The Primus PrimeTech Stove Set in action. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The Primus PrimeTech Stove Set in action. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Price: £115
Weight: 868g
Fuel: propane/butane
Country of manufacture: EU

This set from the Swedish stove experts provides all you need, apart from a gas canister, to provide your cooking essentials for two or three people on the trail.

The burner unit is ready assembled in the base, which has an integrated windshield and pan supports. To prepare the stove for cooking, you simply have to screw on a gas canister, which sits remote from the burner and is connected by a metal-reinforced hose.

When not in use, the hose and burner are curled up under the base, which has a little clip to help keep things in place.

The base has three small rubberised feet to help stop slipping.

The set comes with two pans, both of 1.3 litre capacity. One is a hard anodised aluminium pot, with 0.5l and 1l markings on its interior and with a non-stick surface. The second, and the one we used mainly, is also aluminium but with a ceramic inner coating. In its base is a heat-exchanger array which uses a circle of metal fins within a series of rounded triangular vent holes. There are concentric rings built into the outer base.

In use, this pan made for very efficient use of fuel and accelerated cooking times.

The set comes with a foil ground protector. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The set comes with a foil ground protector. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The PrimeTech Stove Set comes with a fold-out circular foil ground protector to minimise scorching and which also helps reflect a little heat back up into the stove.

The set comes with a locking pan handle which fits both pots and has a good firm action when attached to them. Primus advises not leaving the handle attached while cooking as it could get hot. Releasing the handle is simple: just press the red button on it, which acts as a cam and, when depressed, releases the jaws.

The burner is 3.5cm diameter and sits within a rounded triangular housing in the base, to which are attached three pan supports. The supplied Primus pans fit neatly within the windshield base, and the stove feels stable when the full pans are on these. If you want to use larger diameter pots, part of the supports fold up so the pan sits just above the top of the base.

The valve unit screws on to a standard butane-propane canister and has a red plastic-coated handle. The valve has a regulator, so needs at least a couple of turns anti-clockwise before any gas starts flowing.

The regulated supply means the flame keeps a fairly constant level even as the canister content becomes depleted and it’s only when it’s almost completely exhausted that the flame fades significantly.

The flame was controllable, down to a steady simmer. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

The flame was controllable, down to a steady simmer. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Even at full power, the stove doesn’t roar loudly. The Primus stove boiled things quite quickly, but the flame was pretty controllable, down to a quite low level, before it peters out – useful if you don’t want to spend your whole cooking time frantically stirring your food so it doesn’t stick.

The PrimeTech Stove Set comes with a separate piezo lighter – there isn’t a built-in one in the stove. On average the stove lit within about four clicks of the lighter.

The set has a Tritan pan lid with a large transparent area, plus a built-in strainer, which fits both pans. There’s a cut-out so the pan handle can be attached, and the lid also has a useful little silicone handle that also folds against the lid to hold it in place when straining things out.

The whole set comes in a storage bag with drawstring closure which keeps the set together in the rucksack. The bag is partly insulated so you can use it to put one of the pans in with cooked food to help keep things warm while cooking with the other pan.

Boil times were good when using the heat-exchanger pan. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

Boil times were good when using the heat-exchanger pan. Photo: Bob Smith/grough

On a cool evening with a little breeze, the Primus PrimeTech Stove boiled a half litre of tap-temperature water in 2mins 30secs in the heat exchanger pan, with a litre boiling in 3mins 53secs.

Gas consumption is rated at 11.5g per litre boiled.

The efficiency of the heat-exchanger pan was confirmed when, during the test, using the standard pan, the respective boil times increased to 4mins 14secs and 8mins 3secs.

So if you want a fast cook, the heat exchanger pan is the best choice, though we did manage to simmer food well with both pans.

We found the PrimeTech Stove Set easy to use and surprising rapid at cooking, almost on a par with some of the ‘vertical’ heat exchanger stoves. But the advantage of this Primus set is its low centre of gravity and good stability compared with that design.

It’s clear from all the little design touches such as the locking handle and silicone lid handle that Primus understands what users want from a lightweight stove.

Quality was good too and the whole thing packs away into a 17cm diameter, 12.5cm-high package – not including gas canister – that fits neatly into the rucksack, though it does take up more room than an all-in-one vertical heat-exchanger stove. But you get much more versatility with this Primus stove, which enables two things to be cooked in succession without an interim wash-up – always a consideration when wild camping and you want to keep the washing up to a minimum.

We found it useful to be able to boil some water for a coffee then straight away switch to a pan for food cooking. The pan in which the water was boiled was then available for further cooking if necessary without washing it. The insulated bag was useful too for keeping one item warm while the other cooked.

For a solo trip, we would probably leave out the standard pan, saving 142g, and put up with the loss of versatility. The full kit, though, still weighs less than a kilo, so you might want to keep that extra pan for the convenience you gain.

The Primus PrimeTech Stove Set won a string of awards from several European outdoor bodies and publications. There’s nothing revolutionary about it, but it’s the combination of good design, manufacture and efficiency that marks it out as a great choice for the backpacker or even the base camper who wants to keep weight down.

And for the price, you’re getting two pans as well as the stove, plus accessories to make camp cooking a little easier.

Performance: 36/40
Features: 26/30
Weight and size: 7/10
Quality: 8/10
Value for money: 7/10
Total score: 84/100

  • The PrimeTech Stove Set was supplied to grough by Primus.

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