Camping stoves are perhaps a luxury, as they are only used for a small part of a day in the hills, so they are prime targets for weight saving. What we backpackers need is a super-efficient camping stove that uses the minimal amount of fuel to cook up an evening meal. Better still, the stove needs to be small enough to pack down into an unobtrusive corner of a rucksack.
Primus has designed the Eta Power stove to be their most efficient camping stove to date. So you can potentially save weight by carrying less fuel. The Eta Power has gained an efficiency rating of 80%, while conventional stoves have a rating of only 50% at best. If a stove is only 50% efficient then a lot of heat is being wasted and you have to haul far more fuel around the mountains. By reducing the amount of gas you need, Primus reckons you can save 500g of fuel over a week of backpacking. Better still, that also means less bulky fuel canisters, so a smaller rucksack is needed, allowing further weight savings.
To achieve this exceptional level of efficiency, the Eta Power stove is designed around a windshield and dedicated pan system. This all comes neatly packed into a stuff sack with space for a gas canister as well. Assembly is fairly obvious, although it is a little more complex, than some slicker designs.
There is a piezo electric ignition, which was a little wobbly. I had to wiggle this into place to ensure it made a spark. The integral windshield helps trap the warm air around the stove, while adding welcome stability. For more efficiency the pans have a corrugated heat exchanger built into their base to trap pockets of warm air next to the base of the pan. A close fitting lid completes this fuel-efficient setup.
Turning on the stove, it gave a healthy roar and boiled up half a litre of water in under 2.5 minutes – that’s about one minute faster than the popular MSR Windpro and Whisperlite stoves. The pan grip fits well when the lid is off, but it fitted so tightly that it was difficult to remove with the grip while cooking. After so much effort on efficiency it’s a minor niggle.
The non-stick pans and stove worked really well together. The promise of going further into the hills carrying less fuel makes it a great buy.
For multi-day camping trips and to make your gear more efficient to counter global warming, you should definitely give Primus Eta Power a closer look.
Also included: pans, lid,
pan grab, stuffsack
Time to boil: 0.5 litre of water boiled in around 2.5 minutes
Weight: 1100g (including, pans, pan grip, stuff bag but not fuel)
Made in: Estonia
Stockist details: tel. (023) 9252 8711; www.rosker.co.uk
Verdict: Simple to use; superb boil times and fuel efficiency; exceptionally stable; 500g less fuel needed over a week; non-stick pans. But there are lighter stoves and pan sets; like all gas stoves, performance reduces as the fuel canister empties; system requires dedicated pans for efficiency. Overall, an ideal backpacking stove, where performance, efficiency and a light load are the priorities.