Gear Review: Jetboil Sumo GCS and Companion Bowl Set

Jetboil Sumo Titanium Group Cooking System and Companion Bowl Set

Camp Kitchen
Jetboil Sumo Titanium Group Cooking System
$190, 12 oz. (weight not including the measuring cup or the pot support)
$130, 16 oz. (for the aluminum version)

Jetboil Sumo Companion Bowl Set
$20, 6 oz.
Set includes two 23-oz. (675 ml) bowls and one 15-oz. (450 ml) bowl

From boiling water in near-freezing temperatures, wind, and drizzle with two friends in the Olympic Mountains in September, to family backpacking trips in Oregon’s Eagle Cap Wilderness in August and Capitol Reef National Park in March, this cooking system delivered everything I want in a backcountry kitchen for a small group: fast, efficient cooking even in inclement weather, and low weight and bulk in my pack.

The first time she used it, my wife remarked, “Wow, this really does boil water fast!” In the mild, calm conditions we encountered in Capitol Reef, the stove and 1.8L pot brought a liter of water to a boil in just over four minutes (as Jetboil claims). Strong gusts and temps around freezing in the Olympic Mountains did not noticeably affect the stove’s performance, because the burner is protected within the assembled unit, and Jetboil’s Jetpower fuel mixture vaporizes efficiently down to around 20° F. My family of four went through not quite three of the compact, 100g Jetpower fuel canisters making four dinners and breakfasts, which is pretty efficient. The pot lid doubles as a strainer for pasta, and the push-button lighter worked every time, even in wind. The only downside: The 100g Jetpower fuel canister will not nest inside the Companion Bowl Set (the 15-oz. bowl is not large enough)

The Sumo Companion Bowl Set (sold separately) nests inside the Sumo GCS pot, with the stove burner and folding pot support fitting inside one of the 23-oz. bowls—creating a compact kit for a small group (more than three people would have to either share or bring extra bowls). The tough, polypropylene bowls each have a cozy and sipping lid and are a good size for a serving of pasta or oatmeal.

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NOTE: I’ve been testing gear for Backpacker Magazine for 20 years. At The Big Outside, I review only what I consider the best outdoor gear and apparel. See all of my reviews by clicking on the Gear Reviews category at left or in the main menu. See more reviews of backpacking gear I like by clicking on the “backpacking gear reviews” tag in the tag cloud in the left sidebar.

—Michael Lanza


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