JetBoil Personal Cooking System
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A refreshingly different take on the standard camping stove. Very effective too - the JetBoil personal cooking system can boil 0.25 litres of water in less than 60 seconds. Impressive...
JetBoil Personal Cooking System Reviews
Reviewed by Paul Smith (Cannock) on 2006-02-21:
General comments: When i first saw a Jet Boil on a website, i didn't know what to think. Now having used one in a whole range of conditions i have to say that i am very impressed.
The whole system is based on the cup and how the cup and the stove exchange the heat. The bottom of the cup clips onto the top of the stove and has an in built heat exchanger (which is covered, by a plastic cover, when you are drinking from the cup). The idea behind this heat exchanger is that you use less fuel as it takes less time to heat up the water.
The time for boiling 250ml of water is very quick, certainly quicker than any other stove that i have used.
There are a few pieces of kit that you can buy to go with the jet boil system, including another cup and cup covers, stove supports and a metal plate that you can clip onto the stove so you can use normal pans.
Pros: Great idea, the whole stove, gas cyclinder and cup in one place.
Cons: Takes up a bit of room in your pack.
Reviewed by Daniel winter (Bangor) on 2006-02-28:
General comments: The newest cooking system on the market . The new revolutionary design boils water much faster than older stoves. This allows you to save on the amount of gas that you carry with you allowing you to traval even lighter. The PCS has a built in igniter but like any other stove its always worth carrying a spare lighter just incase it breaks.
The Cup that sits on top of the burner is designed to be used by one person so eveeryone has there own induvidual cup to use with the burner. The cup is deigned for just boiling water but any liquid food can be put into it as long as it cleaned out well .The nice thing about the cup is that when the lid is on it will kepp you cup of tea warm like an insulated mug .
The burner and 150ml gas cartridge neatly pack away into the cup so that it takes up less space in your bag .
Pros: Very fast boil time and will pack neatly. Great weight saving design means you only need one cup to cook, eat and drink from.
Cons: Gas stove not so good at altitude when it becomes inefficient. Great for boiling but cannot fry like a traditional stove.
Reviewed by Matthew (Norwich) on 2006-04-05:
General comments: This jetboil stove is a revolutionary design that should provide a fast, simple and effective way of cooking regardless of the environment. However this is not the case, and on using them on a trial basis, as we thought about issuing them to D of E groups, we found lots of problems. Ok, they do boil water very quickly, and this is great, and they do pack down very compact and small, but there are some problems. Firstly they restrict what you can eat, so it is only dehydrated foods, and soups. I have always been a porridge man in the mornings, and it was so hard to make good porridge in. You are unable to fry as well. I know of many people who set up camp and proceed to cook some lovely food in their pans, you can with the jet boil. The next problem was that the jetboil system, on top of the gas cartridge was very unstable, so they do a stabiliser at an extra £15. Then it needs regular maintenance an extra £10. All this makes it very expensive. I also found that the thermal coating was very hard to clean, probable not good for the spread of germs. The concept is good, but you wont catch me using one again!
Pros: Very good idea. Boils water very fast. Quitre economical
Cons: Restricted what you eat, not very stable, quite expensive
Reviewed by Rich L (Aberdeen) on 2006-05-08:
General comments: Like one of the other reviewers I trialled the Jetboil PCS for use with a local youth group. I was impressed at the amount of thought that had gone into trying to solve some of the problems of normal stove design; such as wind protection, stability, heat escape. However, in use, I found it lacking in several areas. It does boil water very quickly, but is poor for cooking due to the tall thin vessel. This leads to difficult stirring and inevitable burnt on food at the bottom. As for being windproof, the stove went out quite a bit, even in moderate winds. It is fiddly to light without the piezo ignition and when this fails (as they inevitably do!) then you really need matches rather than a lighter etc… I also found it needed very flat ground due to being so top heavy…I have heard there may be a hanging system available, which would be a much better way of using the stove. Finally, the stove is just not that light. Compared to a pocket rocket at 85g, using a titanium pot or kettle at around 120-130g this set up is heavy. It does not boil much quicker than a pocket rocket, although it does use less gas. It would be a useful setup for prolonged journeys where gas is a major weight. Not for me though….form over function…..nice idea, but it needs much refinement yet.
Pros: Fast and effficient.
Cons: Only does the above if it isn't windy, you have flat ground and you are boiling water.
Reviewed by Pete Baars (Merseyside) on 2006-06-07:
General comments: HANDLE WITH CARE!! The Jetboil personal cooking system is a great concept and obviously a lot of thought went into the design, making it pack up into such a compact unit (effectively a large mug). The heat exchanger on the bottom ensures that the stove is incredibly efficient. However, my piezo ignition packed up and required attention within 6 weeks of moderate use, I've managed to melt the lid, by putting the burner unit back into it to quickly, I've scorched the neoprene sleeve (I love the smell of neoprene in the morning!). You may say that all of these are down to my sloppy handling and you're probably right, but when I'm out and about, I don't want to handle all of my kit with kid gloves, surely there's a compromise between clever design and durability??? The stove is great for getting a quick brew on, but it really is for individuals, if you're travelling in tandem, you're probably better off with one reasonable sized pan, a decent lightweight gas burner unit like the pocket rocket, or the Micron or the Primus gravity and a decent sized can of gas (250g) if you're doing more than one night. That gives you the flexibility to be able to boil up 2 boil in the bag meals in one go, or cook enough noodles for two if you're going superlight, so you don't end up eating in shifts. It's good, but limited!
Pros: Good design and build quality
Cons: Limited use for average users and durability issues for those of us who don't polish our tent pegs.
Reviewed by andy mogg (yorkshire) on 2006-10-03:
General comments: I hadn’t ever really considered getting a jetboil personal cooking system until I received the offer for a free one, so as it was free I decided to give it a shot.
It has very quickly become one of my favourite bits of kit.
It is a very efficient and fast stove that is pretty light and compact. It consists of 2 parts:
The cup – a 1 litre metal cup/pot that is covered in neoprene with a handle and lid with pouring spot, meaning that you can pick the cup up and drink/eat/pour from it as soon as the contents has finished cooking, without burning your fingers.
The burner – this screws onto your gas can and has an ignition switch it is also specially designed to link up with the cup making it burn well in event the worst conditions
The stove boils water very quickly, is easy to clean and is pretty stable especially when used with a gas can support.
There are also a great range of accessories for it including a coffee press (which I've just bought) allowing you to make fresh coffee on the move…although its quite expensive its worth the money.
The main downside is that if you want to use other pots on it you need to buy a converter kit …this is also pretty expensive
Also when cooking meals in the cup its pretty easy to burn them so you definitely need to keep an eye on whatever you are cooking, personally I mainly used it for boil in the bag meals, cup a soups and noodle based meals.
The big question is would I actually pay for one…the answer is yes.
easy to use,
great range of accessories
Cons: not cheap in the uk
Reviewed by Sam Cartwright (Cumbria) on 2007-01-07:
General comments: I recieved a Jetboil GCS as a gift recently but have also tried it out with the cup from the PCS. The Jetboil is a great piece of kit in either arrangement, boiling water faster than any stove i've seen of comparable packed size. There are certainly lighter stoves out there and there are certainly smaller stoves out there but the Jetboil seems like a great compromise. The PCS cup is narrow and tall making it unsuitable for many types of cooking, in fact beyond boiling water and thin-ish liquids or melting snow its uses are limited however with the GCS's pan which is also available as an add-on for the PCS these issues are resolved and the stove will still pack down small enough to carry almost everywhere. The stove's primary selling point is its efficiency and here it undoubtedly provides the goods. The stove will boil half a litre of water in ~2 minutes and using demonstrably less gas than its competitors. It is also simple to convert the PCS to a hanging stove there are instructions to do this on many websites. The stove has a built in windshield which deals well with light to moderate winds but for strong wings the stove has the same issues as any other and a dedicated windshield can be a great bonus. On poor ground the stove can be hard to stand up - the stabaliser sold serarately is a great help here - but this is offset by being able to hold the pot whilst it is hot thanks to the neoprene cover,
Pros: Compact, adaptable, fuel-efficient.
Cons: heavier than some, not suitable to high altitudes due to gas fuel source, windscreen isn't perfect, stability issues.
Reviewed by Craig Jones (Killearn, Scotland) on 2007-04-06:
General comments: My son and I tend to use two stoves when we are cooking in our tent, an MSR Pocket Rocket and a Jet Boil. We have used the Jet Boil over a 12 month period. In that time we have gone from using it for warming food and water to primarily being an efficient water heater. The main reason for this is the shape of the container, which limits what can be put into it. I’m not sure that I have ever used a stove that matches the manufacturer’s claims on heating times but the JetBoil certainly performs well enough for use to be impressed. If we are cooking outdoors, e.g. lunch/hot drinks on a day out in the hills, we take the Jet Boil and choose food which suits its use. The Jetboil Personal Cooking System performs well outdoors due to the Flux Ring on the bottom of the container, which both directs the heat across the base of the container and protects the burner from wind. The piezo igniter is also welcome in these situations. Most photos of the Jet Boil show it in use combined with a small 100g gas canister. It can certainly be used like this and the canister and burner pack away into the container which is handy, but we tend to use a bigger canister – 230g – as this gives the Jet Boil and far more stable base.
Pros: Build quality. pack size, igniter, fuel efficiency, neoprene insulation.
Cons: Limited flexibility of use, stability if using small gas canister.
Reviewed by Slippery (Stevenage) on 2007-12-30:
General comments: I am a sucker for a gadget and the Jetboil ticked all the boxes; compact, "hi tech", fuel efficient, unorthodox looking etc etc. The first time I used it I heated chicken soup and it took a few seconds to boil, there were a couple of guys watching as they hadn't seen it before and were amazed at the speed of it. However after finishing the soup the first obvious drawback emerged...unless you have water to wash it out with all the parts which conveniently stack inside the mug get covered in soup. As I didn't fancy picking out bits of chicken from the piezo starter everything went back in my pack OUTSIDE the mug, hardly space saving. You can only fill the mug about halfway as a safety feature to prevent the contents boiling over so it doesn't hold as much as it would first appear. I have not found it a problem so far in filling above the line but I do leave a healthy margin just in case. I have also found that because of the height and small base there is a possibility of it tipping over if accidentally knocked or if its on uneven ground. I bought the extra plastic stand which solves this problem and works well (it also fits inside). Also do not store a gas canister inside for long periods if its wet as it will rust and stain the bottom of the mug! Generally though if you are on your own or your mate has an extra mug for it, its fine but its more of a solo cooking unit.
Pros: Compact, light-ish, very fast boil time, neoprene cover provides insulation and allows you to hold the mug without burning fingers, plastic lid allows you to drink withou burning lips. Piezo electric ignition is quick and easy, though I still carry an alternative means of lighting it just in case. You can buy additional mugs so 2 or more people can used the same burner. I use it instead of taking a thermos flask sometimes as its very fast and you always have a hot drink.
Cons: Centre of gravity, limited to type of food you can cook, expensive, noisy - sounds like a rocket.
Reviewed by ssi p williams (uk) on 2008-08-24:
General comments: Jetboil is the best system for the camper on the move i use mine on training exersces and so do lots of other soilders in the field and on tour all over the world
Pros: The Jetboil personal cooking system is light and portable and so quick and it all packs away in side it self so you don't have to worry about losing anything
Cons: Igniter some times take time to start
Reviewed by David Walker (Haydon Bridge, Northumberland) on 2009-01-06:
General comments: I have been using camping stoves for years but the personal cooking system from Jetboil blows them all away!
Very fuel efficient, cooks anything very quickley and easy to use. The design is tremendous and packs away (including gas) into the pot. The fact that it boils 500ml of water in 5 mins is great and true!
It does cook some things too quickley and beans can get stuck to the bottom. To combat this, I would reccommend you buy the stabiliser/adapter set and use a normal compact saucepan.
The ignition button always works for me, inside or out.
Still the best you can buy, although being able to buy the Jetboil specific "Jetfuel" canisters would be useful, they last a bit longer than other gas brands.
Pros: Light, compact, easy to use, great design, quick boiling/cooking times.
Cons: Needs the stabilizer on rough ground.
Reviewed by Stevie Boyle (east lothain) on 2009-06-23:
General comments: right so what can I add too all the reviews above. I use it when I am moving fast and light, use a little gas can so everything fits inside the cup or their is no point having it. it is very unstable its a foot and a bit tower with half a litre of boiling water at the top. water will be super hot for a long time so be careful.
Pros: fast, light, compact
Cons: igniter broke very quickly. cup can get stuck on the burner or should I says always.
Reviewed by Ben (Bristol) on 2009-12-14:
General comments: Used in the high himalaya and not impressed. Ignitor broke, then replacement ignitor from repair kit broke two weeks later. Too high for proper use on uneven ground and hanging kit fumbly and not practical in cold conditions. Didn't burn well and spluttered a lot abopve 6500metres.
Pros: Great concept, would be great for backpacking in the UK or from the back of the car.
Cons: Unstable and too breakable for real use.