For years I've used an MSR PocketRocket with a crappy aluminium pot perched on top. There's a couple of issues here:
So there I am, wasting gas and staring at my slightly steaming water trying to will the whole thing to stay upright. Learning that a watched pot never boils. Enough is enough!
I went to the local outfitters store and made a list of what they had available. Below are the available integrated stove / canister systems with auto-ignition. All have hanging kit functionality (comes extra) which could be handy in a portaledge. But one is the winner.
MSR Windburner ($140)
The design relies on a radiant burner being better than a flame for boiling water, and a system for ensuring the thing stays lit in windy conditions.
1L capacity, boil time 4:30 per 1L, weighs 15.5 oz.
MSR Reactor ($220)
Essentially a bigger beefier older brother of the Windburner. There are two modes of heat transfer - convective and radiant - which is great if you're a stove nerd, I guess. (Stove nerds exist. I've met them.) So, this the Lamborghini of stoves.
1.7L capacity, boil time 3:00 per 1L, weighs 1 lb. 3 oz.
Jetboil Joule ($235)
Meant for large groups. Expensive.
2.5L capacity, boil time 2:40 per 1L, 1 lb. 9.2 oz. (heavy!)
Jetboil MiniMo ($145)
Seems to be a competitor to the MSR Windburner. Except it doesn't appear to be designed specifically for windy conditions.
1L capacity, boil time 4:30 per 1L, weighs 14 oz. (light!)
Jetboil Sumo ($156)
Perhaps a competitor to the MSR Reactor.
1.8L capacity, boil time 3:45 per 1L, weighs 1 lb
Jetboil Flash ($120)
This appears to be a classic. Pretty cool how there is a colour-change indicator. Although, steam and bubbles are a pretty indicator of boiling if you ask me.
1L capacity, boil time 4:30 per 1L, weighs 15.25 oz.
Jetboil Zip ($91)
Meant for solo trekkers who are probably ounce-counters. Probably not the best choice for car-camping climbers.
0.8L capacity, boil time 5:00 per 1L, weighs 11.75 oz. (very light!)
Overall, the MSR stoves appear to have a more powerful stove and better wind protection. Wind protection is a plus for me (it's windy in Newfoundland). Also, 1L capacity is plenty for me. According my math, 1L = 3 cups of coffee.
So let's see - one coffee per Gumbo, delivered in less than 5min, even in windy conditions... the winner is.. THE MSR WINDBURNER!
We are Daniel, David & Nick
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