Jetboil PCS vs. Primus EtaExpress

Discussion in 'Equipment' started by KingRat, Sep 30, 2008.

  1. KingRat

    KingRat Retired and Grumpy.

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    As I seem to have ended up with one of each :evil I thought I’d compare the two.

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    The Jetboil is a popular thing and consists of a pot with heat exchanger, burner unit, lid and protector for the heat exchanger. The set up, without gas canister, weighs 414g. Packed it is 180mm tall and the maximum diameter is 108mm.

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    The Primus EtaExpress is shorter and wider at 150mm tall and 120mm maximum diameter when packed. It is also a little heavier at 472g without gas canister.

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    The Jetboil fits together as a single unit with a neoprene insulating pot sleeve, whereas the Primus is basically a standard folding stove unit with a heat exchanger pot, small pan/lid, and windshield. The Primus burner is larger than the Jetboil, and comes with a protective pouch. The Primus packs in to a net bag, whereas the Jetboil just packs in to itself. Both have piezoelectric igniters.

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    I boiled 500ml of room temperature tap water using each of these stoves. The Jetboil brought the water to a rolling boil in 3 mins 56 secs and used 6g of gas. The Primus did it in 1 min 44 secs and used 4g of gas.

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    The Jetboil’s neoprene sleeve and protector for the heat exchanger are both good ideas and missing from the Primus. However, the Primus more than makes up for these design differences in flexibility. The Primus may be used as an ordinary stove. The wider pot means that a 220g gas cartridge may be packed inside it instead of the 125g cartridge that fits in the Jetboil. Alternatively, I have found a stainless steel Tatonka folding handle mug will fit inside the Primus pot, with a 125g gas cartridge inside it, making it even more flexible.

    For use with a motorcycle, I suggest the additional 58g weight of the Primus is negligible compared with the improved flexibility and efficiency. Both appear well made, although I think the Primus just has the edge here, and both cost about £60 in the UK.
    #1
  2. Ron from BC

    Ron from BC Long timer

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    I have the ETA Xpress and I am extremely impressed with it. It exceeded all my expectations.

    If you want to boil water or get something hot, don't walk away once you've started it 'cause it doesn't take very long at all.

    I picked up the 1.7L Primus Pot with heat exchanger to compliment the set.

    I understand the coffee press on the JetBoil isn't perfect with respect to coffee grounds getting thru etc but I have no knowledge of that personally.

    In terms of boiling/cooking efficiency I'm sure the JetBoil is a winner too.
    #2
  3. wully

    wully Not long now...

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    Some body has too much time on their hands...

    I'm happy with my jetboil as I only use it to make coffee but after reading what you say I think I'd have bought the Primus if I'd known about it.

    ( We don't use the jetboil coffee press - we've got two insulated coffee press mugs which work really well.)
    #3
  4. Xeraux

    Xeraux Archvillain

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    This is good stuff.

    I've been putting off buying a JetBoil because I can't bring myself to buy what is essentially a heated cup.

    The Primus EtaExpress is much more like what I've been looking for.

    Thanks.
    #4
  5. KingRat

    KingRat Retired and Grumpy.

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    No sh1t Sherlock .....:lol3
    #5
  6. R_W

    R_W wannabe

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    That etaexpress windscreen is a simply brilliant thing!
    #6
  7. AngryScot

    AngryScot .

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    Good stuff thanks for taking the time to do that :thumb
    #7
  8. Colemanfu

    Colemanfu King of all manfu

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    F-ing quality report! That's what it's all about.
    #8
  9. xtphreak

    xtphreak from B4 "adventure bikes"

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    maybe you should pick up a good handgun and take up plinking? :dunno
    :amazon



    oh sorry Chewie :evil


















    :hide

    :wave
    #9
  10. Monty_Burns

    Monty_Burns Excellent.

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    I've always liked the stuff I've bought from Primus.
    #10
  11. KingRat

    KingRat Retired and Grumpy.

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    :lol3

    :patch

    :bluduh

    :fitz



    :wave Phreakie :D
    #11
  12. Motomantra

    Motomantra Registered Lurker

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    How well do they simmer?
    & thanks for the report.
    #12
  13. greatnortoni

    greatnortoni Been here awhile

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    I use the Coleman feather 400 (don't make it any more), it is a white gas (Coleman fuel) only stove, I have had it since the mid 80's. A year or two after I bought it they came out with the "dual fuel" (same basic stove) and then the multi fuel (a bit wider) stoves.
    I wish I had waited to get the dual fuel because it can run on unleaded gas, that way I could always drain some gas out of my GS/PD tank whenever I need to refill the stove.
    Now there are several other models made by Coleman that are lighter and smaller but I have no experience with them.
    I do like that the stove carries it's own fuel in the internal tank - no need to buy additional fuel cartridges (probably the deciding factor for me) meaning less to pack along to the campsite and less garbage to pack out, and even though it is larger than the ones mentioned here it fits nicely inside the pot/pan system I use and best of all this baby really cranks out the heat. It had worked perfectly all these years, reliable and easy to use.
    Widely available and affordable.
    Greatnortoni:rilla

    I need a new motorcycle ~ my carbon footprint isn't big enough!
    #13
  14. HaChayalBoded

    HaChayalBoded Brooklyn Bored

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    something is seriously wrong with your jetboil. was it covered? I just grabbed mine and boiled about 20oz in just over 2 minutes. water came out of a 20oz poland spring bottle that was sitting near the window so it was cold not room temp.

    Can you remove the handle from the eta? are they attached via screws or small bolts or are they riveted on? If you can remove them then you can get a neoprene cozy at your local walmart\kmart\target, slip it over the thing and punch two holes in it in order to reattach the handle.
    #14
  15. Hoppus Maximus

    Hoppus Maximus Slayer of Brews

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    Ron from BC...How is that 1.7 pot working out for you. I can only assume that the wind shield must be removed in order use the 1.7. Does that pot make the unit too top heavy or is that not an issue? I'm trying to decide if I can get by without the extra 1.7 pot or not. thanks
    #15
  16. Ron from BC

    Ron from BC Long timer

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    The 1 Liter pot that comes with the Primus is great but I find for food a pot with a larger footprint is better for even heating. I opted for the 1.7 instead of the larger sizes as it will be more than enough for me.

    Yes, the shield does have to come. I've read lots of good things about the shield but haven't found myself in that windy of an area to use it yet.

    As far as stability goes I've only used it once and that was on a picnic table next to the bike and it was fine. I think it goes without saying that you'd want to make sure it's steady, but with that heat exchanger on the base it stays nice and snug when stirring.
    #16
  17. KingRat

    KingRat Retired and Grumpy.

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    From previous experience the Jetboil is poor for simmering. When making noodles I boiled for 30s, let stand for a couple of minutes, then boiled for 30s again, to counter this.

    The Primus flame is very adjustable and simmering is no problem - just checked. :thumb

    Just repeated the Jetboil test using the same gas cartridge I used with the Primus. 4min 02 secs to a full rolling boil, lid on.

    The Primus has a bigger burner and bigger diameter pan and heat exchanger, and therefore should be hotter and have a bigger surface contact area, so it should be faster.... and in my test it certainly was.

    Nice idea, but riveted.



    I'm not trying to sell the Primus to anyone, and I've recommended Jetboils for years. The Primus is just better, in my personal opinion.
    #17
  18. HaChayalBoded

    HaChayalBoded Brooklyn Bored

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    drill the rivets outs and pick up a rivet gun from home depot or blows for like $10, or replace them with SS screws or a small bolts.
    #18
  19. ozrockrat

    ozrockrat Ozrockrat

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    I just bought a Jetboil in the USA on my way down to Chile. (full retail :cry ) as I do like the concept and had heard good reports. Got here and chased all over Santiago with a local climbing buddy and could not get the 125g gas canister that fits inside the jetboil. So I ended up with the bigger canisters which sort of defeats the purpose.

    Jetboil do have an agent in Chile but they will not have stock for a month or so. Santiago is definitely not the back country and is close to some of the best hiking, climbing, riding country around so if I cannot get the canisters here I would not be surprised if supplies in the rest of South America were limited as well.

    Looks like the Jetboil goes back to Phoenix and my 20 year old primus kit comes down here next trip.

    Just an FYI and my 1 peso worth. :D
    #19
  20. Squeaky

    Squeaky A Few Loose Screws...

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    FYI - Jetboil Java Kit is today's deal of the day at Outdoor Daily for $79.99 + $5 s&h. Only lasts until midnight.

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    #20