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MSR Windpro 2 Review

This niche stove is great for certain applications, but unimpressive overall
MSR Windpro 2
Photo: MSR
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Price:  $110 List
Pros:  Stable, quick to boil, simmers
Cons:  Inefficient, not as windproof as other stoves
Manufacturer:   MSR
By Ian McEleney ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 29, 2020
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40
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#19 of 19
  • Fuel Efficiency - 25% 3
  • Weight - 25% 4
  • Simmering Ability - 20% 4
  • Ease Of Use - 20% 4
  • Boil Time - 10% 6

Our Verdict

The MSR Windpro 2 is a good stove to own if you've already got a quiver of stoves. Like a liquid fuel stove, it can be used with a windscreen, and it's very stable and compatible with a variety of cookware. Like a canister stove, it's quick to set up, light, and easy to break down. However, it's not as light or as fuel-efficient as any of the canister stoves in our review. We came to think of it as a liquid fuel stove that only runs on canister fuel.

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MSR Windpro 2
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MSR Windpro 2
Awards  Editors' Choice Award  Best Buy Award  
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Pros Stable, quick to boil, simmersLightweight, works in the wind, great piezo lighter, very stable for small canister stoveWorks in the wind, great for simmering, best of the bestTiny, light, cheapGood at simmering, simple operation
Cons Inefficient, not as windproof as other stovesNot the most fuel efficient, pot supports pack up separately from stoveUnreliable piezo igniterSmall burner head, poor wind performanceNo piezoelectric igniter, slow to boil
Bottom Line This niche stove is great for certain applications, but unimpressive overallOur favorite small canister stove, providing the best performance for most backpackersThis simmering champ can also perform in the windA shockingly small and lightweight inexpensive modelThis standard small canister stove is good for simmering but bulky in your pack
Rating Categories MSR Windpro 2 Soto Windmaster MSR PocketRocket De... BRS-3000T Primus Essential Trail
Fuel Efficiency (25%)
3.0
6.0
7.0
4.0
6.0
Weight (25%)
4.0
8.0
8.0
10.0
6.0
Simmering Ability (20%)
4.0
8.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Ease Of Use (20%)
4.0
9.0
7.0
5.0
6.0
Boil Time (10%)
6.0
6.0
7.0
4.0
3.0
Specs MSR Windpro 2 Soto Windmaster MSR PocketRocket De... BRS-3000T Primus Essential Trail
Category Remote Canister Small Canister Small Canister Small Canister Small Canister
Trail Weight 6.7 oz 3.0 oz 3.0 oz 0.9 oz 3.9 oz
Wind Boil Time (1 L, 2-4mph) 6:05 min:sec 7:24 min:sec 7:20 min:sec 15 min 15 min
Boil Time (1 liter) 5:10 min:sec 4:42 min:sec 3:39 min:sec 4:43 min:sec 6:00 min:sec
Packed Weight 10.6 oz 3.5 oz 3.5 oz 1 oz 3.9 oz
Dimensions (inches) 6.5 x 5 x 4 4.7 x 3.9 x 3.6 in 3.3 x 2.2 x 1.8 in 1.97 x 1.2 x 1.3 in 4.3 x 2.4 in
Fuel Type Isobutane Isobutane Isobutane Isobutane Isobutane
Additional items included Canister stand, windscreen, heat reflector Stuff sack, pot support Stuff sack Stuff sack None
Piezo Igniter No Yes Yes No No

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Windpro 2 looks like a liquid fuel stove and has some of the same benefits, like stability, compatibility with a wide variety of cookware, and a windscreen. While it has some of the convenience of a stove that uses canister gas, we found it generally didn't perform as well as its small canister brethren and wasn't as fuel-efficient as the integrated canister models.

Performance Comparison


The included canister stand is especially helpful when 16oz fuel...
The included canister stand is especially helpful when 16oz fuel cans run low.
Photo: Ian McEleney

Fuel Efficiency


The Windpro 2 scored fairly low in the fuel efficiency department. It used 0.9 ounces of fuel to bring a liter of water to a rolling boil in windless conditions, and 1.2 ounces of fuel to do the same in our 2 - 4 mph wind test. We think one of the reasons for this is the large-sized burner. Our tester pot measured 7 inches across, and part of the flame would invariably shoot up the sid, causing us to lose heat. For backpackers with fuel efficiency as a priority, make sure that the flame does not go beyond the bottom of the pot.

This stove throws a lot of heat.
This stove throws a lot of heat.
Photo: Ian McEleney

Weight


Our listed weight of 6.7 ounces does not include the windscreen (2.1 ounces), heat reflector (0.5 ounces), canister stand (0.5 ounces), or stuff sack (0.7 ounces). The windscreen and heat reflector boost the performance of the stove and protect anything beneath from its nuclear heat, so our testers find these two items to be worth their weight. The canister stand is handy on cold mornings or when a 16-ounce fuel can is running low, but we don't always bring it. We generally avoid carrying the stuff sack, preferring to pack the stove inside our pot instead.

The Windpro 2 performs better in the wind than any small canister...
The Windpro 2 performs better in the wind than any small canister stove, just make sure the windscreen is wrapped snugly around your cookware.
Photo: Ian McEleney

Simmering Ability


The Windpro is better than most stoves in our review at simmering, but about average for a canister stove. We think the wide burner head helps with avoiding hot spots on a pot. Using the included canister stand to invert the canister has the practical effect of increasing the pressure, so our testers seemed to get better simmering when the canister was in its upright orientation.

Ease Of Use


The remote canister design of this stove gives it a low slung, very stable feel. This is the most stable of all of the small canister stoves and integrated canister stoves in our test. This, combined with the solid and wide pot supports, make it as stable as the liquid fuel stoves we reviewed.

Having the canister and valve away from the stove also means there's pretty much zero chance of burnt fingertips when adjusting the stove, even if the pot is boiling over. However, the lack of a piezo igniter means that users still have to get up in there when lighting the stove.

The wide burner head and intense flame of the Windpro punish backpackers using cookware with a smaller base. This isn't a great stove to use with pots smaller than 1 liter, especially tall and skinny ones, unless you like carrying an oven mitt on the trail.

Our testers observed that the valve control on the Windpro 2 seemed to have a bit of delay time. That is, it takes a few seconds for the stove's output to respond to how you've just turned the valve, reminiscent of a liquid fuel stove. We wonder if it's a characteristic of the hose that connects the fuel can to the burner, something not found on the other canister stoves in our review. Backpackers should be aware that this stove doesn't have the instant response of other canister models.

Being able to invert the canister improves this stove's cold weather...
Being able to invert the canister improves this stove's cold weather performance.
Photo: McKenzie Long

Boil Time


With a boil time of 5 minutes 10 seconds, the Windpro 2 clocks in at the middle of the small canister stoves and behind most of the integrated canister models. During our boil tests, this stove seemed to throw out more ambient heat than any other. Indeed, it melted part of the windscreen during the fan test, something we've never seen from any other stove under any conditions!

The glowing red area of the windscreen was melted/burned during our...
The glowing red area of the windscreen was melted/burned during our testing! Nobody on our testing team has ever seen a stove melt an MSR windscreen.
Photo: Ian McEleney

In front of a fan the boil time grew a minute, to 6 minutes and 5 seconds. However, this is still much better than every other small canister stove, and most of the liquid fuel stoves.

Value


We think that this stove is a bit on the pricey side for what you get. Many stoves in our review that are less expensive offer better performance in most ways.

Conclusion


Our testing team feels like this stove serves a very small niche of backpackers: those who want to use larger cookware, make more complicated meals, and want the conveniences of canister fuel, but aren't too concerned with weight or fuel-efficiency. If that describes your backcountry cooking style, this could be the stove for you. We suspect most backpackers would be better served by a lighter, higher performing, and less expensive option.

The included heat reflector is a necessity in snowy conditions.
The included heat reflector is a necessity in snowy conditions.
Photo: McKenzie Long

Ian McEleney