We’ve read the reviews across the web for the MSR Reactor Stove System and summarize the results below:
PeakScore: 87 (out of 100)
User Rating: 4.7 stars
Expert Rating: 3.7 stars
Number of Ratings Reviewed: 365
Pros & Cons
Reasons to buy:
- Heats water extremely fast.
- Boils water faster than JetBoil.
- The burner is incredibly hot, almost too hot.
- Stove is super easy to use.
- Fastest boil time of any stove on the market.
- Best fuel efficiency of any integrated stove for windy conditions.
- More durable design that JetBoil.
- Most stable integrated stove and also easiest to pour.
- Runs quiet.
- Best for cold weather trips when melting snow is necessary.
Reasons NOT to buy:
- Simmering can be done but is not easy.
- The valve on the burn head can hit the pot.
- Heavier than the JetBoil.
- Packaging and arrangement of parts when packing is a bit annoying.
- Doesn’t have an auto-ignition starter so you must carry matches.
- Heat transfer into pot or pan is so quick that can be tricky to cook certain foods, like rice.
- Pot is not insulated like JetBoil and therefore you have to use pull out handle to hold it.
- Sand and pebbles get stuck in stove if you use it on the beach.
- MSR customer service can be slow and not as user-friendly as other outdoor brands.
- This stove is really designed to boil water fast. It has limitations if you want to do any other type of cooking.
- Pot doesn’t attach to stove.
- Doesn’t really simmer, just has a low setting that is still hot.
- It’s expensive.
- The MSR Windburner is a better mix of features and also is less expensive.
- If you like to cook a meal instead of using boiling water to rehydrate, this is not the stove for you.
- Don’t use the stove indoors where there is little air movement.
- Sometimes flames can ride too high on the burner, requiring user to plug the air intake to “choke” the flame and get it to “jump down” to burn properly.
- The stove has a Thermal Trip Mechanism that prevents the stove from working if it gets too hot (to prevent the gas canister from exploding) but if this mechanism trips, the stove is not going to work.
- Poor relative fuel efficiency when there is no wind.
- Before you can put the pot on, in windy conditions, burner can blow out.
- Frustratingly small control knob.
The MSR Reactor Stove System is exceptional at boiling water quickly and in the wind. It is heavier and has fewer features, such as simmering, than other integrated systems. If fast hot water is what you want above all else, this is the right stove system for you.
Note: User rankings were reviewed across the web and expert rankings were reviewed on outdoorgearlab, sectionhiker.