Preview: Primus PrimeTech Stove || Stable, efficient group & winter system

The Primus PrimeTech Stove Set is a stable and very efficient system for groups and winter camping.

Two years ago I shared my five go-to backpacking stove systems, including what I use in the winter and when in a group. These systems are proven, but they’re less efficient than integrated kits, and the a la carte components are less convenient to obtain (and perhaps more expensive) than multi-piece sets.

Last week at Outdoor Retailer, I saw the Primus PrimeTech Stove Set, which appears to rectify some of the imperfections of my recommended kits. It competes against the MSR Windburner Group Stove System, but offers more and is better priced. It is available now, in two pot volume sizes:

Each kit includes:

  • A low-to-the-ground metal windscreen with an integrated burner;
  • Piezo ignitor;
  • Two 1.3- or 2.3-liter pots, both made of hard anodized aluminum,
    • One with a ceramic non-stick coating, and
    • The other with a heat exchanger around its base;
  • Transparent lid with integrated colander;
  • Pot grip; and, a
  • Stuff sack.

The burner is regulated, so it will better maintain its performance with low-pressure fuel canisters, i.e. that are cold or approaching empty. It specs at 7000 BTU’s per hour, and will burn for 119 minutes on a 230-g/8.1-oz fuel canister.

The pots are “squatty,” which improves fuel efficiency and stability. The 1.3-liter pots spec at 7.1″ in diameter x 4.3″ tall; the 2.3L, 7.9″ diameter x 5.4″ tall.

The entire kit nests together, to make it easily packable.

Personally, I liked most the system’s stable low-the-ground profile and a few thoughtful details, notably the insulated stuff sack that doubles as a pot cozy and the lockable pot grip that can be used as a traditional standalone grip (albiet a more secure one) or that can be attached for the duration of the meal, like a handle.

Versus my recommended kits, the PrimeTech Set is probably a little bit heavier (although I can’t say by how much without breaking apart the 25.6- and 30.6-oz weights into line-items), but it will most definitely be more stable and more fuel efficient. Primus reports that the system captures 80 percent of the fuel’s potential energy, which would make a huge different when melting snow in the winter. The PrimeTech should cost less, too, by about $25 to $50.

Product weights

A few weeks after OR I was sent a PrimeTech 1.3L system, thanks! Here are the component weights:

  • 10.1 oz — Windscreen with integrated burner and pot supports
  • 6.2 oz — Hard anodized non-stick 1.3-liter pot with heat exchanger
  • 5.0 oz — Hard anodized 1.3-liter pot
  • 2.3 oz — Lid
  • 0.8 oz — Aluminum stove base reflector
  • 2.1 oz — Pot grip
  • 1.1 oz — Ignitor
  • 1.7 oz — Cozy stuff sack

A minimum system weight would be 20.0 to 21.2 oz for the 1.3-liter version, which is 3.7 to 4.9 heavier but $36 less expensive than my recommend 2L a la carte system. This assumes that I use my Bic lighter instead of the ignitor and that I leave behind one of the pots and the aluminum reflector.

The set has a few thoughtful details, like the stuff sack that doubles as a pot cozy and the lockable pot grip.

Questions about the PrimeTech? Leave a comment. I can get the answers.

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18 Responses to Preview: Primus PrimeTech Stove || Stable, efficient group & winter system

  1. Sean February 1, 2018 at 11:44 am #

    I have a Primus Eta Express and I really like the pot. The stove and the windscreen suck, I actually am intending to swap the stove out with a better stove, but I *can* do that, which is why the Primus heat exchanger pots are really charming.

    My practical experience has been great with it. It’s a bit more heavy than my TI pots but the heat exchange unit on the bottom does seem to make a good difference in practice.

    The windscreen here looks better, but it’s still worth testing I imagine. It was basically useless on the eta express.

  2. Michael February 1, 2018 at 11:59 am #

    How do you think this compares to something like:

    • Andrew Skurka February 1, 2018 at 12:29 pm #

      Without comparing them side by side, I would say they generally serve the same niche. Group or winter camping, both capable of using inverted canisters (due to pre-heat tube), stable profile, etc.

  3. Joe February 1, 2018 at 1:03 pm #

    Certainly “squatty” pots increase efficiency, if boil time is the only criterion for efficiency.

    Otoh, they make simmering much more problematic. The center gets all the heat. With a taller pot, the heat is distributed up through the column, rather than boiling the center and leaving the edges relatively unheated.

    I’m also not fully on board regarding the increased stability of a wide pot. It is certainly more likely to be bumped in tight quarters, being larger in diameter, and if bumped, liquid contents run faster away from the bump, leading to upset. I think the most stable pot is about as wide as it is tall.

    Of course the size of the platform (the stove) figures in too.

    Regarding keeping things hot longer, the taller pot wins every time.

    • MarkL February 7, 2018 at 1:45 pm #

      I would guess that a short pot with the cozy is at least as thermally efficient as a taller pot.

  4. James M February 1, 2018 at 5:29 pm #

    Is this system able to do a liquid feed?

    • Andrew Skurka February 2, 2018 at 1:56 pm #


      • MarkL February 7, 2018 at 1:49 pm #

        I can’t find that in the product description. It talks abut the regulated valve, but nothing about burning an inverted cannister.

        • Andrew Skurka February 7, 2018 at 1:54 pm #

          I asked them specifically. They confirmed that it will work with an invested canister.

          • MarkL February 7, 2018 at 2:00 pm #


          • MarkL February 8, 2018 at 4:01 pm #

            Hmm. I Emailed them and here is what they said: “We don’t recommend inverting the canister, but use our winter gas that is specifically designed for cold temperatures.”

            Their ETA Spyder stove – which has specs very close to the Windburner – has an adapter kit to burn standard bottled liquid fuel. I wonder if there was confusion?

          • MarkL February 12, 2018 at 2:11 pm #

            I got another Email from Brunton/Primus from the Product repair specialist:

            “I’m sorry, but I think there was some confusion on our end earlier. The PrimeTech stove can definitely be used with an inverted canister, and in fact the burner and valve are both specially designed in ways which complement that type of use. Also, you can use a standard pot with the PrimeTech stove, and there are some fold-out legs which can be used with larger diameter cookware.”

  5. Heath Sandall February 2, 2018 at 5:18 pm #

    Can the burner get pulled out easily? To be replaced with dragonfly or whisperlite. I use a Primus ETA pot with dragonfly for a significant time and fuel savings in melting snow but still need a stove support and this windscreen could be pretty slick especially as it will add yet more efficiency.

    • Andrew Skurka February 2, 2018 at 6:07 pm #

      I didn’t ask if it was removable, but my guess is that it’s not easy to remove, if it even can be.

      The whole system is designed to work together. A Whisperlite or Dragonfly will not sit inside the windscreen in the same way — they are much taller than this burner.

    • MarkL February 7, 2018 at 1:47 pm #

      The Primus site says it is “integrated”, so I agree that it is unlikely to be designed to be removed for other uses.

  6. William armstrong February 6, 2018 at 12:22 pm #

    How is canister supported in liquid feed mode?
    Also total weight and weight with heat exchanger pot only


  7. MarkL February 7, 2018 at 1:58 pm #

    I like it seems designed with cold and snow in mind. Am I correct that under teh burner is a flat bottom that would help stop it from melting into the snow?

    Interesting that it comes with a pot with heat exchanger and a pot without. That would imply that you can use the stove with a regular pot, which is something I don’t believe the Windburners or Reactors do. That would make it a much more flexible system. I wonder what just the stove and regular pot weigh. No infor on the site. For a short trip when you don;t have to carry much fuel it might be more weight-efficient.

  8. MarkL February 7, 2018 at 3:26 pm #

    The Windburner Duo is listed at 21 oz. with one .85L pot (and a bowl). The Prime Tech you spec at 25.6 oz with two 1.3L pots. Take away a pot and that is pretty darn weight competitive.

    BTW: The ETA Spider stove looks pretty interesting as well. Really competes directly with the Windburner in a lower, more stable format.

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