The Jetboil. A stove I’ve seen many a military person whip from their webbing, make a brew in record time and then pop it all back nice and neatly in the pouch. It’s fair to say that I’ve been pretty envious of this, I mean – it all seemed so ‘neat’. A mug, burner and gas canister all stored in one super easy to carry package? Whats not to love?!
I’ve finally managed to acquire one to have a play with. I got a Jetboil Zip (retails at approximately £69.99) free with a subscription to Trail Magazine (£49), which I figured was a pretty good deal. It’s smaller than other Jetboils holding 0.8ltrs of water and you need an external source of ignition: I choose to use my Firesteel because it makes me feel rugged and outdoorsy, but you could just use a lighter or matches.
Inside the Jetboil mug is the burner, a pot/pan support and a tripod. A 100g gas canister will also fit inside, if you fit all the pieces together correctly.
The pot/pan support means that you can use the Jetboil as a normal stove and put pots and pans on the burner. My main misgiving about the whole Jetboil system was that it could only really be used for one thing: to boil water quickly. The addition of a pot/pan support makes it a much more versatile stove – I used it to cook bacon when I went camping last week and was pretty impressed. The tripod massively increases the stability of the cooking system and can fit several different sized gas canisters – there is nothing worse than watching your freshly boiled water tip over in the wind!
When the Jetboil Zip is used to simply boil water, it is the fastest stove I’ve ever used and I had my brew in record time. It didn’t fare so well when I tried to cook boil in the bag meals in the mug, I found the 0.8ltr capacity a tad small to fit my food pouch in let the water boil without overflowing. I’ve mostly used the stove to boil water to make a brew, I’ve found it a nice alternative to taking a flask of coffee out with me. Perhaps a larger Jetboil would be better for heating up boil in the bag food as I see plenty of people who use them to do just that. Another selling point of the Jetboil is that you can simply boil the water in the mug and then make the brew straight into it. I did just this a while back and it worked well, saved me packing another cup! The downside to that is that you have to wash the mug before putting your stove back together. Perhaps I’m lazy but I’d prefer to just stick to clean water in my Jetboil mug.
All in all, I’m quite taken with the Jetboil Zip. It does exactly what I need it to do with minimal fuss and doesn’t take up too much room. I’m not sure it’d replace my flask on a walk but it’s a great addition to my kit and means I don’t have to take my trangia with me if I do want to make a fresh brew.
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scary movie 4 place my Trangia on a an extended camping trip but it definitely has a place in my bag for days out and short trips away.