I don't have one, but I use my buddy's several times while out with him. Its a very quick and seamless system. It is very easy to use. It has a built in windscreen, but I have had problems with wind at times. Using my body to shelter the stove while lighting it usually did the trick.
I've been using one this year, and like it a lot - and I was a dyed in the wool MSR fanatic (cut me, and I bled red - well, you get the point.)
It's fast, fuel efficient, and quite versatile. The small cup that protects the bottom of the pot makes a great measuring cup and small bowl (for making oatmeal and cup of soup.) The pot itself doubles as a drinking cup (think large traveler cup like you keep in your car.) It holds a perfect size serving of morning tea, and the pot cozy does keep it warm.
It's not the best stove for "real" cooking, but for the add-boiling-water-and-call-it-a-meal crowd, it's a really good choice. I chose the Sol because it was lighter, and because it claims to perform better than other canisters in the cold; haven't had it long enough to test that for myself yet.
I've not yet had any trouble with the piezo lighter; a click or two, and the stove has lit every time. But I still carry a separate lighter and usually some matches, just in case.
It's also about 4 ounces (a quarter pound) heavier than the Micro Rocket/Titan Kettle combo I previously used, but I'm starting to think the versatility could be worth it.
I'd recommend it, if you cook very simply. Not sure yet whether I'll actually give up my MSR kitchen yet for bakcpacking, but I'm not ruling it out. It would definitely be my choice for car-camping or for anyone willing to carry a bit of extra weight.
I have a jetboil.... Its good if you only plan to boil water. its not a camp stove! It will not simmer for more than a minute. its also small area at the bottom of the cup allows food to burn to the bottom cup if you try to cook in it.
If you cook food on the trail = NO if you just heat up water for re-hydrating food = YES
Loc: Southern California
I like mine, especially having the pot attached to the burner so that it cannot slide off. Convenience, fuel efficiency, and speed are what I like about it.
I do freezer bag meals so all I need is hot water. I boil the water and dump it into the bag, zip up the bag and put it back in the pot and put the lid on (the burner is turned off before I pour the water). Then the pot is removed from the burner and placed back in the cup to help the pot stay hot. After 10 minutes or so, the food is hydrated and hot enough to burn my tongue.
I keep the bag in the pot while I eat. It makes it neater and easier.
I have not had any problems with it during the 5 years since I bought it. I have seen others have trouble with the lighter, so have something to light it with should the ignition fail.
JetBoil is a brand not a product, at least not any longer... There are 8 different versions available going from 0.8L to 5 L (0.85 to 5.28 quartz0 The basic idea is the same, an integrated burner/pot combination with FluxRing to capture some of the heat that is normaly lost up to the sides , but of course the 8.5 oz Ti .8 pot system is not going to work like the 48oz group version... http://www.jetboil.com/products/comparesystems BTW, I have the original 1 L version. The piezo does not work (in fact I removed it long ago) but apart from that it works very well. I prefer to use the Caldera Cone for what I do but still occasionally use the Jetboil if I want something quick and easy for two people or for a hot cuppa when car camping.
Just took the Jetboil on a quick overnighter; used it to cook supper and breakfast. It performed well, but I think I'm pretty well done with it. It's just overkill for the way I eat on the trail. To justify its weight, I have to eat a hot breakfast and supper, and I'm finding I prefer a cold breakfast of granola bars (and maybe a pot of tea), so the Jetboil is just more than I want to mess with, and almost half a pound heavier than my MicroRocket/Titan Kettle setup, which is functionally identical for my needs.
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
My cook kit for solo use (boiling water to rehydrate food in freezer bag or for tea): Primus Micron Ti stove: 2.4 oz. Ti kettle, 550 ml: 2.2 oz. Mini bic lighter 0.4 oz. Windscreen 0.3 oz. Total 5.3 oz.
Jetboil Sol Ti, per specs on REI website: 9.9 oz. Both weights are, of course, without the fuel canister.
My setup, for my needs, is far more versatile. With my stove I can use any pot or frying pan, take a big pot to melt snow for water, do full cooking or (as I normally do) just boil water. My windscreen is a sheet of Ti foil that goes 3/4 of the way around the canister. It keeps the canister warm in cold weather but doesn't overheat it, and definitely makes the stove more fuel-efficient, especially in windy conditions. It's extremely important when using a windscreen with a canister stove to feel the canister frequently to be sure it doesn't get too hot. An exploding canister could ruin your day!
For some, the convenience of the Jetboil may be worth the extra weight and lack of versatility. "Your Mileage May Vary" definitely applies here!
Edited by OregonMouse (09/22/1206:27 PM)
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey
"Please note: 8.5 oz. weight specification does not include the weight of the pot support, fuel stabilizer and measuring cup" - from the Description tab for the Sol Ti on the REI website
Even without the pot support (only needed if you use a different pot than the one it comes with), the weight of the whole setup is closer to 14 ounces than 9. (Edit: that should read 12 ounces - see my response to Franco)
Edited by Glenn Roberts (09/23/1208:01 AM) Edit Reason: refer to error correction in my next post
From BackpackerGearTest : 0.7 oz (19 g) ~ Drink-through lid, with pour spout and strainer (Bottom right corner) 3.8 oz (107 g) ~ 0.8L (27 fl oz) Flux Ring Titanium Cup (Top middle) 0.6 oz (17 g) ~ Neoprene Insulating Cozy with handle (Around cup) 1.2 oz (33 g) ~ Bottom cover which doubles as a bowl and a measuring cup (Top left corner) 3.5 oz (98 g) ~ Stove/Flame Burner Housing with a piezoelectric igniter (Top right corner) 1.3 oz (36 g) ~ Pot Support (Bottom left corner) 1 oz (28 g) ~ Fuel (Canister) Stabilizer (Bottom middle)
Your math is right. But the fuel stabilizer and bottom cover are, in my opinion (stress on "opinion") necessary parts of the package, which pushes you to almost 11 ounces.
I did just notice on my gear list that in my previous post, I also included the weight of the Jetboil spoon, plus I jumped down a line; the 14 ounce weight I gave was for the aluminum, not titanium, version of the Sol. So, twelve ounces is closer, and it's only a quarter pound heavier than my MicroRocket/Titan Kettle combo.
The stabiliser is mostly for the 3.5oz cartridge, however if you add that to the JetBoil you need to add that to the pocket Rocket too, same "problem". By that I mean if you find that one is unstable so is the other.... As for the cup, some use it some don't , it isn't necessary. As mentioned I don't really have a horse in this race because I don't use my(different...) JetBoil and have plenty of stoves that I don't need to justify having, I am just pointing out some figures. BTW with the Jetboil I would say that the key feature is the one mentioned by the Oregon Mouse, and that is "convenience" although at least initially many liked the efficiency that is a fast boil with very little fuel usage. Some of course base their system purely or mostly on weight , others have different priorities and that is why you will never see a single product that will be best for everybody.
I agree with most of what you say, but I don't find that the stabilizer is needed with the MicroRocket/Titan kettle setup. The Jetboil is taller, and the canister is narrower, leading to a more tippy configuration. The MSR canister is a bit shorter and broader than the Jetboil canister, which also helps make it more stable. I've tipped over a Jetboil once, but never a Micro/Pocket Rocket. But that's just my experience; I'm sure there are others with just exactly the opposite.
I think Colin Fletcher once said that getting someone to change his religion was a simple matter compared to getting him to change his stove allegiance.
I'm not really trying to discredit the Jetboil; just relate my own preference. And, as you and I have both said many times before, everyone is entitled to their own preference.
Can't find a list of canisters on the MSR site but it still has the squatter/larger canister in the stove illustrations. The narrower version was on show recently but I have no idea if it will replace the older one. possibly not, because that was the point of difference and the reason for many to buy it over the rest.
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
Our local Fred Meyer stores sell the small Jetboil fuel canisters for a couple dollars per canister less than most outdoor stores charge. I've found that they are great for 2-3 day trips. Since they have a Lindahl valve, they can be used with any of the regular canister stoves. I stocked up!
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey
Many of my boy scouts have one. I bought one for the troop with the 1.5 liter pot. We just use it to boil water, so it works great with that. I haven't had any problems with boiling water. It is easy to use, and easy for boy scouts. I have had a hard time getting it to maintain a flame when I try and simmer. I am looking at getting a gigapower though.
I've taken a vow of poverty. To annoy me, send money.
Ive had the jetboil system for about 5 years now. I love it. I have the accessory that turns it into a typical stovetop burner. Works great! I can cook anything I like with it. It is only good for cooking for 1 or 2 people though. I also have the coffee press for it and it makes awesome fresh coffee. I wouldn't recommend cooking anything in the cup it comes with other than boiling water but with the stovetop attachment you can use typical camping pots and pans to cook.
As of March, 2013: I've been using this system steadily since my last post, and really grown to like it. I've got the SOL burner (which has a "thermoregulator"; some of the other models don't), which is supposed to provide good performance into the teens. I'v used in down to the mid-twenties with no noticeable change in performance.
I've now given up my MSR kitchen, and hereby renounce my previous posts questioning the Jetboil. Yeah, it's that good. You may all commence pointing and giggling now; I deserve it.
Yeah, Bearclaw I have used the Jetboil Stoves. They are really nice. If you had the Coleman Featherweight, were you wanting a camping stove that is really light? If so, I think your best option is the Jetboil Flash. This model only weighs 14 ounces. Its not too bad on price either. Of course they have a lot of other models available if you want to go bigger. The thing I like about the Jetboil Stoves are that they condense really small. Everything fits in side the cup itself. I also like that they distribute the heat quickly for quick boiling time. However, there are a lot of really good brands that make a lot of different types of models which work well. I really like MSR as well.
You're right, Lori: there are faster, lighter, quieter stoves - but I've yet to find ONE stove that is all three - and that's the basis of my change of heart.
I was using an MSR Titan Kettle and MicroRocket (about 5 or 6 ounces, total) that was lighter than the Jetboil. In calm, warm conditions, it came close to being as fast; but in the wind, not so much - unless I used a windscreen, at which point it was no longer lighter. It was not noticeably quieter. I've also used a Snow Peak Gigapower, with the same results as the MSR setup.
I've used Trangia stoves - definitely quieter, but not lighter or faster. Admitttedly, alcohol stoves made from cat food cans or pop cans would be lighter - but they need a windscreen to be efficient (and still aren't as fast), and the windscreen can more or less eliminate the weight savings (more, if it's a commercially-made screen; less if it's a few layers of aluminum foil.)
(I'm deliberately ignoring the fact that you can take only as much alcohol as you need for a specific trip, whereas you always have to take an entire gas canister - that gets into a whole discussion by itself; besides, for shorter trips, I often have a partly-full canister to take, which reduces that weight difference to an ounce or two.)
The big thing, with any kitchen, is that it has to fit the way you cook. For me, it's like someone watched me fix breakfast and supper and designed a stove to fit. However, as with nearly all other gear, my solution might not work so well for someone else (and vice versa.) Thus, I'd recommend that anyone consider the Jetboil Sol - but I'd never demand that they choose it or be "wrong" and I'm familiar enough with your advice to know you feel the same about "right" or "wrong" in backpacking. (Well, we both feel cotton is wrong, but we won't go there... )
FWIW, I've never had any issues with my Jetboil (maybe I should add, "yet"?) Of course, I never had any issues with other stoves I've owned, either.
I also carry a lighter, because I don't fully trust any piezo; I carry some matches because I don't fully trust any lighter.
Fully agree with not eating MRE's - my brother-in-law (career military) once told me that Meal, Ready to Eat was three lies for the price of one. (Tried one, once, and had to agree; my own military experience was with C-rations and in-flight lunches. No joy there, either.
I'm afraid I get a bit jaded about it. Every hiker coming through the door at REI gets one shoved in their hands. Every group backpack I go on, I end up fixing a Jetboil or boiling water for someone who brought one. The Snow Peak, Optimus, Primus, MSR users - not a prob. Alcohol stoves? No prob. Jetboils especially dislike getting up in the morning, so of course, I started carrying a canister stove so that at least the frustrated Jetboiler can just borrow my stove and not waste my fuel.
There are gear items that I have too much experience with that I have never and will never buy.... this be one.
"In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities. In the expert's mind there are few." Shunryu Suzuki
I have the Jetboil flash and I love it. Before that I used a CampingGaz Turbo 270. Nothing beats having everything in a nice tidy compact set. I've used many a stove (MSR whisperlite, esbit, coleman white gas) and canister stoves are by far the easiest, least fussy stoves to work with. My Piezzo igniter still works on my Jetboil, but I carry a mini bic anyway. If 1 liter is a bit big for you, get the Jetboil Zip, same stove as the flash with a few oz less capacity cup. Even in sub-0, high altitude (+10,000 el) my Jetboil flash has got it done. I've never tried anything except boil water....so if you're making a soufleit, go with a dutch oven. Otherwise you can do a lot worse than a Jetboil.
I've been using 2 of the original Jetboil for a number of years now. It IS best just for heating water, but don't assume it is only for that. With the pot stand piece I have watched my wife scramble eggs and even bake a pizza on those things. Myself, I'm far too lazy for that much work, but the pizza *was* awesome.