The MSR WindBurner might be one of my favourite products that I’ve ever reviewed for Wideopenmag. It brews a combination of ingenious design with perfect performance (sorry … bad pun).
The WindBurner is a lightweight portable liquid-boiler that packs down to fit into a backpack and boils water at jet-speed. It’s great for cooking up a coffee in the van before riding begins, for an on-the-trails cuppa on big rides or even sturdier meals during light-weight weekends away.
I’ve kept my meal choices pretty simple so far but with a bit of care you could easily boil up a veggie pasta or a mini-curry huddled in the back of the van or in a bivvy.
Lid with Drinking and Straining Ports
Insulated Cozy with Handle
1.0L Pot with Heat Exchanger
Secure Connection with Stove
Ultra-Efficient Radiant Burner
Pressure Regulator for Consistent Performance
Full-Size Bowl: 16 oz. / .47L
Folding Canister Stand
The design is absolutely brilliant with the whole ‘Burner fitting together into the cup for easy, mess-free storage. The WindBurner is essentially two parts that clip together. The burner sits on the ground and the large ‘cup’ clips on the top and is heated when the stove is lit. Once you’re done boiling you unlock the cup and can eat your food straight from it, pour or strain into the smaller plastic container or (with the purchase-separately coffee plunger) use it as a cafetiere.
You need to carry water or food to cook, a lighter and a fork or spoon – otherwise everything you need to cook with and eat from is contained in the WindBurner.
The weight is about 1000g (with a large gas canister – approx 3x bigger than photo’d) so it’s plenty light enough to ride-with. It also seems to cool within a couple of minutes so there’s no risk of melting your bag if you pack up in a hurry.
I’ve got into the habit of leaving it in the van and using it for basic cooking rather than buying expensive trail-centre lunches or motorway service station coffees. Nights away in the van now include the ritual of cooking rather than having to eat out or drag my much larger twin-ring stove along.
Perhaps the best thing of the MSR is the speed – with a 2 minutesish boil time there’s no faff of making a quick coffee between runs. I’ve managed to get a pot of coffee made for a drive to the trails before the bikes are loaded into the van.
The word: Brilliant. Lightweight, near-perfect design, faff-free.
The WindBurner isn’t the cheapest way to make a coffee but it’s already well on its way to paying for itself and making my life easier. I’m unlikely to head off on adventures without it these days.