- They're easy to fix in the field. No matter how gummed up the stove is, it's possible to get it to work.
- It's easy to check the level of fuel in the fuel bottle.
- Eventually they need to be cleaned and worked on at nearly every meal.
- There are multiple parts that could potentially get lost.
- If they are not running properly they will burn a lot more fuel.
- Unless you have a platform for the Whisperlite, it will sink into the snow when it gets hot.
- It doesn't necessarily boil water quickly.
It took me a little while to warm up to this new system. I really liked the way that the whole system could be packed into the mug-shaped pot. It seemed convinent. But initially I wasn't impressed by the lack of a windscreen, the need for canister fuel, or the need to keep the canister off the snow in order to make it work well.
I became a big fan of the Jetboil shortly thereafter. I haven't gone back to the MSR Whisperlite simply because I have far too many bad memories of trying to get my stove to work in the cold or, honestly, trying to get it to work at all.
MSR Reactor is considered to be a comparable product. Some say it's better. But I'm a bit stubborn. It takes a lot to get me to change. I will probably have to see a guide do something cooler with the Reactor than to simply hang it at the top of an ice pitch before I try it. I'll probably have to see it carry my pack or something.
Like I said, I'm a bit stubborn...
--Jason D. Martin