Primus Lite XL Backpacking Stove | Review - Outdoors Magic

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Primus Lite XL Backpacking Stove | Review

A well-featured integrated stove that gives you versatility, boils water quickly and disassembles into a compact, backpack-ready package

Why We Chose the Primus Lite XL: Lightning-fast, compact, fuel-efficient

Primus are one of those brands that have become synonymous with their original area of expertise. Like Hoover for vacuum cleaners and Fairy for washing up liquid, so influential are Primus in the story of camping stoves that many still refer to any backpacking stove as ‘the Primus’. Primus stoves have played their part in mountaineering history too, having been used by Edmund Hillary, Tenzing Norgay, et al during the first ascent of Everest in 1953.

Photos: Mike Drummond

With a rich heritage on their side, it would be easy for Primus to become complacent. Recent years have seen brands like Jetboil, Soto and MSR creating some mightily impressive stove systems featuring lightning-fast boil times and innovative design features. Originally released in 2015, Primus’ Lite+ camping stoves have continued to challenge these upstarts and, in the Lite XL, they’ve created a highly efficient, portable stove system that can easily feed two thanks to its large, 1-litre capacity.

Who is the Primus Lite XL for?

The Lite XL is designed to be lightweight and portable, while its quick boil time is ideal for boil in the bag or rehydrated meals. This all points to a life on the trails and to an essential companion on wild camping expeditions. However, lone wolves are better served by a smaller, lighter stove, such a Primus’ own Lite+, as the Lite XL is designed with two people in mind.

The versatile Lite XL includes pot support pegs that allow you to use any pot or pan, which also makes it an attractive proposition for the campsite. After all, there’s more to this integrated stove than simply boiling water; its control valve offers precise flame control for more sophisticated cooking and simmering.


A measure of any portable stove worth its salt is its ability to bring water to the boil quickly. The Lite XL’s burner throws out a 1,500 W flame that see 500 millilitres of the stuff bubbling away in just two and a half minutes. This is thanks to the pot’s integrated heat exchanger and the way the burner locks securely to the pot, features that also make the Lite XL very fuel efficient.


The Lite XL has a number of handy features that optimise its performance and improve its general usability. For stability, a canister stand is included or there’s a suspension kit that allows you to hang the whole system if there’s nowhere flat to rest it. As has become the norm with these kinds of stove, the Lite XL features Piezo ignition, so you can leave your matches and lighter at home.

The aluminium pot is thoughtfully designed with features like a pour spout and a lid that doubles up as a cup. It’s insulated with a cork sleeve, allowing you to hold it even with boiling contents inside. The sleeve even has a little pocket for accessories. The handle is fully adjustable and removes if necessary. When it comes to getting back on the trail, the burner and gas canister (as long as it’s no larger than 230g) slot into the pot, giving you one compact, packable unit.

Tester’s Verdict

Will Renwick, editor of Outdoors Magic

“I’ve long been a big fan of Primus’s personal stove systems. In fact, I use their Lite+ on a three-week solo backpack along the Cambrian Way a few years back and it was a brilliant asset to have. And, as expected, this bigger version brings all of the same handy aspects to the table, only in a package that serves two or more people more conveniently and efficiently. Oh, and there’s the new eco-friendlier cork insulation that they’ve added to it too – that’s a really nice touch.

Granted there are lighter stove systems out there but there’s a reliability and durability about this system that I like.”

Primus Lite XL

Selected for the Outdoor 100 2022/23
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