Car camping becomes a little more gourmet when you add a Primus Tupike stove to your outdoor kitchen setup. My fiancé and I have tested the stove on two Colorado camping trips so far this summer, and it’s actually hard to find any downfalls with this great two-burner stove.
Weighing in at nine pounds, we won’t be taking a Tupike backpacking, but the durable design makes it still very worthy of backwoods adventures. The well-built stove is very easy to set up, good looking and (most importantly) effective for cooking — so much so that we got rid of our “backup” camping stove because the Tupike seems like it will be the chef’s best friend for many adventures to come.
During a windy evening in Buena Vista the stove was not disturbed. Fold-out windscreens on the lid were a sufficient shield for the burgers and quinoa we were simultaneously cooking on the stove. That’s another great feature — the Tupike has a non-stick aluminum griddle plate that can be used to grill meats and vegetables, so it’s no problem if you don’t have a pan.
Chefs will appreciate how responsive the dials are to adjusting the flames on the stove. You can really blast the fire to boil water in a flash, or turn it down just so to a simmer or to keep food hot before you’re ready to serve it.
The design of stainless steel with oak laths has kept the stove from getting banged up when we’ve transported it. The Tupike is also available in a version with a carrying bag, called the Tupike Kit, which holds the stove and accessories. We found a dedicated gear bag is pretty necessary to keep everything together, and perhaps that is a feature that should always be included in the stove.
The stove is powered either by the smaller and lighter canister normally used for backpacking stoves or for more stationary use, the larger gas canisters — it’s nice to have the option. Gas is not included with the stove and must be purchased separately.
At $229.95, the stove is at a higher price point than most in the car camping arena, but with that investment you are getting a high quality product that will last.
Pros: The easy setup of the Primus Tupike makes it very inviting to use. Once you’re cooking, the flames are super responsive and can make preparing a car camping meal seamless and enjoyable. The griddle option on the stoves means you don’t have to have a pan and also distributes even heat on your meat and vegetables. Wood slats provide a protective casing around the stainless steal stove when it’s closed up to prevent wear and tear while transporting it and while it’s in storage.
Cons: The Primus Tupike is not light enough to be a backpacking stove, so if you’re looking for a one-stove-for-all-camping-trips option, this isn’t the right choice. It’s also sold at the higher end of the price point for camp stoves, but you do get what you pay for in terms of top quality. I recommend that you pay extra to get the full kit with a carrying bag included, but it seems like that should already be included with the stove.
Where We Took It: Car camping in Buena Vista and Vail, Colorado.