Specifications and Features
|Year and Model||Flash Cooking System|
|Materials||Aluminum pot, neoprene cozy, stainless steel burner, plastic bottom cover and top lid|
|Pot Size||1 L|
|Weight||Measured total weight: 14.7 oz (417 g)|
Measured minimum weight: 11.0 oz (312 g)
Manufacturer total weight: 14.0 oz (397 g)
|Features||Aluminum pot, neoprene cozy with handle and temperature indicator, wing valve on|
burner with piezo igniter, drink-through lid with pour spout and strainer, bottom
|Included||Burner, cook pot, pot support, canister tripod|
The Jetboil Flash Cooking System, introduced in spring 2011, is basically an updated version of the original PCS, and my understanding is that it will eventually replace the PCS. Compared to the Zip Cooking System, the Flash is more full-featured and has a larger 1 L cook pot. The additional features are a piezo igniter on the burner and a temperature indicator on the cozy.
According to our weight measurement, the Flash is only slightly lighter than the PCS, not a full ounce (28 g) lighter as the manufacturer specified weights would indicate. With a total weight of 14.7 ounces, the Flash is not lightweight, so it presents the same weight conundrum as the original PCS: we like its efficiency and performance, but we don’t like its weight.
For hikers looking for more cooking capacity, the Flash’s 1 L pot is a plus, but it has the same drawback as the original PCS – although the pot size is 1 L, the manufacturer cautions the user to not fill it more than half full because of the risk of boil-overs. And that caution is real; if you are cooking food in the pot, you need to watch it closely so it doesn’t boil over. It’s a mess if it does. For hikers who will cook a meal in-pot, the Flash will cook for two people, using care as mentioned.
In our performance tests, the Flash Cooking System is in the middle of the pack: average heating rate, excellent fuel efficiency, above average wind resistance, poor cold resistance, and acceptable burner control. Its fuel efficiency is excellent, as with all the Jetboil stoves, but it lacks the superior performance of the more advanced Sol systems. Burner control on the Flash (and Zip) at low settings is not as good as the other Jetboil stoves and the Primus Eta Solo stove. Its main strengths are its fuel efficiency and versatility. The Flash does not have the new Jetboil Thermo-Regulate™ Technology that maintains burner output as the fuel in the canister declines and improves performance at lower temperatures.
Jetboil’s range of available companion cups and accessories, and included pot support make this and other Jetboil stoves the most versatile in the group of stoves we tested. Although the stove’s cook pot is only 1 L, which is suitable for cooking in-pot for two people, larger volume pots are available to fit this stove, and the included pot support allows the burner to be used with conventional cook pots.
One bummer we found is the design is the connection between the cook pot and burner. A small slot on the base of the pot needs to line up exactly with a bead on the burner’s flange, then turned to lock. The design is awkward in use, but a Jetboil user gets used to it. Jetboil is basically stuck with the design in order to have all of their companion cups be backwardly compatible with previous models.
Overall, the Flash is just a flashier PCS, with more graphics on it plus a temperature indicator. Interestingly, its burner control is not as good as the original PCS. Its heating rate is a little faster, but otherwise its performance is pretty much the same as the PCS.
- Solidly constructed and durable
- Excellent fuel efficiency
- Good wind resistance
- Wide range of optional pots and accessories
- Included pot support allows burner to be used with conventional pots
What’s Not So Good
- Too heavy
- Cold resistance not as good as the Jetboil Sol stoves and MSR Reactor
- Burner control is not as good as the Jetboil PCS and Sol stoves
- Pot to burner connection is awkward to use
Disclosure: The manufacturer provided this product to the author and/or Backpacking Light at no charge and is owned by the author/BPL. The author/Backpacking Light has no obligation to the manufacturer to review this product under the terms of this agreement.