Properly designed Heat Exchanger (HX) Mugs are known to improve fuel efficiencies by 20%-30%. In particular, HX mugs benefit from design integration into a complete stove system. JetBoil and MDR are known as the worldwide leaders in this class of stove systems. While they are excellent system, these products tend to be significantly heavier than regular cooking system, in general they can weigh between 12 and 16 oz. A simple cook set can weigh as little as 5 oz. That is far less than the weight of the MSR WindBurner Stove (see below)!
Isn’t a simple solution just to use an HX mug with a canister topped stove? Well yes and maybe. First of all, HX mugs have an offset between the bottom of the pot itself and the bottom of the mug. This means that the stove will not be operating as designed and fuel efficiency will drop. Additionally, in a strong breeze, the wind can blow the flame off the bottom of the pot and actually melt the fins/pot support structure. This can permanently damage your HX mug.
The Cheetah Windscreen is a DIY kit where the user purchases the stove and HX mug that best meets their needs. We supply the hardware to optimize and integrate these components together into a complete cooking system. We design the Cheetah to optimize the burner head to bottom of the mug in order to optimize fuel efficiency. We also use the integration plate as part of our windscreen system. Additionally, there is a WindShield used to further protect the HX fins from ambient winds.
Below is a chart of the fuel consumption as a function of windspeed: the MSR WindBurner is added as our baseline comparison (thick black line). The Cheetah variations (green line) compare favorably to the WindBurner. You can also see that Cheetah is far superior to the JetBoil (Stash & Zip: Yellow & Blue lines)
For a quick overview, let’s compare the Cheetah Version 1 to the MSR WindBurner and the JetBoil Zip.
Left – MSR WindBurner: 15.3 oz Right Cheetah (Version 1): 6.9 oz
The performance in the wind is comparable between these two systems. The MSR WindBurner weighs 15.3 oz. The Cheetah System consist of the Fire Maple 300t stove, the Sterno Inferno HX mug and the Cheetah Version 1 adapter and the entire system weighs 6.9 oz. That is nearly a 9 oz. weight savings. This Cheetah system is a smaller volume at 0.6 liters compared to 1 liter, it also cost about $50 less..
Left – MSR WindBurner: $170 Right – Cheetah (Version 6): ~$84
The performance in the wind is comparable between these two systems. The MSR WindBurner has an MSRP of ~$170. The Cheetah (Version 6) can be assembled to ~$84 or about half the price. The volumes are comparable at 1 liter, the Cheetah (Version 6) system is over 4 oz. lighter than the WindBurner.
The Cheetah System is an intricate design and can be configured using one of three stoves: Fire Maple 300t, the MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe or the Soto WindMaster 4-Flex
Cheetah (Fire Maple 300t) – is out most basic system. The stove itself is unregulated and must be lit manually. The user modifies the Fire Maple stove in order to integrate the burner plate onto the stove body. From there on, the stove operation is simple and basic.
Cheetah (Pocket Rocket Deluxe) – is our premium system: the stove itself has autoignition, is microregulated and can be used directly with the burner plate (no modification required). The user can use the Pocket Rocket Deluxe as a standalone product with regular mugs/pots.
Cheetah (Soto WindMaster 4 Flex) – The stove itself has autoignition, is microregulated and can be used directly with the burner plate (no modification required). For this version, the cheetah is used universally with all HX mugs/pots. The user can use the Soto WindMaster as a standalone product with regular mugs/pots.
HX Mug Selection
We currently designed our stove systems around 3 popular HX mugs: Sterno Inferno, WideSea and Fire Maple 1 liter mug. Other HX mugs may work, we have just not verified them at this time.
Sterno Inferno – at this writing the Sterno Inferno has been discontinued online. They typically are sold out at major retailers and stores with a good web presence. Sterno has no plans to re-activate this product. That being said, they often can be found at local hardware stores: I recently acquired 6 HX mugs with way. The Sterno Inferno mug is ideal for the Ultralight backpacker, it is the lightest, lowest volume HX mug on the market. The volume is 640 ml to the brim.
WideSea – This is an HX cooking set that is available on AliExpress for approximately $20. We recommend leaving the pot at home and just use the HX Mug. You can use a 1-quart yogurt top (Costco) as a lid. The HX mug has a capacity of 850 ml and is a good general backpacking mug for heating water. This mug is the same size as the JetBoil Flash/
Fire Maple 1 liter – The 1-liter volume is a common size that matches most of the JetBoils as well as the MSR WindBurner. This HX mug can also be found on AliExpress and usually cost less than $25.
Cheetah Model Configuration
The Cheetah windscreen allows the user to select the componenets that best meets their needs in term on cost and performance. The you need to select the correct plate to competer the kit conversion
The Cheetah JetBoil dramatically imporves the performance of your base system. The windshield weighs less than 8 grams and is made of stainless steel.