Gear Review- AeroPress Coffee Maker and MSR WindBurner Stove

Today is National Coffee Day (September 29th) and I thought I’d share some thoughts on my most essential coffee related piece of gear, the AeroPress, along with a look at MSR’s newest high performance personal stove system, the MSR WindBurner. So grab a cup of Joe, sit back, and let’s start by talking coffee.


Aerobie AeroPress Coffee Maker Review
Aerobie AeroPress Coffee Maker- photo from

This has become the single most used item in our kitchen. I switched from a French Press many years ago when I discovered the advantages of the AeroPress over the French Press. These advantages also make it a better choice for our back-country and car-camping adventures. The ultra-convenience and pack-ability mean we even take this with us when visiting family out of state. You can read exactly how it works, along with hundreds of other positive verified reviews on Amazon, but here’s my top 3 reasons why I only brew with AeroPress:

1) Better coffee. Regardless of the grind and quality of your beans this method produces smoother less acidic/bitter coffee that is good to the very last sip (where as a French Press always left some icky silt at the bottom of my mug).

2) Faster. Once you have coffee ground and water boiled the remaining steps take less than a minute to produce enough hand-pressed espresso to make two 12 ounce Caffe Americano’s, which is just the right amount for my wife and I.

3) Cleaner. At home I just push the “puck” into the trash and give the plunger a quite rinse/swipe. In the back-country I can eject the “puck” cleanly into my trash for easy Leave-No-Trace practices.

After 5 years of almost daily use the unit shows no signs of wear. It is close to indestructible. At less than $30 this is likely the best value kitchen item I have ever owned!

Buy on Amazon

MSR WindBurner Stove

MSR Windburner Stove Review
MSR Windburner Stove- photo from

If you need to melt snow or boil water as efficiently as possible the award winning Windburner stove might be for you. “Reactor” technology mixed with simplicity and pack-ability make this a great choice for 1-3 person alpine teams. I recently used this stove for a two week climbing trip in the Cascades at elevations up to 11,000 feet and can highly endorse its performance. My top 3 favorite things about the MSR Windburner.

  1. Fuel efficient. One 4 ounce canister easily melted snow and boiled water for freeze-dried meals for 2 people for 3 days from 7,000-11,000 feet in elevation.
  2. Pack-able. The 4 ounce fuel container fits comfortably inside the pot and the plastic bowl snaps onto the bottom. There is room for a small lighter and chamois cloth just above the fuel which makes my entire “kitchen” take up the same amount of space as a 32 ounce Nalgene water bottle!
  3. Quiet. So quiet that in bright sunlight sometimes it was hard to tell if it was lit!
MSR WindBurner Stove Review
Melting snow and boiling water for breakfast at 9000 feet on Mount Rainer- photo by Alexandra Roberts Photography

For foul weather use there is a hanging kit available, and since we are celebrating National Coffee Day despite my affinity for my AeroPress I would be remiss to not point out MSR also makes a Coffee Press Kit that fits this stove. Since I only melt snow and boil water for self-contained freeze-dried or dehydrated meals I prefer to carry my AeroPress and never have to wash or clean the pot. The only improvement MSR could make to this stove is adding a push button igniter. That would make this a 10/10 piece of gear in my book!

Buy from Backcountry

   Buy on Amazon

   Buy from EMS

No matter how you like your coffee you can find all kinds of back-country suitable coffee accessories on HERE!

COMMENT BELOW! Whats your favorite at home and in the mountains way of preparing coffee? 

Thanks for reading! Happy National Coffee Day! Here’s to staying fully caffeinated both at home and in the mountains!

-Northeast Alpine Start

Disclaimer: All products mentioned were purchased with my own money. Affiliate links above help support Northeast Alpine Start.