View Full Version : msr whisper light shaker jet stove

01-30-2005, 03:48
Does anyone have any comments on the subject?

01-30-2005, 06:44
I've had mine almost five years now and it has ALWAYS worked when I needed it. The only complaints I have with it are the size and weight. We currently use a Trangia alcohol stove for those reasons. When I was using it regularly I never disassembled it, that is disconnecting the burner and hose from the pump and fuel bottle. I suspect that's where the majority of people who have problems with their Whisperlight get into trouble. You open the fuel system up to contaminants like dirt and are inviting a clog. Taking it apart also puts extra wear and tear on the O-rings which is going to cause them to leak. I simply folded the burner assembly down against the fuel bottle and put it in a small stuff sack. After hurricane Isabelle a couple years ago we lost our electricity for eleven days. During that time we used the MSR daily to cook for our family of six. You can't do that with an alcohol stove easily. If you're cooking for more than one person AND you want to do more than simply boil water for your meals AND the frequency of your resupply for fuel is going to be longer than about five days then I suspect that a liquid fuel stove will present a weight savings over an alcohol stove. Also, I've been out in the winter time hiking when I was relying on melting snow for water and I would definitely use it under those conditions. The MSR is certainly a lot faster than an alcohol stove, but that's never been a real issue for us when cooking with alcohol. You simply arrange your camp setup and tear down routine so that you're doing something else while waiting for dinner.

01-30-2005, 10:13
the MSR Whisperlite largely replaced the Svea gas stove that sounded like a jet engine. It's been around for probably a decade for better. It's advantage was lighter and quieter than the Svea. Consequently, very popular with backpackers.

Last year, MSR introduced the Simmerlite stove. The Whisperlite (and the Svea) doesn't simmer easily. It's either on or off.

Among ultralighters, alcohol stoves has largely replaced the white gas stoves such as Whisperlite. The reason is weight, and cost.

Every stove has it's place. Alcohol is best when cooking for one, and in warm temperatures. White Gas puts out a lot more BTU's. Hence, better when cooking for one, or doing something more than heating 2 cups of water to a boil and adding Liptons or Mac & Cheese.

With the Simmerlite stove, the weight differential between white gas and alcohol has narrowed. Plus, a white gas stove consumes less fuel. So, if you are going a long way between resupply, it could actually be lighter.

Why buy a Whisperlite instead of a Simmerlite? The Whisperlite is sturdier. It will support a larger pot than the Simmerlite.

Like all equipment, there are choices to be made, and no one stove fits all. You will see all types of stove being used along the AT.

01-30-2005, 11:17
Thanks. I have been in such a delima about a stove. I prefer a stove that I can adjust to simmer if needed, and power-up for a quick boil. It sounds like the whisperlite is not going to be the one I would want to choose.

walkin' wally
01-30-2005, 11:23
I agree with what Peaks said.
I have both the whisperlight shaker jet stove and a pepsi can stove. The whisperlight has always been very dependable.It does add a little more bulk and weight to my pack. I have never had to repair it.
The pepsi can stove saves a lot of weight and bulk. It does not have the power of the whisperlight though, in my opinion, for extended cooking time versus fuel use.

01-30-2005, 11:29
Doesn't MSR have a new pump design that allows the whisperlite to simmer now? I haven't done my homework on that because I prefer the dragonfly - heavier, but I enjoy cooking when I can. (On short trips I take my Peak 1 Apex because it is better than my stove at home!)

SGT Rock
01-30-2005, 11:53
The MSR Simmerlite does weigh less, it can simmer, and it has the shaker cleaner thingy in the jet. I was a beta tester for them back in 2001. It took them about 2 years later to finally put the thing on the market, not because of the stove, but because of a new pump they were working on that apparently they gave up on because the pump on them now is like the older pump.

Anyway, I have a brand new Simmerlite in my basement that has never been used. It was my reward for the test. I plan t keep it because if I were to go winter hiking with a group, it might be tempting to take it. Otherwise alcohol does everything I need.

Officecrab, if you are sold that you need gas, then a SimmerLite ain't a bad stove. But if you are interested in Alcohol (how fast do you need a boil) there are stoves that can boil fast and also simmer. You can build them for free. If you try it and hate it, you can always go buy a Simmerlite and throw the alcohol stove away. If you like the alcohol stove, then you saved some cash you can spend on a nice pot and spork ;)

01-30-2005, 12:25
Isn't it amazing how far stoves have come! When I first hiked in 2001, it seems like almost everyone was using a Whisperlite...or as many have called it a Whisperheavy. Now it seems like you see very few of them on the trail. The ones you do see usually seem to get replaced not far into the hike. Don't get me wrong they are very good stoves. But I think most long distance hikers tend to look for something simple and light.

01-30-2005, 19:07
I've had my Whisperlite for ? 9 years. It's never failed me except in extreme cold....in really cold temps I have to keep pumping it.

I switched over to alcohol and don't know if I'll ever use the Whisperlite again.
I still think the Whisperlite is a great stove...as far as white gas stoves go.

01-30-2005, 20:37
You can simmer with a Whisperlite if you keep the pressure in the bottle low. It's a pain though, you have to pump it up a little bit very frequently. I haven't tried it, but if I was in the market for a new liquid fuel stove I'd probably go with the SimmerLite over the WhisperLite.

01-30-2005, 21:36
I'll be using one on my 05 thru-hike. Can't beat the dependability! Draggin

01-30-2005, 22:06
I cooked my meals for over a year on a wisperlight. For me the trick to lower fuel pressure and control the heat was to cook with a half empty fuel bottle.The bigger air cushion gave me more control

01-31-2005, 00:08
i have a simmerlite with the shakerjet, love it. not overly heavy (compared to some other gas stoves), damn sure boils quick as you know what, does simmer, but its takes some learning the stove to get it to simmer properly. i think its a nice stove for the money and mine has been beat and tossed around pretty good and has always fired up without complaint, so i give a fat thumbs up

i have my mtn dew can stove as well, that i use in the summertime occassionally, but i like to feast too much for dinner so it doesnt get used that often.

01-31-2005, 12:15
I've had my whisperlite international since '97. i used it frequently until '03 when i bought my first canister stove (primus techno trail). i carry the whisperlite in extreme cold weather (for reliability and snow-melting). i carried it to Costa Rica, and lucky that i did, because at the time we could not find anything but Unleaded fuel. camp smelled like traffic but it worked. simmering is a babysitting issue and requires patience.
from what i have seen recently, the NEW pump does not appear to make much of a difference with the simmering.
it would be my personal preference to not carry the whisperlite on a thru-hike. i like the canisters but am growing extremely interested in alcohol stoves.

01-31-2005, 13:17
I would not carry anything but my whisperlite.

I have had mine since 1996. It has a thru hike and hundreds fo miles plus. It has lite every time and only had to replace the "0" ring once. I did convert from the pre shaker jet nozzel to the shaker jet in 2002. I never had a clog but thought I would change just in case.

If you are worried about the line clogging there is a wire that is in the line. The wire is made to pull out and run back and forth to clean out the line. (I have only had to do this once.)

I always take mine apart and put in my pot. It fits in just fine.

As to simmering. Simmering with the whisper lite is easy it just takes practice. Never pump the pressure way up. Try to keep it low. When you first start to boil pump a couple of times. The pressure will get low by the time the water boils. If it gets to low to soon pump the bottle while on the ground. When the water boils with the remaining pressure use the valve to adjust higher or lower. If there is alot of pressure using the valve will not work. If you over pump the bottle you can open the top to releive the pressure. (do this before you lite the stove)

01-31-2005, 13:29
I've never had problems getting a Whisperlight to simmer-- at least so far as needed to make hash browns, a way-too-expensive dehydrated desert, or potato pancakes...

That said, I'd take issue with the "Whisper" in the name, in the same way others have taken issue with the "Light". If you were to compare the Whisperlight with the old SVEA or a mountaneer's MSR XKG (I think that's it), then it is quiet. But if you were to compare it to the song of a White Throated Sparrow, a Whisperlight screams like a jet engine.

Does that make a difference? It depends. If you want to make a cup of coffee at a table at an early morning hour, it might.

For me, part of the magic of an alchohol stove is that it makes no noise what so ever. Noise is just on small factor when deciding on a stove, but worth considering IMHO.

01-31-2005, 16:01
Some folks swear by them, my take is they don't whisper, they scream, they aren't light unless you compare it to a bowling ball, they don't simmer without invoking all kinds of black magic, and there's always some worry about getting it fired up. Lots of maintenance intensive parts; the pump itself, the pump seals, jets, fuel filter, gaskets, hose connections, etc. The mfgr makes lots of money selling annual parts overhaul kits and even special tools.
Best thing I can say about white gas stoves is you can get instant heat- gather up a few sticks, dump some of the fuel on it, add a match and voila (unless the cap on the bottle was dirty and now the threads are stuck).

01-31-2005, 21:05
You can simmer with a Whisperlite if you keep the pressure in the bottle low. It's a pain though, you have to pump it up a little bit very frequently. I haven't tried it, but if I was in the market for a new liquid fuel stove I'd probably go with the SimmerLite over the WhisperLite.

I think that's a nice theory that leaves a lot to be desired in actual practice.

02-03-2005, 16:10
I picked up a Whisperlight International 600 Series when they first came out and it still runs like a champ. They are great little stoves, but have tradeoffs, just like every other piece of gear. If you need to boil water in a hurry, this thing will do it, no questions asked. I've used mine on the AT in the summer, and everywhere from out in the desert sands to places where the snow was knee deep in the winter and it has never let me down. That said, they aren't the lightest design on the market anymore, by a pretty good margin. Also, there is a bit of a priming ritual involved when you go to light one. After you've done it a few times and cleaned all the hair off of the backs of your fingers, you'll be a pro. Agreeing with everyone else, there are louder stoves available that use more traditional designs, but the "whisper" sounds pretty darn loud when you've been enjoying the quiet sounds of the woods all day.



03-07-2005, 17:27
My wife and I have used our WhisperLight for many years without ever encountering any trouble. It has gone on several extended kayak trips in Alaska where we've been many days out away from the nearest settlement. We've had no problem lighting it, simmering with it, baking on it with our Dutch Oven and it's been a pleasure to use. It's small and can be mated with a variety of fuel bottle sizes to match your trip duration. Sealed canister stoves do not all have that option and the empty fuel canisters are a burdon to carry. You can't always find the right fuel canister for your psrticular stove (if using a sealed canister model) but you can almost always find the white gas for the MSR.

03-07-2005, 17:47
Sealed canister stoves do not all have that option and the empty fuel canisters are a burdon to carry.

If carrying a 4 oz fuel cannister is a "burden", perhaps you should find something a little less physically challenging than backpacking. :D

Seriously, I've used all types of cooking systems and each has it's advantages and disadvantages and which one you use is a personal decision. For me, I prefer white gas for extreme conditions because it always works, and cannister stoves for milder conditions. If I were the type who liked making his own gear alcohol would be a good choice. It just gets a little old reading all the posts from people preaching why their way is the best.

03-08-2005, 09:48
Seriously, I've used all types of cooking systems and each has it's advantages and disadvantages and which one you use is a personal decision. For me, I prefer white gas for extreme conditions because it always works, and cannister stoves for milder conditions. If I were the type who liked making his own gear alcohol would be a good choice. It just gets a little old reading all the posts from people preaching why their way is the best.

And then there are those that prefer a cannister stove in cold weather because you can light it without worring about flare-up (and assuming that the cannister is warm so that it vaporizes.)

Many different choices for stoves. Each has it's place.

03-08-2005, 18:17
Since I'm new to this forum and being my first post I won't elaborate, however, I used a Primus Grasshopper Stove for over 30 years backpacking and never had a problem except weight. The Grasshopper utilized a propane cannister (the long- thin kind which is no longer available) and was the "third" leg of the stove. It wasn't too loud and boiled 2 cups of water, even at elevations over 8000 ft., in about 3 to 4 minutes at full throttle. Due to the fact I can no longer locate the propane cannisters (thank god, the weight was excessive) I now use a MSR Simmerlite with 22oz Fuel bottle. Since I enjoy gourmet meals on the trail, I need a dependable stove and sometimes second burner for cooking extenders. I use the Simmerlite to boil and melt snow and esbit tablets for back-up and as a second burner when needed. I enjoy reading all your threads and hope to participate more.


03-09-2005, 11:02
The Whisperlight stove has never failed me in almost ten years of use. My opinion is that the durability and efficiency factor of the MSR will keep it as a staple piece of gear in my pack for many years to come. Personally, the weight issue of the stove is not a big deal to me as I have found other pieces of gear to change out to lower overall weight. Then again, I still use a Dana Terraplane and two years ago switched to using a Thermarest. The bottom line is to try out gear and if any particular item works well, is durable, and is comfortable, then stick with it even if one feels it does not meet the evolving criteria of the masses.

03-11-2005, 01:51
ok OK I finally succumbed, and came from the dark side to join the alky crowd. I chose to make the penny low pressure jet stove, as it had the combination of ideas I felt most comfortable with as far as efficiency, safety, and ease of construction for my 1.3 L titanium pot. The reason Alky is better is the weight, NOT the cost. Here's why....

Heinekein beer can for the fuel cup ( 6 pack, 8 bucks)
Dr Pepper can for the burner (6 pack, 3 bucks)
12 oz Aquafina bottle for the fuel bottle (12pack, 5 bucks)
Oven liner for the heat shield and wind screen (2pack, 3 bucks)
Stainless steel wire mesh for the pot stand ( min order, 10 bucks)
No welding epoxy, metal tape, etc needed.
Constructed with utility knife, ruler, sandpaper, pliers, tinsnips and drill (free)
whisperlite stove/fuel bottle now in closet gathering dust (40 bucks, +/-)

Total weight of new stove system is 16 oz LESS than old system (includes fuel)

Total cost of system 8+3+5+3+10+40= 69 bucks.....however.....

Fun of constructing the new stove, and watching my 12 yr old pyro son see me light it.....PRICELESS!:banana

So you see, the WEIGHT is the real reason to make the Alcohol stove!:-?

03-11-2005, 02:07
link for the penny stove: http://www.csun.edu/~mjurey/penny.html#