Thursday, April 11, 2013

A Little (Reactor) Levity from MSR

The MSR Reactor is of course a serious stove for those who travel into difficult conditions -- but that doesn't mean we can't have a little fun with it -- as shown in the humorous video from MSR, below.
An MSR Reactor
 Watch as supposed stove czar "Randy" compares the Jetboil to the Reactor.

Fortunately for that poor intern's sake, this video is mainly humorous and not real -- but there's some real content there. In winds that will blow out a Jetboil, the Reactor hardly even misses a beat.

On MSR's blog, there's a lot more factual information after the video. I'm not in a position to completely corroborate MSR's testing, but it certainly fits with what I've experienced with these two stoves.

What's my take on the Reactor vs. the Jetboil?  Here are my reviews of the stoves shown in the video:
The 1.0L MSR Reactor
The JetBoil Sol (aluminum version)

The Jetboil is lighter.  The Reactor is far and away more windproof.  Both are good water boilers.   Neither is a good stove for more than simple cooking.



  1. The Reactor burner reminds me of the old Coleman Catalytic heaters. If there is no real flame, which I really can't tell from the pictures, then wind should have a minimal effect. I kind of wish that I had known all of this before I bought my Jetboil, but the Jetboil has done all that I have asked of it. In actual fact, I've used the Jetboil coffee press more than the stove. I've boiled the water in an old aluminum percolator over a wood fire.

    1. Bill,

      There is no flame except when you first start the stove, and the flame at the start only lasts a couple of seconds. The Reactor absolutely does remind me of the Coleman catalytic heaters. Not only is there no flame to blow out but also the burner nestles up inside the pot, and the pot entrains the hot exhaust gasses. There's very little convective heat loss. The wind just has no chance to rob you of heat.

      Also of note, the Reactor now has a coffee press available. :)

      Lastly, regarding windscreens, have you ever checked out Nomex 410 as a possible material? Some people also use carbon felt.


    2. I've thought about Nomex, but don't have any real experience with it and I don't have any to play with. I might look on eBay and see if I can find some scraps.

    3. Bill, if you do get a chance to play with it, I'd be very interested to hear about how well it works.


  2. Thanks for posting the video. Made my day.Brilliant. Well done MSR.


My apologies to real people, but due to Spammers I have to moderate comments. I'll get to this as rapidly as possible but do understand that I like to hike and there's no internet in the wilderness. Take care and stove on!