MSR WhisperLite Internationale
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $50
This stove works great in cold, wet weather, when stoves that run on compressed gas tend to sputter. The storage tank is also the operating tank, so there is one less piece to pack.
- Relatively lightweight
- Extremely rugged connection between tank and burner
- Easy to light
- Plastic pump requires care when pumping
- Lighting requires warm-up cycle before stove can be used
- Fuel tank sold separately
I bought this stove because my old Svea was getting difficult to light, and because I liked the idea that the operating tank and storage tank were one and the same. I hike mainly on the AT in the Smokey Mountains, and I had to have a stove that was easy to light in cold, wet weather. After I ditched my Svea, I bought a stove that used compressed gas, but after a trip where the temperature dropped forty degrees in about an hour, and I had to warm gas canisters in my armpit, I bought this stove, which was one of the smartest purchases I ever made.
This lighting cycle for this stove requires the obligatory warm-up period that is common to most liquid fuel stoves, but so did my old Svea, so I'm used to squirting a little fuel into the cup, lighting the fuel, and then opening the valve when the fuel is almost burned away. This stove has to be assembled before each use, in that the fuel hose has to be plugged into the fuel bottle and a retaining latch is set to make sure the hose fitting stays plugged into the tank, but if the temperature isn't well below zero, the process becomes routine.
The plastic pump gives the impression of fragility, but after two years of rough use, the pump still works, although I take appropriate care when I connect and disconnect the hose. Easily available replacement parts means that if a part does break, replacements can be acquired on Ebay. I was especially impressed with the braided metal sheath that ensures that the hose isn't subject to chafing or pinching.
The "internationale" version of the stove can burn white gas , automotive gas, or kerosene, so if you plan a trip to an area where fuel is difficult to find, this stove can be converted to a different fuel by changing the fuel nozzle. I even used denatured alcohol a few times, and the stove worked fine. MSR also sells cleaning and repair kits, so grab one on Ebay for a little piece of mind.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $60 on sale
The Whisperlite International is a versatile piece of gear that will always have a place in my pack. The ability to burn many different fuel types give peace of mind to travelers and the ease of operation really is intuitive.
- Multifuel capable
- Backed by great customer service
- Not as small as other "pocket" type stoves
- Requires a learning curve
I have used this stove on multiple trips over the past two years and I now consider it "old faithful". Setup for the stove is quick, simple, and once the user has lit the stove a few times, it becomes second nature.
I do not use this stove to simply boil water. This stove has opened the door to some really great backcountry meals. I did take me a bit to learn to simmer with the stove but now that I understand how it works, I can get it when I need it.
Wind has not been a problem with the included aluminum shield and base. I purchase the 22 oz. canister with the stove and have com to realize that should have bought the 11 oz instead as I never have used even half of the larger bottle. The stove comes in a small pouch that keeps everything together and the entire package is fairly light.
Like I said above, there are smaller stoves on the market but there are not many that have the longevity of this one. The Whisperlite has been around for ages and to me, this is testament to the engineering behind it. I live in Texas and have not used the stove in extreme conditions but have used it on mountain tops and it has performed perfectly.
I would recommend this product to friends looking to do more than just boil water in the field.
Source: bought it new
This stove is reliable, well built, and very functional. The last time I was out, we hiked through the rain and finished at our campsite hungry, the Whisperlite worked perfectly, even in the wet conditions. Solidly built, and well designed.
- Adjustable flame
- Somewhat heavy
The stove is pretty easy to set up. It comes with a few different parts depending on what fuel you choose to use, but if you stick with the same fuel, setup is a breeze.
Flame control is good, not amazing, but functional enough to cook what I needed without burning anything.
Boil time was close to the package time. I've never found stoves to be quite as fast as they say, but this one comes really close.
It comes with a wind screen, so wind is not an issue. In calm weather without it, it works great.
The stand is very stable, no issues balancing, although sometimes I struggle to get the fuel cord out of the way and not causing any problems.
Very easy to use with good instructions.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $79.95
Extremely versatile! The multi-fuel capability is a must-have. It's quiet, ready to operate and boils water very quickly. I have found this to be very fuel efficient.
- Multi-fuel capability
This stove is a must-have for any backpacker or outdoor enthusiast. It is extremely versatile, durable, lightweight and very efficient. One of my most prized pieces of equipment.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $65
I've been using this type of stove for the last 12 years and they rock!!
- Easy to fix in the field
- Different size fuel bottles to carry just what you need
- Very hard (almost impossible) to simmer
Easy to set up, prime and light. You can cook and bake pretty much whatever you want. In case you are out of white gas, you can use car gasoline (which I don't recomend becuase of the smell). I have about 5 of them and it is easy to teach others to use it safely.
I really recommend it.
Source: bought it new
This is a very reliable stove that is light and has the ability to use several types of fuel.
- Field stripable
- Multi fuel
- Light weight
- Easy to use
- Fuel pump
- Hard to simmer
This is a bomb proof stove that works when well below zero and in the summer heat. Reliably starts with several types of fuel. Is easily cleaned in the field due to dirty fuel. Most of all small and lightweight, comes with and all important wind shield.
I used this stove in the dead of winter and heat of summer without issue. The stove is not a fuel pig and boils water in less then 2 to 3 min depending on ambient air temp.
The stove's greatest feature is that it is totally field stripable. Not many stoves can say that. When dirty old nasty fuel gums your stove up nothing is more comforting knowing that you can field strip the stove. Then be back into enjoying a hot meal
The weak point is the MSR fuel pump on my 3rd one. The bodies crack which compromises the integrity of the pump and effects the consistency of the fuel pressure. This is easily fixed with super glue on a hike, it by no means is a crippling issue for the pump or stove, does cause increased fuel usage is the down side.
Overall this is a hiker's best friend, reliable and light and easy use.
This is a reliable, cook anything, tough as nails stove, if you know how to use it. Had it in '94 and still alive and kicking. My favorite stove!
- boil time
- packs small
- fuel efficient
- simmers if you know how to
- new model has brass receptacle that holds the knob
- takes time to setup
- plastic that holds the knob cracks, had to replace twice
It's an art to operate this stove, but if you don't mind, this stove does it all quite well. It's best to use white gas for this as it burns cleaner and will require less maintenance, but not to worry when it gets clogged, a little shake is all it needs to unclog the jet.
It's the usual unfold, attach the fuel and pressurize type of stove, also needs to be primed before lighting. Low profile makes it stable and heat reflector plus wind screen makes it fuel efficient and weather resistant.
I've tried all sorts of cooking on it, steaming, simmering, baking you name it. Hands down the best stove for me and it's field maintainable too. This stove is beautiful once you master it.
Price Paid: $40
An excellent stove overall and a joy to use. I bought it used from a good source in great shape. I've had no problems with it at all and have managed to get the heat control thing pretty well mastered - or as best I think is achievable.
I travel a lot and so use a lot of different fuels. A tip I learned from the early Primus stoves: if you have to use fuels that produce a lot of soot on startup, carry a little methyl hydrate (methylated spirits) with you for priming. No more black muck on everything when you pack it all up.
One improvement I could suggest would be to somehow make the fuel line more flexible as it's tough to get it to go anywhere, including back in the bag.
Price Paid: $40
I first used this stove while attending a mountaineering school in Alaska. I used it again in a cold weather survival course too. It's a temperamental stove during the priming process. It has a tendency to flare up occassionaly. The rubber seals seem to wear out quickly.
I own both a PocketRocket and the Whisperlite. Every time I use the Whisperlite I wonder why? Why would I use this stove when my PocketRocket is so easy to set up? Here in Alaska I've used the PocketRocket in some pretty cold weather with no problems.
The Whisperlite always has problems, not to mention it's a dirty stove even with white gas. Black soot gets all over your hands when you attempt to put this stove away.
Price Paid: $69
The ultimate do-it-all multi-fuel stove! Absolute perfection. Rugged, efficient, reliable, simple, low maintenance, and perfect.
Runs on kerosene, diesel, unleaded gas, white gas and more. Very easy to clean and break down in the field.
Comes with super handy wind screen and carrying case. All you need to buy is the small red fuel bottle and thats all you will need for a week, it's that efficient.
This stove performs in all conditions. Perfection.
Price Paid: $64
The Whisperlite is the only stove I've owned. I am on my second now, only because the first was lost (don't let your friends borrow your good stuff!). I am actually grateful since MSR has refined this little beauty to even closer perfection.
The pump seems better designed and the seals/O-rings are more durable. I cannot testify to it's performance in very high altitudes or extreme artic conditions, but as for everywhere else this is what I've come to find:
Lightweight and compact. 14oz.,dry, and it fits inside my cookset, or my O.R. outdoor kitchen.
It can be a bit tricky at first, but once you get the hang of it using the stove is really easy. Priming is fun when your comfortable with it.
It does have more than just off or "lift-off", but, you HAVE to be johnny-on-the-spot. With slow pumping action and constant fuel adjustments I can simmer, saute or fry anything.
Soot build up can be a hassle, so can keeping debris out of the pump threads. Which is why I screw the pump into the fuel bottle and leave it there for the duration of the trip.
In my opinion the Internationale has only one real drawback. It is not oven compatible. Just not enough control for baking. Who really wants warm gooey brownies four days in anyways.
So if you're looking for a good, easy,lightweight stove that will treat you right, seriously consider this one.
Price Paid: $79
I first used this stove as part of a 2-month outdoor program, and absolutely loved it. It held up to constant abuse, as well as the occasional torrential downpour.
I purchased one for personal use last summer and was slightly less enamored by it, but as it still works great for the most part, I am very happy with it.
My only complaints are the separate-repair kit that you need to buy, in addition to my particular stove having ZERO simmer control, which is not an issue for some, but was a bit aggravating for me (as with my stove it was either full on, or dead off)
As compared to the Dragonfly, Jetboil, and other "personal" stove systems, I think that it measures up very well to the other current offerings, in both function and capacity to cook LOTS of food FAST. The fuel efficiency is pretty good, but it does however burn things other than white gas at a fairly dirty level.
Overall this is an excellent rugged stove, at a great price, and I can't wait to beat the crud out of it in Denali this summer.
I don't know why I keep coming back to this stove when I have other options. I have the Trangia alcohol and a pop can stove. I have a PocketRocket, Snowpeak Giga and Primus Classic canister stove. So, why do I keep coming back to this stove???
1. Multi fuel ability.
2. Works AWESOME in colder weather where canister stoves begin to fail.
3. I can tell how much fuel/burn time I have left by looking into the bottle.
I suppose that if weight ever becomes a real issue, I can take one of my lighter stoves.
Price Paid: $75
I looked at the reviews and will agree that this stove is reliable (and easy to fix if it does foul up). It is a real blow torch and if you need to melt snow for water this is the best. It is trusted by mountaineers and MSR stoves of this type have been for a long time. It takes just a little experimentation to learn how to prime it.
But all things are a compromise to some degree in some fashion. Weight is the reason I never use this stove anymore unless I am where I have to melt snow for water.
Nevertheless, there is a lot to like about this stove. It is stable, fuel is cheap and you can get it in any country, it stores well and isn't effected by temperature nearly as much as even modern blended-gas canister stoves. Perhaps the weight solution is to cook for 3 or 4 people (which this stove can easily do) and share the weight.
Price Paid: $80
This is the stove I first started with when I got into backpacking years ago. I wanted something that I could use anywhere and never let me down. I have never really had to worry about other fuels, I've only used white gas. But after a few years I switched to an MSR Pocket Rocket because it was so much easier. Just twist on the stove and light, no priming no setting up the lexan base, hooking up the fuel tank etc...
I now use a Jetboil. But I keep the Whisperlight around just in case I need something for high altitude or cold climates. It is pretty bombproof but kind of a hassle.
Price Paid: $80
I had a bad run in with a multi-fuel stove years ago and was afraid to go back. When my MSR WindPro no workee in -20F, I had to get another stove. The WhisperLite Internationale was that stove.
It takes a decent amount (not too much by my opinion) of time to warm up but burns great when it's going. When the wind screen and ground shield is used, it burns quite effeciently, too. The fact that it is built to be cleaned is great. My friend has used his a lot, even using diesel in it. Like many other people, this stove is very reliable.
Price Paid: 80
After being introduced to this versatile workhorse on a NOLS mountaineering course in the late '90s, I bought one of my own. This stove has been on every trip I've taken since. Fuel bottles are relatively easy to find in other countries (if you're flying w/it) and ease of repair is a plus. Bottom line: for a multi-use, user friendly stove, the WhisperLite International can't be beat.
Price Paid: USD 90
The MSR WhisperLite Internationale is a lightweight compact stove which is easy to use. It comes with a maintenance kit and user manual enabling trouble shooting while being off the beaten track.
The stove comes with the standard 22oz/650ml - 4.9oz/139g fuel bottle (USD 10.95), whereas a bigger size (33oz/975ml - 7.3oz/207g, USD 11.95) or smaller size (11oz/325ml - 2.8oz/79g, USD 9.95) are available in stores.
Another optional item is the MSR Trillium Stove Base (Weight: 2.8oz/80g Size: 6.5" x 5" (16.5cm x 12.7cm), USD 19.95), allowing to level the stove on uneven surface and (more important) stabilize your stove when preparing your meal when being on snow or ice.
I have used the WhisperLite Internationale between 1997 - 2001 when travelling/backpacking in Norway, New Zealand, Washington, British Colombia, Yukon and Alaska, as well as in the Belgian Ardennes.
In total, I have used the stove (fuel type used: regular unleaded) for about 100 meals, with the following results in terms of usability:
* the WhisperLite Internationale is reliable in both dry and wet weather conditions;
* it requires some practice to get the stove started. When releasing too much fuel at the start, the initial flame will appear big (yellow) and with a lot of smoke/soot. So take some distance from your tent, just to be safe.
* when the stove has been used and the fuel supply has been stopped, you have to be carefull when getting started again. The fuel will vaporize on the extremely hot stove and when applying your match to the stove, a big initial flame might be the result.
* The stove frame will be covered by soot, implying that you have to clean it once in a while. Since the stove comes Standard in a black MSR bag, the soot will not dirten the content of your backpack but only your hands when setting up the stove.
* Due to the fact that the WhisperLite can use White Gas, kerosene, jet fuel or auto gas, you will be able to find fuel to cook your meal, in all corners of the globe.
* The 1st WhisperLite purchased in '97 in The Netherlands came standard with a bag containing the stove and the fuel bottle. Although the fuel bottle never leaked, I was pleased with that bag. When I bought in 2000 a 2nd WhisperLite (a guest of the hostel in Seward, Alaska, took my 1st WhisperLite), that MSR cover did unfortunately only fit the stove.
The WhisperLite Internationale is a reliable, compact, robust and lightweight stove. The stove is easy to use and the value for money is excellent.
I have had one of these for 25 years and it has never let us down in all these years. The earlier models didn't have a priming wick, and had a rubber connecting hose. Some 8 years ago I bought a second one, and also replaced the hose with the newer metal one. It's a great stove, that has always worked for me on a variety of fuels.
Last year the oldest one finally gave up, as the priming cup broke of. I am trying to see if I can get a replacement, and that's how I landed on this site.
I don't agree with the remarks around simmering. With 25 years of experience I can easily get it to simmer, although it needs some "nursing" then.
In short, great stove, light, always works. Never owned another one, and never need to..
Price Paid: $70
The best stove I've ever used. Works well at altitude and in below freezing temps. Buy the trillenium base for use in snow, or just use the lid of a large tin can. Lights easily enough, once you know what you're doing. All in all, the best stove on the market.
Great Piece of Equipment!!
I have used this stove for several years with no malfunctions. In my opinion if you want something that works every time this would be a good choice.
Price Paid: $30
I bought two of these used off of Craigslist. My first was a fairly old unit (based on the pump) although it worked fine. After purchasing the second I found the pump mechanisms to be quite different. My older unit had a gray pump where the pump slide could easily come out (actually lost part of the locking ring although it continued to pump fine).
I've used them on a few outings where I knew it was going to be cold at night. I purchased, and would recommend, a lightweight lexan base that holds the stove and fuel bottle. This makes things very stable.
The stove is easy to light however I've always used white fuel. The wind shield is a bit of a pain but necessary when dealing with high winds. The stove really only has two settings, off and blast furnace.
The only downside I can say is that it is difficult to depressurize the fuel bottle when putting things away. I often end up squirting a fair amount of fuel out trying to do so. If I could change one thing it would be to add a pressure relief valve.
The folks at MSR were very kind in helping me repair my damaged fuel pump and gave me a replacement bag for my second unit. I would not hesitate to buy another and I'm actually looking at buying a DragonFly since I would really like to simmer some things.
Price Paid: $100
It's not a camper's stove, it's a lightweight bomb-proof expedition stove. The seperate fuel container (common on all MSR stoves) is just an example of the terrific engineering at Mountain Safety Research.
I've used this stove in a variety of climates and conditions, from Mt. Washington in New Hampshire to the Mojave Desert in San Diego.
It burns like a blow torch, doesn't use much fuel, packs really well, and at least mine came with a small repair kit, which I've never had to use.
It boils water fast, melts snow fast, and you can adjust the flame fairly well. I used it to cook a nice catch of rainbow trout, frying them up to near perfection.
I've only used white gas with this stove, because it's available, cheap, and burns clean, but I like knowing that if I'm ever unable to get it, I can burn unleaded with no problems, since that's just about everywhere these days.
The only ding against it is stability, but that's not really its fault, as much as something you need to expect from such a tiny device that's being used in areas which (surprise!) aren't known for a lot of flat and level surfaces. I've seen these stoves "settle" before under a quart or two of water, and send the whole mess into the dirt, so just remember this isn't the most stable platform in the world. But again, that's with nearly all backcountry stoves.
Price Paid: $150 AUS
It hasn't had a lot of use but I've taken it out for a 3 day hike with a 600mL fuel bottle and damn was it powerful.
The two of us used it to cook breakfast and dinner and used about 100mL of shellite a day which isn't bad at all.
Sometimes the priming gets a bit tricky but priming is the fun part of using the stove.
The stove doesn't really have any heat settings ... it's either off or it's in blowtorch mode. I've read somewhere that by pumping the fuel bottle less, you can actually get the stove to simmer but i have yet to try it.
So far so good.
Price Paid: $50
Beautiful stove. Quiet, reliable, durable. I abused mine for 10 years in Alaska without a problem and cried when it sank into the deep. I used it in temps to -40*F when canisters wouldn't dream of firing. It's hot as an afterburner, but quiet enough to hear the birds. No flame adjustment, but you can simmer using a double boil method.
Price Paid: $79.99
I really love this stove. I bought it and it surpassed my expectations. The only problem that I have with it is that when I use kerosene, it burns very dirty. Other than that I believe that this is the best stove that a backpacker can own.
Source: bought it used
Price Paid: $30
Great stove. Burns many different kinds of fuel. Reliable.
- well made
- spare parts available
Simple to use, instruction manual easy to follow.
Spare parts available from MSR.
Well made from real metal, easy to take apart for cleaning.
Boils water under three minutes.
Lightweight, great for backpacking.
Burns any liquid fuel which will burn in a stove: Coleman gas, kerosene, unleaded gas, grain alcohol.
Price Paid: £50
Great stove. As a beginner I found it a bit difficult to light at first, but you soon get the hang of it. It's all I use when I'm out and about now, well worth the money!
Price Paid: $75
The stove might be great, but the pump is usless and without the pump so is the stove. The pump cup is rubber. Bad idea. At 17,000ft it expands too much. I couldn't pump at all after an hour of trying. I finallly gave up. The pump cup comes off way too easy. Below 14,000ft it might be fine. I would recommend the Optimus Svea 123 for the altitude or anywhere for that matter. Don't buy this stove unless you hate cooking and are looking for a way out.
DON'T BUY IT
i have two of these - both given to me and I leave them both at home
i think they might have changed the plunger design, but mine literally came apart in my hands every time i tried to pump it the fuel line got blocked within 3 mins of using it with unleaded petrol
it has almost no simmer control - yes i know not that important at 27000 feet, but nice to have
its expensive for what it is
why not save a bit more + get a MSR firefly
it has a simmer control
its really easy to light
its really light to carry
it has an automated self cleaning pricker which you just turn to clean the fuel line
the only down side is that its quite difficult to take apart, but then why would I need to .... its never gone wrong
its a bit more expensive, but worth it as you make the money up by being able to use unleaded petrol
i bottle lasted me a week cooking twice a day
Price Paid: Not a concern when the stove fails.
I have had much experience with MSR stoves, all negative. Using unleaded fuel, the MSR WisperLight International will clog EVERY STINKING 3-6 days, requiring one to repeatedly field strip and clean the stove.
The last straw was when I purchased a new stove for a big trip, and it failed the first time out.... yes, I made the classic mistake of not testing the stove before the big trip. I should have assumed the stove came from the factory in #@!& condition. MSR never heard about quality control.
Before buying, ask yourself the following questions: Do I have the maintenance kit with me? Do I know how to field strip and clean the bugger in trying conditions (in the dark, in a rainstorm)? Do I mind if my hands get filthy dirty with black stuff from the stove? Did I try the stove out after buying it to find out if it came from the factory? How many spare parts should I carry?
I'm going back to my old Svea 123 stove. Minimal moving parts. Never failed. Only negative attribute is white gas is difficult to obtain.
Price Paid: too much
This stove is hard to use and it's the dirtiest I have ever used.
Compared to my Jetboil, which I can safely use inside my tent or vehicle, this MSR is a nightmare. Sure it will run on diesel, or avgas, or petrol; it runs on about anything, but it's still a bugger to prime, and watch out if you spark that up — say goodbye to your tent mate — just a nightmare.
Don't buy it.
Black, sooty, filthy stove. Just a waste of money — I would rather go back to using an Army hexy stove.