backpacking stove reviews

The Jetboil Flash backpacking stove.

Review: Jetboil Flash Backpacking Stove

Backpacking Stove
Jetboil Flash
$125, 13.1 oz./371g
moosejaw.com

On chilly, windy, early-April mornings and evenings in camp in Arizona’s Aravaipa Canyon and calmer but still cool mealtimes on a section of the Arizona Trail along the Gila River, plus a seven-day, nearly 70-mile backpacking trip in September in Glacier National Park and a three-day hike on the 22-mile Boulder Mail Trail-Death Hollow Loop in the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument in early October, the Jetboil Flash did everything you want a backpacking stove to do: assembled quickly and easily, fired up immediately every time, and boiled water so fast that even our group of five hungry backpackers were content sharing just that one stove.

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The MSR WindBurner Group Stove System.

Review: MSR Windburner Group Stove System

Backpacking Stove
MSR WindBurner Group Stove System
$250, 1 lb. 5 oz.
backcountry.com

When cooking for more than two hungry people in the backcountry—especially if that includes kids—having a large pot and powerful stove keeps the team from waiting so long that they threaten revolt. But the stove’s performance in wind matters, too. On family backpacking trips of three days in Hells Canyon, four days on Nevada’s Ruby Crest Trail, and six days in Utah’s High Uintas Wilderness, plus a five-day hike with three friends in The Maze District of Canyonlands National Park, MSR’s WindBurner Group Stove System not only staved off rebellion, it boiled and cooked quickly in a range of temps and even surprised with its fuel efficiency.

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The MSR PocketRocket 2 backpacking stove.

Review: MSR PocketRocket 2 Backpacking Stove

Backpacking Stove
MSR PocketRocket 2 stove
$60, 3 oz. (4 oz. with plastic case, included)
backcountry.com

On three-season backpacking trips of two days to a week, with one or two companions—especially when you’re oriented toward cooking simple, one-pot meals—a single-burner canister stove offers efficiency and versatility in a very lightweight, compact, affordable, and durable package. On various trips, including an 80-mile, five-day backpacking trip with a friend in the North Cascades National Park Complex, and a three-day, 40-mile hike in Utah’s Dark Canyon Wilderness, the MSR Pocketrocket 2 demonstrated to me why it’s a leading choice in this category of ultralight stoves, on top of representing an improvement over its predecessor.

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Gear Review: Jetboil Joule Group Cooking System

Jetboil Joule Group Cooking System
Jetboil Joule Group Cooking System

Camp Cooking System
Jetboil Joule Group Cooking System
$200, 1 lb. 12 oz. (not including soft stuff sack for storing burner unit inside the pot)
moosejaw.com

When I’m backpacking with my family, I look for several important qualities in my backcountry stove: speed, versatility, simplicity, fuel efficiency (so I carry less, not to mention burning less carbon), and modest weight and bulk. Too much to ask? I don’t think so, and apparently Jetboil agrees with me. My family used the Joule GCS to boil water for our breakfasts and cook our dinners on a five-day backpacking trip down Paria Canyon in Utah and Arizona in late March, and the Joule met all of my demands.

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Jetboil MiniMo

Review: Jetboil MiniMo Personal Cooking System

Solo Camp Cook Set
Jetboil MiniMo Personal Cooking System
$165, 1 lb. 1 oz.
backcountry.com

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.

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