MSR Whisperlite Universal Stove

We’ve read the reviews across the web for the MSR Whisperlite Universal Stove and summarize the results below:

Universal Ranking

PeakScore: 90 (out of 100)
User Rating: 4.5 stars 
Expert Rating: 4.5 stars

Number of Ratings Reviewed: 203

Pros & Cons

Reasons to buy:

User Reviews

  • Extremely versatile with the ability to hold anything from a camp percolator to a cast iron pot.
  • Relatively small and lightweight given the feature set and easy to pack in bag.
  • Burns both liquid and canister fuel for unlimited versatility.
  • Simmers very well.

Expert Reviews

  • Ease of maintenance means a one time purchase.
  • Uses anything from diesel to canister to fuel.
  • Lightweight given the broad feature set.
  • Melts snow, boils, and even simmers.
  • Can handle tiny camp pots and heavy cast irons with ease.
  • Included windscreen.

Reasons NOT to buy:

User Reviews

  • Canister adapter piece is made of soft metal, and the threads strip pretty easily.
  • The fuel hose is very stiff and can cause upsets.

Expert Reviews

  • A little overkill for the casual adventurer or backpacker.
  • Expensive.
  • Doesn’t melt snow as fast as some competitors.
  • With so many parts, this stove is bulky when packed.
  • Some of those parts are tiny and easy to lose.
  • Pretty heavy for a lightweight backpacker.


The MSR Whisperlite Universal Stove is a long time favorite for a simple reason, while some stoves boil faster or melt snow faster, some are lighter, and some pack down better, none of them do everything better, and none of them are easier to repair. If your goal is to buy one single stove for your whole backpacking career, then the MSR Whisperlite Universal Stove is the stove you need. With the ability to burn everything from diesel (not recommended) to canister fuel and some of the highest ratings around for field repair and maintenance, you can trust this reliable stove in the Apocalypse.


Note: User and expert rankings were reviewed across the web, including here: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.