From having seen the two side by side I can confirm that the Reactor and WindBoiler are very different. I've used the former in the Alps in Winter and at altitudes of 6000m+, for such a usage I cannot recommend it highly enough; however, take it to lower altitudes and I would argue that it is a little overkill - this is where the WindBoiler fits in.
On a topic note, we've actually got a Comparative Stove Review going live within the next few days that will cover the JetBoil, Reactor and Primus ETA Lite. It'd be interesting to have your feedback once that goes live.
> we've actually got a Comparative Stove Review going live within the next few days that will cover the JetBoil, Reactor and Primus ETA Lite.
Try to find some sensible figures on fuel use when running 'sensibly'; the problem with most stove reviews is that it's hard to set an objective fuel consumption rate, so reviewers generally whack the valve up to 11, and piss heat uselessly up the side of the pot to get the mostly pointless 'boil time' figure. Efficiency of fuel use is important to a lot of people, since it determines how many canisters you have to take on a long trip.
As it happens, provided you're not wasting heat up the side, the burn rate has little effect on the fuel consumption; there are significant relative losses to the environment if you run the burner very, very slow, but there's a good range of linear fuel flow/boil time relationship between the fuel flow extremes. Tom Beasley posted some useful results on this issue on backpackinglight.com.
One other issue is that performance can vary depending on the level of fill of the canister, due to changing proportion of mix, and the fuel gasification. Again, nerdy stovies (like me) have done tests to demonstrate this effect...
Yes, I don't think manufacturers help themselves with this type of claim
"The WindBoiler’s ultra-efficient radiant burner combined with its enclosed design allows it to operate flawlessly in cold and windy conditions where other stoves slow or fail. Faster boil times mean less fuel consumption, and less for users to carry. The WindBoiler stove boils half a litre of water a full minute faster than the leading competition in a breeze. In a 19-kph (12-mph) wind, it boils in a mere 2:45 minutes, while the competition fails to boil, no matter the amount of fuel used."
If it means that the competition stove is set up exposed to the full wind, in a manner that no-one would ever use a stove.
I'm interested in your experience with the WindBoiler. Is the Windboiler performance tuned down, so lower altitude simmering is possible, or they tweaked the controls to a wider range (especially on the low end) thus one can boil like the Reactor or simmer like a normal stove?