I have had this stove for about a year now and overall it is very good. As anyone who has used a Jetboil knows they are damn fast at boiling water – but pretty useless for simmering food or normal cooking.
Why did I go for the Jetboil?
I thought my MSR Pocket Rocket was an accident waiting to happen. While it was very light and super compact – any pot on the Pocket Rocket is quite unstable and could easily be knocked over. I never had an accident with it or got burnt but I felt it was just a matter of time. The performance of the Pocket Rocket was also significantly degraded in strong winds.
But more importantly – Stovemaster Niko had a Jetboil so I had to get one too!
Did I need the Titanium version to save 100 grams – probably not but it’s nice to have.
While the Sumo version may be too big for some solo summer hikers – it is a good size for family trips or great for solo trips in winter where you need to melt snow for your water supply. It is also ideal for sea kayaking trips where space and weight are not as critical as when hiking.
It is perfect for boiling water fast and for cooking pasta, noodles and hot dogs etc – but if you get anything thick in there like a stew where you need to cook and rehydrate meats for 10+ minutes you need to watch this thing closely or it will burn.
With the Sumo version – I also recommend the Jetboil extendable cutlery set so you can reach right down to the bottom of the cup and stir your food without burning yourself. Note: Standard cutlery like the popular Light My Fire spork is not long enough to reach the bottom of the Sumo [See first photo].
I find the Jetboil performs well in all conditions including strong wind. As with all fuel canister stoves the performance starts to drop just above freezing – and it really slows down when things get sub-zero. My favourite way to speed things up is to warm your gas can in your sleeping bag or jacket before I cook.
Apart from the occasional boil over, I find the Jetboil very safe to use. The design of the burner and fluxring results in very little heat coming out the sides of the unit. You can even hold onto the thermal sleeve to warm your hands while it is cooking. As the cup is screwed onto the burner the whole unit is very stable and I doubt it would start a fire if you accidentally knocked it over.
Yes I would cook with it inside my tent if conditions were bad – but not if my kids were with me.
So what if you want to cook more than water?
Many people go for the Jetboil frypan but I went for a $5 non-stick aluminium frypan from K-Mart. It is a few grams lighter than the Jetboil frypan but the handle doesn’t fold up and it doesn’t have the fluxring – thereby reducing it’s efficiency. But I can live with that and if I burn it or scratch it I can just get another one for $5. So far it has performed very well and opens up a lot more cooking options than just using the Jetboil cup. As the aluminium frypan base is much thicker than the wafer-thin Jetboil cup there is much better heat distribution and a reduced tendency to burn food. As the frypan just sits on top of the pot support it is not as stable as using the cup but I have had no problems so far.
The push button ignition is a great feature and still works well on my unit.
The plastic cup / flux ring protector cracked on my last trip. Perhaps I pushed it on a bit hard when stowing the unit – but I think a more durable type of plastic should be used here.
Would I buy it again: Yes
Bretto rating: 7/10
Check out the specs here: