The Great Outdoors Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for people who love outdoor activities, excursions, and outdoorsmanship. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

My MSR Whisperlite has served me well for more than 10 years. It started leaking a few weeks ago, and I'm looking for a proper replacement.

I've read some good reviews about dual fuel stoves (,, which can work both on canister gas or liquid fuel. They seem like a great solution: Using clean canister gas for day hikes, and switching to energetically efficient liquid fuel on longer treks.

Are there any drawbacks to these stoves, especially in terms of reliability?

share|improve this question
Have you considered making your own stove? I'm not particularly handy, but I made my own cat stove for <$5. It's lighter than any commercial stove I could afford (about 2.3 ounces) and supremely reliable, since there are no moving parts. It burns alcohol, and fits inside my cookpot. Here's the one I made: There are fancier ones. – Don Branson Mar 10 '13 at 17:33
Plus there's the joy of using something you made yourself. – Don Branson Mar 10 '13 at 17:34
What on your stove is leaking? MSR sells a repair kit to replace all the seal on the stove. – sixtyfootersdude Mar 13 '13 at 17:18
up vote 1 down vote accepted

There are no reliability problems specifically with dual fuel stoves. Reliability really has more to do with the design and the manufacturer than the fuel(s).

So the best stove for you really depends on what you are doing. If you are making lots of short hikes with occasional multi-night treks, then a reliable dual fuel stove could be a great solution. If weight was your top concern I would not recommend a dual fuel because they usually have more bulk in their design.

If you liked your Whisperlite I can say that I use the International version which burns pretty much every fuel there is.

The Cat Stove design the Don mentions is phenomenal for reliability and cost, but it can be tough to learn to cook on them and I find they are best for the ultra-light multi-night type of treks.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.