MSR WindBurner® Combo Stove System: Tested
The MSR WindBurner® Stove System Combo offers couples and groups a lightweight backcountry stove system suitable for both rapid water-boiling as well as cooking ‘real food’. Expanding on the success of the WindBurner® stoves, MSR has incorporated its highly efficient, wind-resistant radiant burner into a more sizeable cook set including a Fusion® ceramic-coated 2.5L pot and a 200mm Skillet Pan. The WindBurner® stoves use an inbuilt pressure regulator designed to maintain performance and simmer control.
In the field
In the field, the MSR WindBurner® Stove System Combo shines out of the box. The stove is secured within a 2.5L ceramic-coated pot, with a removable folding handle. The aluminium strainer lid locks in place via the folding handle and a standalone locking latch, whilst a 90mm (diameter) x 70mm (height), 227g IsoPro fuel canister fits neatly inside as well as the stove. A 200mm ceramic-coated aluminium skillet pan with removable folding handle fits neatly over the pot base, albeit with a lot of wiggle-room. For the weight-conscious, one handle can be used for both the pot and pan. When it comes to set-up, the unit is quick and easy. Remove the gas canister and stove from the pot, screw the gas to the regulator, extend the legs of the stove, place it on flat ground and ignite the stove. It is important to recognise that MSR WindBurner® stoves do not incorporate built-in igniters, and so you will need to pack a lighter/matches.
The heat exchanger on the 2.5L pot and Skillet Pan work brilliantly in all-weather conditions, with the stove boiling half a litre of water in just over three minutes. At high heat, and without a wind shield, the stove performs well, however a wind shield is necessary for low heat simmering in adverse weather to minimise gas flow interruption. The unit is limited in functionality below zero degrees Celsius, not due to any fault of the stove but limitations of Iso-Butane gas at low temps. For cooking at above zero, the WindBurner®’s ability to simmer is one of our favourite features and means you can opt for ‘real-food’ cooking.
The final word on the MSR WindBurner® Combo Stove System
At 216mm x 160mm and weighing just over 800g for the full kit, the MSR WindBurner® Stove System Combo packs quite a punch. MSR has delivered an all-in-one system that offers pan, pot and simmering ability, even in adverse weather. The removable folding handles and single-handed straining operation are brilliant, but the locking latch can loosen over time. We’re not 100 per cent sold on inbuilt igniters, but they’re great when they work, and would be a nice addition. Both the pot and pan coating need protection from scratches; a couple of lightweight cloths will stop this. At nearly six hundred bucks, the WindBurner® Stove System Combo 2.5L is at the pricier end of the market but does deliver on a reliable modular stove system for small-group cooking on the trail.
RRP: $589.95 See Spelean for this and all other MSR stoves.