Thursday, July 26, 2018

Three tiny backpacking stoves: Part 1

Canister stoves are by far the most popular stoves currently being used by backpackers. Their light weight, low cost and ease of use make them very popular. I wanted to highlight three of the most popular stoves and what differentiates them.

The first is the MSR Pocket Rocket 2. The follow up to what is probably, the most popular stove in history, the original Pocket Rocket. The PR2 is $45 and weighs all of 2.6 ounces. It offers great flame control, and easy use. When it replaced the original Pocket Rocket they made it ever so slightly lighter and changed the design of the pot support arms, which makes the stove pack smaller. So it is smaller and lighter than the original.

It comes in a small plastic case, or can be stored inside any number of pots with a fuel canister. Pots like the GSI minimalist, soloist, etc and the MSR line of small pots. The pot in the video is the GSI Halulite 1.1 liter boiler.

This stove was a great update to a popular stove, with the best thing being the way the pot supports now fold, making the whole stove pack smaller.

The specs listed online show the average boil time for a liter of water is 3 minutes and 30 seconds. But who boils a liter? Lets see how fast it can boil 2 cups of water, which is a much more practical volume.

starting with 72ºF water and a full fuel canister: The first time I used the lid, and at 3 minutes exactly it was a rolling boil. I decided to do it again with the lid off so we could see when it started boiling, and what the time difference between the two was.

The second time the canister still measured 100% full and once again the water was 72ºF:
At an amazing 2 minutes and 9 seconds I had a rolling boil. Seriously fast. This completely negates that first test with the lid on (because it should be faster with the lid on). Of course this is ideal conditions, no wind, a 70º room. But two minutes and nine seconds is really fast. The fuel canister still read as 100% full using my Jetboil Jet gauge.

Tune in two days to see how the Snow Peak Giga Power 2 did in the same test.