Hands-on Gear Review
Compare backpacking stove ratings side-by-side >
Street Price: Varies from $36 - $40 | Compare prices at 7 resellers
Pros: Simple, durable, inexpensive, strong hardcase.
Best Uses: Backpacking.
The MSR Pocket Rocket is the cheapest backpacking stove we reviewed. It's simple and durable, but not very stable. For another $10 we believe the Optimus Crux is a better buy because it's more durable, more stable, and stores conveniently under a fuel canister. If you travel to high altitudes we recommend the Soto OD-1R (75 percent more expensive) because it has a fuel regulator.
If environmentally harmful fuel canisters and tiny unstable stoves aren't you thing, we recommend the stable, versatile, and durable MSR Whisperlite. This liquid fuel stove will last you a lifetime.
Compare top rated competitors side-by-side >
OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
The Pocket Rocket is the simplest and most durable small canister stove we reviewed. Its design is incredibly basic, yet perfectly functional. At $40 it's the least expensive stove we reviewed. It also comes with a red triangular hard case that protects the stove incredibly well.
The Pocket Rocket is the least stable stove we reviewed. While the pot supports fold out to a reasonable diameter, they do not extend perfectly flat. This leaves your pot or pan balanced on three small points and nothing more. Further contributing to this stove's instability was its long stem. This raised the stove's center of gravity slightly higher than all other small canister stoves. Our comparative photos illustrate these differences.
While this is the cheapest stove, we believe the Optimus Crux is worth the extra $10.
Other Versions and Accessories
The MSR Whisperlite International is capable of operating on alternative fuels such as diesel, kerosene, gasoline, and jet fuel. The two stoves are mechanically identical with the exception of a wicking cup for lighting less flammable fuels and several interchangeable jets for different fuel types. This added versatility may seem appealing, but because white gas is widely available throughout the world we believe it's necessary only for a small percentage of users.
MSR Micro Rocket, $60.
MSR Whisperlite Universal, $140.
MSR Dragonfly, $140.
MSR Reactor, $190.
— Chris McNamara and Max Neale
Compare this product side-by-side to top competitors >
OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: November 19, 2013
Where's the Best Price?
*Help support OutdoorGearLab. If you click on one of the seller links and make a purchase, a portion of the sale helps support this site
Related Best-in-Class Review
Helpful Buying Tips
Get More OutdoorGearLab
Follow us on Twitter, be a fan on Facebook!
Related Gear Reviews
Other Gear by MSR
Recent Best-in-Class Reviews