The MSR PocketRocket 2 Mini Stove Kit is a complete cook-and-eat solution for one person, featuring the MSR PocketRocket 2 stove, a .75L (16-23 oz) anodized aluminum pot, bowl, transparent lid with drinking/straining ports, and an ultra-light pot lifter. I have used the MSR PocketRocket 1 (PR 1) stove system for many years. It has always been a compact and trustworthy cooking system. MSR pushes those features even further with this new design. It retails for $79.95.
Features and Specifications
Total weight for the PR 2 Mini Stove kit including burner unit, 1-liter cooking pot, pot grip, eating/drinking bowl, and stuff sack is 9.8 oz (278 g). Adding a can of isobutane fuel (which will fit inside the stove kit) at 7.4 oz (210 g) brings the entire stove kit and fuel to 17.2 oz (488 g). The MSR isobutane fuel containers hold 3.9 oz. (110 g) of isobutane. The MSR isobutane rates as a four-season fuel for use on cold winter trips.
The following table provides a comparison of weight and specs between backpacking stove / cook kit models.
|Make||Model||Liquid capacity||Stove kit weight w/o fuel||Fuel weight||Total kit weight for use w/fuel|
|MSR||PR 2||0.75 liters (.79 quarts)||9.8 oz (277.82 g)||7.4 oz (209.78 g)||17.2 oz (482.50 g)|
|MSR||Windburner||1 liter (1.05 quarts)||15.5 oz (439.41 g)||7.4 oz (209.78 g)||22.9 (649.20 g)|
|Jetboil||MicroMo||0.8 liters (.84 quarts)||12 oz (538.64 g)||7.4 oz (209.78 g)||26.4 oz (748.42 g)|
|Jetboil||Flash||1 liter (1.05)||13.1 oz (371.37 g)||7.4 oz (209.78 g)||20.5 oz (581.16)|
Note: we previously reviewed the MSR Windburner here – it’s worth reading that review in the context of this one so you are familiar with the tradeoffs between weight, wind performance, and fuel efficiency for an integrated system like the Windburner vs. a standard canister stove system like the Pocket Rocket.
All the components of the PocketRocket 2 cook system nest down within one another, a new feature and a vast improvement over the previous iteration (see photo for comparison). This feature leads to a reduction of about 50% volume and slightly less weight over the PocketRocket 1 cook system.
While an intrepid ultralight backpacker can build a lighter cook kit using thin-walled titanium cups, carbon fiber pot lids, 1-oz canister stoves, and the like, the PocketRocket 2 kit represents one of the lighter and best-integrated systems for self-contained packaged kits on the market.
The performance of the MSR PR 2 is rated at boiling 1L of water in three minutes, thirty seconds with an output of 8,000 BTUs. MSR rates this stove to burn at the maximum flame for sixty minutes using a 3.9 oz isobutane canister. If one assumes that each one person hot meal will require two cups of water and four minutes to boil, each 3.9 oz isobutane canister will provide hot water for fifteen meals.
MSR did a good job packing useful design into a small package. As you can see in the comparison photo, the PR 2 is even more compact than the PR 1. The new design allows the three pot support arms on the burner unit to twist and fold down, making it tiny enough to nest inside the 0.75-liter pot that comes with the stove kit.
This design is an improvement over the PR 1, which required a red plastic case for the burner unit because when you folded the potholders, they pointed up and could punch through a pack. With the new foldable design, you are free to leave the plastic case behind and lighten up even more.
The PR 2 does not come with a fuel canister holder, which makes the stove unit and water in the pot more stable and safe. Without one of these, it would be a snap to upset a pot of boiling water, putting you at risk of a hot water injury and or loss of hot water. In my opinion, a stove with a liter of hot water on it is too unstable to use without a canister holder – the center of gravity is too high, and the ground surface in your camp is likely to be somewhat uneven.
- The PR 2 also lacks a windscreen. I have used a PR 1 for years in a variety of situations (including alpine environments and stormy evenings) and have never needed a windscreen. The PR’s power, along with a minimal amount of shelter, makes one unnecessary. However, if you desire a windscreen, I suggest rolling up some heavy duty aluminum foil and packing that along. Windscreens for canister stoves have been discussed at length here previously in articles here, here, here, and here.
The PocketRocket 2 is designed to fit in a minimal space in your pack in a compact volume (about four by five inches). The weight of the cooking unit including fuel is 17.4 oz (487 g), and that includes burner, fuel canister, 110 g of fuel, a bowl/drinking cup, handle for pouring, and a lid. An added fuel canister holder for cooking stability will add about an ounce. This system is a reasonable investment if you are looking for a well-designed lightweight backpacking stove and cook kit.
Editor’s Note – I used this stove and cook kit while on a media trip in the Wind River Range (Wyoming). I can echo all of Chris Servheen’s observations – with one addition. One cold morning (pre-coffee) I placed the cooking pot on the stove and ignited the burner … only to immediately melt the eating/drinking bowl which I had failed to remove from the bottom of the pot. The bowl is clear and when nested onto the pot is easy to miss. Normally I would chalk this up to human error brought on by inattention on an early morning. However, several other professional gear reviewers on the trip mentioned that similar things had happened to them or their acquaintances. Even representatives of Cascade Designs noted that it was a common problem. It’s no reason to avoid this piece of gear – but be vigilant! – Andrew Marshall
Where to Buy
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