MSR WindBurner Duo Stove System Review

The MSR WindBurner Duo stove is made to quickly heat up a lot of water for up to two hungry back or bikepackers.
Photo: Hannah Morvay

The last thing anyone needs after a long day in the backcountry is to sit down for the night and futz with a crappy cooking device. It’s the quickest way to fracture someone’s spirits, especially when we often see food as comfort, reward, and the light at the end of the tunnel.

The MSR Windburner Duo stove shines that light steady and strong, and gives hikers and bikepackers a reliable source of hot water when they need it most. We used this stove in the wild over the summer and fall months. Here’s what we’ve learned about it.

Photo: Matt Miller

MSR WindBurner Duo Stove specs

  • Radiant burner with “boil-to-simmer” control
  • Pressure regulator
  • 1.8L hard-anodized aluminum pot with integrated heat exchanger, handle, and insulation
  • BPA-free drinking/straining lid
  • .85L integrated bowl
  • Designed to nest fully with an 8oz fuel canister
  • Burn time with 8oz canister: ~95 minutes, according to MSR
  • Made in USA
  • Weight: 612g without fuel canister
  • Price: $220
  • Buy from REI and Backcountry.

Photo: Hannah Morvay

About the MSR WindBurner Duo Stove

The MSR WindBurner Duo Stove is meant to give bikepackers and backpackers a quick, efficient, lightweight, and reliable stove for cooking in the backcountry. It comes with a larger pot and measuring cup/bowl and has a gas line which separates the fuel canister from the stove and pot column. MSR advertises the Duo as a solution for more than one bikepacker or backpacker. So, if you go on remote trips regularly with a partner or are the only one out of your friend group who has a stove, then this what it’s meant for.

Photo: Hannah Morvay

In the wild with the Windburner Duo

With a handful of bikepacking, backpacking, and camping trips planned over the summer and fall, I asked MSR if they’d send the WindBurner Duo Stove to check out. I’ve had it since about mid-summer and have cooked a few handful of meals with it.

The Windburner Duo fully nested. Photo: Matt Miller

The Duo’s size was bigger than I expected at first, and at 612g, (949g w/ 8oz fuel canister) it’s not the lightest either. Those are two quickly noticeable disadvantages, but otherwise, the stove has exceed expectations.

Everything nests and packs up seamlessly, and I’ve gotten by with an 8oz fuel canister on trips, but packing a bigger canister if you’re car camping doesn’t hurt. While it’s designed more for bike/backpacking, it’s a pretty handy tool on car camping trips to whip up boiling water for coffee while you have another stove heating up breakfast.

Boiling up some water for coffee with the MSR WindBurner Duo. Photo: Matt Miller

The biggest strength of the WindBurner Duo stove is its capability to boil a lot of water (1.8L) quickly, in fair or foul weather. The stove has three fold-away legs that keep it stable, even on uneven surfaces, and the pot and burner are designed to connect for a sure and even distribution of heat.

It’s a pretty impressive system with great engineering. Without a built in ignitor though, you’ll have to pack a lighter. This seems like an annoyance at first, but it’s wise to have a lighter on an off-grid trip anyway.

Photo: Hannah Morvay

MSR advertises 4.5 minutes to boil 1L of water and that’s probably accurate. Most of the time I was only boiling half that amount for a Backpacker’s Pantry meal and I had boiling water in probably 2-3 minutes.

I assume the boiling time will vary, depending on the water temperature, amount of water, and maybe the outside temperature, but it’s still very quick. The temperature regulator is easy to use but it is heavy for its size.

The MSR WindBurner Duo Stove is also easy to handle after you’ve got boiling water. The insulated pot has a handle and an integrated strainer on the lid that makes it easy to boil noodles. I’ve tried to avoid cooking and heating up food inside the pot. Unless you’re close to a water source, it’s tough to clean the pot meal after meal and I’d rather keep it clean for coffee.

The great thing about this being an MSR backpacking / bikepacking stove, is that the company has a huge array of accessories for their stoves and plenty of pots, skillets, and even a french press kit that buyers can add to their pack. Instant coffee usually tastes like boiled dirt, so I’ll likely be adding the coffee kit to my stove next summer.

Photo: Hannah Morvay

Pros and cons of the MSR WindBurner Duo stove


  • Looks complicated, but it’s easy to use
  • Fuel efficient
  • Windproof (this counts for a lot)
  • Impressive engineering
  • A lot of available accessories


  • No ignitor
  • Not the smallest
  • Only nests with 8oz canister

Bottom line

The MSR WindBurner Duo stove system isn’t the most compact bikepacking or backpacking stove on the market (the brand does have smaller ones), but it is a reliable way to boil a large volume of water very quickly when you’re in the wild and you need it the most.