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MSR Windboiler – Completed Review

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Re: MSR Windboiler – Completed Review

Postby hikin_jim » Wed Dec 03, 2014 8:01 pm

AlmostThere wrote:I warn folks not to cook then watch them burn a knorrs into the pot and ruin it trying to scrape it out...
Interesting that you should mention that. I ran a side by side test with the Windboiler and a Jetboil Sol cooking Knorrs chicken noodles. The Windboiler had no problems with sticking. The Jetboil had a lot of sticking. I can't explain it, so I didn't include it in the review, but that's what I experienced.

AlmostThere wrote:For windy places the MSR does look like an improvement tho. i set up a tarp once as a windbreak for my friend and her Jetboil when it blew out every time she lit it.
The Windboiler is amazingly windproof. I was quite impressed.

HJ
Backpacking stove reviews and information: Adventures In Stoving



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Re: MSR Windboiler – Completed Review

Postby hikin_jim » Wed Dec 03, 2014 8:05 pm

maverick wrote:Thank you Jim for posting this in-depth review, I am thinking about getting a new
stove, so this comes at a good time. Interesting info about the Sol line being
discontinued, any idea/guesses why Jim?

I believe the Zip killed the Sol. The Zip is $80 whereas the Sol is either $120 or $150, depending on whether you get Ti or Al. The Zip is only about 1 ounce heavier than the Al Sol. The average person appears to be willing to put up with 1 ounce in weight for $40 savings.

HJ
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Re: MSR Windboiler – Completed Review

Postby longri » Thu Dec 04, 2014 3:55 pm

hikin_jim wrote:
longri wrote:what were the fuel consumption figures? I only saw comparative values in the review.
To get really good numbers, I would have to buy something like ten of each stove, run ten canisters through each, and then average the numbers. I would have to do this under carefully controlled and monitored conditions. This type of testing is just beyond my resources.

I've done enough testing to give out some basic numbers to help understand the difference between the two stoves, but that's really all my numbers can be really relied upon for.

HJ


I wasn't looking for really good numbers, just the ones you used to generate the relative numbers you quoted. It's not that important though.

The scenario where you are just squeaking by with one canister and the Jetboil uses ~15% more fuel and so requires a larger or second canister, you do save 1-2 ounces of weight. But in many other scenarios it's the other way around. And if you include other canister stoves the Windboiler gets blown away, weight-wise.
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Re: MSR Windboiler – Completed Review

Postby John Harper » Thu Dec 04, 2014 6:02 pm

markskor wrote:IMHO, there are many other canister stoves sold that are far less expensive, lighter, can simmer, and have the capacity to invert the gas canister. For me, having the ability to cook/simmer and that extra 1/2 pound matters, especially when solo. Interesting that many first-time JMT hikers seem to buy them - not so much the experienced PCTers though.


So, what is your recommendation? I just bought a Zip for $63, after realizing I used a lot of fuel with my exposed burner Brunton(Kovea) even with a windbreak. I do notice that the Zip is pretty much ON or OFF, no in between. But, mostly I make coffee, or soup, pretty stick resistant. Those freeze dried meals pretty much suck, I'm going more jerky and nuts this season.

John
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Re: MSR Windboiler – Completed Review

Postby markskor » Thu Dec 04, 2014 6:35 pm

John Harper wrote:So, what is your recommendation? John


For years I used a MSR XG, just because that was the stove real mountaineers used.

For the last 5 years have switched to the MSR Windpro (a great remote canister stove)...as I actually cook. (Works just like your gas stovetop at home...at altitude.)
It sits low, has a windscreen, simmers or blasts, is stable, has a wide flame pattern, and has the capacity to invert the canister. This inversion thing really helps out... forces out the heavier of the isobutane/propane mix...(turn the canister over and makes things go from sputter to full-on when the fuel is cold mornings...super easy).
The stove weighs 6.6 oz, folds up small inside my Al 1.5 liter cooking pot...thus cooks well for two even if one person is Mike, the OldRanger.

BTW, I keep my stove, extra fishing spools, Bics, hot pad, scrubby, and fishing reel safe inside of the cooking pot when hiking. The Windpro's "arms" also holds a frying pan steady (specifically my Ti 10-inch frypan)...the stove works well (proven often) for trout goodness, boiling water, simmering, as well as finishing-up/re-heating pasta type dishes.
Recommend highly!
Mark
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Re: MSR Windboiler – Completed Review

Postby John Harper » Thu Dec 04, 2014 7:38 pm

markskor wrote:
John Harper wrote:So, what is your recommendation? John


.

For the last 5 years have switched to the MSR Windpro

BTW, I keep my stove, extra fishing spools, Bics, hot pad, scrubby, and fishing reel safe inside of the cooking pot when hiking. The Windpro's "arms" also holds a frying pan steady (specifically my Ti 10-inch frypan)...the stove works well (proven often) for trout goodness, boiling water, simmering, as well as finishing-up/re-heating pasta type dishes).
Recommend highly!
Mark


Thanks so much, I'll check it out as well. I love new toys, and my cat is not too picky about her Xmas gift. I pack my stuff as compact as possible too, it relieves my OCD.

Not so much my ADD. I just want to unpack and repack. Crap.

John
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Re: MSR Windboiler – Completed Review

Postby longri » Thu Dec 04, 2014 7:48 pm

The Windpro is a nice stove. But by the time you add a pot and a windscreen it isn't that much lighter than one of the lighter Jetboil stoves. It probably isn't as good in the wind as a Windboiler but then it will do better in really cold conditions and you can actually cook a meal with it.

For a glimpse at what is possible, Roger Caffin built an inverted canister stove that weighs half as much as the Windpro, just 90g. He has sold a bunch of them but unfortunately you can't find one on the shelves at REI.

I have never needed to invert the canister while traveling in the Sierra. I'm sure there are some really cold nights in mid-winter but they must not be all that common. Most of the time it's 10 degrees F or warmer. And in the summer there is never any need to invert.

So for the vast majority of the time, a simple upright canister stove will suffice. You can buy one that weighs 1.6 ounces. Add to that a lightweight pot and a windscreen made from aluminum foil and you will easily beat the Jetboil and the Windboiler in the weight category.

But it won't be integrated. It won't be push-button. It won't be unaffected by the wind.
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Re: MSR Windboiler – Completed Review

Postby rlown » Thu Dec 04, 2014 7:59 pm

not sure why we're arguing about other stoves on this topic. it was a review on a particular stove and a pretty good one. A choice is a choice beyond that point. If you have a different point of view on a different stove, spin off your own review; or compare two or three. Video would be helpful. Nice job, hikin_jim.
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Re: MSR Windboiler – Completed Review

Postby markskor » Thu Dec 04, 2014 8:30 pm

longri wrote:I have never needed to invert the canister while traveling in the Sierra. I'm sure there are some really cold nights in mid-winter but they must not be all that common. Most of the time it's 10 degrees F or warmer. And in the summer there is never any need to invert.


Respectfully, simply not true for any canister stove Sierra...or maybe I just go higher.

Canisters typically contain propane mixed with either isobutane or "plain" butane (n-butane). The boiling points (vaporization point) of each of those gases are as follows:
Boiling point
n-butane -0.5C 31F
isobutane -12C 11F
propane -42C -44F

Propane has the lowest boiling point and therefore the highest vapor pressure. Because of its high vapor pressure, the propane boils off at a faster rate than either n-butane or isobutane. Toward the end of a canister, you have no propane left, and you're running on just isobutane or n-butane. N-butane will not vaporize below 31F/-0.5C, so it's a poor choice for an upright canister stove in cold weather.

So, with that little fuel lesson out of the way, here's the answer: If you take a typical upright canister stove out in cold weather, you can run it on good fuel (no n-butane) to the point where the fuel temperature is about 20F/-7C at sea level throughout the life of the canister. Yes, isobutane vaporizes at 11F/-12C, but you need a certain amount of pressure in the canister in order to properly drive the stove. If your vaporization point is 11F/-12C, and your fuel temperature is, say, 12F/-11C, then the pressure in your canister will be so insipid that you can't run a stove off of it. Generally, about 10F/5C above the vaporization point will give you good operating pressure. So, if your fuel vaporization point is 11F/-12C, you generally want to shoot for about 21F/-6C in order to have good operating pressure. 20F/-7C is easier for me to remember, so I usually just say 20F/-7C fuel temperature for upright canister stoves using a propane/isobutane blend at sea level.
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Re: MSR Windboiler – Completed Review

Postby longri » Fri Dec 05, 2014 12:04 am

I understand the chemistry. Isobutane is the preferred base fuel. And when the stove is running the fuel isn't at ambient temperature. It works for me; maybe not for you. So carry a heavier stove and invert. I would too if I were having trouble keeping the stove going.
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Re: MSR Windboiler – Completed Review

Postby longri » Fri Dec 05, 2014 12:07 am

rlown wrote:not sure why we're arguing about other stoves on this topic. it was a review on a particular stove and a pretty good one. A choice is a choice beyond that point. If you have a different point of view on a different stove, spin off your own review; or compare two or three. Video would be helpful. Nice job, hikin_jim.


The review was not just about one stove; it was also a comparison to several other stoves.
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Re: MSR Windboiler – Completed Review

Postby Wandering Daisy » Fri Dec 05, 2014 7:49 am

Has anyone done a detailed review of fuel canisters? I wish someone would do this. How do you know what the fuel mix is when you buy fuel? All the label says is "mix". Given that some brands are 20-30% cheaper than others, are you getting inferior fuel or is the cost difference due to the actual canister construction? Or is it all "brand name".

As for cooking inside a tent, I do not do this because I am always in bear country, often grizzly country, and do not want those food smells inside the tent. In fact I cook a good distance from the tent. Also, I have had a fuel canister blow up on me. After that experience I am really reluctant to cook inside.

Someone gave me a stove/pot system that has one of those heat shields. I used it once. I think it is more of the awkward pot size - too big for a "solo" cup and too small to cook a dinner for two. I figured the fuel weight savings would not over-ride the weight of the system until I was out for 10+ days. I have seldom had trouble finding a wind-sheltered cook spot, even above timber. Sometimes the site is a bit awkward, but my home-made wind screen seems to work fine. I am a "real cook" and do a lot of simmering. So for me I would not buy that stove. Agree that apples-to-apples comparison would be how it performs against the JetBoil.

Thanks for the review. How about doing a canister review??
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