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Melt snow with lightning speed and efficiency.
Whip up dinner for a group or melt a heap of snow fast when you're cooking with the MSR Reactor 2.5L Stove System. MSR's engineers gave this system a large, group-friendly pot and went to great lengths to make the burner system utterly reliable and supremely efficient. The enclosed burner shrugs off winds up to 12 miles per hour, the fuel-pressure regulation system maximizes the life of every fuel canister, and the integrated stove-and-pot design makes for rock-solid stability when cooking and easy storage when it's time to move up to the next camp. Being the largest system in MSR's Reactor line, this stove system is ideal for large groups traveling in the alpine and will boil enough water to heat about five freeze-dried meals at once.
- A large stove system for groups of 2-3 traveling in the alpine
- Radiant burner is enclosed by a heat exchanger for heat efficiency
- Internal regulator feeds fuel at a consistent rate
- Anodized pot strikes a balance between strength and weight
- Stove and fuel stow in pot for compact packing
- Windscreen shrugs off wind for efficient cooking
- Fuel canister sold separately
- Made in USA with imported materials
- Item #CAS0803
- Q & A
Pretty sweet for stove addict
- Familiarity: I've used it several times
The end up front:
A very, cool stove that may not have a practical purpose. Unless, you need to boil for 3+ people, are comfortable using canister fuel in the temps you intend to operate the stove, and have no interest in alcohol units (last one meaning: you want something you don't have to think about to boil with, need to boil really fast, or you nearly burned your house down playing with matches as a child
Note: total weight with fuel of a well designed/operated alcohol unit will typically be lighter).
I own too many stoves, admitting it is the first step right? :)
I purchased this one as my 2-3 man mountaineering snow melter.
(I know, I know, trust me I know, nothing brings out the hackles like saying you plan to use canister fuel well below freezing. Does so, Does not, Does So, Does not. Now can we move on?)
This setup is quite a bit lighter than my Dragonfly, wind shield, heat reflector, snow stand, 2L MSR alpine pot, lid, pot holder, and fuel bottle.
Admittedly buying a better pot would have yielded about the same weight savings and, arguably, simpler extreme low temp performance required for this job, but what can I say I like to play with new gear.
I think I like green but you know I'm not...entirely there.
Oh! You were hoping that I'd limit sharing the ones relating to the stove. Here you are then:
It would have boiled several liters of water by the time you read this whole review (you'll read it all won't you? For me?)
Very quiet(silent when compared to the Dragonfly but now my partners want to...talk WTF!)
Works well even in wind
Simpler to hang then stove + liquid fuel bottle (*warning* you should never run a stove in any enclosed space. Now I won't feel guilty if you or your partner(s) wake up dead after burning your stove in a shelter)
Lights and re-lights very easily (more or less any spark will ignite)
Effortless use in 3 season temps and can still be pretty easy to use beyond that.
Very well designed lid, with dedicated steam vent oriented to top when pour spout is down means you, shouldn't (hey, not everyone is smart) get steam burns as you pour.
Lid seals well and is stiff enough to prevent leaks around edges when pouring
Lid hook-seat opposite handle ensures easy single handed pouring, only requiring light thumb pressure on lid to keep lid in place.
Useful, light, incorporated, but removable handle folds and snaps on lid nob to keep kit closed when packed up.
Packs up well with room to store additional small items
Don't expect to simmer. With this bad boy boiling is the game (and it's winning).
In many cases there's little advantage over a well designed alcohol setup run by a knowledgeable individual (Pretty much simplicity and a faster time to boil over weight issue here. Most math shows the weight of canisters and of the total unit negate any efficiency-generated weight savings, *individual comparisons... will vary.)
I have used the pot on a camp fire grate. The pot ended up sooty (it ended up over direct flame when I had to make room for the steaks) but worked great otherwise and still boiled very quickly. Watch the handle / handle mount in this use it seems like it could be sensitive and I'm pretty sure MSR won't warranty if you return a pot with a melted handle mount because you used it with another stove/open flame.
Once you're aware of the temp. considerations of canister fuel stoves there are many tricks to ensure adequate if not peak operation but make sure you're well prepared and practiced, especially if temps are expected to be sustained below 15 deg. F
Recycle your used canisters safely!
Reactor = Hot water fast
- Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
The MSR Reactor is the most impressive snow melting and water boiling devices out there. No other camping stove heats water as fast as this; in my experience more efficiently than a jetboil. Wind is never a factor with the enclosed design, and it is easy to light. It is very efficient with fuel, even in cold weather.
The best feature of the Reactor is the different pot size options. The wide 2.5 pot makes melting snow easier with the wide design. This is the feature that I believe sets this stove system apart from the jetboil.
Fuel can fit conveniently inside the pot with the stove so the only space this guy takes up in the pack is the size of the pot. In addition I have always found it easy to clean, and it does have liter measure markers on the inside of the pot.
I would not think of this guy as a primary cooking stove as heat is harder to control when compared to pocket rockets or whisperlites. That being said it works great for anything involving boiling water, pasta, quinoa, soup, ect. This guy is a snowmelter, and water boiler machine.
Love the stove and have watched it hold up through many expeditions. Remember that when it's cold to keep your fuel warm before you use it as it is very noticeable trying to start the Reactor with a cold fuel can.
Below: Reactor stove doing its thing in the cook tent.