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82594OWNER REVIEW-JETBOIL FLASH-MATT LAWRENCE

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  • cptmlawrence
    Jan 3, 2014
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      Thanks for letting me try my hand at gear review.  Below is my first owner review.  I look forward to having it reviewed and participating in this forum.

       

      -Matt

       

      JETBOIL FLASH PERSONAL COOKING SYSTEM
      BY MATT LAWRENCE
      OWNER REVIEW
      January 02, 2014

      TESTER INFORMATION

      NAME: Matt Lawrence
      EMAIL: cptmlawrence AT yahoo DOT com
      AGE: 41
      LOCATION: Mebane, North Carolina, U.S.A.
      GENDER: M
      HEIGHT: 5' 10" (1.78 m)
      WEIGHT: 190 lb (86.20 kg)

      I am a novice backpacker who has been day hiking and backpacking since 2011. I am a Scout Leader, and enjoy backpacking and many other outdoor activities with my sons, and other backpacking friends. My trips, generally, are day trips or overnight/weekend trips in the foothills and mountains of North Carolina and Virginia. I am currently transitioning to lightweight backpacking as I am section hiking the Appalachian Trail. My future plans include finishing the southern states of the AT by sections, and completing the remainder after retirement.

      PRODUCT INFORMATION

      Manufacturer: JETBOIL Flash Personal Cooking System
      Year of Manufacture: 2012
      Manufacturer's Website: www.jetboil.com
      MSRP: US$99.95
      Listed Weight: 14 oz (400 g) *not including pot support, fuel stabilzer, or fuel cylinder
      Measured Weight 14.35 oz (407 g) *not including pot support, fuel stabilzer, or fuel cylinder
      Measured Weight: 15.35 oz (435 g) *including all components as I carry/utilize it, but without fuel canister
      Listed Volume: 32 oz (1 L)
      Listed Dimensions: 4.1" x 7.1" (104 mm x 180 mm)
      Listed Boil Time: 16 oz (0.5 L) = 2 minutes, 30 seconds (average over life of single Jetpower fuel cansiter)
      Tested Boil Time: 16 oz (0.5 L= 1 minute, 52 seconds (one time test)
      Listed Fuel Consumption: 12 L per 100 g Jetpower fuel canister
      Other details: Carbon (Black) Color tested

      FIELD USE

      I have utilized this product as my sole cooking system since I purchased it in early 2103. It has been used on numerous backpacking trips and scouting events, including several training sessions with Boy Scouts using the Flash to meet lightweight stove use requirements. Not thinking that I would ever right a formal review of this equipment, I have not logged the number of meals that have been cooked with this cook system, but would say that it has seen moderate use.

      The JETBOIL Flash is a complete cooking system that incorporates the cooking vessel and the burner together into a single portable and easy-to-use cook set. The Flash comes packaged with the burner, 1 L cooking cup with the patented FluxRing (c) heat exhanger bottom, cup insulator with handle and heat indicating graphics, drink through lid; measuring cup bottom, a tripod stabilizer, and a standard pot attachment. All of these parts, including a standard 3.88 oz (110 g) gas canister, are designed to be stowed inside of, or attached to, the cooking cup creating a packable cooking solution.

      The design of the Flash lends itself best for heating of liquids like water for dehydrated meals, tea, coffee, or soups. In fact, my usage has been solely to heat water for re-hydration and cooking. The included pot attachment would allow the Flash to be used with other pots or frying pans, etc for cooking of other types of meals, but has not been evaluated by me. Simply put, the Flash was designed to boil liquids effectively and efficiently (hence the name) and it does just that!

      At the time I purchased my Flash, I had also researched many other (cheaper and lighter) solutions for backpacking stoves. What drew me to the Flash was that it was a full cooking solution (stove, cooking vessel combined), rather than simply a butane stove. Additionally, since the cooking cup physically attaches to the burner through a slot and quarter turn locking system, it is very stable, making it safer than some other stand alone, un-mated cook sets.This is an important feature to me due to me camping with my young sons and scouts.

      In my experience using the Flash, I have been extremely pleased with the product. I have used the Flash in many different environments, from my own kitchen in central North Carolina, to the highest peak in the State of Virginia and many campsites in between. As far as its efficiency, I have cooked beside other backpackers using other conventional stoves and have seen their mouths drop when I'm already boiling water before theirs even gets warm. The design of the FluxRing (c) heat exchanger and insulation provided on the Flash cup really do compound the efficiency of this system. As far as fuel usage, I have several fuel canisters that I simply pick the most full up each time I head out. I haven't evaluated how many boils I can get out of a single cylinder. However, because of the short boil time, and efficiencies gained by the FluxRing (c) heat exchanger, one could assume that it is more efficient than other similar burners.

      After some use, some things that I have noticed about my Flash include:
      -The wire used as the fuel control knob is fouled up and difficult to fold up for storage. While this doesn't effect the use of the Flash, the design of this wire knob is for it to fold back onto the bottom of the burner for storage and travel. I haven't looked at others close enough to know if this is a problem only with my Flash, or is a standard design flaw, but is worth noting in this review.
      -The cook system,when stowed away for travel rattles around in my backpack. While I guess this is to be expected when you put metal parts together and bounce around through nature, it sometimes becomes annoying. Adding a small rag or something to help deaden the sound may help that, but I haven't yet come up with a solution for that one yet.
      -The rubber cup lid is a good design if you plan to drink directly from the Flash cup. The problem is that when the lid gets hot, it expands and doesn't seal the top of the cup very well. As it cools and contracts again, the seal will tighten, but is fairly pliable when heated.
      -Damage to inside of cup from storage. The inside of my cook cup is showing some wear from the storage and bumping around of the cook system contents inside. In fact, in the center of the bottom of my cup is a worn circle where the threaded gas cylinder rides and rubs. I am some concerned about this wear on the cup lining.

      SUMMARY

      Overall, I am super impressed with my JETBOIL Flash. I have never had the burner fail to light, leaving me wondering how I'm going to cook. It boils water SUPER FAST! My experience has been that its faster than advertised by JETBOIL itself. In fact, I like to see the faces of folks who have never seen one in action when they see how it sounds when cooking and how fast it heats water.

      In its standard format, it is pretty limited to boiling water. But with the multitude of backpacking fare requiring only that, it seems pretty logical and effective. While it comes with an additional adapter to accept normal pots, or has other JETBOIL pots and pans options with the FluxRing (c) heat exchanger that will mate directly to the burner, I have not found the need, nor have I ever used it for anything else.

      I have some minor concerns about damage occuring to the inside of my cook cup during storage and transport while traveling. I will need to continue to monitor this and see if there are simple solutions that may help prevent further wear and tear.

      Other than that, I am satisfied with my purchase and look forward to continuing to have my JETBOIL Flash as my go-to backpacking cook system.

      THINGS I LIKE

      -Stability/safety of the Flash
      -Full cooking system stows away compactly within the cooking cup
      -Insulated cup with handle allows for easy grasping/holding of the cup without need for pot holder
      -Efficiency/quick cooking time

      THINGS I DON'T LIKE

      -Contents rattle around within the cook cup when stowed (could be solved by stuffing a rag in the set)
      -Wearing of inside of cup in stowed configuration

      SIGNATURE

      Matt Lawrence
      cptmlawrence(at)yahoo(dot)com

      This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.