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Old 01-02-2014, 09:49 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Backpacking stove selection

Alrighty so I'm looking to purchase a backpacking stove. Since I'm from Cali, I'll be in a variety of environments from deserts to the High Sierras so I think a multi fuel based stove would be best since canisters don't work too well at higher elevations/cold temps.

I was considering the MSR whisperlite line


or the Primus Multifuel



Does anyone have any experience with these types of stoves, or have any alternate recommendations? Any better experiences with a canister stove?

Last edited by SnowOwl; 01-02-2014 at 10:05 AM.
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:04 AM   #2 (permalink)
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I use the JetBoil, but you are correct in -30C it does not work as well as the MSR ones that support white gas. I have friends who use the MSR Dragonfly and are quite happy.

The jetboil is much faster though. In the time to get the MSR setup, I am usually drinking my hot tea/coffee and getting ready to heat up some stew or soup :-)
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:04 AM   #3 (permalink)
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MSR simmerlite
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Old 01-02-2014, 11:26 AM   #4 (permalink)
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I have older versions of both: Primus OmniFuel (no simmer valve) and a Whisperlight.

The differences between the 2 are merely trade-offs.

Pros (Primus)
The Primus burns anything: propane, white gas, diesel, etc. A somewhat useful feature, but, for me, I almost always have white gas. It melts snow and boils water about the same as the Whisperlight.

Cons

It's loud compared to the Whisperlight. And despite the flame deflector, it still creates a hot spot in one area of a pot....not great for simmering rice, for example.

Pros (Whisperlight)

It's quiet and it bathes the bottom of the pot in flame, eliminating a central hot spot.

Cons

The fuel line is short and fixed in relation to the stove. On rocky ground or other uneven surfaces, it can make it awkward to get the stove level as the weight of the fuel bottle can cause the stove to tilt. It doesn't burn the variety of fuels that the Omnifuel does, but for me, it's a non-issue. MSR parts are much more common than Primus parts.

Overall, there's not much to choose between the 2 stoves, but if I had to, I'd pick the Whisperlight for the non-scorching aspect.
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Old 01-02-2014, 11:29 AM   #5 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aiidoneus View Post
I use the JetBoil, but you are correct in -30C it does not work as well as the MSR ones that support white gas. I have friends who use the MSR Dragonfly and are quite happy.

The jetboil is much faster though. In the time to get the MSR setup, I am usually drinking my hot tea/coffee and getting ready to heat up some stew or soup :-)
Yeah but I'm too broke to spend that much on a canister stove lol I'd end up sticking with the pocket rocket or something along those lines

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MSR simmerlite
That and the dragonfly as previously mentioned are really nice I guess I should have included a budget limit lol I found both of the ones I mentioned for around 70-80$
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Old 01-02-2014, 11:36 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bones View Post
I have older versions of both: Primus OmniFuel (no simmer valve) and a Whisperlight.

The differences between the 2 are merely trade-offs.

Pros (Primus)
The Primus burns anything: propane, white gas, diesel, etc. A somewhat useful feature, but, for me, I almost always have white gas. It melts snow and boils water about the same as the Whisperlight.

Cons

It's loud compared to the Whisperlight. And despite the flame deflector, it still creates a hot spot in one area of a pot....not great for simmering rice, for example.

Pros (Whisperlight)

It's quiet and it bathes the bottom of the pot in flame, eliminating a central hot spot.

Cons

The fuel line is short and fixed in relation to the stove. On rocky ground or other uneven surfaces, it can make it awkward to get the stove level as the weight of the fuel bottle can cause the stove to tilt. It doesn't burn the variety of fuels that the Omnifuel does, but for me, it's a non-issue. MSR parts are much more common than Primus parts.

Overall, there's not much to choose between the 2 stoves, but if I had to, I'd pick the Whisperlight for the non-scorching aspect.
Incredibly convenient you had both lol just to clarify propane fuel is the same shit that's in those Coleman canisters right?

Last edited by SnowOwl; 01-02-2014 at 11:47 AM.
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Old 01-02-2014, 11:53 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SnowOwl View Post
Incredibly convenient you had both lol just to clarify propane fuel is the same shit that's in those Coleman canisters right?
Crap, I have about 7-8 stoves.

If the Coleman canisters you're talking about are pressurized, non-refillable "gas vapor" type things, then yes, it's propane.
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Old 01-02-2014, 12:28 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bones View Post
Crap, I have about 7-8 stoves.

If the Coleman canisters you're talking about are pressurized, non-refillable "gas vapor" type things, then yes, it's propane.
This sucker

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Old 01-02-2014, 01:03 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I know you're not interested in it, but another vote for the JetBoil. I've never been in extreme conditions with it, but I have used it at 12k feet (Colorado) single-digit (F) and really windy weather. As long as you keep the small canisters at least somewhat out of the worst of the weather, it works good. The trouble comes when those suckers are really cold.

My backpacking buddy who came within a couple hundred feet of Denali last year swears by his Whisperlite for the variety of fuel options. But in less extreme conditions where he and I have been together and brought both of our stoves, I can second that I'm already eating or drinking something hot by the time he gets his stove going a lot of times.
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Old 01-02-2014, 01:24 PM   #10 (permalink)
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I have the Whisperlite "International" and that can burn "white gas, kerosene, and unleaded auto fuel", so if you want that capability, just get the international.

And I also love my jetboil, but haven't used it in the snow yet. I'd get both, thats what I did.

Last edited by cstorms; 01-02-2014 at 01:27 PM.
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