Reviews You Can Rely On

Primus Lite+ Review

This stove offers some innovative features and good fuel efficiency, but it's heavy
primus lite+ backpacking stove review
Credit: Primus
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Price:  $120 List
Manufacturer:   Primus
By Mary Witlacil and Ian McEleney  ⋅  Nov 10, 2022
64
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#5 of 21
  • Fuel Efficiency - 25% 10.0
  • Weight - 25% 3.0
  • Simmering Ability - 20% 6.0
  • Ease of Use - 15% 7.0
  • Boil Time - 15% 6.0

Our Verdict

The Primus Lite+ is an innovative and well-designed stove. The burner and pot pair together more securely than other stoves with integrated canisters, which inspires confidence while using the included hanging kit. The stove provides great wind resistance because the burner head is both recessed and shielded by the stove assembly. While the 4500 BTU burner features a relatively low power output, it remains among the most fuel-efficient stoves in our review. The integrated pot can only accommodate 500ml, so we couldn't compare boil time effectively with other stoves, and our testers were unimpressed with the stove's weight, especially considering this low-volume pot.
REASONS TO BUY
Fuel efficient
Superior stove/burner mating
Hanging system included
REASONS TO AVOID
Heavy for its volume
Small pot
Editor's Note: This review was updated on November 10, 2022, to include more information from fuel efficiency testing and recommendations on other stoves we would suggest to a friend.

Compare to Similar Products

 
primus lite+ backpacking stove review
This Product
Primus Lite+
Awards  Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award Best Buy Award 
Price $120 List
$119.95 at Amazon
$79.95 at Backcountry
Compare at 3 sellers
$65 List
$64.95 at REI
$45 List
$44.95 at Amazon
$17.00 List
$16.95 at Amazon
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Pros Fuel efficient, superior stove/burner mating, hanging system includedCompact, lightweight, works well in the wind, great for simmeringLightweight, works in the wind, great piezo igniter, fuel efficient, very stable for a small canister stoveUltralight, fuel efficient, affordable, quick to boil even in windTiny, light, cheap
Cons Heavy for its volume, small potUnreliable piezo igniterPot supports pack up separately from stoveA bit loud, possibly less durable pot stabilizersSmall burner head, poor wind performance, not great fuel efficiency
Bottom Line This stove offers some innovative features and good fuel efficiency, but it's heavyA fantastic and reliable option that simmers well, works in the wind, and is very compactOur favorite small canister stove, providing the best performance for most backpackersThis affordable and fuel-efficient canister stove is also tiny and ultralight, perfect for your next backcountry adventureA shockingly small, ultra lightweight, and straightforward backpacking stove at an impressively low price
Rating Categories Primus Lite+ MSR PocketRocket De... Soto Windmaster Soto Amicus BRS-3000T
Fuel Efficiency (25%)
10.0
6.0
8.0
7.0
2.0
Weight (25%)
3.0
8.0
7.0
8.0
10.0
Simmering Ability (20%)
6.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Ease of Use (15%)
7.0
7.0
8.0
8.0
5.0
Boil Time (15%)
6.0
9.0
7.0
7.0
2.0
Specs Primus Lite+ MSR PocketRocket De... Soto Windmaster Soto Amicus 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 3.0 oz 2.79 oz 0.9 oz
Trail Weight (stove, fuel, pot) 21.35 oz 15.13 oz 15.63 oz 14.92 oz 12.63 oz
Wind Boil Time (1 liter, 2-4mph) 3:45 min:sec (0.5.liters only) 5:27 min:sec 5:46 min:sec 6:30 min:sec 14:45 min:sec
Boil Time (1 liter) 3:50 min:sec (0.5.liters only) 3:14 min:sec 4 min:sec 3:52 min: sec 5:13 min:sec
Packed Weight (stove + all accessories) 15.5 oz 3.5 oz 3.5 oz 3.5 oz 1 oz
Dimensions 3.9" x 5.1" 3.3" x 2.2" x 1.8" 4.7" x 3.9" x 3.6" 3.9" × 0.7" × 6.5" 2" x 1.2" x 1.3"
Fuel Type Isobutane Isobutane Isobutane Isobutane Isobutane
Additional Included Items 0.75L pot, canister stand, hanging cord, pack towel, pot adapter studs Stuff sack Stuff sack, pot support Stuff sack Stuff sack
Piezo Igniter? Yes Yes Yes Yes No

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.

Performance Comparison


primus lite+ backpacking stove review - the small pot of the lite+ is great for one hiker preparing a...
The small pot of the Lite+ is great for one hiker preparing a freeze-dried meal.
Credit: Ian McEleney

Fuel Efficiency


The Lite+ is one of the most fuel-efficient stoves in our review. It is impressively competitive, even when compared to other integrated canister stoves, a category well known for fuel efficiency. Part of why the Lite+ aces this metric is that it has a very well-protected but low-octane (4500 BTU) burner. This means it doesn't have to work as hard to burn hot., and it doesn't waste fuel with an unnecessarily high output burner.

To ensure that our measurements were accurate, we tested the Lite+ twice and recorded the averages of both scores. In our windless test, this stove used only 0.25 ounces of fuel to boil 0.5 liters of water. This is less fuel than any other stove in our review. Shockingly, when situated adjacent to a box fan blowing a constant 2-4 mph of wind, it used even less fuel — 0.14 ounces — than in the windless test. This is the reason we decided to run the test a second time. So what gives? The lower fuel usage for the wind test is likely because we do the wind test first, and fuel canisters become less efficient as they empty 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 stove design.

To evaluate overall fuel efficiency, we determine the percentage of fuel used per test and take the average of these two scores (which we averaged between two tests). The Lite+ only used 4.15% of a 4-ounce canister per boil test. That said, bear in mind, when comparing this stove to other integrated canister stoves, that this one can only safely accommodate 0.5 liters of water, while we tested the other stoves in the review with 1 liter of water.

primus lite+ backpacking stove review - because the lite+ doesn't burn much fuel it's easy to have another...
Because the Lite+ doesn't burn much fuel it's easy to have another cup of tea. The lid doubles as a small cup.
Credit: Ian McEleney

Weight


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.

primus lite+ backpacking stove review - the packed weight of this stove (15.5 ounces) includes the canister...
The packed weight of this stove (15.5 ounces) includes the canister stand, lid/cup, burner, pot support studs, pack towel, hanging cord, and pot.
Credit: Ian McEleney

Simmering Ability


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."

primus lite+ backpacking stove review - the wire control valve was easy to grab and made it easy to turn the...
The wire control valve was easy to grab and made it easy to turn the flame down really low.
Credit: Ian McEleney

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.

primus lite+ backpacking stove review - the wire around the burner locks into place between the flat flange...
The wire around the burner locks into place between the flat flange and heat exchanger on the pot. This system was by far the most secure for attaching pot to burner.
Credit: Ian McEleney

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.

primus lite+ backpacking stove review - primus recommends girth hitching the hanging cord to the pot strap...
Primus recommends girth hitching the hanging cord to the pot strap as seen here. The versatile design of the hanging cord allows for a number of possible hanging configurations.
Credit: Ian McEleney

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.

primus lite+ backpacking stove review - pouring with the spout (left) and without (right). we did not notice...
Pouring with the spout (left) and without (right). We did not notice a significant difference.
Credit: Ian McEleney

Boil Time


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.

primus lite+ backpacking stove review - pot support studs screw into the burner to allow for the use of...
Pot support studs screw into the burner to allow for the use of other cookware. We only tested boil times with the included pot.
Credit: Ian McEleney

Should You Buy the Primus Lite+?


This stove is a great option for certain outings. When your adventure plans entail preparing lots of small and simple meals in inclement weather, then the Lite+ is probably a great option. It is heavy and has a smaller pot, but it is impressively fuel efficient and quick to boil. Couple these features with the ability to hang the stove, and it could be a great option for solo big wall adventures or winter camping.

What Other Backpacking Stoves Should You Consider?


If you've read this far, you're probably keen on an integrated canister stove. For a similar price but a higher volume pot and an almost as fuel-efficient burner, we can easily recommend the staff favorite JetBoil MiniMo. However, if you would prefer a lightweight stove that is almost as fuel efficient and boils quickly regardless of wind, we would recommend the Soto Windmaster.

primus lite+ backpacking stove review - the boil time and fuel efficiency of the lite+ were not changed much...
The boil time and fuel efficiency of the Lite+ were not changed much in real-world breezy conditions.
Credit: Ian McEleney

Mary Witlacil and Ian McEleney
 
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