MSR Dragonfly Stove
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The MSR Dragonfly is quick, very hot and can be used with unleaded petrol, paraffin, white gas, diesel and many, many other oil-based fuels. The Dragon fly features a special handle to change the flame from low to full-on blow your head off. Other features include: folding legs for a rucksack friendly carrying size; wild shield; heat reflector. It also comes complete with carry sack and toolkit. All together, the Dragonfly weighs just under 500 grams.
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MSR Dragonfly Stove Reviews
Reviewed by Charlie (North west Scotland) on 2005-12-15:
General comments: It's great! I've had my MSR Dragonfly for 5 years and use it regularly. I normally run it on unleaded petrol and only recently has it started getting blocked. But, with one outing using coleman fuel it is clean and working again. Very versatile and hard wearing piece of engineering.
Pros: Light weight.
Sounds like a jet engine.
Very fast boil time, even in cold temperatures.
Easily adjustible flame.
Cons: Sometimes flares up making cooking in tent porch quite nerve-wracking.
Reviewed by Sam Walmsley (England) on 2005-12-28:
General comments: This MSR Dragonfly stove is great. Burns almost anything (I've even heard a story of them running on pig fat), and controllable enough to produce gourmet food in the mountains. Can clog a bit if you don't use Coleman fuel, but it's so easy to clean that this isn't a hug problem (it's worth getting hold of a few spare fuel line filters). Very hard to break.
Pros: Bombproof construction, easy to service, controllable flame, burns anything.
Cons: Can clog a bit.
Reviewed by Phil Snell (Southampton) on 2005-12-30:
General comments: After going on a trip with one of my mates that had one of these, i had to get my own. They are absolutely amazing!!
The MSR Dragonfly will burn almost any type of fuel, including unleaded petrol, so it makes it so easy when abroad to try and find fuel for it!! It sounds like a jet engine, no kidding, its great to impress people, but if your in a group and people are trying to sleep its not so good.
Its also very easy to service which is great becasue it means it will last! The only thing that managed to stop my friends from working after him owning it 4 years was a tree falling on it!
Because of the way you control the flame it makes it so flexible to use, can have a tiny lick of a flame through to a full blown one. Its pretty quick at boiling water but use the wind shield as this improves this time greatly
Pros: Ease of servicing has to be a strong point, ease of use aswell!!
The number of different types of fuel that it can burn.
And finally its so well built!!
Cons: When you first start it up it can flame up a little, means you have to be a little careful if your thinking about using it inside the porch of your tent, but this is great for taking pictures of!!
Reviewed by David French (Surrey, UK) on 2006-01-04:
General comments: Having used the classic MSR XGK for many years, mine was getting to be like Trigger's Broom, so when I came across the MSR Dragonfly at a price I couldn't miss, I bought one. The major appeal of this type of stove is that it runs on several fuels including petrol, diesel and kerosene, so you should never be stuck for fuel. Having said that, I've only really run mine on petrol as it's pretty much universally available.
The XGK's Achilles Heel is that it has 2 settings: OFF and NUKE. The addition of a variable burner control on the Dragonfly is very welcome and gives much more control over cooking - no more burnt soup. Unlike the XGK, there is no pre-heat loop for fuel, which does make the stove a little more fiddly to prime.
My Dragonfly broke shortly before an expedition, with the burner cup parting company from the base along a weld. MSR repaired this and I haven't had any problems since, despite heavy expedition use.
Compared to other manufacturers, MSR stoves don't seem to suffer from clogging, which makes this stove a pleasure to use over an extended period. Cleaning can be kept to a minimum, giving you time to laugh at all the Coleman users as they dismantle their stove yet again. However, they may not be able to hear you over the noise, as this is a noisy stove! You'll enjoy the sudden silence when you turn it off.
Pros: The simmer control is very useful; the stove is lightweight; it never seems to clog.
Cons: It's noisy in use; the shape when folded away means that if you jump on it, you will risk damaging it.
Reviewed by Eric Smith (Argyll) on 2006-01-13:
General comments: Very flexible stove which can use loads of different fuel types. It's a bit confusing to use if you haven't tried this type of stove before, particularly the initial burn, but you soon get the hang of it. The benefits of being able to maintain pressure are obvious in winter's lower temperatures, so you won't need to sleep with your gas canister any more in order to keep it warm. I used this with something like meths in France, where I couldn't find "Essence C", which is the ideal White Gas equivalent, and even with this Meths stuff it did the job, albeit a bit slowly. Later that trip I used unleaded petrol, which was much better in comparison. Even so, petrol isn't ideal due to the additives, so you're probably better stocking up on the pure stuff wherever possible. I had a problem where flames shot out of the connection between the pump and the stove, but that was because I hadn't read the instructions properly and hadn't been lubricating the connecting piece. By just shoving it in, I had damaged the o-ring, leading to the leak. A new o-ring from the annual maintenance kit sorted that. My pump later developed a leak at the control valve, although this didn't catch fire. An internet search showed that this was a very rare, but not unknown, problem. However, MSR customer services replaced the pump straight away under their limited lifetime warranty, so I couldn't be happier with their response.
Pros: Build quality; flexible fuel types; customer services; ability to simmer.
Reviewed by Mick Wood (Chesterfield) on 2006-01-23:
General comments: Without a doubt the MSR Dragonfly is the epitomy of outdoor stoves. This baby will burn almost anything and provide a hot flame which is completley controllable, allowing you to actually cook your food as opposed to burning it or just waiting for 3 days to boil water! The Dragonfly is fully servicable in the field and a servicing set is available for purchasing seperatly. Although it comes with a small kit ,I bought the additional servicing kit and to date (having had the stove for over 4 years) have never had to service the stove not even for blocked fuel jets which can sometimes occur if you don't use coleman fuel (or similar). Be warned though, this stove does need some practice in using as if incorrectly used it can flare up throwing huge orange flames into the air which not taking out your eyebrows could easily take out your tent if your not careful. Having said that though, once you have mastered the art, and it is an art, you will be rewarded with a reliable, efficient and very impressive stove. You'll soon find yourself joining the rank and file of campers who wake everyone else in their campsite by imitating the jet engine! Be aware as well, if you get the flame too hot it can melt the aluminium heat shield! The stove packs down well and for it's size provides, in my opinion, the finest outdoor stove on the market.
Pros: Size, Controlabilty, burns almost any fuel!
Cons: Needs practice to master the operation of the stove
Reviewed by chris (uk) on 2006-02-03:
General comments: A light weight and multi fuel stove with a simmer function I use the MSR Dragonfly for biking and longer weekend walks.
I have had no problem with it what so ever and this stove is very reliable and easy to use and clean this stove can be used around the world because it will run on practically any fuel out there.
Pros: The simmer function of this stove is one of the best thing in my opinion it is very easy to use even in very cold conditions when you are wearing gloves.
The flexible fuel hose make this stove very easy to pack away in to a pan.
Cons: The price is biggest bad thing that I have found I played £100 for this stove about 1 year ago.
Another thing I don't like about it is that you have to pay extra and buy the fuel bottle separately.
Reviewed by Alex C (Cambridge) on 2006-03-08:
General comments: This is a very good stove, as you'd expect from MSR. It's actually quite versatile - it throws out a lot of heat when you want to melt snow, while the simmer function means you can fry sausages without burning them. This means it's useful for both Alpine or expedition use and for camping in the valley. This usefulness does come at a cost, however. It is quite heavy compared to stoves like the XGK, and it is expensive. Also, I've found it clogs with soot very easily, even with SBP/Coleman fuel which reduces its efficiency, even if it takes a while to clog it up completely. Overall, I'd say this is the ideal stove if you do lots of different things.
Pros: Versatile - useful for lots of different activities.
Cons: Clogs with soot easily.
Reviewed by Max Berman (Scotland) on 2006-03-30:
General comments: For those of you on genuine Indiana Jones style expeditions and gadget lovers, this thing is amazing. For occasional one-night campers travelling in cars, you will quickly grow tired of this. For what it is designed to do which is burn practically any liquid fuel in harsh conditions it is simply amazing. The quality of materials and the attention to detail in the engineering simply has to be seen. For those of you who are less intrepid you may find problems with this. I find that filling the fuel bottle, storing the stove and indeed getting the fuel very messy. This is no criticism of the stove when used for real expeditions but the casual overnight camper will find that carting £3 worh of fuel home from a service station and the smell of petrol that will hound your hands, your home, garage or shed for about a week after filling will quickly become tiresome. Again I must stress that this is a genuinely amazing product - the pump, shakerjet self cleaning device and spring loaded legs are simply a ballet of technology. I'm just pointing out to fellow (fun) campers that little blue bottles of gas are way easier to get your hands on if you are anywhere but the remotest of places.
Pros: Beautiful piece of engineering. Indestructable, lightweight and a lovely object to own.
Cons: Be prepared to smell of petrol/deisel/aviation fuel for some time.
Reviewed by Pete Baars (Merseyside) on 2006-04-04:
General comments: I bought the MSR Dragonfly specifically with an extended trip to Tanzania in mind, having used both the whisperlite and the XGK-II in the past, and been very impressed with them both.
As with any new piece of kit, the stove was duly 'field-tested' in the backyard, it seemed to work just fine and that evevnings meal of chili con carne was cooked without the need to shot blast the pans afterwards, the simmer control worked just fine. A couple of weeks passed, we headed out to Tanzania, andthe first few days were fine, then the stove began to play up, coughing, spluttering and evnetualy just dying on us. So it was stripped down, fuel line cleaned, etc (none of this was a problem, as I had been using MSR stoves for the previous 10 years or so). After 2 days, it needed stripping down again, so we refiltered all our fuel trying to ensure that it contained no impurities. 2 days later, the stove needed stripping down again, it was becoming a drag and continued to be so until the trip ended. 7 weeks stripping the stove down was tedious.
On our return the nice people at Cotswold sent it back to MSR, they sent it back sayingt that the fuel line had needed cleaning, they'd done this for us free of charge, I tested the stove again in the backyard, it worked fine. I went away backpacking with it for a couple of days and also carried apocket rocket and gas cannister, just in case. What a wise move, morning 2 of the trip, cough-splutter-nothing! Needless to say that the nice people at Cotswold sent it back again, pointing out that they had just had it back, it had supposedly been properly cleaned and did exactly the same again.
MSR sent it back to me, apologising and saying that there was a defect in the fuel pipe, which they had replaced FOC. I was happy with that and still use MSR products, on the whole they're very good. My advice arising from this incident is to give your kit a fairly thorough test before taking it on an extended trip.
The stove itself, is well -designed, it has a low centre of gravity reducing spillages, the simmer control does allow quite a high degree of control, meaning that you can cook real food rather than just boiling stuff to death. Fuel is readily available in almost every part of the world (others in Tanzania with me were using trangias and struggled to find fuel, which made my MSR problem even more annoying). Service it regularly (at least annually), oil the leather pump cup (otherwise it leaks fuel all over you). Look after th
Pros: Range of fuels. Stability, Robustness. Ease of maintenance in the field. Availability of spares.
Cons: Price, but once again you get what you pay for!
Reviewed by Dave Stocks (Todmorden, West Yorkshire) on 2006-04-11:
General comments: I have been using one of these MSR Dragonfly stoves for a couple of years (my mates) and at first when he told me that he had bought one i didn't know why. Anyway i have my own know and they are brillant i little big and heavy for some situations but then they are desgined for the mountains ans for when you can't just get a gas bottle from the local camping shop. The best thing about the MSR Dragon Fly is that it has such a great flame adjustment compaired with any other multi fuel stove on the market. The Dragon Fly with run on a huge different amounts of fuels and when you get yours it comes with two different jets one is for heavier fuels such as Desiel and dirty fuel which is usually found aboard on expeditions. Also the MSR quality is top notch very reliable well made. The newer desgin also includes the shaker jet this is a pin inside the stove and when shaken the pi cleans the jets. The stove has a massive amount of output and get boil water very quickly i was camping in Pembrokeshire and my friends from college where getting pissed off with me because i was walking around with a cup of tea within less than 5 mintues and then were still sat on the floor waited for the water to even ge luke warm. In my opinion these stoves are brillant run of large range of fuels big power output heat reflector. Flame control from cantel power two rocket engine.
Pros: Quality what more do i have to see oh yes the Trillum base is great in the snow well worth it if you are going to be in the snow for long periods of time
Cons: Dear but when you get it you will forget because tey are that good, To heavy for light weight affairs
Reviewed by Dave (Leeds, UK) on 2006-08-14:
General comments: I bought the MSR Dragonfly over the Primus Omnifuel a couple of months ago for regular camping and backpacking. I have since completed the Coast to Coast walk with it and am convinced I've bought the best stove around.
I burn petrol with it, and the performance is exceptional - for two weeks of Coast to Coast I used less than 1 litre of petrol which means it cost me less than a £1 to run, and that is boiling water everynight for noodles and rice within a few minutes. Petrol burns pretty true and clean and so it is fairly simple to clean pans and the stove itself.
It does take sometime to get used to and I recommend reading the instruction manual as it is not as simple as plug in and go as with gas stoves. When turning it off aswell you must turn off at the fuel bottle first to use the unburnt fuel up in the fuel line or else you end up with deposits that will clog the line up. The self-cleaning shaker jet is brilliant, well I say that, I've never had any problems and give it a shake everytime I use it, so that seems to do the job.
The sound is simply awesome and certainly attracts attention with many people referring to it as a train. The pan stands are strong and sturdy and the club I'm in have put a whole pan of rice for 30 people with water on the stove and the supports are strong enough which is more or less the ultimate durability test.
I've not had any maintenance problems yet but will give it the recommended service as the manual says. People say the Omnifuel can burn gas, which it can, but from experience of friends the performance is certainly a compromise. I've heard it is abysmal at altitude and also eats through gas cylinders at an alarming rate.
Care is needed when taking the shaker jet off as you will be covered with a nice smell of petrol, fine if you can wash your hands, a bit irritating if you then get in your sleeping bag. Don't light it for the first time in your tent as you risk burning the thing down with the start up 'soccerball' flame as the manual says! Once you've mastered the technique it is doable, but I'm always in a brace postion to throw it out if the flame is bigger than expected - great fun! Also, even when depressurised I don't trust the shaker jet when backpacking, I prefer to use the fuel bottle stopper in case it bursts as one of my friends did.
Would buy again without a doubt.
Pros: Efficiency, speed, shaker jet, durability and strength, sound - ROAR!
Cons: start up flame, petrol sprayage occasionally, not for novices
Reviewed by Ian Johnston (Aberdeenshire) on 2006-11-06:
General comments: I've had my MSR Dragonfly for over five years. It is quite simply the best stove I have ever used, or seen used. I mainly burn unleaded petrol, but have used kerosene, which was fine. Once you've got the hang of priming and lighting it's very simple to use, practice before you go away! Flame control is excellent, it will go from a gentle warm to full-bore blowtorch, and boils a litre of water quicker than an electric kettle. Some reviewers pointed out that it's noisy - which it is at full throttle. I personally don't find this a problem, I like to know it's still burning! I strip and clean my stove once a year, and it hasn't let me down yet. I noticed a small flame forming at the edge of the jet, and asked MSR for advice. They told me to send it in, checked it and replaced the jet FOC and returned it to me very quickly - perfect customer service. Build quality is outstanding, and it fits into a 1.5 litre pan.
Pros: Reliability, cooking ability, very cheap to run compared with gas canisters, serviceability and build quality. Given that it will last forever, the price is very reasonable.
Cons: At full throttle it's loud - but you can cook a little more slowly if this is an issue for you
Reviewed by Andy Mott (Cheshire) on 2009-08-08:
General comments: I have owned my dragonfly for about 8 years now, and find it extremely reliable and easy to use. I mainly burn Coleman fuel in it, but have used unleaded petrol and even diesel (which turned out to be very smoky and covered the stove and my pan in black soot!).
I look after my kit reasonably well, but have never had to dismantle or repair this stove in any way, although I recently found the pump had stopped working, so took the plunger out to check. I found the leather seal had closed slightly, and a quick re-shaping by hand had it working again. 2 minute job.
I originally bought the stove for the GR20, and used it for the whole 2 weeks on a single large bottle of unleaded. It has also seen trips to various UK regions, both car camping and wild camping, and found itself on a trip to the Alps (and due for a return trip next week).
There is an initial learning curve with a liquid fuel stove, but once that's over it can be lit with minimal fuss and no massive flames.
All-in-all a very robust, well made item that should last for years.
Pros: Burns all sorts of fuel, efficient, boils water fast. Also very reliable; I wouldn't hesitate to take this on an expedition.
Cons: Takes a bit of care when lighting (as do all liquid fuel stoves). Not truly lightweight by modern standards.
Reviewed by Paul (North Wales) on 2009-11-09:
General comments: I've had a dragonfly now ,for about 10 years , Most of the tine I've run it off coleman fuel and never needed to clean it .Only had to do minimum cleaning with petrol.Brokrn two pumps both of which where replaced by MSR foc, and only had to replace one O ring, So if you work it out after your inital pay out it does make sense to buy one of these.
Pros: works welland keeps working
good back up from MSR
Cons: Awkward shape to pack.
Reviewed by Jay Russell (Bradford) on 2010-08-25:
General comments: My dragonfly is now my stove of choice, I find gas can stoves annoying when they slow down in the cold or when they're running low.
Dragonfly burns anything (almost) can be field serviced and packs away neatly. Mine has been run on Kerosene (BBQ fluid) White gas, Unleaded and now Chainsaw fuel! In the pyrenees it was fuelled by Dry cleaning fluid.
Fantastic bit of gear
Pros: Runs on most flammable liquids
Cons: Pricey (but worth it)
Reviewed by Dave M (Sheffield) on 2010-09-09:
General comments: I've had my MSR for 4 years now, a friend also has one (with the older style pump).
Certainly the best stove I have ever used or seen used. We did a week walking the cornish coast this summer and took 2 Dragonflys and a coleman gas stove between 6 people. The Dragonflys cooked breakfast and tea for 2 approx 3 times faster every time. The guy with the gas stove immediately bought a dragonfly on his return. Use the wind shield, it makes quite a difference. Even at an ambient 18deg C, gas cartridges get cold and lose pressure. The dragon flys have been used a -10degC and worked just fine. We used about 600ml of fuel in each stove cooking 2 meals a day for 2 people for 7 days. One was running on unleaded petrol, the other running on "Panel wipe" Its a pre-spray painting solvent - buy if from an auto paint shops or your usual motor spares (not halfords) it should be about £8 for a 5 Litre can. Check it smells just like coleman fuel (white gas). It burns cleaner than petrol, no soot at all and if you spill it, it evaporates completely leaving no residue or smell. My stove has never clogged or even needed the shaker jet shaking. Ok, liquid fuel stoves aren't as simple as gas but the cooking speed and availability and cheap fuel far outweighs this!
Pros: Fuel price - Petrol / panel wipe vs gas works out at 1/5th the price for eqivelent ammounts of cooking (if you don't like taking half full gas bottles and just buy new ones, this multiplys many times) - 20 weeks camping and the stove will have paid for itself.
Can just top up fuel - no more half full bottles filling your bag.
The sound is awesome
It will last a life time, MSR will replace just about anything that could go wrong with it. - You'll never want another stove either.
Stability - I often cook big stews for 3/4 people. Big pots with ontop of the gas can type burners = food on the floor.
Cold weater performance is perfect.
High wind performance - flame doesn't get blown out / heat dragged away.
Cons: Price - if this is too expensive, consider a whisperlight international.
The noise (I think it's cool though)
Reviewed by Garry Lee (Cork) on 2010-11-11:
General comments: It's easy to light and mighty powerful and has a controllable flame. It may be able to burn anything, and I've tried Aspen 4t, unleaded, diesel, paraffin, white spirit and barbecue lighting fuel. Diesel is just filthy and difficult to prime. Priming with alcolhol is the thing to do with dirty fuels. I haven't had mine that long but have used it about 20 or thirty times. The loudness is exaggerated.
I use Aspen 4t in preference.
Pros: Powerful, can simmer, light, stable.
Cons: Folding it up a bit awkward, and bulky. I DON'T like the stiff short fuel pipe. I also don't like the depressurising technique where I can't avoid getting some petrol on my hands.