Size Does Matter!

August 08, 2013  •  Leave a Comment

So if you have decided that you would like a paraffin pressure stove, what next?  Well by the title of this post you'll be expecting that there is, of course, something else to consider...

And that something is SIZE!  Yes, size does matter.  And by that, I'm referring to the size of the stove.  You see, if there's only one or two of you hiking, you probably don't want to be carrying around a large base-camp size stove and if there's four of you camping, you probably want something a bit bigger than the Primus/Optimus 96 stove shown in my last post.

With paraffin pressure stoves, there are several common sizes.  The capacity in pints is how much paraffin the tank can hold.

  • 1/2 pint [e.g. Optimus/Primus 96]

Primus 96

  • 1 pint [e.g. Optimus 00, Primus 210]

Primus 210

  • 1 3/4 pint [e.g. Optimus 45]

Optimus 45

  • 2 pint [e.g. Optimus 1, Optimus/Primus 5]

Optimus 1

There are, of course, bigger stoves out there but they will be hard to find or expensive (and we're "keeping it simple" here)!

All but the 2 pint stoves are basically "packable" - in other words, they can be partially dismantled so they can fit in a box (although there are "packable" 2 pint stoves, but good luck finding them - and if you do, please share photos on CCS!)

As a basic rule of thumb, the 1/2 pint stove is a 1 - 2 man stove, the 1 pint stove a 2 - 3 man stove and the 1 3/4 pint stove is for 3 - 4 (or more).  The 1 3/4 pint is a "base-camp" stove really - it's not suited to being carried in a backpack unlike the 1/2 or 1 pint stoves!  The 2 pint stoves are also base-camp and home cooking stoves.

Here is a comparison...

Comparison of Stove Sizes: L-R, Primus 96, Primus 210, Optimus 45, Optimus 1 Left to Right: Primus 96, Primus 210, Optimus 45, Optimus 1.

The different stoves are not just different sizes, they also have different size burners and have different heat outputs.  There's info out there (see http://www.spiritburner.com/fusion/index.php) on the different heat outputs for different burners, but I'm not going in to it here!  As a basic guide, assume that from the 1/2 to the 1 3/4 pint stove, heat output increases!

Hopefully, this gives you an idea of which size stove you want - you could of course get one of each!  If you do, beware the Dark Side (known to mere mortals as compulsive stove purchasing!) :)

Next I hope to address the vexed question of loud or quiet.  It's not just a matter of personal preference ;)


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