Friday, 02 May 2014 20:56

Primus Express Spider Reviewed

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The Primus Express Spider is a reasonable performer in summer and winter conditions and at a street price of around £40 is an ideal entry level stove when making the transition from 3 to 4 season camping. With excellent balance, the option to invert the canister and an efficient pre-heat mechanism the Spider is ideally suited to solo wild camping.
The Primus Express Spider is an almost typical remote canister gas stove, though without a piezo ignition for lighting. Unusually the Spider comes with a circular ground protector/reflector to prevent burnt grass (or worse) although despite a low ground clearance the arrangement of the jets means very little heat is created underneath the burner.

Primus have enjoyed something of a resurgence since the release of its Express series of stoves and the Spider is a well built and very efficient stove - for a standard remote canister stove, although this doesn't match up to the efficienct of heat flux technology as used in the Primus ETA series. Boil time for a litre of water from 14C was 4:52, which is pretty much around the average for a remote canister appliance in real life conditions.

Unlike some stoves you don't get a windshield with the Spider but it makes sense to invest in one to get the best in terms of boil time and fuel economy. There's no piezo ignition on the Spider, but in the real world this is no major issue on a remote canister stove and you do get the big advantage of a pre-heater which delivers the gas in vapour form even in cold weather. Cold weather performance is surprisingly good for a relatively low cost, even with a partially depleted canister. As you'd expect with a top name you get a good quality braided fuel hose with positive connections that you can feel click into place even with cold hands. When gas levels within the canister fall below about 1/4 it makes sense to invert the canister, which although slightly less flexible than some stoves is an easy enough job.

With a fairly wide stance and low profile the Express Spider is a very stable unit and can easily handle a 2l pan, but due to a "different" burner design from most stoves it's actually much more suitable for solo trips with smaller pans. Rather than a wide, flat, flame the Spider produces quite a vertical flame with a small diameter which can be a bit ineffective when used with group size pans but absolutely ideal for smaller pans. Flame adjustment is pretty good, certainly fine for switching between rolling boil and simmer, though perhaps not quite as sensitive as the Optimus Stella+.


Price: £44.00

Weight: 196g

Colour: Silver and Gold


• Weight: 198 g / 7 oz
• Output: 2000 W / 7150 BTU/h
• Boiling time: 4.5 min
• Dimensions: 105 x 85 x 55 mm / 4.1" x 3.3" x 2.2"
• Ignition: Manual
• Suitable for: 1-4 People


Pros: Good pre-heat mechanism, small diameter vertical flame good for solo pans

Cons: No windshield, no piezo ignition

Note: This article was restored from the archives. It's published creation date is inaccurate.