MSR WindBurner Stove

Long-Term Review: MSR WindBurner Stove

Sure the new MSR WindBurner Stove is compact, efficient and fast but its performance in strong winds is what sets it apart.  In creating the WindBurner, MSR blended some of the best design features of the iconic Reactor and the Jetboil to create a versatile stove system that’s practically windproof. The perfect stove for an alpine mission or just brewing coffee in the parking lot.

MSR WindBurner Stove
Testing out the Windburner.

Features of the MSR WindBurner 1.0 L Stove System:

  • Weight:   465g (as tested, without a canister)
  • Fuel:      Canister (the small 100ml or 4oz canisters fit inside)
  • Output:  7000BTU (claimed)
  • Max Fill:  0.6 L (20 fl oz)
  • Options*: 1.8L pot, Skillet, coffee press, hanging kit

* Not included with the 1L stove system


  • Insulated pot with handle & lid
  • Burner assembly
  • Bowl
  • Canister stand
  • Options*: 1.8L pot, Skillet, coffee press, hanging kit

It’s hard to spend much time in the alpine and not deal with a lot of wind. This means noisily flapping tents and a dramatic and negative impact on stove performance.  While some stoves try to reduce the amount of heat lost to the wind with tinfoil shields the reality is a dramatic increase in cooking times and a substantial reduction in efficiency. MSR decided to tackle this issue when designing of the new WindBurner stove system.

MSR WindBurner Stove
A JetBoil Zip on the left and an MSR WindBurner on the right. As you can see the Windburner’s burner is larger and shielded from the wind.

Now while it’s not necessary impervious to the wind, the “windproof” WindBurner significantly outperforms all other stoves I’ve used in windy conditions.  This was accomplished by first insulating the pot to limit radiant heat loss, a side benefit is that it’s easy to handle as the insulating jacket never gets hot.  And second by completely enclosing the Reactor-like radiant burner so no wind can get to it.  The result is a stove that’s only moderately affected by winds that would shut down other stoves including the similar looking JetBoil.

MSR WindBurner Stove
Side view of the WIndBurner showing the seamless (wind-tight) connection between the pot and the burner.

The pot and stove on the WindBurner connect to one another through a twist-lock system ensuring that the burner’s never exposed unless you want it to be.  I wasn’t a huge fan of this feature on the JetBoil as I found it a bit finicky to get the pot free when it boiled.  However the WindBurner’s system is a bit more user friendly.  Just grab the pot and the black plastic shield over the regulator, neither of which ever get hot, and twist.

MSR WindBurner Stove
The WindBurner features a large fuel setting valve. I personally like the smaller valve on the Reactor a bit more.

The stove, canister (100-120 ml) and stand all fit inside the pot for transport with the included bowl fitting snugly over the bottom of the pot.  Unfortunately MSR didn’t include a small sac with the kit, only a small square of fabric, to protect the interior of the pot when transporting the stove inside.

MSR WindBurner Stove
WindBurner and small fuel canister packed away into the pot. It would be nice if the kit came with a small bag instead of just a small square of fabric to protect the pot.
MSR WindBurner Stove
The WindBurner 1.0L kit.

The pot lid that I received with the WindBurner never really fit for some reason.  It was a fraction too small for the pot right out of the box making it difficult to snap into place.  I’ve looked at a large number of the stoves since getting one and never found this issue again.  I currently have an order in for a replacement lid that will hopefully put this issue to bed.

Like the MSR Reactor the WindBurner is a high-efficiency stove.  But of course canister stove efficiency is significantly impacted by temperature.  As the stove draws fuel from the canister it expands from a liquid to a gas cooling the canister well below the ambient temp.  This reduces the efficiency of the stove, especially at higher elevations and cold winter temperatures.  Luckily there’s an easy fix:  Canister Stove Freezing Fix.

Pros:  Excellent performance in windy conditions, efficient, compact

Cons:  No bag for the stove & canister

Overall:  A superior stove for summer and winter alpine or backcountry trips as long as you don’t need to simmer.

A sample stove was provided for testing but this in no way influenced the review.