Gear Review: MSR MicroRocket Backpacking Stove
$60, 3 oz. (4 oz. with case)
This ultralight burner punches above its weight: Turned up to high, it boiled water fast, even in strong winds at a campsite by Columbine Lake, at 11,000 feet in Sequoia National Park. Excellent flame control allows you to dial it down low for simmering. Fold out its three pot-support arms, screw it onto a fuel canister, fire it up, and you’re cooking in seconds. The stove was stable even beneath a two-liter pot when cooking for four people in Sequoia, Yosemite National Park, and in Washington’s Glacier Peak Wilderness.
It comes in a hard, plastic case that fits easily inside a small pot or mug, and uses any screw-mount, butane-based fuel canister. Well built, with few moving parts, it will last for years, requiring virtually no care beyond cleaning off any food spills or conspicuous dirt. One complaint: The piezo lighter regularly failed to ignite the burner—we eventually just used a butane lighter—and as a separate unit from the stove, the piezo is too easy to lose.
NOTE: I’ve been testing gear for Backpacker Magazine for 20 years. At The Big Outside, I review only what I consider the best outdoor gear and apparel. See all of my reviews by clicking on the Gear Reviews category at left or in the main menu.