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#217569 - 02/20/11 05:49 AM Stove of the Week: MSR Reactor
Hikin_Jim Offline
Sheriff
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 10/12/07
Posts: 1804
Loc: Southern California
Stove of the Week: MSR Reactor

I know some people have been waiting for this one, so I bumped it up a week.

This week's stove is the MSR Reactor.



HJ
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#217584 - 02/20/11 02:39 PM Re: Stove of the Week: MSR Reactor [Re: Hikin_Jim]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1311
Thanks Jim, another great review! I had one of these stoves and ended up trading it for some other gear.

As you noted, overall the Reactor is a good stove and people I know really like the stove.

The 2 things I did not like about the Reactor (which you also mentioned in your review)

1) Some of these stoves do not simmer very well, and it varies a lot. The stove I had only worked good in one mode and that was afterburner mode.

2) Weight and bulk of the stove. Although I am not a weight weenie when it comes to gear, the Reactor weighs in at just over a pound (19 oz), which does not include the fuel cannister. This weight and along with the bulkiness of the stove, detracts considerably from it's advantages for my use and needs.

Still, overall the stove sells very considering it's cost and certainly fills a certain niche in the hiking/climbing crowd.
_________________________
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

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#217586 - 02/20/11 03:54 PM Re: Stove of the Week: MSR Reactor [Re: Teslinhiker]
jzmtl Offline
Addict

Registered: 03/18/10
Posts: 530
Loc: Montreal Canada
Where do you get that butane adapter? Those cans are way cheaper, less than $2 each.

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#217591 - 02/20/11 06:19 PM Re: Stove of the Week: MSR Reactor [Re: Hikin_Jim]
CANOEDOGS Offline
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 02/03/07
Posts: 1819
Loc: MINNESOTA
some stove!..that's my first close up look at one.i would say it's for hard core mountain climbers who need a burner that will work in the wind and cold,i assume the Gaz cart is kept warm by it's contact with the burner.looks like something to melt lots of snow fast like the old MSR stoves.great post,thanks.


Edited by CANOEDOGS (02/20/11 06:20 PM)

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#217621 - 02/20/11 11:40 PM Re: Stove of the Week: MSR Reactor [Re: Teslinhiker]
Hikin_Jim Offline
Sheriff
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 10/12/07
Posts: 1804
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: Teslinhiker
Still, overall the stove sells very [well] considering it's cost and certainly fills a certain niche in the hiking/climbing crowd.
I think you have just hit the nail on the head. For people going out into harsh, windswept conditions, a stove like the Reactor can be a lifesaver. There's no stove I'd rather have in a storm, provided that the ambient temperatures were within the stoves operating parameters. No fuss with windscreens, just screw on the canister, throw the pot on the burner, and away you go on your merry windproof way. Pretty stable if you were on a ledge up on the side of a big wall (although not that easy to make into a hanging stove) or crammed into a snow cave.

HJ
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#217622 - 02/20/11 11:51 PM Re: Stove of the Week: MSR Reactor [Re: jzmtl]
Hikin_Jim Offline
Sheriff
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 10/12/07
Posts: 1804
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: jzmtl
Where do you get that butane adapter? Those cans are way cheaper, less than $2 each.
I got that butane adapter on eBay.

I can get the "long" butane cans (the type of cans shown in the video) at the local Asian market four for four dollars ($1.00 each) vs. about $6.00 each for the same size (230g) specialized backpacking canister.

Just be aware that 100% n-butane is a poor fuel below about 5C, and a terrible fuel below 0C. For fair weather use, cheap n-butane burns every bit as well as expensive propane/isobutane mixes. In fact, it's kind of a waste to burn expensive propane/isobutane mixes in fair weather. Why not just burn cheap n-butane?

You can also buy refillers on eBay, but they're not cheap. I did buy one, and I now refill my standard threaded backpacking canisters with cheap n-butane which means I don't have to lug the adapter and a "long" butane can around.

HJ
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#217623 - 02/20/11 11:54 PM Re: Stove of the Week: MSR Reactor [Re: CANOEDOGS]
Hikin_Jim Offline
Sheriff
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 10/12/07
Posts: 1804
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: CANOEDOGS
some stove!..that's my first close up look at one.i would say it's for hard core mountain climbers who need a burner that will work in the wind and cold,i assume the Gaz cart is kept warm by it's contact with the burner.looks like something to melt lots of snow fast like the old MSR stoves.great post,thanks.
Glad you liked the post, but check over my notes toward the end. The burner does not provide thermal feedback to the canister, and that lack of thermal feedback is the achilles heel of this stove in cold weather. For temperatures below about 20F, there are better (and cheaper) gas options like the MSR Windpro, Brunton Vesta, Coleman Xtreme, etc.

HJ
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#217628 - 02/21/11 12:17 AM Re: Stove of the Week: MSR Reactor [Re: Hikin_Jim]
Teslinhiker Offline
Veteran

Registered: 12/14/09
Posts: 1311
Jim:
We were briefly in a MEC (Canadian equivalent to REI) store this afternoon and I was eyeballing the MSR Reactor Stove once again (no thanks to your review smile.) Talking with the very knowledgeable sales person there, he told us that the quirky heat adjustibity problems have been worked out since I had purchased my old stove and the newer stoves are much better over a range of output.
_________________________
Earth and sky, woods and fields, lakes and rivers, the mountain and the sea, are excellent schoolmasters, and teach some of us more than we can ever learn from books.

John Lubbock

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#217637 - 02/21/11 03:08 AM Re: Stove of the Week: MSR Reactor [Re: Hikin_Jim]
jzmtl Offline
Addict

Registered: 03/18/10
Posts: 530
Loc: Montreal Canada
Originally Posted By: Hikin_Jim
Originally Posted By: jzmtl
Where do you get that butane adapter? Those cans are way cheaper, less than $2 each.
I got that butane adapter on eBay.
HJ


Thanks, I just placed bid on one, $8 shipped, not bad.

I found something else interesting though, the same adapter for remote mounted canisters, should improve the butane canister's cold performance.

http://cgi.ebay.ca/BUTANE-Nozzle-Adapter...=item2a0e3307c8

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#217640 - 02/21/11 03:53 AM Re: Stove of the Week: MSR Reactor [Re: Teslinhiker]
Hikin_Jim Offline
Sheriff
Pooh-Bah

Registered: 10/12/07
Posts: 1804
Loc: Southern California
Originally Posted By: Teslinhiker
Jim:
We were briefly in a MEC (Canadian equivalent to REI) store this afternoon and I was eyeballing the MSR Reactor Stove once again (no thanks to your review smile.) Talking with the very knowledgeable sales person there, he told us that the quirky heat adjustibity problems have been worked out since I had purchased my old stove and the newer stoves are much better over a range of output.
Interesting. If they weren't so expensive, I'd buy another just to try it out. If anyone buys one and wants to report back...

HJ

P.S. I'm quite familiar with MEC (well at least the one in Calgary), however, it's not the Canadian equivalent of REI. Nope, not at all, MEC is a lot better than REI. There you have it, Hikin' Jim's rather opinionated stance. lol.
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