Gear Review

This weeks gear pick is one of my favorite pieces of gear.  The MSR Whisperlite Universal.
I bought my first Whisperlite, the Whisperlite International back in the mid ’80’s.  I drug it all over the place and got every penny out of that stove.  It is perhaps one of the best stoves ever made.  Durable, easy to use and maintain, and super efficient.
The MSR Whisperlite Universal is the new generation of the Whisperlite line.  It is lighter, its stability has been enhanced, and they added the feature of being able to burn canister fuel.
The MSR Whisperlite burns liquid fuels and canister fuel with a quick transition of fuel connector and fuel jet.  It does not take a tool box and a lot of know how to quickly change from one to the other.  I prefer the liquid fuel options over canister, but it is nice to know that I have the options.
The Whisperlite will burn White gas (Blazo), Unleaded, and Kerosene.  Burning Kerosene is messy and the least efficient, but it works.

Here are the specs:

Minimum Weight 11.5 oz / 326 g
Packed Weight 1 lbs 3.4 oz / 549 g
Burn time (white gas) per 600ml / 20 oz. of fuel Appx. 110 minutes
Burn time (MSR IsoPro) per 227-g / 8-oz. canister Appx. 75 minutes
Burn time (kerosene) per 600ml / 20 oz. of fuel Appx. 155 minutes
Boil time (white gas), 1 liter 3.5 minutes
Boil time (kerosene), 1 liter 4.4 minutes
Boil time (MSR IsoPro), 1 liter 3.75 minutes
Water boiled (white gas) per 100 ml of fuel 4.4 liters
Water boiled (white gas) per 1 oz. of fuel 1.3 liters
Water boiled (kerosene) per 100 ml of fuel 5.3 liters
Water boiled (kerosene) per 1 oz. of fuel 1.6 liters
Water boiled (MSR IsoPro) per 227-g canister 15 liters
Water boiled (MSR IsoPro) per 1 oz. of fuel 1.8 liters
Country of Origin Made in Seattle, USA

Like I have said, the MSR Whisperlite is my favorite stove.  It works great in all the weather conditions I have backpacked and camped in.  It is super efficient and packs well.  I have used it to simmer and boil.  It is a great stove.
Now let me address the liquid fuel question.  I have met Scouters that for some reason feel that liquid fuel is not allowed in Scouting.  Wrong.  Liquid fuel is not only allowed but recommended at the high adventure bases like Philmont.  The key is to teach the Scouts how to use them properly, but that is like anything else.  I find that the MSR Whisperlite is safer than a Jet Boil and a heck of a lot more useful, allowing the user to actually cook.
I am on my second MSR Whisperlite, having purchased the Universal before our trip to Philmont, my oldest son is now using my old Whisperlite and it is still working great.
I highly recommend this stove for all your camping cooking needs.
Have a Great Scouting Day!


  1. Looks like a great stove. I just purchased a multi-fuel stove and seriously considered the Whisperlite Universal, but went for the Primus Omnilite Ti instead (better simmering, metal pump, bit smaller/more packable).

    It is interesting that so many think that liquid fuel isn’t allowed. I have found, though, that canister gas does seem to be easier to operate and is safer overall due to lack of priming and no need to refill fuel bottles. Our troop uses canister gas stoves in the summer and only switches over to liquid fuel in our Colorado winters as the performance is better at those low temps.

    Out of curiosity, what leads you to say that the Whisperlite is safer than the Jetboil?


    1. I have seen to many Jet Boils get knowcked over.. they boil over and the knob is right under the cascading boiling water. They are super water boilers if you monitor them. Again… Training is key to using any stove, but the jet boil needs special attention especially when young Scouts are using them to torch water.
      Thanks for the comment.


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