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Kit review: New MSR Windboiler Stove System

Written by Fiona

February 24 2015

A new camping stove by MSR promises to boil half a litre of water in just 2 minutes 30 seconds. It will still do so in wind speeds of up to 8mph (and this is apparently compared to 3:30 for average camping stoves). The stove will use 7g of gas, compared to the average 9g.

In windy conditions of 12mph, while many other stoves will struggle to cope and use a lot of gas, the MSR Windboiler will take 2:45 to boil the water. It will use 8g of gas.

I have no idea if these claims are true but one would presume that they would be subject to tests of some kind. In any case, I can reveal that the MSR Windboiler Stove does boil water very quickly.

What I do know is that I have used many stoves for camping trips and sometimes it leaves me hungry or thirsty for coffee for too long because they take forever to boil a simple pot of water. Adding a windshield and a lid does help but the MSR Windboiler Stove System does it all for you and boils water super speedily.

Radiant burner.

Radiant burner.

More about the MSR Windboiler Stove System

The stove is well designed and compact. The stove system comprises a base, in which there is a “pressure regulator for consistent performance”. This screws directly on to a gas canister.

On top of this is a “radiant burner” and on top of this is a 1l pot with heat exchanger. The pot has an insulated jacket and handle and then there is a plastic lid for the top.

The lid can be used for drinking and straining through. Included in the basic system is a 10oz bowl and folding canister legs.

The system weighs 432g without the gas canister.

If you want to buy further extras you could invest in a coffee press and another insulated pot.

You could go to coffeechannel.com for more gear and reviews for your next coffee trip.

stove1

MSR Windboiler on test

When I used the stove it was in near-still conditions and then in windier conditions.

In the first case, 0.5l of water boiled in around 2:30, as it said it would on the box. In slightly windier conditions it still boiled in less than three minutes. Although it took longer than this when exposed to greater winds it still boiled, unlike many other stoves that would give up of take many times longer.

I like my coffee to be quickly brewed in the morning on camping trips and I was able to have a pot brewed and ready for drinking in around a half or even a third of the time it would normally take.

Pouring the water into a coffee mug is easily done thanks to the sturdy insulating jacket and combined handle.

The radiant burner really does seem to work very quickly indeed and because it has a built in windshield it is far less susceptible than normal to the wind conditions. This would be really important if you were wild camping in difficult weather.

But what about actually cooking with the stove? Rather than going straight for the boil, it’s sometimes important to be able to cook through “denser” things, such as stew or a rice or pasta-based dishes, which means you need to simmer for a while longer.

Annoyingly, it is not so easy to adjust the heat exchanger for a lower “simmer” heat. The heat can be reduced but somehow it can’t quite be reduced enough without the burner going out.

One suggestion to keep things cooler is to take off the lid and the insulating jacket.

You could also heat small portions of food through by putting the plastic bowl filled with food over the boiling water. (Rather like the system you would use for melting chocolate).

However, on camping trips most people are looking for a quick heat and a consistent burn, which is what the Windboiler does offer.

My advice would be to stick to less dense cooking, such as soup, or to use the stove to heat water and then add this water to products such as couscous or rehydrating camp food.

Another great thing about the stove system is that it all comes in the box. You do need to supply a gas canister but the rest of the system is there and ready to use. This means there is less chance of losing bits.

See Cascade Designs and MSR Windboiler for more information.

Cotswold Outdoor sell the stove for £110.

Ultralight Outdoor Gear sell it for £99.

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