User Review: MSR SimmerLite
Price Paid: $87
I'm a 50-year-old guy and just getting to the stage in my career that I have decent time off to start hiking and camping regularly again. Because I'm older (and hopefully a bit wiser) I'm really trying to watch the weight of my gear (unlike in my twenties when I lugged around 70 lbs of gear and took everything except the kitchen sink!). Compactness and weight are considerations then in choosing gear.
I bought this stove because I wanted to return to white gas to get away from the waste canisters produce, (although I do love the light weight and simmer capabilities of my Brunton canister stove!). I was willing to sacrifice weight and space to be a bit more "green". But I still wanted a stove that was fairly compact but had simmering capabilities. I bought the Simmerlite on a whim in the store after reading the box. I wish I would have done a bit more research first.
This stove is a great stove if you just want to boil stuff. It sets up very well and is easy to light but as far as simmering...forget it. Admittedly I have only played with it once since buying it but I tried for ages to adjust the flame to a simmer but could not.
One of the reviews here said that it simmers better once broken in. I'll try it out next week on a 2 week trip to Ft Mcmurray and Jasper in northern Alberta to see if it it does "break in" but if it doesn't it is going back for an MSR Dragon Fly which I do know simmers well. I'll update this review then.
Update: August 24, 2008
This review is an update to my previous one. I am going to eat a bit of crow here.
As I mentioned I was going to try it out on a camping trip to Jasper National Park in Alberta.
I found that this stove worked very well for my purposes...making a hot meal and drink. Ok, so you can't get a true simmer on it (like I was going to make a cream sauce in the Rocky Mountains!). I did find that I could get some decent flame control from it after I got used to it and what that did was prevent things from boiling over.
The stove also fits into my small pot with a lid and so gets good marks for compactability.
I have therefore upped my rating to 4.5 stars.