Hands-on Gear Review

Primus Kinjia Review

Slim and sleek, this stove is small but beautifully built and it simmers like a dream.
Primus Kinjia
By: Penney Garrett ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 3, 2018
Price:  $180 List  |  $142.70 at Backcountry - 21% Off
Pros:  Compact, flexible fuel hose, easy to clean, excellent simmer
Cons:  No windscreen, fuel stand is separate and could get lost, attachment for fuel hose is flimsy
Manufacturer:   Primus
67
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 13
  • Time to Boil - 30% 7
  • Wind Resistance - 25% 4
  • Simmering Ability - 15% 7
  • Ease of Set Up - 10% 8
  • Ease of Care - 10% 8
  • Portability - 10% 9
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Our Verdict

The Primus Kinjia is a sleek and sexy stove with an easy setup and excellent simmering ability. It has no windscreen and only two-inch-wide burners, the smallest of any stove we tested, but these apparent shortcomings did not overly hinder its performance. The compact design made boiling water, even with wind present, more efficient than we initially expected. This isn't the best stove if you regularly cook with large groups of people or with very large cookware, but for the right situation, it's a stylish and well-performing stove.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

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The Kinjia by Primus is a well-built stove that makes it easy to cook your camp meals in style. While it is by far not the burliest or most powerful stove we tested, if your camp kitchen needs are simple and moderately sized this is a great, if pricey, stove to consider.

Performance Comparison


This stove was one of the top winners for packed size  but it still accommodates full size cookware.
This stove was one of the top winners for packed size, but it still accommodates full size cookware.

Time to Boil


The Kinjia did OK boiling water despite having small burners and lower BTUs. It landed in the middle of the pack, finishing a quart of 60-degree water in 4:15 and a quart of 50-degree water on a cooler day in 4:45. For reference, the fastest stove was our Editors' Choice, the Camp Chef Everest, which clocked in at 2:30 for the 60-degree water and 3:30 for the 50-degree water. But the Everest has 13,000 more BTUs per 3.5" wide burner, so the fact that the Kinjia's 2" burners were able to do so well is a testament to good design and execution.

Despite the low BTUs and tiny burners  this stove still performed well across the board.
Despite the low BTUs and tiny burners, this stove still performed well across the board.

Wind Resistance


No surprise, this wasn't the best stove for wind resistance. With only 7,000 BTUs per burner and no windscreen, this is the category where the Kinjia struggled the most. That said, it still performed decently due to its tight 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 in the middle with a time of 8:30. What's interesting it that it fared better than the Coleman Triton Plus by more than six minutes, even though the Triton has a windscreen and 4,000 more BTUs per burner. Design can compensate for BTUs as this example shows us.

Despite small burners and relatively low BTUs  the Kinjia performed quite well across all our rating metrics.
Despite small burners and relatively low BTUs, the Kinjia performed quite well across all our rating metrics.

Simmering Ability


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 our ability to fine tune and feel confident with accurate flame control was excellent. The small two-inch burners did create a bit of a hot spot in the center of cookware, particularly with thinner pans, but for most meals, this wasn't a problem.

You will need to keep a lighter handy for this stove, as it does not have an auto-ignition system.

This stove had a unique fuel setup with a flexible hose and a separate fuel canister stand to keep it at the correct angle.
This stove had a unique fuel setup with a flexible hose and a separate fuel canister stand to keep it at the correct angle.

Ease of Set Up


The Kinjia was 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 was a breeze, with a flexible fuel line already attached to the body of the stove, and which stores 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 liked this setup, we had 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 will break over after extended and continued use. This would 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 could easily get lost, leaving you with no good way to keep the 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.

We liked the storage area for the fuel hose on this stove  but the thin rubber band holding it in place seems very likely to break.
We liked the storage area for the fuel hose on this stove, but the thin rubber band holding it in place seems very likely to break.

Ease of Care


The Kinjia was one of the easiest stoves in our test suite to clean. The grate lifts off and the drip tray underneath can also be completely removed. This was the only stove 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.

Portability


The Kinjia was 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 loved the incorporated handle for transporting. 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. Our testers were pretty unanimous in feeling that the extra 3-5 inches of width on many of the other compact models we tested were worth it when you consider how much more power, space, and adaptability you get.

The Kinjia has a nice handle that doubles as the locking lever for the lid of the stove.
The Kinjia has a nice handle that doubles as the locking lever for the lid of the stove.

Best Applications


This is not the stove to buy if you plan to cook for large groups regularly. With a cooking surface of 17.25 x 6 inches and only nine inches between burners, it has one of the smallest cooking spaces of all the two-burners we tested. A 10-inch skillet on one burner leaves the other side of the stove feeling quite constricted. That said, the lack of windscreens on the sides does allow you to squeeze larger cookware on the two burners than you would be able to otherwise, though this leaves the tiny burners very off-center.

We think this stove is best suited for 1-4 people and meals that don't require a ton of space or power. It performed nicely across all categories and was well constructed and pleasant to use, but it's got limitations. The burners are small, and the cooking space is narrow, so understand that if you buy this stove, you won't have room to grow your camp kitchen beyond a certain point.

The cooking grate on this stove was a bit slippery but also quite sturdy.
The cooking grate on this stove was a bit slippery but also quite sturdy.

Value


The Kinjia is a very pricey stove, ringing in at $179.95. This is a piece of gear 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? The Camp Chef Everest is $55 cheaper and has 26,000 more BTUs, 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 just doesn't make sense.

Conclusion


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, we found that 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.

On top of that, it has a separate stand for the fuel bottle that we fear could get lost, and an attachment system for the fuel hose that seems bound to break over time. All in all, while we liked this stove a lot, it left us walking away with a few reservations and a considerably lighter wallet.

Penney Garrett

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Most recent review: May 3, 2018
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:  
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 (3.0)
Average Customer Rating:  
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3 star: 100%  (1)
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