I always saw a Jetboil as a ‘nice to have’, never a necessity. Nothing was wrong with my tried and true billy and cooker - hell, it even had character - but when I saw my mate pull a Jetboil out of his pack on a recent adventure, ‘nice to have’ became need. The Jetboil completely rethinks how a camp cooker works. It still utilises the same gas canister and burner arrangement, but features new tech in the bottom of the pot, using FluxRing – which has a similar appearance to honeycomb - to create more surface area, allowing for much more heat dissipation. In turn, this equals lightning-fast boiling and greater heat control.
I’ll admit, I thought the whole concept was a little gimmicky at first, but upon using the Flash for the first time myself, I quickly understood what it was all about. Using the Jetboil is straightforward, and it’s clear the integration and usability has been well thought out. The whole unit; gas canister, stand, burner and cup, all pack inside the main flask for easy transportation. Say goodbye to wet matches or a broken lighter, because this burner has push-button ignition.
Using the Jetboil
Using the Jetboil is straightforward. After you’ve got the hang of the setup and breakdown process, using it in the field is simple. The base assembles easily by threading the burner and gas canister together then clipping the stand on - make sure you do this in a well ventilated area as it does hiss a little bit of gas. The flask and burner slide together and create a secure fitting which leaves you feeling assured that no matter how delirious you are after your day’s effort, you won’t knock two cups of boiling water over yourself without trying really hard.
It will surprise you how quickly it brings water to the boil, but the neoprene sleeve on the flask has a brilliant, built-in temperature gauge that ascends in an orange color to show you how close to boiling it is. My suggestion is to leave the vented lid on while bringing ingredients to the boil, as it can spill over very quickly and make turning the heat down very difficult. I learnt that out the hard way...
Is it worth the money and is it right for me?
If all you’re only eating freeze-dried meals or drinking hot beverages while out in remote areas, then this is all you need. If you’re looking to cook or fry food, then the addition of their traditional pot holder and a conventional pot/billy would be better suited. Either way, the Jetboil flash system is all I will be taking with me from now on, for speed, portability and ease of use.
Words & Image: Cameron Mackenzie