The How Zone



Even though Jetboil is a personal cooking system it is different from traditional backpacking and camping stoves. If you haven't used one of these stoves they look something like the two on the left here:

Stove Choices

The Coleman Feather on the far left is probably the closest to a Jetboil in form factor. But to get it going involves a number of steps including pumping, priming, and then a pump-adjust-pump dance whereby you try to get the stove adjusted and hot enough that it becomes self pressurized and maintains a good flame. You need a flat surface (the feet help) and of course a separate pot for the water. Being made of steel it clocks in at a pound and a half.

The MSR whisper light in the center is a deceptive little device. On its own it seems small enough, packing into a carrying bag with it's aluminum shields and custom bottle attachment and bottle. To fire up this stove also requires pumping, priming, and struggling to get the flame level right. One problem is the stove to canister connection isn't flat, and since the canister is typically heavier it tends to tilt the stove over, just as you see in the photo. With a full pot of water as an anchor things are somewhat under control, at least until you pick the pot up. Packed weight, without cook pots, is about the same as a Jetboil.

Neither of these stove, or their fuel canister brethren, come close to Jetboil in ease of use and efficiency. Actually it's not even a fair comparison. Camp stoves just aren't teamed up with a fuel efficient cooking cup like Jetboil.

Here's a comparison of the units all packed up, along with the cook-pots needed for the left two stoves.

Packed Units

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