Primus ETA Lite Camping Stove with Coffee Press Review
The Primus Eta Lite Camping Stove with Coffee Press is an all in one stove featuring a high efficiency Laminar Flow Burner Technology, with its own piezo electric ignition, and a 500ml pot complete with cosy and plastic lid.
Once assembled, it’s rather tall but there’s a foot support supplied that attaches to the gas canister that aids stability. The pot twists securely into the stove, meaning that the whole lot is connected together and can be made even more stable by using a cord to attach to a secure point. The handle on the side allows you to grasp and move the entire stove safely and securely, as well as providing a handle for pouring that won’t get hot in use.
It’s worth taking a look at the official video, to see how it all fits together:
You fire the stove up complete with the pot cosy – a little disconcerting at first. However, as the flame is concentrated on the bottom of the pot as opposed to the sides as with less efficient stoves it isn’t a problem. While we didn’t give this a scientific test as regards the efficiency of the burner, the fact that there’s no heat wasted along the pot sides, heating the handles rather than the content has to be a good thing. Apparently a 100g canister is good for a week – we didn’t try that out but a half full 250g canister taken on a 2 night, 5 meal trip for two was hardly depleted. That included dumping the lot out in the pouring rain a few times while it boiled up.
Perhaps one of the more striking aspect is the noise. It doesn’t sound like a jumbo jet on take-off as expected but is silent. It’s very difficult to say if it’s on or not, and I had to put my hands around the burner to shade it from light in order to check it was lit in full daylight.
Our review stove came complete with the coffee press kit – which is a perfect fit for the pot, with a rubber seal along the edges preventing any grounds from escaping. You do then have to pour the coffee into a mug, so you will need a mug as well as the pot if you’re going to use the press. Otherwise, the pot doubles as a mug to save weight. Apparently so does the lid, but we didn’t really rate that idea as practical. A bit like drinking tea out of a saucer.
On pouring this coffee into the mug do we find the one real problem with the stove. There’s no pouring spout, and so we did rather make a mess. With care, you’ll be able to get your water where you want it, and some pouring spouts I’ve found to be worse than none, so it might be a case of damned if they do and damned if they don’t.
If you don’t like the idea of having to use the pot, or perhaps want to use something like a frying pan on the stove, then you can undo the pins from the strap that screw into the gas stove in order to prop up alternative pans. Removing them from the strap was a bit fiddly, and isn’t something you’d want to be doing on a regular basis but rather just as an additional option. We tested it out to warm some meals, and the flame on the Primus Eta Lite was perfectly controllable and even. The high efficiency fins seem to even the flame out – making it suitable for more than just boiling water.
Weight wise it isn’t the lightest stove and pot combo if you simply look at the numbers, but it does include a pot cosy as well as making your gas last longer and conveniently packs into the pot, 100g canister and all. While an MSR Pocket Rocket and Titan Kettle combo weighs around 200g, without wind shield and pot cosy – the ETA Lite tips the scales at a rather portly 355g – without the coffee press. Once you factor in a Primus Windshield (60g) and a pot cosy, you’ll probably save the extra weight in gas.
If you want an all in one stove, then the Primus ETA Lite fits the bill. Although we dislike the lack of a pouring spout, which really is the only thing we could find to score against it. While the setup can seem be a bit strange at first when compared to your usual gas stove, you soon get used to having the pot, stove and gas canister in one unit and the convenience that brings.