MSR WhisperLite Internationale
Source: received it as a personal gift
Cold or hot weather, works great. May be one of my favorite backpacking pieces. EZ and it works. Need to cook, this will do it.
- It works
- EZ field maintenance
- Little bulky
Brought it as "backup" one winter trip, THANK JA!! Car camping with a newbie winter camper; needed to make it a great adventure. Too cold for the borrowed white gas Coleman. Fired up the Whisper, no problem. Four days of retort food for two in sub-20s weather.
If you get one, play with it at home. Get to know it a little. Use it, clean it, open it, and put it away. Most important, grab the instructions and tear it apart. AMAZING!!! So simple, but need to know how to do it.
Went a week solo backpacking. Last dinner couldn't get it to compress the fuel. Thought I MAY know the issue, but didn't do it before and didn't want to mess with it on the trail. Got home, POP, POP, DRIP, DRIP — fixed.
After about five years, it still amazes me. EZ light, cook and clean. What more? I only bring a steel stick as a fire starter, never a problem. Very predictable.
How fast does it boil water? How well does it simmer? I don't know! Look, I hike and camp nearly once a month (week or week end), every month of the year. It cooks in a manner that works for me; light, heat, eat. Can I boil water by the time I'm ready for it? YOU BET. Can I simmer sauces without burning them? Um..simmer sauces? Can I predict how it will cook and can I count on it? Absolutely !!
I keep it in its original bag with the windscreen. I need all that stuff. I wish it was less bulky, but it isn't. I wish my Hubba Hubba was less bulk and weight too, but I'm not trading either.
I prefer the refillable liquid fuel over compressed canister. Just like always knowing what I have and I know what I'll use.
Bottom line — you won't go wrong, you'll often (or always) come back to it, and probably hand it down to your son or daughter. What more do you want?