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 Ti-Tri Sidewinder System features a titanium version of the popular Caldera conical windscreen. It is designed to support and surround your pot, and completely capture 100% of the heat produced by either the provided alcohol or solid fuel stoves....or can support a wood fire. In addition, the Sidewinder is designed to store sideways in most wide short pots as shown here. The system includes the titanium cone, stove, fuel bottle, measuring cup, Gram Cracker solid fuel kit, titanium support stakes, tyvek packing sleeves and is designed to provide the ultimate in packability, wind protection, fuel efficiency, fuel options and stability for the ultralight backpacker. An optional titanium floor and Inferno insert is available.