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.” Designed to perform in the most demanding conditions and extreme altitudes, the Primus OmniLite Ti joins Primus' award-winning line of expedition-quality stoves for spring 2012. Using titanium parts to cut its overall weight to 8.5-ounces, the OmniLite Ti is ultralight and ultra-durable. Fully serviceable, the OmniLite Ti comes apart easily for cleaning and changing jets. Burns white gas, canister gas, gasoline, and diesel, cranking out 8900 BTUs per hour and boiling a liter of water in under 3 minutes.