So I have been using the MSR Windburner stove now for the last eight months for everything from a small brew kit to carry around on remote rope access jobs to alpine climbing in Alaska and the Himalayas and it is without doubt the best gas cartridge stove I have ever used.
I have the 1 litre model which is a great size for lightweight camping, alpine climbing and for all general lightweight cooking needs. Using MSR’s ‘Reactor’ burner technology the stove is incredibly efficient and like advertised, works better than any other cartridge stove in the wind. MSR say it will boil 0.5 litre in an 8mph wind using only 7g of gas. So what does this actually mean? Well to put it simply, it will melt you snow and boil water in slightly blowy and very normal conditions faster and easier than any other cartridge stove out there.
Over the past five years I have used / owned a huge amount of other, similar stoves on the market. I have had important components break, stoves constantly blowing out and stoves that just seem to slow down and burn a lot less efficiently over time. None of this has happened with the MSR Windburner.
As you would expect from MSR the design and build quality are both excellent and the stove functions exactly as it should do. I have lit it in some appalling conditions now (tent-bound with two others in a two-man bivi tent during a storm on the Infinite Spur for forty hours), held it lit and in-between knees in bothy bags and hung it using the hanging kit in all sorts of places. Most recently we used it almost solely for three weeks on a recent trip to India. Basically It stays alight and melts stuff / cooks as and when needed. Job done!
Pros- Lightweight, incredibly efficient, excellent build quality.
Cons- The included plastic cup has a very tight fit onto the base of the stove and can sometimes be hard to get off in cold temperatures.
As I’m sure you can see it is a stove aimed much more towards the lightweight market and so if you are looking at a stove to ‘cook’ more complex meals then I suggest you look elsewhere…However, if you are looking for a stove to melt snow and boil water and be as light, efficient and reliable as possible then I cannot recommend it highly enough. An awesome bit of kit!
Dave is an Aspirant IFMGA Mountain Guide and rope access IRATA L3 based in Kendal. He enjoys all different types of climbing and skiing, but has a particular passion for Scottish winter climbing and Alpine climbing. Click here to see his page.