Trangia vs MSR Whisperlite

12 05 2007

Ok, I know this is nerdy, but I did test these guys just to see which one really is better.

I’ve had a Trangia 25 (the bigger size) for ages and ages and it’s been great for all of that time. I went and bought an MSR whisperlite shaker-jet, basically because I’ve always wanted one. I didn’t really need it. But since I’ve got it, I thought I’d find out which is better.

I weighed them both:

Trangia
Wind shield: 400g
burner: 120g
grips: 55g
funky strainer/chopping board: 100g
pots (1.75L): 160g
(1.5L): 145g
lid/frying pan: 220g
All together: 1.06kg

Whisperlite
burner: 280g
fuel pump: 65g
spares/stuff sack: 40g
and I need to get some pots (or use the trangia pots)

The whisperlite is clearly lighter, mainly because the windshield is a piece of aluminium foil, rather than the solid storm shield of the trangia.

To boil three lots of 1L of water, the trangia used 75g of ethanol, the whisperlite used 35g of unleaded petrol.

The first litre took the trangia 9.5 mins, the second and third 7.5 mins each (the burner was already warm on the second and third goes).  the MSR took about 2 mins to prime and get warm, and then boiled the first liter in another 5 minutes. the second and third liters took 4.75 and 5 mins to come to a rolling boil.

The whisperlite is clearly faster, uses less fuel, fuel is easier to obtain and  is lighter. The trangia is far more stable, has a better wind shield, is dead easy to use, is cheaper, has no moving parts, doesn’t use explosive fuel and is plenty hot enough (the burn on my finger attests to that 🙂 ). Plus I prefer the smell of methanol – I had a headache for the rest of the day after playing with unleaded. But which one is better? That depends on whether the fuel pump ever springs a leak… But I’ll be taking the new toy away with me.


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5 responses

13 10 2008
dominic bevacqua

If you do the sums, the weights to compare are:

Trangia – 400+120=520g
Whisperlite – 280+65+40=385g

The rest of the Trangia stuff you’d need for the Whisperlite as well

28 05 2009
Jason

Wow, mega thanks for doing this.

Really helped with an Outdoor Ed assignment. 🙂

7 01 2011
Troy

Thanks a lot for putting this together. I own and love my Whisperlite, very solid stove. I’m actually going in the other direction than you though. I’m looking at going to the Trangia from the Whisperlite. I just want to try it out and see if it works for me. I really like the simplicity of it and that you can keep the fuel in it while traveling, unlike the pop can stoves.

You can see my Whisperlite in action here: http://www.maddythegoose.com/Home/food

Concerning the weights, wouldn’t this be a fairer comparison?

Trangia
burner: 120g

Whisperlite
burner: 280g
pump: 65g
spares: 40g

Trangia: 120g Whisperlite: 385g

The rest of the kit can stay the same, just swap the burner.

The fuel bottle for the Trangia can also be lighter since plastic bottles can be used rather than the aluminum ones needed for the white fuel for the Whisperlite. Having said that, over the long haul more fuel is generally needed for the alcohol stoves. So I’m told anyhow, I haven’t received my Trangia yet to compare.

Thanks again…

7 08 2012
Jez Brown

Great review my only comment is about the headache, try using coleman fuel or aspen 4t. PS love Trangia’s

9 04 2016
Steve

I just took a spare trangia base and a pair of tin snips and opened up the burner holder hole to the max. Took 2 mins. Then I feed in the msr whisperlite and now I have the best of both worlds. Can still use with trangia spirit burner if I put something under it (even soil) to lift it up.

Still have 2 other trangia sets as well if I need them.

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