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 Hexagon backpacking wood stove folds to a slim compact size, requiring little space in your pack. The individual titanium panels are completely hinged and snap easily into place for quick set-up. Durable titanium construction is able to endure long term heat without damage. The conical shape focuses heat upward, directing it to your pot, for quick efficient cooking. A hinged access door can be opened or closed for air control, as well as re-fueling.
* The Hexagon wood stove is small and designed for cooking single entree meals. We recommend cooking pots no larger than 1.5 liters for use with the stove.
* Nylon carrying case included
* Unfolded dimensions: 4 height x 5 base diameter x 3 top diameter
* Weight: 4.1 oz.