Hands-on Gear Review

Primus ETA Lite+ Review

Price:  $115 List | $103.43 at Amazon
Compare prices at 3 resellers
Pros:  Fuel efficient, superior stove/burner mating, hanging system included
Cons:  Heavy for its volume, frustrating control knob
Bottom line:  The combination of innovative and old features on this stove has an overall average result.
Editors' Rating:   
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Boil Time (1 liter):  6:36 min:sec
Trail Weight:  14.1 oz
Packed Weight:  15.2 oz
Manufacturer:   Primus

Our Verdict

The Primus ETA Lite+ features some great new ideas. The burner and pot mate inspiringly with a design that's not the same old dimple and groove found on every other integrated canister stove. The burner head itself is recessed and shielded in such a way that the stove's fuel efficiency, which is already good, doesn't noticeably drop in the wind. It also comes with a simple and lightweight hanging system - something other stoves charge you more for as an extra item. However, our testers were unimpressed with the stove's weight (heavy for its low volume pot) and surprised by the tiny old-school control knob.


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Our Analysis and Test Results

Review by:
Ian McEleney

Last Updated:
Wednesday
May 2, 2018

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Performance Comparison


The cozy handle on this stove can be hooked on the opposite side of the pot  which facilitates hanging  a bonus feature for backpackers who also like to climb big walls.
The cozy handle on this stove can be hooked on the opposite side of the pot, which facilitates hanging, a bonus feature for backpackers who also like to climb big walls.

Fuel Efficiency


The ETA Lite+ is pretty darn fuel efficient for an integrated canister stove, a category known for fuel efficiency. In our windless test it sipped just 0.2 oz of fuel to bring 0.5 liters of water to boil, just behind the others. In our 8 - 10 mph test, it used the same amount of fuel, significantly less than the competition! We think in part this is due to the way that the burner head and piezo igniter are recessed in the overall burner design.

The burner head is somewhat sheltered from the wind by the stove's design. The wire pot and burner mating system gives this stove a very secure connection to the pot.
The burner head is somewhat sheltered from the wind by the stove's design. The wire pot and burner mating system gives this stove a very secure connection to the pot.

Weight


With a 14.1-ounce trail weight, the ETA Lite+ is on the heavy side for integrated canister stoves. This is especially true considering that it's only available with a 0.75-liter pot, so its weight is not an apples-to-apples comparison with the other integrated stoves we tested, most of which have 1-liter pots. Its small size does mean that it takes up less space in your pack than stoves with 1-liter pots.

When used with a 4oz fuel can  the burner and fuel can be stowed in the stove without disassembling them.
When used with a 4oz fuel can, the burner and fuel can be stowed in the stove without disassembling them.

Simmering


The Lite+ is ok at simmering. While we got the flame quite low, it felt like the valve had a bit of "spring" in it, returning to a higher level once we let go of it. This made getting the flame low more time-consuming than it needed to be.

Boil Time


The ETA Lite+ had uninspiring boil times. It spent 3 minutes and 18 seconds bringing 0.5 liters of water to a rolling boil in windless conditions and 4 minutes and 14 seconds in our 8 - 10 mph wind test. If these numbers seem a lot lower than those of the other stoves in our comparison chart, remember that this pot has a lower capacity, and so we used less water in our test.

Ease Of Use


The ETA Lite+ has some of the best pot and burner mating of the integrated canister stoves we tested. Instead of the typical dimple and groove design, there's a wire integrated into the burner that firmly grips the pot. We were never worried about picking this stove up when it was running.

The piezoelectric igniter lit the stove on the first try about 50% of the time. It did eventually light every time, though sometimes that took 6 or 7 pushes.

Three included studs screw onto the stove to allow for use with other cookware.
Three included studs screw onto the stove to allow for use with other cookware.

The handle on the pot cozy of the ETA Lite+ flips over the lid and hooks on the other side. Combined with the included cord, it makes hanging this stove really easy. This is the only stove in our review that comes with all the odds and ends necessary to hang it, a nice touch in a big wall or alpine setting.

Our testers were surprised by the tiny and old-fashioned control knob. Wire control knobs have been on the scene for over a decade and are found on every other stove in our review that wasn't made by Primus. Backpackers need to be attentive when using this stove, because once it becomes a volcano of boiling water, it's difficult to turn it down without scorching your fingers.

Best Applications


We think this stove is best for backpackers planning on doing a minimal amount of cooking, traveling in small groups, and prioritizing space. The out-of-the-box hanging capability and small size could make it a good fit for big wall climbers, who won't mind that it's not quite as light as similar options.

Value


With an MSRP of $115, we don't think this stove is a bad value. However, we also don't think it's a great value. Both the Jetboil Flash (which is lighter) and the Camp Chef Stryker Multi-Fuel (which performs better overall) cost less.

Conclusion


The fuel efficiency, pot/burner mating, and simple hanging system of the Primus ETA Lite+ seem like advancements that other stove companies should be watching. Some of its other attributes, like its weight and the tiny control knob, are blasts from the past that we were surprised to see on this stove. It's not a bad stove, but our testers were underwhelmed when they compared it to other integrated stove offerings, like the Top Pick Integrated Canister Stove, the Jetboil MiniMo.

The lid of the ETA Lite is a small but sturdy cup. It does not snap onto the pot.
The lid of the ETA Lite is a small but sturdy cup. It does not snap onto the pot.
Ian McEleney

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Most recent review: May 2, 2018
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