Model: Spirit Stove
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
Solo hikers who prioritize cooking, convenience, and speed
» 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.” The Spirit Stove nicely holds the Spirit Burner while suspending the pot/pan above at the perfect hight. The Trangia Spirit Burner is the most versatile and user friendly alcohol burner on the market. Besides having a track record of reliable service that spans decades, it also has a couple of uniquely useful features. The simmer ring allows the burner to adjust from full to simmer and extinguishes the flame when closed completely. The twist on cap with o-ring seals the burner so you dont have to empty unused fuel between uses and prevents evaporation – less fuel wasted means less fuel you have to carry. Includes burner, simmer ring, and cap w/ o-ring.