MSR Reactor Stove System Review 2019

When you’re out camping, you know the importance of building a fire to have a meal. MSR Reactor Stove System is designed to provide you a cozy experience to boil/cook, even during the windiest weather. But why MSR Stove?

If you want to cook while enjoying the great outdoors, you can go for a campfire. It is totally free. However, a campfire is horribly inefficient at providing the right level of heat to cook your food, especially to boil water. In this situation, you need an efficient backpacking stove like MSR Reactor.

This article presents MSR Reactor stove review. Let’s know the key features, pros, and cons of this incredible outdoor stove. Hope it helps!


MSR Reactor Stove System

Main Features of MSR Reactor Stove System:

Design Efficiency – Sturdy Construction:

When we are talking about the design fact, we do not only mean that the product is good to look at, we mean it’s design-efficiency.

Most camping stoves kit only bears the burner itself. But the most interesting fact about this MSR Reactor Backpacking Stove System is it comes with a specially designed cooking pot, which puts it ahead in the competition.

You can use this cooking pot for storing the other parts, accessories and the fuel tank. Intelligent design makes this MSR stove simple-to-use.

There is a collapsible handle attached with this gear which is easy to hold. The see-through-lid is another great benefit to have because you can always see whether your food is properly prepared or not.

Adding to these, the MSR Reactor Stove parts and accessories feature sturdy built up of steel and aluminum. This unit can serve you for many years if cared properly. 

Radiant Burner:

When you are going for a camping, the weather might not always support your hunger needs. What will you do in those situations? Will you starve to death or is it better to go for a product that can cook in any and every condition?

Unlike the usual stoves, MSR Reactor System offers an exclusive radiant burner inside it’s structure. It looks like the glowing sun, which creates great heating power without creating flames. 

The radiant burner makes sure that you can cook in every situation at ease. Even if there is a very strong wind, the MSR Reactor burner will work fine and you will be able to eat at the perfect time.

This is not the only feature though. The burner is faster than a lot of them out there which also helps because you do not want to waste time in eating while camping.

Heat Exchanger:

The reactor technology needs an integrated heat exchanger for harnessing the power of the stove’s radiant burner in an effective way.

The spreading surface of the heat exchanger aids in the efficient transmission of convective heat as well as the radiant energy released from the burner. Following this method, the manufacturer has applied heat exchanger technology in this MSR Reactor Backpack Stove System. 

Here the radiant burner’s head-are is enclosed by the heat exchanger, which to provide the maximum level of protection to the burner from the winds, even during the windiest situations.

Heating Speed – Cooking Performance:

The MSR Reactor is designed to get you results fast. Whereas building a fire takes time and energy, not to mention dry wood, the MSR system will light and stay lit much quicker than a traditional fire.

The reactor also is super efficient at burning fuel, which means that it can bring one liter of water to a boil in just three minutes. Try doing that with a campfire, or even at home with your regular gas stove, you find the different. 

However, we won’t actually recommend cooking all your meals on this stove because it gets heated quite fast. If you take the time to get experienced (read: you will go through some food before you get it right), then you can cook meats and other sturdy foods over this stove. So, if you want to cook anything like smores or eggs or something, it will only result in burned food. 

Compatible with Windy Weather:

One of the biggest problems with cooking outdoors is the weather. Unfortunately, Mother Nature can be a fickle mistress, and wind and rain can conspire to keep you from staying warm, let alone preparing a meal.

Luckily the MSR Reactor Stove keeps the burner head contained within a heat exchanger, which means that the wind will not blow the flame out. While it may still have trouble in a hard rain, you can light the MSR worry-free in most windy conditions.

Compact & Lightweight:

The MSR Reactor is designed to be as light as possible. While camping, people usually try to bring as little gears as possible. If you have a concern about the weight issue, then MSR Reactor Camping Stove System is perfect for you.

This MSR stove kit is lightweight, the stove is made in a way so that it can make into your backpack. If you choose the 1-liter MSR Reactor cooking pot, the stove unit weighs around 1 pound only (except fuel canister), so you don’t feel weighed down by it at all.

Another exclusive advantage of this MSR Reactor stove is you can easily store the burner and other accessories inside the cooking pot. It not only allows you to keep everything together but also minimizes the storage-space. You can also put the fuel canister inside the pot, so you don’t have to worry about whether or not you brought everything.

When all MSR Reactor accessories are stowed inside the cooking pot, it takes a convenient size (6.5″ H x 5.5″ W x 5.5″ L). And you can keep it inside your backpack without adding too much extra weight.

Fuel Efficient:

The MSR is so efficient at burning fuel you may wonder how such a simple device can work so well. This system uses an internal regulator to maintain the fuel pressure, which means very little fuel is wasted. Since the system is so efficient, that means you can bring less fuel with you each time you go out.

MSR Reactor Stove System features Self-contained structure. If you choose the one-liter model, it can optimally nest with 4 oz. MSR fuel canister. However, you have to purchase the Fuel canister separately.

Even it’s easy to tell if the fuel tank is full or empty. Simply place the tank into a half-full pot of water. If it sinks to the bottom, it’s full. If it floats at the top, it’s empty and needs refilling. This stove system is so good at heating. 

Lifetime Warranty:

What is the benefit of having a lifetime warranty on your stove system? Well, this is a manufacturer’s warranty but that is not the point. What will be the benefit if you think about the warranty? Obviously, you will be able to replace the product but that is not the primary thought.

It reflects that the company who made this stove is really confident about the quality and they believe this product will last a lifetime. This confidence clearly tells us that the product is good and it actually is, too.

Different Versions:

One big problem with a lot of stove systems is that they are not built for everybody. Some stoves are made only for the backpackers where some other ones are made for big groups. We need one brand that can cover all and this is exactly what you all want.

There are three different versions in terms of size (1 Liter, 1.7 Liter, and a 2.5 Liter version) and you can easily pick the one that you need. The price of these three versions also varies so you need to keep that in mind before you order a piece.

Brand Reputation:

If you are someone who loves to go for trusted brands and nothing else then MSR is definitely a good option for you to choose. The MSR is a known brand in the world of stove systems and this product has a few interesting varieties available in the market.

And another great advantage of this Reactor MSR backpacking stove is it is made-in-USA. It is built in Seattle, WA. So, we can hope that you would get better support from any issues, like warranty matters, parts availability, etc.


  • Very suitable for the backpackers in terms of size and weight. 
  • It’s special design can work even during the windiest situation.
  • Boils one liter of water in just three minutes.
  • There are three different versions available for backpackers up to group campers.
  • The product comes with a manufacturer warranty of a lifetime.
  • Brand Reputation.
  • Made-in-USA.


  • The reactor might get damaged if you do not use the stove with care.
  • The small version can only support up to three people camping.
  • MSR Fuel Canister is not Included with this kit.
  • Not Suitable for Indoor Use.

Read, Best Backpacking Stove Reviews 2019

Bottom Line:

Adventure-loving people always look for reliable camping gears. Cooking and preparing meals in the wilderness is usually tough, so the campers need to carry an efficient camp-stove. If you’re looking for something small, yet durable and robust, then the MSR Reactor Stove System is the best outdoor cooking solution for you. 

Thanks to the MSR Reactor stove, it can heat the water for soups and stews, as well as coffee and tea without taking much time. There are three basic versions out there and they are different in terms of size. This is a stove that is not only good for backpacking but also great for group tours and even short tours. Enjoy your next wild adventure with this MSR Stove.

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