Early last year I compiled a head to head feature pitting the venerable Jetboil Flash against the recently released MSR Reactor 1.0L System. The outcome garnered a lot of polarized feedback––as I knew it would. The Jetboil is a great product with legions of loyal fans, but that didn’t preclude me from giving the edge to the MSR Reactor. With a full season of adventures in the books, it’s time to fill out the report card and see if my initial impressions still ring true.
It’s perhaps a bit misleading to say the Reactor 1.0L System is “new.” MSR released their first Reactor 1.7L System in 2007, and it would be fair to say it was greeted with mixed reviews. The most common grievance was the price. I’m apt to dismiss that minor grouse as value is subjective, but mostly because I believe the build quality warrants the higher price. The other gripe with the first Reactor was the size. At 1.7 liters of volume, it was not light, nor small. True to the name, MSR reacted to that criticism and launched the smaller, 1.0L system.