MSR WindBurner vs. Jetboil MiniMo : Which Camping Stove is the Best?
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There is nothing quite like a warm meal when you are out camping. Whether shared amongst friends camping in the front country or as your own personal feast during a solo backpacking trip, the key to a great camp meal starts with choosing the best camping stove.
There are literally hundreds of camp stoves for sale in stores and online. To help make the process easier for you, we’d like to introduce and compare some two of the best camping stoves available today. In this article we are going to breakdown the details and differences between the Jetboil MiniMo and the MSR Windburner in order to help answer the question, “What is the best camping stove?”
Comparing the Best Camping Stoves: The MSR WindBurner vs. The Jetboil MiniMo
Both MSR and Jetboil are well known brands in the outdoor community. We selected the Jetboil MiniMo and the MSR Windburner as the two best camping stoves available today, because they are both affordable, efficient, and high powered solutions for outdoor cooking. Below, we will outline the similarities and differences between the two products.
Cheap camp stoves tend to break or wear in the elements, so that’s why we would never recommend a relatively inexpensive camp stove that may break when you need it most. The two products in this article both retail for around same price range.
In order to be used for their intended function, camping stoves come with two extra variable costs: the price of gas and the price of food. With a high quality camping stove, you can be guaranteed that it will not have to be replaced anytime soon and that no more costs will be incurred.
Whereas price may not be a deciding factor between the two models, you can rest assured knowing that camp stoves in this price range tend to be of higher quality without completely leaving you broke.
Size and Weight
If you are planning to bring your camping stove on a long backpacking trip, then the size and weight of your unit is going to play a large role in selecting the best camping stove. Having a small, light camping stove is ideal for backpacking, as it will not weigh you down or take up a lot of valuable room in your backpack.
Weight wise, both of these products are light enough to pack on the trail, however the Jetboil MiniMo just beats out the MSR Windburner. Jetboils system (not including the gas canister) weighs a mere 14.6 ounces, whereas the Windburner weighs closer to 20 ounces. This difference is not very significant, but for hardcore ultralight hikers, every ounce matters.
In terms of size, the Jetboil is 5 x 5 x 5.5 inches and the Windburner is 4.5 x 8.3 x 4.5 inches. This means that the MiniMo is 137.5 cubic inches and the Windburner is 168 cubic inches. Having that extra little bit of room in your backpack or car is great, so in terms of overall size and weight the Jetboil MiniMo is a better choice than the MSR Windburner.
You’ve procrastinated your cooking until the last possible second, now every passing moment between you and your camp dinner seems endless. Having an efficient camp stove will help cook your meals a whole lot faster.
Jetboil is a company, which you might be able to deduce from its name, famous for creating hyper fast boiling camp stoves, to which the MiniMo is no exception. The Jetboil MiniMo is able to boil a half liter of water in as little as 2 minutes and 15 seconds. As a bonus, the MiniMo is one of the few Jetboil models that allows the user to adjust the heat level, so you are able to bring the water to a boil and let it simmer before adding your food.
Compared to most camping stoves, the MSR Windburner has an extremely fast boil time. However, when compared to the MiniMo, the Windburner’s average boil time of 4 minutes and thirty seconds may seem like an eternity. That being said, MSR’s stoves all come with an easy to use burner adjusting knob that makes it easy to change the heat of your cooking as if you were making dinner on your stove at home.
Ease of Use
If you’ve had a few drinks around the campfire, or you are simply exhausted from a day spent in the outdoors, then you will want to cook your meals on an easy to use camping stove. Each of these stoves come with a defining feature that may impact your purchasing decision.
The MSR Windburner gets its name from being able to be used efficiently in areas with high winds. If you are camping above the treeline, or simply live in an area where the occasional breeze is more like a strong gust, there is nothing more frustrating than constantly having to relight your camp stove. This product from MSR, drastically eliminates that pain point, as the integrated cooking system is designed to protect your cooking flame against all types of weather.
Although it is a bit more susceptible to wind problems, however relighting your cooking station is extremely easy with the Jetboil MiniMo. The MiniMo ignites with a built in push button, rather than the necessity of a spark from another source. In a way, this feature is both good and bad. On one hand, you will never have to remember a lighter or matches (let alone try to rub two sticks together). However, if the ignite button were to break or malfunction, you may cause further damage to the system by continuing to use the stove. If you are okay with lighting a stove in the traditional sense, it seems that the Windburner is going to be easier to use overall.
Unlike in motor vehicles, fuel efficiency of a gas stove is a bit harder to calculate. Due to fluctuations in variables like temperature, output level, and degradation levels along with inconsistencies in the information available online, the jury is still out as to which of these products is truly more fuel efficient. Thankfully both of these high quality camping stoves come with temperature regulators to help the cooking equipment perform efficiently in cold climates.
For some people, style is everything. Fashion icons may enjoy the choice between the different JetBoil Minimo models including “Sunset,” “Jetcam,” “Adventure,” “Camo,” and “Carbon.” MSR Windburner customers have the measly choice between traditional black and red insulated cooking pots, however there is also an attractive embroidered mountain design on both models. Whereas this comparison is largely about the functionality of each device, for those who live life with a strict aesthetic, the JetBoil offers more choices for the appearance of your camp stove.
A great part about both of these products is that they come with everything you need, besides a fuel canister, to begin cooking your next camp meal. Each package comes jam packed with the stove itself, an insulated cooking pot, an extra bowl, and fuel tank tripod stabilizers. The only real difference between these two items is the shape of the insulated cooking pot. The JetBoil Minimo is designed as a wider and more balanced alternative to the insulated cooking pot included with the MSR Windburner. Having a shorter, wider pot makes it easier to stir the interior contents to prevent burning, and also makes it less susceptible to being knocked over due to wind with a lower center of balance.
One thing we really like about the Windburner’s cooking vessel, however, is that it comes with a handle. This will drastically increase the safety and function of your cooking. For cooking, Jetboil takes the cake, but if you are primarily using your cooking stove for your morning coffee, then the Windburner may suit you better.
No matter how good a product is, there will always be the occasional malfunction. Having a camp stove protected by a great warranty is important in getting the most value out of your purchase. Luckily, both MSR and JetBoil are well known, high functioning companies that believe in the durability of their products.
On paper, the MSR Windburner has a better warranty then the JetBoil Minimo. All of MSR’s (short for Mountain Safety Research) products come with a 3 year performance warranty if they are purchased through an authorized dealer. Thankfully, MSR sells their products on online, so you can get a Windburner straight from online, at the best guarantee possible, knowing that your purchase is guaranteed for three years of use.
The Jetboil is advertised as having only a one year limited warranty, that leaves the company in charge of determining whether or not the product is eligible for replacement. Although this is fairly common with warranties, the negative connotations of the warranty page on their website alone is a bit unsettling. In terms of guaranteed performance and reasonable replacement, the Windburner from MSR beats out the Jetboil Minimo by a longshot.
Alternatives to the Windburner or MiniMo
If you are in the market for a compact camping stove that is perfect for feeding one or two people, then we can confidently say that either the MSR Windburner or the Jetboil MiniMo is going to be the best product that money can buy. However, the realm of camping stoves is much larger than that, so we’d like to suggest a few alternatives for those looking to become a campground hero by feeding large groups.
Many experienced campers may be familiar with the Coleman Classic Propane Camping Stove. This simple to set up, table top system is perfect for weekend camping trips in designated campgrounds with picnic tables available. Having two burners and room for larger pots opens up the possibilities of different camp meals, more than the Windburner or MiniMo could deliver.
Still need more power than a traditional camping stove? If you require more or simply larger burners, then we suggest you check out the GYMAX 3-Burner Outdoor Stove. This high capacity product is a bit more like a traditional backyard grill, however its detachable legs make it perfect for sticking it in the back of the car on your way out for your next camping adventure.
Conclusion: Which Camp Stove is Best
If you are still trying to figure out whether the Jetboil MiniMo or the MSR Windburner is the best camp stove for you, then you are surely not alone. Both of these great products would surely amplify any sort of camping trip, so we would like to outline a couple of possible scenarios in which you may want to choose either product over the other.
Should I Buy The JetBoil MiniMo?
As outlined throughout the article, the JetBoil MiniMo is a smaller, lighter camping stove that can boil water at the push of a button in just over two minutes. The overall convenience of having a smaller, evenly sized package, paired with the easy and quick cooking process make the JetBoil MiniMo the best camping stove for backpacking trips. If you are planning your next multi-day adventure in the great outdoors, then you should strongly consider bringing along the Jetboil MiniMo. The hardest choice may be picking out which color design you like best.
Should I Buy The MSR Windburner?
Although we are recommending the JetBoil MiniMo for backpackers, the MSR Windburner is a superior product for users that plan to camp with the device an excessive amount of times. The three year warranty behind MSR’s products truly stands out as a huge advantage in having a reliable camp stove for the avid outdoor enthusiast.
In our personal experience, having wind protection is a crucial detail that can make or break any camp meal. Without having to worry about constantly relighting the burner, you will be able to enjoy your meal in the peace and tranquility of nature. So, if you don’t mind bringing along a lighter or some matches (which every camper should do anyways), then the MSR Windburner will be the best camping stove for you.