The Alpinist Mountain Standards reviews apply Alpinist's tradition of excellence and authenticity to gear reviews by providing unbiased, candid feedback and anecdotal commentary to equipment tested (hard) in the field. Our panel is comprised of climbers who use the gear every day as part of their work and play. Only the gear they would actually buy themselves, at retail price, qualifies for the Alpinist Mountain Standards award. The five-star rating system is as follows:
One Star = Piece of junk.
Two Stars = Has one or more significant flaws, with some redeeming qualities.
Three Stars = Average. This solid piece of gear is middle-of-the-road on the current market.
Four Stars = Better than most comparable gear on the market. It has one or two drawbacks, but still 90% positive.
Five Stars = Is there such thing as perfection? An Alpinist Mountain Standards award-winner.
The rest of the MS Team
MSR XGK EX stove works wonders in Canadian Rockies, Karakorum
Posted on: July 1, 2006
I was pretty psyched when the new MSR XGK EX recently showed up at my door for testing. Being well acquainted with its predecessor from a number of trips before, I was immediately impressed with its new looks and features.
The first things I noticed were the flexible fuel line, which is definitely the biggest improvement, followed by the slick, ultra stable retractable legs and pot supports, which compact neatly to fit in a 1.5 Liter pot. When I took the stove on a couple of mini ski and climbing missions around the Canadian Rockies this spring, it was no surprise it out preformed any other stove I've ever used when it came to melting and boiling water. As a result, I had more time to rest and recover for the big day ahead.
When guiding or expeditions require lots of melting, the XGK seems to be the top choice worldwide. It is definitely my choice for a stove to take on a climbing trip to Pakistan's Karakorum range this month, as it burns more liquid fuels than any other stove on the market.
Having not tried it yet with anything other than white gas, I will update its multi-fuel performance in August.