Australia has been waiting for the release of the MSR WindBurner for sometime while its been approved by the relevant authorities for sale within Australia. As the WindBurner has been ticking the final boxes to be sold in Australia I have been lucky enough to take the new WindBurner stove system out into the field for some early testing. We are now happy to say that this Award Winning revolutionary Stove System has finally been approved and is now available in the Paddy Pallin stores.

Technology behind the WindBurner

In 2007 MSR launched the Reactor it’s ultra-efficient and windproof stove system, which provided the ability to rapidly boil water in extreme conditions, it was the first stove to employ radiant heat and primary air combustion while regulating canister pressure. The WindBurner uses the same Reactor technology however its in a more user friendly package for lightweight hiking and solo use.

When the WindBurner is running, gas travels from the canister, through a pressure regulator, to two jets that inject the fuel into a cavity under the porous disc. Here, the fuel mixes with air and flows through the pores in the disc. Ignition occurs in the upper level and at the surface of the disc. The flame spreads evenly over the disc, creating broad, consistent heating. Flame temperatures reach 1980 degrees Celsius and the protective mesh above the disc reaches 871 C.

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MSR Reactor Technology used by the WindBurner vs Conventional Stoves

The WindBurner requires a heat exchanger to effectively harness the power of the radiant burner; this heat exchanger is built into all WindBurner cookware. The large surface area of the heat exchanger allows efficient transfer of both convective heat and radiant light energy from the burner.

For more info on the WindBurner production line head here.

MSR WindBurner™ Stove System 1 L Specs

Colour Red
Volume 1.0 L
Weight 432 g
Boil time (MSR IsoPro), 1 L 4.5 minutes
Country of Origin Made in USA of US and Foreign Parts

On the Trail

Over the past 6 months I have used the WindBurner on a number 1-3 night hikes and day trips. The WindBurner has been used primarily as a water boiling workhorse with my trusty 15 year + old MSR Dragonfly used for the more gourmet cooking when required.

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The WindBurner comes as a kit with a 1 L Pot with Heat Exchanger which houses the Radiant Burner, folding canister stand, and PackTowl inside the 1 L Pot. Extra full-sized bowl snaps onto the base and a lid with drinking and straining ports. The 110g MSR IsoPro™ fuel canister that is sold separately can also be stowed within the pot as can a flint, pack of matches or lighter.

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Using the stove is an ease with the the burner screwing onto the fuel canister with ease, pop on the canister stand for stability turn the tap on and light. The lack of a Piezo ignitor may bother some however I find Piezo’s tend to break, needing to be replaced after some use & an alternate lighting source is generally taken anyway for a campfire etc.

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The MSR WindBurner stove system’s heat exchanger and radiant burner.

One of the features I loved was the ease of securing the locking pot onto the burner, the twist-lock mechanism uses multiple holes making the lining up of the burner and the pot a quick and painless task (unlike some other stove systems on the market).

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It may seem like a small and insignificant points but the lid and cozy still work. Many other stove systems lids somehow warp from the heat and don’t clip shut easily or at all after some use. Also the cozy handle on other stoves don’t hold the weight of the contents and starts to slide off the pot.  After over 100 boils the WindBoiler’s lid still locks down and the cozy is in place like they did the day I got the stove.

At the other end of the stove you will find the bowl/cup to be honest I never used it and cant see myself doing so. With this in mind I now leave it at home to save a few grams as I’m confident I wont damage the heat exchanger at the base of the pot when carrying the stove in my pack.

Where the WindBurner truly shines is in windy conditions. Before the Reactor you have needed to shield your stoves flame from the wind by using the stoves supplied wind shield, a pack or your body. However MSR has integrated the shield into where the burner and pot connect – much like their Reactor System.

WindBurner_real-world

Coupled with the WindBurner stove’s radiant burner that offers amazing fuel efficiency and wind resistance than open-flame burners. The stove draws all the oxygen it needs in through ports near its burner, allowing the pot’s heat exchanger to protect the flame and maximize heat. As seen in the graphic above when boiling 0.6 L (the recommended level for the 1 L pot) the WindBurner sustains a quick boil time when other traditional stove systems struggle to bring and hold water at the boil.

A pressure regulator ensures the stove maintains consistent power. The pressure regulator is especially helpful when the canister pressure drops (this can be because of the temperature dropping or as the canister becomes empty). This feature that boosts efficiency is not found on many gas fuel stove systems.

One safety feature to keep in mind is that the WindBurner stove is designed with an internal Thermal Trip mechanism, which will shut the stove off if it becomes overheated. Overheating may result from the use of incorrect cookware, storage in an excessively hot environment, damage to the burner unit, or improper lighting. The Thermal Trip mechanism can easily be reset in the field once and only if the stove is cooled to a safe temperature (read the instructions so you know how to reset the trip mechanism). However if you use your common sense this feature won’t be relevant.

There are now a number of accessories available for the WindBurner, including a coffee press, hanging kit, larger 1.8 L pot and skillet that both feature the heat exchanger for group cooking.

WB-camp

Final Word

The MSR WindBurner stove system operates fast, reliable & is basically windproof, this gives you the confidence to hunt out the windiest spot to use the WindBurner & test out the hype.

While the WindBurner may not either be the lightest, fastest, cheapest or most efficient stove on the market it sets a new benchmark for the overall stove experience. The WindBurner’s performance, durability and ease of use at the end of a long day on the track makes the WindBurner a highly desirable piece of engineering.

BUY NOW

 

Review: MSR WindBurner Stove System
MSR has managed to squeeze an lot into the WindBurner. It has brought their radiant burner technology to the masses in a relative compact, highly efficient & virtually windproof system.
Ease of Use95%
Wind Resistance100%
Boil Time95%
Weight & Bulk90%
Value80%
Pros
  • Highly wind resistant
  • Highly efficient
  • Very fast boil but still simmers very well
Cons
  • Little on the expensive side
  • Bit on the heavy and bulky side compared to a basic burner style stove
92%Overall Score

About The Author

Dave Casey

Dave has worked as an International Expedition Leader and in Outdoor Education for over 15 years. He has extensive travel and guiding experience in Australia, NZ, Asia, South/North America and Europe. In his spare time Dave is a keen bushwalker, mountain biker and climber while also dabbling in some mountaineering and sea kayaking. He is currently working at Paddys as the National Account Manager, to fund all of the above.

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