User Review: MSR Reactor
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $150
On long trips you'll only need one fuel canister! My Reactor boils water fast, even when it's windy.
- Uses far less fuel than my favorite Pocket Rocket.
- Boils water fast, and works well in windy conditions.
- Packs up neatly
- Great for two people
- The cooking surface is too hot for anything but boiling water.
- Packed up, it's rather bulky
- A bit too expensive
I take my Reactor when I'm on trips of longer than three or four days. I find that a fuel canister is good for breakfasts and dinners for more than seven days. Setup is simple. My stove is easy to light; I open the valve slightly, hold a lit match or lighter over the grid, and an eerie glow spreads across the grid.
Within a few seconds it's like having an electric stove on HIGH, which makes it too hot for anything but boiling water. I tried lowering the heat, but simmering is impossible. Think electric stove on medium high.
When I'm hiking with a friend the pot is a perfect size. Unlike the Jetboil, which requires taking turns boiling water, I can make ample water for two dinners and one drink. I usually add an extra cup of water for beverages
to the pot after filling the freeze dried bags. If you only use freeze dried food, then this stove is perfect. If you like to cook things, then a Whisperlite or PocketRocket serves better, but will use up slightly more fuel.
I've used my Reactor mostly in the High Sierra, above 10,000 feet on five, week-long trips. It works perfectly, and since on these trips I only need boiling water because I use prepared freeze dried foods and just add water to my cups for hot beverages, I find the stove exceeds my expectations.
I dislike the wastefulness of canisters, but enjoy their convenience. Since this stove is the most efficient I find it perfect for me.