When looking for a backpacker stove, I look for at least two things: lightweight, plus performance. Size and price are also factors but I can sacrifice on those two points if I can find a good balance between the weight of the stove and its performance. The MSR MicroRocket is a lightweight stove that performed better than other stoves that I have used that cost more money and weigh more.
The MicroRocket is a canister stove that weighs only 2.6 oz (stove only) and folds up small. The stove comes in a nice hard plastic storage case and with a piezo lighter. These two items add a little weight, bringing the total to 4.2 oz., but are a great addition to the stove. This is an extremely simple stove to operate. Screw on a canister of fuel, hold the piezo lighter to the head and turn to low. The first time I used this I had a hard time lighting it as I would crank the stove to high and the force of the gas would not light. I then tried a match thinking the piezo was not working and again nothing but this time it would blew the match out. One of the guys that I was with told me to try it on low and it worked like a charm.
I was a little surprised at how stable this stove is. While backpacking I took the GSI Pinnacle Dualist and it worked great. One morning I made biscuits and gravy. Most canister stoves that I have used are great at boiling, and the MicroRocket is no exception. It can bring 1 liter of water to boil in just over 4 minutes. But many canister stoves struggle to simmer. A lot of times this isn't necessary but when it is, it can cost you your meal without a good simmer. A great test for me while backpacking was making the biscuits and gravy. This takes a bigger pot to make and when full it is heavy, but it also has to simmer for about 10 minutes. I am happy to report that it worked flawlessly on both accounts. It supported the weight of the pot and food and it simmered like a king.
The biggest downside that I experienced was the wind. While up in the Uintah Mountains one night, the wind picked up and kept blowing the stove out. I made a make-shift windscreen with a few rocks on the one side which helped out. Even with this I have really enjoyed using this stove.
Verdict: The MSR MicroRocket is a great example of small things coming in small packages. It comes with a piezo lighter so you can light it without matches. The stove boils water quickly and can be brought down to a simmer. In our testing windy conditions proved to be a bit more challenging for the stove. But at $59.95 the MSR MicroRocket is worth every penny and lighten up the pack while providing a great cooking experience.
Product provided for free by the manufacturer for review purposes.