This is another quality stove from MSR and follows closely on the heels of their Reactor model. The MSR Windboiler incorporates some of the elements used in the MSR Reactor Stove, but there have been some improvements made to address some of the consumer issues.
It’s a small and compact stove, and falls comfortably into the reliable backpacking stove range. Although there are plenty of stoves on the market that can handle larger cooks, or produce more power.
If you’re looking for a compact backpacking stove, at this price point there aren’t many that can match the Windboiler.
It’s incredibly efficient and well designed. I think you’re going to be pleasantly surprised as we run through some of the specifics.
Setup and Design Features
Firstly, there is no piezo ignition on this stove. Which will come as a surprise to the MSR fans, but it’s not an issue. There are more than enough easy ways to light the stove, carrying some lighting materials is a backpacking essential.
There aren’t many parts to the Windboiler, MSR have kept things simple. The Windboiler screws straight into any conventional gas canister, even if this is completely new to you it will not present a problem. The burner is designed for a 1 litre pot to sit on top, which locks tightly into place on the pins above the burner.
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There is a stabilizing foot included in the box to add some extra stability should you need it. Then you simply tighten the plastic lid on top and you’re ready to go.
After lighting the stove it only takes a few seconds to reach a powerful flame. The metal grid glows up red as it heats up, so that’s a good indicator of the heat level. As well as a nice reminder not to touch the metal!
The pot is wrapped in insulation material. This serves a dual-purpose of keeping your liquid warmer longer, and enabling you to handle the pot. This stove is an all round good design, it does what it’s intended to do very well.
Dimensions – 8″ x 5″ x 5″, and weighs 1.3 pounds.
There has been some smart engineering behind the Windboiler. The windproof construction makes it virtually impervious to cold and windy conditions. The burner is enclosed below the pot and brings water to boil in a decent time. The stove uses a heat exchanging process to hold more heat, and the thermal material around the pot keeps water warmer longer.
You can compare it to the Jetboil Flash Stove, they are both very similar stoves trying to do the same thing. You’re paying a little more for the MSR Windboiler, but you are getting a much more polished product.
The stove is a lot better at retaining heat, it warms up faster, and the carry pot has a lot better protection. It’s a little smaller and lighter than the Jetboil, while still using the same size 1 liter pot.
I give the MSR the edge over the Jetboil. If you have a few extra bucks, you are going to be a lot happier.
- Good build quality from a reliable brand
- Quick to setup and use
- Perfect size for backpacking
- Affordable option as a second stove or emergency backup
- The stove is tall by design and not as stable as some lower profile stoves
- You’re limited to using smaller pots and pans on the burner
It’s worth pointing out that this is not a low profile burner. The pot does sit quite high on the burner, and although it locks in place you need to set it on steady ground and keep an eye on it so it doesn’t fall over.
MSR do provide an additional leg stabilizer, I’d recommend always using this regardless how safe you think the stove is.
MSR Windboiler Summary
If a compact stove with an easy to attach carry pot is what you’re looking for, this might just be perfect for you. The MSR name carries a lot of weight on its own when it comes to outdoors products, and the Windboiler is a refined product that delivers what it promises.
Coming in at only 8″ x 5″ x 5″ and just over 1 lbs it’s an easy choice for most people. It’s a great purchase, and works as a backup stove, a gift for someone, or you main stove if you want to travel light.
In my opinion, MSR have set the gold standard for this type of stove. They have listened to feedback, learned from previous models, and made an excellent stove. I’m not going to say it’s perfect, but it ticks most the boxes. The MSR Windboiler is worth taking a closer look and considering giving it shot.
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