I've already been a die hard MSR supporter from my pocket rocket, to my water purifier, to my Hubba Hubba NX tent. I love their products and I have to say that this stove might be my favorite piece. It has great surface area, works perfectly with my MSR backpacking pots and pans. I have been using generic white gas and filtering it through GFI paper and seeing about the same results as the MSR rocket fuel (nice cost savings). If your serious about backpacking and want something that is reliable and going to keep the entire group happy and fed. I would recommend picking this up.
Bottom Line: The XGK is no longer the king of the expedition stoves - technology has moved on and competing multi-fuel stoves in the same price range are simply better values. The XGK will do the job, but why put up with its many anachronisms?
Great stove for the right purpose. It's absolutely bombproof for group camping and/or cold weather/altitude camping. I prefer white gas (aka naptha) due to low flash point and lack of stench. To simmer fire up as usual, do any needed quick boiling (pretty much most of my cooking), turn off, disconnect, let off pressure using a glove (tends to get just a bit of vapor on your hand), pump 3-5 times depending on temp/altitude, reconnect and relight. Unless it is just brutally cold or you are really slow re-priming isn't needed. Results may vary by fuel type. Methinks diesel/cold combination could be a problem. LOL You will get pretty good simmer control (I'm used to wood fire, so my idea of good simmer control may a bit different than the average user...!).
Great stove, can be a little tricky to get burning the very first time you use it. It can be a bit intimidating because it sounds like a space shuttle taking off. I recommend playing with it before hitting the field. the temp adjustment is the only fault in this stove. i noticed you have more temp control if you put less than the recommend air pressure in the gas tank (half a pump instead of a full one) the shaker cleaner works great for clearing clogs but this usually only happens when switching between fuel types. I try to hike light and this stove packs small and is fairly light weight. allows me to carry less water and fuel on long hikes because it can boil water in minutes with little fuel. It has been very reliable, easy to clean, and performs very well in all conditions. I recommend this stove for anyone who spends a good amount of time on the trail and doesnt need to be the next top chef.
This is a pretty awesome stove! Sounds like a jet engine, its super strong. I like it way better then my other stoves, just make sure you have a pot that can handle the heat. I use the titanium pot and had no problems. Easy to clean, and its just a great stove all around.unsurpassed performance at high altitudes in my honest opinion.
I bought this stove specifically for that fact it is good for windy, high-altitude cooking and for its ability to burn almost anything. It definitely lives up to MSR's claim to burn anything flammable, but I have been using Kerosene (fastest boiling time) and it works ok. It is rather difficult to light, and you could never use it in or around your tent, but once it gets going it sounds like a jet engine boiling your water. Not the choice for the casual weekend camper, better for the high-altitude adventurer.
I bought this stove back in the late seventies. I used it for a number of years and then it got put away for a few years as I got married and started having kids. It came back out about 10 years ago and after a very inexpensive rebuild, where MSR made it essentially brand new, I have been using it ever since. Compared to the stoves available 30 years ago, this one was great (I also still have my SEVA123, and never use it). Now there are a lot of other choices. That said, it is paid for and it works. It is low to the ground, so it is stable. It is easy to light for a white gas stove (mine has a built in sparker). It is noisy though and does not simmer worth a darn. I once literally took the bottom off a pot trying to bake biscuits. It is also a bit on the heavy side. I might actually break down and buy a canister stove to try to lighten up my pack and go a little easier on my old knees. This may still be the hot ticket for high altitude, but I don't do a lot of that anymore.
Like all MSR stoves, the pumps are terrible, they need to replace a good deal of the flimsy plastic bits with stonger parts. As far as the stove, I wish it were a little lighter, and had a self ignighter so you didn't have to use matches. Furthermore add ons that would allow it to use butane like the new whisperlite universal and one that would allow it to simmer food like the dragonfly would make this the true king of the hill for MSR. If you need a stove that can run on almost anythign anywhere this is probably your best bet.
Me thinks there is an Optimus sales rep among us. Two identical reviews singing the Optimus praises?
This is not going to be a groundbreaking review, but like others have said, once this stove is on, it goes gangbusters. You literally can't hold a conversation and cook with this stove at the same time.
Not quick to write reviews I have on the stove for more than three years now with no complaints. However I use it in high-altitude winter camping mainly and only boil water with it. If this is what you have in mind for stove you'll find one that is no better suited for the task. However my first experience with the stove was burning a hole through an aluminum skillet i used to pack.
I got the MSR to try it against my most excellent Brunton Optimus Nova. I was attracted by the multi-fuel capability and its claimed bullet-proof performance. What I under-estimated was how limited a range the stove would afford based upon its design to perform in alpine situations. The stove lights and vaporizes fuel quickly, allowing the user to boil water in a matter of minutes. What it lacks is any kind of effective control on the flame intensity aka fuel feed. This stove seems to be capable of only ON and OFF. The lack of sensitivity in fuel feed valve located on the pump also leads to problems with delayed reactions to any adjustments one tries to make with the fuel feed and, when the valve is full closed, always leaves an ounce or two of unused fuel in the fuel line that invariably goes to waste and creates for messy packing and storage. Would be that hard to put a secondary simmer valve like the one on the Dragonfly on the body of the XGK?
Great stove - significantly morp powerful than my dragon fly. Used it climbing in the west and while doing research on Denali. Looking foward to taking it to the Himalaya next year. Lack of fuel control is not a problem - i just had to be a little more attentive.
I used to think this was the greatest stove ever. I have had mine for about 8 years now. It started running poorly about a month ago. I bought the repair kit, followed the instructions, and cleaned it repeatedly. Finally I just replaced the entire pump to see if that was the problem. It still will not run. If I want it to work at all I have to continually pump up the bottle so it will maintain enough pressure to run. If I let it go more than 15 seconds without pumping it just sputters and dies.
My preferred backpacking stove. Light, quick to boil, and fuel efficient. The fuel preheat tube really helps at high altitude & during cold weather.[@]
Light, fast to boil water, stable even in windy conditions
I love this stove, it is simple, strong, stable, flexible, and does what it was made to do, boil water FAST in ANY situation.
This Stove will burn about anything flammable,enabling it to be used all over the Globe!
I wanted the stove for car camping. Was surprised how small, light and portable it is!!!
Tough as nails stove
NASA could send this to Europa to melt through the ice. Believe every post you read about it's heating power. I thought I had something wrong the first time I ran mine and I thought the stainless steal cup was going to melt.
I love this stove. I bought it because it is tough as nails and will burn anything.
I have used mine for about 5 years, and I have to be honest. I have not cleaned or taken special care of it and it still works flawlessly! I have a repair kit just in case, but I have not had to use it yet. I am very happy with this purchase.
I bought this stove to handle any situation I might be in. Very versible with different fuels. Very stable for large cooking pots for the times you need to feed a family. If you use the simmer disk, you can control the tempature better.
Decent stove, sounds like a jet eninge while in use, if your trying to keep animal life away its a good choice. I prefer the whisperlite have used it for years and never lets me down
Works wonderfully in cold weather. You get the best results with the MSR fuel. If you are going to be in -40 areas this is your stove.
Does a great job no matter the cold. Used in Washington Cascades, so not as extreme as many have used it. Just works every time.