I’m always excited to review and take a closer look at MSR backpacking stoves. MSR have some of the best backpacking stoves on the market, with the XGK EX and the WhisperLite being two of the best value backpacking stoves. It leaves me wondering where the MSR Dragonfly stove fits into the range, and what it offers different from other models.
It’s immediately obvious that the Dragonfly is designed to be versatile and easy to use. It’s light, folds up nice and compact, and can burn different types of fuel.
MSR actually introduced the Dragonfly model back in 1998, and at the time marketed it towards high altitude mountaineering and hikers. It’s had some minor facelifts over the years, and in its present form it’s a great little stove
Setup and Design Features
Setting up the stove out of the box is a breeze when you want to use it. Simply connect the jet, attach a gas tank (sold separately), then plug in the fuel line. When unfolded, it is wide enough to hold a 9” pot, and the legs give decent stability on rough ground.
There is a flame adjustment valve on the side to control the heat, this flips out a little which is handy and is designed to help the user avoid burning their hands. You control the flame by twisting the valve, giving you a feel-control over the height of the flame.
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At the end of each usage it’s recommended you give the stove a shake. There is a shaker pin designed to help clean any residue left over in the jet. Doing this will keep the stove operating efficiently, and help avoid any malfunction. This is MSR’s self-cleaning system used on a number of their stoves.
Dimensions – 6” x 6” x 5”, and weighs around 1lb.
The Dragonfly comes with different jets, enabling you to use different fuel types depending on your preference. Here are some comparisons between white gas, diesel, and kerosene when putting the stove to its test.
- White Gas (WG)
- Diesel (D)
- Kerosene (K)
Burn time with 600ml Fuel:
- 126 mins (WG)
- 136 mins (D)
- 153 mins (K)
Amt water boiled with 100ml Fuel:
- 5.3 ltr (WG)
- 5.7 ltr (D)
- 7.0 ltr (K)
Time to boil 1 litre of water:
- 3.5 mins (WG)
- 3.5 mins (D)
- 3.9 mins (K)
As you can see from the chart, the boil times are impressive. No surprise that white gas is the most powerful fuel, and with a continual burn time of 126 minutes you don’t need to carry spares with you all the time. Take a look at MSR’s website for additional information covering fuel usage.
- You can burn different types of fuel
- Very portable and convenient to travel with as a backpack stove
- Manufactured by a reputable and reliable brand
- Boils quickly for its size
- Has been tried and tested over many years
- The stove collapses down to about a third of its usable size, making it easily portable
- The aluminium wind protector doesn’t hold up well in windy conditions
- It is more expensive than other models like the WhisperLite that can do a similar job
The aluminium wind protector has been identified by many users as being too flimsy, which seeing as it’s main purpose is to shield wind – has left owners making up some minor adjustments.
Outdoor folks are resourceful, I’m sure you’ll agree we have to be! Pack a couple of large paper clips with you, and if the wind is picking up and moving the aluminium you can pin it together to make it stronger. In addition to this you may want to pin it to the ground if possible.
MSR Dragonfly Stove Summary
In summary, if you are looking for a reliable stove from a trusted brand you’ve found it. It is not the most fancy, doesn’t have the high-end feature of expensive stoves. But it is great value for money, and most importantly boils water and cooks meals just fine while backpacking.
The MSR Dragonfly stove has been a trusted, durable backpacking companion for outdoors enthusiasts for years. It has moved forward with the times where necessary, and as it stands today is one of the best models on the market. If you have owned one before, or are thinking of doing so, drop me a comment and let me know what you’re thinking!
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