for coffee. Hope there aren't any serious coffee drinkers in the house! That said, remember that we performed our boil test at over 8,000 feet above sea level, so it's possible that it may not take quite this long at lower elevations.

The low heat may make boiling water a pain  but it sure is great for frying french toast! Also  the ability for wind flaps to become utensil holders is a perk that we found to be surprisingly useful.
The low heat may make boiling water a pain, but it sure is great for frying french toast! Also, the ability for wind flaps to become utensil holders is a perk that we found to be surprisingly useful.

Cooking Simmer


The Primus FireHole 100 is very good at simmering. It easily maintains a low flame without blowing out. It also cooks evenly.

Ease of Set Up


Doesn't get much simpler than this! Undo the latch closure of the stove and attach it to your propane source. Remember, this is the only stove with the propane adapter already attached to the stove body, so that's one less thing to worry about.
The flexible fuel line stows beneath the stove.
The flexible fuel line stows beneath the stove.

Ease of Care


This model's drip tray is very easy to wipe down and its cooking grate can be removed by lifting it out.

Wind Resistance


We found the flame to be very sensitive to wind. This could be due to the construction of the stove, but seems more likely to be attributed to its low flame power to begin with. Regardless, choose your cooking location wisely.
The magnetic wind screen closures.
The magnetic wind screen closures.

Packed Size


This camping stove packs down to 22.5 x 11.5 x 4.5." Its dimensions are comparable to other portable two-burners.

Best Application


This stove is best for car camping with small groups as it doesn't offer enough heat to cook large quantities of food/water with efficiency.

Value


We thought this stove was extremely overpriced. At $169.95, it was nearly our most expensive two-burner stove. Only the Camp Chef Explorer costs more (…just $1 more…) and it is free-standing with 30,000 BTU burners, as opposed to the 12,000 BTU burners of the Primus FireHole 100.
The flame control knob and piezo ignitor knob.
The flame control knob and piezo ignitor knob.

Conclusion


Due to the exceptional price tag of this stove and its subpar cooking performance, we don't recommend purchasing it. Our Editors' Choice, the Camp Chef Everest, costs $50 less and earned superior scores on all criteria. Even the Camp Chef Explorer 2-Burner could be an alternate option for those who don't mind spending money on a two-burner stove, since it costs nearly the same price, but has much more powerful burners and is free-standing. Most of our testers had used Primus products before with great feedback and found the Primus FireHole 100 to be a disappointment. We can only hope to see improvements in their stoves in the future. For the time being, we would rather put our money elsewhere.

Laura Lingeman

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Most recent review: September 17, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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  • 4
  • 5
 (2.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
 (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 0%  (0)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 100%  (1)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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