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.” State of the art cookware and revolutionary stove design combine to create the fastest, most fuel efficient stove system ever. The Reactor's radiant burner is enclosed by a unique heat exchanger for unmatched performance in windy conditions while an advanced pressure regulator provides optimal heat output over the life of each fuel canister. Stove and fuel canister stow inside of the high-efficiency 1.7 liter pot that's great for everything from solo trips to cooking for groups of up to three people. A collapsible handle locks the unique see-thru lid in place for safe and easy transport.