The latest product Surf-Report have been asked to review is the Primus Eta Lite, a compact outdoor stove that packs far more of a punch than its diminutive size would suggest. The all in one stove is an ingenious piece of technology that has been well thought out and really delivers on all of its promises.
The Primus Eta Lite arrives neatly packed in a cardboard box and from the moment you open the lid to reveal the burner and the cooking pot you soon realise the quality of the stove. The contents are made up of the burner itself, the cooking pot and lid, a foot stand, a lanyard string for suspending the stove and if you opt for it a coffee press.
The cooking pot is crafted from anodised aluminium and the base has a built in heat exchanger to make the most of every bit of heat provided by the Luminar burner. The pot also has a triangular cut out in the base to accommodate the burner itself and allows the two parts to securely lock together. Also fitted with an intricate windshield this means the stove can be used in the harshest of conditions.
The pot also comes fitted with a heat resistant felt case, which not only keeps your contents ridiculously hot but also allows you to handle the cooking pot with boiling contents without suffering any harm.
The burner looks futuristic in its appearance and Primus have worked hard developing the Luminar Flow Burner to be incredibly compact and squat, which in turn makes the stove more stable and sits lower to the ground. The burner is well engineered and feels robust and durable in your hand.
Fitted in the handle of the heat resistant jacket are three small knurled pegs that when removed cleverly screw into the burner and create a pot stand allowing you to quickly broaden your cooking options.
Although the stove can be used on a level surface with just the Primus canister attached there is also the option to fit the foot stand and this makes the stove so much more stable on uneven ground. The lanyard string is a brilliant addition and allows you to suspend the stove from above and supports the stove and canister perfectly well.
There is also the option to add a coffee press to the stove, which for a few pounds more is worth every single penny and means you now have the option of waking to fresh coffee every day of your adventure.
To put the Primus Eta Lite through its paces I took it along to a small local VW festival, where I camped out with good friends who were all keen to enjoy fresh coffee each morning. After some pretty heavy evenings the coffee was badly needed in the mornings too!
Assembling the stove is child’s play and couldn’t be any simpler in its design. The canister simply screws onto the burner and the pot locks securely onto the burner. The whole thing is very sturdy and well balanced. The piezo spark is precise and works 100 percent of the time, every click of the ignition button creates a healthy and bright spark
The cooking pot has a 500ml capacity, which actually makes two mugs of coffee easily. I timed how long it would take to boil half litre of water and was impressed to discover it only took 2 minutes and 45 seconds. I then did some research on the Primus website and found that they also state the same boiling time.
I soon had a regular little production line set up and was able to churn out steaming hot and delicious smelling freshly pressed coffee to my fellow campers. The press itself fits snugly into the pot and the cutaway in the lid allows simple and easy pouring of the coffee. Mug after mug was churned out and everyone commented on how such a small stove was able to cope so effortlessly with the demand.
The official Primus Eta Lite video shows the stove in action and talks through its many features and explains that all of the add ons, the burner, a canister and coffee press can be fitted into the cooking pot, although trying to find instructions on how to do this is impossible. I did eventually manage to cram everything other than the foot stand into the pot but I am not sure if this is the recommended way.
Although I am a massive fan of this stove and think it is one of the nicest pieces of camping equipment I have ever seen and used there are a couple of small points I must mention. Firstly you need to be aware that the Primus gas canisters are not included with the stove and you will need to source one separately. These are not expensive and are readily available at all good camping stores, but it would be nice to have found one bottle in with the stove.
The second point I have to make, is that although the pot stand pegs are an inventive and nifty idea, when you have big fat sausage fingers like myself they are quite hard to actually remove from their storage area on the webbing strap. Only a minor point, but maybe they could have been fitted on the underneath of the burner where there would be a bit more room to get big fingers on them.
Both of these issues are almost not worth mentioning and shouldn’t put you off the idea of owning your own Eta Lite. The whole kit packs down into the pot that isn’t much bigger than a pint tankard glass and makes it incredibly portable and the ideal companion for Surf trips and the perfect size to keep in the motor for those winter surfs.
The Primus Eta Lite has a RRP of £109 and the optional coffee press is available at around £14 although with a bit of research and hunting on the Internet you can find the stove for below £100. The 100-gram gas canisters are readily available at under £4 and will provide an hours worth of burn time.
For full details on the Primus Eta Lite take a look at the Primus website and to get a better understanding of the product I have attached the official Primus Eta Lite demonstration video below this review.
The Primus Eta Lite is the ideal companion for solo adventures, Surf trips and perfect for having to hand at the beach for post Surf coffees. You will certainly make friends as the smell of fresh coffee drifts across the car park!