Since its UK launch in 2005, the Jetboil Personal Cooking System has become a modern classic gas stove thanks to its compact and efficient design, which makes it ideal for one person in need of a quick brew. The dedicated pot has a Fluxring heat exchanger built onto the base, while the tall, narrow design allows as much heat as possible to be directed onto the pot and up through the contents.
The Jetboil’s burner is a pretty standard design with piezo ignition for ease of lighting. However a plastic burner base and a steel base plate provide protection and allow the pot to be locked securely onto the burner. The pot has a metal frame that allows it to be slotted onto the burner as well as the Fluxring heat exchanger grill. The pot also has a foam cup cosy, a webbing handle and a rubber lid. A plastic cover can be fitted to the base of the pot to protect it from damage and to prevent users from burning themselves on it. The burner and a small gas canister fit into the pot, making this a very compact set that easily stows away. At 438g it is a very lightweight option too.
On the hill
The weight and packed size of the Jetboil make it very lightweight and user-friendly. Setting up is easy too. In the past I have used a Jetboil where the pot was a very tight fit to the burner, but this one was a much better fit, allowing the pot to be fitted and removed easily. The piezo ignition works well and soon a brew is on, with steam billowing from the vent in the lid. My problem with this stove is that the pot does not have a conventional handle and the foam cup cosy still gets pretty warm. As this is the tallest and narrowest pan and burner design, it is not very stable either. The narrow pot is also not so easy to cook in compared to wider pans, making this better suited for warming up water rather than practising your culinary skills. However if all you need is a stove to boil water to make a brew or add to a dehydrated meal it is ideal, and a Wayfayrer meal in a pouch can also be easily cooked inside this pot.
In the lab
The Jetboil had the slowest boil times in our test at both 0 deg C and 18 deg C. However it was by far the most efficient stove, using less gas per boil and gaining the longest burn time from a gas cylinder. So this means that as long as you don’t need a rapid boil over longer trips you will not need to carry so much gas. Add that weight saving to the Jetboil’s own low weight, and you have a very lightweight and efficient cooking option.
Fuel type gas
Also included dedicated pot
Packed size 18x11cm
Pan internal diameter 9.5cm
Pan internal depth 13cm
Weight 174g stove + 264g pan set (+gas)
Made in USA
Stockist details (015396) 25493; www.lyon.co.uk
Verdict: The Jetboil Personal Cooking System used the least gas per boil; longest burn time; piezo ignition; relatively low weight; compact design. But it had the slowest boil time at 0 deg C and 18 deg C; pan grip could be better; relatively unstable; tall pan only suitable for boiling water and warming meals in a pouch. Overall, it gives slow boil times, but is the best stove we looked at for long-term fuel and weight efficiency, making it ideal for solo lightweight backpackers, winning the ‘Best in Test’ accolade.
Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine September 2009