You can view the full specs of this stove on MSR’s website, this is a review about our experiences using the stove and not a technical run down of it's features.

 

It's popular for a reason

Not actually owning this stove ourselves, we have had the chance to use it a fair bit as a few of our friends that we have been cycle touring with have owned one. This is the cheapest of the three multi fuel stoves from MSR we have reviewed, but in our eyes it’s great value and very capable. The function is the same as the XGK EX, there isn’t a dedicated flame controller, but if you’ve read about the Dragonfly you might be thinking that is a plus point. The cleaning is also the same as the XGK EX, it uses a piece of cable that lives inside of the fuel line. This cable can be pulled in and out to remove any carbon deposits that build up, that can further be flushed out with fuel, as seen in MSR’s instruction videos.

 

Don't neglect the cleaning

However it's important to mention that this cleaning should be done at reasonably regular intervals, at least every few months with light use. If you allow the fuel line to have too much carbon build up, the wire will become very difficult to pull out. This happen on a friends stove, the flame wasn’t getting hot enough, due to lack of fuel and so the line needed cleaning. However because the cleaning had been neglected the wire was now fused into the build up of carbon. The way we got it out, was by heating the fuel line of his stove (the stove was not connected to the fuel bottle) using the flame of another stove. As metal expands the fuel line became wider allowing us to pull out the wire with a large pair of pliers. 

 

But it took a fair bit of effort from both of us, and not something you could do without a decent pair of pliers or grips.

 

Silent cooking

The Whisperlite does receive a few complaints saying that it gets a bit sooty, making anything that it comes in contact with it black with those carbon deposits. However in our opinion it's not such a big deal, it is a fire after all, and once not in use it can be stored in a bag so it doesn't come in contact with clothes or other items inside your panniers or backpack. This point seems to be its main downfall, and its plus points are definitely price, reliability and noise level. It's much quieter than the XGK EX and Dragonfly, hence the name. The other two stoves on the other hand are a little anti social because of the loud noise they make in operation. The only plus point we can think of for noise level is being reminded of that beautiful silence that comes with nature as soon as those stoves are turned off.

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