MSR debuted two lightweight backpacking stoves at Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2004 – one white gas and one canister stove. Both use an integrated windscreen and cooking pot with attached heat exchanger (patent pending). Shades of JetBoil?
MSR’s Capillary Stove Technology System
The complete pot, burner windscreen and fuel reservoir system on the left. Stowed burner windscreen and fuel reservoir system on the right.
The white gas version (MSR has not named the product, yet so we’ll call it the “Capillary Stove Technology System,” or CSTS for short). It combines almost all the positive aspects of white gas and canister stoves. It is easy to start and use (no pumping/priming). Just light and go. Since it isn’t pressurized there are no safety worries about pressurized fuel spurting out. Unlike a canister stove, you can load the gas chamber with exactly the amount of fuel you need for your trip.
The stove offers consistent performance (heat output) at lower temperatures and fuel levels (canister stove performance goes down with temperature and/or fuel level). Although they are still testing prototypes and fine tuning its performance, MSR claims that the CSTS will be the most efficient white gas stove on the market.
MSR’s Capillary Stove Technology System: The complete pot with integrated heat exchanger on the left, burner and fuel reservoir system on the right. Small white plug in center is the stove’s Vapore-Jet disk.
The innovative technology in the CSTS is a small ceramic disk, made by Vapore-Jet. The Vapore-Jet replaces the pump, pre-heat wire and orifice of a conventional white gas stove.
The disk is comprised of three sections:
1) The lowest section has small pores that wicks fuel from the reservoir via capillary action. This replaces the pump pressure of a standard white gas stove.
2) The middle level has lager pores where the liquid fuel heated from the burner and flame changes to a heated gas. This replaces the pre-heat tube of a standard white gas stove.
3) The thin top layer is solid and has two small orifices that are analogous to the small metal orifice on a standard white gas stove. The stove has a small flame adjustment that has three settings, high (both orifices open), half power (one orifice open), and off (both orifices closed). For more information on this technology see Vapore-Jet’s website: http://www.vapore.com/tech_howto.htm.
The Vapore-Jet disk. The innovative center of pumpless/pressureless white gas stove technology.
The stove is heavy compared to a complete canister stove cook system (although possibly not heavier than a complete ultralight white gas system). MSR feels that production models of the system will break the 18 oz barrier. At that weight, it will be similar to, but slightly lighter than the JetBoil if you include the weight of the JetBoil’s empty fuel canister.
Detail of pot bottom, integrated heat exchanger, wind screen, stove burner, and fuel reservoir of the MSR CSTS.
The MSR holds 5.2 oz of fuel vs. 4.0 oz for the JetBoil and if MSR’s efficiency claims holds true it will boil more water with a full fuel reservoir than a JetBoil with a 4 oz fuel canister. It will also have better cold weather performance.
We see the potential to significantly lighten the CSTS by replacing the cooking vessel’s stainless steel with titanium. As we pointed out in our JetBoil review, there are much lighter canister stove cooking systems out there (again, possibly no lighter white gas systems). The stove does not offer ultra fast boil times or heat output—5.5 min for 1-liter and 5,650 BTU vs. sub-4-minute times and 10,000 to 16,000 BTU of other stoves. We could easily overlook this if its efficiency claims hold true.
MSR had a working version of this stove on the Outdoor Retailer show floor and we saw the CSTS in operation. Stay tuned for a review at BackpackingLight.com in early 2005. Expected availability to retailers is July 2005.
Integrated Canister Stove Cooking System
The canister stove system also remains unnamed and is in a state of vapor-ware at this time: MSR offered no fliers, technical specifications, or working models. A single mockup of the system remained enshrouded in a glass case.
So for now, we’ll call it the “MSR Integrated Canister Stove Cooking System” (ICSCS). It is built similar to the new white gas stove with a familiar looking integrated burner and cooking pot with attached heat exchanger (patent pending). Again MSR claims that this model will offer unparalleled efficiency with forced convection of its combustion gasses passing through a high performance heat exchanger. In this case the integrated heat exchanger and burner also form a windscreen. Availability of this model is sketchy with earliest estimates of “Holiday of 2005” (November 2005?) for production.
The MSR ICSCS: Integrated stove burner and cooking pot with attached heat exchanger. The integrated heat exchanger and burner also form a windscreen.