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The New, Lighter 1.0L MSR Reactor
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Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
The New, Lighter 1.0L MSR Reactor on 04/09/2013 09:53:27 MDT Print View

I'm splitting this thread off from another thread.

Jerry Adams wrote: >The Reactor is ridiculously heavy.
Have you seen the new smaller, lighter Reactor? It's significantly lighter than the original (pre-2009) Reactors. I hardly ever use my original 1.7L Reactor unless I plan to melt serious snow. It's just not worth it; it's such a heavy beast. But they re-designed the pot ca. 2009, and it's a lot lighter.

Original, beefy 1.7L Reactor pot (left). New, lighter 1.0L Reactor pot (right).


In 2013 (January), they came out with a 1.0L version. It's still heavier than a JB, but it's windproof whereas a JB really isn't. A JB has better wind resistance than an ordinary upright, but it can't compare to a Reactor. I'm pretty much liking what I'm seeing with the new 1.0L version of the Reactor. I just got it, but I expect that I'll actually get some use out of it as opposed to my old, original version 1.7L Reactor (which mainly sits).

HJ
Adventures in Stoving

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: The New, Lighter 1.0L MSR Reactor on 04/09/2013 12:21:02 MDT Print View

Oh, and if I'm citing a weight savings, I suppose I could mention what those weight savings are. :)

The original 1.7L Reactor pot weighs 341g (without lid), which is a ratio of 0.20g/ml. The new Reactor pot weighs 172g, which is a ratio of 0.17g/ ml. So, even though smaller pots usually weigh more per unit of volume, the new Reactor actually weighs less per unit of volume. The weight savings here aren't just from a smaller pot but rather from a redesign. Note: Both the original and the new mini Reactor use the same burner.


The new 1.0L Reactor pot is 169g less than the original (pre-2009) 1.7L pot. They've reduced the weight by nearly half. That's pretty significant.


HJ
Adventures In Stoving

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
Still not convinced... on 04/09/2013 13:34:38 MDT Print View

I'm still not convinced that it's any better (if as good) than my MSR Dragonfly, which is the best simmering liquid fuel stove I know.

With the Dragonfly I can use my aluminized fiberglass cloth Backcountry Oven to bake and a 1 liter Jetboil finned pot for melting snow more efficiently. Plus I always use my MSR windscreen, which works very well.

MSR 1.0 Reactor? I doubt that it will interest me. But thanks for the update. It shows that Cascade Designs' elves are still working away in their skunk works.

Dave U
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Rockies
Re: Still not convinced... on 04/09/2013 13:42:20 MDT Print View

I used the original Reactor at 11,000 feet in temperatures of -6C with wind howling at 83 KM per hour. It boiled a litre in about 2 minutes. Will your Dragonfly do that?

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: Still not convinced... on 04/09/2013 14:15:37 MDT Print View

Eric,

It sounds like you're on the right track in terms of efficiency, but it's in windproofness that the Reactor really shines. Yes, you can use the MSR windscreen on a Dragonfly (indeed MSR's founder, Larry Penberthy, originated the concept of a remote liquid fueled stove with a windscreen, a concept that shot MSR ahead of the competition in the early 1970's). But in 83kph (52mph) winds? The typical Dragonfly will take a beating -- although augmenting with the hood from the Outback oven will help. It would be interesting to compare the two set ups ("vanilla" Reactor vs. Dragonfly+windscreen+Outback Oven hood). It would also be interesting to compare a Trangia 27 with a gas or liquid petroleum fuel set up to a Reactor.

What is the weight of your D'fly + bottle + windscreen + Outback Oven hood + Jetboil pot? I'm thinking the Reactor may have the advantage here. Do you have a photo of your set up? If you're using a tall JB pot, I'd like to see how that works. Not so sure about a tall pot in this setup. The wider 1.5L GCS pot I think would be ideal.

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

David Chenault
(DaveC) - BPL Staff - F

Locale: Crown of the Continent
re: new Reactor on 04/09/2013 14:55:02 MDT Print View

Good news on the real weight savings of the 1 liter Reactor. What I like about it, v. a Jetboil, is that it doesn't feel cheap and fragile.

I loath the Dragonfly. A finicky design made worse by that awful, always-clogging fuel filter. To say nothing of the noise.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: re: new Reactor on 04/09/2013 17:43:45 MDT Print View

I loath the Dragonfly. A finicky design made worse by that awful, always-clogging fuel filter. To say nothing of the noise.
Yeah, I've gotten bit by that fuel filter. One trick in the field if you don't have a spare filter: Pull out the filter (carefully!), taking care to deform it as little as possible. A safety pin works reasonably well for this. Then, with a sharp knife, shave off the first hair's width thickness of the filter. Replace the filter. It's saved me before. I very much dislike that in-line filter, and I think it's totally unnecessary given that MSR has now put a filter on the fuel pick up tube on the pump, which is where a filter ought to be. The filter on the the pump can be cleaned with white gas and scrubbing if needed. I think carb cleaner would work too, but I haven't tried it.

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Dragonfly Noise on 04/09/2013 17:45:51 MDT Print View

To say nothing of the noise.
Oh, and the noise is controllable with the purchase of an aftermarket part. Bit of a weight penalty, but the (greatly) reduced noise is heavenly. Currently working on a review.

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

Bob Gross
(--B.G.--) - F

Locale: Silicon Valley
Re: re: new Reactor on 04/09/2013 17:52:23 MDT Print View

"A finicky design made worse by that awful, always-clogging fuel filter."

David, have you considered filtering your white gas before putting it in the fuel bottle?

I've owned MSR stoves for 35 years, and I've never had any sort of fuel clog in a filter.

--B.G.--

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: Re: re: new Reactor on 04/09/2013 18:17:48 MDT Print View

I've owned MSR stoves for 35 years, and I've never had any sort of fuel clog in a filter.
That's all very well and fine, but have you used a Dragonfly much?

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

Wolf's Rain
(WolfsRain) - M
1.0L Reactor on 11/13/2013 16:49:37 MST Print View

Anyone using this "little" guy? I know its not quite ultralight, but I picked one up today. I had a coupon for LLBean and needed a stove so figured why not. They have a good return policy if things don't work out. It doesn't pack super small either. But, I'm hoping it will be good for quick weekend trips where the non-fiddle factor and speed will mean more time on the trail.

Rick Adams
(rickadams100) - M
reactor on 11/13/2013 19:37:11 MST Print View

I have one and its great. I was in a windy rain cloud and our whole group ended up sharing it. It's my current go to stove.

greg c
(spindrifter) - F
Reactor in Extreme Conditions on 11/13/2013 21:59:17 MST Print View

Great point by Dave U about the efficiency of the reactor at altitude in extreme conditions. It shines in that environment. Perhaps it is not the stove for calm 70 degree summer days. When at altitude in the cold or wind it is a loyal companion.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: re: new Reactor on 11/13/2013 22:17:45 MST Print View

"I've owned MSR stoves for 35 years, and I've never had any sort of fuel clog in a filter."

Same here. I pour fuel from the bulk container through a filter/funnel. I Don't use fuel that has been sitting around for a long time - just last week I dropped of a 1/2 gallon of old white gas at our hazardous waste disposal site and bought some new fuels... Just waiting for some snow in our local mountains. I always to the annual maintenance. I don't use the MSR stoves much anymore, except for winter.

James Marco
(jamesdmarco) - MLife

Locale: Finger Lakes
Re: Re: Re: re: new Reactor on 11/14/2013 05:23:10 MST Print View

"...just last week I dropped of a 1/2 gallon of old white gas..."
WG is pretty stable in a sealed container...no additives to help a car engine run that also break down over time.

Canisters don't break down much either. Easily stored for ten years or more.

Nick Gatel
(ngatel) - MLife

Locale: Southern California
Re: Re: Re: Re: re: new Reactor on 11/14/2013 08:33:18 MST Print View

Actually is was not technically white gas, but Coleman fuel. From the Coleman website...

"An un-opened container of ColemanĀ® Fuel stored in a dry area with no rapid extreme changes in temperature will remain viable for five to seven years. An opened container stored in the same area will remain viable for up to two years though will be at its best if used within a year."

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: Re: Re: re: new Reactor on 11/14/2013 08:46:59 MST Print View

> "I've owned MSR stoves for 35 years, and I've never had any sort of fuel clog in a filter."

Same here. I pour fuel from the bulk container through a filter/funnel.
Yeah, and I've been pretty diligent about it too. Still, if any schmutz gets in there, the DragonFly is much more prone to clogging than other stoves. The Optimus Nova is the same. The "in-line" filter is good in that it catches things but bad in that it's hard to clean and clogs so easily. The newer style filters at the point of intake are a much better idea: Less prone to clogging, easier to clean. The intake filters are SO much easier to clean in the field.

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Coleman Fuel Stability on 11/14/2013 08:59:57 MST Print View

> Actually is was not technically white gas, but Coleman fuel. From the Coleman website...
Coleman fuel is actually a lot more stable than true white gas. My uncle left me his old 1962 Primus 71 stove (brass, not ultra light but definitely ultra cool). :) He had been in ill health and probably hadn't used it for a quarter century when he died. It still had Coleman fuel inside. On a whim, I fired it up. I burned just fine. Coleman is being a tad conservative in their estimates. If you keep air away, Coleman fuel can last for years and years.

By the way, true white gas is really hard to find in the United States. It is available in some areas where Amish live (apparently they use it for lanterns and such), but other than that it's generally unavailable. Coleman, Sunnyside, and MSR are the principle "white gas" purveyors now. There used to be Blazo (Chevron) and Ozark Trails (a WalMart brand).

HJ
Adventures In Stoving

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Re: Re: re: new Reactor on 11/14/2013 09:10:43 MST Print View

I used MSR whisperlite white gas stove. It clogged up a couple times. I took it apart in the field and got it working.

Worse than that, is it occasionally flared up and singed my eyebrows. Although I admit it was user error.

I've used several brands of upright, many more days, never had a clog.

With an upright canister, the fuel evaporates inside the canister, and only gas flows to the stove. Inherently less likely to clog the stove.

On the other hand, my Coleman Exponent F1 Ultralight developed this nasty habit of leaking the contents of the canister overnight when it got down to about freezing, so in the morning I had no fuel.

In my opinion, no stove is perfect, but upright canister stoves are the simplest, most reliable.

Hikin' Jim
(hikin_jim) - MLife

Locale: Orange County, CA, USA
Re: Reactor in Extreme Conditions on 11/14/2013 09:23:51 MST Print View

> Great point by Dave U about the efficiency of the reactor at altitude in extreme conditions. It shines in that environment. Perhaps it is not the stove for calm 70 degree summer days. When at altitude in the cold or wind it is a loyal companion.
There's nothing that I'm aware of that makes a Reactor better at altitude than other canister stoves. It's in wind where the Reactor is the outstanding stove.

When I was doing the testing for the post that started this thread, some scouts nearby were super interested in my Reactor when I told them about its windproofness. They had been out in high winds a few weeks before, and their stoves were blowing out. They were having trouble keeping them lit. It's in conditions like those that the Reactor has no equal.

HJ
Adventures In Stoving