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MSR Dragonfly Review
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Big Stinky, 0/0/00
"I love my Dragonfly for all of the reasons above. One thing... those that claim it's as loud as a jet engine are the same people that think a handgun has a lot of kick. Get real. Yeah it's a little noisy...so what...it works awesome."
Algonquin Jack, Ontario, Canad, 0/0/00
"Dragonfly Stove- Design Flaws :
although a great stove for hiking & backcountry camping, it suffers from at least 2 serious design flaws, both of which I have personally experienced.
1. Plastic Tabs- on the early models, the plastic tabs on the pump housing broke - many people have experienced this & MSR has since corrected the problem with a subsequent design change to "bbef up" the plastic pump parts
2. Weld Failure- my stove has also suffered a weld failure, resulting in the burner assembly separating from the pivot wire. If you look closely (ie, take the lamp wick off the pivot wire), you will observe that the burner assembly is welded to the pivot wire by a simple fillet weld. Over time, this weld will weaken due to the tremendous thermal cycles that these parts are exposed to. As a result, the burner assembly will simply separate from the wire. MSR needs to re-think how to secure the burner to the pivot wire to eliminate this weld, as it will eventually fail on every stove ?
However, to MSR's credit they have been very good to honour their guarantee & have provided replacement parts (or a brand new stove, in the case of the weld failure)"
"I recently was at the REI in College Park and asked a employee to demonstrate the stove. I was impressed by the adjustable flame(roaring to a polite simmer)and compactability. Sorry for REI they were on backorder for months, so I called Campmor and ordered it for my Spring Break trip in the Smokeys. This stove is worth every $99.00 I paid for it. I boiles like a champ, about 3:00 min for a quart of cool creek H2O. The adjustable flame has endless possibilities for gourmet backcountry foods. I give it two thumbs up, way up!"
Steve Yabut, 0/0/00
"I recently borrowed this stove for a trip to Yosemite and it has MSR's standard high quality. The only major drawback was the extreme loudness. At full blast, the stove is deafing. All dinner time conversation ended when it was running, and I woke several people up in the campsite trying to make coffee in the morning. It does have great simmer control though. I still prefer the Whisperlite International, it may not simmer, but at least it's quiet."
Andrew B, 0/0/00
"This stove is great. The fine tune BTU adjustment is very handy and it is very stable. The stove is light, and compacts small. It is worth every penny."
"Wow! After going hiking with some partners who had other MSR stoves I was a little skeptical, but the Dragonfly is far and away the best stove I have ver used. The stove does require priming, but with a little experiance (I recommend doing it 2-3 times at home before setting out) it is as easy to light as an instant-on. The adjustability is what puts this head and shoulders above all other MSR's and it's versatility in fuels, it's lightweight , compact design put it above all other brands. At $100 it is a bit spendy, but this is a case of "you get what you pay for" if I've ever seen one."
"I have had a dragonfly for over a year and find it the most versattile stove i've ever owned.
breakfast of hotcakes and eggs with bacon one day
biscuits and gravey the next morning.
thai curry chicken with cinnamon rice one evening
chili and cornbread another evening.
if you can name it you can make it on this stove
simmer to blow torch better yet pack in with a friend or tow who both have them.
baking hint get a 6 inch wire pie rack place it in the bottom of a large pot put your goods to be baked in a smaller pot inside and put the lid onstart on high for a minute then go to low for durration
takes practice but it works well"
Eric Blumensaadt, 0/0/00
"After wearing out my Svea 123 (purchased 1970) I bought an "adjustable" Optimus Multifuel stove that could use gas, kerosene, or butane. A well made stove BUT it was only a little adjustable and could NOT simmer - thus I tried but could but could NOT use my Outback Oven. I swapped for a Dragonfly & am totally happy. Plus there's no "flip the fuel bottle" shut down procedure w/ the Dragonfly. My only fix for the Dragonfly was using a Dremel tool to grind anti-slip notches into the top surfaces of the wire pot stand. I love this stove & can bake almost anything on it - I really like to make sourdough bread & cornbread."
"The Dragonfly is the best stove on the martket
I can bake a cake on it by just putting a 6" rack in an 8" pot then placing my cake batter in a 6" pan on top of the rack then placing the lid on top of the 8" pot. i can make soup, stews, biscuts, hollindaise, cheese sauce, cream of potato soup.
if i can cook it anywhere else I can cook it on my dragonfly!!!
The Dragonfly rules!!!
better yet my backpacking partner has one and one night i made thai curry chicken and cinnamon rice with no problem using both stoves, i have even made real eggs benedict on two of these stoves!!!"
Eric Blumensaadt, 0/0/00
"After using an Optimus #11 Expolorer (which would NOT simmer or bake with my Outback oven) I to9ok the #11 back to EMS & purchased a Dragonfly stove. It is far better than the Explorer in that it will even warm food w/o simmering. With this stove you have total control of the flame and a very sturdy stove with many clever design features."
"I bought this stove the first year it came out. Before I was using a Peak 1 Apex stove. The bottom line is the Dragonfly is typical of most MSR Stoves I have used. They are sooty. The Peak1 Apex is quiet and has never failed. It starts very easily and is not a soot bomb. The Dragonfly sounds like a jet. Ear plugs are recommended. Both stoves are excellent investments. Choice is by preference. I use both stoves equally. I still am very fond of Peak 1 Apex."
Adam Blood, 0/0/00
"Over all it is a great stove and it works realy well. The only down fall is it is a little bit noisy but it can be lived with becasue of the other options that this stove comes with that are handy, like the flame adjuster and shaker jet."
"I used one for a year and found that it was much too noisy and sooty. It is impossible to carry on a conversation while using it and the other members of our BS troop comittee refer to it as the Boeing. I now have a pocket rocket and I'm much happier with it."
Glen S., 0/0/00
"Having used my Whisperlite for years, I took the plunge and purchased the Dragonfly. I love it. The ability to control the flame was my draw back with the Whisperlite and the Dragonfly answers that problem. The noise doesn't bother me as I can easly tell the flame hight by it. As with my Whisperlite, keeping it clean reduces the soot."
William Turner, 0/0/00
"As most of the other reviewers were mountain hikers, etc, I thought I'd chime in with a Kayaker's perspective.
I don't like the plastic fuel pump that the MSR range of stoves use.
I've had to purchase several pump replacements, due to grit damage from wind blown sand.
If MSR moved to brass all metal fuel pump designs I'd rate this stove much higher.
That aside, I do like the flame control for simmering and more. This is the first non-Optimus stove that aproaches good simmering capabilities.
After the pump failures that I encountered though, I have shelved this stove and returned to using my all brass constructed Optimus 8R hunter and 10 Ranger stoves."
"i don't think detractors of msr's plastic pumps appreciate the safety benefits - i'd rather have my pump flame out than an explosion any day. yes this stove can be sooty, especially if you overprime it (unecessary) but it burns most fuels in any weather with simmering capability and is highly field maintainable. safety and four-season simmering are worth the noise."
Matt Ward, 0/0/00
"I've had major problems with this stove, having used it for 6 months whilst traveling/camping in the Middle East, Asia and China.
I agree that it works very well with good quality fuel from Europe or the US. But if the fuel quality drops to the levels of, say, Iran then problems arise. It gets clogged up very easily and will not work for more than 10 minutes without getting so clogged that it will block up completely. No good at all!"
Tim Maurice, 0/0/00
"I first started using white gas stoves back in the 70's when I happened to buy a MSR 9a, the predecesser of the current MSR XGK. I loved that stove. It was sturdily built, impossible to break, and ran forever. In more recent years, REI bought out MSR and the MSR manufactured stoves began to get cheaper and cheaper construction. Now, they have plastic pumps that either fall apart (literally) or break. The metal stoves themselves are poorly made (e.g. the welds on the MSR Dragonfly). As a result of MSR's continuing decline in manufacturing quality and reliability, I set out on a search for a replacement. I've finally found it in the Optimus Nova. The craftsmanship on this stove is subperb, possibly topping the original MSR's before they began to degrade under REI ownership. Both stove and pump are made entirely of metal (machined brass and aluminum) with the exception of necessary orings and the pump leather. The stove is mechanically so reliable that most retailers don't even sell the repair kit for the stove (a repair kit is available and contains everything necessary to completely rebuild both the pump and the stove - all orings, gaskets, flame spreader, fuel filter, everything - and the stove is field maintainable) which is available for about $11. The stove lights easily with less preheating than any MSR stove. Any compustable fuel can be burned in the stove, without changing jets or making any burner adjustments, with the usual warnings about care in burning fuels that contain poisons, such as auto fuel. The flame is adjustable from blow torch level to a slow simmer with a simple twist of the burner control on the stove. I've used the stove in Death Valley summer and Yellowstone winter temperatures with equal ease. To make a long story short, this stove is built like the original MSR stoves are. If you buy one, plan on its running trouble free for the next twenty years. It's built that well and is so easy to use in camp that you will not want to trade it in for the next pretty face that comes along. The only (minor) drawback to the stove is that it doesn't come with a windscreen. I suggest a MSR folding aluminum windscreen for that function. P.S. It's very fuel efficient also. For solo use, I plan on 2 ounces of white gas per day in summer. If I have to melt ice for water in winter, I plan on 4-5 ounces of fuel per day."
R. Motdorf, 0/0/00
"Shame on the manufacturers of the Dragonfly stove. After using one on extensive canoe trips in the Boundry Waters, this damned thing gave me troubles with the cheap plastic pump, several times over the last three years. Thanks to the reliability of good, old faithful Svea 123 we endured. Most of those who gave accolades to the Dragonfly really haven't had to depend on one over a period of time and extensive useage. REI went the "way of all flesh" on this one, degrading it with a cheap plastic pump and low quality craftmanship -- note the welds. The earlier MSR 9A was OK - before REI bought MSR out. REI used to be a first rate outfitter back in the 60's. Bigger is not always better! Good old Optimus has come through again with their Optimus Nova. Other than that the Svea 123 is hard to beat."
John Kulcsar, 0/0/00
"Disapointed in Dragongfly... Packability is poor, very loud, cheap plastic pump that breaks often.... Am not impressed by this unit despite all its hoopla in most gear reviews and camping/backpacking magazines.. The only advantage is the simmering tool. This stove is ok for car camping, but certainly not for backpacking enthusiasts.."
Mike, Kuwait, PHX, FLG, 0/0/00
"I bought this stove with the need to burn all available fuels. I have burned Diesel, JP8, MOGAS, Unleaded, White Gas, and MSR Fuel in this stove with NO problems. I used it for 2 weeks at the National Training Center at Ft. Irwin, 12 days at Philmont, and 6 months in Kuwait. I used this stove daily while in Kuwait burning lowest bidder MOGAS, diesel, and JP8. I have had to clean it once using the maintenance kit "cool tool" nothing has broken and no welds have popped. I have trusted my food on this stove. If I had to buy another stove I wouldn't. This stove is the best multi fuel stove out there. It simmers good enough for a gourmet, and burns hot enough to mimic an M1 Tank in a thermal sight. I love this stove. I would not trade it for the world!!!!"
"I read these reviews and wonder how many really know what the heck there doing with the gear they have..Yes this stove is some what load..But i have seen and am pretty sure that most that post here..pump the fuel can up so high that yea it acts like a blow torch.Just a few pumps will do and the stove well be half as loud..as for soot here again..people don`t uderstand there gear..or look for little trick to help...take rubbing Alcohol..i carry a little plastic bottle with me and prime the stove with it..no soot..at all. also yes the pump sucks, but taken care of..keeping the O rings soft and pliable and not over pumping and adding undo pressure to the fuel can will help a lot. maybe one day they will get the picture and make a metal one like Primus has. I love this stove it will simmer like a dream it is made to boil water in three Min. I have never had my stove clog. here again i think it is all in the way you handle it, and the fuel it is hard to keep things clean in the back country or in the sand dumes, Most clogs i have seen come from food boiling over and then not cleaning the stove after. well you all know what happens when food drys and sauce gets hard. Bottom line is take care of the stove and it will take care of you.. buy one, you will not be disapointed. it will fit inside my MSR Blacklite, or MSR Alpine set."
Pete Weiss, 0/0/00
"Bought an MSR Dragonfly as a replacement for an old Peak 1, a stove I really liked, but was not happy with its packability and the act that the fuel tank was integral.
I have not had a problem with the Dragonfly in two years and about 15 hikes. I was concerned about the plastic pump's durability, but feel that as long as I'm relatively careful, don't build up too much pressure, I feel very confident in taking this stove as the only stove for a multi-person trip.
The advice to prime with alcohol is a good tip, and I will try it, but I've gotten my priming routine down pretty well so soot is at a minimum.
As for the noise, well, yes, it's noisy, but that can be mitigated by keeping the pressure in line with actual need - which takes only a little practice.
I find the windscreen design a little annoying, but the stove's other characteristics and features make up for its few shortcomings."
R Gaboury, 0/0/00
"This brand new stove failed on the second day of the West Coast trail. The retaining PLASTIC pins on the pump broke. I was still able to pump it up but I returned the stove as soon as I came off the trail. This stove is SO loud: I received dirty looks from other hikers when I fired it up."
"Bought the dragonfly 2 1/2 years ago for some snow trips in the Sierras. I love it! I cooked on it (not just boil water) as well as melted snow. I love the flame control and the wide pot supports. I do agree, I would like to see a metal pump although I haven't had any trouble out of all its use. the only thing I don't like is the weight. It will still go on all my snow trips but I am currently looking @ MSR canister models."
Bill Porter, 0/0/00
"Just a few additions to the reviews given here - I've only had this stove for a year so my experience isn't as lengthy as some, and I've only used Coleman fuel so far. But I have owned, used or been on trips with a lot of different stoves and have timed them all. (1) This is the only stove I've seen that meets (mine actually exceeds!) the listed boiling times under field conditions. (2) Yes, it can be loud, but not for long. And you can turn it down to be as quiet as any other and take as long to boil as any other. (3) Simmer control leaves nothing to be desired. (4) Packability is excellent - fits easily into my 2 quart MSR pot with room for spoons, salt & spices, etc around it.(5) Soot buildup has been average for a gasoline stove, but you know, radical as the idea is, you can handle this by CLEANING IT OFF with a handy leaf every few days. Jeez. People who complain about this have never, ever cooked over a fire. (6) The comments about the pump are minor IMO because it will still work and you can replace it later. The welds are a whole different matter. Time will tell. I hope they upgrade this because it is the perfect stove in every other respect."
"I have an optimus Nova and a Dragonfly which I have been using for the last 3 years trying to decide which I like best. The Dragonfly's plastic pump broke on my last trip. Other than the plastic pump I found them to both perform identically."
"I have had the Dragonfly for about 4 years after using a Peak 1 for a long time before that. Overall I think the stove is a decent stove. The pump for it is another thing entirely. The thing sucks big time. The little plastic ears that hold the plunger assembly together broke on an outing (day 3 of 6) with no backup. Now I've ordered a replacement pump, but I'm trying to decide whether to just give up and get a replacement. BTW, we finished the trip with a cold camp except for one night where we built a small fire for long enough to cook.
Gary Rowlands, 0/0/00
"On occasion I Had terrible soot and smoking problems with this stove. I don't suffer them at all now and the stove rarely needs cleaning. All I do is release some fuel on start up and shut the valve again, let the fuel burn and either catch it before it extinguishes or re-light. Pans and stove stay very, very clean as a result."
Rich M, 0/0/00
"I am a big MSR fan and have many of their products to include the Dragonfly, Whisperlite Intl., Superfly and Pocket Rocket stoves. But I do not like this stove at all. I have had a lot of problems with it and MSR finally replaced it after the welds broke under the bell. Other problems included having to replace the in line filter and yes, I was using clean white gas. Since I have received the new replacement Dragonfly I have not used it in the field for fear that it might break again. I continue to use my other fine MSR stoves.
But MSR (Cascade Designs) is said to be coming out with a new model pump for 04 which should help those having problems with the current style. I have not had problems with the pumps on my MSR liquid fuel stoves. They are also said to be coming out with an updated version of the Dragonfly in the future and that would be a good move on their part. At this time I cannot recommend this stove but highly recommend the other MSR stoves."
Andy Howell, 0/0/00
"I really like this stove although I did have problems with the pump assembly first time out - with the pump's internal leather washer thing getting lost in the pump. I think with a little care we should all be able to use the pump without breaking the plastic.
In operation the ability to simmer food (rather than simply blast it) is superb,
I don't find weight to be too much of a problem. Most weight is due to the fuel but then you are gaining a real advantage over gas bottles."
"Man. I read all these reviews, and I have to ask the question. "What are you doing with this stove." I mean the plastic pump is the only drawback. It's extremely serviceable in the field. I preheat with white gas most of the time, and get very little soot, but if it's really annoying you, just use about a capful of rubbing alcohol instead to preheat. The only other problem is that the fuel line does not seem to be replaceable, but I doubt I will mess that up."
"I've had one and used it heavily for 2 years. Mine tended to clog on "grit" present in K1 Kero, so I gave up on that messy, inconvenient stuff.
White gas was absolutely trouble free, clean burning and hot, and didn't clog the teeny little filters like Kero did.
What I liked:
-light weight, seemingly fuel efficient, field maintainable with just a SAK and the tiny bendy combo tool it comes with.
What I didn't like:
-Louder than hell (I'm used to old fashioned, dead quiet Coleman stoves), all the heat concentrated in small area of nuclear meltdown, which allows you to burn pancakes in the center and have them raw on the edges(fried in an admitedly too-thin backpacking frying pan), scads of little, different sized rubber O-rings to wear out on you (tho none have!), even though I was forewarned, I overtightened(apparently) the main "On/Off Valve Stop Nut" on the fuel bottle, cracking the female plastic threaded housing lengthwise...
-Had to repair it by wire-wrapping it, and coating it with a thick layer of clear, rubbery gas-tank rated repair glue. (A neat looking fix.)
My biggest gripes are its unsuitability for frying pancakes and its hellish roar. Everything else, I can live with.
Nathan Ball, 0/0/00
"It finally happened! After using the Dragonfly approx. 6 times the pump retaining tabs simply broke off. The temperatures were in the 70's and I baby my gear, so this failure was even more irritating. I have a Svea Hiker and an Optimus Nova which are filling in until I decide whether to chance a new pump or just get another Nova. In fairness, if not for the crappy pump tabs, this is a nice stove; if the Nova wasn't on the market I'd grit my teeth and buy extra pumps."
"I purchased my MSR Dragonfly this season after I broke my old faithful MSR Firefly. I am very happy with it. It seems to be as easy to care for as my Firefly which I ran out of maintenance kits for years ago and have made gaskets and such myself. As for the pump being plastic I have had no problem with it at all. My Firefly has a plastic pump and has worked great for more than 20 years on many -20 F camps."
John Radloff, 0/0/00
"I have had my Dragonfly for a couple of years now. The only negative I have is I burnt a hole through the wind screen once. The stove preformed flawlessly last winter at -27'f in the BWCA. I have gone back to White Gas as it is too cold to depend on Propane or Butane. I love the stove and recommend it to anyone."
Ranger Dave, 0/0/00
"I've used this stove and others for many backpacking and kayaking adventures. Out of many well-engineered stove, this one has been one of the best thought out designs I have seen. The errors in the plastic pump design have been amply stated. My pump failed this summer, but I have been making do by holding the pump down between my fingers. This hasn't been possible as much in sub zero temps. However, MSR has changed their 2004 model pump, and this should resolve the pump tab problem.
As for packability and weight, this stove excells at larger groups of backpackers (6+). However, I have used it solo. My main reason for claiming it better for large groups, is that larger meal portions will be better suited for the rocket that the burner is. Solo meals are accounted for by leaving it closer to simmer after bringing water to a boil.
Weight and packability are great for a stove of this power. Sturdy wide legs means the only way you can tip over a pot is stupidity.
The field maintainability was good, as I was able to dissasemble and reassemble the pump in the field at 0 degrees and mittens. However, trying to repair a friend's fuel leak from a gasket in the valve is becoming difficult.
This stove is not as noisy as some may make it sound. Your first impression with the stove at 100% power is that it is a rocket. When you take a few steps back the noise noticably dissapates. The advantage is that you know the stove is working well or if you have anemic fuel flow. A Coleman stove is much harder to tell the difference. If you can live with some noise when cooking, then you'll have no problems.
Overall it is a great stove. Too bad I'm rating it while making repairs."
"Great little stove, simmers, boils quick, very stable. Used a Peak 1 and dual fuel peak 1 before and the Dragonfly is much better backpacking.
Stove # 1 plastic tabs on pump broke,REI replaced it, weld on burner broke, stove replaced by REI
Stove # 2 plastic tabs on pump broke after three very delicate years babying it in Africa.
Moved back to US, Bought new and improved pump.
Excellent stove, when it is working correctly, I am concerned about it's long term durability. I will give it one more chance!"
DCB (again), 0/0/00
"Lot of water under the bridge and more stove time have given me some better insight into this stove.
This past summer, I carried it from Horshoe Meadows, over Mt. Whitney. Took me 5 days to slowly walk this trip.
I only needed 11 oz. of El Cheapo white gas to do tons of simmering (an hour at a time), a quart of tea for breakfast and lunch, old-fashioned oatmeal for breakfast (a nutritious glue). My homemade dehydrated beans and jerky took an hour to reconstitute at that altitude.
The stove worked without any hesitation, nothing breaking. I discover that if you turn on the gas(@ the Cool Tool valve) about 20 or 30 seconds into the normal priming flare, you get a much quieter flame. About half as loud.
The idea is, you begin to crack open the fuel valve "prematurely", before the burner head is hot enough to yield a blue flame.
This is my favorite, serious backpacking stove.
I like the 11 oz. fuel bottle the best. If I needed more fuel than that, I'd just bring a hydrogen peroxide bottle (filled w/ white gas).
Wonder how the Simmerlight will do?"
Jay Russell, 0/0/00
"I've had mine for a couple of years and have done everything from boil water to gourmet pasta dishes with nice fresh produce.
It is loud (like a hot-air balloon burner) close up but the sound fades at short distance.
I've run it on white gas, kerosene and dry-cleaning fluid and it was fine. The dry-cleaning fluid is too volatile to prime the stove in higher temps though, it just evaporates before you can light it!
I've used it with a huge stock pot and it had no problem coping with the weight.
Top stuff from MSR
One slight niggle, on occasion the flame spreader falls into the burner (when packed) which can be fiddly to retract. But it isn't a huge issue.
As for people complaining they cost $100, in the UK they cost £115 ($210!!!)"
"The slight criticisms of the optimus nova to which the dragonfly is often compared are IMHO unfounded. The typical dragonfly defender says that the nova could blow up like a bomb if used improperly because of its all metal construction and would rather have their plastic breakable parts. Has there ever been a single incident of an optimus nova "blowing up"? I'm guessing no but I could be wrong. I have a Nova and love it. If one has ever exploded I'd like to know."
"I have owned this stove for years. Built like a tank; the most dependable piece of gear I have ever owned; and does everything I need a stove to do.
But, I have sure ticked some people off when I have boiled water at the shelters in the early morning. Sounds like a rocket going off the pad."
Ron. Lake Tahoe., 0/0/00
"Started using the Dragonfly 6 years ago. Initially had some clogging problems which drastically reduced heat output. Contacted MSR and they sent me, (free of charge), a cleaning device for cleaning soot/carbon buildup out of the fuel line. After using the tool, the stove was again like a blast furnace. Homebound with a blown knee, did extensive comparison testing of Dragonfly, Whisperlite International, and Optimus Nova. Found Dragonfly boils about one minute slower than International, 1.5 minutes faster than Nova. Uses less fuel than either stove. Simmers better than Nova and is much less tempermental than the Nova. Been using MSR plastic pumps extensively since they came out in the 80's for both summer and snow camping and have never broken any part of one. Since I like to cook as well as boil, this is my main stove of choice."
"In preface to this review, I had a poor history with cannister stoves, largely due to ambient temperature and fuel supply (with a handful of operator error, to be sure), and decided to go white gas. I researched all the stoves on the market. I settled on the Dragonfly for its reputed simmering capability to cater to my girlfriend's penchant for complicated back country cuisine.
It is not, however, the lightest stove, to be sure. That being said, I decided that I'd rather pack a few ounces more to have a stove that works under the most adverse conditions than tote the equivalent of a very light paper weight.
In a nutshell, this stove performs beautifully. I've had no trouble lighting it in winter, fuel management couldn't be easier (open the bottle and look), it boils water fast enough to get our morning java fix in short order. Saute and simmer capabilities live up to MSR's promotion. Fuel consumption is not bad, after the initial investment in bottles, the fuel is inexpensive. One bottle full will last two people three days, including heating dish water (I won't eat out of dishes washed with dirt).
I've had no problems with the plastic pump, so maybe MSR addressed the concerns raised from earlier models. I've used this stove for both backpacking and car camping with three kids. Not a lick of trouble. As for the noise, I use it to tell me how the flame is burning, whether trying to simmer a sauce or full-on Saturn V rocket motor to get the coffee made.
On uneven ground, I use the Trillium stove base which makes the stove easy to level and very stable.
My one nitpick is the wind screen sits just a hair too high for the handle of my pots and pans, so I'll probably MacGuyver something up to solve that problem.
I highly recommend this stove to anyone."
Doc Mark Rutledge, 0/0/00
I have used MSR stoves for many years, and have had good and bad experiences with them. My most recent purchase was a Dragonfly stove, as I'd read many good things about them. My Sweet Bride and I home-dehydrate all our backpacking food, and we like stoves that can actually cook, and that includes simmering. I happen to collect stoves, and have around 350 of them, the oldest being from 1872. So, I have many stoves from which to choose.
I must say that my Dragonfly stove has really not had a good chance to show us what it can do, as the pump broke one it's first few outings!! This was very upsetting to me, as I've had two other MSR stove pumps break as well, but this is the first one that broke so quickly! The Dragonfly seemed to start easily, boiled water quickly, and simmered very nicely, for the few times that I was able to use it. REI is going to replace the broken pump, so that's not a problem. However, I have to wonder just why a brand new pump broke in the first place.
My opinion, and it's worth what you are paying to read it, is that MSR has made two very good stoves, the X-GK and it's predecessors, and the Firefly. My old Firefly did eventually develop a leak, from it's fiber-covered fuel line. But, for a small charge, MSR replaced that fuel line with the brass covered version, and my Firefly is still going today, after many, many years of use. I do worry about it's pump giving up the ghost, however, after having had three MSR pumps do so. The other stove that MSR made that is still doing exactly what it was designed to so, is the X-GK. No, it's not the best at simmering. But, a friend made me a titanium simmering plate, and it works well with all of my X-GK stoves. I trust the stove, but again, worry about the pumps giving up the ghost.
I have pretty much gave up on the Whisperlite series of stoves, after having our Internationale go South on us during our PCT hike, back in 1991. We were burning kerosene, which worked Ok for a bit. But, despite excellent care on my part, the stove just quit working, at altitude, with temps dropping and a storm blowing it. Luckily, a fellow hiker loaned us his stove, and hypothermia was kept at bay. After our trip, I contacted MSR and was told that the Internationale wasn't really meant to be a multi-fuel stove, and worked best with white gas.
So, while the X-GK and the Firefly have more than proved their colors, some other MSR stoves, in my opinon, just can't cut the mustard, when push comes to shove. I really hope that the new pump for my Dragonfly last longer than the first, so I can really put this stove through it's paces. As it stands, however, I would rather put my trust in my Optimus Nova, which has never let me down, and possibly the Primus Omnifuel, which I have not tested enough, as you yet. But, the jury is still out on the Dragonfly, as far as I'm concerned. And, if MSR wished to stay in the stove making business, they need to make certain that their pumps last more than just a few trips. Take care, and God Bless!
Every Good Wish,
Samantha Kendall, 0/0/00
"Got mine April 06, used a minimum of twice a day, everyday, April through August while taking boy scouts on canoe trips. Suffice to say, was not gently used by any stretch of the imagination.
Worked well cooking meals for groups of 12 in one giant pot. Very stable.
No problems so far."
"I only used this stove a couple of times before the pump broke, the cheap plastic is pathetic for the price I paid for the thing. I went out and bought the Superfly instead, it runs on canisters but is so quick, simple, lightweight, and foolproof. The Dragonfly is extremely loud, and takes a while to boil water. A total piece of crap."
"This has been a very reliable stove for me at a variety of altitudes and both cold and hot weather. While it is a bit loud (it sounds like a jet fighter when full blast), it simmers and pan fries fresh fish without scorching the skin and boils water with the best of them. It has the largest pot base for any backpacking stove on the market and when coupled with the lightweight UCO stove stand it is a real gem. I have 9 backpacking stoves and the Dragonfly is always my top pick!!!"
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