My Review of MSR Reactor Stove System

Originally submitted at REI

Backpacker April '07 says for 1-pot meals, ''…MSR Reactorâ„¢ offers a whole new level of convenience, speed, and trailworthiness.''

Great, powerful stove, but has issues…

By nickt from Colorado on 4/12/2010


4out of 5

Gift: No

Pros: Powerful, Easy To Clean

Cons: Poor temperature control, Difficult to Light

Best Uses: Car Camping

Describe Yourself: Avid Adventurer

What Is Your Gear Style: Minimalist

1. It’s extremely fast, I boil a lot of water so this is a huge win for me. Subjectively, it takes around 1/3 less time to boil water versus the JetBoil. This is due to the more powerful burner and larger surface area on the burner interface.
2. It packs small, and as it’s wider than a JetBoil, you can pack a 220g (7.8oz) gas cylinder inside it, whereas the JetBoil can only contain a 110g (3.9oz) cylinder internally (so I always packed an additional large 450g (15.9oz) cylinder).
3. It comes with a small packing cloth which stops the insides getting scratched when the burner unit is packed inside (yes, you could easily make this yourself, but it’s a nice thought to provide one).
4. The whole unit it the typical good quality you’d expect from MSR.
5. It’s wider than the JetBoil, and that makes it easier to clean.

1. It’s more expensive than the JetBoil ($160 vs $100 using REI prices in April 2010).
2. Simmering is difficult, if not impossible. The burner is so powerful it seems to have only two settings, off and “supernova”!
3. No piezo ignition! It’s a pain to use matches or a lighter.
4. Bigger burner means it goes through gas faster, though as you can pack a larger cylinder internally it may not be an issue.
5. It is slightly larger than the JetBoil, the diameter is larger but it is shorter.
6. It has a fold-out handle, the JetBoil is insulated so you can simply pick it up with your bare hands even when hot.
7. As the diameter of the pot is wider than the JetBoil, it is slightly more difficult to pour into narrow containers.