Nov 19, 2007 at 6:36 pm #1225887Greg VaillancourtMember
This stove is heavy and loud. Surprisingly loud! It doesn't simmer and it is downright bulky.
Why the 5 rating? Because for melting vast quantities of snow (or ice) this thing cannot be beat unless you want to pack in a Pratt & Whitney F100-229 turbofan.
Seriously, this stove should have a thrust rating on the side of the box.
I have an older Whisperlite Intl. and I've owned an Optimus Nova but neither match this one in power.
When it is 5 below zero and you watch a pot of (mostly)ice and water achieve a violent boil in no time at all you begin to love it. An amazing performer.Jan 14, 2008 at 8:34 am #1416042Keith SelboSpectator
@herman666Locale: Northern Virginia
I've retired my XGK from backpacking — it's too heavy, and too noisy (REALLY noisy)– but it still does duty every winter.
I have a plane and the engine requires pre-heat to start reliably in cold weather. This is because aircraft typically use the lightest possible battery. Combine that with 50 weight oil and you can see what the problem is.
Anyway, conventional preheaters typically take up a fair amount of space. Most pilots purchase preheat from the airport operator but they have hours of operation and don't always exist. The XGK burning kerosene combined with a lightweight flue pipe to channel the heat into the engine compartment makes for an excellent portable preheat source.
I recommend it highly.Oct 30, 2011 at 6:35 am #1796587Denis WalshMember
@kd7kgcLocale: Northern Rockies
I've owned the earlier model, XK, for over 30 years. I've rebuilt it twice.
It has always been a solid performer. As noted above, it is heavy and noisy.
I'll use it now for group cooking (weight). I've gone to an MSR Whisperlite for winter use, and an MSR Pocket Rocket for three seasons use. I've found you can trust MSR products.Jul 11, 2015 at 10:07 pm #2214090r mBPL Member
I'm torn between giving it a 4 and giving it a 5. It's damned heavy. That's the niche it fits into, but still, with so many lightweight stoves out there that pack better than this it doesn't compare as well to the competition as perhaps it once did.
I suspect if I put a hardcover book on it and stood on it, it would hold my weight.
I've had this stove about 9 years now, I haven't used it all that much because it is heavy, but I like having it and will likely keep it until I die. Why? Because unlike my gas canister stoves, if it hasn't undergone unreasonable abuse I'm confident I can fix it.
At some point I'll buy a second pump, that's perhaps the weakest link in the chain. Some people speak negatively of the plastic pump – apparently if you stand on it, it can break. Don't stand on it then.
(For note, the packed weight of the XGK is advertised at 490g, a second pump would add 69g to that, and the expedition service kit ~90g).
The only negative experience with my XGK I had was when the pump started leaking because of a oring. Curiously it seems the red orings are regular black orings, but painted. That paint had flaked off and was causing a bad seal. I didn't even replace that oring, I just cleaned off the red flakes and all was well. The thing is old, orings are disposable, so its a trivial complaint – but I don't really understand why they bother with the red orings.
I sort of feel every house should have one, sure you'll mostly just take the jetboil on trips instead because its easier and lighter, but I've always considered the stove as double duty heavy-camping stove and civil emergency stove.
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