For trips where you can’t rely on a fuel source, then a stove than burns petrol or diesel is ideal as these fuels are available widely around the world. The MSR Whisperlite International has dominated this sector for many years, and is a truly tried and trusted workhorse. The stove comes in at a respectable weight and packs down very small. Using a petrol stove takes a little practice but for regular users it soon becomes second nature, and once burning you can get boil times of around 3 minutes throughout the life of the fuel and also great performance in colder conditions (where gas is particularly poor). The low profile of the design and the wide pan supports mean that the stove is stable even on rough ground. A simple foil windshield greatly improves performance in gusty conditions too. It’s easy to adjust the flame without having to get too close to the hot burner and pan of boiling water. But with the MSR Whisperlite International you do have to pay extra for a fuel bottle and simmer control is not great, so check out the MSR Dragonfly if you want better control. Like all petrol stoves, a little more care is required when lighting compared to gas or meths burners – so this is not a stove for the beginner. For occasional use a gas burner is lighter and easier to use. There are lighter petrol stoves at higher prices that also burn gas.
Fuel type refined petrol, unleaded petrol, paraffin, diesel
Also included stuffsack, instructions, windshield, tool kit
Packed size 17x9x19cm
Pan support diameter 17cm
Boil time approx 2min 30 sec through fuel life
Weight 340g stove + 62g windshield (+ fuel and fuel bottle)
Made in USA
The MSR Whisperlite International is the classic stove for colder climates and travelling into remote areas where petrol and diesel are your only fuel options. It won the ‘Best in Test’ accolade.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine July 2011