There is something very satisfying about calling a halt on a walk or climb for a tea or coffee break. Maybe it’s just because I’m English, and we do love our tea, but taking time out from an outdoor activity to get a brew on is immensely comforting and leaves you feeling smug for the rest of the day.
Some stoves are not great for this ritual. Many are too heavy and cumbersome to pack for a walk, whereas others require carrying fuel that is messy or smelly. Well, welcome to the world of all-in-one stoves.
The Lite+ from Primus sets a new standard for compact all-in-one stoves. I found that the locking mechanism makes it a very sturdy stove, while the Laminar Flow Burner Technology gives the Lite+ a lower burner than would otherwise be possible, resulting in a more stable, lighter and compact stove.
For 2015 the Lite+ comes with a new heat resistant sleeve in durable G-1000 with felt lining. The sleeve also features a webbing handle with the added ability to use the stove hanging. The lid cuts cooking time and keeps all the parts securely in place in your backpack – and can also be used as a mug.
All parts of the stove stow in the pan, including a 100gm gas cartridge (although the one shown here is the larger size!). The burner screws easily onto the cartridge, and the pan screws and clips into place on top of that. I’ve now used this stove three or times a week throughout the summer on day walks, and about a dozen times on wild camps, and have found the lighting mechanism to be reliable and quick to produce a flame.
For stability the stove comes with its own foot-rest, but can also be hung from a tree with the cord provided.
If ordering a Lite+ for home delivery, don’t expect the stove to come with a gas cartridge though. I’m afraid you’ll have to go out to buy one of those yourself. In Snowdonia I was surprised to find that only a few outdoor shops stock the cartridges for the Primus range of stoves, and it was impossible to get hold of one of the 100gm ones here, hence buying the bigger size.
I really like this stove. The boil-time is incredible, and on a recent Mountain Leader training course we had a boil-off to test the relative merits of the range of stoves we each had carried with us to our high camp. The Primus Lite+ out-performed all other stoves in this test (though admittedly, it was hardly lab-conditions!). These other stoves included two from MSR, a Jet Boil, and a Trangia.
For cooking food I’ve tried two methods. One is the boil-in-the-bag method, which if you slide a pouch of food into the pan provided with some water, actually worked really well for me, and gave me hot food and a cup of tea from the water, all at the same time. For more substantial meals the Primus Lite+ comes with three pegs that screw into the top of the burner, so you can use a full-sized pan in the more traditional way. This works well too, but does require a wind-shield on all but the calmest of days.
The Primus Lite+ retails at around £95 in the UK, which puts it squarely among its competitors, but I think it stands head and shoulders above the crowd.
For full details from Primus, click here: The Primus Lite+