When selecting a stove for backpacking it’s important to consider what you are going to cook. Many of the stoves on the table will boil water, but some of them do it a little more efficiently and more effectively than others. What I can tell you is that every single one will boil water. What I can’t say is that every one of these stoves will efficiently and effectively cook in the backcountry. What do I mean by cook? I mean sauces, stews, use of a backcountry oven, filet of trout, eggs. Let’s face it, some of us don’t want to leave our creature comforts, especially our culinary comforts, at home when we are in the backcountry. If you are one of those people, then the MSR DragonFly is the stove for you. The MSR DragonFly was designed specifically with that backcountry chef in mind. It has a very wide pot support system which enables you to use a very wide fry pan or stockpot on top of it without any problems. It will also enable you to use multiple fuels so that wherever you are in the world, kerosene, diesel fuel, jet fuel, unleaded gasoline, or what we would prefer that you burn, white gas, will function in this stove. Why is this stove different and what makes is better for that backcountry gourmet? It’s very simple. Every other stove that you see on this table, in the liquid fuel variety, is designed to run off the pressure in the canister and as a result when you turn the valve, the flame does not adjust. We’re used to our home stove where you turn the valve, the flame goes up or down, and that doesn’t really happen over here. It is a little bit delayed and a little bit trickier than your standard home stove. So MSR’s engineers set out to create the DragonFly with that ease of use that you would see in a home stove. It has a secondary fuel valve. It uses a pump; just like every other MSR pump but this one is a little bit different. It is the only stove in the line that uses this unique pump and that is because this pump does not meter fuel. It does not regulate fuel flow at all. All that is does is turn fuel flow on and off so once this is screwed on, it just turns fuel flow on or off. It doesn’t slow it down or make it go faster. This plugs in here, just like on most of the MSR stoves, and clips in with this retaining clip but that is where the similarities stop. From there the fuel is going to flow down this line, into the secondary control valve. That secondary control valve meters fuel or controls the fuel flow all the way down here to the point of combustion. Why that is important is because it is a much more micro adjustable environment. We are adjusting the flow of vaporous fuel at that point as opposed to the control of liquid fuel and what you get is a much more accurate and immediate response from the flame. If I turn the fuel valve up, the flame is immediately going to increase and when I turn it back down, the flame is going to immediately decrease. End result is much more control which means that you can do a much better job at preparing whatever you want to cook in the backcountry.
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