Sorry for reposting this . . . I revised based on the edits I saw on
other reviews. Hope this saves time in the long run.
MSR Superfly Stove
Name: Dave Tagnani
Height: 5' 10" (1.77 m)
Weight: 160 lbs. (73 kg)
Email address: dtagnani@...
City, State, Country: Spokane, Washington, U.S.
Date: June 26, 2007
Backpacking Background: I have been camping and hiking for as long as
I can remember, but I've really only been backpacking for eight years
or so. I started off in the hills of northeastern and central
Pennsylvania, have hiked trails from Maine to Georgia, and now I am
exploring the incredible terrain of the inland northwest. I seldom do
trips longer than three days, with most trips being overnighters. I do
not own crampons, an ice axe, or a climbing harness, so if the route
is technical enough to require them, you won't find me there. I simply
like to walk in the woods.
Manufacturer: MSR (Mountain Safety Research)
Year of Manufacture: 2003
Listed weight: 4.6 oz (131 grams)
Weight as delivered: 4.9 oz (139 grams)
Length: 3 ½"(8.9 cm)
Width: 4 ¾" (12.1 cm)
MSRP: $49.99 US
Fuel: canister fuel (butane, isobutane, blends, etc.)
Boil Time: 3 min. (according to manufacturer)
Boil Capacity: 3.99 gallons (15.1 L) per 8oz. (227 g) canister
(according to manufacturer)
The Superfly comes with a nylon storage bag with a draw-string
closure. The bag is big enough to also hold an 8oz. (227 g) fuel
canister, and it is tough enough that it has survived years of use
without a tear.
The Superfly is tiny, easily fitting into the palm of my hand (see
dimensions above). It has only three moving parts: the pot supports,
which collapse for storage; the multi-mount grabber, which screws onto
the fuel canister; and the flame adjuster, which collapses for storage
and of course rotates to adjust fuel flow.
I have used this stove exclusively for all of my backpacking trips
over the past 4 years. Elevation has ranged from about 800' (244 m) up
to 4800' (1463m). The terrain has been varied: beaches, mountains,
dense deciduous forests, sparse coniferous forests, temperate rain
forest, and high desert. The coldest temperature I have attempted to
use this stove in is 36 F (2 C). Besides varying boil times based on
temperature, the Superfly performs consistently.
MSR suggests MSR IsoPro fuel (of course), but most canister butane or
butane blend works. I've used them all over the years and haven't
noticed any major difference in the performance of the Superfly.
Recently, I've been using SnowPeak canisters and they work fine. I
just purchase whatever is cheapest, so long as it is a good quality
The two main things that affect the functionality of this stove are
temperature and wind. I'll assume temperature needs no elaboration.
But wind has a big impact because not only does the Superfly not come
with a windscreen, MSR says that you should not use one. I don't like
to take chances when working with compressed flammable gas, so no
windscreen. This leaves the stove exposed to the wind, and a good
breeze can increase boiling times significantly. The most I do is try
to shield it a bit behind a log, stump, rock, etc. But this is only
minimally effective. In optimal conditions, MSR's stated boiling time
is pretty accurate. I can boil two cups of water is three and a half
minutes in warm temperatures with no wind.
The best thing about the Superfly is its versatility. It is the
second-lightest stove that MSR makes (the Pocket Rocket is lighter),
but for an extra ounce, you get a much larger burner that is more
effective at evenly heating larger pots/pans. The flame is highly
adjustable, anywhere from a simmer to full-blown boil. And with the
larger burner, frying bacon and eggs in a pan is doable. And of course
the big advantage of canister stoves over liquid-fuel stovesbesides
the weightis that there is no pumping, priming, etc. Simply screw it
on and light it. I could have it set up and ready to go in 10 seconds.
Besides susceptibility to windy conditions, the only other concern
with the Superfly is stability. This is the trade off for such a light
weight. Since it uses the canister as a base, there is a 4 ¼ " base
for a pot of water that might be sitting 12" off of the ground. On a
picnic table, this is not a problem. But if I'm near a picnic table, I
probably don't need this stove. Out in the woods, it pays to take a
few moments to prepare a reasonably level, sturdy surface to avoid
spills: find a flat rock, shim it with other rocks, etc.
Over the past four years of backpacking and cooking with the Superfly,
I have only run into one problem: the "multi-mount grabber" stripped.
There are two aluminum tabs under the grabber that hook onto the lip
of the canister. One year after my initial purchase, these tabs
developed slight bends that prevented them from grabbing the lip of
the canister securely. Luckily, the retailer exchanged it for a new
one. I have not had a repeat of the same problem, so I'm beginning to
think it may have been user error. Perhaps I was trying to tighten it
too far? Maybe I was not ensuring solid contact before tightening it?
I don't know. Anyway, the new stove performed perfectly and there are
no hints of stripping even after three years of moderately heavy use.
All in all, this stove is an excellent choice for most trips. It is
not perfect, but it is perfect for my purposes: extended weekend trips
in less-than-extreme conditions. It makes trade-offs to save weight
and space, but isn't everything a trade off?
Boil times/fuel consumption can vary significantly
Susceptible to wind
Be gentle with the tabs on the mount