The MSR windburner stove system is a nifty all in one system with an ingenious radiant burner that locks onto the supplied cup, this means that there’s no exposed flame to blow out, and it makes it super efficient as you’re not heating the surrounding countryside in addition to your tea.

It comes with a little plastic tripod to fit onto the gas cannister, which initially appears inadequate but actually makes the whole set up really stable on firm ground – though they do warn you not to go for the really tall canister as the whole thing would then be a bit top heavy, but to stick to the 113g or 227g.

Lighting it up was easy, though it’s not immediately obvious how high one needs the heat, I suppose you learn from trial and error how intense you need the flame to be…but certainly it’s super quick to boil, and even at the summit of Snowdon we were the envy of the teeming hordes as our windburner was totally unaffected by the wind and altitude, and boiled up some water for hot soup in about 2 minutes flat.  (Although, note to self for next time: add the water to the packet soup, not the soup to the boiling water #idiot #lumpysoup)

Initially it’s hard to convince yourself that you won’t burn your hand unlocking the cup from the burner, but the plastic area above the gas canister was actually cool to the touch and the fitted insulated caddy has a useful handle, so all was well.  There is also a bowl supplied so we found that for a short trip one stove was adequate for two people, but I would expect that would become fairly inconvenient on longer trips and we plan to eventually have one each.

You can get accessories for these, including a skillet and a coffee press, but sadly we came to the conclusion that adding accessories does not an ultralight hike make.  However, I can definitely see that they’d be great for weekend or day hikes.

In summary then, the system comprises a cup with insulating caddy, sippy lid, bowl, burner and tripod.  It’s easy to use and really quick and efficient.  Finally, the whole lot, in addition to a gas canister, packs back into the cup without needing mad tetras skills, and it weighs 432g.  Amazing.

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