Jetboil SuMo tested: large capacity cooking system

Jetboil's personal cooking systems (PCS) are loved for their efficiency. The SuMo takes that ethos and applies it to a larger system for 2-4 people.

from Jetboil
RRP  £188.95
Jetboil SuMo with LFTO star rating in top left corner

by Chris Williams |
Updated on

Hikers and campers will probably be familiar with (or at least aware of) Jetboil’s personal cooking system (PCS) stoves. Well, with a 1.8-litre capacity mug, the SuMo turns the concept into a group cooking system.

The whole approach of this system is centred around efficiency in exchange for size (compared to tiny screw-on backpacking stoves). But if you’re hiking as a pair, maybe an all-in-one stove system is the way to go. Jetboil describes the SuMo as ‘the ideal cooking vessel for groups’ so we had to give a go to see if that was true.

Jetboil SuMoLFTO
Price: $188.95 (RRP £200)
Alternative retailers
Backcountry$179.99View offer

Pros

  • Very fuel efficient
  • Fast boiling and quick heating
  • Gas cannister stabiliser included
  • Pot stand included
  • Excellent simmer control

Cons

  • Ignitor didn't always work (although it did most of the time)
  • Quite a pricey piece of kit
  • Features
    4.5
  • Size and weight
    3.5
  • Performance
    5.0
  • Value
    3.0
  • Ease of use
    4.5
Weight480g
Packed size22 x 14cm
Boil time4minutes 15 seconds (1L)
Power output1750W (6000 BTU/hr)

Design

Jetboil SuMo with lid off and burner in storage bag
©LFTO

Normally with a backpacking stove, there isn’t much to them. But the SuMo does come loaded with more features than most.

The capacity of the aluminium mug is 1.8 litres, and you can fit the whole assembly plus a 100g or 225g gas cannister inside it. So, while the SuMo is hardly small (22cm x 14cm) it is as compact as it can be.

The assembly consists of the mug, burner, and fuel can stabiliser. The burner has an igniter and also a pot stand, which allows you to use the burner with other pots if required. As standard, the burner locks into the base of the mug.

The burner has a concave shape and is 40mm in diameter – that decent width and concave approach help prevent hotspots.

Closeup of Jetboil SuMo burner
©LFTO

The mug has an insulated sleeve, and the lid has a strainer and pour spout, which are excellent additions, we thought.

Performance

The burner is rated at 1750W/6000BTU/h, which might seem a bit disappointing compared to some backpacking stoves that often rate at over 2000W or even 3000W. But unlike a simple screw-on stove, the Jetboil SuMo (and most Jetboil systems) features the FluxRing.

Closuep of Jetboil SuMo FluxRing
©LFTO

This is the key to efficient boiling because it increases the effective surface area of the mug, which increases how much heat can be transferred and speeds up the boil time of the system. It’s very simple and very clever.

The result is that the not especially powerful SuMo can boil one litre of water in just over four minutes (depending on conditions – it can be fast or slower than this) while being very fuel efficient in the process. Indeed, we did find that the SuMo heats up the contents of the mug so quickly that we almost burned our food the first time we used it.

The built-in regulator also ensures that there is a consistent gas supply.

Being essentially a large mug, the SuMo is best suited to heating liquids – heating water, soups, boiling vegetables, making coffee (the SuMo can be used with the Jetboil Coffee Press) etc. But, remember there is the pot stand too if you happen to have something like a sirloin steak in your rucksack that must be cooked on a frying pan.

Weight and packed size

Jetboil SuMo packed
©LFTO

PCSs are never the most compact option for a backpacking stove. And because the SuMo is designed for two to four people rather than the usual one to two, it’s bulkier still, measuring 22cm (H) x 14cm (W) when packed away and weighing 480g.

But that’s not the end of the story. When compared to Jetboil’s one/two-person PCS, the 800ml MicroMo, which measures about 16cm (H) x 10.5cm (W), it’s more than double the volume but not double the size.

Ease of use

Closeup of Jetboil SuMo regulator and ignitor
©LFTO

Overall, we found the SuMo to be a very easy system to use. It’s simple to assemble and pack away, and we liked the large regulator valve handle – it's easy to use even with gloves. The ignitor worked most of the time but didn’t deliver on a couple of occasions. But we’ve had this with almost every built-in ignitor, and you should carry a lighter with you anyway, so it wasn’t the end of the world.

The inclusion of a fuel can stabiliser is a very wise idea. Without it, the SuMo would be incredibly unstable; with it, however, it’s excellent. Although the clips on the stabiliser grab quite firmly to the gas cannister and it can sometimes be a bit of a wrestle to get off.

If using the pot stand, the system isn’t locked into place like the mug is, but the four foldout arms on the pot stand are serrated and moderately grippy.

Jetboil SuMo burner, pot stand, and gas cannister stabiliser
©LFTO

Price and competition

There are many PCS cooking systems from brands like Jetboil, Primus, MSR, and Alpkit. Most are aimed for one or two people, so the competition is slimmer for larger capacity systems like the SuMo.

One such competitor is the MSR WindBurner Duo, which has almost exactly the same size and performance specs as the SuMo. The main difference being that the gas cannister doesn’t sit directly beneath stove, instead it sits separately, connected via a hose. It’s usually a more stable approach, but the MSR stove is also more expensive than the SuMo (£225 vs £200).

Verdict

Jetboil SuMo with LFTO star rating in top left corner
©LFTO

Those who have used a PCS like the SuMo before will know how efficient they are. For those who haven’t, it’s a big improvement on little screw-on backpacking stoves.

We think the SuMo, although far from compact, stacks up well against one/two-person PCS stoves. You get double the capacity for a slight increase in size and weight. It’s therefore a very good option for pairs or groups where you approach to camping is communal as opposed to all taking your separate equipment.

How we tested

LFTO testers sitting in front of Nordisk Thrymheim 5 PU tent, using a stove
©LFTO

The Jetboil SuMo was tested and reviewed by our Senior Writer, Chris Williams, over the course of about three months on various trips in the Yorkshire Dales and Scotland.

Chris has been testing gear on LFTO since 2021 and previously worked for one of New Zealand’s leading outdoor brands.

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