backpacking stove reviews

The MSR WindBurner Group Stove System.

Review: MSR Windburner Group Stove System

Backpacking Stove
MSR WindBurner Group Stove System
$200, 1 lb. 5 oz.
moosejaw.com

When cooking for more than two hungry people in the backcountry—especially if that includes kids—having a large pot and powerful stove keeps the team from waiting so long that they threaten revolt. But the stove’s performance in wind matters, too. On family backpacking trips of three days in Hells Canyon, four days on Nevada’s Ruby Crest Trail, and six days in Utah’s High Uintas Wilderness, plus a five-day hike with three friends in The Maze District of Canyonlands National Park, MSR’s WindBurner Group Stove System not only staved off rebellion, it boiled and cooked quickly in a range of temps and even surprised with its fuel efficiency.

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Gear Review: MSR PocketRocket 2 Backpacking Stove

MSR Pocketrocket 2 backpacking stove.
MSR Pocketrocket 2 backpacking stove.

Backpacking Stove
MSR PocketRocket 2 stove
$45, 3 oz. (4 oz. with plastic case, included)
backcountry.com

On three-season backpacking trips of two days to a week, with one or two companions—especially when you’re oriented toward cooking simple, one-pot meals—a single-burner canister stove offers efficiency and versatility in a very lightweight, compact, affordable, and durable package. On various trips, including an 80-mile, five-day backpacking trip with a friend in the North Cascades National Park Complex, and a three-day, 40-mile hike in Utah’s Dark Canyon Wilderness, the MSR Pocketrocket 2 demonstrated to me why it’s a leading choice in this category of ultralight stoves, on top of representing an improvement over its predecessor.

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Gear Review: Jetboil Joule Group Cooking System

Jetboil Joule Group Cooking System
Jetboil Joule Group Cooking System

Camp Cooking System
Jetboil Joule Group Cooking System
$200, 1 lb. 12 oz. (not including soft stuff sack for storing burner unit inside the pot)
moosejaw.com

When I’m backpacking with my family, I look for several important qualities in my backcountry stove: speed, versatility, simplicity, fuel efficiency (so I carry less, not to mention burning less carbon), and modest weight and bulk. Too much to ask? I don’t think so, and apparently Jetboil agrees with me. My family used the Joule GCS to boil water for our breakfasts and cook our dinners on a five-day backpacking trip down Paria Canyon in Utah and Arizona in late March, and the Joule met all of my demands.

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Gear Review: Jetboil MiniMo Personal Cooking System

Jetboil MiniMo
Jetboil MiniMo

Solo Camp Cook Set
Jetboil MiniMo Personal Cooking System
$130, 1 lb. 1 oz.
moosejaw.com

When I’m backpacking long days and traveling as light as possible, I want a cooking system that’s not only lightweight, but efficient and easy: I need it to boil water fast in the morning, and by the time I get around to dinner in the evening, I’m too knackered to want to make much effort. Jetboil’s new solo cooking system, the MiniMo, delivered that kind of performance and convenience on a four-day, 86-mile ultralight backpacking trip in northern Yosemite National Park in September, an overnight hike down Zion’s Narrows in early November, and a pair of hut treks in New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park in March.

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Gear Review: MSR MicroRocket Backpacking Stove

MSR MicroRocket
MSR MicroRocket

Backpacking Stove
MSR MicroRocket
$60, 3 oz. (4 oz. with case)
cascadedesigns.com/msr

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.

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