MSR WhisperLite Stove Owner Review
- MSR WhisperLite Stove
March 31, 2006
Name: James Pohlman
Height: 6'0" (1.83m)
Weight: 194lbs (88kg)
Email address: james_g_pohlman@...
City, state: Tempe, AZ
Date: March 2006
Background: I am a recreational backpacking novice with two backpacking trips and a handful of car camping excursions. I carry a 40-45 lb pack because I have car camping gear and refuse to let my wife carry her share because it would be unmanly. I hike primarily sonoran desert and mountain conifer forest terrain.
Manufacturer: Mountain Safety Research (MSR)
Year of manufacture: unknown
Listed weight: 11 oz. (310 g)
Weight as delivered: 14 oz. (400 g)
Dimensions: 6" x 4" x 4" (15cm x 10cm x 10cm)
Fuel: White Gas
Location(s): Phoenix, AZ to Seligman, AZ
Description of Location(s): sonoran desert (1000 ft, 305 m) and high desert (5500 feet, 1676 m)
Weather Conditions: sunny, 90*F (32.2*C) and cloudy, light rain, 30*F (-1.1*C)
I have had the MSR WhisperLite Stove for about 6 months and have used it on a number of occasions. It has been taken camping in Arizona desert and high desert situations with altitudes ranging from 1000 feet (305 meters) around Phoenix, AZ to 5500 feet (1676 meters) around Seligman, AZ. The temperatures have ranged from 30*F (-1.1*C) in Seligman in early March to 90*F (32.2*C) around Phoenix in late September. When it was used in Seligman there was a light rain, but we sought shelter and did our cooking under a small grove of pine trees. It has performed well on all occasions. It requires priming, which is easy enough to do except in windy conditions. It came with an aluminum windscreen, which I have yet to use because I always forget to pack it, but I always seem to build a small fire ring of rocks around the stove to shield the flame from the wind. The fuel line is a little stiff and with a MSR fuel bottle attached it likes to make the stove tip a little. If you
take a moment prior to ignition and straighten the fuel line out it remedies the situation. I also think there is a stand available that attaches to the legs to limit the tipping. It's primary purpose has been to boil water for dehydrated meals and hot chocolate, which it does extremely well. It will boil just over two cups of water at 5500 feet (1676m) in just under two minutes and it will boil a full quart of water at the same elevation in a little over 4 minutes. The stove's stability is good on relatively flat surfaces and it safely and comfortably supports a pot or pan up to 8 inches (20 cm) in diameter. The safety warning suggests not to use cooking vessels that exceed 9 inches (23 cm) in diameter because it would place the hot cooking vessel too close to the fuel bottle. I have never attempted to test this limit. The initial pressure comes from a pumping action the user has to perform prior to priming the stove. If you have less than a properly full bottle,
more pumping is required. However, if you have more than the maximum suggested amount of fuel it is difficult to get sufficient pressure, and a very low flame results. The stove came with a pump that fits standard MSR fuel bottles, a filter attached to the pump, the fuel line, the windscreen, and the main stove unit. The legs pull to one side for packing. Do not attempt to pull the legs around to pack the stove while the stove is still hot. It will burn you and it will hurt. Trust me. Allowing about five or so minutes to cool seems to be enough. Removing the pump from the fuel bottle requires unscrewing the lid, which, if it is still pressurized, causes a little fuel vapor to spew forth. I have yet to find a way around this but it is only a minor inconvinence. The whole unit (pump and stove top) fits inside my 1-quart (0.95 l) pot. The pump contains a dial to vary the amount of fuel that passes to the stove this does a good job of varying the flame between a
medium and high heat, but at its lowest setting still does not really simmer well. There is also an international version available that burns multiple fuels, if white gas is not available. A big difference between the two is the international version is not field serviceable. The traditional, single fuel version, claims that it can be shaken to clear clogs, but I have yet to encounter a clog so I can not attest to that. All in all the MSR WhisperLite stove is a nice stove that is very effective for small and medium size groups. It boils water quickly and can effectively heat at medium and high temperatures.
Reusable fuel bottles
Tips a little with bottle attached
Fuel vapor spews forth when disconnecting pump from bottle
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