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The Jet Boil.
What an amazing design and usable cooking system. I have used many, from soild fuel, kerosene and other gas cookers. The Jet boil wins hands down!
The design of this equipment is fantastic, the large light weight cup (holds 1litre and is 450g) actually houses the component parts of the cooking system including the gas creating a robust, light and compact peice of kit.
The cup itself is extemely light so heats quickly. It is insulated by a neoprene sleeve that also serves to protect your hands whilst hold the cup. To increase its effectivness a snug fitting rubberised lid aids boiling/cooking speed and the insulation properties. The sleeve also has a small recess to hold a spoon or spork!
The cup then clicks into place to ensure its stability during cooking. The heating element is of such a design that it focuses the heat and creates a wind proof style heating system, much light a turbo lighter works. This enables you to boil 1 litre of water in under 2 minutes! there is also a self lighting system, similar to an electric lighter.
The system uses gas canisters. If your an avid out doors type then you'll be aware of calor gas canisters. These gas canisters are used which vary in sizes, the smallest of which fits into the cup along with the heating element. I normally use a larger canister especially if I'm going to be out on the hills for a number of days and need additional fuel. (We normally carry 1 jet boil between 3).
The Jet Boil company itself have produced a number of new 'add on's' to facilitate additional use like cooking pans, extended feet for stability.
What I think is great about the Jet Boil company is the fact that my original jetboil had been deemed unsafe due to one of the component parts and subsequently recalled the troublesome products. At the time of the recall, mine was over 2 years old, and was battered and bruised. They replaced the product 1 for 1, without any qualms regarding its state! Extremely handy for me as I was in the market to replace it. Not just because of that, aslo the products themselves, the Jet Boil Company have a customer for life in me!
Subsequently I would urge anyone in the market for a personal cooking system to stretch the extra few pounds to buy one of these. You really wont regret it.
I have actually used this peice of kit in an emergency whilst out on Dartmoor, infact, ther wrong side of Crane Hill if anyone has been up and over it. The weather had changed from good to bad, to very bad within 30 minutes. With an injured member of my walking team, the only thing we could do was to make shelter and brew up, as any true Brit would. The fact the 3 of us had a hot drink each, and had begun cooking within 5 minutes of being set speaks volumes for the deployability of the cooking system.
Whether your making tea, coffee or cooking food this is definatly the must have product. I have used it every where too. As mentioned, whilst walking on the moors, but also whilst camping on the beach and it also served as part of my emergency kit in my car during our dangerous winters we've had of late.
If there is any down side to this, I am having to be picky to highlight it, but it wouldn't be a full review if I didn't. The original feet that fold away with the purchase whilst aiding a sturdy platform can be tricky to place whilst out in the field, especially if the ground is rocky, however, they can be adjusted and if required as an add-on you can purchase addition supports. As I said this is a very minor point on a fantastic product.
A superb peice of design!
Jet Boil. I've had mine for about 3 or 4 years now and its still the first stove on my list for any camping climbing or fishing trip. Its a compact system where you can pack the stove and gas canister inside the cooking pot. On the negative side it can be unstable and you have to pick where you stand it with care, if car camping use a larger canister for better stability, on the cooking side it takes a bit of practice not to burn everything as it does run very hot and is very efficient, also the auto ignition is prone to breaking down,mine hasn't but I do cushion it with a scouring pad in the cooking pot to protect it. All that does pale though when you look at the cons, its well designed, you can hold it with boiling water inside due to the heatproof covering, it boils water very very quickly and efficiently, its light, packs up small and looks great on amountain or lake side and is great for a hot drink ready for a hard days festival partying. It has a addon which enables you to hang it from anything - tree branch, tent inne etc. great as the whole thing screws together and you can even carry it whilst its heating - not recomended though. Overall if you want a stove to cook simple food, boil water very quickly, is light efficient and easy to use then this is for you.
I've been using the Jetboil PCS for a good two years now, after I found it at the bargain price of just £50 from an Army camp. I'd read some good reviews about it, and it's really stood upto them. I do a lot of camping and outdoor stuff, and seeing people struggle with their medevil gas cookers just makes me appreciate the Jetboil PCS even more.
Firstly, this is designed to be a compact, highly efficient one person gas cooker. At about £50-60, with no fancy accessories, it is quite expensive too - but it's worth the money. You can buy Group cooking systems from Jetboil, but for the PCS is best if cooking for one, or two people [ www.jetboil.com].
The stock product comes with;
-1.0 litre FluxRing cooking cup with insulating cozy
-Drink through lid
-Measuring cup / unsulating bottom cover
-Adjustable burner with push-button ignition
-Efficiency - 75-80%
-Boil time - 1 minute per cup (250ml)
-Water boiled - 12L per 100g Jetboil mirco-canister
-Weight - 425g
-Volume - 1L
-Dimensions - 104mm x 180mm (4.1" x 7.1")
These specs are great - beating nearly the rest of the competition of efficiency (due to the patented FluxRing technology, and the insulating cosy which keeps heat in and cold out), which leads to a better boil time and amount one gas canister can boil. This ofcourse means you don't need to carry as many gas canisters - cutting down on the weight you need to carry. The increased efficicency also means you won't have to buy canisters as often, saving you money in the long run.
The Jetboil PCS is also compact, as everything (burner, gas micro-canister, accessories) all sit inside the main cooking cup. This really decreases the size of the cooker - and are perfect for soldiers as the cup will fit nicely into a utility pouch on a set of webbing (PLCE). It is also quick and easy to set up, just screw the burner onto the caniser, then slot the cup on top. And the one click ignition means that you can be cooking instantly after setting up - probably the fastest set up time (from packed up to cooking) i've ever seen on a camping cooker - lowering your cooking time even further!
The Jetboil PCS is perfect for boil in the bag meals, pasta, soup, hot drinks etc inside the the cup itself, but I would suggest buying the "Pot Support" as well (£6) - which allows you to use any saucepan or frying pan on it for increased versitility. I used this on both of my Gold Duke of Edinburgh expeditions (4 day expeditions) and I was always the first to start cooking and the first to finish - with some splendid culinary delights as well.
All in all, it's a fantastic little cooker and if you plan on camping, hiking, fishing, going to festivals, or anything where you spend any real amount of time outside, i'd suggest on investing in one of these. Its main advantages being;
-Very fast and easy to use.
-Cheaper to run than other gas cookers.