MSR WindBurner ReviewSeptember 5, 2015
- Highly wind resistant
- Very fast boil
- Highly efficient
- Simmers very well
- High profile, risks spill
- Lid difficult to remove
MSR may have very well outsmarted itself with the WindBurner. While using much of the same tech as the Reactor, the WindBurner has enough built-in features to muscle its wider, fatter siblings out of shelf space. It’s the fastest and most weather-resistant backcountry boiler tested.
The WindBurner’s burner design (like the MSR Reactor) doesn’t produce a visible flame. However, MSR’s engineers strapped a thin band of wire across the burner that glows hot to alert you to attach the pot. This is just one of the “little things”that makes this slick stove so sweet. The included pot also has a functional handle that doesn’t get searing hot during boiling and its heat exchanger uses a “vortex”design that we were told (in engineer speak), “makes it hotter.” It’s clear that MSR took the core of its Reactor tech and put it in a more colorful, less “technical” form to compete directly with the kaleidoscope of competitors’ options.
The WindBurner was put to the test in 14 mph desert winds, with occasional gusts. The stove boiled 15 half-liter pots at an average of 2:53 using a new 110g canister of MSR IsoPro fuel. The fastest boil was 2:19, the slowest, 3:37. Incredibly, these are nearly the same results in the controlled windless test.
On 110gs of IsoPro in steady wind, the WindBurner boiled 15 half-liter pots. Fuel drained moments before a sixteenth boil. Know that water temperature, wind fluctuation and external temperature also impacts stove performance.
The WindBurner is without a doubt the stove you want when the next Sharknado hits. Testers found that it boils water almost as fast in winds of 14 mph as in calm conditions. With no open flame, a burner head that sits protected almost a half-inch below a windscreen, and its innovative heat exchanger design, it would take a super-storm to prevent this stove from making your coffee.
The burner and heat control mechanism can simmer very well one and 2.5 liter pots.
The WindBurner weighs 16.02 ounces with its cup, lid, and stand all on board. Add 7.4 ounces for a full 4 oz./110g canister of fuel.