JetBoil Review or How To Boil Water Fast

JetBoil Sumo Ti
Model NameJetBoil Sumo Ti
Volume1.8 Liter
Weight453 grams
Boiling Time1 L = 4 min 53 sec
Heat indicatorNo

With a goal to introduce lighter, better, easier to use cooking systems, JetBoil founders Dwight Aspinwall and Perry Dowst set out on a mission powered by their own frustration. Since 2001, many designs that aim to increase user comfort and energy transfer efficiency have been tested in the field.

JetBoil stoves are also available on:
If today, one thinks of JetBoil products, all variations of the personal cooking system design (pics) come to mind. Check out the most popular models below.

JetBoil Flash
Model NameJetBoil Flash
Volume1 Liter
Weight400 grams
Boiling Time0.5 Liter = 2 min 30 sec
Heat indicatorYes

Pot and cozy

Overall it is a great pot with fins that allows for very efficient cooking.

The cozy works just fine - it's nice that it lets through just enough heat to warm up your hands.

The temperature indicator is a joke, it is the only part of the cozy that will burn you and does not help at all. It changes color at a random temperature and so does not indicate boiling. Also, when water is boiling, you’ll hear it. :-)

JetBoil Sol Advanced
Model NameJetBoil Sol Advanced
Volume0.8 Liter
Weight300 grams
Boiling Time0.5 L = 2 min 15 sec
Heat indicatorYes

The pot has been designed to fit the whole package as well as a small gas container which is superb.

On the other side, the pot is very narrow and high. This makes the pot very hard to clean (for people with larger hands) and if you want to stir the food within the pot, the steam might burn your fingers if your spoon is too short.

JetBoil Sol Premium
Model NameJetBoil Sol Premium
Volume0.8 Liter
Weight240 grams
Boiling Time0.5 L = 2 min 15 sec
Heat indicatorYes

Burner and piezo electric igniter

I generally like the burner, although it has a few setbacks. First, the regulator does not allow for much regulation of the amount of gas that is released. It offers more of an on/off function. The burner is right for boiling water but cooking complicated meals could be a challenge (foods that need simmering for instance).

Secondly, I don’t find the attached piezo electric igniter trustworthy, it malfunctioned a couple of times already. I always include a set of matches/lighter in the kit just to make sure I can set on the flame (it fits between the pot and the lid, no worries).

Lastly, the burner is not so wind insensitive as JetBoil promises, but this is quickly solved by sitting against the wind direction.

JetBoil Sumo
Model NameJetBoil Sumo
Volume1.8 Liter
Weight453 grams
Boiling Time1 L = 4  min 53 sec
Heat indicatorNo

Lid

I find it ironic how JetBoil says you can't cook in their products, just boil water and drinks. But they do include a lid with the JetBoil Sol/Sumo package that is ideal for separating pasta from water.

Nevertheless, I like the lid and am very thankful for the strainer thingy!

Cup

I like it. Although a crack formed in mine when I pushed the cup too far onto the pot for storage. A simple strip of duct-tape solved that problem tough.

JetBoil Cooking System

Pot stand/support

Its perfect, I got nothing more to say about it.

Gas support/tripod/balancing thingy

The tripod adds a lot of balance to an otherwise unstable structure. I like it a lot.

JetBoil Zip
Model NameJetBoil Zip
Volume0.8 Liter
Weight345 grams
Boiling Time0.5 L = 2 min 30 sec
Heat indicatorOnly with additional cup

Durability

I doubt the durability of the Cup and piezo electrical igniter. When treated with care, I can imagine that the rest of the kit can last long. One thing worries me tough, it seems like JetBoil doubts the durability of their own products as there is just one year warranty.

Conclusion

Pros
  • Great design.
  • The pot support that allows you to switch between cooking in the included pots (on trips and when by the car), being able to use other pots as well.
  • Small package, lightweight.
Cons
  • The cup, as well as the piezo electrical igniter proved not to be very durable in my hands.
  • Difficult to clean.
  • Not good for regulating heat.
  • Heat indicator is a joke.
  • If you cook or melt snow in the pot, you lose your warranty - that's silly!
  • Even the Sumo only fits small gas (fuel) canisters.
Who would I recommend it for

Although the JetBoil has a couple of cons, I like it.

It’s a lightweight system which contains all that's needed for a couple of nights outdoors. It's ideal for people who have little time to cook (that's why they invented Mountain House dried food), and who can't carry a lot of weight around.

As an alpine climber, I love it. I can imagine it also being useful for long distance hikers and big wall climbers.

Which one to buy
  • Sol: Solo trips
  • Flash: Up to two people
  • Sumo: For more than two people
Titanium or not?

If you are willing to invest those extra bucks for saving a couple of grams, you should do it. However, it does not make a difference in any other aspect.

About the author: Jef Verstraeten is an alpine climber and mountaineer from Austria. When he's not climbing in the Alps, he writes on his Gallic Alpinism blog.


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5 comments :

  1. Nice article...for pure water it is very nice.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It seems that it's good for cooking as well even though they don't advertise it so.

      Delete
    2. As I wrote in the article, cooking with the jetboil is not ideal, like Andy Jones mentioned below because the bottom gets extremely hot. once you get use to using it though, it works just fine. I found that the Helios series allow you to adjust the heat more, which makes cooking easier. Also, the larger surface at the bottom allows the heat to spread faster and not be so concentrated to a small spot as with the jetboil sol/flash....

      Delete
  2. I love my Jetboil Sol Titanium. Never go on a hike without it, a fresh hot cup of tea on a walk is a real pleasure. Never cooked with it. I imagine the fierce heat at the bottom might burn stuff if you didn't take care.

    I reviwed it on my blog and gave 5/5!

    Top product!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for your feedback, Andy!

      I could't agree more - anything hot (drink or meal) after long hours of hiking through deep snow is sacred.

      Also the feeling of being self-sufficient is amazing. Being able to take care of yourself with a hot meal out there makes you fell secure and safe. At least that's how I feel. :-)

      Delete

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