Every once in a while a revolutionary new product comes along which takes backpacking to a whole new level. The Jetboil stove is one such product. After one day of using the Jetboil, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.
A few years ago, if you wanted a hot meal you took a small personal stove, fuel, a pan for cooking, and some sort of utensil for eating. Sure it’s effective, and sometimes small, but most of the time a stove and everything needed to cook a hot meal takes up a lot of room in a pack. The Jetboil stove changed all of that with a simple, ingenious design.
Without actually using the Jetboil, it may seem a little too simple to comprehend. It’s basically a cup with a burner on the bottom.
It consists of a one liter steal cup (insulated), a rubber sipper lid, a bottom plastic cover which doubles as a measuring cup, and the burner base with an igniter, control valve, and a windscreen. The whole thing breaks down and fits inside of the cup, including the fuel. This leaves you with an entire kitchen the size of a large cup.
The Jetboil stove costs $80, which is about the same as other conventional camping stoves. Of course, since you are limited to cooking out of a cup, your meals can be a bit limited. However, Jetboil does sell attachments which allow you to cook in a larger pan.
I’ve found that Jetboil’s claims of the stove using half as much fuel as other conventional stoves is 100% correct. A single fuel canister can last me all weekend. Not only that, but it’s also very fast when it comes to boiling water. Most stoves take three to five minutes to boil water, but not the Jetboil. My tests have shown the Jetboil can bring two cups of water to a boil in just under two minutes.
I’ve tested the Jetboil in the Rocky Mountains and the Missouri Ozarks, and in both places it performed flawlessly. It cooked meals without a problem in temperatures ranging from 100 degrees Fahrenheit, to 10 degrees Fahrenheit.
In closing, the Jetboil is a must for anyone wanting a simple, easy to clean, small cooking system. At 12.9 ounces, you’ll be hard pressed to find another complete system at the same price. Long gone are the days of searching for all the pieces needed to cook a small meal. When your cooking system is entirely self-contained, it’s pretty hard to lose a piece.