Primus Kinjia Review
Cons: No windscreen, fuel stand is separate and could get lost, attachment for fuel hose is flimsy
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Our Analysis and Test Results
The Primus Kinjia is well-built and makes it easy to cook your camp meals in style. While not the burliest or most powerful model, if your camp kitchen needs are simple and moderately sized, this is a great, if pricey, stove to consider.
Time to Boil
The Kinjia does okay boiling water despite having small burners and lower BTUs. It boiled a quart of water in 4:15 with little-to-no wind present. There are better times in our review, but the fact that the Kinjia's 2" burners were able to do this well is a testament to good design and execution.
No surprise, this isn't the best stove for wind resistance. With only 7,000 BTUs per burner and no windscreen, the Kinjia struggles here the most. That said, it still performs decently due to its compact design. For our box fan test, where we set up a large fan 24 inches to the side of each stove and then timed boiling a quart of water, this model landed right about in the middle with a time of 8:30. What's interesting is that it fared better than other models with windscreens and more power. Design can compensate for BTUs, as this example shows us.
The Kinjia has very user-friendly knobs, and it simmers with ease. The flame is hard to see when it's turned down low, but the ability to fine-tune and feel confident with accurate flame control is excellent. The small two-inch burners do create a bit of a hot spot in the center of cookware, particularly with thinner pans, but for most meals, this isn't a problem. You will need to keep a lighter handy for this stove, as it does not have an auto-ignition system.
Ease of Set Up
This is one of the easier stoves to set up of all the models we tested. Its sturdy wooden handle simply rotates up, allowing the lid to unlock and be opened. Fuel setup is a breeze, with a flexible fuel line already attached to the body of the stove, and which stows neatly on the underside. The stove comes with a special stand to set the neck of your fuel canister on to keep it at the proper angle. This design allows you much more flexibility in regards to where you place your fuel bottle. While we like this setup, we do have a few minor concerns.
First, the head of the fuel adaptor fits into a small recess and is held in place with a thin elastic band. We didn't have any problems with this in the time we used the stove, but it seems very likely that this band could break after extended and continued use. This will leave the fuel line just hanging off the stove with no way to hold it in place. Second, the stand for the fuel bottle is a separate piece that can easily get lost, leaving you with no good way to keep your fuel bottle at the proper 45-degree angle. And last, the lid on our particular model stuck easily and was quite hard to pry open. This is possibly an anomaly of the one stove we used and something that will likely loosen up over time. None of these were major issues, and if you take good care of your stove, we think you will be fine — these are just differences from a more traditional design model that we thought worth mentioning.
Ease of Care
The Kinjia is one of the easiest stoves in our test suite to clean. The grate lifts off, and the drip tray underneath can also be removed entirely. This is one of the only stoves we tested with a removable drip tray, meaning that no matter how much spaghetti sauce you boil over or how many food bits get dropped below the burner, you will always be able to return the stove to a brand new sparkly clean.
The Kinjia is one of our top picks for packed size with measurements of 18.5 x 11.75 x 3.5 inches. It has a thin and sleek design that's both attractive and functional, and we love the incorporated handle for carrying. A fair question to ask yourself, though, is how important it is to save a little bit of space when you're car camping? Is five inches more space in the back of your car worth the sacrifice of not being able to use two large skillets? Only you can answer that question for yourself. A 10-inch skillet on one burner of this stove leaves the other side feeling quite constricted. Our testers were pretty unanimous in feeling that the extra 3-5 inches of width on many of the other compact models we tested is worth it when you consider how much more power, space, and versatility you get.
This stove is pricey and best suited for someone who values looks as much as functionality. No doubt about it, it's a sexy stove. It's light, compact, and beautiful to look at, but is that worth extra money to you? Other models in our review are cheaper and yet have more power, windscreens, a wider cooking area, and bigger burners. Value is subjective, so there's no shame if this stove is worth the extra money to you, and we think it might be a wonderful gift for a stylish new camper. But for your more serious eaters and anyone on a budget, it probably doesn't make sense.
The Kinjia is a compact and well-designed stove that sets up and packs down easily and simmers like a dream. For the right situations, it's a lovely stove. Even though it has small burners, no windscreen, and only 14,000 total BTUs, it boils pretty efficiently. It's a smart, solid design. But it's quite expensive and doesn't offer the power or space of many of the other compact two-burners we tested.
— Penney Garrett