A Kitchen for Your Bike: Primus Feed Zone Stove System Review


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Apr 26, 2023

A Kitchen for Your Bike: Primus Feed Zone Stove System Review

The Primus Feed Zone is the first cycling-specific offering from the

The Primus Feed Zone is the first cycling-specific offering from the well-established stove brand. It is a versatile workhouse for the bikepacking crowd.

Primus has been in the camp stove game since 1892, when the Swedish brand produced stoves that Amundsen would eventually take to the South Pole and that Norgay and Hilary would take to Everest. The Feed Zone is its first cycling-specific design, explicitly marketed to bikepackers and dirt road tourers.

I tested it on a recent trip across 180 miles of single track, snowmobile trails, and dirt roads in Northern Michigan. I traced the Manistee River from its headwaters to the Great Lakes. And while my trip was slightly less intense than skiing to the South Pole or summiting Everest, it still required a decent meal at the end of the day.

In short: The Primus Feed Zone Collection, while not for the minimalist or ultralight packer, impressed me with its versatility, performance, and ease of use. It's a modular system that gives you the most for your money if you’re looking for one stove that can do it all.

The Feed Zone Light Plus is a cycling-specific version of Primus's tried and true Lite Plus backpacking stove. The stove itself is a compact triangle with rounded edges. It is slightly denser and heavier than MSR's trusty Pocket Rocket (just over 5 ounces versus 3 ounces, according to my overpriced espresso scale).

It has a lighter-less spark ignition system and fits seamlessly into the included pot, locking securely and steadily for added security while boiling water. If you’re more inclined to use a single-wall titanium mug to get your water up to temperature, the stove also ships with pot support pegs to adapt to any non-system pot or pan.

I took along the pot, in part because the backpacking meals I packed for this trip required a separate vessel for rehydrating, and also because the whole system (including a 100g gas canister) packs neatly into the pot. This was an elegant solution for keeping the kitchen kit in one compact space.

The system ships with a foldable fuel stand and an included microfiber cloth, which was helpful for cleaning, and it cushioned the stove's contents while packed. Adding fabric indicates thoughtfulness during the Primus team's design process. It replaced my usual system of wrapping everything in an old bandanna and eliminated any potential of scratching the pot. And the system didn't rattle while I tackled roots, rocks, and stream crossings.

The Primus Feed Zone pot has a 0.5L capacity and a heat exchanger that's almost an industry standard. And perhaps most importantly, the hard-anodized aluminum cleaned quickly and easily. There were no sticky leftovers floating around for the second round of coffee.

Primus claims that its Laminar flow burner system can boil 0.5L of water in 3 minutes, which is underselling it. Mine never took longer than 2 minutes at full capacity and often less. I was still rubbing the sleep from my eyes when the steam and the telltale sound of roiling water let me know my coffee would be ready minutes earlier than expected.

The Primus Feed Zone pot is slightly narrower than the Jetboil Flash, with the benefit of removable insulation to shave centimeters. I ran the svelte Specialized x Fjallraven half-frame bag for my most recent trip. The Feed Zone fit it like a glove, and its Goldilocks-esque proportions helped me optimize the frame bag's packing space, something that's always a bit tricky. It would easily fit in popular Relevate and Oveja Negra offerings with room to spare.

The cork/fabric combo insulation was the safest way to handle scalding hot water in a pot. I didn't need pliers or a pot holder for pouring the morning beverage of choice. Or better yet, I used the French Press addition and made it in the Feed Zone Pot. Its dual-purpose strap secured the lid in storage mode and doubled back as a pot handle.

Would I buy it simply for the removable cork sleeve and bikepacking-specific graphics? Of course not. But these features charmed me 100%.

The Koppen is a double-walled stainless steel mug, immediately disqualifying it from the particularly weight-conscious. Primus laser engraves it with the same design featured throughout the collection, and it has a foldout stainless steel handle.

Because it has a double wall, you can't ditch the Feed Zone pot and boil water in it. It clocks in at 10 ounces, and compared to titanium offerings from brands like Snowpeak or Toaks, it is more than double the weight. It does retail for a very reasonable $25, about half the price of the titanium options mentioned above.

Weight aside, I loved this mug. It's significantly narrower than others on the market, making it a breeze to pack in a frame bag. It was the right size to stash a spare tube for my gravel bike's 700 x 44 tires. And in Northern Michigan's cool spring morning, when I could see my breath and was huddled into my down jacket, I loved the insulation and ability to wrap my hands cozily around the mug without scalding my palms.

I appreciated that this Primus spork has aggressive tines. My one complaint with most other sporks is the lack of stabbing power. Trying to get a sporkful of rigatoni (by far the most superior pasta shape) with red sauce was usually a sad affair. The TrailSpork Ti was more than up to the challenge and was ready for anything I traditionally stick a fork into.

Its cutouts allow for a slightly wider handle than the popular Snow Peak option and hit a claimed weight of 0.5 ounces compared to Snow Peak's 0.6 ounces.

The Long Spoon was the standout performer from the utensil set. At first glance, it's simply a spoon on a jaunty angle with an extra long stem.

Designed for getting at the hard-to-reach corners of freeze-dried camping meals, the spoon eliminated the ordinary causality of crusty fingers and unreachable calories. It also worked well for cleaning out the corners of The Feed Zone's pot.

And while the length and angle of the spoon's bowl might lead to some frustrating packing arrangements while backpacking or any activity that involves vertical stacking of gear, it slides adeptly into the side of a frame bag. And at $9, it's a bargain. Even if you don't buy the stove system, buy this spoon. It’ll solve problems you didn't even know you had.

The French Press is, well, a French press. If you’re a French press fanatic, this is an elegant way to get your preferred combo of flavor and caffeine in the wilderness. Instant coffee has come a long way from Nescafe's burnt offerings, but sometimes only the real stuff will do.

The Primus Feed Zone rolltop dry bag features a sturdy waterproof canvas and an exterior daisy chain. Primus emblazons it with the same cycling graphics highlighted throughout the collection.

It fit the stove, combined accessories neatly, and compressed well, although it doesn't have an air valve for that vacuum-seal feel. The bag is nice but unnecessary if you plan to stash the collection on a front fork cage or need everything in a saddlebag or pannier.

You can get by with a drybag you already use if you want to cut costs. But there is something incredibly satisfying about having a bag that fits your gear just right.

The Primus Feed Zone was a capable workhorse — tackling kitchen tasks with ease and aplomb. It's thoughtfully, and perhaps even artfully, designed. It's not the lightest thing on the market, so if you’re addicted to gram counting, this may not be the stove for you.

But this stove did the trick for those looking for versatility and reliability. While the collection is clearly designed with cycling bags in mind, it's not so feature-heavy that I’d advocate replacing an already functioning outdoor stove and pot set. But it's a solid and well-priced option if you’re already looking to replace or upgrade your camp kitchen setup.

Add to that Primus's policy of sending free replacement parts, and this might be the last stove you buy for a while. At least until they come out with new graphics on the insulation sleeve — then you’ll have to upgrade.

Bikepacking enthusiasts love to praise minimalism. But what if I told you a few extra ounces could be the key to actually enjoying a multiday ride? Read more…

Primus has been in the camp stove game since 1892 In short: Feed Zone Collection Feed Zone Light Plus $25 frame bag Primus spork $9 French Press rolltop