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Backpacker Magazine – May 2013

Gear Review: MSR Reactor 1.0 Stove

An integrated burner, pot, and heat exchanger sized for solo hikers.

by: Brian Mockenhaupt

MSR Reactor 1.0 (Photo by Ben Fullerton)
MSR Reactor 1.0 (Photo by Ben Fullerton)

Verdict
We’ve loved the Reactor system—which integrates a burner, pot, and heat exchanger for superfast and efficient performance—since it won our 2007 Editors’ Choice Award. This new 1-liter version is ideal for solo hikers. I used it on a nine-day, 200-mile hike along the Pacific Crest Trail and burned through only half an 8-ounce canister (cooking breakfast and dinner for one). Boil times averaged less than two minutes in temps down to 30°F. The puck-shaped burner nestles securely into the tall aluminum pot. The stove burns ultrahot (there’s virtually no simmer) and the pot lacks a nonstick coating, so it’s best for boiling water or heating up simple meals like ramen. $170; 14.5 oz.; msrgear.com

Best For
Solo hikers who prioritize cooking, convenience, and speed

Tester Data

» Brian Mockenhaupt (other tester: Kristin Hostetter)
» Duration Aug. to Jan.
» Locales/conditions WA, MA; 30°F to 70°F; wind, rain
» “The add-on Reactor Coffee Press Kit ($20; 1.7 oz.) let me easily make my brew right in the pot.”

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