Small, ultralight stoves produce a small, concentrated burst of heat that can easily scorch thin cook sets. The MSR DragonFly spreads the flame out much wider than most stoves, around 4”, which allows for more simmering and less stirring.
The flame control is also excellent, from just barely bigger than a tea light all the way up to a raging firestorm. Our testers praised the extra-wide pot supports, saying they were “wide enough to hold a 10-inch skillet with zero wobbling, but still held tiny solo pots securely.” That combination of flame control (especially on the low end) and large pot stability makes the Dragonfly an ideal gourmet backcountry stove. Our testers steam-baked cupcakes, fresh dinner rolls, pancakes, and thick sauces without a hint of scorching.
Setup is quick, and simply turning the stove over and shaking it clears most clogging problems. Minor gripe: When the flame control valve is wide open, though, the DragonFly truly sounds less like an insect and more like a full-throated dragon. $130; 1 lb. 2 oz.; cascadedesigns.com