When you’re on a budget, you know that every dollar you invest in your camping equipment will matter. Jetboils are a popular item that many campers recommend enthusiastically, but are they worth the investment?
Jetboils are worth the investment because they are lightweight, take up little space, and offer quick cooking times using less fuel. They have a color change system and are entirely self-contained with minimal spillover. They may not be good for cooking large meals, indoor use, or for children.
If you want to know more about why you should (or should not) invest in a Jetboil, you need to know the ins and outs of this camping stove. Here is what you need to know for more information on whether a Jetboil is the right fit for you.
Is a Jetboil Worth the Investment?
A Jetboil isn’t the cheapest piece of equipment that you’ll find on offer. Many people are tempted by its claims to heat water in mere minutes with an incredibly small footprint and lightweight build.
If you have the money to invest in a Jetboil, is it worth the few extra dollars over another camping stove? In many situations, the answer is yes.
The Jetboil is extremely handy if you plan to trek far and wide, with the ability to cook food quickly.
However, there are a few instances where it may not be the best fit for you, such as if you plan to cook elaborate meals or want a stove that you can use indoors.
To help you decide whether the Jetboil will be worth your money, here is what you need to know about where it shines – and where it doesn’t.
1. Ability to Pack Lightly
Are you heading into the great outdoors with a long hike ahead to your campsite? If so, then you know that every pound in your pack matters.
You need to pack as efficiently as possible so you won’t feel overwhelmed with equipment. This is one area where the Jetboil truly shines. It’s not only small in stature, but it weighs very little.
Depending on the size of the canister you need, it can weigh anywhere from 100 grams (3.53 oz of fuel) to 450 grams (16 oz. of fuel).
Not to mention, the Jetboil itself is extremely lightweight. It weighs in at 13 ounces (just a few ounces shy of a full pound).
Even if you can’t fit this item into your pack, it won’t be a hassle to carry it to your campsite.
Keep in mind that it may be possible to find more lightweight options, but you aren’t likely to feel the difference of a few ounces.
If it does matter to you, other options may be the better fit for your backpack, but we still think this is a solid option for anyone.
2. Overall Dimensions
In addition to the weight of your pack, you also need to consider how well it will fit in. The overall dimensions of the Jetboil will affect how lightly you can pack.
Some camping items may not weigh much, but they can be bulky. The good news is that the Jetboil is pretty compact, making it easy to squeeze in an otherwise full pack.
The dimensions of the Jetboil come to roughly 7 inches by 4 inches for the Flash cooking system and 5 inches by 6 inches for the MiniMo.
Packing it up is a breeze. Not only is it lightweight with a small footprint, but it’s self-contained. Everything fits into one neat package, making it easy to toss in your pack without fear of breaking.
You won’t have to dig through your backpack in search of small pieces that fell off or were kept in a separate area. Simply pull out your Jetboil in its packaging and get to cooking!
4. Quick Cooking Times
Cooking times are one of the best reasons to invest in a Jetboil. They allow you to make food quickly without leaning over a hot campfire.
You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how quickly you can get what you need to make a meal with a Jetboil. The average boil time on the Flash is just 3 minutes and 20 seconds.
The MiniMo takes a little longer, at 4 minutes and 30 seconds. Either way, you’ll find that you can make hot tea, coffee, or cocoa in just minutes. If you need hot water for your MREs, you’ll have it in no time.
This easily beats trying to get close enough to the flame of your campfire to heat your water in a pot and then pour it into a mug.
How is the Jetboil able to so efficiently heat your food and water? Most people flock to this cooking stove because it keeps the heat from the stove portion and directs it to the included pot.
This speeds up the cooking process and allows you to save fuel (and money).
5. Long Burn Times
If you’re going out on the campsite for an extended trip, it may help to know that you have plenty of fuel. The good news is that even the smallest 100-gram canister will last you for a while.
It should give you a burn time of about one hour.
Given that it only takes three to four minutes to boil water, you could heat about 20 mugs of water which is pretty impressive given its overall footprint in your pack!
6. No Need for Pots and Pans
If you know that the only thing you’ll want to heat up is water for the long winter nights or a cup of morning tea, you can rest assured that you don’t need to pack unnecessary equipment.
But Jetboils do struggle a bit in the winter!
Your pots and pans can stay at home because they won’t need to be held over the campfire. Instead, you can use the cooking system included in the Jetboil.
It comes with a cup-like system that you can use to heat your water for a beverage or even your food. It’s great for warming up soup or other items you might not want to eat cold.
The best part is that you only need to pack this one item. It doesn’t require bulky pots and pans, so you can pack as lightly as you need.
7. Easy Setup
Setting up your campsite is one of the most tedious parts of the camping process. You already have the setup of your tent, your campfire, and more. Why add one more thing to the mix?
The Jetboil is extremely simple to set up. You must screw your fuel canister onto the burner, attach the cup, and fill it up with what you want to heat.
If you don’t even have footing for it to sit on, then you might need to add the stand. However, this doesn’t add much to it in terms of setup.
Of course, the reverse is also true: you also have an easy teardown of the Jetboil.
When you’re done with it, you can easily unscrew all of the parts, tuck it back in your pack, or store it away from the hustle and bustle where it could get knocked over or broken.
8. Color Change System
Do you want to set up your meal to heat and then forget about it? One of the coolest features of the Jetboil is that it notifies you when your entire cup has been heated through.
The koozie that is used for the cup has a simple heat indicator on it. As your food or water heats up, it turns colors to let you know how warm your food is.
This allows you to set it up and then go about your business while still keeping an eye on the Jetboil.
Plus, this keeps you from having to check the cup manually every couple of minutes to see if it’s progressing toward being able to heat your food.
9. Minimal Spillover
If you’re cooking on the Jetboil, you might wonder how to avoid spillover that can make a mess and damage your cooking stove.
Fortunately, this can be quite easy because the Jetboil has a max fill line inside the cup. Filling it above this line means you’ll have an issue with water boiling or food spilling out and over the top.
You should also keep a close eye on foods if you’re cooking. Without consistent stirring, you may find that the food on the bottom of the Jetboil will burn faster than that on the top.
10. Carry Less Fuel
Perhaps the greatest benefit of the Jetboil is that it uses minimal fuel.
Those who want to lessen their carbon footprint or pack less while on the trail will be pleased to know that you won’t be using unnecessary fuel.
The Jetboil heats up quickly, significantly reducing the amount of isobutane you’ll need. A 100-gram container will burn for roughly an hour.
Since it takes just minutes to heat water, you’ll be able to conserve what remains of the fuel. This can also significantly lighten your pack.
Not to mention, it’s more cost-effective for you in the long run, even with the initial investment in the Jetboil itself.
11. Not Great for More Elaborate Meals
The Jetboil is ideal for those who want to make simple meals or want plain boiled water for a quick dehydrated meal.
While it can heat individual portions of food (such as a can of soup), it isn’t the right fit if you want a more elaborate meal.
For example, this is not ideal if you cook raw meat or anything involving more than simple heating. It has only one burner, making it ideal just for simple use.
You may still need a camping stove if you plan to eat gourmet food while camping.
12. Not Ideal for Indoor Use
Of course, you might wonder whether the Jetboil can be used indoors. In the winter, many campers prefer to keep their activities in the tent whenever possible.
This offers them the greatest protection from the winter winds, snow, and ice. However, you should always use caution when using a camping stove of any kind inside.
Unless you are staying in a very well-ventilated area, moving your Jetboil outside is best before lighting it up.
Otherwise, the off-gassing can build up and have serious consequences for your health, such as carbon monoxide poisoning.
CO is odorless and colorless, making it impossible to know that it is reaching dangerous levels.
13. Only One Burner
One of the downsides of the Jetboil is that it does come with only one burner.
While this is great if you know that you don’t need much power to heat your foods and beverages, it might be problematic if you want a more powerful system.
Keep this in mind when deciding which camping stove is the right fit for you.
14. Not Great for Children
While the Jetboil has a neoprene koozie to protect you from touching the hot cup, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to burn yourself.
Some users report that they had difficulty figuring out where to hold the cup to avoid this high heat. This means it might not be the right fit for your children to handle cooking on it solo.
15. A Bit Expensive
The real objection many people have when it comes to investing in the Jetboil is that it is a bit more expensive than some other cooking stoves on the market.
However, sometimes you get what you pay for. The Jetboil is a quality stove that makes cooking on the trail a breeze.
If you want something compact and high-quality, you need to consider whether the Jetboil is the right fit for you. Many campers find it’s well worth the investment as the stove is long-lasting and affordable.
The only thing to be aware of is how you store it. Be sure that the cup is completely dry before you pack it away.
Never set the fuel canister in the cup, as any unseen moisture can cause this to rust and transfer to the inside of the cup. This is a quick way to ruin your Jetboil.
As long as you’re cautious about storing it properly, you’ll have this investment for a long time!
The Jetboil is a great piece of equipment to carry with you on a long camping trip. It’s lightweight, has a small footprint, and is way more convenient than cooking over a campfire.
It uses less fuel than camping stoves and is easy to set up without needing pots and pans. If you want something convenient and easy to use while camping, the Jetboil may be the right fit for you.