Feb 5, 2009 at 8:16 am #1233817
In the "Coolest Gear" thread I claimed my Jetboil would go "From packed to hot water is less than 3 minutes."
Roger replied "That is based on Jetboil's marketing spiel, not your own personal experience, right?"
Thanks for calling me out on such a wild claim. I don't time such things in the field, so the three minutes was an estimate. In my top secret product testing laboratory (kitchen) test it raised 700 ml of ice water from 32F/0C to a full 212F/100C rolling boil in 4:04 from lighting the cold stove, consuming 7 grams of fuel.
If I'm just going for a hot drink I use about half that much water, and it is usually more like 50F instead of ice water; I estimated the 30 seconds for stove assembly and 2:30 for heating. Tomorrow morning I'll do a more rigorous test of my claim, including time to assemble the stove and fill it with water.
The tests were last summer with a new stove and full 100 gram can of "Jetpower" fuel. I did several tests to figure out how much fuel to carry. Repeated bench tests showed that less than full throttle was most efficient- 3 cups/700 ml of ice water consistently required between 6 and 7 grams to full boil. I now use the 110 gram cans of Snowpeak fuel.
Recently I paid my BPL subscription so just yesterday I read Roger's original review and test of the Jetboil: http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/jetboil_stove_review.html
Also I will use a fan to test the performance with and without my recently constructed 8 gram wind screen. The wind screen is simply part of a stainless steel hose clamp that wraps 2/3 of the way around the heat exchanger air outlets. It blocks about 1/2 the vent area, which I think will keep the flame more centered in strong breezes.
The springy metal band just snaps onto the cup. It can be slid up or down to vary the amount of vent blockage. The slots in the hose clamp seem a neat feature for allowing partial venting, but a solid strip of titanium would probably work fine too. For travel it stores neatly in the top of the stove.Feb 5, 2009 at 9:36 am #1475615
You have to figure another 30 seconds to find your misplaced Bic lighter, or, if you can't find it, an extra minute to get a match lit in the wind.Feb 5, 2009 at 10:19 am #1475627
The bic is always in my pocket, but my Jetboil clicker works on the second click most of the time. I ground away some of the plastic that seemed to be interrupting the return electrical circuit which seemed to make it work better.
JimFeb 5, 2009 at 11:34 am #1475642
I really dislike Jetboils, if for no other reason then their weight. But I have to admit that they are relatively quick to boil. I basically don't sell these stoves; I can sell someone a stove/pot combo that weighs at least a half pound less with negligble fuel efficiency difference. BUT-
Having some spare time on my hands, I set a pint of cold tap water and a packed Jetboil in front of me. In my lab, ie shop. From packed to rolling boil was 3:12. I pulled the lid off a few times because I started seeing steam roll out the lid at about 1:20; I suspect that if I had left it in place I could have gotten to rolling boil a bit more quickly. In other words, as much as I might hate to admit it, yeah, the 3 minute packed-to-boiling is a pretty reasonable claim.Feb 5, 2009 at 12:00 pm #1475649
te – waParticipant
im still struggling with the whole point of a fast boil.. do you really have to have a boil under 4 minutes after you just spent hours doing other things? is there really a need to rush for you people when youre out in the backcountry?
3:12 for $100 and over a pound is just silly when I can get 6:12 for under an 4 ounces and under $5
so, IMO the jetboil is a POS and i wouldnt even use it for car camping
:roll defendant's arguments and let the jury decide:Feb 5, 2009 at 12:09 pm #1475651
@bleanLocale: San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Seems to me it somewhat depends on the scenario. For a solo backpacker in moderate weather I completely agree with you. For a group of four, out at -20, starting from melting snow ….
–MVFeb 5, 2009 at 12:12 pm #1475652
To this day, I still do not understand the importance of fast boil times and why they have been used by manufacturers and pitched to shoppers as if they're the ultimate measure of a stove.
Jetboils look fast…as well as heavy, bulky, and completely lacking in simplicity. But why does speed matter?
"Damn it man, we need to eat NOW, there's just NO TIME!!! FOR GOD'S SAKE HURRY!!!!!"
If I was in some legitimate hurry to eat (although I can't imagine what would cause this) I wouldn't cook. I'd eat another Clif bar and a handful of nuts.
On the note of melting snow at -20, you're in big trouble if you're going to rely on an upright cannister system.Feb 5, 2009 at 12:16 pm #1475654
What stove are you using Michael?Feb 5, 2009 at 12:17 pm #1475655
I have run hundreds of stove tests in my garage using some sophisticated measuring equipment and the fastest most efficient stove test I have ever recorded was with a JetBoil Stove using a GCS pot I boiled 500mls water in around 2m 30s and used around 4.5g of fuel.
TonyFeb 5, 2009 at 12:35 pm #1475659
What about the ability to boil while you are hiking? That makes it even faster. It's hard to light a match and hold it and your poles with only two hands though.Feb 5, 2009 at 1:06 pm #1475666
@foodLocale: Colorado Rockies
The JetBoil is the drag racer of backpacking. Impressive performance, but still does not answer the question — Why?Feb 5, 2009 at 1:31 pm #1475673
te – waParticipant
Dave, Im using a piece of crap*. its a redbull chimney style top burner with a heiny can (oh god say it aint so!)
and a bud bottle stand with a craft alum. windscreen. total weight with mini bic, bandana and wilson tennis ball lid – 3.7oz
*but its MY piece of crap :)
rarely, I use a vargo ti jet stove because it fits the heiny pot. so far, a bottle of HEET @ $1.25 seems to work well. just dont snort the fumes…Feb 5, 2009 at 1:36 pm #1475676
>The JetBoil is the drag racer of backpacking. Impressive performance, but still does not answer the question — Why?
I have to agree,why does it matter in the bush.
The only time that I appreciated the JetBoil GCS pot performance was when I was melting snow at -17C (around 0F), I was using my modified pot stand Coleman xtreme stove, this stove/pot combination performance was outstanding.
TonyFeb 5, 2009 at 1:41 pm #1475679
.Feb 5, 2009 at 1:43 pm #1475680
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Stove testing is great fun, but comparing results is more difficult. The following should be specified if you want people to be able to make useful comparisons:
* Volume of water used
* Starting water temperature (rumour has it one company started with very warm water!)
* Finish temperature (rumour has it one company counted the first bubbles as meaning boiling!)
* The fuel mix in the canister used (in cold weather the amount of propane is going to affect peak power)
* Whether the canister was new or nearly empty (propane again)
* Ambient temperature (seriously affects the pressure in the canister and hence peak power)
CheersFeb 5, 2009 at 3:39 pm #1475708
Both the Jet Boil and Reactor make a lot of sense if you are using 1 stove amongst several people and don't want the hassle of carry alchohol using esbit (the residue is a pain). By boiling quickly people eat quickly plus there would be savings from the fuel burn perespective – the Reactor is really quite efficient for what it does. In this respect the weight is spread over several people over several days.Feb 5, 2009 at 5:31 pm #1475737
"Damn it man, we need to eat NOW, there's just NO TIME!!! FOR GOD'S SAKE HURRY!!!!!"
No, there is not any real hurry for me on the trail. There is "bother" though. I truly enjoy stopping for a hot drink two or three times a day. Before I got the JB it was too much bother. With the Jetboil I can stop, have a quick brew, and pack back up with little effort.
Perhaps my other stoves contribute to my Jetboil joy. I have a SVEA 123, MSR X-GK, and can-piercing Bluet. I completely respect the opinion of anyone who has tried one for a trip and rejected it.Feb 5, 2009 at 7:10 pm #1475756
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> my Jetboil joy. I have a SVEA 123, MSR X-GK, and can-piercing Bluet.
Ah, yes, well…
Svea 123 – antique liquid fuel stove, slow to set up
MSR-XGK – fireball liquid fuel stove, slow to set up
Bleuet – primitive.
Just as an exercise in modern discovery, try a small upright Snow Peak stove or even a Vargo Jet-Ti, with a small titanium pot. Check the cost and the weight too. You might be surprised…
CheersFeb 5, 2009 at 7:53 pm #1475766
Hmm.. I dunno guys. One of the best features of the jetboil in my eyes is having the thing in your hands while making a hot lunch, great on cold days. They even have a hanging kit for us climbers (or hanging it in a tent when properly vented of course). Mine sees the most use on cooler weather climbing trips where ease of hot chocolate making paired with the neoprene cozy that makes it easy to sip from is worth the extra weight.
For backpacking, eh I usually go a different route but for the lazy of us it's really sweet to setup. There's something about the amount of polish and integration that it has that satisfies the inner gear wh0re.
When it's freezing rain the last thing I want to do is stay hunched around on the ground – hell you can cook while still moving as long as your careful about not letting it boil over.
Granted, the company's liability lawyers would have a fit if they saw this post.Feb 5, 2009 at 8:05 pm #1475770
By the way, when judging boiling times don't forget about altitude. Stuff boils way faster up at alttidue since it only needs to reach 193.904 F / 89.947 C (calculated for Ward CO, which is actually below most of my hikes).Feb 5, 2009 at 9:49 pm #1475793
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
I normally am not in a rush, so I don't mind much using Sgt Rock's Ion stove… one of the slowest stoves on the planet. I am talking 15 minutes to get 16oz of water to boil. Of course, it only takes around .3oz of fuel to do this.
But sometimes boil time really matters. For people who take tea during the day, have hot lunches, need to melt snow for water, or are cooking for many, the speed of the boil can make a big difference. Personally, I like the weight savings and versatility of a canister stove and separate pot, but I have several friends who love their jetboils. In particular, people who do a lot of group trips where there are a few stoves and a lot of extra pots brought.
–MarkFeb 5, 2009 at 10:26 pm #1475796
@ngatelLocale: Southern California
Jim's base weight is under 15lbs, so I guess that is easily in the lightweight range. He likes the stove, it is convenient and efficient. Isn't that what we are all about?
At altitude with lots of snow, I carry a MSR Dragonfly. Works for me. Otherwise I use a SP Giga Stove. I have a Caldera Cone and 12-10 stove that is in transit to me. If I like it, I will probably use it on long trips. But for short trips, I will stick with the SP. It is just too convenient and not that heavy.
If we meet up later this month, I can bring the SP if you want to look at it.
– NickFeb 5, 2009 at 11:48 pm #1475805
I don't think there is any doubt that the JetBoil PCS setup is slick. I like the way the cup/pot connects to the stove and in turn to the fuel canister, and no worry about the pot full of hot water sliding off the stove. Then the fact you can grab the pot without hunting something to use as a pot holder, and the neoprene helping keep the contents warm for a while.
Being fast is just icing on the cake for those times when you might not want to wait – cold and tired but wanting a hot meal, a quick hot drink for breakfast or at lunch on a cold day, etc.
I just cannot get past the weight for a solo hiker on a weekend trip. If I ever get the chance for a long thru hike, or as my grandsons get older and go with me on backpacking trips, I can see where the speed and ease might finally outweigh the 15 oz or so that the JetBoil weighs.
I just keep hoping for JetBoil light…Feb 6, 2009 at 11:52 am #1475890
In the first post of this thread I mentioned a windscreen made out of a stainless steel hose clamp. This morning I tried it out.
First- My claim of packed to boiling in 3 minutes. I tried it out this morning with 1-1/2 cups (350 ml) of tap water, about 60F, no wind. From packed to lit took 20 seconds. That includes pouring the water into the pot from an open cup. It reached a full rolling boil at 2:38, or 22 seconds ahead of my claim.
Next I tried a few tests to see how efficient my wind screen was. These were done with 500 ml of tap water. I was looking more for relative performance so I didn't bother recording temperatures. All tests were without lids, timer was stopped at a full, unmistakable, rolling boil. I let the stove cool down and canister "rest" for several minutes between each test. Stove was on the highest flame setting. Canister was a 110 gram Snopeak, mostly full. "Wind" was from a 6" desk fan placed 8" away from the stove. I can't guess at the windspeed- I'd call it a "breeze".
3:03 No wind, Jetboil PCS cup. Baseline performance slower than I expected based on my tests last summer when the stove was new and using Jetpower fuel.
5:15 No wind Evernew 1.75L titanium pot, ~150mm/6" diameter with Jetboil pot stand. It was very obvious just holding my hand near the pot sides that a lot more heat was wasted by the non-heat exchanger pot, even though it is at least 50% greater diameter.
3:22 Wind, Jetboil PCS cup, no windscreen. Pretty good taking only about 10% more time than under calm conditions. More heat was noticeable on the downwind side of the pot.
3:24 Wind, Jetboil PCS cup, windscreen with opening facing toward the wind. Basically the same as no windscreen.
3:20 Wind, Jetboil PCS cup, windscreen with opening facing away from the wind.
Wind, Evernew pot. Cancelled after 7 minutes. Clearly way slower than the heat exchanger cup and clearly suffering way more than the wind.
Stove and heat exchanger cup work great together.
My homemade windscreen doesn't seem to work, at least in a moderate breeze.
Play around with different aluminum foil windscreen options to see if they make a difference. Try a bigger fan to better simulate strong winds.
I will bring the pot adapter and Evenew pot to simmer food on an upcoming family trip but will plan on doing all the water heating with the PCS cup. Its fast heating rate and roughly 750 ml useful capacity will be fine to boil water for our family of four.
Consider a super-compact canister stove for UL personal trips and as a second stove on family trips.Feb 6, 2009 at 3:19 pm #1475942
Thanks for your report, I enjoyed reading it. I have had similar results with some rough testing that I have done, the flux ring does do an amazing job of resisting wind.
Would it be possible to post a picture of your windshield and have you thought about trying WS of different designs.
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