Camping in the backcountry is a different experience than other types of camping.
You don’t want to over-pack your gear and end up with too much weight. You also don’t want cooking gear that will make cooking a hassle. You want simple and efficient cooking gear that packs light.
The Windburner camping stove by MSR accomplishes this goal and more. Read on to learn why this has become one of our favorite new camping stoves here at Beyond The Tent.
|Time To Boil||★★★★★|
|Ease of Use||★★★★★|
Purchase The MSR Windburner Here
My Opinion Of The MSR Windburner Camping Stove
Over the last year, I have been able to take out my MSR Windburner camping stove on a handful of different camping trips.
The Windburner is an extremely efficient camping stove that boils water incredibly fast, is extremely fuel-efficient, and has accessories for all types of cooking.
For this review, I will be discussing the Windburner stove, the 1.8L personal pot, the 4.5-liter stockpot, and the 2.5L saucepot & 8″ skillet combo.
Right off the bat, I have never experienced a camping or backpacking stove that got water boiling as fast as the Windburner Duo (the Windburner matched with the 2 person 1.8L pot) did. Don’t get me wrong, the Jetboil and similar stoves are fast and amazing, but the Windburner really left me in awe after the eye test.
While out camping in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area, I typically start my water and leave to round up food, firewood, or do something for a couple of minutes. However, I don’t believe I ever had enough time to do anything besides get my food out while waiting for water to boil with the Windburner.
I consistently had my water for Mountain House meals (usually 1-2 cups of water) boiling in 1 minute to 1.5 minutes tops using the Windburner Duo.
When using the additional accessories like the Windbuner saucepot or the even bigger 4.5L Windburner Stock Pot (which I used to make pasta), the boil times were still incredible, but my cooking options became unlimited. I could also easily turn down the heat and maintain a steady simmer.
Another thing that I really liked about the Windburner is its resistance to the wind (as the name may suggest). The flame is basically completely enclosed and unaffected by the weather when in use. This is one of the best features of the entire system.
When I go camping, I’m all about simplicity and lightweight packing. That means I don’t want to carry anything big, heavy, or complicated, including meals. That makes the Windburner perfect for me and my needs.
Time To Boil
For my time to boil, I am going to solely be referring to using the small 1.8L pot, not the stockpot, or the saucepan, too many variables with those pots.
In my tests, I found that in the summertime, boiling 1 cup of water took less than 1 minute to get a roaring boil.
1.5 cups took about 1 minute to see bubbles and about 1:30 to get to a roaring boil.
The speed of the burner is especially nice for me on our camping trips. I am really not one to get overly complicated with my cooking. I like to pack as light as possible, keep meals simple, and invest as little time as possible into my cooking, but yet have decent meals.
The Windburner Duo is perfect for me in that regard. Making a Mountain House meal (or some similar easy add water type meal), would take about 2 minutes to prepare, then 5-10 of standing time which has nothing to do with the stove.
It couldn’t get any simpler.
The Windburner stove is efficient with its fuel consumption, there is no doubt about that, but just how efficient is it?
Well, according to MSR, the stove has an 80% fuel efficiency compared to 40% of traditional backpacking stoves.
This efficiency is due to how the Windburner draws the air it needs to burn. Traditional stove units draw air into the main stove along with wind and un-necessary air. The Windburner only draws in primary air, the air it needs to burn, no extra air that would make the stove less efficient.
MSR calls this design a “100% Primary Air” design.
What does this mean in the real world?
I took my Windburner stove along with the 1.8L pot, the stockpot (pasta and mac & cheese), skillet and sauce pot on a trip to the Boundary Waters with my wife and 3 of my kids. We went for four days and 3 nights.
We did all our cooking on the Windburner stove and with the pots mentioned above.
I brought 2 – 8 oz fuel canisters and I didn’t end up using the second one at all.
According to MSR, an 8oz fuel canister should provide 95 minutes of cooking time.
The weight of my gear is vastly important to me (as it is to most campers). Every extra ounce is an extra ounce on my back that adds up.
The Windburner Duo stove and 1.8L pot combine for a weight of 1 lb, 5 oz. Of that, the pot weighs 13 oz, so just the Windburner stove comes in at 8 oz.
This is slightly more than smaller stoves such as the Pocket Rocket from MSR, which comes in at 2.9 oz.
But you make up for this weight by the weight you save in fuel canisters. An 8oz fuel canister weighs 11.2 oz. So, if you can cut your fuel weight in half on a small trip, you’ll save at least 6 oz in weight and more on longer trips.
The Windburner Stove Combo, which includes the stove, 2.5L saucepan, and 8″ skillet, weighs in at 1 lb, 13 oz. If you eliminate the stove (8 oz), the two pots together combine for 1 lb 5oz.
Finally, the 4.5 L stockpot weighs 1 lb 4 oz.
Versatility / Accessories
One thing I really enjoyed about the Windburner stove is its versatility through its accessories.
Many stoves will work with whatever you can balance on them, which can be a challenge on small stoves.
Every accessory for the Windburner fits securely over the top of the stove.
MSR currently sells personal pots, skillets, sauce pots, stock pots, coffee press, and more that all fit the Windburner stove. They all boast the incredible efficiency of the Windbuner and make a camping kitchen system that is almost unbeatable.
With these I was able to quickly boil water, make pancakes, pasta, mac and cheese, chili, fry fish and more.
Ease of Use
I think that most camping stoves are quite easy to use, to be honest with you.
What separates one from the other is how well they pack up, unpack, clean and ignite.
The Windburner Due packs together nicely. The stove fits perfectly inside the personal pot along with your fuel, making packing efficient.
One thing that I think I would like, but not 100% sure, it an igniter on the stove. Currently, it needs to be lit with a match or lighter. Minor, but just a thought.
The other pots and pans that I have been using for the Windbuner also pack up incredibly well. The skillet fits nicely over the saucepan and the Windburner fits into the saucepan. This is the set up I bring most often next to the 1.8 L pot.
Only when I bring a large group camping do I pack the larger stockpot, it’s not that it’s heavy or too big, its just un-necessary many times with smaller groups. The Titanium pot, however, is light and easily packable.
The Windburner Duo is not a cheap backpacking stove system. It retails for $179.99 on the MSR website.
But is it worth the price?
First impressions are, potentially.
If you do a lot of camping or backpacking where weight is critical, reliability is a must, efficiency is important, and you don’t want to deal with wind causing issues for your stove, then yes, the Windburner is absolutely worth your investment.
But, if you camp once a year and stay at designated camping areas, then the Windburner Duo is likely overkill for your needs.
Also, if your camping style is all about cooking up big meals, then a more robust stove may be in order.
For, I like to keep my cooking simple, light and reliable, so the Windburner Duo provides excellent value for me.
The stove seems to be incredibly well constructed as well and assuming it lasts for years, then I consider this to be a high-value worthwhile investment in your camping gear.
MSR Windburner Camping Stove Features & Specs
MSR Windburner DUO
Offering windproof performance for fast-boil meals and minimalist trips, the MSR WindBurner Duo stove system accommodates a range of cooking styles. It's perfect for 2 people.
- Weight: 1lb 5oz
- Height: 8″
- Burn Time: 95 Minutes
- Pot Volume: 1.8 L
- 1 L Boil Time: 4:30
MSR StockPot For The Windburner
This stove system combines the ultra-efficient performance of WindBurnerA(R) stove technology with the ultimate tools for backcountry cooking. Featuring a ceramic-coated 2.5 L sauce pot and an 8" skillet, this modular stove system offers simmering and cooking versatility for small groups, and...
- Versatile 2.5L Saucepan, 8″ Skillet, & Windburner Radiant Stove
- Nesting system allows pots to nest perfectly centered on the stove.
- Pans are ceramic coated non-stick.
- 1 lb 13 oz total weight.
- 95 Minute Burn Time
- 1 L Boil Time: 4:30
MSR Windburner Stove Combo (Stove, Saucepan, and Skillet)
Not only is the WindBurner Stock Pot perfect for large volume cooking, it features an integrated heat exchanger that delivers ultra-efficient boil times, to cook meals quick for hungry groups at camp. The perfect accessory pot for WindBurner Stove Systems, the 4.5 L hard-anodized aluminum pot...
- 4.5L Hard-anodized Aluminum Pot For Group Cooking.
- Integrated Heat Exchanger for fast boil times and low fuel consumption.
- Pot nests perfectly on the Windburner Stove.
- Self centering stability.
Is The MSR Windburner Right For You
I would highly recommend the Windburner Duo for backpackers, canoe campers, and other lightweight campers.
If you are one who prefers the style of car camping, then a cheaper, and potentially larger camping stove would be the right choice for you. You can check out some great car camping stoves here.
Anyone who is looking for lightweight, efficiency, and reliability should be happy with the Windburner Duo.
If you go on solo trips, the Windburner Personal Stove System will likely be a better fit.
If you travel in larger groups, such as me camping with my wife and 3 of my kids, the Duo and its accessories offer a great solution for groups of 2-5.
The Final Verdict
The Windburner Duo is easily one of my favorite backpacking stove systems and has now accompanied me on many of my trips, not just when testing and reviewing it, but on personal trips it has been my stove of choice.