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Regulated camping stove gas burner- what is it? and do I need one?

Posted on January 12 2019

Regulated camping stove gas burner- what is it? and do I need one?

Anyone who has used a gas stove with a screw on gas cylinder knows the pleasure of screwing on that new canister, as it allows your gas stove to work to its full potential. However, on cold days or when the canister is below half full that impressive performance drops off. We have all experienced the dreadful and pitiful flame from a nearly empty gas can!

With a new canister in mild weather the gas has enough pressure to allow your stove to really roar and in fact more gas is escaping the canister than the burner can cope with leading to unburnt gas disappearing into the atmosphere. This worsens at higher temperatures.

The pressure in the canister and thus the amount of gas your stove can use lowers with a decrease in temperature but also as the gas canister empties, no matter how much you open the tap the stove just will not perform. One way to help this is to carry a new canister for boiling and a half full one for simmering.

A regulated gas burner will change all this. A regulated burner has a spring and diaphragm pre-set to a pressure level. This means that when you open the gas valve the diaphragm and spring work together to only allow a certain amount of gas out, this mechanism reacts over time as the pressure in the canister reduces or with fluctuations in temperature or altitude.

The upshot is that the performance of the stove is consistent over the life of the canister and is much less likely to be effected by altitude and temperature (for most normal conditions).

Basically the regulator holds back the burner when gas is at high pressure allowing a consistent maximum burn.

This means that you can use all of the gas in your canister, and lets face it they are not cheap, but it also uses the gas more effectively meaning less wasted gas. You will be saving money and will need to carry less gas to get the performance you want. 

So a regulated gas stove will perform consistently over the life of the canister attached.

If you are a minimal user then a non-regulated stove makes sense but for people who use a gas stove a lot and in varied altitudes and temperatures a regulated burner will save you money, weight and time in the long run.

MSR have two examples of this with the new Pocket Rocket Delux and the slightly older Windburner.

The MSR windburner has a regulator and our review can be found here-

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