MSRâ€™s new JetBoil-looking StoveBy Rocky Thompson on August 11th, 2006
MSR demoed an early version of their new Reactor Stove at OR today, and itâ€™s slated to go on sale March 1st. The guys doing the demo wore lab coats that hung below their shorts making them look naked underneathâ€”at first I thought Iâ€™d stumbled on some weird vendor-appreciation stripper thing.
Anyway, MSR claims their new stove is the most efficient boiler on the market in real world conditions. The Reactor looks almost exactly like the JetBoil PCS. The main difference is that MSRâ€™s version only pulls air from the top of the burner instead of at the base where it attaches to the canister like traditional stoves. The idea is that the stoveâ€™s efficiency will be less affected by wind. The stove also features a pressure regulator so that it burns efficiently whether itâ€™s at the 65psi when you start or the 10psi after you fall asleep and leave it running for 2 hours.
MSR says the Reactor Stove will boil 22 liters of water on one 8oz fuel can. Backcountry.comâ€™s in-house tests put the JetBoil at about 27 liters for an 8oz canister keeping it way out in front. The JetBoil also has the advantage of a handle built into the canisters sleeve so you can drink your hot toddy before even shutting the stove down.
Ultimately both these stoves have the same pitfallâ€”they really only work for boiling water. If youâ€™re traveling with these efficient things you better bring all rice, freeze dried food, or really like tea.