Model: Westwind 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 Westwind Stove is a three piece stove frame that nicely holds the Spirit Burner while suspending the pot/pan at the right height for cooking. The stove frame detaches and stores flat. 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.