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 Primus Profile BBQ stove is a convenient way to enjoy your favorite grilled food without the hassles of charcoal. A large, non-stick cooking surface makes it easy to create perfectly grilled meats and veggies every time. The removable grease catcher and grill make cleanup a breeze, while the lock and carry handle allows for easy transport. A piezo ignition, durable steel construction, and up to 9,700 BTUs of precision controlled heat make the Profile BBQ a backcountry gourmet's dream and a must-have on your next camp out. Weighing under 9-pounds and measuring 18 x 4.7 x 12.6", the Profile BBQ runs on 1-pound propane canisters. A flexible, rubber gas hose allows for easy set up anywhere.