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The New MSR MicroRocket -- Trail Report #1

1:28 a.m. on January 2, 2012 (EST)
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In a couple of days, MSR is set to release their new MicroRocket stove.
P1090084.JPG
The MicroRocket will be MSR's first entry into the lightweight, high-end gas stove market. (The existing PocketRocket is more of an entry level stove).

Yesterday, I took the stove out on the trail for the first time.
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Please join me on an another Adventure in Stoving: The New MSR MicroRocket -- Trail Report #1

HJ

1:09 p.m. on January 2, 2012 (EST)
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Jim thanks for taking the time and energy to do a test on the new micro. I was a little thrown by the igniter being seperate. Then reading your article and your test report, does make it make sense. I learn aot from your articles and tests. Thanks for doiing it.

1:56 p.m. on January 2, 2012 (EST)
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Are the pot holding arms sturdier than they are on the PocketRocket? Thats seems to be the biggest complaint by most who have used it?

I have used my PR since 2002, I still like it well enough not to change stoves. I used a SVEA 123 and a Multifuel MSR stove before that when I primarily spent more time in cold climate hiking.

3:51 p.m. on January 2, 2012 (EST)
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Definitely compact. The depth of the pot burner could be a plus as well. 

Then again, I personally do not use my PR to cook in a shelter. The PR is my 3 season stove so I typically do any cooking with it in the great wide open.

Not sure if there is enough to justify my purchase of this model being I have the PR but the gearhead in me keeps saying "you know you want it. What would 1 more stove hurt?"

I am still interested in the Whisperlite Uni though. Then again, I have stoves that will handle the conditions I subject myself too...

I am wondering if the Uni will burn multiple types of fuel over time with no trouble as compared to a stove that burns one type of fuel well. 

I also wonder; if the Uni does everything really well is Cascade Designs(MSR) is shooting themselves in the foot and this could potentially cause a drop in sales of their other stoves?

Hmmmm....

HJ, whats with the Allen bolt in the stove below the burner(pic below?) Is this to remove the burner head so one can dissassemble/clean the unit?


P1090084.JPG

8:57 p.m. on January 2, 2012 (EST)
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Nice gear report HJ.

How does this stove compare to the SP Gigapower?

10:57 a.m. on January 3, 2012 (EST)
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Nice report Jim, Thanx!

Definitly looks like a compact little bugger. Whats the price of it?

1:23 p.m. on January 3, 2012 (EST)
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I note that my GigaPower fuel bottle is entirely in asian charactors except the product name, why is this? Is Giga Power a asian product?

4:05 p.m. on January 3, 2012 (EST)
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denis daly said:

Jim thanks for taking the time and energy to do a test on the new micro. I was a little thrown by the igniter being seperate. Then reading your article and your test report, does make it make sense. I learn aot from your articles and tests. Thanks for doiing it.

 Hi, Denis,

Glad they're helpful.  It's a pretty good little stove.  I bet some people will leave the piezo behind, but I bet a lot of people will wind up taking it.  It is super convenient.

HJ
Adventures in Stoving

4:07 p.m. on January 3, 2012 (EST)
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GaryPalmer said:

 

Are the pot holding arms sturdier than they are on the PocketRocket? Thats seems to be the biggest complaint by most who have used it?

I have used my PR since 2002, I still like it well enough not to change stoves. I used a SVEA 123 and a Multifuel MSR stove before that when I primarily spent more time in cold climate hiking.

 Hi, Gary,

The pots supports are vastly improved.  I took the stove out again yesterday and did some stability tests.  More stable, stronger, tighter tolerances. 

HJ
Adventures in Stoving

4:08 p.m. on January 3, 2012 (EST)
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GaryPalmer said:

 

I note that my GigaPower fuel bottle is entirely in asian charactors except the product name, why is this? Is Giga Power a asian product?

Gary,

Anything Giga Power  is from Snow Peak which is based in Japan.  I know some of the products are actually manufactured in Korea, but the company itself is based in Japan.

HJ
Adventures in Stoving

4:19 p.m. on January 3, 2012 (EST)
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trouthunter said:

Nice gear report HJ.

How does this stove compare to the SP Gigapower?

 

Mike,

I'm not done yet, so I can't fully say.  HOWEVER, just based on what I've done so far:

  • The MR and the GP are about the same in terms of compactness.
  • The GP has better pot stability, but the MR is very good.  The MR is definitely better than the PR.
  • The GP and the MR are both well built.
  • The MR has a narrow "pencil" flame but has excellent flame control for simmering.   The GP has a better flame pattern but doesn't have as good of flame control.
  • The MR is slightly lighter than the GP.
  • The GP is priced less ($40 at REI) than the MR ($60 MSRP).

HJ
Adventures in Stoving

4:20 p.m. on January 3, 2012 (EST)
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azrhino said:

Nice report Jim, Thanx!

Definitly looks like a compact little bugger. Whats the price of it?

 MSRP = $60. 

HJ
Adventures in Stoving

4:21 p.m. on January 3, 2012 (EST)
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Thanks for the reply HJ.

4:26 p.m. on January 3, 2012 (EST)
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Rick-Pittsburgh said:

"you know you want it. What would 1 more stove hurt?"

Careful, Rick, that's how it started for me too. ;)

I am wondering if the Uni will burn multiple types of fuel over time with no trouble as compared to a stove that burns one type of fuel well. 

You're going to stretch out the life to some degree by burning gas in a Uni. WG and kero will be a little dirtier. Stay away from unleaded, av gas, etc, and for crying out loud, don't burn diesel.

I also wonder; if the Uni does everything really well is Cascade Designs(MSR) is shooting themselves in the foot and this could potentially cause a drop in sales of their other stoves?

Not at $140...

HJ, whats with the Allen bolt in the stove below the burner(pic below?) Is this to remove the burner head so one can dissassemble/clean the unit?

 That is to remove the pot support.

HJ
Adventures in Stoving

4:28 p.m. on January 3, 2012 (EST)
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trouthunter said:

Thanks for the reply HJ.

 Thanks for the question.  Seriously. 

I hate making a post and then no one says even "liked it" or "hated it."

HJ
Adventures in Stoving

12:04 p.m. on January 4, 2012 (EST)
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Well like other companies I wonder why they don't have more than Japanese on the fuel bottle. These are instructions for proper use are they not?

12:39 p.m. on January 4, 2012 (EST)
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Damn I just bought the superfly last spring! (shake fist angrily at MSR)

3:21 p.m. on January 4, 2012 (EST)
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GaryPalmer said:

 

Well like other companies I wonder why they don't have more than Japanese on the fuel bottle. These are instructions for proper use are they not?

 I'm surprised that there were not English instructions. 

HJ
Adventures in Stoving

3:24 p.m. on January 4, 2012 (EST)
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Jake W said:

Damn I just bought the superfly last spring! (shake fist angrily at MSR)

 lol.

Not to worry, Jake, the SuperFly is actually a very good stove.  It's just not very compact.  I'd say the SuperFly is going to be the better cooking stove because it has a nice big burner head that's going to eliminate the kind of hot spots you can get with a little "pencil torch" type flame.

The problem with the SF is that it's bulky.  The pot supports work, but they really need to re-think them.  Way too pointy and way too bulky.

Still, if I'm going out with a group of say 3 or more people and I'm wanting to do some real cooking, the SF is a good stove.  Don't hang your self just yet.  :)

HJ
Adventures in Stoving

1:48 p.m. on January 20, 2012 (EST)
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Great report Jim.....as a new guy here, I was pleased to read so much sharing of information! I had mentioned in another post, about my choice after consideration, of the Jetboil and using freezerbag cooking. I wonder then, is the choice of stove (because there are dozens of them) a personal thing or, as you mentioned to Rick in Pittsburgh, some thing of an addiction? Just GOTTA have THAT stove too!! There are so many choices, even in some circumstances, open fire cooking which of course means pots and pans....and weight! My son uses the pocket rocket because he likes cooking that way and now, I believe I found his next birthday gift!! A Micro-Rocket! One last question. And it has to do with the separate ignition system. Might carrying a BIC be advisable just in case that "no way never happen" situation, happens, and oh crap...where's my ignitor!?!?! Great review and I really enjoy the humor...I too have never timed my boils but 5-10 seconds difference I don't think would sway me either!

2:12 p.m. on January 20, 2012 (EST)
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Yeah, Jim is an incredible source of passionate and rigorously researched knowledge about all things stove related! 

On the issue of lighting a stove, it is a good idea (as in, you REALLY should) to always have at least one stand-alone means of making fire (firesteel, stormproof matches, lighter, etc). This means you would always have a source of ignition for your stove, and anything else, even if the integrated one fails. 

There are meany stove junkies among us, collectors who buy various stoves for a myriad of reasons. Most, however, choose a stove (or stoves) according to their needs and the limitations of a particular type and model. On a general level, a liquid fuel expedition stove can be used in nearly any environment and temperature, a canister stove has more limitations, and an alcohol stove has an even narrower range of suitability. The variation and particulars for various makes and models of each varies exponentially from there. It'll make your head spin if you try to take it all in at once :)

2:32 p.m. on January 20, 2012 (EST)
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Very well done Jim! Thanks much for sharing this.

2:31 a.m. on January 21, 2012 (EST)
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Thank you for the reply. I can easily understand becoming a stove junkie....I collect militaria, mostly WWII but I am NOT picky....and the stoves are one of the major attractions. I do have a few camping ones, non-military, already and find it is for me a draw. Experimenting with the various types just adds to the pleasure of the hobby!

10:47 a.m. on January 21, 2012 (EST)
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Hi, BraveHeart,

Glad you liked the review.  I for one am disappointed with a lot of mainstream backpacking publications who just gloss over stoves.  One of the reasons I started my blog was to take a little more in-depth look at stoves.  I think the look is warranted.

Maybe it is an addiction for me (or maybe I'm just a closet pyromaniac), :) but I enjoy fiddling with them.  I like knowing about what makes them tick.

Most folks would be just fine with one stove if all they do is summer type backpacking.  If one does winter backpacking too, then maybe two stoves.  Uh, I probably have (ahem) slightly more than two stoves.  :)

HJ 

Adventures in Stoving

10:56 a.m. on January 21, 2012 (EST)
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gonzan said:

Yeah, Jim is an incredible source of passionate and rigorously researched knowledge about all things stove related! 

On the issue of lighting a stove, it is a good idea (as in, you REALLY should) to always have at least one stand-alone means of making fire (firesteel, stormproof matches, lighter, etc). This means you would always have a source of ignition for your stove, and anything else, even if the integrated one fails. 

 Thanks, Gonzan.

I agree on the issue of lighting.  DEFINITELY bring a couple of different sources of ignition. I always bring at least a regular lighter and matches, preferably the stormproof type.  

I will say that I've been enjoying the little piezoelectric ignition.  I've been trying it out on other stoves.  Since it's separate, there's nothing that ties it to any one stove.  It works quite well although on burner heads where the gas is spread out, I have to turn the gas up in order for it to work.

P1090470.JPG
 

HJ

Adventures in Stoving

10:58 a.m. on January 21, 2012 (EST)
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braveheart59 said:

Thank you for the reply. I can easily understand becoming a stove junkie....I collect militaria, mostly WWII but I am NOT picky....and the stoves are one of the major attractions. I do have a few camping ones, non-military, already and find it is for me a draw. Experimenting with the various types just adds to the pleasure of the hobby!

 I probably shouldn't mention the M-1942-Mod and the M-1950 military stoves.  Oops.  :)

HJ

Adventures in Stoving

12:32 p.m. on January 21, 2012 (EST)
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LOL! Yes Jim, have those also!! The military ones are a big draw for me and, given the size, shape and weight of what we have today, such as the micro-rocket, and the alternative fuels, away from the white gas or, perish the thought, carrying leaded gasoline as they used in those M42's and 50's, seems frightening! I find, as I am sure you do, a fun part of the old military stoves, is just getting them running! I sometimes worry that doing so may be seen by some as not just tinkering but, oh, fondling!! Maybe it's more of a perversion than and obsession! I am so very thankful I found this group....I have learned so much already! 

8:05 a.m. on January 22, 2012 (EST)
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BraveHeart,

There's a site you really need to check out:  Classic Camp Stoves.  If you like old military stoves, that's the place to be.  Tell 'em HJ sent you.

HJ

Adventures in Stoving

7:37 p.m. on January 23, 2012 (EST)
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if anyone was having trouble with the link above, it is fixed now! 

1:07 p.m. on January 24, 2012 (EST)
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Cool.  Thanks bro.

By the way, my magazine article on the MicroRocket should be coming out in the online edition of Seattle Backpackers Magazine tomorrow.    You guys are already up  to speed I'm sure, but I'll post a link.  It'll be a nice summary.

HJ

Adventures in Stoving

4:41 p.m. on January 26, 2012 (EST)
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P1090092.JPG

My review is now complete and available:  The New MSR MicroRocket -- Completed Review

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

6:23 p.m. on January 27, 2012 (EST)
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GaryPalmer said:

 

Well like other companies I wonder why they don't have more than Japanese on the fuel bottle. These are instructions for proper use are they not?

 

Egg-zachary !!

                           ~ r2 ~

2:27 p.m. on January 28, 2012 (EST)
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I want one

12:34 a.m. on February 19, 2012 (EST)
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okay I was just in REI today (always a dangerous place) and was looking at these new MicroRocket's.  It sure seems like it is a beefier design. Burner head was a bit smaller tho...........I must have one!

9:20 p.m. on February 21, 2012 (EST)
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azrhino said:

okay I was just in REI today (always a dangerous place) and was looking at these new MicroRocket's.  It sure seems like it is a beefier design. Burner head was a bit smaller tho...........I must have one!

There's no real comparison between the two.  The overall design is better on the MR, the general build quality is better, the MR is stronger, and the MR is far more compact.

The PR is $20 less though.

HJ

Adventures in Stoving

1:54 p.m. on February 22, 2012 (EST)
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I change my previous comment of "I want one" to,

I compared and have gone with a LiteMax by Snow Peak.

12:38 a.m. on February 26, 2012 (EST)
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The LiteMax is certainly a good stove.  

HJ
Backpacking stove reviews and information:  Adventures In Stoving

2:32 p.m. on March 1, 2012 (EST)
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Wow, that is one of the most complete reviews (with pictures too) that I have ever seen.  I have been in the market for a good while to get rid of the ole white gas stove I have (whisperlite) and look at a canister stove.  After seeing this review I am seriously considering this item.  Thanks for the info!

6:07 p.m. on March 1, 2012 (EST)
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You're welcome.  

And thanks for your comments.  One of the reason I started my blog was because I was kind of disgusted with the short treatment stoves are given in mainstream publications.  I try to really convey the sense of the stove in my blog.

HJ

Adventures In Stoving

9:10 a.m. on March 2, 2012 (EST)
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Thanks, Jim, for another comprehensive comparison review.

I have a suggestion:

Post the MSRP ... as well as the going "street price" of the item.  "Street price" is loosely what price-point the item can be expected to sell for in the real world.

Of course, if a stove has just been introduced, and it is an instant "winner", retail prices will usually hold at MSRP, until the next-gen model comes out, or supplies exceed demand.

Also; it may require more "leg work" on determining "street price".   A couple good contact people in the biz, at the retail-level can help in that respect.

I have been in the music-biz much of my life (along with the construction biz, oddly); most aspects, including managing a couple music stores.   I have reviewed music instruments for online forums.   Listing the MSRP and "street price" seems to be received well by interested consumers. 

Again, thanks for the fine reviews and specs.

                      pax vobiscum

                          ~ r2 ~

3:32 p.m. on March 5, 2012 (EST)
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Hi, Robert

I'll try to post the MSRP (I have been posting it in most of my latter reviews), but the street price is going to vary a lot by venue and would be a lot of work to track down.  Probably not practical for me due to time constraints.  :(

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

10:53 p.m. on March 7, 2012 (EST)
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Just gave my Pocket and Micro away for free.  To two happy campers.

6:05 p.m. on March 8, 2012 (EST)
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Heck yeah!   I'd have loved it.  Very good of you.  Got any more stoves you don't want?  :)

 

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

April 24, 2014
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