I just watched The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo so I should know better than to trust those sadistic, serial-killing Swedes. Yet I found myself seduced once again by a shiny piece of minimalist Scandanavian hardware, in this case the Primus ExpressSpider LP gas canister stove.
The ExpressSpider is a hoser, as opposed to a top-mount stove, so it's inherently more stable. The hose is thin and quite flexible so it doesn't impede storage or placement at all. The legs on the stove pivot around the centeral axis to nest against each other, and the hose wraps around it all for a final package that's overall not much bigger than a large bar of soap, fitting easily into the included stuff sack. The serrations on the pot supports have great traction, helping to avoid the dreaded soup-on-the-ground incident.
Performance was excellent on our test trip with instant ignition (manual, no ignitor), a consistent burn and a surprisingly useful and easy flame adjustment. We didn't time the boil, spec'd out at 4.5 minutes for 1L, but it was rapid enough. The included heat reflector is just a 9" aluminum disk, so bring your own windscreen (for some reason the product lists as "with windscreen" but our little piggie had none…). It'd be nice to see a reflector base that featured attachment points for the stove legs so the whole thing could be moved as one unit.
At just seven ounces the ExpressSpider will satisfy the gram weenies, and fuel consumption at average temps of around 50F was very economical, in line with the two hours they say to expect from an 8.1oz fuel canister. We were hoping to get the temps below freezing to test cold weather performance, but no such luck. We think it will perform well, given the preheating effect of the brass fuel tube wrapping around the burner. A beautifully minimalist stove at a reasonable price.