Francesco GuerraAdventure-driven outdoor photographer, born and raised in a Southern Italy city, Francesco discovered the mountains and the outdoor life only in his 20s, making his thirst for the outdoors and adventures unquenchable.
The MSR Windburner is an efficient, easy to light and wind-resistant integrated stove system that won’t fail you in any circumstance.
4.5 X 4.2 in
1L Boil Time
Easy to set-up
Not the lightest option
What I’m Looking For
As an avid solo-hiker, when I’m out on the trails for more than one day at a time, I obviously need to carry with me a system that allows me to cook myself some fast meals as well as make hot drinks. When it comes to personal stove systems, I’m looking for something that’s going to be light, packable and easy and quick to set-up.
But perhaps most importantly, after years of cooking outdoors in a variety of conditions, wind resistance is absolutely vital.
At a first glance, the MSR Windburner presents itself as a compact integrated stove system. It has everything packed inside the pot and a 0.5L bowl at the bottom. Inside the pot you can also fit a 100gram fuel canister for a super neat all in one system.
Right after taking the top lid off, you have access to the stove and to a small but efficient three-pronged plastic stand that you can attach to the fuel canister for increased stability.
It has a capacity of one litre and inside the pot you can see a useful measurement with a ‘max fill’ indicator.
I took the Windburner with me on top of Monte Accellica, in the Monte Picentini Regional Park in southern Italy. The mountains here are quite often exposed to strong winds, due to their position and morphology. The ideal place to test the wind resistance of this stove system!
During the hike, the weight of the stove system and the 100-gram MSR fuel canister were, to me, totally irrelevant. After the hike up to the top, a 5km trail with 950 meters of altitude gain, I was really hungry.
I was able to set up all the stove system in less than a minute: Screw the stove onto the canister, turn the control handle of the pressure regulator, light it up, place the pot in position on top, secure the pot to the stove and add water along with the dried meal I had with me.
In less than five minutes, water was boiling and I was actually able to reduce the power to a simmer because it was too strong even though it was at less than half capacity. A good sign for cold conditions.
The Windburner wasn’t affected by any of the wind gusts which would blow across the peak, nor was its stability compromised in any way: it just continued securely and consistently.
I personally didn’t use the bowl that comes with the stove, but opted instead to eat directly from the pot, using the not so comfortable but effective hard plastic handle.
I was able to set up all the stove system in less than a minute
WHO IS THIS ITEM FOR?
As stated by the name of the item on the MSR website, it is a personal stove system. This doesn’t mean that you can’t use it if you are in two, just that it is designed for soloist or, at least, for a one-person use.
The Windburner is built for those who are looking for an easy, packable and fast way to cook a meal, boil water or melt ice. It’s not the lightest on the market but in my opinion for what you get, its weight is definitely a bearable tradeoff for its stability and resistance against the wind.
WHAT STANDS OUT?
Ok, I’ve mentioned it a lot by now, but the MSR Windburner stove really shines when it comes to wind resistance, allowing anyone to boil water with ease and in less than five minutes, even when the weather is challenging.
For a solo adventurer, packability is everything. The possibility to have everything you need in less space is crucial, and MSR Windburner is extremely packable considering how much it provides.
Ease of use
Another key attribute has to be ease of use. Faffing around trying to understand exactly how to work something can mean loosing precious time, which can be particularly costly when it comes to providing food and warmth.
In my opinion the Windburner excels in that department,, from putting the stove together to actually getting boiled water at the end, it’s quick and super easy to set up and use.
A feature that users should be aware of with the Windburner stove is the Thermal Trip Mechanism that MSR has installed in case of dangerous overheating that could result in a nasty explosion of the canister. This mechanism will shut down the stove if it gets too hot.
Users should therefore be careful to read the user’s manual to know how to reset this mechanism in the field, so they will be able to reset it and continue to use the stove again if this does happen. This is not an everyday occurrence, but the mechanism can only be reset once before it must be returned to the manufacturer.
Value For Money
Integrated stove system are, of course, more expensive than just the single parts, and this stove is among the more expensive options out there. But considering the overall quality of the product that you get, together with other great features such as wind resistance and packability, I think that the MSR Windburner stove is fairly priced.
If you are looking for quality stove system that can withstand the test of time and rough conditions in the outdoors, then this system is definitely what you are looking for. If you don’t need something quite so substantial, MSR also offer more basic stove systems for much cheaper.
BASE BOTTOM LINE
I think that for solo backpackers, solo hikers and soloists in general, the MSR Windburner stove is a great option to consider. It is highly wind-resistant, packable, easy and fast to use. The only niggle that I might have is that, relative to other stoves on the market , it isn’t the lightest, but that’s about it.
I read online that others complain about the lack of n integrated ignitor. Even though those are quite convenient initially, they tend to wear with time hich just means another reason the stove might fail, deeming the whole thing unusable. I always carry a small convenient Bic lighter that I pack inside the bowl or in the pot of the Windburner. Problem solved!
With the Windburner you’ll have, no doubt, a great stove system that will accompany you on many adventures over the years.
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