American Bushman

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Monday, October 20, 2008

Thinking About A JetBoil PCS

I'm toying with the idea of getting a JetBoil Personal Cooking System (PCS) after watching a video on YouTube where the presenter suggests that it can bring a Liter of water to a boil in just over two minutes.

It sure would be handy to provide hot chocolate and/or hot tea to the kids after soccer practice or a nice cold walk through the woods without having to dig a pit and build a fire to warm up our water.

Reviews seem mixed on REI's site though. There have been complaints about the piezo ignition system failing and nearly as many complaints about stability as compliments. After nearly four years on the market I suspect they've got the kinks nearly worked out but it sounds like the occasional dud still gets out there.

The beauty of REI, of course, is the no questions asked return policy they've always had. I could get this unit, test it, decide whether or not I like it, and then return it if it didn't fit into my style of camping and hiking.

Sure, it goes against my "carry less" mantra but for something to whip out of the car on a cool evening for a super quick brew up it may be the answer to an unasked question. :)

Your thoughts?

Thanks for reading,



At 2:01 PM, Anonymous pablo said...

Mixed reviews on the Woodlife network as well.

They're good when they work, but a little tempremental. This is according to others as I haven't got one.

At 2:39 PM, Anonymous Devlan said...

I like the jetboil because it's efficient and has a lot of nice accessories. That said, it's a very large unitasker in that a) it requires you to carry fuel, and b) it can't be thrown directly into the fire if you run out of fuel (because of the insulation).

After evaluating the options, including Jet boil, I stuck with my Zebra billy and picked up an MSR pocket rocket. I do use the jetboil fuel canister with the pocket rocket, but I still have the option of using the billy can with an actual fire if I want to.

I can boil 3 1/2 cups of water in about 3 1/2 minutes with this setup, and that's without a windscreen (which you can make out of aluminum foil).

At 2:52 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

My friend bought a JetBoil just before this year's BCUK Bushmoot, and we used it frequently over the 5 days we were there.

It's definitely very quick to boil, and is a neat, self contained unit. However, you wouldn't really want to use it for anything other than boiling water, and every time we used it we had to fiddle with the ignition (bear in mind that this was a brand new unit). I can understand the negative comments about stability as well.

Ultimately, my Trangia proved far more useful and versatile, even if it was much slower.

However as an answer to your unasked question, it certainly does fit the bill for a "super quick brew up". Just make sure you've got a secondary means of ignition around.

At 6:47 AM, Blogger Noel said...

I love mine. Boils a cup of water in 40 sec. Can go from bag to boiled water in less than 2 min. I would also not cook anything in it other than water. But for making a cup of cocoa or rehydrating a meal noting beats it.

At 8:59 AM, Blogger The Suburban Bushwacker said...

Not tested one myself but I've not heard a great deal to recommend them either. BoB looked at one for his trip to patagonia and decided to stick with his MSR.

REI is awesome though so if you've got the patience its a free trial!

At 9:08 AM, Blogger American Bushman said...

Yeah, we are going to do an outdoor test tonight after soccer practice. It's going to be a real chiller so it should be a good test and a much-appreciated cold-buster.

I fired it up yesterday and it definitely works quickly. I went from cold water to bubbles to a rolling boil in an amazingly short time.

So far so good...

Thanks for your comments,


At 4:45 PM, Blogger oldsoldier said...

Did you end up sticking with it? For my hiking, I had a tossup between that & a GSI soloist cookset. I went with GSI because it was cheaper, and a little more stable. Isnt near as fast as a jetboil, but I can get the pot going in about 3 mins. For canister cook systems, I would recommend the GSI soloist. If course, you would need to pick up the stove itself (soloist is only the cookset), and I went with what they recommended; snowpeak giga. This cook system I will keep for a long, long time...I like the compactness of it!

At 4:49 PM, Blogger American Bushman said...


Thanks for your inquiry.

I did not end up keeping it. The JetBoil just didn't fit the role for which I really wanted it.

The kids love hot chocolate after a cold day out but there's this narrow band between hot enough and too hot and the JetBoil quickly runs right through that band and then the kids won't touch the hot chocolate for 15 minutes.

Kind of defeats the purpose of an ultra-fast boil at that point.

It sure worked GREAT for what it was designed though.

I, too, have the Snowpeak Giga stove and it's worked great for me whenever I needed it.

Thanks again,



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