MSR Standard Pump upgrade

11:14 p.m. on June 29, 2008 (EDT)
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I have a MSR Whisperlite that is about 12 years old, it still works just fine. My only complaint would be that it is hard to maintain a simmer. I noticed that MSR has an improved pump, and I would like to know if anyone has any experience with the new pump. Does it simmer better? This is the link for the new pump, just so there is no confusion about which one I am referring to.


12:14 p.m. on June 30, 2008 (EDT)
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This is the pump version that came with my Simmerlite. It works better in most respects than the older versions, but it won't make any difference in simmering on your Whisperlite. You can, as has been posted here many times, simmer just fine on a Whisperlite IF you learn and practice the technique. Two of the secrets are use of a burner plate and pumping just the right pressure, along with micro-adjusting the valve. The biggest secret is a lot of dedicated and patient experimentation until you develop "The Touch". The Simmerlite, on the other hand, is fairly simple to adjust the simmering level.

One problem I find with the newer pump, though, is that it seems like I have to oil the cup much much more frequently, like almost every time I use it (a real pain to oil it every day on a 2 or 3 week trip). I plan to have a long talk with MSR next month at the OR Show about this. I know why it takes re-oiling, but want to find a way to avoid it. The older pumps could go for months between re-oilings (that is, 25-50 meals of stove use).

4:27 p.m. on June 30, 2008 (EDT)
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Thanks Bill S.
I have been using a homemade diffuser (coffee can top) and if needed raising my pot with pebbles. It is not ideal, and I'm using more fuel than necessary.
Do you feel that the problem lies in the burner/jet itself?
If so, maybe I could give my stove to the Boy Scouts, and get a simmerlite.
I am definitely a white gas guy, I buy it by the gallon. I have two canister devices which are now obsolete and I don't feel like I got my money out of them in terms of longevity.

I have only had to oil my pump once a year on average, with mineral oil.
I have to say that on the subject of reliability, I would rather have a slightly heavier piece of gear that is well designed, than a lighter one that was problematic, given the choice.

Thanks for the info on the pump.

8:35 p.m. on June 30, 2008 (EDT)
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I'm not sure I would call it a "problem". It is just the way backpacking stoves are. The liquid fuel stoves are all basically the same design that was made by the original Primus company in Sweden in the 19th Century, with the 2 basic burner types - the "roarer" and the "silent" burners. The Svea 123, MSR XGK, Primus multi-fuel stoves, and similar ones are the "roarer" burner, while the MSR Whisperlite and Simmerlite, Coleman 2-burner car camping stoves, and most compressed gas stoves are the "silent" type (2 sub-types - the stacked waffle plate like the Whisperlite and the multi-hole kind like the Simmerlite). For most backpacking, simmering is not of real concern - how much simmering did anyone do on campfires?

Only gourmet camp cooks (like Barb and me) worry about low heat vs med heat vs high heat. The way to control the heat level is to control the rate of fuel flow and/or distance from the flame. Stoves with a needle valve allow you to do this to some extent, but having to pressurize liquid fuel stoves with a pump makes control of the flame difficult - it's either full pressure or off. In other words, not the jet or burner design intrinsically, but the means of controlling the fuel flow rate to the burner. The single valve is pretty sloppy and inaccurate for this. The two-stage valve like the Dragonfly has (and some in the Primus multifuel family) is ok, but requires too much maintenance. That's why gourmet campchefs use compressed gas - easier to control the fuel flow, hence the heat level.

Note that all the effort recently for stove improvements has been toward getting as much of the heat as possible into the pot - the MSR heat exchanger of old that surrounded the pot, the Jetboil heat exchanger on the pot, and more recently Optimus/Brunton, Primus, Coleman, and MSR with their "improved" versions of Jetboil's approach. Few are gourmet outdoor chefs like us (ok, I confess, I mostly want to get the meal done - breakfast so I can get on the trail, and supper so I can hit the sack - but sometimes, I like to get out the wok and do some fancy stirfry).

9:59 p.m. on June 30, 2008 (EDT)
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Yes, I do have to admit that my canister stove was easier to control(heat output). It was just a hassle to find canisters, and they were expensive. I also have coleman car camping gear that runs on white gas, so I just walk out to my shed and fill my MSR bottle, no hassle.
I do most of my gourmet cooking on a wood coal fire, I'm lucky that it is allowed where I go. Of course the same principal applies, you must control your fuel/air mix on a coal bed to control the heat level.
I will have to try the wok sometimes!

12:29 p.m. on July 1, 2008 (EDT)
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GSI makes two sizes of backpacking wok out of their excellent anodized aluminum. We even use the smaller one sometimes at home for a quick snack instead of our full-sized, made in Taiwan iron one.

12:26 p.m. on July 12, 2008 (EDT)
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These things need oiling? I have a newer Whisperlite I have only used it twice. I have an old XGR International that I have used quite a bit over the years. I have never oiled it. Gee maybe I need to.

May 20, 2018
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