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.” Light, compact, and smartly designed, the Primus ExpressLander is among the lightest liquid fuel stoves available. Weighing in at a scant 6.2-ounces and folding down to 3.25" x 1.97", the ExpressLander will fit in the palm of your hand and go unnoticed in almost any pack. Cranking out 5200 BTUs per hour, this stove will boil a liter of water in about 4.5 minutes. A large stable base will accommodate both large and small pots and help keep them from tipping over. Combine the ExpressLander with a Primus EtaPower pot for maximum fuel efficiency. Runs on white gas.