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MSR WindBurner Duo Stove System

photo: MSR WindBurner Duo Stove System compressed fuel canister stove


Price MSRP: $179.95
Current Retail: $149.89-$199.95
Historic Range: $149.89-$199.95
Reviewers Paid: $159.95
Fuel isobutane/propane, MSR IsoPro
Boil time for 1 L of water 4.5 minutes
Water boiled per 1 oz of fuel 2.3 liters
Dimensions 5 x 5 x 8 in / 12.5 x 12.5 x 20.5 cm
Weight 1 lb 5 oz / 0.60 kg


2 reviews
5-star:   1
4-star:   1
3-star:   0
2-star:   0
1-star:   0

While pricy and a bit more bulky and heavy than some stove systems, the WindBurner Duo System with remote canister is a stable, weather-resistant stove for fast, easy use, even in adverse conditions with options to expand one's cooking range with the addition of other modular pots and pans.


  • Very efficient
  • Very weather-resistant
  • Very high quality
  • Convenient, self-contained system
  • Option for add-on, modular components


  • Pricy
  • Pot and other accessories only work with this system
  • More bulky and heavy than some stove systems

Note: this review is divided into the following sections. Scroll down to locate any section of interest.

  • Video Overview
  • Features & Dimensions
  • Build
  • The Pressure Regulator
  • Operation
  • Stowage
  • Field Testing
  • Performance: General Observations
  • Performance Claims
  • Efficiency, Temperature, and Environmental Conditions
  • Rain & Snow
  • A Word on Fuels
  • Modularity
  • Conclusions

Video Overview

Features & Dimensions

The MSR WindBurner Duo is a 2-person stove system that offers remote canister stability and safety with an efficient and fast radiant burner. Within MSR’s stove line-up, the WindBurner shares its radiant burner design with the more powerful Reactor stove (which MSR says is designed for snow-melting alpinists), but offers “a truly personal unit” with features “tailored to meet the needs of one or two travelers heading into the backcountry, or simply camping in the frontcountry—and anyone who’s trying to cook a hot meal in places where real weather can happen.”

The WindBurner System utilizes convective and radiant heat efficiently while its radiant burner design uses 100% primary air, mixing the fuel and oxygen within the well protected confines of the burner and thus providing admirable wind-resistance for its flame.

The Duo kit includes:

  • a WindBurner radiant burner
  • a 1.8L hard-anodized aluminum pot
  • a .85L BPA-free bowl with lid
  • a small square of PackTowl

The pot features an integrated cozy and handle as well as a heat exchanger to increase efficiency. The lid features a sipping opening as well as a straining option. The small square of PackTowl provides a barrier between fuel canister and pot bottom when stowed.

The illustration below shows the components of the Duo system as well as their diameters and heights.


The components’ weights break down as follows:

  • bowl 1.9 oz/ 54 g lid .7 oz/ 20 g
  • radiant burner 8.68 oz/ 246 g
  • hard-anodized pot 10.5 oz/ 298 g
  • Total Weight: 21.8 oz/ 618 g, or 1.36 lbs/ .62 kg


The WindBurner is a solid piece of kit. The legs are machined aluminum, cleverly designed to be slipped, spring-loaded, inside the brackets supporting the burner. The flame adjuster is sensitive to a light touch, and its generous size facilitates careful adjustments while cooking. The pressure regulator assembly is hefty and solid-feeling in the hand with brass fittings used throughout.

The hose is wrapped in a sheath of flexible, stainless steel mesh, and each end is secured within a shroud of brass to reinforce any potential weak spots. A curving arc of stainless steel tubing feeds the fuel from the hose into the mixer tube.

The burner head itself is a seamless steel rim with heavy outer steel mesh protecting a finer inner steel mesh. Overall, the stove impresses one with a sense of quality materials, thoughtful design, and careful execution.

The solidity carries over to the pot, too. The nylon fabric and plastic of the cozy feel rugged. The pot itself features precision welding that joins pieces of the heat exchanger to one another as well as to the pot itself. These welds appear to have been accomplished with thousands of tiny touches to achieve adherence to the hard-anodized coating without damaging the soft aluminum beneath.

Bowl and lid possess nice details: measurements within the bowl aid in apportioning water for rehydrating meals, and the strainer/sipping lid serves dual roles as both pot or strainer and as bowl lid.



The Pressure Regulator

MSR claims the pressure regulator, located with the stove's valve, is a key piece of this stove’s design and an element included to allow the stove to work better and longer at colder temperatures.

In a post in MSR’s blog, the MSR team presents their claims as to the advantages of a pressure regulator:

“When the temperature drops to 50°F, the pressure in the canister drops to 30 psi. As you run your stove, your canister cools further, easily dropping to 40°F and 22 psi. As it turns out, on that cool fall morning your stove may actually be putting out less than 60% of its rating. In contrast, MSR’s WindBurner and Reactor stoves are designed to run at full output at only 15 psi. The regulator ensures that the stove only receives that precise pressure regardless of the real pressure inside the canister (until it finally drops below 15). It’s only when your canister is nearly empty or the conditions are extremely cold that the pressure will finally drop below the limit of the pressure regulator and you’ll notice it in performance.”

This was not a comparative stove test, and I do not have the laboratory equipment to scientifically assess MSR’s claim, but I can say this: I used the stove successfully in freezing conditions and below amid freezing rain and snow.

However, as I also used a variety of fuels (some of which, frankly, were not the best blends for colder temperatures), and as I also used a range of canisters from full to nearly empty (which theoretically shouldn't matter as much with a pressure regulator), and as I used these in a variety of weather conditions, I did see more fluctuation in performance than MSR’s claims might initially lead one to believe.

The value of pressure regulators on stoves used in cold temps is, however, commonly asserted: for those interested, “Hikin’ Jim,” a stove aficionado, offers his take on the cold weather advantages of pressure regulator stoves here.


Operating the stove is simple enough that it can be reduced to pictures included in MSR’s Instruction Manual.

Having selected an area free of combustible materials, one first extends the retractable legs from the burner stand, which results in a stable 6.5 in/ 16.5 cm base for the burner and any related cooking implements. Having made certain the flame adjuster is off, one next screws the fuel canister onto the regulator valve assembly. This places the fuel canister about 8 in/22 cm from the burner, a safe distance from the flame.

With the flame adjuster open to allow the flow of fuel, one holds a lighter or lit match to the burner screen to light the stove. I also used sparks from a ferrocerium rod to light the stove without issue, though I was careful as to where I directed the sparks: the manual warns that one should never attempt to light the stove through the mixer tube.

A glowing indicator wire indicates that the burner is in use, a useful feature I came to appreciate very much during testing. The flame adjuster closes off the fuel once cooking is finished.

Disassembly after use is as simple as one might expect: just invert the order of operations, unscrewing the canister and retracting the legs after the stove has cooled for at least five minutes.


The WindBurner Stove System offers convenience in terms of stowing its components between uses. The design allows all components to be stored in and around the pot: the interior of the pot can hold an 8 oz. fuel canister as well as the radiant burner; the lid secures both within. The bowl fits around the bottom of the pot, effectively containing the system in a 5 in./ 12.7 cm diameter cylinder that stands just shy of 8 in./ 20.3 cm. I found this size reasonable when I was cooking for my kids and me, and I appreciated the packability of the system as a whole.

Field Testing

I tested the Duo system over a period of nearly 5 months in conditions ranging from sunny and temperate weather to rain, freezing rain, and snow. I used it in balmy temperatures as well as below freezing and at altitudes between 800-2900 ft/ 244-884 m. I used it at home, on car camping trips, and on backpacking trips. I did not use a windscreen with this stove during testing.

Performance: General Observations

Let me start with the simplest things first: the bowl works perfectly well, whether being used as a measuring cup or as a serving vessel. It is easy to clean, firm in the hand, and readily stowed on the bottom of the pot.
IMG_0728.jpgThe lid also functions well, although heat deformed it slightly from repeated use. Nevertheless, it still snaps tightly onto the pot or bowl, allowing one to boil water more rapidly and efficiently or strain off excess water from whatever one might have cooked in the pot.

In general, the WindBurner ignites with a minor flare of the ignition source’s flame. A subsequent glow steals across the indicator wire, at which point the burner is good to go.

IMG_0603.jpgA somewhat muted, rushing roar signals the flame adjuster is wide open, a sound that registered (unscientifically) between 70.9 and 74 dB on a phone app. That’s about the level of normal conversation.
IMG_0720.jpgIn a wide range of conditions, the WindBurner quickly heats water or food. I have used this with both the Duo pot and the WindBurner Ceramic Skillet. I’ve boiled water, cooked noodles, heated soup, and cooked a whole range of foods using the skillet (please see the WindBurner Ceramic Skillet review for more details). I appreciated the speed and efficiency of this system, especially when I was hungry, cold, or tired. The WindBurner Duo delivers with little need for thought or effort.

With a little use one grows acclimated to the sensitivity of the flame adjuster, and with a little more experience it is possible to simmer food in a skillet or in the pot. This opens the door to a variety of culinary options beyond mere boil-and-rehydrate, though the WindBurner excels at that, too.

The WindBurner is a satisfyingly stable stove, holding cooking vessels on its burner just 3.75 in/ 9.5 cm off of whatever surface it is resting on. The burner also includes a ring in which pots or pans seat themselves securely, a feature that ingeniously blocks the wind while also preventing pans from sliding around on the burner. This means that the stove system feels rock solid even with more than a liter of water in its tall pot or with the skillet on top of it. The remote canister design provides much stability and little potential for spilling disasters that some, taller more top-heavy systems may permit.

Some “sit-on-top” stoves may require a close-fitting windscreen to shield their flames. Given certain conditions such as prolonged use and a wide skillet or pot atop the stove, these canisters can overheat and one occasionally hears tales of them exploding. The WindBurner completely circumvents these potential issues by having a more or less windproof design and by having a remote canister. Extended skillet use need not provoke fears of overheating canisters.

The tradeoff is weight: this stove is certainly heavier than some sit-on-top options—I have a sit-on-top stove that weighs a mere .88 oz/ 25 g, much less than the WindBurner’s 8.68 oz/ 246 g burner. That stove, however, requires a separate windscreen, and it is also not as efficient as the WindBurner.

A more direct competitor is the Jetboil Sumo 1.8L system; it weighs a listed 16 oz/ 453 g to the Duo's 21.8 oz/ 618 g.

Performance Claims

MSR packaging claims boils times “up to 4x faster than competitor’s stoves in windy & colder conditions [8 mph/32˚F], and promotes this stove’s windproofness and “constant performance even in colder temps” as a result of its pressure regulator. Further, MSR labels the Duo system as “ultra-efficient” and promotes it as being a modular part of the WindBurner cookware and “a range of cooking styles.” The packaging further cites 4:27 minute boil time per liter for the Duo.


Again, as this was not a comparative field test, I did not attempt to use the WindBurner in head-to-head tests with other stove systems, so I will not address this claim.


I conducted all tests without benefit of any windscreen, allowing the WindBurner’s design to be the only buffer against the wind. It is the nature of the design that wind is effectively held at bay. During testing I experienced conditions with wind gusts reaching over 20 mph/ 32 kph. The burner grew louder during these swirling gusts, but it stayed lit. Indeed, it is a testament to the stove’s design that I ceased to think about the wind after a while, considering it a nuisance on only when windy conditions snuffed out matches or lighters when I was trying to light the burner initially.

Efficiency, Temperature, and Environmental Conditions

Unlike the windless, 70˚F test conditions of a laboratory, Mother Nature does not offer standardized test conditions that might deliver consistency in terms of performance, so I’m framing my observations of the WindBurner based on trends instead.

Note: since I made observations over a range of uses with different fuels in different conditions, it is important to keep in mind that some factors of stove performance may be attributable to testing conditions and fuel blend variations as opposed to stove design or features.

Here are the trends, then, that I observed while testing the MSR WindBurner Duo System:

  • In warmer conditions, the WindBurner’s 7000 BTU/hr burner can meet or even exceed MSR’s claimed 4:27 per liter boil time—I had one test yield a rolling boil at 4:25 minutes in 70˚F/ 21˚C temperature. Boil times for a liter of water right around 4:30 are routine in temperate conditions, usually a few seconds under 4:30, so MSR’s claim seems fair if one recalls it reflects optimal conditions. I should note that boil time tests were undertaken at maximum stove output levels.
  • At colder temperatures, other factors such as warmth of canister, type of fuel blend, and external temperature may slow a canister stove’s efficiency and boil time performance. To be fair, MSR insists one should use MSR fuel, and I didn’t always do this (see “A Word on Fuels,” below). Nevertheless, MSR’s pressure regulator does appear to help extend stove function in cold weather operation. I continued to cook and boil water as temperatures dropped, in rain, sleet, and snow. It generally just took longer than 4:30 to boil a liter of water while influenced by factors causing of less than operation.
  • Because of factors which may affect stove efficiency, the amount of fuel used by the WindBurner to boil a liter of water varies, too. Among tests when I weighed canisters before and after, .35-.42 oz/10-12 g of fuel was used to boil a liter of water. To give a sense of the range one might encounter, the WindBurner used .63 oz/ 18g of fuel when I boiled a liter of water in 32˚F/ 0˚C temps during a snowstorm.


Mother Nature afforded me with a range of temperatures during my testing period. In many tests with warm fuel canisters, I had success across fuels in using the WindBurner to heat water and cook food—at 29˚F, at 31.7˚, at 32˚, at 54˚, again at 32˚, at 57˚, at 52˚, at 72˚, at 81˚and so on, each on different days, in different weather conditions. The WindBurner Duo System functioned well during all of these tests, though on occasion it was a bit slower to reach full burn based on the variables mentioned previously.

Rain and Snow

Obviously, it is possible to keep the stove burner out of the elements until one needs to use it. I did experiment with the burner in both rain and snow, though, allowing rain to wet the burner and snow to gather in it. In both conditions, after blowing out or brushing off excess moisture from the burner, I was able to use the stove without any problems. The 7000 BTU/hr output melted snow efficiently, too.

The mesh burner head does tend to try to hold onto snow in its crevices, but once clear of excess moisture, the burner’s heat quickly dries the element with a hiss of steam.

Note: I experienced snow flurries, not blizzard conditions, during testing. I would think that care should be exercised to keep the burner head free of snow build-up during blizzard conditions because freeing the cold mesh burner of snow in blizzard conditions would doubtless be an exercise in frustration.

While it is never a good idea to use stoves in tents, the comparatively flame-free nature of the radiant burner and the superior stability of this remote canister setup could moderate flammability risks associated with using a canister stove under a well-ventilated tarp or within an airy tent vestibule in inclement weather. It is worth noting—emphatically—that the deadly risks of carbon monoxide poisoning remains when any canister stove is used in a place without plentiful ventilation.

A Word on Fuels

MSR’s “Danger” card, which warns of indoor carbon monoxide poisoning, also directs one to “Use only MSR Premium Blend Canister Fuel, Vapor Pressure 80 isobutane/20 propane mix.” I did use MSR’s IsoPro All-Season Fuel Blend extensively during testing (it has the requisite 80/20 isobutane/propane blend). It performed beautifully with this stove.

However, reasoning that others might use whatever fuel they might be able to find most readily available, I also experimented with other fuels from my local outfitter and a big box store during my testing including Primus’ Power Gas 4 Season Mix, GSI’s All Season Fuel Mixture, and Coleman’s Performance Blended Fuel.

The stove is presumably optimized for use with MSR’s own fuel blends. While it is beyond the scope of this review to compare fuel performance with this stove, I will say that MSR’s fuel tended to perform best among these fuels at low temperatures, likely attributable to the higher concentration of isobutane and propane in MSR’s blend and these gases’ lower vaporization points (11˚F/-12˚C and -44˚F/-42˚C respectively).

Other fuel blends that I used included butane (n-butane), which vaporizes at 31˚F/-.5˚C. That can spell trouble in cold temps, as anyone who has tried to use a cold butane lighter in sub-freezing temps doubtless knows. For the curious, though, I’ve provided below the manufacturers’ blend information since these fuel blends were used during testing with this stove (the ordering is simply alphabetical):

  • Coleman Performance Blended Fuel: 48-64/20-40/12-16 blend of isobutane/propane/n-butane
  • GSI All Season Fuel Mixture: 70/25/5 blend of isobutane/propane/n-butane
  • MSR IsoPro All-Season Fuel Blend: 80/20 blend of isobutane/propane
  • Primus Power Gas 4 Season Mix: 25/25/50 blend of isobutane/propane/butane


MSR touts the WindBurner stove as part of a larger modular system. Though I have only used the WindBurner with the Duo pot and the Ceramic Skillet, I did enjoy having the option of choosing to take a pan with me.

Modularity comes at fairly steep prices and an only-compatible-with-WindBurner caveat: the avid cook and WindBurner devotee could sink some serious money in getting a range of compatible cookware implements, but he or she would not be able to use them with other stove systems, unlike less expensive, more multi-stove friendly pieces of cookware. Other cookware systems and stoves can provide greater flexibility across systems at a lower cost, but if one has invested in a WindBurner, the modularity factor may be appealing.

Note: MSR noted in a recent Facebook Live video with some of its engineers that having the benefits of the radiant burner's technology requires WindBurner-only features, and further claimed that each pot's heat exchanger is "tuned" for the intended use of the pot, whether it be simmering, boiling, etc. 

But returning to the point about the appeal of modularity, I could imagine that it would be nice to have both the Personal and the Duo pots so that one could adjust one’s stove system in small ways if one were traveling solo or with a companion. The larger Duo pot capacity might be welcome on a solo trip when melting snow for water, but at other times, its volume might be overkill and the Personal pot might better suit one’s needs. Such situational factors influencing use would likely apply to the other elements of the WindBurner system, too.

I suspect the modularity of this system would ultimately be most beneficial to those who travel in larger groups. I used the Ceramic Skillet to cook eggs and bacon for my kids on trips. While I didn’t test other pieces of the system, it is easy to picture a family or a Scout patrol, for instance, benefitting from the available 2.5L sauce pot or the 4.5L stock pot. Feeding more mouths with the system also might reduce some of the sting caused by the price tag of the accessory pieces. The stability of the WindBurner system might be welcome in scouting circles, too, as I recollect a frightening number of tipped pots on my own scout camping trips!

Ultimately, for those who have the money to spend on accessorizing this system and who are not concerned about having the lightest system possible, the WindBurner’s modularity may indeed be compelling.


The WindBurner Duo is an efficient stove system that works admirably well for the two-person use it is designed for. The radiant burner design and excellent wind protection make this an attractive option for those who want to quickly boil water for food or drink, even in colder and more adverse conditions than one might ordinarily consider taking a canister stove into.


Obviously, keeping the fuel canister warm is essential. With warm fuel canisters (especially with MSR’s isobutane/propane blend), the stove works well at colder temperatures. It works beautifully for three-season use and yes, even winter use—most of my testing happened during winter (albeit in a Southern U.S. winter). I would not, however, use this stove in place of a liquid fuel stove in bitterly cold conditions.

The WindBurner’s flame adjuster allows one to control the output of the burner with sufficient a wide variety of precision to simmer a sauce, produce golden brown pancakes, bring water to a lusty boil or reduce hard-packed snow to steaming water. This range of control is not likely to be used when merely boiling water, but it becomes especially advantageous when the WindBurner is used in conjunction with some of the modular accessories MSR offers. For some users, this versatility will be an attractive feature of the WindBurner System.

One potential drawback is that the stove is substantially more heavy and more bulky than most sit-on-top canister stove options, though in my experience it is also generally more efficient and stable than many such systems, too. The WindBurner offers superior performance, convenience, and efficiency while other systems may offer less performance, less weight, and less bulk.

Another potential drawback is the price: the Duo system has an MSRP of $179.95. Additional pots or pans for this modular system start at MSRP $69.95. A competitor mentioned previously, the Jetboil Sumo 1.8L system, has an MSRP of USD $139.95. The WindBurner Duo is an extremely well-made system that works reliably as it is intended to work.

Is it worth the cost? That’s a personal decision. MSR WindBurner Systems certainly command the high end of stove prices, but the company seems to enjoy a solid reputation for quality products that yield years of performance. I have yet to wear out my MSR PocketRocket despite years of use, and standing in front of an array of stoves at my local outfitter, a Triple-Crowner noticed me looking at them and volunteered that he always directs people toward the MSR WindBurner (in this case, the WindBurner Personal version on display).

Finally, the exclusivity of the pots and pans’ designs may be another drawback because it limits them to use with just the WindBurner System. I should note, though, that this design is also a significant key to the system’s efficiency and stability, too. For all of these potential drawbacks, I have docked the system a star in this review.

This remains, however, a superior product. If one seeks a high quality stove system for solo or two-person use, privileging efficiency, weather resistance, convenience, and modularity over other factors, the WindBurner Duo System with remote canister is an excellent system worth considering.

Source: received for testing via the Trailspace Review Corps (Sample provided by MSR for testing and review)


Fantastic review Bentbrook! Too heavy for my mostly solo trips but I could see how it would be useful for a couple of hikers.

4 years ago

Thank you, Phil. Yes, it worked well for me and my boys. Simple, reliable, easy to use.

4 years ago

What a great, thorough always!

4 years ago

Thank you, Twig. BTW, the Te Araroa trip--wow! So envious!

4 years ago
Erik Aslaksen

And thanks for a VERY good and comprehensive review!!

Question: I notice that the Windburner Personal has a meshed windshield (between plastic thing to hold on and the burner itself) that the Duo doesn’t have at the lower part of the burner. Does this affect the Duo performance in wind? For me it seems like to the gas flow coming out of the nozzle could be disturbed by the wind. Do you have any view on this?

Actually I bought both burners with option to return. I fired up both (without the pot to be able to return) and from a VERY unacademically test by blowing on the lower part of the burners, it seems like the Duo is much more affected then the Personal.

4 years ago

Hi, Erik! Great question. I have a less than complete answer as I did not do head-to-head comparisons, but I thought I’d share my thoughts with you and others for whom your question is of interest.

For the benefit of other readers, Erik’s question centers on the presence of what MSR calls a “stainless steel shroud” on the original WindBurner stove, a sit-on-top canister stove which screws directly on top of the fuel canister. This shroud connects the stove grip to the radiant burner and houses within the regulator valve assembly and mixer tube. The flame adjuster flips out for adjustment of the flame when in use.

The shroud seems both protective and perhaps structural, if in fact it provides a more secure connection and better distribution of pot weight between the burner and the stove grip.

On the more recent Duo WindBurner, a remote canister stove, the radiant burner has its own retractable legs and base, so there is no apparent need for a shroud. The regulator valve assembly is at the end of a fuel line (hence “remote canister”), and the mixer tube is exposed to the air directly beneath the radiant burner.

The shroud obviously offers additional protection for the mixing tube and perhaps the regulator valve assembly, too, but I don’t know if it is also intended as a wind screen. With both stoves combustion occurs within the radiant burner above the mixing tube, completely enclosed by the combination of the burner’s rim and the pot’s heat exchanger base. Both are designed to work on 100% primary air.

The area within the shroud is not an area where combustion takes place. I did wonder, in fact, if MSR intends the shroud to also serve as a safety measure to prevent someone from attempting to light the stove at the mixing tube—in the directions for the original stove, MSR warns “Never attempt to light stove near the Flame Adjuster or with cookware in place.” The shroud and grip would seem to help discourage such an action, too (although the same warning is repeated on the Duo directions and it lacks the shroud).

In my experiences while testing the Duo, the stove was pretty darn impressive at resisting the elements. I had no worries that wind would be a problem (unless I had a vulnerable ignition method). Once lit, it burned. I used the Duo without ever really worrying about the wind, even in gusty, blustery, rainy, snowy conditions. The chief difference I noticed when gusts blew was a change in pitch of the stove, but the burner proved resilient.

I guess all of this is to say I don’t think MSR would have left the shroud off if their engineers thought it would compromise the Duo's performance (hence my speculation about support, weight distribution, etc.). It would be be really interesting to to side-by-side burns in the same conditions, with the same amount and temperature of water, new canisters of the same gas, etc. to see if there is a noticeable difference.

I’d certainly be interested to know your longer term findings if you end up keeping both stoves.

4 years ago
Erik Aslaksen

Thank you for your comprehensive answer. My worry was that the mixing of gas and primary air that is happening in “open air” inside the shroud after the nozzle could be affected by wind. So e.g. that some of the gas could blow away before entering the burner. I will see if I can find an appropriate fan and test this better before I return the MSR Windburner Personal :-) I really like the stable design of the Duo so I hope the prices for 1L pots will fall soon so I can have both pots with the Duo ;-) Would also be great if they come with an adapter with heat exchanger for old cookware.

4 years ago
denis daly

Bentbrook I just shared your review on facebook. Its a really good review and hits alot of points.

1 year ago

Thank you, Denis. I’m glad you found it to be useful!

1 year ago

Great review, very comprehensive, thanks! I bought this stove on sale last year, coming from "Gaz", Pocket Rocket and Whisperlite stoves, and thoroughly enjoy it, ease of use, power and "quiet" easily making up for volume and weight (i take the Pocket Rocket if space and weight are _really_ at a premium.) Re expensive, proprietary pots, Jetboil makes a simple adapter that fits the Windburner and lets you use any pot and pan you want - loosing the heat exchanger and wind protection in the bargain, though. One more option, for more versatility and economy.

5 months ago
Hendy Permana

Bentbrook, nice review. From your review, it states that atmosphere air pressure does not affect the stove performance, but the canister temperature does. If I understand your statement correctly, the higher the altitude, the lower atmosphere air pressure would be, which will led to the higher flow from canister to the stove? It is a contrary to my experience when using a canister stove with no pressure regulator at 3078 meter above sea level, the flame was as weak as candle light, with the surrounding temperature measured as 4°C. And when we go down to around 2600 meter above sea level, the stove canister works normally still with the same gas canister. From my experience, the atmosphere air pressure also contribute as factor that dominantly influence canister stove performance. Please correct me if I'm wrong.

2 months ago

Thank you for your comment, Hendy Permana. You wrote that "From your review, it states that atmosphere air pressure does not affect the stove performance, but the canister temperature does." As it has been some years and my bleary memory couldn't recall an altitude discussion from the review, I did a quick ctrl F search for "atmosphere" and "air pressure" and had no luck finding the particular part of the review you were referencing. I will certainly re-read it all, though, when I have a moment to do so. Before I go any further, let me add the caveat here that I am no scientist; this is only my layman's understanding. Air pressure definitely decreases with altitude; stove output is dependent on internal canister pressure. A majority of gas in a canister mix is liquid with a bit of vaporized fuel floating in gaseous form atop the mix; it is this gaseous vapor that burns as flame in a stove. This requires internal canister pressure to be greater than external pressure or one gets no stove performance. However, certain gases do not vaporize below certain temps, which means the internal canister temp can be reduced at colder temps. Simple use also causes the canister to cool due to the vaporization of gas, too--hence the frost crystals on the outside of a canister after use. Higher altitude might mitigate this problem to a point by providing a lower external pressure, but with every 1000m of elevation gained, one also loses between 6˚ and 9.8˚ C of temperature--a cold-temp killer of vaporization after a certain point. If I understand MSR's claim correctly, the idea of the pressure regulator is to regulate how much pressure is fed to the stove; a stove regulated to work with low canister pressure will function better at colder temperatures than one without a regulator. It stands to reason that your stove, lacking a pressure regulator, would have been susceptible to temperature changes. Your 500m descent in altitude alone likely resulted in warmer temps and a temperature-external air pressure sweet spot, evidently sufficient to allow the remaining fuel mixture to vaporize and the stove to function normally. At that lower elevation in warmer temps, it would also be better able to handle the internal cooling that occurs because of vaporization during use. Who knows, too, how much of your canister mix gases with lower vaporization points you'd already burned off (i.e., your stove may have functioned burning off propane in a mix at temps where the butane wouldn't vaporize, resulting in a butane-dominant mix in your canister). So many rabbit holes to go down with stoves! My suspicion is that your observation of stove performance and altitude may have been a correlational one rather than a causal one, but again, I'm no scientist!

2 months ago

I have the MSR Windburner 1.8L system, for two people instead of one.


  • Larger than the .7 to 1.1 liter systems most carry
  • Very fuel efficient
  • Clean (never a problem with soot or deposits)


  • Weight. There is a trade-off
  • Size. If you are cooking for one it is too large.
  • Price. The system will run around $160

My wife and I camp and backpack together. For car camping we have cast iron and a portable stove. But for backpacking, including five AT section hikes, that obviously won’t do. 

We’ve tried the PocketRocket and similar things. With a titanium pot it is light, usually won’t blow out, and reasonably fuel efficient. 

We have also used the one-liter pot size Windburner. But for two people when you are both hungry the fast meal is boiling enough water for both, toss in the meal and freeze dried chicken, and let it finish. The 1.7 is perfect for that. 

Having used it side by side (we did a couple shakedown hikes where we carried both system) it is just faster and better and the one we ended up using. 

In addition, the base will fit the matching pan for quesadillas and similar things (I’ve even met people using the Windburner pan on other bases for that). For day after day end of the day hot meals when it is raining or cold, it really makes a difference. 


Two out of five section hikes (smaller pot on same system for others) and other uses.

Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $159.95

About the Author

Robin French grew up camping and backpacking in North Carolina from the Outer Banks to the Black Mountains. A scout backpacking trek through the Linville Gorge (NC) ignited a lifelong passion for the outdoors that he loves to share with younger generations. A teacher for more than 25 years, he continues to hike, bike, backpack, practice bushcraft, and fiddle around with DIY/MYOG gear projects whenever he can. Of late, his free time has been employed by messing around with stove and cook kit options and beginning to train a husky for wilderness adventures.


Thanks for the review, Stephen!

3 years ago

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