What’s It For?
The EtaPackLite is a fully integrated lightweight coooking system for two people that’s aimed to score on two levels. First it’s neat, compact and very stowable. Second, Primus claims that it’s approximately 80 per-cent efficient compared to a more normal 40-50 per-cent meaning you need to carry less fuel and save weight that way.
The Techy Bits
The key to the stove’s increased efficiency is the heat exchanger which is an integrated part of the 1.2-litre pan with its titanium non-stick coating. It’s intended to eke out every last smidgeon of heat from the burner.
It’s helped in this by the sturdy, adjustable windshield which sits on the pan supports and minimises heat loss from breezes and the neat, transparent lid, which also doubles as a colander.
The easy packing is down to ingenious design – for example, a plastic cover protects the heat exchanger in transit and also doubles as a shallow bowl and the plastic Polyproylene pot sits inside the main pot and protects the non-stick coating from being scratched by the stove. It’s all a bit Russian dolls, but works well.
How It Performed
Practicality first – everything’s really nicely thought out and constructed. The pan has an integral handle which doubles as a lock to hold the exchanger protector in place. It also has capacity markings on the outside. The lid neatly doubles as a colander and everything packs together very neatly, giving a really compact two-person cooking system.
The polypropylene pot is genius. Cook in the main pot then decant half into the plastic one for your mate. Saves weight and also protects the inner. And the wire handle happily copes with a litre of water and absolves your from pot grab hassle.
All good on that front, but what about the claimed efficiency? To test it, we brought a litre of water to a rolling boil on three stoves, the EtaPackLite, a Primus Gravity and MSR’s pocket rocket. We timed each stove to see how long it took to boil the water and also weighted the gas cartridge before and after to see how much gas had been used.
EtaPackLite – Boil time: 3 mins 23 secs. Fuel used: 11 grammes
Using the windshield and heat exchanger plus lid gave a rapid heat up and noticeably, super fast transition from almost boiling to proper rolling boil.
Primus Gravity – Boil time: 8 mins 20 secs. Fuel used: 26 grammes
We were surprised at just how slow the Gravity boiled the pot even with a windshield and lid. It used over twice as much fuel as the new stove, suggesting you’d need to carry around twice the weight in gas for the same cooking.
MSR Pocket Rocket – Boil time: 6 mins 20 secs. Fuel used: 15 grammes
The Pocket Rocket is one of our favourite lightweight stoves, again it took far longer to boil the water than the EtaPackLite though it used a more reasonable 15 grammes of fuel to get there. That’s still an extra 36 per-cent though, or around one third as much fuel, a fair whack over a long trip and the Pocket Rocket is a far less versatile stove thanks to its canister mounting.
Brilliantly thought through and very light for two-person cooking system, we couldn’t really fault it in operational terms and it scores over other heat exchanger based stoves by allowing you to use bigger pans or frying pans if you choose to.
Not only that, but our test suggests that it’s significantly more fuel efficient than a standard stove, over twice as efficient as our Primus Gravity and still one third better than the Pocket Rocket.
Simply an excellent package that combines efficiency in energy terms plus rapid boiling and heating with excellent stowage and weight.
Buy if… you want a light and highly efficient cooking system – you carry less gas too – for two people.