1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.

MSR Whisperlite Universal.

Discussion in 'MSR - Mountain Safety Research' started by Doc Mark, Jan 19, 2012.

  1. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark United States Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Messages:
    14,888
    Greetings, All,

    Well, I mentioned that I had a stove coming, and it arrived today! It is a very nice MSR Whisperlite Universal, and as I had already seen the complete seminar that Steve, of MSR, gave on this stove, up at the fantastic Oregon Stove Gathering (Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. BernieDawg, for hosting that wonderful event!), I knew what to expect from this one. Steve did a great job explaining the WPU, telling us of it's new changes and benefits, and letting us play around with it at the OSG.

    When the box arrived today, here's what transpired between me and Sweet Bride:

    As I opened the box and inspected this new stove, I began to laugh. She asked, "What are you laughing about"? I told her: "It's been a very long road since that cold and dangerous night, high up in the San Gabriel Mountains, whilst we were doing our epic PCT trip, when our original MSR Whisperlite Iternational gave up it's ghost on us and would not light. It's amazing to see what's happened to this stove in the meantime, and receiving it has made that long and sometimes angst-producing journey, more than worth the effort"! She just smiled, and nodded her agreement. Both of us remember that night, and how the original version of this stove balked completely at daily use with kerosene, despite meticulous and regular care. When the WPLI600 came out, it was certainly a step in the right direction, and I said as much right here on CCS. But, now, holding this WLU in my hands, I see what I had hoped that the original International would have been, and since I have that long perspective upon which to look back, I TRULY appreciate the designing, testing, and thought that went into making this WPU!! I told Sweet Bride that this stove will get plenty of use with us, and that I could hardly wait to set a date for our "All MSR" camping trip. Due to work, it may have to be at next month's CASG5. But, I see regular use for the WPU in our future, and also for the new MSR Hubba Hubba tent we now own!

    Personally, though I never had the honor to meet him in person, I think that Larry Penberthy (Founder of MSR, and brilliant inventor of the Model 9 and later X-GK stove family), would be very proud of the work that's currently being done at MSR and Cascade Designs. That fact that they actually care about the products they are designing and offering, and the fact that it appears those who do this work actually LIKE doing so, is a huge testament to their commitment to excellence, and one which I believe Mr. Penberthy would very much embrace, just as MSR and Cascade Designs is doing now!!

    Here are a few shots of our new MSR Whisperlite Universal, as it arrived in it's bag, just for fun:

    1326929725-DSCN7055.jpg

    This new version of the venerable Whisperlite, burns Coleman fuel and unleaded auto gas, kerosene, and also butane, Isobutane, and propane! This is a great step forward, and three proprietary jets are included with the stove, each using the same Shaker Jet technology for ease in clearing the jet, if even needed. Each jet is deeply stamped, and so it's easy to tell which jet goes with which fuel.

    1326929759-DSCN7058.jpg

    New, also, is a special metal adapter that screws directly into our regular gas cartridges, which is swapped with another special adapter, for use with the new MSR pump, when you are using liquid fuels. This is a great and innovative design, and it works a treat, as we all saw at the OSG! VERY nice, addition, which makes this stove, truly, "universal"! Well done, MSR!

    1326929782-DSCN7059.jpg

    MSR pumps have had a long and sometimes rocky road, as most of us know. Each of us have our favorite versions of those pumps, and many of us abhor a small few versions which proved to be about as reliable and usable as wet Kleenex! But, MSR has learned some valuable lessons, and this newest version of their pump is one of the very best, period! They have addressed each and every weak point in some of their previous pump offerings, and designed a pump that surmounts
    each problem, besting it's predecessors by a wide margin in most all areas. Gone are the broken pump tabs, and other such problems, and this pump should give users many years of good service. Some folks have mentioned that it doesn't seem as powerful as some of the earlier versions, but in truth, it's very close. When MSR fixed one major problem with the older pumps, they were left with not quite enough room to make the interior of the pump shaft completely straight. So, this new pump features a slightly tapered pump shaft interior. Testing showed that leather pump buckets (gaskets) would seize up in cold weather, when the pump rod was fully depressed and then left that way overnight in the tight end of the shaft. So, MSR went to a neoprene type pump bucket, and that problem was solved. However, as sometimes happens, nothing is for free, and the new pump buckets simply can't take as large a bite into the captured air in the pump shaft, with each stroke as they used to, hence our perceived feeling that the compression ratio had been changed. As you can see, it has not. It's simply a matter of physics, and the smaller cup cannot scoop as much air, though it is far more reliable in deep cold weather and won't get stuck in the tapered end of the shaft.

    Speaking for myself, who has very much loved some of the older yellow pumps, and who rebuilds a very few of them for continued use, I now prefer to use this new pump, most of the time, rather than take a possibly huge chance on one of the older pumps finally letting go and creating a very dangerous situation. My friend Snowgoose, here at CCS, wrote once that he worried about the aging plastic in those older pumps, and this gave me pause to consider his caution. I recently did some testing of a handful of my old yellow pumps, and was somewhat shocked at what I found. Where there had been no discernible cracks and fissures, nor bulges of any kind, I found quite a few of them in my testing and measuring!! This was a huge blow to me, Folks, as I have long maintained that some of the older yellow pumps are the best MSR ever made!!! But, seeing this for myself has changed my views of that, and I will only be using my yellow pumps sparingly, and with great caution in the future. Others may do as they see fit. But, for me, my safely, and the safety of others, causes me to reevaluate my position on the older MSR pumps. This new pump gives us most everything we want in a lightweight affordable pump, which is safe, strong, and easily used. Again, "way to go, MSR"!!

    1326929803-DSCN7060.jpg

    After already having seen this stove run on a variety of fuels, I'm already a Happy Chappy with it, though I do look forward to much future use and testing. Many thanks to all those at MSR who's outstanding commitment to innovation, quality, and reliability, are showcased in products like this one! HUZZAH to them for not sitting back on their haunches, resting on their previous successes, but instead, blazing along with great new stoves for us Stovies! Thanks for checking out my new MSR Whisperlite Universal, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 26, 2015
  2. RonPH

    Offline
    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    Messages:
    5,871
    Nice one Doc. No budget yet. Need to have the truck catalytic converter replaced $$$$.$$.

    Ron
     
  3. hikerduane

    hikerduane United States Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    Messages:
    4,116
    Location:
    Northern Sierra Nevada
    I like the pot support/legs, look kinda neat, not so "basic".
    Duane
     
  4. hikin_jim United States

    Offline
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    4,416
    Hi, Doc,

    Nice stove. :thumbup: I was very pleased with it when I got one to evaluate for a magazine article.

    Something to note on the MSR pumps is the fuel filter. Many of MSR's pumps had no fuel filter. Some had a sintered brass filter. I think the current filter is the best of the lot, and I think it's in the right place. I honestly don't like the Dragonfly's in-line filter which is farther down the line and hard to clean without damaging the filter. I think placing the filter on the fuel pick up is the right move.

    HJ
     
  5. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark United States Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Messages:
    14,888
    Greetings, Guys,

    Thanks, very much, for the kind words. Yes, this is a very nice stove, and I'm looking forward to using it often. HJ, you did a fine job in your evaluation of this stove, and I am sure that will help MSR gain more customers for it. They have really done all us Stovies a service with this new version of the venerable Whisperlite, and with all the improvements, I'm sure it will be a real winner for them. After seeing it's stable-mate, the MicroRocket, at the OSG, and reading your comments on it, HJ, I decided to get one of those, and ordered it today. Hard to find a place that has them in stock, but I finally found an online store that had 36 of them in inventory, and so pulled the trigger on it. Between the Universal, which was a very nice gift, and the MicroRocket, I'm "ready for Freddy", as they say! ;) :thumbup: :D

    By the way, I do think that Larry P. would be very proud of the current work that's going on over at MSR and Cascade Designs. They are doing him proud, which is a far cry from some of their predecessors did, IMHO. I'm really looking forward to using this stove, and the MR, and testing them myself. I am pretty darned sure that I'll love them, which is very nice, indeed! Thanks, again, Guys, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc

    P.S. Guess I can't carp about the Whisperlite International anymore, eh?? YEAH, I can, 'cause this is a completely different stove in so many ways, and all better than it's original relative! ;) 8) :D :D
     
  6. teletim United Kingdom

    Offline
    Joined:
    Jun 4, 2009
    Messages:
    1,211
    Nice stove,
    I have not seen any for sale in the UK yet.
    Cheers Tim
     
  7. hikerduane

    hikerduane United States Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Mar 1, 2010
    Messages:
    4,116
    Location:
    Northern Sierra Nevada
    I have a buyer for my old Pocket Rocket, so I can put that money towards a MR, but I'll wait for one to come on sale later at REI. I see Backcountry has the MR. Not like I need another bping stove right away, can't use up what I have now.

    Duane
     
  8. RonPH

    Offline
    Joined:
    May 1, 2009
    Messages:
    5,871
    Doc, one quick question which did not come into mind when Steve was doing the demo of the UW, does it still have the internal SS cable that the WL have?

    Ron
     
  9. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark United States Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Messages:
    14,888
    Hey, Ron,

    Yep, it's still got the cleaning/scouring cable, and instructions on how to best use it. So, far, though I've yet to test it in the field, I cannot see one problem with this stove. As you remember, when Steve did his seminar on this and other new MSR stoves, he burned it with kero, Coleman Fuel, and gas cartridges, and all fuels gave a lovely blue flame, with no dancing about, or waffling. I have a photo of you holding the new adapter, too, with a smile of satisfaction on your mug! ;)

    1327000403-DSCN0719.JPG

    AND, here you are pawing Steve's neat Carbon Reflex tent, which after I saw it, first got me thinking about getting it's brother, the Hubba Hubba. Hey, get your paws off of my tents brother, or you'll have to register as a "TM" (Tent Molester)!! ;) :shock: :lol: :lol:

    1327000535-DSCN0687.JPG

    We had fun up at OSG, didn't we!! Take care, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 26, 2015
  10. hikin_jim United States

    Offline
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    4,416
    In my evaluations for the magazine article, I encountered very little to find fault with, particularly for a true stovie. The novice user may find the number of parts to be daunting at first, but MSR thoughtfully included a zippered pouch for those parts as part of the stove bag. They really thought of everything with this stove. This stove shows a lot of thought and attention to detail.

    Likewise the new MSR MicroRocket just has a lot of nice little touches. I love that the MR can lay down flat in a little mug/pot that a PocketRocket barely fits into -- in any position.

    Doc, did your WLU stove come with a pricker? I don't see a pricker in your photo. The WLU stove I received from MSR did not come with a pricker. Very interesting.

    I like Doc am really pleased with what has been coming out of MSR lately.

    HJ
     
  11. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark United States Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Messages:
    14,888
    Hey, HJ,

    As to a pricker, I'm not sure why it would need on, as this stove, as well as the others, are all Shaker Jet technology. Yours should have the same setup, unless you got a different version of this stove. As marketed, as Steve pointed out during his talk at OSG, and as my own WPU arrived, they all have the Shaker Jet. Holding folded up and grasping it tightly to muffle any extraneous rattles, give it a little shake. I'm betting that your's, too, has the SJ in it. If not, please let me know, as you are either missing that part, or received a prototype to test, and not the end product. But, as I say, I'll bet you an acre of buttermilk against a pound of donut holes, that yours has a Shaker Jet, too. ;) 8) :D Talk to you soon, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc

    P.S. You must have missed it, but in my original comments on the stove I received, I did mention the Shaker Jet being a part of it.
     
  12. hikin_jim United States

    Offline
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    4,416
    Hi, Doc,

    I definitely have a Shaker Jet. All of MSR's liquid fueled stoves since about 1992 have had the Shaker Jet. However, I have seen the SJ get all clogged up. I still prefer having an external pricker. I know all of the expedition service kits still have an external pricker. MSR used to include an external pricker even with their shaker jet stoves, but I guess they've stopped doing that.

    I just thought it was interesting. I suppose it's a comment on just how reliable they feel their shaker jet is.

    HJ
     
  13. bolexguy United States

    Offline
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    394
    should have them in stock at the store of "more camping" ...reverse that and know where i work =) ... by the end of the month

    we got the micro rocket in a few weeks ago and its pretty neat - much better build than the pocket from what i can gather - we were supposed to get both models in together but somehow it got split up, I'll let everyone know as soon as i see them there
     
  14. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark United States Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Messages:
    14,888
    Morning, HJ, Bolexguy, and All,

    Jim, ahhhh, now I understand your question. But, why would you ask it? Have you seen other WPU stoves with an outboard pricker included? It may come with the Expedition Maintenance kit, but wouldn't that be for use with the X-GK series, instead of the WPL family??? I know that my X-GK EX came with both the Shaker Jet, and an additional pricker, probably because MSR feel that that stove will be used in more demanding and out of the way places than the WPL series. But, if I ever took the new WPU on such an adventure, and that could well happen, if the stove turns out to be as wonderful as I think it will, I would include TWO extra prickers in my own maintenance kit. Is this the thinking that prompted you to ask your question? If so, it's a good one, and maybe you should forward that on to MSR, for their consideration.

    Bolexguy, sounds like you have a fun job, and in a fun place! Do you just sign your paycheck over to them, and gather up what you need each month?! :shock: :thumbup: 8) :D/ :lol: :lol: Sweet Bride and I have purchased quite a few things from your employer, including two of our TNF tents (VE-25, and Firefly), and our deep Winter sleeping bags (TNF Solar Flare -10° down bags) which have kept us warm and toasty on many a high altitude, deep Winter camp! Temptation must be your constant companion, working where you do, and that can be a blessing AND a curse!!

    Take care, Guys, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc
     
  15. DAVE GIBSON United States

    Offline
    Joined:
    Aug 6, 2004
    Messages:
    4,067
    Location:
    Minneapolis Minnestota USA
    great write up Doc.does anyone have any thoughts on why "all fuel" stoves seem to be the next big thing?
     
  16. Doc Mark

    Doc Mark United States Subscriber

    Offline
    Joined:
    Dec 12, 2004
    Messages:
    14,888
    Hey, Dave,

    Thanks a lot! I have long written here at CCS, that true multifuel stoves were my most favorite of all, because of their versatility, and I still hold to that comment. With such a stove, no matter WHERE you happen to find yourself, you should be able to access a fuel that will burn in it. I think that is a great benefit, and hence, my deep, and very long-time love of the MSR X-GK stove. The X-GK was merrily burning any old fuel you might have, whilst other designs were content to chug along with a single fuel. If I HAD to choose just one stove, and one stove, only, for stuffing in a pack and getting out of Dodge in a true and long-lasting emergency, I'd unhesitatingly take the X-GK, BUT..... if this new WPU ends up being as good as I think it will be, and if it is long-lasting, I might have to reconsider my choice. Probably not, in truth, as the X-GK has such a LONG headstart in earning my trust, I'm not sure that any stove can catch it! But, if any would, I believe it just might be this new MSR WPU! Take care, and God Bless!

    Every Good Wish,
    Doc
     
  17. hikin_jim United States

    Offline
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    4,416
    No, I haven't seen any Whisperlite Universals that had a pricker. I just thought it was interesting since a pricker was a standard piece of gear for so many years. Maybe in their focus groups, MSR has discovered that no one is using them any more.

    HJ
     
  18. hikin_jim United States

    Offline
    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2009
    Messages:
    4,416
    Dave,

    I can't exactly say, but I know I like having options.

    Sometimes, I take serious winter trips. White gas or kero would be nice for this.

    Other times, I take day hikes with groups of people. It would be nice to have gas so I can quickly set up and go when out on a day hike.

    The WLU gives you both options: easy gas for when you want convenience or liquid fuel for when the weather demands it.

    If I were an international traveler, such a stove would give me a great deal of comfort knowing that I would almost certainly find something that I could use as fuel. Of course why MSR didn't design it to run on yak dung I'll never understand. ;)

    HJ
     
  19. bolexguy United States

    Offline
    Joined:
    Oct 17, 2008
    Messages:
    394
    correction =)

    WPU in stock at campmor, just set up the display for it today going for $139

    got to play with it in the repair shop all day after restoring function to an 8R for a guy from brooklyn

    fun job getting paid to play with "toys" and help outfit people - direct deposit helps me take some funds away otherwise as Doc said I would just sign it all away =)
     
  20. snwcmpr United States

    Offline
    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2011
    Messages:
    6,300
    Location:
    USA
    Reason for the quote above.
    How does one attach propane to this stove, safely of course?

    Ken in NC
     

Share This Page