The MSR Whisperlite is a small, lightweight stove that we, here at Adventure Outings, use for backpacking trips. It is a really great stove that I, personally, own. Structurally it is very similar to the MSR Windpro, which we just purchased and now use on our trips as well. Both stoves have three foldable legs that make it easy to balance pots. Both have long fuel lines so that you aren’t stressed for space around your stove. Neither are very good for simmering but boil water fairly quickly. The Whisperlite runs about $99 while the Windpro is a little more expensive at at $139. The Whisperlite weights 11 oz. and the Windpro weighs in at a measly 6.6 oz. That difference maybe a lot for those experienced backpackers trying to transition into the ultralight realm.
Both of these stoves are small, durable and inexpensive. They are great for backpacking and easy to fix and maintain. The main difference comes down to the type of fuel used. The Windpro burns Isobutane-propane from a onetime use canister. At max flame those canisters will only burn for an hour. If you are on an extended trip you could end up with a lot of canisters to pack in and pack out. The Whisperlite (international version) can burn white gas, kerosene and even gasoline for an automobile. It burns for up to 2 hours at max flame for every 20 oz. of fuel. The containers for the Whisperlite are refillable so there is no waste at the end of the trip. Because of this difference in the types of fuel there is also a difference in how they are lit. The Whisperlite needs to be primed, which involved heating the stove and waiting for the liquid gas in the line to become gaseous. Some see this as a pain and love that the Windpro doesn’t need any priming. The Windpro roars to life simply and quickly with the flip and a switch and the snap of a lighter. The Whisperlite often scares those that have never used it because priming involves a flame that seems uncontrolled.
From personal experience, I prefer the Whisperlite purely based on the fuel canisters. I like that I can fill my container with white gas and not have to worry about carrying three disposable canisters for a weekend. I have used the Windpro and I really like it. It love the fact that you do not have to prime the stove, its one less thing to teach people how to do.