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04/13/2018 11:00PM
Anyone here own the JetBoil

If so what do you love about it?
Any opportunities for improvement?
Which one to get? I didn't realize there were so many options.

Flash, MiniMo, MicroMo, Zip?
 
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Scout64
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04/14/2018 06:04AM
I own the flash and mostly bring it on backpacking trips. It does a great job of bringing water to a boil quickly. You can buy an attachment and utilize a pan, but I have not yet purchased one. The system works very well.

Pros: brings water to a boil very quickly, padded side keeps the mug warm and allows you to grab onto the sides w/o burning yourself. It also has its own wind blocking system.
Cons: a little bulky and heavy for backpacking (but I do like it better than my alcohol stove, so I continue to bring it).
PortageKeeper
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04/14/2018 07:04AM
I originally had the Flash, I now have the Sol, Sumo, Mini Mo, 2(?) liter cook pot and 8" fry pan. The Sol gets used for backpacking and the Sumo goes on canoe trips. Either is only used for boiling water for coffee, oatmeal, MH meals, dish washing etc. I've still never used the Mini Mo, the 8" fry pan or the cook pot. The Sumo by far has been used the most (hundreds of pots of boiled water) as it has been on many portage clearing trips and many extended canoe trips. Meals have been cooked on MSR stoves as they are proven to be the most efficient in terms of cooking. A combination of both works out well, especially in groups. One 450g canister lasts me about 4.5 days in springtime weather, for 2 people when using for coffee, oatmeal and MH meals.
04/14/2018 07:17AM
I also have the flash and confirm Scout64's comments. I did purchase the pan attachment and have used it with the MSR skillet. The heat is hot and focused and even with the pan attachment there were hot spots and I had to keep moving the pan or stirring contents. The container is deep and not that easy to clean, either. For hot water a good deal, but not so much for other things. If I ate dehydrated foods it would be a good stove; I do not so will be taking my gas stove again.
04/14/2018 11:38AM
I have an older JetBoil Sol, which works well for me since I only boil water. It's light, compact, stable, efficient, fast. The pot attaches to it, so I can't knock it off like my previous canister stove. Everything (except the plastic measuring cup, which isn't essential), including a small canister, fits inside the pot. I don't need a pot grabber with it. It boils the water (8-10 oz.) I need for a dehydrated dinner in 90 seconds or less and heats the cup of water for a coffee in 60 seconds or less. A small canister (100-110 grams of fuel) has an approximate burn time of 30 minutes.
Swampturtle
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04/14/2018 08:50PM
I have one of the originals, it's the PCS..personal cooking system. It's basically the same as the flash. Over the years the excessories I have used with it have changed, but I very much like it and it's my go to system for boiling water & cooking. 10 years & it's still going. The regulator used to be a knob, they switched to a key type making adjustments easier. Boiling water it is excellent, fast. In warm weather, the small cans of gas lasts a good long time (2 1/2 to 3 days for 2 people-coffee, tea, dinner, breakfast), in cold not so much. They have started making bigger cans of gas recently, but with the larger can as it gets emptier, you lose a bit of power, so I stick to the medium sized & smaller cans.

In the past I have used the cup & the coffee press to make coffee, it works well & makes a nice cup. I got sick of dealing with the grinds, so I switched to VIA or instant. I have since switched from the cup it comes with to a MSR Alpine Teapot, it's a bit bigger & fits my needs better.

I have the pan support & use a small nonstick pan from GSI for making French toast, fry bread, pancakes or fish etc. The jetboil frying pan was terrible & everything stuck to it. The heat is concentrated in one spot, so you have to stir, flip & move the food around in the pan to get it done, but it works well.

I also have the jet boil billycan (large pot with flux ring, flux ring protector & lid) I use it for soups, rehydrating meals, boiling water for pasta etc. Again, the heat is concentrated in the middle & you have to stir your food constantly, even so, you end up with a bit of burnt on food in the center, comes off easily with a plastic scraper or bit of a soak. It is a good size for two people.
JATFOMike
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04/15/2018 05:27AM
I got one of the originals 10 years ago or so.....I don't know what they call the model now, but it would boil two cups of water....you could actually fit 3, you just had to watch it so it didn't boil over......It was not very effective for cooking, but I like carrying it for coffee when I was backpacking or canoe camping.......I would even bring it along on local river/fishing floats for mid morning coffee breaks. In cold weather, I would put the fuel canister in the bottom of my sleeping bag to keep it warm otherwise it wouldn't work in the morning. As previously stated by the other posters, not the best for cooking food unless they had a very high liquid content and you constantly stirred.

Mike
djwillco
member (13)member
 
04/15/2018 08:09AM
Have used the JetBoil Flash with additional cooking pot for years now.
Pros:
- Lightweight and compact (ignitor, fuel, stand all fit inside for one compact unit in your pack).
- Boils fast with heat indicator on side (so you don't need to babysit it)
- Good volume of water (boils enought water for two people for coffee, oatmeal, etc)
- versatile (Coffee, Outmeal, freeze dried, soup, etc can all cooked and eaten right out of it).
- Handle strap and drinking spout lid make it easy for eating & drinking
- Performs well in all weather and wind. Easy lighting.
Cons:
- I find it a little unstable when using the pot and pan on top.
Northwoodsman
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04/15/2018 08:56AM
As I read through these posts I have to laugh. "It works great, BUT..." Every time I go to the REI garage sale they usually have a table of just Jet Boil systems. I know several people that have had Jet Boils and it was the same story. " I love it, but is has a hot spot about the size of a quarter, so other than boiling water...". After reading a lot of reviews and talking to actual user of Jet Boils, MSR Reactors, MSR Windburners, and after using a Primus system for a week, I went with the MSR Windburner. The burner head is almost 3" across and because of the radiant burner design the heat is evenly distributed across that entire area. When I tested mine I was able to boil 1 liter of water (33.8 oz.) in just over 6 minutes using 13 grams of fuel. Granted is was cold tap water and the ambient air temperature was 70°F. The new version of the kit comes in many options - 1.8L, 2.5L, 4.5L, and a Skillet (ceramic coated nonstick). The new version has a remote tank instead of a tank screwed to the base, although that option is still available with the 1.0L pot. In addition to boiling water it simmers really well. You can make eggs, pancakes, grilled cheese, omelets, French toast, etc. without having to move the item around to brown it. It also works for skillet/pan breads. I haven't used my new non-stick skillet but I cooked all of the previously mentioned items in the original pan. The 1.0L pot, 1.8L pot, and the skillet will all work with the Personal system, but you will need the new "group" burner for the 2.5L and 4.5L pots. If you don't need the 2.5L or 4.5L capacity, you can find some really goods sales right now on the original system. I sold a basically brand new set last week including the skillet for $125. The original version of the 1.0L system was on clearance last week for around $60.00.
04/15/2018 11:32AM
Northwoodsman,

I am contemplating the purchase of a MSR Windburner and I like its features for sure. But several reviewers say that it does not "simmer" very well.

Can you comment further on your experience with the Windburner's simmering control.

Also, can you comment on the relative burn time you get with the 8 oz. or 4 oz. fuel canisters for your Windburner. I am trying to figure how many canisters I would need for a 2 week solo canoe trip.

I am thinking of pairing the Windburner with a foldup Emberlite or Solo Stove wood burner for this years trip vs. taking a MSR Whisperlite and white gas fuel containers.




schweady
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04/15/2018 02:33PM
Wally13: "...I am contemplating the purchase of a MSR Windburner and I like its features for sure. But several reviewers say that it does not 'simmer' very well..."
One trip so far with our WindBurner, and I thought it performed just fine on a moderate simmer. Probably not as fine-tunable as some, but adequately. Of course, the main reason for the integrated canister design is its flawless performance in direct wind and its quick boiling time.

On the trip my wife and I took last July, we used less than one 8-oz canister (only 6.7 oz used) for 4 boil-and-mix 2-person meals, a dinner of 4 fish fillets, one breakfast of pancakes, 3 morning coffee sessions, and 2-3 afternoon hot chocolate sessions ('twas a cold, wet, rainy basecamp...)
04/15/2018 02:53PM
Sorry, additional detail added.



04/15/2018 02:53PM
Wally13-

I think you'll find my experience with the iso/pro canisters - both JetBoil and MSR (same blend IIRC) - relevant to your question (see my post above), although you'll really need to do a couple of tests of your own real world usage. I started trying to get a better handle on fuel usage and burn time a few years ago.

Here was my usage for two years:

1. Used a 100 gram canister for 9 dinners, 19 coffees
2. Used 108 grams for 11 dinners, 20 coffees

All dinners were dehydrated and required boiling 8-10 ounces of water to rehydrate them.

My use is solo and boiling/heating about a cup of water vs. a liter as noted above. I usually figure that 100 grams of isopro will burn 30 minutes on average. It will vary with environmental conditions - temperature, wind. I go in mid to late Sept.

It will also vary with the way you use it; I think I read on one of the stove sites or maybe an in-depth review that they burn longer if not turned on full blast at only a slight increase in boiling time. That's what I do; I also monitor it pretty closely so it doesn't continue to burn fuel after the water is heated/boiled.

That will give you an idea about what yours might be something to compare your tests to.

So, for me, for 14 days, a medium-size canister (225+ grams of fuel) would be plenty with a good margin of safety. In other words, I'd need about 50 minutes of burn time (14 x 3.5) and I'd have 67 (30 x 2.25). YMMV

04/15/2018 03:11PM
Thanks for the quick comeback Schweady and Boonie.

An 8 oz. canister will provide for a lot of meal cooking.

Besides using the Windburner for boiling water for my everyday oatmeal and coffee for breakfast and suppers in a bag ... I would also like to use the ceramic non stick skillet for the occasional scrambled Ova Easy eggs and frying up some precooked bacon. Heck, some blackend and fried walleye sounds good too. Ummm.
schweady
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04/15/2018 03:32PM
Wally13: "...I would also like to use the ceramic non stick skillet..."
A great addition
Northwoodsman
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04/15/2018 08:31PM
Wally,

I haven't burned a full tank on a trip to see how long it would last. I fly back and forth to MN and can't take it on a plane so I always buy a new one when I get to MN and give away the partial (and often a full one) when I leave. Boonies #'s seem right on.

It simmers very well. I actually kept having to turn mine up because I was judging the temp by the sound it was putting out. Since you can't see an actual flame it is hard to judge without just putting some food in it and start cooking.

04/16/2018 06:04AM
I've never owned a jetboil so I can't comment much there but since the discussion has shifted a bit to the windburner I'll chime in.

Last year a group of 4 of us shared a windburner when we backpacked the Glacier Trail in Wyoming to climb Gannett Peak. We ended up using less than a single 8oz cannister of fuel between the four of us (boiling water for coffee and freeze dried/add water meals). Granted we were on the move for the most part so we didn't have 3 hot meals a day, it's still pretty impressive. The thing I was most impressed with was the fact that wind basically had no effect on it- and keep in mind this is in the Wind River range of Wyoming. They won't call it the Wind River for no reason. I don't think there's really anything else out there that can keep that level of efficiency in those conditions.

As a backpacker & climber though I personally think they're a bit too heavy for solo use and I usually prefer my Caldera Cone over most other options for the weight. For the BWCA the new model with the remote hose and the pan options might be a great option though since weight isn't as much of a concern.
UncleBuck
member (15)member
 
04/16/2018 09:07AM
I tested my Windburner Duo (1.8L) over last week (in my well-ventilated kitchen so no wind).

An 8 oz Sterno isobutane/propane tank boiled the water to a rolling boil 13 times at 5/8 oz of fuel used per boil. It took each an average of 7.5 minutes to boil from cold tap water. The empty canister weighed 5 oz.

Each boil was enough to just start to boil over which is more than I would let it go in the field for simple coffee and oatmeal. The last boil did not quite reach the rolling point. I needed about 10 more seconds of full burn for that.

Total burn time was about 97 minutes which lines up to their specs of 95 minutes.

Edit: Note that the boil times started to increase by about 20-25 seconds for the last three burns. This indicates to me that the valve seems to maintain pressure pretty well as the tank gets lower.
Lotw
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04/16/2018 09:24AM
the jetboil is great for heating water. its amazing at it actually. Its not great for cooking but it will do the job. Mine is probably 10 years old and never failed other than the igniter quit a couple years back. Its awesome to have with even if your not cooking on it just to heat water.
04/16/2018 09:49AM
Uncle Buck ... u da man. Thanks for testing.

I bought the 1 litre pot Windburner Setup for my solo. I think the average boil time for a 1 liter pit of water is 4.5 minutes with a Windburner?
UncleBuck
member (15)member
 
04/16/2018 10:08AM
Wally13: "Uncle Buck ... u da man. Thanks for testing.


I bought the 1 litre pot Windburner Setup for my solo. I think the average boil time for a 1 liter pit of water is 4.5 minutes with a Windburner?
"


Thanks, Wally.

I decided to get a Windburner because I was tired of setting up my Dragonfly in the mornings just to heat water for coffee and oatmeal for myself and two daughters (hence the 1.8l over the 1l). I love the Dragonfly and I will still bring it for cooking and using with my bigger fry pan if I ever catch a fish that I take the time to clean (although I will bring one less extra MSR tank of white gas for it.)

I think the Jetboil Sumo would have also worked for me but I rather liked the remote canister setup that the Duo has. The Duo also leaves me the option of using their pans on it but I don't need those right now if I'm using the Dragonfly.
Tman
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04/16/2018 10:14AM
I've had the Jetboil Sol for about 6 years. It is fantastic for boiling water, but I wouldn't use it for much else due to hot spots, etc.. It has hundreds of uses and has never failed. Very fuel efficient, though for best fuel performance do not turn it on full high as noted above. It is super fast and easy to set up and take apart so great for a quick cup of coffee or a hot lunch on the trail.

I also have a 3 liter Jetboil pot that I use over a Snow Peak GigaPower stove for larger groups. Again, it works extremely well for boiling water but I wouldn't use it for other types of cooking.

Note that these heat exchanger pots work well in both directions. They cool the contents almost as fast as they heat them. Use the water as soon as it is heated.

 
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