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Submitted: 05-19-2013 by rikjohnson
Normally my Jetboil, my Optimus Crux and my Optimus 8R Hiker stoves do everything that I like or need on any trip. Plus the Crux fits inside the Jetboil as a back-up or inside the travel bag I bought for my Hiker (it was actually a cordura shaving bag but holds my stove, fuel and accessories). The problem with canister stoves is that you cannot use a pot that is larger than the stove or risk melting the stove and over-heating the canister or just making it so top-heavy that the pot tips over. This is especially possible with the Jet-boil and the cooking rind adaptor they sell. So when I want to take a large pot or pan for real cooking, I must use my Hiker which weighs a ton
Then one day I found an unused MSR Windpro at a yard sale for $20 and bought it just because I cannot pass up a good deal. Of course I took it camping and tried it out as a back-up and found that the thing works very well indeed with many advantages over my Crux.
Since the canister is separated from the stove by a long steel-braided hose, and the stove itself has three legs, I can put a wind-screen between the canister and stove, use a larger pot and not fear damage to stove or explosion from an overheated canister. The Windpro-II sells you a stand so you can flip the canister over and cook in low temps. Plus having three legs, the stove is low to the ground and very stable so you can actually use a frying pan.
The big problem is that the Windpro is so much heavier and bulkier than most canister stoves. Owning a Windpro is like using a liquid fuel stove, only without all that pumping and worry about fuel leaking. Basically, they took the Wisperlite, changed the pump for a EN-417 connection. Then they made the thing look different enough by replacing the wire legs with flat steel so you donít try to mix them up. Bit since I am a paddler, the extra bulk and weight don't matter to me and the entire thing fits into a decent-sized pot with room for a lighter and matches.
Cooking is the same as any other stove. If you are the kind of person who wants to see if it will boil a cup of water in 1:24 @ 25 degree cold, test it yourself. I donít care if I have to wait 2 minutes or three for my food to cook. Nor do I care if my fuel can will last 34 or 36 meals. I bought the thing because it was stable and gave me more cooking options.
PLUS: safer and more stable than any other canister stove. All the advantages of a bottle-fuel stove with the advantages of a canister stove.
MINUS: large and bulky! More parts to worry about.
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