Jet Boil Cooking System
Waking early on a cold winter’s morning on the banks of the Shoalhaven River coffee was the number one priority, once the call of nature had been answered of course. I filled the Jetboil Flash canister with enough water for two cups of coffee, lit the burner and then wandered over and re-kindled the remnants of last nights fire. Two minutes later I was pouring boiling water into my cup and enjoying the first sip of my morning heart starter.
We purchased our Jetboil Flash cooking system about 18 months ago from Anaconda and have used it extensively since that time. It’s lightweight and compact packed size means that it takes very little space so why would you leave it at home. The first thing that you notice about the Jetboil unit is the quality and for the price you’d expect nothing less. We paid around $200 for the Jetboil unit itself and then added a pot support, a lightweight saucepan set and bunch of gas canisters. This took the grand total for our set-up to over $300. As a side note, we opted for a different brand of saucepans for the unit due to the close to $120 price tag of a single frying pan bearing the Jetboil name. We purchased a combined set of frying pan, two saucepans and a teapot for around $60. They all fit inside one another and the removable handle makes them easy to carry when travelling light. The negatives is that our frying pan and saucepan combo doesn't have Jetboils integrated heat diffuser system. This means that you get serious hot spot in the middle of the pan and not a great deal going on around the edges, we learnt to work around by keeping a close eye on it and moving the saucepan as required. Ife we were doing a lot of remote travelling and hiking we would spend the money on the Jetboil saucepans for sure.
The cup itself and the integrated heat diffuser on it’s base is constructed of a light weight anodized alloy and wrapped in a neoprene cover with a webbing style handle making it easy to handle when hot. The cover has a temperature sensor that goes from black to yellow as the temperature increases but ours no longer functions as intended, staying permanently yellow. The cover is also showing signs of deterioration but this is to be expected with the amount use the unit has had. A quick look at the Jetboil site shows replacement covers starting from $10 but this is an OS site so by the time you factor in conversion rates and shipping I’m thinking it’ll be closer to $20.
The inside of the cup has a ‘maximum level’ and it makes good sense to adhere to it. I over filled it one occasion and found myself getting burnt with the splashes of boiling water as I attempted to turn the burner off so I could empty the contents of the cup.
We ended up buying the larger 450-gram gas canisters to fuel our unit. This was against the advise of the manufacturer as of course they have only tested the unit with their own brand of canister. We have had no problems with the larger Primus canisters but this is by no means a recommendation and should you choose to use them as opposed to the Jet Boil branded canisters you do so at your own peril. The Jetboil website has this to say on the matter of gas canisters.
‘Jetboil is compatible with valves made to the EN417 specification, a standard adopted by manufacturers throughout the world. Please note that the product has not been tested with every different type of fuel canister, and we cannot claim safe operation with any canister other than our Jetpower brand of fuel. However, if you are unable to find our fuel out on the trail, the following fuel has the same mixture and valve as ours: Brunton, Gigapower, MSR, Primus and Snowpeak’. (I had the link saved to the website page where I found this information but I'm un-able to find it, If I come across it again I'll link this article)
Speaking of gas, on our recent six-month lap around Australia we left home with four of the 450-gram canisters and we still have one full one and two with about a quarter left and we used these almost daily and multiple times at that. We used our Jetboil to boil water for our coffee, for doing the dishes and we even cooked with it on the occasions when we where remote from our vehicle. Extremely economical would be the verdict.
The Jetboil cooking system is one of the handiest pieces of camping equipment that we own and comes highly recommended for those who use hiking, motorcycling, kayaking, pushbike riding or even boating as their means of travel.