The Swedish stove crafters at Primus have developed a simple, effective and efficient canister stove system for overnight solo or paddling pairs. We were excited to put the svelte euro import to the test alongside our recent campstove lineup of backcountry standby classics.
The Primetech's simplification starts with a burner that has a wind shield integrated. No more scorched foil folding. Coupled with a ceramic nonstick-lined pot that features a built-in heat exchanger, which nests right on the burner, it only took 90 seconds to boil the day's first precious 16 ounces for that morning cup of coffee (and four minutes for a full liter to reach a roiling boil).
Setup is a cinch. You just uncoil the short tube of braided steel that connects the burner to your isobutane canister, which screws in via a regulated valve that provides a quiet, even flow of gas all the way to the end of the canister. The valve's knob also regulates flame control well; when combined with foldable pot stands to elevate a pan, it allows for real sautéing and simmering temps. You know, real cooking. Dare we say, prime?
The locking grippers are a solid, added bonus and not just a throwaway accessory. They lock down for a trusty boiling-water pours. Be careful though — we learned the hard way that when attached for cooking with the extra anodized aluminum saucepan—they will conduct heat.
Well-thought extras include the integrated colander on the clear pot lid. The whole system nests together well as a compact do-it-all solution for any drybag or tight hatch space. However, unlike other all-in-one, burner-into-pot Primus systems like the Eta PackLite, a small isobutane canister will not pack inside, and the Primetech's lid does not attach to close everything together, though the included compact storage bag does — just don’t lose the bag. Same goes with the igniter; lose the extra piece and you'll be singeing fingers to line a regular lighter onto the guarded burner.
Keep it all together and you've got as good a balance of packability and reliable performance as you could find in a canister stove. (25.6 ounces, $165. Also available in 2.3-liter size, primus.eu)
—Eight classic campstoves reviewed.
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—Check out other C&K Field Tested Reviews.