MSR-wind-burner-stove-system-review-dirtbagdreams.com

ProView – MSR WindBurner Combo System + (Bonus) Trail Mini Duo Cook Set

I had a chance to test out one of MSR’s newest stove systems, the WindBurner Stove System, over the course of 3 months in Colorado and Utah. The version of the stove I tested is a remote canister stove that comes with both a separate pot and frying pan. It’s a very unique stove system, and being the gear nerd that I am, I was extremely excited to try it out because of how many good experiences I had had with the similar MSR Reactor stove in the past. In this review, I’ll specifically be reviewing the WindBurner Group Stove System, not the entire WindBurner system as a whole.

MSR WindBurner Stove System

Product Description: This stove system combines the ultra-efficient performance of WindBurner® stove technology with the ultimate tools for backcountry cooking. Featuring a ceramic-coated 2.5 L sauce pot and an 8” skillet, this modular stove system offers simmering and cooking versatility for small groups, and full compatibility with all WindBurner cookware. The stove’s windproof radiant burner and pressure regulator maintain its performance in all conditions, whether you’re cold-weather camping with friends, or cooking a gourmet meal on a windy beach or mountain slope. The stove system nests all components for easy, efficient packing.

Price: $260 MSRP

  • Durability
    (4.5)
  • Packability
    (4)
  • Versatility
    (4)

Summary

If you’re looking for the perfect family or group cooking system, you found it! I would highly recommend this product after months of use out in the field. MSR stands behind their products and clearly puts a ton of time into research and development before they release a product. The attention to detail in this stove it outstanding, and I would say you could use this stove for years without any maintenance.

Overall
4.2

Pros

  • Stable due to the canister being remote
  • Slightly lower burning temp for fuel efficiency and easier cooking
  • Pressure-regulator for better performance in cold weather
  • Large enough to cook for groups of up to four

Cons

  • Not compatible with pots outside of the Windburner System
  • A little heavy at 22oz for just the pot and stove combo
  • Not designed to support an inverted canister which works better in cold conditions
  • No heat exchanger like other pots in the Windburner system, so less efficient

MSR-wind-burner-stove-system-review-dirtbagdreams.com

The Stove System

To understand how to best use this system it’s important to understand that MSR designed this system to work as a modular system. You have TONS of different cooking pot options you can choose from to best fit the cooking needs of your trip. For instance, I used the stove and a 1L WindBurner pot on an overnight trip where we only needed to boil water and weight was more of a concern. The following weekend, I used the stove while car camping and was able to cook for up to 4 people with the 2.5L pot and frying pan included. No matter the trip, there is a combo of pots within the WindBurner System that will fit your needs.

MSR-wind-burner-stove-system-review-dirtbagdreams.com

MSR-wind-burner-stove-system-review-dirtbagdreams.com

The Stove

Just like most of MSR’s gear, this stove was designed with impeccable attention to detail and durability. One of the more stand-out features of this stove is how its spring-locked legs store vertically inside the stove while in transport, then spring out for a wide stable base when in cooking mode. At the end of the fuel line, they’ve included a pressure regulator to keep the stove burning hot even when temps get close to freezing. In general, most canister stoves loose tons of pressure and do not perform well under 30 degrees Fahrenheit without the use of a pressure regulator. The burner is extremely unique in that it’s a radiant burner and not an open flame, thus making it absolutely bomber in the wind and more fuel efficient.

MSR-wind-burner-stove-system-review-dirtbagdreams.com

MSR-wind-burner-stove-system-review-dirtbagdreams.com

The Pot and Pan

The pot and pan included in the WindBurner Stove System Combo are meant to cook for groups up to 4 people. The pot is 2.5 liters, has a nonstick ceramic surface, and has gradients marked on the inside for easy measurements while cooking. It also comes equipped with a really convenient latch to keep the lid closed tight when straining or pouring water. Both the stove and an eight-ounce fuel canister fit inside the pot for efficient packing. MSR also included a small wool rag with the pot to make cleaning easy and to keep the stove and fuel from rattling around inside the pot.

The frying pan is also coated with a non-stick ceramic surface, making it fantastic for sautéing vegetables or frying sausage. The handle for both the pot and the frying pan are the same and can be easily removed, though two are included in the box. I generally kept the handle on the pot as it made it very easy to lock down the whole package by folding the handle over the top of the pot.  Both the pot and the pan have a wind block or “mount” on the bottom to help them seat correctly on the stove, block wind, and improve overall fuel efficiency.

MSR-wind-burner-stove-system-review-dirtbagdreams.com

MSR-wind-burner-stove-system-review-dirtbagdreams.com

Specifications

For all you gear nerds out there, here are the specs on the system I was given:

  • WindBurner 2.5L Pot w/ handle: 12.2oz
  • Skillet w/handle: 8.5oz
  • Remote Canister Stove: 8.9oz
  • Wool rag: .3oz

Ease of Use

This stove was such a breeze to set-up and use for the first time. I tested it in temperatures ranging from 25 degrees Fahrenheit all the way to 70 degrees Fahrenheit and it performed well in all conditions. I do find this specific stove system to be better suited for car camping or expedition style trips as it is a bit heavier and larger than other stoves on the market. As a car camping stove, I’ve used it to make breakfasts on cold mountain mornings and it fired up immediately every time.  I will note that the radiant burner is a bit underpowered compared to the MSR Reactor’s burner, but as I understand, this was intended to increase the fuel efficiency and “cookability” of the stove system without dramatically increasing the boil time. This has been the first remote butane canister stove I’ve used, and I must say it’s really nice to have the stability of this stove when melting snow or boiling large pots of water.

MSR-wind-burner-stove-system-review-dirtbagdreams.com

Final Word

If you’re looking for the perfect family or group cooking system, you found it! I would highly recommend this product after months of use out in the field. MSR stands behind their products and clearly puts a ton of time into research and development before they release a product. The attention to detail in this stove it outstanding, and I would say you could use this stove for years without any maintenance.

MSR Trail Mini Duo Cook Set

The MSR Trail Mini Duo cook set is a fantastic option for those looking to keep it light and simple.  This cook set has exactly what you need and nothing more. This package simply comes with a pot, plastic bowl/cup, pot grips, and a mesh stuff sack. This stove is ideal for one or two lightweight backpackers mainly looking to boil water for their food and not much more.  It can conveniently store a small butane stove, eight-ounce fuel canister, and pot grips all in one tiny pot. It’s really MSR’s attention to detail that makes this little set stand out from the rest.

The hard-anodized aluminum 1.2L pot comes with a very handy ring of silicone around the upper third of the pot for easy lifting and pouring. In all of my experience with the pot, the grip was never too hot to lift, making this a very unique and useful feature of the cook set. Just like all of MSR’s pots, the lid on this pot comes with a rubber center button handle, as well as both strainer holes and a generously sized pouring hole. The inside of the pot does not appear to be coated so I would not advise cooking for long periods of time in this pot.

Simple accessories can really make a cook set desirable for a trip (for me that just means less to lose). The “pot grips” are made of lightweight aluminum and are the perfect size for the given pot. They even put a pot grip emblem on the lid to signify where to place the grips to pick the pot up while keeping the lid on.

MSR-wind-burner-stove-system-review-dirtbagdreams.com

MSR-wind-burner-stove-system-review-dirtbagdreams.com

The bowl you’re given is a 28oz plastic bowl that has gradients on the side for quick measurements. It easily slides onto the bottom of the pot to make the whole thing more compact. I mainly used the bowl for drinking coffee out of, but it could also be used for measuring water out for a meal or for eating out of.

All packed up this thing is really small making it easy to fit even in a daypack. The small size pot is still wide enough to fit on my old-school pocket rocket, and would easily sit atop most smaller butane stoves. I would not suggest using this specific pot with stoves that have wider burners like MSR Whisperlite or Dragonfly.

Specifications

  • Pot w/lid: 6.5oz
  • Plastic bowl: 1.2oz
  • Pot grips: 2oz
  • Stuffsack: .5oz
  • Total: 10.2oz

For quick solo overnighters or day trips, I can’t suggest this stove enough.  It’s not the absolute lightest on the market by any means, but its simple features and accessories make it a very convenient option for those looking for a simple cook set. One last point worth mentioning is this cook set only costs $50 retail. There are not many other cook sets of this caliber and weight that you will find at this price point, so I think this is an awesome option for those looking to cut pack weight for a great price.

Shop the MSR WindBurner Stove System + MSR Trail Mini Duo cook set on Outdoor Prolink. Not a member? Apply today!

Allen Butts has been a wilderness guide for a number of companies in Colorado, including Outward Bound. Now he is an Outreach Coordinator at Outdoor Prolink. He enjoys climbing, backpacking, and mountain biking. He is from Georgia but proudly calls Colorado home.

 

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