Sunday, November 1, 2009

Favorite Gear - Jetboil PCS Stove

My trusty Jetboil has found a home in my pack as a light weight, versatile, convenient, fuel sipping cooking solution. This is the stove I find myself using most often.

There are better options for simmering or foods that require a skillet like pancakes, but for boil-in-a bag cooking, hot drinks, and even melting snow the Jetboil is fast, simple, and functional.

The small Jetboil fuel canisters fit inside the pot, but for economical reasons I prefer the standard large fuel canisters which have twice the fuel and only cost about $1 more. If you want to save weight or space the small canisters have enough fuel to last for a very long time.

This stove has rather poor stability, especially when using the small Jetboil fuel canisters. Like most backpacking stoves this one tends to turn into a ball of flames and shoots boiling water everywhere if you tip it over. The optional stability stand is really an essential if you don’t like this kind of excitement in camp. The stability stand is a small plastic tripod that snaps onto the bottom of the fuel canister to provide a stable base. In my opinion this should come standard with the stove. I know the Jetboil is popular to use as a hanging stove, perhaps this is how many users get around the stability problem. I’ve never found it necessary or convenient to hang mine.

I noticed on the REI website that they’ve just come out with a new version of this stove, the Jetboil Flash. This new version adds a translucent lid, and a “thermochromic temperature indicator” that makes it easier to tell when the water’s boiling without opening the lid.

This stove has always been targeted at the technosavy backpacker. Adding the term “thermocromic temperature indicator” to their marketing literature should definitely increase its appeal to this segment of the market. It also comes in cool new colors to appeal to those who are simply attracted to bright colors and shiny objects. : )

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