Primus Lite+ Review
Cons: Heavy for its volume, small pot
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|Pros||Fuel efficient, superior stove/burner mating, hanging system included||Lightweight, works in the wind, great piezo igniter, fuel efficient, very stable for a small canister stove||Ultralight, fuel efficient, affordable, quick to boil even in wind||Good at simmering, simple operation||Tiny, light, cheap|
|Cons||Heavy for its volume, small pot||Pot supports pack up separately from stove||A bit loud, possibly less durable pot stabilizers||No piezoelectric igniter, slow to boil, bulky, somewhat heavy||Small burner head, poor wind performance, not great fuel efficiency|
|Bottom Line||This stove offers some innovative features and good fuel efficiency, but it's heavy||Our favorite small canister stove, providing the best performance for most backpackers||This affordable and fuel-efficient canister stove is also tiny and ultralight, perfect for your next backcountry adventure||This standard small canister stove is good for simmering but bulky and a bit heavy in your pack||A shockingly small, ultra lightweight, and straightforward backpacking stove at an impressively low price|
|Rating Categories||Primus Lite+||Soto Windmaster||Soto Amicus||Primus Essential Trail||BRS-3000T|
|Fuel Efficiency (25%)|
|Simmering Ability (20%)|
|Ease Of Use (20%)|
|Boil Time (10%)|
|Specs||Primus Lite+||Soto Windmaster||Soto Amicus||Primus Essential Trail||BRS-3000T|
|Category||Integrated Canister||Small Canister||Small Canister||Small Canister||Small Canister|
|Essential Weight (stove or stove + integrated pot only)||14.0 oz||3.0 oz||2.79 oz||4.5 oz||0.9 oz|
|Trail Weight (stove, fuel, pot)||21.35 oz||15.63 oz||14.92 oz||16.63 oz||12.63 oz|
|Wind Boil Time (1 liter, 2-4mph)||4:03 min:sec (0.5.liters only)||5:46 min:sec||6:30 min:sec||10:10 min||14:45 min:sec|
|Boil Time (1 liter)||3:15 min:sec (0.5.liters only)||4 min:sec||3:52 min: sec||5:30 min:sec||5:13 min:sec|
|Packed Weight (stove + all accessories)||15.5 oz||3.5 oz||3.5 oz||4.5 oz||1 oz|
|Dimensions||3.9" x 5.1"||4.7" x 3.9" x 3.6"||3.9" × 0.7" × 6.5"||4.3" x 2.4"||2" x 1.2" x 1.3"|
|Additional Included Items||0.75L pot, canister stand, hanging cord, pack towel, pot adapter studs||Stuff sack, pot support||Stuff sack||None||Stuff sack|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Lite+ is a very fuel-efficient integrated canister stove. It has several other features that are both unique and innovative. Backpackers who are willing to take on some extra ounces might really appreciate the feature set.
The Lite+ is pretty darn fuel-efficient for an integrated canister stove, a category well known already for fuel efficiency. In our windless test, it used only 0.31 ounces of fuel to boil 0.5 liters of water. This is only slightly more fuel than others of its kind. Shockingly, when situated adjacent to a box fan blowing a constant 2-4 mph of wind, it used less fuel — 0.28 ounces — than in the windless test. This is likely because we do the wind test first, and fuel canisters become less efficient as they become emptier over time. Either way, this is an impressive feat! We think this is because the burner head and piezo igniter are recessed in the overall burner design. To determine overall fuel efficiency, we determine the percentage of fuel used per test and take the average of these two scores. The Lite+ only used 6% of a 4-ounce canister per boil test. When comparing this stove to other integrated canister stoves, bear in mind that the pot can only safely accommodate 0.75 liters of water, while we tested the other stoves in the review with 1 liter of water.
The weight of your gear is an essential consideration for backpackers. With a 14-ounce "essential" weight (which only includes the stove, pot, and lid), the 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. That said, its small size does mean that it takes up less space in your pack than stoves with 1-liter pots.
The Lite+ is decent at simmering, but you probably won't use it for slow cooking a rich sauce. Because this kind of backpacking stove is designed for fast boil times and fuel efficiency, we don't expect much in this metric. The valve of this model is easy to use at the low end, with little to no "spring."
Ease Of Use
This stove 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 most of the time. Other times it sometimes took 6 or 7 pushes, though it did eventually light.
The handle on the pot cozy of the 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.
The Lite+ has a tiny spout in the lip of the pot for pouring. There seemed to be a small amount of spilling whether we used the spout or poured from the other side of the pot. This is messy at best and can cause burns at worst.
The Lite+ had reasonable but not inspiring boil times. In our windless test at 5,000 feet, it boiled 0.5 liters of water in 4 minutes and 45 seconds. In our 2-4 mph wind test, it boiled 0.5 liters of water in 4 minutes and 3 seconds. In previous tests at 8,000 feet in elevation, the stove boiled 0.5 liters in a windless environment in 3 minutes and 19 seconds and 4 minutes and 7 seconds in the 2-4 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, so we used less water in our test. Other stoves were tested with a full liter of water.
We don't think this stove is a bad value. However, we also don't think it's a particularly great value. Stoves that are lighter or perform better cost less.
The fuel efficiency, pot/burner mating, and simple hanging system of the Primus Lite+ seem like advancements that other stove companies should be watching. This could be a good choice for backpacking trips where packed size and ease of use are more important than weight. However, for most backpacking, our testers were underwhelmed when they compared it to other integrated stove offerings.
— Mary Witlacil and Ian McEleney
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