I recently stumbled across The Primus Filling Adapter for Butane Lighters while I was online, and decided to try one out. This little device claims to allow the filling of Butane lighters from commonly available backpacking stove butane and isobutane mix fuel cartridges. It simply screws onto the Lindal valve of the fuel cartridge, and converts it to the nozzle valve used on butane fuel canisters for filling most standard refillable lighters. It’s pretty simple; so I was sure it would fill butane lighters from a backpacking stove fuel cartridge, but would the butane lighters work with the different fuel as claimed?/
I used three Ronson Jetline lighters (These can be found for $4 each by the cash register on the tobacco products aisle at most Walmart stores), a Rocky Patel double flame torch lighter made by Magic, a Rocky Patel inline triple flame torch lighter, and a Xikar Stratosphere as the lighters for the test. Fuel cartridges used were a 4 oz SnowPeak IsoPro blend ($6 at REI), 7.75 oz Coleman butane / propane blend ($5 at Academy Sports + Outdoors), and 8 oz MSR IsoPro blend ($6 at Academy Sports + Outdoors). Please note that the Coleman cartridge used was from their backpacking stove line, also known as the Coleman Peak1 line. It uses a Lindal valve like the other standard backpacking stove cartridges, and it is not the same as the conventional Coleman propane fuel cans.
I’ve used the Ronson Jetline lighters before (I have several floating around my car and home), and had great luck with them, so I figured I’d buy a few more as controls for this test. All three worked out of the package with their pre filled fuel. Of those three Ronson lighters, only one of the three worked with the camp stove fuels, and it didn’t care which fuel was put into it. The other two were taken to my local cigar shop, since I didn’t have a can of regular lighter butane fuel handy. There they were filled with Xikar premium butane intended for jet torch type lighters. One of them worked with the Xikar butane, but the last one wouldn’t at all, even after the folks at the shop cleaned the jet. These Ronsons are usually good lighters, and this is the first of many that I’ve ever seen not work at all. Every now and then you’ll get a bad one, but such is the nature of $4 torch lighters. The lesson here is to test any lighter (any piece of gear really) before relying on it for anything critical, and keep your receipt in case you need to return or exchange it.
The three higher end lighters, the two RP torches and the Xikar Stratosphere, all performed flawlessly. All three of these lighters performed flawlessly with each of three fuels sampled. The Xikar seems more efficient, and maybe a tad hotter, with the two IsoPro blends than it does with standard straight butane lighter fuel. It seemed to have identical performance to standard butane lighter fuel when filled with the Coleman butane / propane mix. The two RP torches have noticeably taller and hotter burning jets with the IsoPro fuels when compared to standard straight butane lighter fuel. Like the Xikar lighter, these two RP torches seemed to have identical performance to standard straight butane lighter fuel when filled with the Coleman butane / propane mix. I also filled a friend’s Stratosphere with the MSR IsoPro fuel, and his lighter has continued to function flawlessly with the new fuel.
These results are really not that surprising to me. Because of cartridge wall thickness requirements for holding these pressurized fuels they never exceed 30% propane. I’ve read some sources saying the Coleman blend is a standard 70/30 butane/propane mix, and others saying it’s a 75/25 mix. Either way, at 70%-75% percent butane I’m not surprised that the Coleman BuPro mix performed identically to standard 100% butane lighter fuel. The MSR and SnowPeak fuels are Isobutane based, rather than butane based, for improved cold weather performance in camp stoves vs. IsoPro fuels are known in the backpacking community to burn hot and clean across a fairly wide range of temperatures. Hence the improved performance over regular butane fuels in torch lighters also makes sense.
The Primus filling adapter was about $12 from amazon.com. It’s about the same size as the valve / jet assembly portion of my Primus Trail Classic stove, so it’s quite small, and easily fits in the stove’s storage bag. If you’re a hiker, backpacker, or camper you should strongly consider picking up a Primus filling adapter so you can keep your lighter full in the field from your stove’s fuel cartridge. I also like the Primus filling adapter for general emergency / inclement weather kits. When combined with a backpacking stove the adapter takes up very little space, and allows standardization on one type of fuel for both the lighter and stove.