JetBoil Vs. MSR WindBurner Personal Cooking System Review

When you’re out camping or hiking, it’s important that you have a good personal cooking system available. Two options on the market are the MSR WindBurner and the JetBoil.

A comparison between the two can help you determine which is the better option.

Quick Comparison: JetBoil Vs. MSR WindBurner

 MSR WindBurner
Our Best Pick
JetBoil
Image
SizeSame – slightly larger cupSame – slightly smaller cup
HeatingNo self-ignition, but easy to light

More efficient heating
Has self-igniters that may fail with heavy usage

Less efficient heating
CoverNeoprene – not as good of a handleNeoprene – better handle
CupGradations in ounces and milliliters

Slightly larger
Gradations in cups

Slightly smaller
Pot StandLess StrongStronger
LightingNo self-igniter, but easy to lightSelf-ignited, but may fail with heavy usage
LidAbout the sameAbout the same
Ease of Locking into PlaceEasierHarder
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xC5ROM9TcI

Testing in Action

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsbdNPrEkpY

Size

The JetBoil and MSR WindBurner are very similar in size. The cup on the bottom is graduated and holds up to two cups safely without causing a splash over and a mess.

The cup on the MSR WindBoiler has gradations in ounces and milliliters, and it holds a little more liquid than the JetBoiler.

Both the JetBoiler and the MSR WindBurner are designed to accommodate everything inside the cup. The JetBoil also has a vent release and mouthpiece on the cup, and you can drink out of it.

How They Heat

The flux ring on the Jet Boil is used for heat transfer, so when you attach the heating element, it transfers the heat to the bottom of the cup, which allows it to boil.

The bottom of the MSR Windboiler has striations and a contour inside so that, as the heat rises, it actually heats not just the bottom of the pan but also around the side of the pan on the bottom.

This means it will boil a bit faster than the JetBoil. One of the advantages of the MSR is its burner. The burning area allows for a faster, more efficient burn, as opposed to the JetBoil.

Covers

The neoprene cover on the JetBoil and the strap handle makes it easy to hold and keeps you from getting burned. There is also a spoon slot if you need it. On the side, there is an indicator so you can see that the temperature is rising as the light turns yellow.

The cover on the MSR WindBoiler is also neoprene, and it is easier to clean as it doesn’t have the mesh that the Jet Boil does. The handle isn’t quite as good, and the strap on the JetBoil is better than that on the MSR WindBoiler.

Pot Stand

Inside the JetBoil, there is a universal pot stand that allows you to have a stable platform to use. The pot stabilizer on the MSR WindBoiler is not of the same quality as that of the JetBoil.

The one on the JetBoil feels tighter when you open and close it compared to the MSR Windboiler. MSR does make a metal stabilizer, but the one from the JetBoil works well.

Lighting

The JetBoil heating element screws onto the fuel canister. Turning it counterclockwise opens the valve. The JetBoil comes equipped with its own igniter. If you’re not using this often, that’s not really a problem.

However, if you use it a lot, it may well be the first thing to stop working. If you have to replace it, the replacement part does not line up with any of the mounting brackets. This also happens when you try to feed it through the top of the cup.

After some research, it was found that something changed in the burner design of this series. The two pieces were not compatible as they didn’t go together. You can take that part out and just use a match, striker, etc. to use it as a standard burner.

When the igniter works, it twists on tightly. Hit the valve, and it should fire up. The container rests on top of the fuel canister when you twist it to lock it into place. The lid goes on top. Fill it with water.

Turn it on, light it, and heat will heat up the flux ring. This heats up the fluids, and the indicator will turn yellow. Altogether, the kit is not too bad, but the problem is with the burner and igniter.

You have to manually light the MSR from the top, so there is no self-igniter. It is really easy to light, however. Rotate the knob a bit on the side, and apply the flame. That’s it. It does have holes for ventilation.

It also has a built-in thermal trip with a wire that runs across the top. If that gets too hot, it will cause it to shut down in case you’re not paying attention. There is an adjustment you can use through a hole in the side and a regulator.

The container spins onto the fuel canister. You have many more indentions as compared to the four on the JetBoil so you don’t try as hard to find a place to lock it. Stick the lid back on top, and you’re ready to go. Light it, and then dial it back to where you need it.

Lid

The lid on the MSR WindBoiler is about the same as that on the JetBoil. It has a steam vent you can drink out of, and you can strain it if you don’t want something coming out.

Verdict

Because of the possible failure of the igniter on the JetBoil and because of its less efficient heating, the MSR WindBoil is likely to be the better product for your camping or hiking adventures.

Breana
 

Chief editor here at Sky-Liners, Breana is a former expat and outdoor enthusiast who grew up on camping, hunting, and hiking. If she could live anywhere, it would be a tree fort in the woods. For now, she's surviving on weekly hiking trips and monthly mountain breaks. You can read more about Breana's adventures on her blog at 3rdCultureWife.

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