GEAR REVIEW - MSR WindBurner Stove System ($139.95)
Every month, my alpine fast and light pack sheds ounces – thanks to gear innovations and my obsession with it. For exploits requiring snow melting, packing a stove and fuel is a necessary evil. For nearly a year, I have had the opportunity to put the MSR Windburner through the wringer. It has earned its keep as my go-to stove system for fast and light assaults in the mountains.
The MSR Windburner is an all-in-one canister stove set up that comes outfitted with a cozy, cup/bowl/measuring cup and secure drinking lid; eliminating the need for bringing extra serveware, such as a bowl or mug, on alpine exploits. The most impressive feature of the MSR Windburner was that it incorporated everything I love about the MSR Reactor into a smaller package, making it a reliable stove to bring on serious alpine exploits. I can’t tell you how many adventures have been cut short at the oh sh!# moment that your stove won’t ignite. Bonus points for all the accessories that convert this alpine mission beast to a crag friendly bistro and big wall warrior; including a french press, skillet, hanging kit for big wall exploits, and pots in both 1.0 and 1.8L sizes.
What exactly differentiates the Windburner from other all-in-one canister stoves? In my opinion, the one feature that sets apart the Windburner from similar stoves is its enclosed radiant burner. This enclosed radiant burner allows the stove to ignite in the most cruel conditions, without depleting a superfluous amount of fuel. I tested this claim on the lower saddle of the Grand Teton (~12,000′ elevation) with heinous wind gusts up to 80mph and temps hovering around 0F – the stove lit and boiled my water, a game changer amidst my objective of the Grand Traverse.
I had the opportunity to test the MSR Windburner in a variety of settings; a hotel room, car camping, a freezing overnight bivy at high altitude, and multiple enduro excursions. The Windburner excelled in all of these environments and has become my go-to personal stove for alpine and solo adventuring missions.
Bottom Line – The MSR Windburner Stove is an excellent low weight/low space personal canister stove system for serious exploits in the backcountry, that does just what it should – ignites when told to.
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- Boil Anywhere, and Quickly – outfitted with a radiant burner and an enclosed, windproof design allows water to boil fast and in places where other stoves simply can’t ignite due to weather.
- Fuel Efficient – This stove is the most efficient stove I have ever owned. Just when I think it’s the last burn on a canister, I get one more.
- Integrated serveware – leave behind the heavy wide mouthed nalgene, because the Windburner comes with a durable plastic mug/bowl/measuring cup (0.5L capacity), as well as a snug fitting insulated cozy enabling you to eat directly out of the pot, and a secure lid outfitted with drinking and straining openings.
- Same boil every time – outfitted with a pressure regulator and some complicated science behind it (read Why Pressure Regulated Stoves Are Better in Cold Temps for a better description of this witchcraft), which ensures a quick boil even at higher elevations.
- Compact – the design of the Windburner is one of my favorites. Everything fits in the pot as a compact system, when using with a 4 oz fuel canister, and takes up marginal pack space.
- Versatile – accessories are available to make this stove system fit the needs of whatever adventure you seek to bring it on. Accessories include: french coffee press, skillet, hanging system, 1.0 and 1.8L pots.
- The coffee press accessory is kind of a pain, but let’s be real. When you have time to use the coffee press, you’re glamping and have time to deal with this.
- Where has this been all my life?