When it comes to camping and hiking equipment, MSR is a brand known for quality products. The Windburner product line is no different and is designed for light-weight backpacking. I had the opportunity to purchase this at a great price and decided to pull the trigger not fully knowing if I was going to use this small stove. After a few uses this compact gas cooker has quickly become one of my favorite pieces of gear to use during camping trips.
There are several products in the Windburner product family which fit whatever type of cooking you are trying to accomplish. I only own the personal 1.0 litter model but will probably upgrade to the larger pot when cooking for more than one individual.
The personal 1.0 litter pot holds enough water for two. Any cooking which involves more than two individuals will require the larger duo or group system. If you're boiling water for two freeze dried or dehydrated meals the personal pot is the perfect size. Included with your pot you also receive a gas burner that is designed to twist and lock onto the pot. Also included is a small plastic cup, a lid, and a fold-able fuel stand. MSR did a great job in designing this cook system since everything snaps and fits into the space inside the pot.
After two years of use the MSR Windburner is still working great. The fuel regulator is still accurate and there is no play in the valve system. The cup/ container's anti-stick surface is still holding up great despite me attacking the cup over the years with titanium sporks. The small plastic fuel stand folds up easily but pay attention to where you store it since it can easily be lost. When the cook system is all packed up there is a small amount of room inside the pot for a lighter or napkins. Being able to pack a stove, cup, small pot, lid, and lighter in such a small amount of space is a huge benefit especially when backpacking.
Often times with small stoves wind becomes a factor when trying to light or maintain a fire to cook your food. MSR was aware of this struggle and designed the area above the burner and the bottom of the pot to be highly wind resistant. The flames sit extremely low on the burner when lit. Even when the burner is cranked up high you can just nearly see the flames pop up. The first time I light the stove I actually didn't even realize I had until I started to feel the heat radiating from the burner.
I have in the past out of curiosity placed a GSI Outdoor pan on top of the burner to see if it would be able to heat up the large pan. After about 10 minutes the pan was warm but not hot. You could possible heat up some small items but in order to cook a large meal you would need a larger burner with a higher BTU count.
The MSR Windburner is a great product which can be used in various types of camping. I've used this during car camping trips to make tea and coffee in the morning. I've also used this during solo backpacking trips to boil water needed for my dehydrated meals. The ability to throw everything needed to cook a meal except a fuel container inside one pot is amazing. This makes this cook system extremely compact and easy to travel. In addition the stove is very fuel efficient due to its the wind resistance characteristics. I would definitely recommend this product to anyone who is in the market for a cook system. You might not be able to cook large meals for 6 on this stove but if you're looking for a solution for up to two individuals look no further.