Touring - JetBoil cooking system: experience/recommendations?
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We will probably be purchasing a stove for our first bicycle camping tour before late spring. We have father-in-law's older Coleman Peak-1 (white gas only) stove. We'll give this a try on an overnight 'shakedown' trip. We may also want to get a cartridge-fueled stove (for the trips where that type makes sense).
Anyway, has anyone here had experience with the JetBoil system? Are the advertised fuel savings close to reality? From the photos it looks like the stabilizer/pot-support option would at least be required for stabilization and alos desirable for expanding cooking options beyond 'boiled' meals.
Any feedback is certainly appreciated.
Steve & Linda
Dayton, OH USA
02-04-06, 07:35 PM
If you've got a little time, you may want to wait for jetboil's new system to come out in march. It's got a bigger pot so you can cook pretty much whatever you want (it includes the stabilizer, etc.--if you wanted the other jetboil cup to add to it, you can pick those up pretty cheap on ebay).
I have a regular jetboil but haven't used it a whole bunch yet. It does seem to conserve fuel in that it takes much less time to get water to boil--faster than a microwave or stove or anything else I've ever used. I'm really excited about using recipies from http://freezerbagcooking.com and not having anything but a spoon to clean up. You make dry-ingredient meals ahead of time, pour in boiling water in camp, and have a hot meal in about 5 min. Pretty nifty system to use with something like a jetboil.
02-04-06, 09:16 PM
Stick with the Peak stove since you have it, and dont try and do too much fancy cooking on it - soup, coffee. There is plenty you can eat without cooking. When you tour see what other people are using and how the prepare their meals. This is more important than the equipment they use to generate the heat. Also to be considered is the type of fuel available in the area you are traveling in the small quantities you need when cycling. In Europe the Gaz cannisters where you puncture the top are available everywhere. Alcohol can be bought in small quantities in drug stores.
02-04-06, 11:05 PM
I have the jet boil system and I love it. I also have an msr superfly stove with the usual cooking pot assortment and I find myself using the jet boil 90% of the time.
It does one thing and it does it very well, and that's boil water! If you want coffee or hot chocolate in the morning, want to use freeze dried foods, or, as imafencer stated, make your own using recipes from the www.freezerbagcooking.com, it works great! It boils in less than two minutes, I add the food right to the cup and eat from it. It does not do so well with foods that that are thick. So soup is OK, Dinty Moore beef stew is not. The thing about putting food in it is that it is anodized aluminum which is not as smooth as a teflon pot, or even non coated aluminum. So it can be a pain to clean.
I did buy the pot support and stabilizer, but was disappointed. First, it does not fit in the cup with the stove and fuel canister. Second, it rusted quickly and being flimsy to begin with, it is difficult to expand and collapse now. Third, the flame is concentrated in about a 1" diameter circle, so using it for things like pancakes or eggs is difficult due to uneven heating of the pan.
I did by two extra cups for my kids and that works out well.
As far a fuel consumption, I can't really say as I don't pay attention. I have used the small canisters that fit inside the cup as well as the larger canisters made for other stoves, both work fine.
Follow Andrewps' advice and decide what you want to eat. If its soups and freeze dried foods, go with the Jet Boil, but if your menu regularly will contain fried food, or thick stews, stick with a traditional type of stove.
02-05-06, 05:45 AM
Looks pretty neat but the two things I'd be concerned with righ away are:
Can you fly with it. I'd be willing to bet not. Same as my Coleman.
If you are in the middle of BFE, can you get a new canister?
Right now I have a Coleman Peak gasoline stove. When I make another long tour I think I would get a Sierra stove from ZZstove. Burns wood, carryable on a plane, (since it contains no fuel) 18,000 btu's vs 4500 for the Jetboil.
That all said, when we went C2C we mailed back out stoves and pots and either ate out or ate cold. It's amazing how good a can of Veg-All tastes after a day of pedaling.
I used a Whisperlite for years. When that Coleman came out I decided to try it. The Whisperlite is fine, but doesn't have settings.
I tried refilling the Coleman when it was hot. One eyebrow still looks a little funny. Went back to stoves that had seperate fuel
02-05-06, 06:23 AM
After years of backpacking and now a 2400 mile tour this summer I am still sold on the MSR whisperlight international. Most important benefit is availability of fuel I took the small fuel bottle this year and would stop for regular gasoline every other day or so. Another great benefit is the comments from people when you pull up with a bicycle, place 11 cents of fuel in a container, and roll away. As the commercial says ... Priceless :)
02-05-06, 06:31 AM
The practical choice is a Trangia or a multifuel liquid fuel stove, or a basic cannister stove, not a Jet Boil, for bikepacking.
The JET Boil is a gimmick. Designed for superfast boiling and melting of snow for on the go, high altitute mountaineers or go-fast speed hikers.
why do you need to boil water in 3 mins instead of 5 if you're bikepacking? The pot is small, you can't simmer, and you need to find pressurized gas.
When you're in BFE, and you need stove fuel, with a Trangia, you can buy a bottle of yellow HEET at almost any gas station. Try finding a cannister for your stove in rural america.
A jetboil has a place, and that's with an ultralightweight, high altitute hiker or winter mountaineer on a speed climb.
Small pot, too small for two. Do you like to have drinks with breakfast, or a cup of hot cocoa in the evening?
Those become difficult with a jet boil and its integrated cooking pot system.
If you absolutely are sold on the convience of pressurized cannisters, just buying an MSR Pocket Rocket or their cannister stove that's got international fittings for overseas (France Gaz Bluet cannisters)
I think if you try the Jetboil, you may find it too limiting of a system for two for bike packing.
I suggest a trangia, (slow, reliable) or keeping on using that peak 1 (if it doesn't leak) and maybe buying a multifuel boiler like an MSR XGK or a Whisperlite internationale if you are concerned about fuel availability. Buying a MSR cannister stove if you want to try the convience of disposable cannister cooking.
Jet boil is not an optimized cooking system for bike touring.
02-05-06, 07:01 AM
This has to be the best signature line I've seen yet.
I used to use this a lot...
If you get one and the recipe calls for eggs, and one extra.
02-05-06, 07:42 AM
I met the designer of the Jet Boil on a winter camping trip in New Hampshire. He was field testing the stove under winter conditions ( temperature was about 10 degrees). I must say, and this fellow agreed, that under those conditions, the stove was a failure. In the literature about the stove, they now mention that it is not designed for cold weather use. I think the stove is a good design for warmer weather, and the limitations of its size may be sovled in the new unit imafencer talked about.
02-05-06, 07:45 AM
I take back what I said about the cold weather usage then,
that Jet Boil system sounds like even MORE of a gimmick now.
02-05-06, 11:20 AM
If you are interested in saving weight and space there are much better stove options to consider. I use a Snow Peak giga-power butane stove and titanium pot combo that is hard to beat.
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