Gear Up: {Primus Lite XL Stove System}

Whether you need to feed several people or you are looking to make a bigger meal quickly in the backcountry, the Primus Lite XL Stove System is a great choice to fit your needs.

Gear Up
By Courtney Johnson
Gear Up Ambassador

What is it?

Whether you need to feed several people or you are looking to make a bigger meal quickly in the backcountry, the Primus Lite XL Stove System is a great choice to fit your needs. This stove is a newer and larger version of the popular Primus Lite. We took it for a test run on a backcountry trip to Rocky Mountain National Park. 

(Photo: Courtney Johnson)

What sets it apart?

If you are short on space at the crag or have no flat surface to cook on, the canister stand easily attaches to your gas canister, and a hanging system allows you to have stability while making a meal. Want to use a different pot or pan based on what you are cooking? Support pegs allow you to do so. 

The Piezo igniter lights the stove with the simple push of a button, so no need to rely on matches or a lighter. This comes in handy during rainy or windy weather. (However, those items are a part of the 10 Essentials For Hiking, so they are good items to carry anyway.) A control valve helps prevent you from burning what you are cooking. 

The compact size is a great feature for several reasons. The whole unit fits nicely into a wide-mouth bear canister such as a BearVault. The stove also takes up less space in a backpack or climbing bag, especially since the gas can will also fit inside. 

(Photo: Courtney Johnson)

How do I use it? 

The Lite XL is the perfect backpacking stove for multiple days for one or two people. Want warm coffee at the crag or even some pasta while you work on a problem? This stove is perfect for that. Are you headed to the backcountry with a small group? Use this stove to keep you fueled for all your adventures. The quick water-boil feature swiftly provides clean drinking water or hot water for cooking pouches or whatever is on the menu. There is no need to wait long for a fresh cup of caffeine after you roll out of bed either. The aluminum pot can be used to heat up meat, veggies or whatever your palate desires. 

(Photo: Courtney Johnson)

While the stove is primarily marketed as a backpacking stove due to its size, features and weight, you can use this stove for a quick overnight camping trip when you don’t have to feed a lot of people and want to keep the cooking simple. This could also be used for a picnic scenario where you want to heat up some drinks or a small appetizer or entrée. 

How much?


(Photo: Courtney Johnson)

Courtney’s insight: 

There is so much to like about this stove. Its lightweight and compact design make it easy to pack and easy to store when not in use. The gas canister also fits inside for easy and compact transport while saving more room in your pack. A removable handle keeps the unit tightened down in transport and helps for serving directly from the hot pot. 

No lighter being required to light the stove comes in handy in windy conditions. We had no problem lighting and keeping the stove burning when the wind picked up (or in rain) with the Piezo ignition. 

I was surprised by how quickly water boiled with this system. The description said that it can boil 0.5 liters of water in 2.5 minutes, and I found that to be spot on; even at 8,240 feet, we were able to boil a full liter in 4 minutes. That reminds me of another feature I like about this stove. The pot also doubles as a measuring cup, with liter marks along the inside. Pouring hot water into coffee cups was a no-spill experience with the pot spout. 

We didn’t have to wait long for coffee — a bonus on a chilly, cloudy morning in a location where you can’t have a campfire. Bonus, too, that the stove cover doubles as a cup/bowl — a nice extra! We used instant coffee packets, but the stove does come with a tea and coffee press that works with the LiTech Trek Kettle available from Primus. 

This stove packs a lot of features into a small package. I appreciate how easy it is to use. My daughter could easily help in the cooking process with its no-fuss properties. It’s not complicated to attach the burner to the pot. One or two pushes for the ignition, and the pot was heating up. The ability to adjust the amount of gas (temperature) is also a nice feature if you are trying to heat water quickly or warm up a meal. 

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