Apr 29, 2010 at 9:18 pm #1258365
Seems there is a lot of talk from people who have lightened their Jetboil but not much how to. So here is what I did, the mistakes I made, and how you can improve upon it. Sorry, I did not take before or in process pics, hopefully you can compare to yours and see what I did. I got a wild hair and went at it.
Pics as it sits now.
Compare to Original
First thing I did was remove the cozy and cut off the handle and spoon holder. After cutting the pot, I trimmed it to match. You could get away with more, but I have big hands and was being a little conservative.
Next I went at the pot. I drilled holes around the bottom using progressively bigger bits and ended up with somewhere about 11/64". I then cleaned up the holes with a file. DO NOT DO THIS! Drill your holes in the base, not the pot. The pot is aluminum and the base is galvanized steel. You’ll save more weight by drilling the base. I did not drill both because that seems to comprise the windshield and part of the focusing heat shield of the complete rig. So drilling both would most likely reduce its immunity to wind. Also, I did not cut anything from the base as I believe it to be part of a heat shield to protect the canister. These are my best guesses and maybe the stove gurus can chime in on this. If not, there is a boat load of weight to by cut in the base.
I used a dremel to trim down the pot and went about 1” above the 2 cup line. This brings about the 2nd issue, it boils over if you fill it to the 2 cup line. Its good at somewhere between 1.5 and 1.75 cups. Not really a problem for me since I just use it cook MH meals and you don’t ever need the full 2 cups. But I recommend doing some test boiling to see how far you can go.
The base is next and I started by disassembling it. There is a snap ring on the bottom of the metal base that goes around the gas feed tube. Pop that off with a screw driver. Then grab the burner and it unscrews from the valve. The valve will pull out the bottom and the burner out the top after tweaking the igniter to the side. The metal base is just pressure fit with the plastic stand at this point. Use a small screw driver and work around the edge to remove. You can now discard the plastic stand.
In mine, the valve is brass, others have a steel one. I trimmed off all the excess brass on the valve, most of which is used to hold it in the plastic base. The dremel cut it like butter and the file finished the job pretty easily. I think there is more that can be taken off the valve, but this is as far as I want to go before my trip. Also, there is plastic that can be trimmed from the knob.
When you reassemble the burner/valve/base, there will be play between the snap ring and the base. The plastic stand used to occupy some space there. I located a proper thickness and diameter washer, cut open one end, and wedged it between the existing snap ring and the base. Now its solid. Its also solid mounted to the fuel can with water in the pot. The plastic base was not doing anything but looking pretty.
My first try at a new pot lid is not very pretty. I used a Fosters can , but do not have a crimp tool to get that nice lip. I’m going to JB weld a little piece of neoprene on the lid for a handle and try to make it fit better. I will also be painting the raw aluminum with some exhaust paint to protect it.
It weighs in at 9 oz without the cup/bottom cover and about 10 oz with. I think 8 oz is achievable with drilling the base and more trimming on the valve and knob.
Now I’m not trying to convince anyone that the Jetboil is better, as good as, or even close to the better canister stoves. But I already had it, so it was 100% cheaper than buying new ones and probably still as marketable in its current form. Plus it was fun. Some like’em, some don’t.Apr 30, 2010 at 8:08 am #1604014
@servingkoLocale: Intermountain West
I too have been contemplating a weight reduction plan for my JetBoil. I really like the convenience of the whole pkg but it certainly could be lighter. My guess was that 8oz was a minimum and you shown that it's possible.Apr 30, 2010 at 5:45 pm #1604321
I went after mine with the dremel. I wanted to keep the features that I like about it; Igniter, flux ring, cup that locks to the stove, insulated holder. I left the plastic base on and spent a few hours carving out ALL of the plastic that was not needed. Cut down the cup to 1/2 inch above the line, left out the measuring cup, tripod stand, and lid. I cut out every other rib that supports the cup (around the flux ring). I trimmed the neoprene down to about 3 inches (and removed the handle). It now weighs in at 9 ounces. (I got rid of 5 ounces) It is still heavier then other stoves but I allready own it and it was fun to knock off about 40% of the weight. How do you post pictures on here? I'd love to show my carving/butcher work. Also I learned that you can't dye the plastic!May 1, 2010 at 2:51 pm #1604691
I've done this before.
Add two holes makes it can be hanged on neck, cooking when walkingMay 1, 2010 at 3:06 pm #1604698
@antigLocale: Pacific Northwest
I really want to lighten my reactor but I don't have the confidence.May 1, 2010 at 5:01 pm #1604722
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> I really want to lighten my reactor but I don't have the confidence.
That's best done by replacing the burner with a Snow Peak GST-100, and the pot with a Titanium one of a suitable size.
And you get MUCH less CO emission too.
CheersMay 1, 2010 at 6:26 pm #1604751
The Jetboil system is both huge and heavy compared to most all other canister stove system! Are people at campsites really in such a rush to get their water boiling? Or do they put up with all this weight and bulk just for the 2 minutes' bragging rights? For the solo hiker who ditching the Jetboil monstrosity — he/she can house a stove and a fuel canister inside a Snow Peak 600 mug.May 1, 2010 at 6:53 pm #1604762
@tbeasleyLocale: Pigeon House Mt from the Castle
When it is very cold (for Australia) -20C or so, the last thing I want to do is hang around waiting to melt enough snow to drink and cook, I have modified my Coleman Extreme to fit a JetBoil GCS pot, this system is very fast and efficient for melting snow. The JetBoil would just not able to do this in these conditions.
In warmer conditions I agree with Roger a SnowPeak or a 60g Ti Kovea is the way to go.
I friend of my nephew who does mountain climbing in NZ, was telling me that the MSR Reactors have taken off in the NZ mountain climbing community, as they leave the JetBoils for dead for speed of heating water.
TonyMay 1, 2010 at 8:42 pm #1604783
Making my jetboil lighter and more usefull is not really bragging is it?May 1, 2010 at 8:51 pm #1604786
The point is the Jetboil system is inherently bulky and weighty — and substantially so.
Yeah, you can tinker with it a tad possibly — but my feel is to either suck it up and live with it cause you feel that absolute need to boil your water 1.5 minutes faster — or look at other options that are easily half the size and weight.May 1, 2010 at 8:55 pm #1604788
@dirk9827Locale: Pacific Northwest
Or do they put up with all this weight and bulk just for the 2 minutes' bragging rights?
Of course, this same argument could be applied to people who get completely obsessed by a few grams here and there. Sometimes it seems more to be about bragging rights than anything else. There is always a lighter pack or jacket.May 1, 2010 at 9:02 pm #1604791
True that. Cross some point and we find the benefits purely 'psychic'.May 1, 2010 at 9:06 pm #1604794
@dirk9827Locale: Pacific Northwest
But it is impressive how some people can make those UL setups work for them, even in harsh conditions.
DirkMay 1, 2010 at 9:11 pm #1604796
Yeah, 'cept in the case of Jetboil — folks are easily doubling both weight and volume for those psychic benefits. Or maybe those 2 minutes really are critical… Yeah.
Something about these Jetboil and Caldera Cone systems…May 1, 2010 at 9:44 pm #1604810
@frankenfeetLocale: Great Lakes
Thanks Brian for the awesome post. I already began the mods and look forward to completing the project.
Remember Ben and Roger that some folks here are on a budget and in order to realize weight savings are often faced with the task of modifying the older and heavier gear they currently own via good old fashioned brainpower when wallet power is coming up short. I think that the prior statement was a run on sentence. Oh well grammar was never a strong suit for me. Side note I am enjoying the modified TT Rainbow Tent I purchased from you Ben. BTW great mods to the tent Ben! What did you purchase to replace it that was lighter and less bulky since your mods to it didn't fulfill your need for weight savings? Just teasing man…. Peace, Love, and Lightweight gear for all. To all the gear choppers out there, I salute you.May 1, 2010 at 9:54 pm #1604814
Tight budget and Jetboil??
Anyway… glad you enjoy the Rainbow! Thanks for letting me know. :)May 1, 2010 at 10:10 pm #1604818
@frankenfeetLocale: Great Lakes
Ben I made a bad purchase on the jetboil back in 2005 and yeah I do happen to be on a tight budget right now until I am able to wing a little bit of not needed, unused, and unloved gear via gear swap. So no I can't really run out and buy anything new right now. You seem to be missing the point that some of us out here own the jetboil and are stuck with it since we can't afford to run out and purchase a new canister stove and titanium mug right this second. So modifying the JB to realize a weight savings is cool for us. Perhaps we can be allowed to amicably share these modifications here at BPL without being told to simply go out and purchase new gear. I do often roll with a pop can since it was a cheap and light alternative to the JB.
The tent held up pretty well during a recent visit to the smokies although I am pretty sure tarptents are not meant to be used in a temperate rain forest that gets 80" to 90"of rain in a year. I did experience quite a good bit of condensation inside the tent on two evenings during 48 hours of "wintery mix" precipitation in GSMNP. One major plus for the tent was that both my girlfriend and I were able to shack up in the Rainbow and we are both bigger folks.
Okay I am officially done here since I don't want to lead this thread any farther off topic.
Over and out. Go in peace and modify gear in the name of love for the sport.May 1, 2010 at 10:26 pm #1604824
The Jetboil is such a polarizing piece of gear! That's why I put the caveat at the bottom of my post that its not better than anything else. Mainly this exercise was fun and I still like the Jetboil for the "Cool Factor" and nothing else. I definitely learned a few things and will be less apprehensive to modify my gear in the future. There are still a shyteload of people with Jetboils out there, especially those just starting out in backpacking. I was just at REI today and they were pushing the Jetboil. So someone may find this thread and get 'enlightened' on the UL way of thinking.May 1, 2010 at 10:54 pm #1604838
"I was just at REI today and they were pushing the Jetboil."
Enough said.May 2, 2010 at 12:35 am #1604853
@jdemonacoLocale: San Francisco
I use a jetboil for week long trips for a couple reason
1. Everything fits inside the pot. I tend to throw stuff in my pack recklessly when I'm in a hurry in the morning to get out on the trail so just being able to throw the whole unit in there is nice. I especially like that the fuel goes in the can as well, I'm always afraid of blowing one of those up haha.
2. Speed. A lot of people might not find the quickness of the boil worth the wait, however, I find that it make it that much easier to get a hot lunch in on the trail. Say I take a 15 minute break for lunch. During that time I could jetboil water and pour it into freezedried food bag for a total cook time of 7 minutes (2 min for boil, 5 for cook in bag). That leaves me with 8 minutes to eat and get going. I could use an alcohol stove which is a total cook time of about 12 minutes (7 to boil, 5 to cook) which leaves me with 3 minutes to eat and get ready. Or I could use an alternative stove and pot system which would be about 10 minute cook time which leaves me with 5 minutes to eat and get going. So I'd rather have the jetboil and have the time to make a hot lunch on the trail quickly.
3. I like that it all locks into each other while cooking. This minimizes accidents and I don't have to worry about knocking it over really.
Anyways, there are some things people don't mind carrying the extra weight for. I've built some cool alcohol stoves that are very reliable but I still wouldn't trust going out into the back country for a week or longer with one of those. I need reliability and so far I've got that in the jetboil so it's earned my respect.May 2, 2010 at 1:25 am #1604854
James, you bring up some good points, and I understand everyones got their own system, preferences, and pet peeves. But for the sake of debating, which I imagine is pretty appropriate given the fact that this is BPL, I'd like to take you up on your points. But let me preface this first…I used to own a jetboil, and my buddy and I still take one out, but only for winter trips, where melting snow quickly is a must.
1) Everything fits in the pot. This is true for the jetboil as you have mentioned, but its also true for the caldera compact cone system, which you nest into a titanium mug. Titanium is plenty strong, and arguably even stronger ounce for ounce, when stacked up against the aluminum jetboil pot. For the caldera, u can also fit fuel inside the pot (ie esbit, or small bottles of alc) Other DIY setups also nest into each other (ie. Ben Tang's wedding tin alc stove, or my own preferred lightweight setup…a heineken keg, caldera cone, and esbit gram cracker stove)
2) Speed. You got me beat in terms of speed. The jetboil will outperform any one of my alc or esbit stoves. However, based on what you've described, i gotta ask you this. Why not just spend the extra 5 mins eating (the difference between the 8 mins available eating time using a jetboil, vs the 3 mins eating time using an alc stove). By the end of the day, you'll be back in your car, unaware of how much extra mins it took you to complete your hike. Mins means nothing to me when my hike last hours.
3) The regular caldera system will "lock" your pot in place, and provide an even more stable platform. But of course the regular caldera wont nest into your cup. However, I find the two stake setup on the caldera compact plenty stable though. IMO Those gas cans are not that stable when there's a tall pot full of water ontop. Though i've used the jetboil with the optional footstand which makes it very stable…but then again, more weight
And your final point about reliability. People take alcohol stoves along the whole AT. And there's nothing more reliable than a esbit tab. You light it, and it burns. Same thing with alc, just light it and it burns. The supplied 12-10 stove that comes with caldera setups is rock solid with no moving parts. Other stoves like the gram weenie pro, or whitebox stove are made out of crimped pieces of aluminum. Other makers make one piece rolled aluminum stoves. On the otherhand, there are lots of points for failure on a jetboil. More moving parts, valves, connects etc. My piezo crapped out everytime i was at elevation.
If this doesnt convert you or any other future potential jetboil owners, then we'll just have to agree to disagree :)
And I def agree with one of the other posters on this thread that money can constrain our decisions and that some of us have to work with what we got (in some cases a jetboil bought many years ago). That being said, I say sell it! Hawk it on ebay for 50 dollars used, and pick up a better, lighter system from Trail Designs or any other maker of lightweight stoves. Cutting it down is cool and everything and I have to give the OP props for having a great understanding of tools and machining, but in the end you still have an 8 oz gas canister system. Again, why not sell the jetboil used, and pick up a gas can stove that weighs 2-3 ounces? If you buy it used, you can walk away with a stove and titanium cup, and be out 0 dollars. Everyone on here that has read Roger's articles knows that those gimmicky heat exchanger fins can't even offset their own weight through its proclaimed more efficient use of fuelMay 2, 2010 at 1:38 am #1604855
@tallblokeLocale: DON'T LOOK DOWN!!
Cooking at lunchstops is something Kath and I enjoy. Gather a few dry twigs as we walk, stop at a beautiful spot, pull out the home made 2oz hobo woodstove and beercan kelly kettle, and brew up.
I prefer listening to the sounds of nature around me to hearing the roar of high pressure gas too.May 2, 2010 at 1:50 am #1604860
@markmclauchlinLocale: Western Australia
Speed! Bah, only time in my life I am not in a hurry to do somethig is when I am out on the trail, its my time..
But I do own a jetboil for car camping trips and fishing, way to heavy in my opinion to take out on a hike.May 2, 2010 at 2:00 am #1604862
@rcaffinLocale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
> some of us out here own the jetboil and are stuck with it since we can't afford to
> run out and purchase a new canister stove and titanium mug right this second. So
> modifying the JB to realize a weight savings is cool for us.
Absolutely. And I will defend your right to discuss your modifications as much as you wish. Go for it!
Don't be surprised, or worried, if some others suggest that a totally different rig might be better. It's an open forum, and all are welcome to participate.
Btw – did you notice that the guts of the Jetboil are labeled 'Primus'? Yep, Primus 'made' the stove for Jetboil, and the low power was a deliberate design decision by Jetboil. Actually, Primus had the stove physically made in China – as usual these days.
CheersMay 2, 2010 at 2:02 am #1604863
@markmclauchlinLocale: Western Australia
+1 to Roger's comments.
Also didnt know that bit about Primus, they kept that nice and quiet.
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