MSR XGK EX

The Optimus Crux Lite is meant for backcountry foodies who need precise cooking control.
Price $149.95

Specs

Weight 13 oz

 

Best for Gourmets


The Crux Lite is a superlight simmer king that's spec'd out for the hiker-foodie. Its huge burner (at almost two inches across, it's the biggest of the bunch) delivers enough heat to crank out a quick boil, yet it delicately–and evenly–sautés onions. The lime-green wire flame adjuster is easy to see and grab, and it delivers precise heat control. The stove's three-inch overall height (the shortest tested) means pots have a low and stable center of gravity. But cold-weather performance is lackluster. "It didn't bring my water to a full boil in 20°F temps," said a tester in Massachusetts. Durability was also an issue. We dropped all of the stoves in water, and only this one suffered real damage: It developed swivel-inhibiting rust in the pot-support joints.

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Criteria less than 6 ounces; less than $65

Test numbers 120 meals cooked; 50 gallons of water boiled; temps 0° to 70°F; winds up to 60 mph

Ratings scale 5 = Perfect gear, 1 = Save your money (Overall rating is not an average of other scores.)For over 30 years, MSR's XGK has been the world's most reliable extreme-condition stove, trusted by mountaineers everywhere. The XGK EX boasts unrivaled performance, dependably burning a greater variety of liquid fuels than any stove on the market. It also features a flexible fuel line that allows it to pack smaller than ever, as well as retractable legs and pot supports for superior stability—no matter where your next expedition takes you.