JetBoil advice

I’ve used an optimus Camper which I liked…

…Then switches to a Coleman single burner (green cannister) which I liked even more…


Do I have 5 min or 50 min in that cannister? Do I carry a new cannister every trip or carry all my used ones hoping to drain then?

…Ultimatly, I went back to my optimus because carry cannister in = carry cannister out!

I saw this paddler lady with a jetboil and was impressed…

…mentioned it to my kids mom and in the mail yesterday, I got the Jetboil PCS… (maybe i should casually mention I like the Swedish bikini Team?)

Before I decide t ouse or return…

I know that they are great for boiling water. And as most of my meals are along the line of Raman noodle s and other “just-add-water” type meals. it seems like a good thought.

BUT, there is that cannister thing again.

And what if i want to toss a can of cream-of-whatever soup into the thing with a bunch of rice and other junk? (I did that all the time with MREs in the Air Force)

Is it really only a one-trick-horse? Do I have to buy the casserole pot and frypan? thus loosing all my other cooking gear?

How about ideas and thoughts and experiences that are NOT in the reviews and archives.

do i HAVE to use their fuel (hard to find in some places) or can i use any canister that will screw on?

good questions
I think the jet boil “system” pretty much requires using jetboil equiped pots and cups. I have a old gas stove that I can no longer find cannisters for, so I’m doing a bit of shopping myyself. Most of my camping is car camping, and I have an older Coleman 2 burner whitegas stove for that, although I’d like to use the sea kayak on the MITA system this summer. Having hot food (or at least hot coffee) is something I am willing to haul a little weight round for. The jet boil cannisters are readily availalble locally ( EMS, KTP, LL Bean) but I’m leaning to a single burner coleman. Any other suggestions would be welcome.

I hate to say it

– Last Updated: Apr-09-10 5:36 PM EST –

I used to swear by fuel stoves other than canister varieties, but I broke down and got an MSR canister stove two years back. Great lineup, but this is the lightweight one - the Pocket Rocket. Still, good burner control, heats fast, packs small, and is extremely reliable. I can stretch a canister over five days or more.
You're right about the jetboil system "requiring" the specific pots, but I've heard nothing but good things about the system. I have loads of camping pots already and am sort of a lightweight nut so in the end the MSR won out.

I like mine
I’ve used other gas and liquid fuel stoves over the years, but I’m happy with the Jetboil now for most trips - I tend to go solo. You do have to be cautious when trying to simmer stuff, but it can be done. I’ve made shrimp & rice and chicken curry in the standard mug-type “pot”. Yes, you can use other non-Jetboil pots or frypans with it, but you lose the heat exchanger thing so it’s then no more efficient than any other gas stove. You don’t have to use Jetboil fuel either. My current batch is Giga fuel and MSR works fine too.

It’s a one trick pony
But it does that trick quite well.

I just use the “Personal” and boil water with it.

IMO adding the extras eliminates the advantage of a compact, lightweight, single person cookset.

I do often carry a second, fresh cylinder if I’m starting with a used one.

If I was more into cooking I would want something more versatile and I’d expect to carry more weight/gear.

But for making coffee, oatmeal and rehydrated meals it’s the bomb.

I have used the Jet Boil for everything I would use any pot over a fire for. I have also used a small aluminum skillet and a 11x11 griddle over it before I bought the JetBoil fry pan. Once I had the fry pan i didn’t need the other skillet and griddle.

I’ve used the MSR big canisters and the Primus big canisters. Two of them lasted me for 21 days, 3 meals a day.

On that trip I carried the PCS and the GCS so I could have a back up and a five course dinner, or boil water for my French Press while my oatmeal was cooking in the other one. Yeah, there’s a weight difference, but my canoe weighs 50 pounds so what’s another pound or two, and it costs a lot of money to carry two stoves, but heck, I like to eat well on the river.

the little gadet called a stabilizer is the hard plastic thing with the legs that swivel out. There are notches cut in it for small canisters and big canisters. the big canisters are more fuel but the little ones store better.

You can recycle the canisters, just puncture and smash flat and carry out with your trash.

I always carry a spare igniter, too. The electrode is easy to break if you drop something on it. The igniter kit costs about $6, cheap insurance. I finished one trip using my matches to light my fire, then a twig to light my stove. On another trip with wet wood I stuck my jet boil next to the kindling and had a fire going in no time flat.

Cook with care, a pro and a con
I have the unit with the 3L pot. I have cooked rice, oatmeal, and soups in it. I have burned the bottom a time or two, but if you are careful you can cook with it. The flame can be adjusted to simmer, but it is very easy to over heat the pot. You get a feel for the heft of the can and know how much fuel you have, not exactly, but you can tell when it is going to run out.

Pros: you can carry it on an airplane and buy a cannister at the other end. It is ridiculously easy to light, easy to use and fast to boil. Non-stick coating works well, even after burning food to it.

Cons: the plastic lids that cover the bottom fins and the top (for packing) are very difficult to get on and pop off easily. The neoprene jacket gets nasty if you boil over. If you leave the fuel out when it’s less than 50 degrees, the stove doesn’t have much umph.


Other cannisters will screw on the burner (such as MSR), but they don’t fit inside the pot for transport. Only the Jet Boil ones fit inside. I think they did that on purpose.

that’s not true
the smaller gigapower/snowpeak cannisters fit inside just fine

“Pocket rocket”? Had a gf who kept one in her purse…back to lurk mode.

Two trick pony.
Yep. Boils water just fine. But the design of the 1.5L pot & support leaves something to be desired. In my experience the fins of the flux ring get caught on the support, pulling it from the burner head, forcing you yo use pliers to pick it up and re-install…what a PITA.

As for cans of soup, I often dump in a can of Progresso and a handful of quick-cooking brown rice and with stirring it works fine. A great accessory is those Guyotte Designs spoon/spatula combos. The spatula is perfect for scraping the bottom while stirring.


Wow! Thanks for the info, didn’t realize that. Most of what I’d seen were the MSR’s.

and as an added bonus, they cost less!

not quite right
"You’re right about the jetboil system “requiring” the specific pots"

not really - see below

the jetboil, with the small cannister is a bit “tippy” - hard to find that perfect spot for a round cannister bottom to sit flat - the stabilizer (which some do-it-yourselfers make out of clothespins)

helps a lot with that issue - it is designed to work with teh small or large size cannister. I’ve used a normal 2 quart aluminum pot on top of the jetboil stove using the stabilizer and pot support with no trouble at all - like any camping stove, using a large diameter fry pan or something is still going to be tippy.

As far as cooking goes, you can buy a heat diffuser (a quick google found this one - there are lots, including make your own)

the quite small burner head on cannister stoves makes for a “hot spot” while cooking - the diffuser solves that issue too.

so, you don’t have to cook exclusively with the Jetboil brand pots.

granted the above, the Jetboil is still primarily a stove for boiling water - its greatest asset is its fuel economy - with the built in wind break and heat exchanger pots, you can’t beat it for fuel economy. So if you will mostly be boiling water, and spend the $20 for the pot support/stabilizer for occasional “cooking” your good to go.

partially used cannisters ? I just weighed a full one and an empty one to come up with the weight of fuel in a full cannister - a bit of math will give you an approximation of how much is left in partially used cannisters (I know how much the fuel weighs in grams, but the scale I use at the post office is in tenths of ounces, so I wieghed it that way)

Going solo, and just boiling water for fz dr dinners, and morning coffee and oatmeal, I get 6 days of use on one 100 gram cannister. For a tandem tirp, doing the same, I got about 5 to 6 days of use on the 220 gram cannisters - less efficient not using the jetboil pot.

I noted that
I went to the local store to check the system out and saw the stabelizer withthe big pot on display…

I think the stabelizer needs to be reengineered because I found the pot slid around easily and got stuck.

BUT, a T-clip woud fix that.

Following the previous advice, I found that a couple other cannisters fit the threads (but not inside the pot). But their website “recommended only jetboil fuel” which sounds like a legal liability thing…

If other fuels work (maybe not as well), then it expamnds my possibilities.

NOTE: I had the Steri-pen Adventurer but never could find the batteries anyplace oputside a big sporting goods store in a major city. Outside the US… forget it.

So I switched tothe Classic. Larger, heavier, but the AA-batteries can be found anywhere in the world.

NOTE: I do Campland by the Bat, SD,Ca. every year and they opnly sell Coleman Cannisters. If i need something for jetboil or my other stove, I have to drive all over SD looking for them.

hmmm, an adaptor hose with fittings that fit the Green Coleman and Jetboil conections…

You guys have answered most of my questions and I’ll test it this weekend. Thanks for the experiences.

re jetboil
I just got back from a 3 day trip where my partner was in charge of bringing the stove, which was his new JetBoil…

I dreamed every meal of having my old MRS WhisperLite and a normal pot.

While it’s not quite a ‘one trick pony’ it certainly was much more complicated, tippy, and otherwise under-powered to cook for two. The flame is just too concentrated to use on anything wider than a tin-can.

Also, at the end of the day, because of all the attachment stuff, it doesn’t pack up any smaller than most white-fuel or canisters stoves that I’ve seen. MSR Superfly for instance. My Whisperlite packs INSIDE my pot… so at the end of the day, I would have more cooking power in a smaller package.

Ultimately, I would say if you really do just use dehydrated food, it would rock. But if you EVER want to branch out and cook something else, I think you’d be a little disappointed. I would recommend a SuperFly or Whisperlite even the Pocket Rocket (all stoves I’ve used) over the JetBoil, but that’s just my two cents.

Good luck!

Jet Boil recall
IIRC in 2009 Jet Boil announced a recall of their 2008 B system units in both personal and group models, w. full contact info.

if you happen to be considering buying some new old stock from 2008 or a used JetBoil, read this:

I haven’t tried a JetBoil & have no opinions pro or con - just wanted to let folks know about this.

All the advice I got here was great!

My main concerns were:

1* used only to boil water

2* if I want to cook, I need to buy expensive jetboil pots….thus eliminating the advantages of the nesting system of my normal campware.

3* one-type fuel that may not be available everywhere. See my earlier comments on steri-pen batteries and fuel canisters.

4* expected life of one can. How many will I have to carry in and out?

OK, answers:

• Ace sells an aluminum Heat Diffuser with folding handle for $4.25. I remember my mother using one when I was young. But I also remember priming the pump to get water and cooking on the cast-iron stove too…

• If so, then I can scrap my plans to spend money I don’t have and use the heat-diffuser + my current pots to expand my system and use the pots I currently have. It won’t work as well but WILL work.

• I can use other, alternate fuel cans that thread on… They may not be as efficient as the Jetboil ones but they will work, be cheaper and NOT blow-up!

• Most people agree that one fuel can will last days… which is what I want. So one or two cans should do the job.

• The recall does not affect the version I have which is the newest in the line.

• As I am a raman-noodles and MRE kind of camper… it should do the job for me. If i could cook, I’d find more women willing to date me.

So this weekend I will take the jetboil to the lake and try it out. But because I am taking my kids along, will take my coleman single-burner stove as a back-up until I get used to the jetboil.

Have I missed anything?

I’m still going to keep my Optimus Hiker which I love, but it is nice to have options.

Fuel Usage…
…3 weeks on the BC Coast boiling water for oatmeal each morning (1 1/2 cups) and coffee (1 cup)plus a freeze-dried entree (1 1/2 cups) and coffee (1 cup)for dinner used 2 canisters.