Primus Primetech 1.3L Stove Set - Review

The backcountry stove set compact enough for multi-day treks and efficient enough for multi-course meals.

The Primus Primetech 1.3L Stove Set is a luxurious backcountry cooking system. Coming stock with two 1.3L pots, a heat-exchanger, integrated wind-guard, pot holder, piezo igniter, and lid with strainer—the Primetech leaves little to be desired.

I took the Primetech on a few backpacking trips in the Sierras to see what I could cook up in the California backcountry. Here's what I discovered:

Mad scientist or backcountry chef? You decide.

Pros:

Heating Efficiency

Most backcountry stoves suffer from a wildly hot spot in the center of the pot and cool edges. This is fine for boiling water, but less than ideal for doing any actual cooking. The Primetech somehow avoids this pitfall while still boiling water quickly! I managed to roast pine nuts to toasty perfection, cook pasta to al dente deliciousness, and make pancakes without scorching the centers.


Stability

Many camp stoves are tall, narrow, and feel precarious when planting them on granite slabs or whatever table-like surface you manage to find in the backcountry. The Primetech's wide base is easy to balance and the built-in wind guard does a great job of keeping your flame alive even in the most gusty conditions.

A little chunk of granite under one side (mostly) leveled the stove.

Noise

When I first fired up the burner I had to check multiple times that the flame was still on. This stove is quiet. I didn't realize this was something I valued in a stove until I was listening to waves on the lake while boiling pasta. It doesn't sound like a small jet engine is running under your pot.

Non-Stick

The ceramic non-stick pot is super non-stick. Like... insanely non-stick. The most non-stick of non-stick. With no grease or oil I cooked a batch of pancakes and then cleaned the pot with just a pot scraper—no water! 10 out of 10 for Primetech's ceramic coated aluminum pot.

Chocolate chip pancakes cooked to golden perfection.

Cons:

Weight

The Primetech system is not light. Weighing in at 31.9 oz, it's nearly twice as heavy as a Jetboil Sumo. To be fair, you get a second pot, pot holder, and several other features in exchange for the extra weight, but this is not the system for you if you're trying to stay ultralight.

Given the weight, however, I was impressed by how compact the stove becomes when nested and stored in its padded case. As advertised, it is truly rattle-free when stored!

Surprisingly compact storage for the number of included features.

Fuel Regulator

The connection between the fuel canister and regulator is a little finicky. My full canister sprayed a decent amount of (very cold) fuel onto my hand when I first connected it. As the pressure decreased, the problem became less pronounced. Perhaps some experimentation with different fuel brands would result in a better pairing.

Overall

If you're looking for an ultralight stove, you won't be thrilled with the weight of the Primetech. If you're looking for a backcountry stove that does more than simply boil water, however, the Primetech is for you. Great for groups and multi-step meals, cooking on this stove will inspire any backcountry chef to take meals to new heights.

We want to acknowledge and thank the past, present, and future generations of all Native Nations and Indigenous Peoples whose ancestral lands we travel, explore, and play on. Always practice Leave No Trace ethics on your adventures and follow local regulations. Please explore responsibly!

Aaron Rickel

Climber. Cyclist. Hiker. Writer. Currently has base camp set up in Los Angeles, CA. Runs the Los Angeles Field Guide.