2005 Perfect Pace Gear of the Year Award

(9/27/05) JetBoil wins hands down for the 2005 Perfect Pace Gear of the Year Award. The cooking system is light, fast, compact, dependable, and easy to use. Although JetBoil has been around for only a year, most Perfect Pace backpackers now use JetBoil as their primary cooking system.

This ingenious invention includes all the elements required for outdoor cooking in a single unit. You do not need matches, pumps, windscreens, pots, carrying case, a mug, or a bowl. It's all integrated into the cooking system. Even the fuel canister and burner fit conveniently and snuggly into the cooking compartment for storage.

Its patented FluxRing technology uses a unique baffle system to double fuel efficiency, boiling water faster, and without the use of a windscreen. The cozy insulates the system for faster cooking and keeps liquids warm after cooking is completed. Pumping and priming is not needed and the stove lights simply with a built-in push igniter.

The parts all snap easily together and turn quickly from storage container to stove to serving mug. JetBoil also now offers several accessories that can be purchased separately. One is a coffee French press. Companion cups are available for groups using JetBoil. Different colored cozies are available, including camouflage. And now JetBoil offers a pot support and stabilizer. This means you can now use your Jetboil with pots and pans.

JetBoil withstood the rigors of climbing Mt. Whitney. JetBoil endured the strong winds at Trail Camp and boiled water fine at Whitney summit in eighteen degree temperatures. I used the new pot support and stabilizer to fry the trout I caught during the trip.

Some Perfect Pace members who bought the earlier models have had trouble removing the bottom measuring cup. They changed the design in more recent models and the cups come off easily now. For those with older models, it helps to slightly file down the inside tabs that lock the cup in place. The newer models also seem to ignite faster. My older model took a few clicks to ignite. Sometimes a rust ring forms in the bottom of the cooking container. This occurs when the container is stored wet with the fuel canister inside. To prevent this from occuring, make sure you dry the container before storing and also place the fuel canister upside down so that the plastic top instead of the metal base touches the bottom of the container. Unfortunately the canisters are non-refillable, so you have to buy a new canister when the old one runs out. You can use other fuel canisters such as snow peak with JetBoil, but the JetPower canister supposedly works better because of the special blend of propane and iso-butane. Propane provides higher vapor pressure to the fuel which means better performance in cold weather. Iso-butane provides more constant pressure as the fuel level gets low.

Its easy selling JetBoil to others. I used the popular MSR Whisperlite stove before I bought the JetBoil nine months ago. In terms of weight, ease of use, control, efficiency, and reliability; there is no comparison.

JetBoil retails for about $80 and may be purchased at REI, Adventure 16, and other hiking outfitters.