The executive summary is pretty basic on this one: the MSR Windburner replicates and exceeds the fuel efficiency, wind resistance, and convenience of the category-defining Jetboil while offering vastly improved build quality. Or, more crudely, it’s an actually wind resistant Jetboil that isn’t a janky piece of junk.
I’ve been impressed with the fuel-sipping efficiency of the Jetboil for years, when others have brought one along, but the wobblyness and plastic parts, to say nothing of the few versions which have fallen apart in use, and the awful customer service, always put me off. The Windburner (called the Windboiler before a certain company lawyered up) solves all these issues. The connection to the canister is solid. There is no goofy, failure-prone integrated ignitor. The handle stays put, and the lid fits snuggly enough that it stays on for pouring water. It uses a toned-down version of the radiant burner pioneered on the Reactor, which as Hiking Jim will tell you is astonishingly resistant to wind. The only disadvantages are weight (a hair under a pound, without fuel), the reliance on canister fuel, and the utter inability to do anything other than boil water. As with all upright canister stoves performance below 25F is marginal, and below 5F or so impossible. The speed with which it boils water does mitigate the temperature issue to a certain extent.
Due to how fast, simple, and fuel efficient it is I’ve brought the Windboiler on just about every trip since I acquired it last fall. On all but the most weight sensitive of missions, the ease is worth the grams.