Solo Camp Cook Set
Jetboil MiniMo Personal Cooking System
$155, 1 lb. 1 oz.
When I’m backpacking long days and traveling as light as possible, I want a cooking system that’s not only lightweight, but efficient and easy: I need it to boil water fast in the morning, and by the time I get around to dinner in the evening, I’m too knackered to want to make much effort. Jetboil’s solo cooking system, the MiniMo, delivered that kind of performance and convenience on a four-day, 86-mile ultralight backpacking trip in northern Yosemite National Park in September; a nine-day hike of nearly 130 miles through the High Sierra in August, mostly on the John Muir Trail; a five-day, late-summer hike in the Wind River Range; an overnight hike down Zion’s Narrows in early November; and a pair of hut treks in New Zealand’s Fiordland National Park in March.
I used this stove with one or two hiking partners on those trips, taking turns because the pot, with a cooking volume of 0.75 liter, is only large enough to cook for one person. With an output of 6,000 BTUs, the MiniMo cranks out a pot of boiling water in a few minutes, so there wasn’t much waiting when sharing it. The highly efficient burner reduces fuel weight: Feeding three of us for four dinners and breakfasts with at least 40 pots boiled in the Winds required just one eight-ounce fuel canister; and we saw the same fuel consumption rate boiling water for our meals in the High Sierra..
A breeze and a temperature not much above freezing on our November morning in Zion’s Narrows did not noticeably affect the stove’s output. Jetboil claims the stove performs well in temperatures down to 20° F/-6° C.
While the rub against previous Jetboil stoves has been that they’re only water boilers, the MiniMo has fine simmer control, to prevent burning soup noodles to the bottom of the pot. The push-button lighter worked every time, and I really like this stove’s efficiency (typical of other Jetboil models): In Yosemite, two of us cooked a total of 12 meals (three dinners and three breakfasts each) using just one 100-gram/4 oz. Jetboil canister. With three people eating eight dinners and breakfasts on the John Muir Trail, we finished the trip without burning completely through one 450g/16 oz. fuel canister. Its size and fuel efficiency make it the Prius of backcountry cooking systems.
The MiniMo’s compact size (five by six inches/127x152mm) not only makes it more packable than many cooking systems, but the low, wide pot is easier to eat from and easier to clean. And as is typical of Jetboil stoves, the pot cozy allows you to grasp and hold it right after cooking without burning off skin.
Jetboil is compatible with fuel canisters that have valves made to the EN417 specification, a standard used by manufacturers worldwide, including Brunton, Gigapower, MSR, Primus, and Snow Peak.
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NOTE: I tested gear for Backpacker magazine for 20 years. At The Big Outside, I review only what I consider the best outdoor gear and apparel. See The Big Outside’s Gear Reviews page for categorized menus of gear reviews and expert buying tips.