Cookware and Food Gear Reviews

Gear Review: Jetboil Flash Cooking System

Jetboil Flash Cooking System

Whether you’re a thru-hiker, backpacker, or car camper, it’s important to have quality food to fuel yourself on adventures. In my pursuit of becoming a truly ‘lightweight’ backpacker, I ditched all cooking methods for a while in order to shave additional ounces from my base weight. There are still times when this makes sense for me, but foregoing a warm meal at night and hot coffee in the morning is not something I’m willing to do very often. After a long day of hiking, nothing refuels the body better than a hot meal, and nothing gets my blood going in the morning like a hot beverage.


Support Trail to Peak by purchasing the JetBoil Flash from Amazon using the links below:

Jetboil Flash | Mountain House Meals


I did quite a bit of research when I began looking for a cooking system that I could use for all of my outdoor adventures. My requirements were pretty simple: 1.) Durable 2.) Relatively Light Weight 3.) Boils Water Fast At Altitude 4.) Fuel Efficient 5.) Packs Well 6.) Self Ignition 7.) Lights Up And Heats Well In Wind 8.) Affordable

After looking at a few offerings on the market, the Jetboil Flash Cooking System was the runaway winner.  Below, you will find my review.

Jetboil Flash Cooking System
Jetboil Flash Cooking System

The Jetboil Flash is a personal cooking system that comes in at 14.85 oz (421g). In the setup I purchased, it comes with 6 main pieces. First, there is a drink spout lid, which decreases boil times, and is nice for pouring the boiling water into dehydrated meal packages and coffee cups. Second, is the anodized aluminum 1.0L cooking cup with flux ring. Third, you’ll find an insulating neoprene cozy on the cooking cup which has a great handle for pouring liquids. The cozy also has a color changing heat indicator to let you know when the water has come to a complete boil. Forth, is the advanced igniter with gas valve adjuster. Fifth, is a collapsible tripod to steady a gas canister. Sixth and finally, the setup comes with an attached measuring cup that also doubles as a protection for the flux ring.



The only thing the Jetboil Flash Cooking System doesn’t come with is the gas canister. These can be purchased at just about any outdoor retailer. There are other brands available, but I chose Jetboil, as I’m a fan of brand homogeneity.

Starting from the bottom and working our way up, the gas canister tripod holds a 100g canister very secure and stable. As a test, I’ve used this on rocks, sand, and dirt. Each time, the Jetboil Flash has remained very stable.

Jetboil Flash Cooking System
Gas Can and Base Tripod
Jetboil Flash Cooking System
Tripod

Once you have the gas canister attached to the tripod, you can screw it on to the igniter and adjustable gas valve. As you can see in the picture below, the valve adjuster is a wire ring. This collapses back on top of the screw valve to take up less space while packing. There is an indicator on the face of the valve dial to see that clockwise will turn the gas off, and anti-clockwise will turn the gas on. This valve has worked very well, with no leakage or problems. I don’t cook any food in the Flash, but for the sake of a review, I played around with the gas level adjustment. It’s very responsive, and would serve a true chef fairly well if they wanted to do more than boil water.

The other great thing about the wire ring valve, is that it works great with gloves and/or cold hands. It’s like turning a large key, which lends itself to easy use in all conditions.


Support Trail to Peak by purchasing the JetBoil Flash from Amazon using the links below:

Jetboil Flash | Mountain House Meals


Jetboil Flash Cooking System
Screw On and Valve
Jetboil Flash Cooking System
Valve

You’ll also find the ignition button on this igniter section of the Jetboil Flash. After turning on the gas, this gets things going with one push of the button. As the ultimate test, I took this up to Mt. Baldy this weekend at 10,064 ft with howling winds. The igniter started things up without any problems.

Jetboil Flash Cooking System
Ignition
Jetboil Flash Cooking System
Ignition

The Jetboil Flash has a 1.0L anodized aluminum cooking cup, but it is recommended that you only boil 0.47L (2 cups) of water at a time to prevent accidents. This is perfect for me, as that is enough water to cook my dehydrated meals, which take anywhere from 1 to 2 cups of boiled water to prepare.

The boiling time for the Flash is where it shines most, and the main reason I made this purchase. Anyone who has camped at high elevations in cold windy weather will tell you about the difficulty of boiling water. With the Jetboil Flash, this is no longer a problem. They advertise that 2 cups of water can be boiled in just over 2 minutes. On the summit of Mt. Baldy this weekend in pretty demanding conditions, it was able to boil two cups of water in just under 4 minutes. This is really nice on those shivering cold nights where you need to make something quickly to heat yourself up.

I’ve read that the anodized aluminum cooking cup is very easy to clean. I have no review on this feature, as I only use the Jetboil Flash for water (it’s too difficult to bring extra water for cleaning on long trips).

I tend to stay close to the jet boil when it’s in use, as I don’t want to waste gas. If you’re the type that likes to multi-task, the innovative temperature indicator lights up in a bright orange when you’re water is boiling or your food is ready. I found this feature to be really nice this weekend as I was taking pictures at sunset for this review. With one glance over, I was able to see my water was boiling without having to look over and check multiple times.

I mentioned the adjustable burner earlier in this review, but wanted to leave it’s wind screen protection for this section. The fire of the Jetboil is surrounded by a windscreen that does a great job of protecting the flames from moutain gusts. This is probably the main feature that lowers boil times and improves fuel efficiency while camping on mountain peaks.


Support Trail to Peak by purchasing the JetBoil Flash from Amazon using the links below:

Jetboil Flash | Mountain House Meals


Jetboil Flash Cooking System
Jetboil Flash Cooking System

In conclusion, I give the Jetboil Flash my highest recommendation and would suggest you pick one up if you’re in the market for a lightweight personal cooking system. The Flash has proven to be durable, lightweight, offers lightning quick boil times, is fuel efficient, packs well, has consistently reliable self ignition, works well in the wind, and for $100 is a very high value purchase. This matches all of my criteria from above, and is a major reason I rate the flash 10/10.

8 comments on “Gear Review: Jetboil Flash Cooking System

  1. do you like the jetboil? Was thinking of using it on the PCT next year

    Liked by 1 person

    • I really like it. It could be a nice option on the PCT. I know a lot of people go with a no cook set up for the PCT, and that’s what I’m doing for JMT this year. For a long hike like the PCT, I’d want warm meals and beverages with a higher frequency though! You can look at some nice DIY ultralight campstoves you can make with a soda can or catfood can. They won’t bring water to a boil as fast, but you’ll save a lot of weight.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Very helpful review. I don’t eat wheat and it can be tricky to get wholesome meals even small towns. I’m not thinking about splashing out on this yet, but it does look like a very interesting option – porridge for example (a walking staple for me) will reconstitute very easily with the boiled water.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. David Lottmann

    Nice review and great pics Drew! Mind if I link this on my Gear Review section of NEAlpineStart.com?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Hi Drew,
    Great review of the Jetboil!
    We bought one in December 2014 for all the same reasons that you mentioned, and have used it for all of our hiking trips since, including the northern part of the Te Araroa trail. (That’s over 1300kms so far this year.) We’ve used it on sandy beaches, forest floors, mountain tops and hut benches and the tripod keeps it really stable. We use it for cooking as well as for heating water. Oatmeal, noodles, pasta and dehydrated meals have all been prepared successfully. Just a note of caution though, because the Jetboil is so efficient at heating, you have to be careful you don’t burn the food on the inside bottom of the pot. It’s fairly easy on the cleaning fortunately, we just wipe ours with a wet scourer pad* and its as good as new. If you haven’t burnt anything, it easy wipes with a splash of water and a finger!
    You may not be aware, but there’s also a converter available that fits over the flux ring/ ignitor base that enables you to use traditional pans or mugs as well. Comes in really handy if you’re cooking for a few people in turns, or just want to have some extra water heated up as you eat from the Jetboil.
    And also, you may not have tried this, but if you use the smaller sized gas canisters, then the tripod, ignitor base, convertor, and the small size fuel canisters all fit inside the 1L cup! Fit a spork or similar utensil through the neoprene sleeve that’s opposite the handle and you’re set up and good to go next time.
    It certainly gets our vote of 10/10 as well. Kind regards, Neil and Sharlene.
    *to save weight/ space, we only carry small pieces of scourer pads as standard, not because Neil keeps burning his oatmeal.

    Like

  5. Pingback: Horses and Castles and Freeze-Dried Food; Cumberland Island Adventure Part 2 | Begin with a Single Step

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