QuietStove.com

Thursday, May 11, 2017

The 1.8 L MSR Windburner vs the 1.8 L Jetboil Sumo

Recently, I was asked what the weight "penalty" is in carrying the 1.8 L MSR Windburner vs. the 1.8 L Jetboil Sumo.  Excellent question.  I have both, so I pulled out my scale, and I created the below table of weights.

For full reviews of the Windburner, please see:
For a more comprehensive look at Integrated canister stoves, please see:
For a look at the entire realm of Canister Stoves, please see:
An MSR Windburner warming up.

Here's what I came up with:
MSR Windburner 1.8 L Jetboil Sumo 1.8 L
Grams Ounces Grams Ounces
Burner 200 7.0 150 5.3
Pot 227 8.0 196 6.9
Cozy 71 2.5 53 1.9
Lid 20 0.7 24 0.9
Bowl 54 1.9 47 1.7
Stand 20 0.7 26 0.9
TOTAL 592 20.8 496 17.6
Difference 96 3.2

Basically, at least on my scale, there's a 3.2 ounce difference when a Windburner is compared to the Jetboil Sumo.  OK, not so good.
A 1.8 L MSR Windburner, left.  A 1.8 L Jetboil Sumo, right.
But there is a trade off here.  The gain with the Windburner is wind proofness.  Jetboils just aren't very good in wind.  Take a good look at the two videos at this link:  Wind Testing – Windburner vs. Jetboil.
A Jetboil's heat exchanger is completely open to the wind.
A Windburner will act like nothing is happening in conditions that shut a Jetboil down.  Those three ounces get you a stove that will work in conditions in which a Jetboil won't.  I always bring a Windburner for desert hiking.  It's always freaking windy in the desert.  The Windburner works; the Jetboil doesn't; screw the 3.2 ounces.
A Jetboil's heat exchanger is open.  Wind can blow in one side and out the other.
A Windburner's heat exchanger is enclosed.  Air enters only through the burner and exits only through the vents.
There are some "side" benefits that you're getting with the Windburner:
  • A functional bowl of about 850 ml vs. a not terribly functional bowl of about 400 ml with the Sumo.  The Sumo's bowl has notches cut in the side (so it will clip on to the bottom of the pot).  Things spill out through those notches.
  • A snap tight lid that you can pour with using only one hand.
  • A handle that actually functions as a handle.  A Jetboil's "handle" really isn't.
The 1.8 L Windburner has a very useful 850 ml bowl.
You can kind of use the 1.8 L Jetboil's 400 ml pot protector as a bowl, but it's better left at home.
The above side benefits are all well and fine, but if you don't need the wind proofness, honestly, I think the weight of a Windburner is hard to justify.
MSR Windburner radiant burner, left.  Jetboil conventional burner, right.
The Windburner's burner is amazingly windproof, but it's heavy.
When it is windy, the Windburner is your best friend ever.  Even in moderate winds where people often will build rock walls or crawl behind some boulders to cook, yeah, those techniques work, but sometimes I'm just beat and don't want to screw with it.  A Windburner cooks.  Period.  No screwing around.  Wherever you plop your self down, that's where you cook.
Cooking after a late arrival in camp.
Sometimes, you just don't want to screw around.
So, there's a weight and features comparison between the two stoves.  I hope you found the post useful.

HJ

The MSR Windburner in a desert wash.


18 comments:

  1. Wouldn't it be a good idea to make this type of stove for remote cylinder operation. Maybe there is one?

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    1. Alan,

      I know of no current highly windproof stove that is of the remote canister type.

      A radiant type burner, as in a Reactor or Windburner, would be innately difficult to convert to remote inverted canister operation. How would the gas be vaporized? I think it could be done, but I think it would take some real engineering to do it.

      However, Soto is currently working on their "Stormbreaker" stove that is supposed to be able to a) support remote inverted canister operation and b) be highly windproof. The Stormbreaker will not be in the same class of windproofness as a Reactor or Windburner, but the Stormbreaker should be at least as good as the Soto WindMaster or Soto Amicus, both of which are clearly superior to almost all other canister stoves in terms of effectiveness in wind.

      HJ

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  2. MSR Whisperlight Universal - but only because of a separate windscreen. Good in moderate wind - probably not to the level of the windburner. Good stove, though, and if you run out of canister fuel, in 5 minutes you can burn kerosene, gasoline, or white gas.

    Nice writeup Jim

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    1. Hi, Matt,

      Thank you. The WhisperLite Universal is a nice stove, and as you say it does pretty well with its windscreen. Upon occasion, I've been I winds so strong that the windscreen kept getting pushed into the flame. There's no such problem with the Windburner.

      HJ

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  3. Hi Jim, just seen the new Coleman Fyrestorm, what a coincidence. I look forward to your review at some point hence.

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    1. The Fyrestorm does look interesting, does it not? It's not remote canister, but interesting none-the-less. Will it be as windproof as a Windburner? I don't believe so. It doesn't have the 100% primary air set up (where all air comes in through the burner's intake ports and no air comes in from the sides around the flame), but it might be an improvement comparable to a Soto WindMaster -- or it may even be better than the Windmaster. I'll have to get my hands on one.

      On the other hand 136, grams for a non-integrated canister stove. Ouch. Still, that's lighter than the 200 (!!) gram burner of a Windburner.

      HJ

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    2. Oh, and Alan, have you seen the FMS-121 from Fire Maple? That also is a most intriguing design. It appears to be a radiant heat burner. I'm itching to get my hands on one.

      HJ

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  4. Hi Jim, it looks like a remote canister to me ?
    https://www.simplyhike.co.uk/products/Coleman/FyrestormPersonalCookingSystem.aspx?gclid=CKmPw_SYldQCFQmNGwodJOwM_g

    Never seen that stove (FMS-121) before Jim but I shall have a look now. Thanks.

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    1. Now, that is just plain fascinating. The Coleman.com also lists a stove which it refers too as the Fyrestorm. They look like they are closely related but the one on the Coleman USA site is clearly an upright canister stove: http://www.coleman.com/fyrestorm-butanepropane-stove/2000023097.html

      That's curious that the one would be available in the UK and the other in the US.

      HJ

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    2. And here is the Coleman UK site, which lists both the upright and the remote styles of the Fyrestorm:
      http://www.coleman.eu/UK/c-774-fyre-series-stoves.aspx

      HJ

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    3. Is it that the companies right hand doesn't know what it's left hand is doing. It's a bit odd for Coleman all the same and a bit confusing for us guys.

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    4. I'm not sure. Perhaps it is market segmentation or research at play here. Perhaps they've done some test marketing or whatnot and have determined that a remote canister stove just won't sell in the US market but that it will in the UK market? Not sure, but it certainly is odd.

      HJ

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    5. Bit of an ouch though at 258 grams for the burner alone.

      HJ

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    6. Yes it certainly cannot be classed as lightweight. Maybe Coleman are using the UK as testing ground. I cannot see it dislodging the lighter players but maybe as a winter Bothy stove it would be ok.

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    7. Perhaps, that is indeed just what Coleman is doing (using the UK as a test market). I am curious why they would choose the UK rather than their own home base, the US, but perhaps there is some good reason. Maybe they think hikers in Scotland, which has a reputation for being windy, will prove the stove, but I really don't know.

      HJ

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  5. It looks like these stoves are primarily used to either boil water or hydrate food? Have you ever used it for cooking as it does have decent capacity? Great write up Jim

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    1. The Windburner if fine for things like Ramen or instant rice, instant potatoes, etc. I don't think it's really practical for eggs, fish, etc. In other words, if you're a serious backcountry chef, this isn't your stove. The Windburner is great for simple cooking, boiling water, etc.

      HJ

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  6. Another great writing to catch up with.
    Have you heard the news about the Windburner stove system? Name's a mess with the traditional upright Windburner but it's another stove, a remote one.
    https://www.snewsnet.com/press-release/new-msr-windburner-stove-systems-cookware-options-bring-versatility-to-solo-hikers-and-group-campers-alike
    The bad thing is - looks like they lack the heat exchanger and have only the metal edge to stand on the burner. That's a pity as the 4.5L looked interesting if it was equipped with a heat exchanger.

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