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Primus Lite+ Review

The combination of innovative and old features on this stove has an overall average result
Primus Lite+
Photo: Primus
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Price:  $115 List | Check Price at Amazon
Pros:  Fuel efficient, superior stove/burner mating, hanging system included
Cons:  Heavy for its volume, frustrating control knob
Manufacturer:   Primus
By Ian McEleney ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 11, 2019
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62
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#8 of 19
  • Fuel Efficiency - 25% 9
  • Weight - 25% 5
  • Simmering Ability - 20% 5
  • Ease Of Use - 20% 6
  • Boil Time - 10% 5

Our Verdict

The Primus 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.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Primus Lite+
This Product
Primus Lite+
Awards  Editors' Choice Award  Best Buy Award  
Price Check Price at Amazon$64.95 at REI
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$69.95 at REI
Compare at 3 sellers
$16.95 at Amazon$22.99 at Amazon
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Pros Fuel efficient, superior stove/burner mating, hanging system includedLightweight, works in the wind, great piezo lighter, very stable for small canister stoveWorks in the wind, great for simmering, best of the bestTiny, light, cheapGood at simmering, simple operation
Cons Heavy for its volume, frustrating control knobNot the most fuel efficient, pot supports pack up separately from stoveUnreliable piezo igniterSmall burner head, poor wind performanceNo piezoelectric igniter, slow to boil
Bottom Line The combination of innovative and old features on this stove has an overall average resultOur favorite small canister stove, providing the best performance for most backpackersThis simmering champ can also perform in the windA shockingly small and lightweight inexpensive modelThis standard small canister stove is good for simmering but bulky in your pack
Rating Categories Primus Lite+ Soto Windmaster MSR PocketRocket De... BRS-3000T Primus Essential Trail
Fuel Efficiency (25%)
9.0
6.0
7.0
4.0
6.0
Weight (25%)
5.0
8.0
8.0
10.0
6.0
Simmering Ability (20%)
5.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Ease Of Use (20%)
6.0
9.0
7.0
5.0
6.0
Boil Time (10%)
5.0
6.0
7.0
4.0
3.0
Specs Primus Lite+ Soto Windmaster MSR PocketRocket De... BRS-3000T Primus Essential Trail
Category Integrated Canister Small Canister Small Canister Small Canister Small Canister
Trail Weight 14.1 oz 3.0 oz 3.0 oz 0.9 oz 3.9 oz
Wind Boil Time (1 L, 2-4mph) 4:37 min:sec (0.5.liters only) 7:24 min:sec 7:20 min:sec 15 min 15 min
Boil Time (1 liter) 3:31 min:sec (0.5.liters only) 4:42 min:sec 3:39 min:sec 4:43 min:sec 6:00 min:sec
Packed Weight 15.2 oz 3.5 oz 3.5 oz 1 oz 3.9 oz
Dimensions (inches) 6 x 3 in 4.7 x 3.9 x 3.6 in 3.3 x 2.2 x 1.8 in 1.97 x 1.2 x 1.3 in 4.3 x 2.4 in
Fuel Type Isobutane Isobutane Isobutane Isobutane Isobutane
Additional items included 0.75L pot, canister stand, hanging cord, pot adapter plugs Stuff sack, pot support Stuff sack Stuff sack None
Piezo Igniter Yes Yes Yes No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Lite+ walks a strange line between being fresh and new and stuck in the past. With just a few improvements, this could be a great stove but, as it stands, it feels pretty average.

Performance Comparison


The cozy handle on this stove can be hooked on the opposite side of...
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.
Photo: Ian McEleney

Fuel Efficiency


The 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 ounces of fuel to bring 0.5 liters of water to boil, just behind the others of its kind. In our 2 - 4 mph test, it used the same amount of fuel, significantly less than the competition! We think 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...
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.
Photo: Ian McEleney

Weight


With a 14.1-ounce trail weight, 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. 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...
When used with a 4oz fuel can, the burner and fuel can be stowed in the stove without disassembling them.
Photo: Ian McEleney

Simmering Ability


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.

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 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...
Three included studs screw onto the stove to allow for use with other cookware.
Photo: Ian McEleney

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.

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 the Lite+ because once it becomes a volcano of boiling water, it's difficult to turn it down without scorching your fingers.

Boil Time


The Lite+ had uninspiring boil times. It spent 3 minutes and 31 seconds bringing 0.5 liters of water to a rolling boil in windless conditions and 4 minutes and 37 seconds in our 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, and so we used less water in our test. Other stoves were tested with a full liter of water.

Value


We don't think this stove is a bad value. However, we also don't think it's a great value. Stoves that are lighter or perform better cost less.

Conclusion


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

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

Ian McEleney