MSR WindBurner Stove Review

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The MSR WindBurner Stove System is among the highest quality and best performing integrated canister stove systems on the market. We love its exceptional performance in windy weather, its speedy boil times, and great fuel efficiency. The convenience and durability of the WindBurner are tough to beat and give it a spot among our list of the Best Backpacking Stoves.

Quick Specs

  • Weight: 15.5 oz.
  • Listed Boil Time: 4 min, 30 sec. (our testing was faster)
  • Capacity: 1 Liter
  • Packed Dimensions: 8.3 x 4.5 inches
  • Fuel: Isobutane-propane canisters (100 gram size can be packed inside) 
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Pros

  • Very fast boil time
  • Convenient
  • Very fuel efficient
  • Excellent wind performance
  • High quality materials & durability
  • Good simmer control

Cons

  • No push button ignitor
  • Handle not as sturdy as we would prefer
  • Relatively expensive
  • Heavier than some ultralight stove options
  • Pot lid can be difficult to remove after boiling & leaky when pouring

MSR WindBurner Intro Video

msr windburner specs and features

INTEGRATED STOVE SYSTEM - We refer to the WindBurner as an integrated stove system throughout this review. What that means is that the WindBurner comes with a stove and a pot that attaches securely to the stove. Other stove systems (ex: MSR Pocket Rocket 2 & Titan Kettle) sell a stove and pot separately. Though usually more expensive and slightly heavier, integrated stove systems are more convenient, fuel efficient, have better wind performance, and offer faster cooking times.

PRICE - Integrated stove systems, like the WindBurner, will almost always be more expensive than a simple stove because they include a pot as well. As far as integrated stoves go, the WindBurner is among the more expensive options, but it’s also among the highest quality options. For a quality stove system that can withstand years of backcountry use, we think the WindBurner is fairly priced. For current pricing, check out these direct links to our favorite retailers: REI, Amazon, Backcountry, Moosejaw.

WEIGHT - Like most integrated stove systems, the weight of the WindBurner is a bit heavier than we’d prefer for our ultralight backpacking trips, but for most casual backpackers it will work very well. You can save some weight by choosing an ultralight stove and pot combo (BRS Ultralight Stove & Snow Peak Mini Solo Cookset for example). But then you'll lose out on some of the main benefits offered by integrated stoves (stability, fuel efficiency, ease of use, cook time, etc).

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QUALITY & DURABILITY - True to many MSR products we’ve tested over the years, the WindBurner scores very high marks in the quality and durability department. This stove system feels very secure and the materials are strong and long-lasting. We expect this stove to last for many years of tough backcountry use. MSR also has a great warranty and provides repair services for their products.

EFFICIENCY - The burner, secure connection, and wind performance of this stove lead to an incredibly efficient cooking system. Boiling a pot of water uses a minimum amount of fuel and the integrated pot system ensures that even strong winds won’t affect your cooking time. This is a big plus for the WindBurner and integrated stove systems in general.

WIND PERFORMANCE - This is an area where the WindBurner really shines. Its performance in high winds is exceptional and we consider it among the best stoves we've ever used in windy conditions. In fact, we used this stove for a month in Patagonia, an area famous for its intense winds, and we never had a single problem.

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BOIL TIME - The WindBurner has some of the fastest boiling times of any stove system we’ve tested. Integrated stove systems, like the WindBurner, usually provide the best boil times and fuel efficiency. In our testing, it took, on average, 3 minutes and 30 seconds to boil one liter of water, which is faster than the listed 4 min, 30 seconds. Fast and convenient boil times are always appreciated, especially after a long day of hiking.

PACKABILITY - All the WindBurner components, including a separately purchased small fuel canister (100 gram isobutane), nest together nicely in the pot to make it easy to pack away.  

STABILITY - Integrated stove systems, like the WindBurner, tend to be much more stable than a non-integrated systems, because the pot connects directly to the stove. The WindBurner also comes with a three-pronged plastic stand for increased stability, but we rarely bring ours along on backpacking trips.

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MEASUREMENT - The WindBurner comes with measurement notches on the inside of the pot, though we found these to be less accurate than the included measurement cup, which also serves as a bowl and bottom lid. The WindBurner holds around one liter of water. We mostly use the WindBurner for two people and find its capacity to be sufficient. 

IGNITOR -  Unfortunately, the WindBurner does not have a push button ignitor, which is a convenience we generally like in stoves. We always carry a small Bic lighter with the WindBurner and it's an easy stove to light, so this isn’t a huge deal, but we would prefer a push button ignitor, similar to what's found in the Jetboil systems. Push button igniters do tent do wear out over time, but we still like their initial convenience.  

SIMMER CONTROL - The WindBurner has good simmer control, though we mostly use this stove for boiling water in the backcountry. That said, this is a nice feature to have, even if it's just to keep the pot from boiling over.

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POT LID - The pot lid on the WindBurner fits securely and holds strong. We do wish the pot lid was easier to remove after boiling water, because there’s only a small tab on the side to grab. Also, the WindBurner’s lid has two spouts for pouring/draining liquid, but in our experience the lid tends to leak, making pouring through the lid unideal.

HANDLE - The handle on the WindBurner is a little flimsier than we would prefer, though it does get the job done. It’s made with a hard plastic piece and a nylon strap. It functions okay, but we generally prefer stoves with sturdy metal handles.

FRENCH PRESS ATTACHMENT - The WindBurner comes with a handy WindBurner Coffee Press Kit for making delicious backcountry coffee. Just remember, true Leave No Trace ethics require packing out all your garbage, including spent coffee grounds.

More WindBurner Photos

Final Thoughts

For backpackers and outdoor enthusiasts wanting a convenient, packable, efficient, and high-quality stove system, we think the MSR WindBurner is a great option. Our main complaints with the WindBurner are that we wish it was a bit lighter, had a push button ignitor, and had a better functioning top lid. That said, the pros of the WindBurner outweigh the cons in our book, making it a solid backcountry stove system choice.


More InfoRMATION

Check out our Best Backpacking Stoves to see how the MSR WindBurner stacks up against the competition.

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We were provided a free testing sample of this stove, but we are under no obligation to give it a positive review. Some of the links on this page are affiliate links, which means we may receive a small commission if purchases are made through those links. This adds no cost to our readers and helps us keep our site up and running. Our reputation is our most important asset, which is why we only provide completely honest and unbiased recommendations.