Review of the MSR XGK EX military multi fuel stove

Discussion in 'Reviews' started by EvanStinson, Dec 2, 2017.

  1. EvanStinson

    EvanStinson Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    4
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2014
    Messages:
    4,213
    Likes Received:
    9,539
    Location:
    Fort Plain, NY
    I’m going to try an do a little review here. This is my first stove apart from hobo stoves and soda can stoves. I’ve always just cooked over the fire so using a stove is a bit of a different expirence.

    This is MSR’s military grade stove. It’s extremely heavy duty and is capable of burning multiple fuels. It will run on white gas, home heating oil, diesel fuel, kerosene, and automotive gasoline. It will not work with alcohol. I wanted this option because in addition to being a cold weather and car camping stove I wanted it to double as an emergency stove. So having the option to scavenge fuel sources was a huge bonus.

    The military version comes in a “water resistant” roll top bag. The bag fits all the components that come with the stove apart from the fuel bottle neatly and with room to spare.

    45EBB6E9-F082-401C-932E-A3DD7D315057.jpeg

    All laid out the kit includes. The stove, fuel line, simmer plate, kit for swapping out nozzles to change fuel types, wind screen, and fuel bottle.

    63190E48-8A9A-4A63-9751-C2684E183EB3.jpeg

    When I set up I give the fuel bottle 20-30 pumps and attach the fuel line.

    52197B1A-2878-489A-9849-D171A1291B28.jpeg

    The next thing this particular stove requires is to be primed. Crack the valve and let a small amount of fuel into the stove. This pic doesn’t show it well but the “wet looking” metal has fuel on it.

    C28CCF17-014B-4865-B6B9-CE1A20EE1417.jpeg

    The stove lights very readily and will burn with a tall flame while it pre heats the fuel to gas.

    66CDCC5F-7B39-4182-A7A4-0B4CD162997A.jpeg

    I’d say in about 20-30 seconds the stove heats up and begins to make a “jet engine” sound. At this point you can open the valve and let the fuel flow as the stove is primed. I placed the summer plate and here the stove is running. It burns pretty clean so it’s very hard to see the flame.

    1E748E40-7A0D-4107-8549-A12A05E66F59.jpeg

    I found that adjusting the flame is pretty difficult. It likes to run wide open. Most of the time today I had the valve almost completely closed and it still boiled water in about 2 minutes.

    9D0475CE-3C88-43F9-9ACE-353F3CAB5F6C.jpeg

    I used the water I just boiled to make a cup of tea to enjoy while the stove was rehydrating some chili I brought along.

    DB39DC49-7D6F-44AD-AC22-966D96E3B21C.jpeg

    The chili took about 15 minutes to cook and completely rehydrate. I stirred it occasionally while it was cooking.

    DE54CEA4-EE4C-4A9F-AAD7-4AFB51C632DC.jpeg

    I was pleasantly surprised to see that in spite of not having a lot of control over the flame the food at the bottom of the cup did not burn.

    E370A7D7-B78D-4AB8-B796-C564406E1485.jpeg

    This is a bombproof stove. It’s a little bulky so it’s probably more suited for winter or cold weather camping which works out well considering how hot it runs. I’m sure it’s not the best compared to other stoves that are available that have more simmer control. That said I had no problem cooking on it but it probably wouldn’t work well for just warming food. As far as boiling water the stove is a beast. I’m definitely happy I got it and it holds a place with my gear in cold weather and for emergencies. I think I’m staring to like the idea of cooking with a stove and will be looking into trying some other stoves in the future.

    “THERE BE ACTION HERE!”
     
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2017
  2. CivilizationDropout

    CivilizationDropout -MOA #17-MYOG #71- Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2010
    Messages:
    4,683
    Likes Received:
    18,520
    Location:
    The Swamp
    Added to the Christmas list... thanks for the review!
     
  3. isme

    isme Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2014
    Messages:
    2,050
    Likes Received:
    9,523
    Location:
    Foothills of the Great Smoky mountains, Tn
    Ok now you've got my attention.
    I bet it's much lighter than my Coleman peak 1 dual fuel.
    Lighter weight, more fuel options, more compact.....
    I gotta check this out. Thanks for the review....
     
  4. isme

    isme Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2014
    Messages:
    2,050
    Likes Received:
    9,523
    Location:
    Foothills of the Great Smoky mountains, Tn
    Backcountry.com has them for 119.95
    with 10% off entire purchase...
    anyone interested in buying a Coleman???LOL
     
  5. DKR

    DKR Scout

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2014
    Messages:
    599
    Likes Received:
    1,716
    Thanks for htr post & pictures.

    I've had an MSR XGK since the mid-70s. It bumped the Svea 123 out of my ruck for winter use. I don't think you could find a better stove for melting snow/ice. For cooking, maybe not as good as other stoves by MSR.

    For those interested in the history/evolution of the stove, this is pretty definitive:
    https://thesummitregister.com/evolution-msr-xgk-ex-stove/

    To be honest, I don't think I would buy one today ($160 plus for any addition accessories). The Whisperlight International comes in at under $100 - less the fuel bottle. While a single fuel White gas/gasoline it offers better burner control for cooking...
     
  6. isme

    isme Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2014
    Messages:
    2,050
    Likes Received:
    9,523
    Location:
    Foothills of the Great Smoky mountains, Tn
    Appreciate the info, I'll look into the Whisperlight
     
  7. EvanStinson

    EvanStinson Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    4
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2014
    Messages:
    4,213
    Likes Received:
    9,539
    Location:
    Fort Plain, NY
    It’s definitely on the pricier end. Well built though. I traded into mine. Sufficient for cooking anything as you would over a fire. If you sauté mushrooms or cook more delicate foods a different stove will probably be better. Bacon, bannock, boiling all work fine on this. I thought I read somewhere about a whisper light multi fuel. As I mentioned I’m going to explore more myself.
     
  8. isme

    isme Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2014
    Messages:
    2,050
    Likes Received:
    9,523
    Location:
    Foothills of the Great Smoky mountains, Tn
    Apparently the Whisperlite International is the multi-fuel version. Looks like it's going on my list of gear to watch for on the Trade Blanket.
    Like I said my Coleman Peak 1 works great. It weighs a ton but always works with no isssues. I love the dual fuel option. The Coleman lists white gas or unleaded gas. This gives even more options on fuel with the lighter weight.

    I was happy with my gear then ya'll gotta show me something else I can't live without...Thanks...LOL
     
  9. Jean

    Jean Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Messages:
    1,715
    Likes Received:
    817
    Ha, I don't think I've ever seen a canteen cup on an XGK. I've never used mine with anything less than a 2L pot and usually larger.
     
  10. RobbieinME

    RobbieinME Tracker

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2014
    Messages:
    164
    Likes Received:
    212
    Location:
    Maine
  11. EvanStinson

    EvanStinson Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    4
    Joined:
    Jan 16, 2014
    Messages:
    4,213
    Likes Received:
    9,539
    Location:
    Fort Plain, NY
    I don’t have pots that big. Cooked the canteen cup just fine.
     
  12. carpenter

    carpenter Supporter Supporter Bushcraft Friend

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2011
    Messages:
    527
    Likes Received:
    1,420
    Location:
    NW GA
    I've got an XGK from the late 70s. Your right it does not have any simmer control. Looks like that simmer ring should help. Just need to watch your food when cooking. Nice stove pretty mnch bombproof. @isme your Coleman is a good stove. Ive got the older brown 400 and like it a lot. I don't think there is that much weight difference when you factor in fuel.
     
  13. isme

    isme Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Nov 18, 2014
    Messages:
    2,050
    Likes Received:
    9,523
    Location:
    Foothills of the Great Smoky mountains, Tn
    Yea, mine is the older brown 400 also...
    I wasn't sure about the weight, or how much room it would take up in my pack, but otherwise I have never had a problem with this one. I always use 100% gas ( unleaded with no ethanol )
     
  14. wizard

    wizard Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 24, 2010
    Messages:
    1,664
    Likes Received:
    459
    I have had an MSR stove since the first model, which was called a Model 9. It evolved over the years into the XGK that is sold today. That included various nomenclature changes along the way. I have never seen the simmer plate as a commercially available product, the plate only comes with the military version of the stove. It does help both with cooking and as a platform for smaller pots, like the canteen cup.

    The XGK and earlier versions all have no real flame adjustment, they are either full on or going out. If you adjust the flame to be smaller it sputters and pretty much goes out. They were primarily designed as a mountaineering stove, for melting ice, boiling water and for cold weather use.

    The MSR stove with the true flame control is the Dragonfly. It operates similar to the XGK but has a separate valve to regulate the flame. It can simmer, boil or warm, once adjusted. There is a lag on adjustment due to the length of the fuel tube from the bottle. The Whisperlite stove had some flame adjustment on the first generation model but that has changed to where they almost operate like an XGK, just quieter.

    The real beauty of any MSR stove is the availability of parts to repair and replace, even in the field they can be serviced easily.

    On another note, I used to have one of the old Coleman 400 stoves with super flame control and the wife and I used it a lot. She was an excellent cook and loved the operation of the Coleman. Too bad I don't still have that stove. It was a heavy beast but a great stove. The models that Coleman sells today are not even close to how good that old 400 operated.
     
  15. Broke

    Broke Back yard bushcrafter Supporter Bushclass I

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Dec 21, 2016
    Messages:
    3,081
    Likes Received:
    17,040
    Location:
    Blue Springs, mo
    Nice review! well written and contained of an excellent quantity of real world use, or, as it is known, action!
     
  16. central joe

    central joe Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 13, 2012
    Messages:
    3,248
    Likes Received:
    13,792
    Location:
    upstate south carolina
    Good informative post and nice pictures young fellar. Thank you. joe
     
  17. Hawaii

    Hawaii Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Jan 18, 2013
    Messages:
    452
    Likes Received:
    1,185
    If you want a lower flame instead of the full flamethrower put a lot fewer pumps of air in. You will get a more manageable flame. Once you get the hang of it you can simmer.
     
  18. Not Sure

    Not Sure Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 4, 2016
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    687
    Location:
    FEMA Region 10
    I ran my XGK-II and XGK-EX on Kerosene as a test the other day.
    Kero is very hard to light. If you decide to use Kero I suggest bringing a small bottle
    of Alcohol to pre-heat with. I got closer to a simmer with Kero than I ever have with White Gas.
    A trick I learned from Hikin Jim is, get it hot than shut it off and then open it up ever so slightly.
    Seems to help get somewhat of a simmer.
    Amazing stove.
    Good write up............
    Stove at full throttle with simmer plate I found on the Web.
    IMG_4281.JPG
     
  19. Jean

    Jean Guide

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    Aug 2, 2012
    Messages:
    1,715
    Likes Received:
    817
    Sure it did, I would have been worried it would have launched it.
     
  20. Not Sure

    Not Sure Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 4, 2016
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    687
    Location:
    FEMA Region 10
    Evan gave the OK to piggy back this on his thread.
    MSR Tool Spoon.
    Stainless Steel- 1.5 oz- 9 inches long.
    Love this thing, long enough to reach the bottom of MRE or Mountain House.
    And still be able to take Pump apart or pull cable out of stove.
    Perfect companion IMG_4313.JPG IMG_4308.JPG IMG_4309.JPG to your stove.......
     
    CivilizationDropout and Broke like this.
  21. Not Sure

    Not Sure Supporter Supporter

    Blog Posts:
    0
    Joined:
    May 4, 2016
    Messages:
    175
    Likes Received:
    687
    Location:
    FEMA Region 10
    A better Picture showing the Tool it mimics.

    IMG_4316.JPG IMG_4317.JPG
     

    Attached Files:

Share This Page