MSR WhisperLite International
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
Price Paid: $60 on sale
The only reason this isn't a 5-star review is because of the weight of this item compared to other stoves. But, I've used this same stove for 16 years. It has seen countless nights in temps down to the teens. It has NEVER EVER failed me. This is a workhorse stove that gets the job done!
There is a reason that MSR continues to make this stove. It works. It's reliable. It's easy to use. And, on and on...
I bought my stove for my 2000 AT thru hike. It has never failed. It works no matter how cold it gets. I carry the 11oz fuel bottle. I've never used more than half the fuel in 5 nights, including a couple hot breakfasts.
Yes, I could save 6 to 8 oz in weight if I switched to another stove. But, then I'd have to buy fuel canisters at $4 each. I'd contribute to waste with those canisters. Or, I could switch to an alcohol stove and wait longer for my water to boil, or wonder how I was going to cook at all when temps get down in the teens.
The stove is quick and easy to set up and use. It is stable on its three legs, and I've never had an issue with tipping over. It primes and lights easily when the directions are followed. If you don't follow the directions, you risk burning whatever surface the stove is sitting on, and more importantly, you'll burn too much fuel.
The pump valve that controls how much fuel comes through is easy to turn. There is some lag time between adjusting the valve and the corresponding reaction from the flame. With a little practice, you'll get the hang of it. It doesn't take much of a turn to make things hotter or colder. With the windscreen up (which I lost years ago and never replaced, although I plan to cut the bottom out of a disposable aluminum baking/steam pan), you can really boil water fast.
It takes about 90 seconds in my old heavy aluminum pot or 120 seconds in my GSI Soloist pot — both times are without the wind shield, but in low wind. A couple times, the wind was extreme, and I use my CCF sleeping pad as a wind screen (that's another reason I prefer the CCF pad over inflatables).
The stove has a built in cleaner. You can hear it rattle in the line. You just shake it up and down, and it keeps the line clean — no clogs. Reliable cooking!
The stove is just a hair too large to fit inside the GSI Soloist pot, and that's a little disappointing. So, I use the stuff sack it came with (which is still in good shape except some fraying at around the top where the drawstring goes), and just throw it down in my pack next to the pot and 11 oz fuel bottle. Its size has never been a problem in a 58L pack. You can see the stove attached to the fuel bottle in front of my sleeping pad in the photo below.
I've never needed to use anything other than white gas, but I understand that you can put just about any fuel through this stove, e.g. diesel fuel, in a pinch. So, that's a nice feature, but not likely to benefit me. Maybe if you actually travel internationally or find yourself where you can only refill with gasoline, you'll be happy you have this stove, or you'll eat dry ramen or Backpacker's Pantry meals, and that's roughing it!
Overall, this stove weighs more than newer models, but it's a solid workhorse that isn't going to fail you in extreme conditions when a hot meal matters most.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $100
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
Practically bombproof, this stove will last you many years with no maintenance. I've had mine for 20+ years and it still fires right up and boils water quickly. I've yet to ever replace a part or even take it apart, but that may be because I've only burned white gas in it. It just keeps on working.
I can recommend this stove for anyone looking for a lightweight compact stove. I also recommend when buying this stove to forego buying the maintenance kit because if your experience with the stove is anything like mine, you'll not need a maintenance kit for many years.
- Lightweight and compact
- Longevity—very low maintenance
- Soots itself with priming
- Needs to be more steady on ground/in use
- Doesn’t simmer
MSR Whisperlilte internationale 600
I’m really into bombproof gear, and this little stove is about as bombproof as it gets. I’ve had the same Whisperlite Internationale 600 for more than 20 years now, and it is still going strong. In all that time it has required absolutely no maintenance.
I first became aware of MSR stoves in the early 1990s. A teammate brought an MSR XGK stove to Vietnam, and I was intrigued. At that time I was using an Army M-1951 one-burner squad stove that was then about ten years old. Since MSR stoves were smaller, lighter, and apparently no more finicky, when I returned to the States and had saved enough nickels I checked out the MSR products and bought the Whisperlite.
That was close to 25 years ago. I’ve used it in the bush everywhere from Papua New Guinea to Laos and from Hawaii to Appalachia. It has never failed. Never clogged. Not a single time. It has worked and worked well regardless of altitude or how bad the weather was. I’ve used it backpacking, canoeing, and car camping, and it has required no service in all that time. I’ve never taken it apart. I've never replaced a single part. Not even a seal.
Other positives include the fact you always know how much fuel you have on hand unlike isobutene/propane canisters and that fuel is always useable as it will flow regardless of the ambient temperature, unlike canister fuel.
The stove is also simple and easy to operate. I replaced my Whisperlite this year with a Svea 123R and gave the MSR to my son. My son read the instructions, immediately took it outside, fired it up, and commented on how easy it was to use and how fast it boiled a pot of water.
Negatives include the fact that priming causes carbon build up in the underside of the stove so you’ll likely have carbon soot on your hands after tearing it down and packing it up. Also, while the rig seems stable enough with a full pot on the burner, pumping the bottle after that point is a different story.
I’d recommend this stove for anyone looking for a lightweight compact stove, and in doing so who tell them to refrain from buying a parts kit, as it is likely they won’t need one for many years.
Source: bought it new (Can't remember what I paid. I bought it new more than 20 years ago.)
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?
Source: received it as a personal gift
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
Price Paid: $65
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: $40
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: $30
The stove portion works well, but the plastic pump breaks.
- Plastic parts break
- Seals wear out
I have used this stove a quite a bit with scout units and venturing crews. Seeing the scouts use it regularly with heavy usage, so see the maintenance and repair portions of a lot of stoves.
The stove portion of the WhisperLite is very reliable. Rarely if ever have any troubles with it. The design is simple and rugged.
However, the pump is made of plastic. I have seen a number of broken pump handles. The seals wear out fast. and the connector to fuel line is positioned so that it is quite easy to get dirt and other debris in it clogging the connector or the fuel line itself.
There is a reason the stores all carry the service packs for this stove's pump.
Source: bought it new
Complete reliability and built to last a few lifetimes.
- Ease of use
- Lack of an integrated piezo electric lighter
A true bombproof stove built to last, and so reliable, you just simply are never expecting it to fail you. The ability to use multiple kinds of fuel makes it a true world traveler. Take into careful consideration this is not a stove thought to be used at high altitude camps, where priming the stove would be inconvenient in high winds or extreme temperatures.
The stove is so powerful, you'll find you'll only need to turn the valve a few degrees to have enough fire to boil water in just minutes or quickly melting a lot of snow to replenish quite a few bottles. It comes complete with windscreens and spare pieces to service it in the field.
A small MSR fuel bottle helps in keeping the stove's footprint and the number of strokes of the pump to a minimum. While two large ones, used simply as reservoirs, should keep you up and running for a week's long expedition (that's if you're not on the gourmet side of the scale).
Of course, weight will be considerably higher compared to minimalistic gas canister burners, but convenience and speed are worth it. Cleaning is straightforward and very easy, but you can forget about giving your MSR some TLC and it'll burn just as if you had not.
I've had one for 16 years and it's still going strong. A newer one sits almost unused, except for the rare occasion when two stoves are needed.
Source: bought it new
It just works!!! Every time!
- Burns hot
- Reliable—cold, rain, whatever the weather
- Doesn't simmer
- Fuel hose is a little "stiff"
- Needs to prime
I've used this on countless camping trips (only once backpacking—newbie backpacker).
This stove just works. I've never had an issue with this stove.
Priming took me a little bit to get used to and had a few "big flames" until I got it figured out.
I've seen other reviews mention the soot produced, but I've never found this to be that big of an issue.
I'm no gourmet when I camp/backpack, mostly boiling water (a few scrambled eggs and sausage breakfasts), but I love knowing that this stove will just work when I pack it!!!
I do like knowing that when I wake up, I can immediately boil water for my morning cup of "go-juice (coffee)"!
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: Was about $80 at REI
Love my MSR Whisperlite. Have been using it since 2003 in Iraq. Burn any type of fuel with the Internationale.
- Any weather capable
- Burn any fuel
- No empty fuel cans like isobutane
- Great for long trips
- Needs to prime
- Can get soot covered during priming
I bought mine for the 2003 Operation Iraqi Freedom so I could cook my own food if/when that became an option. Trust me, MRE's get old fast! I got the Internationale with a 30oz bottle.
Since then, I have bought a second one used with a second pump and 11oz bottle. I have only replaced the O-rings once in 12 years after being in storage for 4 years before I got back into camping and backpacking.
Yes, it isn't the lightest stove for camping and especially backpacking. When I backpack I either use biofuel or alcohol stove. For extend trips or just car camping, there is none better than the MSR Whisperlite. The Internationale version is especially handy at times. In Iraq, I use diesel or aviation fuel (diesel derivative). Here is just get white fuel, but will burn unleaded as well.
Yes, the priming is a bit of hassle, but that is no different than the old Coleman 2 burner stoves I used as a kid. The stove can get sooted up during this process, but once the priming is done, it cooks hot and once you get use to it, it isn't too had to learn how to simmer.
I must be the only person who dislikes isobutane canister stoves like the MSR Pocket Rocket. I would rather use biofuel or alcohol stove, but I have taken Whisperlite as well with the 11oz bottle. It just depends on the weather conditions before and/or during the camping/hiking trip.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $90
I had three WhisperLite Int's on at least six of my 1-2 week trips to Boundary Water/ Quetico canoe trips. We enjoyed the fellowship, fish, and mosquitoes. We had from 6 to 18 in each group.
The stoves never failed and always had a consistent flame. A great stove and would never go to the outback without at least one.
- None found
Source: bought it new
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: $50
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: $79.95
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
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.
Source: bought it new
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.
I purchased my first Wisperlite over 15 years ago and used it on every trip I went on for several years. I ended up losing it during a move and replaced it with a Simmerlite.
At the time I was excited about getting the lightweight low drag stove but I never liked it as well as I liked my Wisperlite. Sure it worked well once you got it primed, but priming the Wisperlite was always easier.
I recently sold off some gear that I didn't use as much as I should and the Simmerlite was one of the first to go. After thinking about it, I decided that going without a liquid gas stove was a mistake so I bought another one. Enter the Wisperlite International.
Sure, it isn't as light as the Simmerlite and its looks are dated but this stove trumps all others MSR makes. Why? Because it's stupid simple, easy to operate and will run on just about every kind of fuel there is.
I tried canister stoves on a couple of trips but for me, nothing beats the smell of white gas in the morning and the gentle roar of the Wisperlite makes me just as hungry as the smell of bacon in a frying pan. Return to the classic.
Price Paid: $80
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: $69
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..
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.
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.
Price Paid: $79
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: $64
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.
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: $150 AUS
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: $75
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 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.
Price Paid: $79.99
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.
Price Paid: $70
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.
Price Paid: $75
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: 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
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: £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: $50
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.
Price Paid: USD 90
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: $100
Too heavy...but I chose to buy a second.
- It will work anywhere
- A bit hard to cook on (well as hard as alcohol/esbit)
- Way too heavy in the modern world
I loved my Whisperlight (and the second one I frantically brought as the priming pan fractured on the night I packed for Patagonia), but I never use it.
I could give it five stars as they faithfully served me for six years of hitchhiking, but I would not recommend it for most people. Gasoline stoves need to be explosion proof and heavy. The smell and the flareup if you light it in a mountain hut makes you no friends. It is good at melting food more than cooking it.
But I used them around the world as almost everywhere with a light, has either gasoline or kerosine...so I could always refuel whether it was a small Pacific island or a Bulgarian truck stop. The spares kit has most things (except a priming pan) so it is field maintainable though a bit smelly and sooty. It does also spray you with a bit of unleaded as you depressurize it. You can light it in in a storm and leave it out faithfully cooking and it usually wont blow away or blow over.
Unfortunately most people don't need a heavy gasoline stove. Alcohol/Esbit/gas are much lighter and fuel for most people is usually easy to find.
However if you
- need to melt a lot of snow (good heat for fuel weight)
- have a long unsupported trek booked
- plan obscure world travel
- want to look like you do any of the above
...............I will understand your purchase
It was suggested I needed to be more negative to give a mean rating.
I probably have used mine in anger for over 10 years. There are lots of more “hiker friendly stoves.”
This is heavy… 11oz without fuel (MSR ubiquitous canister offering the PocketRocket is 3oz)
Fuel container weight comparable…MSR IsoPro (8 oz).... 4.8 empty MSR fuel bottle (11 oz)….5.25 empty……yes the canister gas contains less “heat”.
It is a big setup. You are not going to squeeze into a coffee mug.
To prime it you start a small puddle of petrol on fire with much smoke….cough…. and then wait until it dies back to start cooking. Many other stoves types don’t need priming…..risking a second fuel bottle with alcohol decreases smoke but increases effort.
It simmers badly and when you try to simmer too low you might get partial combustion and smoke. Cook too long and the pressure starts to lessen...you need to apply a pump or two before the flame quietly snuffs and you wonder why dinner is taking so long (if you use a alcohol stove you kinda know the feeling).
Simmer with unleaded you may get significant, incomplete combustion and soot on your stove, pots etc.
It usually doesn’t explode but you have to try not to spill fuel (it also smells bad if it leaks in you pack/on hands). Once or twice I met overzealous airport staff that complained the fuel bottle still smelt of gasoline inside and needed washing again to fly on their plane…yes it usually will smell but I washed it again to prove it.
It aint cheap $100 versus $40 for the PocketRocket. For the $100 the MSR Windpro gives a clean light remote canister stove that simmers and you can liquid feed in winter.
This stove does what it says and reliably turns petrol into usable heat (and I love it for it) but I suspect that if you fork out the extra money for the MSR universal, which has the canister gas option you might find yourself choosing the canister option more.
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.
Source: bought it used
Price Paid: $30
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
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.
Price Paid: too much
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: Not a concern when the stove fails.
Where to Buy
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In 1988, MSR introduced the WhisperLite International as an alternative to the white-gas-only Whisperlite. The WhisperLite International gave expedition climbers and international trekkers the additional option of burning kerosene.
|white gas||kerosene||MSR IsoPro|
Current Retail: $109.95-$159.95
Historic Range: $50.00-$159.95
Reviewers Paid: $30.00-$100.00
white gas, kerosene, unleaded auto fuel
|Boil time for 1 L of water||3.5 minutes||4.4 minutes||3.75 minutes|
|Water boiled per 1 oz of fuel||1.5 liters||1.6 liters||1.8 liters|
4 x 4 x 6 in