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03/17/2024 10:38AM  
A few years ago I starting using canister stoves. I still have a number of liquid fuel stoves. My canister stoves are the MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe and an old Primus (no idea of make and model).

I switched to canister stoves because I had a couple of bad experiences with the MSR red liquid fuel bottles. One was a leak in my pack.

Over the winter I wanted to see if the Primus stove worked correctly so I attached it to an older MSR fuel canister. Stove worked great. When I unscrewed it, the fuel canister would not seal and fuel/air mix kept coming out so I just left it out side until the fuel ran out.

Has anyone had a canister fail in the field?

Does it matter what brand of canisters you use? I’ve tried to stay with MSR but last trip there were none available in town so I used Colman canisters from Wally World.

Do you carry a back up to your canister stove? If so, what?
 
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03/17/2024 12:53PM  
Never heard of that happening!

Which makes me think it’s likely quite rare. Have never had any kind of failure in the field.

On group trips we usually have multiple canisters.

On solos I take one; I am fine with that level of risk.
 
03/17/2024 01:09PM  
My first trip, we used this old Coleman stove that used these long skinny silver gas canisters. At one point we went to fire up the stove and went fishing in the pack for a canister, only to find one that was hissing. We weren't sure what to do, so we left it out, shook it, tried putting our fingers over the hole. Nothing stopped it from hissing. We put a piece of duct tape on it to label it as the defective can. It stopped hissing by itself the next day and nothing else happened with it for the rest of the trip.

I have not experienced any problems with MSR isobutane. In fact, I accidentally dropped one down a small rocky cliff into the Kawishiwi River last spring, bouncing on rocks several times as it fell down. I raced down to the canoe landing and blasted through the light riffles as I tried to find it. Sure enough, I finally found the red canister bobbing with the opening facing up, so I grabbed it and paddled back to camp. I saw no obvious signs of damage and heard no hissing. It was my only can of fuel, and I had yet to make breakfast, so I blew out the opening as best I could, screwed it onto my stove, and fired it right up. No issues!

On most trips, we bring several cans varying in level of fill, but it also gives peace of mind in case one of the cans does fail for some reason.
 
03/17/2024 01:46PM  
The brand of gas canister doesn't really matter from a fitment and quality perspective. They are (almost) all made by the same company. The only major difference between the various brands is the fuel mix.

The Adventures in Stoving blog has a lot of great info about this.
 
03/17/2024 04:17PM  
I use both liquid fuel and canister stoves. Never had any issues with canisters have mostly used MSR and another brand I can’t remember with both having been purchased at REI through the years. I always bring a compact twig stove as a backup.
 
03/17/2024 05:40PM  
I've used MSR, Primus, and Snow Peak canisters. None of them have leaked. I've only brought a Primus Eta Power stove, but my trip mates have occasionally brought a MSR Pocket Rocket or similar as a backup. We've never needed the backup stove although it has been handy for brewing tea while the dinner is cooking.
 
03/17/2024 06:26PM  
Tom, I've never had a problem with a canister but I do visually examine and routinely test them before a trip. I suspect your problem was one of two things - it was old and or the stove had been tightened down too much. Either one could have caused the valve to not seal properly.

One guy mentioned on here one time they a leaky valve and just had to leave the stove attached to it for the rest of the trip. I've used most of the major ones - JetBoil, MSR, Optimus, Snowpeak - interchangeably without issue. They all use the lindal valve (EN 417 standard).
 
Tryin
senior member (57)senior membersenior member
  
03/17/2024 06:29PM  
The return spring in the canister valve can stick, freeze, or fracture, which will cause a failure to seat. Not common, but there are a few tiny little parts that, made at very low price points, that have to work just so in order for the valve to properly function.
 
billconner
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03/17/2024 06:30PM  
I've used same MSR Dragonfly and MSR canisters for 20 years. O-rings need replacing after a while.
 
03/17/2024 06:33PM  
TomP: ".....I switched to canister stoves because I had a couple of bad experiences with the MSR red liquid fuel bottles. One was a leak in my pack......"


Just out of curiosity, did you check the O-rings on your fuel bottle? I know that after years of use the O-rings can start to get hard and crack, potentially leading to fuel leakage.

Everyone using MSR or other white gas storage bottles should check their O-rings from time to time.
 
03/18/2024 07:20AM  
Fuel bottles now appear to be sold with mandatory childproof spring-loaded tops. IMO they suck. Just an additional point of potential failure on what should be a very simple and secure design. I believe this was done to comply with California safety code.

My bottles are carried in a separate bag to ensure against contamination in the event of a leak (which happened once).

It's also important to ensure your bottles are not filled past the fill line marked on the bottles to account for expansion.

Despite all of this I love my Primus liquid fueled stove. It's just the cannisters I don't like.

 
cmanimal
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03/18/2024 01:11PM  
When I've had a canaster not "shut off" after removal, I've reattached and then removed it, that reset/fixed one. On another that didn't shut off I reattached it a 2nd time and kept the canister attached to the stove for the rest of trip.

My canisters tend to get a few years on them before they get used up (white gas is my go to) so I'm assuming its an age thing as single use items are made accordingly (cheap).
 
billconner
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03/18/2024 06:07PM  
Argo: "Fuel bottles now appear to be sold with mandatory childproof spring-loaded tops. IMO they suck. Just an additional point of potential failure on what should be a very simple and secure design. I believe this was done to comply with California safety code.


My bottles are carried in a separate bag to ensure against contamination in the event of a leak (which happened once).


It's also important to ensure your bottles are not filled past the fill line marked on the bottles to account for expansion.


Despite all of this I love my Primus liquid fueled stove. It's just the cannisters I don't like.


"


I always carry mine filled except one. I carry them in a pack but outside the liner.
 
03/20/2024 03:19PM  
billconner: "
Argo: "Fuel bottles now appear to be sold with mandatory childproof spring-loaded tops. IMO they suck. Just an additional point of potential failure on what should be a very simple and secure design. I believe this was done to comply with California safety code.



My bottles are carried in a separate bag to ensure against contamination in the event of a leak (which happened once).



It's also important to ensure your bottles are not filled past the fill line marked on the bottles to account for expansion.



Despite all of this I love my Primus liquid fueled stove. It's just the cannisters I don't like.



"



I always carry mine filled except one. I carry them in a pack but outside the liner."


Are they simple screw-on tops or the type I have? Even when only filled to the fill line, the fuel will expand in warmer temps. I have seen it gently bleed out in summer temps while stored in the shade. Under colder conditions this may not happen.
 
billconner
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03/20/2024 06:10PM  
MSR screw on. And I just googled them and see the new ones (well new to me) are not like mine from 20 years ago. I'll admit when I open them on a warm day they do have a little pressure, but never leaked.
 
mgraber
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03/22/2024 12:49AM  
I've had 1 canister do that in probably 100 canisters. I felt like it probably got a small piece of debris in the valve as I was not being careful. Now I protect the stove connection and always replace the cap on the canister when not connected. No failures in the past 10 or so years. I use 90% MSR canisters, but doubt it matters. Definitely more reliable than liquid fuel stoves, we have experienced a number of issues with those. The only downside I see for BWCA/Quetico type trips is that you will often be carrying a partial canister if you always use them until empty.
 
04/05/2024 11:13AM  
I switched from a liquid fuel stove to an MSR pocket rocket after my brother had a bottle of liquid fuel leak in his pack. I'm still using the same stove 20 years later and have never had an issue. The only time I've had an issue with an isobutane canister was due to getting debris in the opening.
 
04/13/2024 06:55AM  
I’m a liquid-fuel only kind of person.

However, for those of you who use canisters, I noticed last night that REI has the Optimus 8oz on sale for $0.93/canister.

Seemed like a good deal, wanted to share with other paddlers.

https://www.rei.com/product/205716/optimus-gas-canister-8-oz-220-g
 
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