Primus MFStove vs MSR XGKII

9:20 p.m. on June 8, 2003 (EDT)
8 reviewer rep
68 forum posts

thoughts and comments on pros and cons?
cannister flexibility for 4 season use, or, just get an ultralight for cannister use?
trying to decide?

better at altitude? is the metal pump a deciding factor?


11:14 a.m. on June 9, 2003 (EDT)

I have both, and consider the MFS to be the Mercedes of the two. It beautifully made and features high quality parts thoughout, and of course it is more expensive. The downside is the MFS's weight. It probably weighs more than the MSR XGK and the MSR Superfly combined. If you not to concerned about weight, then the MFS is a really nice stove, otherwise, getting the XGK for melting snow, and a featherweight canister stove for everything else.

11:19 a.m. on June 9, 2003 (EDT)
4,534 reviewer rep
6,035 forum posts

My current favorite stove is the MFS, primarily because of the flexibility of switching between compressed gas and liquid fuel. You do need to be a bit careful about packing the stove, since I had the flexible fuel line develop a crack right where the sharp bend is when wrapping it up to stuff into a 1 liter pot. However, the XGK does put out more heat (3 min boil time vs 3m25s for the MFS, or about 15 percent faster for the XGK), which is an advantage for high altitude and winter outings. They appear to be about the same efficiency for fuel usage.

A lightweight screw-on top compressed gas stove is nice for 3-season use, but remember the limitations for cold weather. Also, with only a couple of exceptions, the boil times (hence heat output) of compressed gas stoves are less than for liquid fuel stoves. The lightest stove tops are light partially because of their size, which means less heat output. One exception is the MSR Superfly, which I have found has a boil time about the same as the XGK, particularly when you use the hanging kit with its heat exchanger. The MFS in the compressed gas configuration is slightly faster boil time than in the liquid fuel configuration.

I do not consider the metal pump to be a deciding factor. Some people have problems breaking the MSR plastic pumps, but (1) MSR told me that the plastic pump is intentional as a safety feature, since it will melt and release pressure if the fuel bottle gets overheated and overpressurized (I witnessed this once on Denali), where the metal pump of the MFS will not melt, hence if you overheat and over-pressure the fuel bottle, you get an explosion and shrapnel (I haven't witnessed this, but have heard anecdotal stories), and (2) I have used MSR stoves with plastic pumps for somewhere between 25 and 30 years with no pump breakages, so I believe it is more operator problem than any inherent problem with the plastic pump. Svea, Optimus, and Primus in the past had safety valve caps on their fuel tanks of their liquid fuel stoves, but present Optimus and Primus stoves so not have these safety caps (the Svea name is used by Optimus for only the one model of stove these days).

Of the 15 or 16 stoves I own, my usage is more or less -

MFS - 50 percent, maybe 2/3 liquid fuel, 1/3 compressed gas
SuperFly - 25 percent
Markill HotRod - 10 percent (tiny compressed gas titanium)
XGK - 5 percent
Others - only during stove demos at courses I teach

Hmmm, my Whisperlite should be in there somewhere. Probably about as much as the XGK, so shave the others down by a percent or 2 to allow for the Whisperlite. I haven't done as much this last year, due to a knee injury in January, plus discovering that people lie about retirement (the truth is you have *less* time for camping, hiking, climbing, BC skiing than before retirement - used to average close to 100 nights a year camped out with the 3-week trip in the summer, 1 week BC ski trip, and almost every weekend at least 1 night camping, but since returning from Denali last June, I don't think it has been more than 25-30 nights out).

8:39 p.m. on June 11, 2003 (EDT)


cannister flexibility for 4 season use, or, just get

an ultralight for cannister use?

I like the liquid stoves (Primus Multi-Fuel) for *cold* (~20F and below)and canister stoves (MSR Pocket Rocket - tiny, super light and all metal construction!!!) for everything else.


is the metal pump a deciding factor?

For me, the metal pump was a deciding factor, but that is, as Bill has mentioned, more related to user error. I have been over-zealous in pumping the MSR's (WhisperLites (International and standard), DragonFly) on too many occasions and broken/pulled the pump-rod right out from the housing - ya think i'd have learned sometime... This never happened with any other stove i've used b/c they were all metal, thus my logic for selecting the Primus.

Murphy's Law - "If it can break, it will..."



I hope this helps...

9:38 p.m. on June 11, 2003 (EDT)

To my mind if the pump is not the issue, then I would think the
XGK's solid fuel line is a good idea.

Also, the weight is a non issue. I mean, an ultralight stove makes more sense for cannisters.

11:36 p.m. on June 26, 2003 (EDT)
5 reviewer rep
74 forum posts

I have had an MSR XGK for over 20 years. Always fires up, has never clogged, boil water like crazy. Its loud, bit funky and a real workhorse. Not so good for simmering when cooking, but thats not what I want the stove to do.

Well worth the money.

January 28, 2020
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