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Liquid Fuel vs Canister Fuel Stoves

Ideal for:

  • Cooking in any condition, temperature or altitude.
  • Long trips and international expeditions where fuel types are limited or unknown.

Advantages:

  • Multi-fuel capabilities. Many of MSR's stoves burn white gas, kerosene and auto fuel.
  • Superior cold temperature performance. Low temperature do not effect the performance of liquid fuel.
  • Lighter on long trips. A liquid fuel stove and partially full fuel bottle is lighter and more efficient than a canister stove and two or more canisters.
  • Correct pressures can be maintained regardless of amount of fuel left in bottle.

Trade-Offs:

  • Lighting a liquid fuel stove requires priming with fuel, which can be inefficient, messy and cause flare-ups.
  • Maintaining pressure requires pumping.

Canister Fuel Stoves

Ideal for:

  • Short or Fast & Lightâ„¢ trips
  • Temperatures above freezing.
  • High altitude

Advantages:

  • Super lightweight. A 3-ounce stove plus one full fuel canister weighs less than a pound
  • Simple to operate. Just turn on the valve and light.
  • No priming.
  • No pumping. The canisters are already pressurized.
  • Full flame control for simmering or boiling.
  • Maintainance free.
  • Perform well at high haltitude (20,000' plus). Canisters have a higher pressure compared to lower atmospheric pressures.
  • Affordable.

Trade-Offs:

  • Freezing temperatures or low fuel reduce performance drastically.
  • Non-refillable canisters must be packed out.
  • You don't know how much fuel you have in a canister unless it is new.
  • Longer trips mean additional weight - 1/2 to 3/4 of a pound per canister.


    Courtesy of MSR
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