We take a look at the great basecamp stove from Swedish stove masters Primus.
Onja is our most compact two-burner stove. Thanks to the carrying strap the stove is easy to bring along and functions just as well on the city excursion to the park as on the weekend trip with the kayak.
On any climbing trip most of your downtime will be spent in the valley, and during the summer that will often be camping. So we do like to review basecamp items when good one’s crop up as they make the cooking experience so much more pleasant and efficient. If you’re eating well, you’re well rested and more likely to be recovered for your next day out.
The Primus Onja Duo Stove is a compact, 2 burner stove that definitely sits in the basecamp category as it’s 3.26kg (yes kg!) means only the strong will be carrying it anywhere other than to a beach bbq or campsite cooking. You can strip away the lovely Oak chopping board and the fabric side panels to bring the weight down to 2.6kg. It is however, a great compact design that will take up far less room than a traditional double burner when car boot space is at a premium.
The design is a clever X shape that simply pulls apart to give a sturdy and stable base and then you simply push it back together, lock the chopping board lid with the strap and hey presto! It’s packed away. I’ve been using it with Primus 230g canisters which has been fine, there is no need to remove the canisters as the Onja stove can accommodate them folded shut. The stove also takes 100g and 450g canisters and it’s great as there is no need to be looking or driving any distance to fill an empty Propane bottle as most outdoor stores across the world now stock the screw on type of gas canister. So the Primus Onja Duo Stove is super convenient as far as fuelling it in concerned. It also means you can swap and change between basecamp and bivvy gas, again saving boot and tent space.
The Primus Onja stove carries well with its detachable carry handle but do remember the weight. The removable G-1000 side panels (made with Fjallraven G-1000 fabric) are easy enough to take off, clean and replace and there are 2 new colours in the range (Navy and Grey) and I also liked the small details like the leather Primus badge and the brass details.
The stove performance as OK and the wire adjuster knobs provided good flame control. The large burner units provided plenty of heat to heat water quickly enough (it is definitely more powerful than the bottled Propane stove we’ve been using the last few years). The only real issue I encountered throughout the test is that the Primus Onja stove had some issues in breezy conditions and you will need to find or built some wind shelter to get the stove to work efficiently when the wind blows. The bottled stove we’ve been using has a more traditional design with a lid that acts as a windbreak. Most of my basecamp cooking can be done in my tent porch so, it worked fine for me during the test period. If I’m travelling lighter then I may have a re-think on the type of stove I take with me. Also it’s fair to say that most cookers of this type have issues in windy conditions – I’ve had plenty of issues with fully featured performance stoves in the wind so it’s nothing to get too uptight about.
In conclusion the Primus Onja Duo Stove is lovely looking piece of Swedish design and it will definitely appeal to those who are looking for a compact and designer looking cooking stove for beach parties, picnics and campsite cooking. For me it worked well as it is compact and fits into my car boot well and I can get replacement gas very easily when on expedition work. It will work fine in most conditions but don’t expect full efficiency when the breeze blows. It brings the best of Scandinavian cooking to your car – enjoy!
Dave Sarkar has tested and reviewed climbing, mountaineering and outdoor equipment for over 10 years. He works as a qualified MIA both in the UK and Internationally: working as a mountaineering instructor and expedition leader for his company Wild Spaces. When he isn’t working in the mountains he’s playing in the mountains and enjoys all aspects climbing and mountain sports whether bouldering at his local crag or ice climbing; as long as he’s going upwards he’s happy!