Gear Review: MSR Windburner

Gear Review: MSR Windburner

The MSR Windboiler, now known as the Windburner, is an all-in-one stove that aims to be the go-to stove for your next solo adventure. We've been using this stove through each season since its release in hopes to get a full feel of how it handles. From early morning oatmeal to kickstart the adventure, to late night meals as we paddle into camp late, this little stove has never let us down.

The Windburner is very fuel efficient and runs on Isobutane fuel. A 3.9 oz canister will give you about an hour and a half of burning time. The stove is based on its bigger brother, the Reactor and the whole family of stoves use burners that create a radiant heat which has two huge advantages.

Stoves that produce a flame can be easily extinguished with a gust of wind or are incredibly hard to light in the first place. The Windburner has no built-in ignitor but by using a fire starter such as a fire steel you will find it incredibly easy to light even during windy periods. Once lit, since the stove operates on 100% primary air combustion, windy days are no longer a concern. Even as the winds pick up, thanks to the heat exchanger it is still very conservative on fuel, doesn't take additional time to reach a boil and doesn't extinguish.

The other advantage is that it retains heat very well too. Once you quickly reach boiling, simply turn off the stove, dump in your dehydrated food and let it reconstitute. It will keep boiling for a while as the heat won't dissipate as quickly as other stoves.

So what do you get in this all-in-one package?

  • A clear BPA-Free Drinking and Straining Lid

  • Insulated Cozy with Handle

  • 1.0 L pot with heat exchanger

  • Burner

  • 0.47L Bowl

  • Folding Canister Stand

  • Cleaning cloth

There are also optional accessories such as a spare 1.0L pot so you can quickly swap pots for a second meal, a coffee/tea press, a skillet and a hanging kit. Impressively the coffee press and hanging kit both fit inside the fully packed stove without the need for additional room.

My only complaint about the stove is that the bowl (which you can also use to measure out liquids) cracked within the first week of use for me despite how much I baby my camping gear. No idea what caused it and it still functions for measuring, but thought it was worth mentioning.

Don't expect to simmer with this stove when cooking meals. There is definitely a high and a low as you twist the regulator, but I could never get it to simmer without the flame simply winking out as I fiddled with it.

Be careful to also not fill the stove above the line marked inside or else you could find yourself with a mini volcano of food that will bubble over in a matter of seconds... and also keep a watchful eye on it as it won't take long to boil off all of your water too.

The stove pot is also pretty deep so be sure to have a few long forks in your collection. MSR's Folding Camp Utensils work perfectly.

Otherwise, the Windburner has performed perfectly in every condition. The clear lid stays on securely to both keep the innards from coming apart in my backpack and from popping off if you are drinking or straining liquid. The cozy is secure, especially important when drinking hot foods. The fold-up stand kept it stable despite the stove's tall stature and the twist lock connection (although a little fiddly until you get the hang of it) kept the pot from falling off accidentally during cooking.

I highly recommend the MSR Windburner! It's relatively light (432 grams), takes up little room in your pack (and in fact works great in a daypack), and especially for solo adventures in the backcountry, it is the perfect combination with dehydrated food.

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