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.

 

Living up to its name

I had read a lot of good things about this flagship model, and I have to say the praises are accurate. The burner design is the same as the Dragon Fly, which unfortunately means it's loud, but this design means there is very little carbon build up, so only a small area of the inner part of the burner gets covered in black carbon deposits. We have seen a few video's regarding a noise dampener, it's pricey and adds time onto boiling, we will let you decide for yourself.  The stove’s design seems very solid, and compacts very well. We have only had the chance to test it for 6 months of intensive use, but so far it has been flawless.

 

Flame controller?

The MSR XGK EX in terms of price, is a bit more expensive than the Dragon Fly, without the additional feature of a flame controller. By now our cooking ambitions had deflated somewhat, and all we really wanted to do was cook something with our stove rather than having to clean it. Although MSR don't market this as a stove with a flame controller, there is a bit of play at the very beginning of the fuel adjustment. We’ve found if you open it to get the stove going full whack and then dial it all the way down, being careful not to let it go out, it's possible to get the flame down enough to stop things burning so much. The Whisperlite International has even better play in this regard, but again we wouldn't go as far as saying they have flame controllers, it only helps to burn your food less. But we were more than happy to lose the dreaded official flame controlling function, and just have a stove that was either on or off.

 

So far so good

MSR Japan had sent the stove to a friend of ours in India, so we could collect it once we arrived in Delhi. Camping around 80 nights in total, we have used the stove roughly 200 times, including those meals we have cooked in guest houses. I can’t imagine that the northern areas of the Himalaya have clean, high quality fuel. I might be wrong of course. But sometimes we would buy a suspicious looking dark coloured liquid, that we could burn with absolutely no hiccups, even when cleaning the stove only once a month, maybe even less. With our experience so far we are pretty confident in this stove, and would definitely use it again for a long trip.

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