Name: Fuzzy Monkey (David)
Date of Review: January 22, 2012
Photo Album – Jetboil Photo Album
BACKGROUND: I’ve successfully thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail and Pacific Crest Trail. I also have other numerous backpacking trips under my belt. The weather conditions I’ve dealt with range from the desert heat to the snow-packed mountains of the Sierra’s. I’ve dealt with thunderstorms, hail, extreme winds and most conditions in-between. I’ve trusted my Jetboil stove for my backcountry cooking needs and this the reason for my review.
DISCLAIMER: Readers should know there has been some time between when I initially acquired this item and the time I actually wrote this review. In other words, I’ve owned and used this particular Jetboil stove for several years and I’m just now in 2012 getting to the review.
Manufacturer: Jetboil (Jetboil Inc.)
Product Information: Jetboil Flash Personal Cooking System, Stove, Pot, Cup with Lid
REVIEW: The Jetboil Flash personal cooking system (Jetboil) is an all-encompassing stove and pot combination. It uses canister fuel which attached to the stove section. A removable pot/cup attached to the top part of the stove. The pot/cup has a neoprene sleeve around it to shield the heat and keep the contents warm. The pot/cup comes with a lid. There is a plastic cup that snaps onto the bottom of the larger pot. The Jetboil uses a piezoelectric igniter to light the stove. The small fuel canister and stove section all fit securely inside of the pot.
I’ve used my Jetboil for several hikes. The first time I used it was on the Appalachian Trail in 2007. In addition, I used this stove on the Pacific Crest Trail and West Coast Trail. My Jetboil has served me well on many day trips and multi-day backpacking adventures. The Jetboil has performed well for me in varied weather conditions. It has also performed well for me at various altitudes.
I really like the compact design and how all the components fit inside the pot. The lid and cup also add to the functionally of the entire system and is designed very well.
During my AT hike I only cooked once a day. I did however, find myself making coffee and tea more often on colder days. The Jetboil was perfect for this morning ritual.
My particular cooking style is relatively simple in that I only use the stove to boil water. Most of the time, I’m using dried food that just needs to be re-hydrated. In contrast with other stoves and styles of cooking some people prefer to “cook” more in their pots. I find this style of cooking uses more fuel and is more time-consuming. One reason for my style of cooking is that I dislike doing dishes and cleaning my pot. When adding food items to the pot and cooking, you are forced to clean the pot when you are done. I avoid this by preparing my foods in foil bags and adding the water to the bags, rather than directly to my pot. Using prepared meals such as Mountain House are perfect examples of this method of cooking.
When I make reference to term “cooking”, what I mean is putting noodles or other type of food in the pot, turning down the burner to a low and stirring occasionally. This is what I mean when I refer to the term “cook or cooking”. This is my least favorite method and my last resort to preparing my meals.
I’m disappointed in the durability of the piezoelectric igniter. This part stop functioning after only a few weeks of use. The backup I have found, is just to carry matches or a lighter to ignite the stove. From what I’ve gathered from other early users of this stove is that this issue was not uncommon. In fact this was the first thing people told me when I asked how they liked their Jetboil. This is only a minor issue and has not deterred me from carrying my Jetboil for thousand’s of miles and being completely happy with it. As an avid backpacker I tend to carry matches or lighter with me anyway so not having a reliable piezoelectric igniter is not a problem for me.
CONCLUSION: The Jetboil is and continues to play an important part in the gear selection for my adventures. I’ve owned and used mine for several years. It’s starting to show its age but that is ok, it still functions even without the piezoelectric igniter. I do like the newer larger stoves and have even considered the two person system for future trips.
Fuzzy Monkey Approved: YES
Fuzzy Monkey Likes:
- Super fast boil time
- Design compact size
- Multiple features (cup, lid, pot all in one)
Fuzzy Monkey dislike:
- Piezoelectric not reliable (Early Models)
- Having to carry multiple cans of fuel (Becomes bulky)
- Difficult to clean bottom of pot