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Primus Eta Solo Cooking System Review

An integrated stove from Primus similar to the Jetboil PCS, with a few design improvements but similar performance.

Overall Rating: Above Average

Basically, Primus designed a better Jetboil PCS; it has a few design improvements, but overall performance is comparable. The Eta Solo is solidly constructed and fuel efficient, and slightly lighter than the PCS, but doesn’t make any advances in terms of performance enhancement.

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by Will Rietveld |

Editor’s Note:This product is reviewed as part of our three-part State of the Market Report on Lightweight Integrated Canister Fuel Cooking Systems 2011.

Specifications and Features


Primus Eta Solo Cooking System Review - 1

Manufacturer Primus
Year and Model 2010 Eta Solo Cooking System
Materials Aluminum pot, fabric cozy, stainless steel burner, plastic bottom cover and top lid
Pot Size 0.9 L
Weight Measured total weight: 13.7 oz (388 g)
Measured minimum weight: 11.4 oz (323 g)
Manufacturer total weight: 12.9 oz (365 g)
Features Aluminum heat exchanger pot, QuickClick locking mechanism, heat-resistant fabric
cozy with handle, burner knob valve and piezo igniter, drink-through lid
Included Burner, cook pot, pot support, canister tripod, hanger
MSRP US$120




The Primus Eta Solo, introduced in late 2010, is the newest member of their expanding line of fuel efficient and wind resistant heat exchanger stoves. It’s obviously targeted at the Jetboil PCS because of its similar design and size. The burner is in fact identical to the PCS because Jetboil initially obtained their burners from Primus. A few differences are: the Eta Solo’s pot capacity (0.9 L) is slightly smaller, its robust QuickClick locking mechanism holds the pot securely to the burner, the cozy is made of heat-resistant fabric rather than neoprene, there is no temperature indicating strip on the cozy, there is no cap/measuring cup on the bottom of the pot, and Primus includes both a pot support and a hanging system.

In contrast to the locking mechanism on Jetboil systems, Primus’ QuickClick locking mechanism is much more secure, especially if you plan to hang the stove using the included hanging system.

With a measured total weight of 13.7 ounces (388 g), the Eta Solo is 1.2 ounces (34 g) lighter than the Jetboil PCS and an ounce (28 g) lighter than the Flash. But it’s not lightweight; the weight conundrum is still there: we like its convenience and efficiency, but we are reluctant to backpack this much weight.

The 0.9 L cook pot on the Eta Solo will cook in-pot for one or two hikers. For more cooking capacity, Primus does not offer larger heat exchanger accessory pots that attach to the burner base. But they do include pot supports for using the burner with a conventional cook pot or heat exchanger pots designed to fit over a conventional canister fuel stove. The conversion consists of three individual pot supports that slip into holes on the burner, plus a separate plate around the burner to prevent deflected heat from overheating the canister. The Primus pot support system is not as elegant as the one Jetboil supplies, and the individual supports will fall out if the burner is tilted.

In our performance tests, the Eta Solo is in the middle of the pack: a slower heating rate, very good fuel efficiency, very good wind resistance, poor cold resistance, and excellent burner control. Compared to the Jetboil PCS (our benchmark for integrated stoves), the Eta Solo is slightly lighter, has a similar heating rate, slightly lower fuel efficiency, similar wind and cold resistance, lower versatility (larger heat exchanger pots to fit this stove are not available), and similar burner control. Overall, its performance and utility are approximately the same.

The main strengths of the Eta Solo are its sturdy construction, fuel efficiency (almost as good as the Jetboil stoves), excellent burner control, better locking mechanism, and the inclusion of a hanging system. However, it lacks the performance of the next gen Jetboil Sol systems.

What’s Good

  • Solidly constructed and durable
  • Very good fuel efficiency
  • Very good wind resistance
  • Excellent burner control
  • Included pot support allows burner to be used with conventional pots
  • Pot to burner connection is much better than the Jetboil design
  • Included hanging system

What’s Not So Good

  • Too heavy
  • Poor cold resistance
  • More expensive than the Jetboil PCS or Flash
Disclosure: The manufacturer provided this product to the author and/or Backpacking Light at no charge and is owned by the author/BPL. The author/Backpacking Light has no obligation to the manufacturer to review this product under the terms of this agreement.

Citation

"Primus Eta Solo Cooking System Review," by Will Rietveld. BackpackingLight.com (ISSN 1537-0364).
http://backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/sotm11_primus_solo_review.html, 2011-10-19 00:00:00-06.

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Primus Eta Solo Cooking System Review
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Addie Bedford
(addiebedford) - MLife

Locale: Montana
Primus Eta Solo Cooking System Review on 10/19/2011 08:37:03 MDT Print View

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Primus Eta Solo Cooking System Review