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REPOST: OWNER REVIEW - Jetboil PCS

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  • bigjus2004
    It s been awhile as I feel off the BGT wagon, but I m back. Thanks Andrew and Jennifer for the harassment ;) _________________________________ Jetboil PCS
    Message 1 of 3 , Mar 3, 2009
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      It's been awhile as I feel off the BGT wagon, but I'm back. Thanks Andrew and Jennifer for the harassment ;)

      _________________________________

      Jetboil PCS (Personal Cooking System)
      10/29/2008

      Name: Justin Heikkinen
      Age: 32
      Gender: Male
      Height: 6' 4" (1.9 m)
      Weight: 200 pounds (91 kg)
      Email address: nitsuj@...
      City: Redwood City
      State: CA
      Country: USA

      Backpacking background: Have spent most of my life camping, but really only the past summer as a 'hardcore' backpacker. I value lightweight gear, but value something that does its intended job well over and above all and am willing to carry the extra weight for quality gear. Due to my size I find it hard to find gear that works for me.

      Product Information:

      Manufacturer: Jetboil, Inc.
      Year of manufacture: 2007
      URL: http://www.jetboil.com
      Listed weight: 15 oz (425 g, without fuel canister)
      Delivered weight: 15 oz (425 g)
      External dimensions: 4.1 in x 7.1 in (10.4 cm x 18 cm)
      Total capacity: 1 liter (34 fl oz)
      Manufacturer's recommended capacity: 500 ml (17 fl oz)
      MSRP: $89.95 US

      Product Description:
      The Jetboil "system" consists of an aluminum 1 liter (34 fl oz) cooking cup with neoprene insulating sleeve, the burner with piezo lighter, lid with hole for drinking directly from the cook cup, and black plastic bottom cover, as well as the fuel canister. The system was designed smartly, with the fuel and burner nesting inside the cooking cup, thus allowing the entire system to take up less room in your pack than a Nalgene bottle. The "secret sauce" that allows the Jetboil to boil water rapidly is the FluxRing on the bottom of the aluminum cup, which looks like corrugated aluminum running along the diameter, that helps focus and retain the heat from the burner to eliminate wasted fuel. I find that the smart design of the Jetboil system allows me to pack all of my cooking gear into one exterior side pocket in my pack with room to spare, something I couldn't do with my previous cook setup. Further, as the neoprene sleeve has an extra amount of material sewn to its exterior to hold your silverware, I'm able to keep not just my stove but also my cooking utensils within the Jetboil's form factor. I could not be happier with the design of the stove and can't think of anything that could be done smarter.

      Field Information:
      For the purposes of this review the Jetboil has been used about 20 times, primarily in the upper eastern Sierras of California, with one foray into the southern Cascades (also in CA), with a low camp altitude of 6000 ft (1820 m) and a high 10,200 ft (3109 m). The temperatures encountered have ranged from a low of 30 F (-1 C) to highs in the upper 90s F (32 C). Snow, rain and wind were all encountered at one point or another during the timeframe this review encompasses.

      Introduction:
      I don't consider myself a backcountry gourmet by any stretch of the imagination, and for years have carried a typical top mounted canister stove as a way to quickly and easily boil water and cook simple meals while sacrificing a minimum amount of pack space and weight. After hearing many positive experiences with the Jetboil PCS over a period of years (and letting others be the beta testers for a new product...) I finally decided to take the leap when I found one at a super sale earlier this year, and it quickly became my favorite piece of gear - and in fact all my non-Jetboil friends became believers and owners as well after taking trips with me and the 'boil. The manufacturer's website states that the stove "has sparked a revolution in outdoor cooking" and boils water "twice as fast" while using "half as much fuel as conventional stoves". It's a rare occasion when the marketing speak actually lives up to its word, but that's exactly what the Jetboil does, and does well.

      Performance:
      I've found that the Jetboil performs admirably in all conditions, with a few exceptions. The stove lights reliably by turning the gas on, clicking the piezo igniter a few times (or lighting a match), and *WOOM* your own personal Boeing 737 engine is ready. Attach the aluminum cook cup with a twist to lock it on and wait. For most people on most trips the Jetboil will light and boil their desired volume of water within a few minutes time. My routine usually consists of lighting the stove/attaching cook cup with water, than proceeding to get my dry meal ingredients ready. By the time I'm done (and quite often before) my water is boiling and ready. The first time I used the stove I couldn't help but laugh at how quickly it was able to boil my water.

      One thing that's also nice about the Jetboil is that due to its design it's much less affected by the wind. With wind and my old canister stove one could actually put their hand 4" (10cm) to the leeward side of the pot and feel the full brunt of the flame, leaving the pot to sit cool. However, I find that any sort of heat/flame deflection due to wind is stifled by the Jetboil design and have yet to have a flame put out due to wind gusts.

      Now, about those exceptions. In cold weather and/or altitude you will find that it takes a bit longer to boil water than usual with the Jetboil. In fact, some users new to canister stoves may not be able to even get it to light. However, this isn't an issue unique to the Jetboil PCS, it's a limitation of all canister stoves. You can work around this problem by keeping your fuel canister in your jacket next to your body or putting it at the foot of your sleeping bag, thus keeping it warm. You can also put the bottom of the stove in water to help keep the boil alive. Again, these aren't limitations unique to the Jetboil, but it is something to keep in mind if you're planning on using the Jetboil (or any canister stove) as your primary method of cooking for winter tours.

      Durability:
      As mentioned in my background brief, I tend to be hard on gear. It's not that I'm not delicate with it....well, maybe that is what it is, and though I try to be as delicate as seems reasonable many outdoor products these days seem to be made to be handled with kid gloves - sacrificing durability for weight. Thus far I've been impressed with the durability of the Jetboil with one exception. The piezo igniter in the Jetboil PCS has only lit my stove ONCE in all its uses! I've tried tweaking it per the manufacturer's recommendation to no avail. It puts out a spark, but it's a very minimal spark compared to some I've played with in stores. However, as I typically don't place faith in piezo igniters and always carry waterproof matches with me this has not been a deal breaking issue for me. However, it's something to be made aware of so one doesn't find themself a two day hike from civilization with no back up way to light your stove. Other than a few scratches on the plastic bottom, and a few scratches on the bottom of the aluminum cook surface from carrying the fuel canister, my Jetboil looks as good as the day I purchased it. Considering the number of uses its had over the past 9 months, and the minimal wear to the product, I fully expect to have it for years with no issues.

      Summary:
      The Jetboil PCS is an item I feel should be in anybody's backpacking quiver, and I feel it offers the best trade-off between ease of use, weight, size, durability and price, and were mine to be stolen or lost I would not hesitate to pay full-price for a new one (though I can't lie, I'd initially cringe as paying full-price is not my favorite thing to do).

      Pros:
      -Boils water quickly
      -Durable
      -Self contained system

      Cons:
      -Reduced performance in cold weather/altitude (though not unique to the Jetboil)
      -Piezo igniter seems to be a bit delicate/fickle. I've played with a few floor display models and would guess that 60% put out a minimal flame such as mine, whereas the other 40% put out a lightning bolt that would be more than able to ignite the stove.
    • bigjus2004
      Forgot URL to test folder I uploaded it to. Had probs with including images on upload (they were w/in file size and physical size constraints...) so there are
      Message 2 of 3 , Mar 3, 2009
      • 0 Attachment
        Forgot URL to test folder I uploaded it to. Had probs with including images on upload (they were w/in file size and physical size constraints...) so there are two subheads (Jetboil w/ Nalgene and Individual Components Stacking) will seem out of place.

        http://preview.tinyurl.com/OR-JetboilPCS

        --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "bigjus2004" <nitsuj@...> wrote:
        >
        > It's been awhile as I feel off the BGT wagon, but I'm back. Thanks Andrew and Jennifer for the harassment ;)
        >
        > _________________________________
        >
        > Jetboil PCS (Personal Cooking System)
        > 10/29/2008
        >
        > Name: Justin Heikkinen
        > Age: 32
        > Gender: Male
        > Height: 6' 4" (1.9 m)
        > Weight: 200 pounds (91 kg)
        > Email address: nitsuj@...
        > City: Redwood City
        > State: CA
        > Country: USA
        >
        > Backpacking background: Have spent most of my life camping, but really only the past summer as a 'hardcore' backpacker. I value lightweight gear, but value something that does its intended job well over and above all and am willing to carry the extra weight for quality gear. Due to my size I find it hard to find gear that works for me.
        >
        > Product Information:
        >
        > Manufacturer: Jetboil, Inc.
        > Year of manufacture: 2007
        > URL: http://www.jetboil.com
        > Listed weight: 15 oz (425 g, without fuel canister)
        > Delivered weight: 15 oz (425 g)
        > External dimensions: 4.1 in x 7.1 in (10.4 cm x 18 cm)
        > Total capacity: 1 liter (34 fl oz)
        > Manufacturer's recommended capacity: 500 ml (17 fl oz)
        > MSRP: $89.95 US
        >
        > Product Description:
        > The Jetboil "system" consists of an aluminum 1 liter (34 fl oz) cooking cup with neoprene insulating sleeve, the burner with piezo lighter, lid with hole for drinking directly from the cook cup, and black plastic bottom cover, as well as the fuel canister. The system was designed smartly, with the fuel and burner nesting inside the cooking cup, thus allowing the entire system to take up less room in your pack than a Nalgene bottle. The "secret sauce" that allows the Jetboil to boil water rapidly is the FluxRing on the bottom of the aluminum cup, which looks like corrugated aluminum running along the diameter, that helps focus and retain the heat from the burner to eliminate wasted fuel. I find that the smart design of the Jetboil system allows me to pack all of my cooking gear into one exterior side pocket in my pack with room to spare, something I couldn't do with my previous cook setup. Further, as the neoprene sleeve has an extra amount of material sewn to its exterior to hold your silverware, I'm able to keep not just my stove but also my cooking utensils within the Jetboil's form factor. I could not be happier with the design of the stove and can't think of anything that could be done smarter.
        >
        > Field Information:
        > For the purposes of this review the Jetboil has been used about 20 times, primarily in the upper eastern Sierras of California, with one foray into the southern Cascades (also in CA), with a low camp altitude of 6000 ft (1820 m) and a high 10,200 ft (3109 m). The temperatures encountered have ranged from a low of 30 F (-1 C) to highs in the upper 90s F (32 C). Snow, rain and wind were all encountered at one point or another during the timeframe this review encompasses.
        >
        > Introduction:
        > I don't consider myself a backcountry gourmet by any stretch of the imagination, and for years have carried a typical top mounted canister stove as a way to quickly and easily boil water and cook simple meals while sacrificing a minimum amount of pack space and weight. After hearing many positive experiences with the Jetboil PCS over a period of years (and letting others be the beta testers for a new product...) I finally decided to take the leap when I found one at a super sale earlier this year, and it quickly became my favorite piece of gear - and in fact all my non-Jetboil friends became believers and owners as well after taking trips with me and the 'boil. The manufacturer's website states that the stove "has sparked a revolution in outdoor cooking" and boils water "twice as fast" while using "half as much fuel as conventional stoves". It's a rare occasion when the marketing speak actually lives up to its word, but that's exactly what the Jetboil does, and does well.
        >
        > Performance:
        > I've found that the Jetboil performs admirably in all conditions, with a few exceptions. The stove lights reliably by turning the gas on, clicking the piezo igniter a few times (or lighting a match), and *WOOM* your own personal Boeing 737 engine is ready. Attach the aluminum cook cup with a twist to lock it on and wait. For most people on most trips the Jetboil will light and boil their desired volume of water within a few minutes time. My routine usually consists of lighting the stove/attaching cook cup with water, than proceeding to get my dry meal ingredients ready. By the time I'm done (and quite often before) my water is boiling and ready. The first time I used the stove I couldn't help but laugh at how quickly it was able to boil my water.
        >
        > One thing that's also nice about the Jetboil is that due to its design it's much less affected by the wind. With wind and my old canister stove one could actually put their hand 4" (10cm) to the leeward side of the pot and feel the full brunt of the flame, leaving the pot to sit cool. However, I find that any sort of heat/flame deflection due to wind is stifled by the Jetboil design and have yet to have a flame put out due to wind gusts.
        >
        > Now, about those exceptions. In cold weather and/or altitude you will find that it takes a bit longer to boil water than usual with the Jetboil. In fact, some users new to canister stoves may not be able to even get it to light. However, this isn't an issue unique to the Jetboil PCS, it's a limitation of all canister stoves. You can work around this problem by keeping your fuel canister in your jacket next to your body or putting it at the foot of your sleeping bag, thus keeping it warm. You can also put the bottom of the stove in water to help keep the boil alive. Again, these aren't limitations unique to the Jetboil, but it is something to keep in mind if you're planning on using the Jetboil (or any canister stove) as your primary method of cooking for winter tours.
        >
        > Durability:
        > As mentioned in my background brief, I tend to be hard on gear. It's not that I'm not delicate with it....well, maybe that is what it is, and though I try to be as delicate as seems reasonable many outdoor products these days seem to be made to be handled with kid gloves - sacrificing durability for weight. Thus far I've been impressed with the durability of the Jetboil with one exception. The piezo igniter in the Jetboil PCS has only lit my stove ONCE in all its uses! I've tried tweaking it per the manufacturer's recommendation to no avail. It puts out a spark, but it's a very minimal spark compared to some I've played with in stores. However, as I typically don't place faith in piezo igniters and always carry waterproof matches with me this has not been a deal breaking issue for me. However, it's something to be made aware of so one doesn't find themself a two day hike from civilization with no back up way to light your stove. Other than a few scratches on the plastic bottom, and a few scratches on the bottom of the aluminum cook surface from carrying the fuel canister, my Jetboil looks as good as the day I purchased it. Considering the number of uses its had over the past 9 months, and the minimal wear to the product, I fully expect to have it for years with no issues.
        >
        > Summary:
        > The Jetboil PCS is an item I feel should be in anybody's backpacking quiver, and I feel it offers the best trade-off between ease of use, weight, size, durability and price, and were mine to be stolen or lost I would not hesitate to pay full-price for a new one (though I can't lie, I'd initially cringe as paying full-price is not my favorite thing to do).
        >
        > Pros:
        > -Boils water quickly
        > -Durable
        > -Self contained system
        >
        > Cons:
        > -Reduced performance in cold weather/altitude (though not unique to the Jetboil)
        > -Piezo igniter seems to be a bit delicate/fickle. I've played with a few floor display models and would guess that 60% put out a minimal flame such as mine, whereas the other 40% put out a lightning bolt that would be more than able to ignite the stove.
        >
      • Andrew
        Justin I assume you got my other email off the list regarding the lack of pictures and formatting problems with your HTML. Please fix the formatting and add
        Message 3 of 3 , Mar 10, 2009
        • 0 Attachment
          Justin

          I assume you got my other email off the list regarding the lack of pictures and formatting problems with your HTML. Please fix the formatting and add the pictures we discussed. Thanks


          AB

          --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "bigjus2004" <nitsuj@...> wrote:
          >
          > Forgot URL to test folder I uploaded it to. Had probs with including images on upload (they were w/in file size and physical size constraints...) so there are two subheads (Jetboil w/ Nalgene and Individual Components Stacking) will seem out of place.
          >
          > http://preview.tinyurl.com/OR-JetboilPCS
          >
          > --- In BackpackGearTest@yahoogroups.com, "bigjus2004" <nitsuj@> wrote:
          > >
          > > It's been awhile as I feel off the BGT wagon, but I'm back. Thanks Andrew and Jennifer for the harassment ;)
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