Jet Boil

My nephew showed up for the holidays with his nifty Jet Boil system and french press coffee accessory for it. He absolutely loves the Jet Boil.

I know a bunch of you folks out there must have one, so can you tell me what you really like about it and also what the drawbacks are? How does it beat my existing system of a small backpacking stove like my compact single burner Snow Peak?

If you were replacing your existing stove, would you consider the Jet Boil instead of a same-type replacement of what you already have?

They seem kind of pricey…are they worth it?

Thanks for your input.

I don’t have one…
but was on a trip or two with others that had them. They boil water very quickly.

This caused one issue that I saw that could have turned out a lot worse. A fellow camper was not attentive enough and the water strated to boil and then it started erupting out of the top. The camper ended up with some minor burns as he picked it up.

good question
personally, i can’t see it, unless one is mountaineering- what it’s intended for.

my buddy has one for long sea kayak trips, just to make coffee fast in the morning. more of a gear fanatic thing than a practical stove methinks. his partners then provide the normal cooking stove.

I like mine

– Last Updated: Dec-26-07 11:55 PM EST –

It is fast. I used it for three meals a day for two weeks and used just over one canister of fuel. You do have to pay attention because it boils in about 3 minutes as advertised. If you turn it on and walk away, shame on you. Just stay focused for three minutes. That's all it requires. If you can't do that part you should pick a slower less efficent stove or accept the burns that come when you let it boil over and freak out. I made that mistake once but escaped the burns.

The french press is a pain. It works but you have to clean up afterwards. Way too much trouble for a cup of coffee. I prefer to use Java Juice. Don't expect to actually cook on it. I suppose that it is possible but other stoves work better for that.

Boil water? Buy a Jet Boil.

This is what they are best for:
Skip down to July 3.

some clarifications
I’m not big on cooking. I heat stuff up or throw something easy together. I might use a small skillet now and then. The Jet Boil has a skillet available, but that accessory knocks the price up more. Of course, you can use your own skillet. The biggiest use my current stove gets is to make coffee. I think the comment about the french press being a pain is probably accurate, but my nephew loves his. I currently use one of those mesh drip filters and it works pretty well, but I suppose it would defeat the purpose of the Jet Boil to pour the water into another container for brewing the coffee. As to boiling over, that might be the reason the max fill line is so low in the Jet Boil. I wonder if that guy had it filled too high?

I’d wonder about spending $90 for
just boiling water a few minutes faster at low altitude.

I am a JetBoil type…
The Jetboil is not a stove for the gourmet chef type camper/canoer. It’s all about soup and stews. Coffee in the tent vestibule on cold mornings without leaving the sleeping bag. Stop for a shore lunch in the rain and cold and you can have a hot cup of coffee or soup before most of the group has scraped cold peanutbutter on a bagel. I never travel without my Jetboil. I have lots of stoves, But I always bring my Jetboil.

The system is not really all that expensive. Right now REI has a basic set for under $70. That’s about half the price of the very similar MSR Reactor system (but without MSR’s long track record).

The Jetboil seems like a very efficient system, the combination of their heat exchanger and their special high temperature fuel seems to be the trick. I’ve looked at the system and considered it, but in the end decided against it. The big negative, from my perspective is that the Jetboil stove (like other canister systems) requires the use of disposable proprietary fuel canisters – the system doesn’t appear to work with anything else. The high pressure JB branded special propane/isopropyl fuel canisters bring up issues of ready availability. I live in the boonies and travel in remote locales – bad combination for being locked into special proprietary fuel cans. My other problem with their disposable fuel cans is the obvious waste stream issue - much like regular one-time use propane cans. I’ll stick with readily available refillable white gas stoves myself and simply shoulder an extra couple of ounces, not a big deal. Just my two cents worth. RK

I have one
As was pointed out it excels at boiling water. It is weak for cooking if you have to simmer, so forget that.

Perfect for freeze-dried meals, oatmeal, coffee.

I bought the accessory stability stand/pot support & 1.5 liter pot. Not impressed. When you lift the pot the support often hangs up and comes off the stove. Then you are faced with the task of aligning the (hot) pot support with the stove - not an easy task. Anyone want a 1.5 L pot and support cheap?

If you are a gourmet chef (or think you are one) it is not the system for you. But it is an excellent fast & light cooking system.


I’ve used mine with
MSR fuel. seemed to work ok, but the MSR canisters don’t fit in the pot. Probably a business decision so you’ll buy their fuel.

I like my jetboil, especially the coffee press. I like strong coffee and you can control how long it steeps. I usually have the first cup of coffee on the trip.

I like the idea of the pot connected to the stove. Seems more solid.

i feel they are worth it
i have two…

also a whisperlight

a Gaz stove

a Neufeld wood burning stove

and a kelly kettle…

i cover MOST of the basis…no alcohol stove yet…

the Jetboils are great for one person use or jsut rehydrating…i do not have the pot yet for it so icannot comment on that…but to be able to pull it out and pop-have hot water it works well… (but then so does the kelly kettle-and it is a wood burner)


My opinion
is based on using one for about 2 years now.

We particularly like it for day trips where all we’re going to want is a quick cup of coffee (and I do mean QUICK) or such.

On expedition type trips we usually take both the jetboil AND a white gas stove (MSR dragonfly) so we can still make coffee or a side dish while the dragonfly is doing main duty.

However, the jetboil can and does simmer just fine, Jsaults. That said, on shortish trips (kayaking or backpacking) we take the jetboil for use with freeze-dried foods which results in no clean up except for utensils.

It lights without matches and works okay in cold temperatures if you carry the cannister close to your body until ready for use.

It is relatively light but when ‘lightweight’ backpacking we’ll take an alcohol stove or titanium esbit instead.

Bottom line, if you plan to use it for boiling water for various reasons, you can’t beat it.

jet boil: good one-trick pony
Jet Boil is great at heating/boiling water. So if you like water-based things (reconstituting freeze-dried meals, top romen, etc.), Jet Boil is for you.

With its tiny focused flame, it’s not so good at things that require distributed heat (heating up a frying pan, etc.).

If you use
the round flat coffee filters made for percolators (excuse the spelling)in your press, cleanup is not much of an issue and you get less gravel in your cup.

#4 cone
cone ~ drip ~ throw away filter.

what’s so hard about that?? French press is too hard to clean-up, especially if water’s scarce.

takes a couple minutes from start to finish w/ a JB. throw in enough h20 for oatmeal and you’re G2G.


I always use my JetBoil
It is the only stove we take, besides the Pocket Rocket for backup.

I simmer, cook, boil water, make delicious meals, all with the one stove. I don’t always buy the name brand fuel, it works with others. For me, it is the only stove I need. Personal Preference.


I wouldn’t trade my Snow Peak

– Last Updated: Dec-27-07 6:37 PM EST –

for a dozen jet boils and have a new unused Snow Peak spare.

For the trips I take in a kayak...volume is most important.

I spoke poorly
It will simmer, but the area available for stirring is so small that it is quite easy to scorch the gruel.

BTW, a long-handles spoon is a great accessory - REI sells a titanium one that works very well.


Your boat must be awful tiny. :wink:

Join me in May
for a wonderful experience on my next 44 day trip and you’ll see how important space can be.

The boat is “tiny” but its got one helluva motor.