If you are looking for a reliable compact cooking system to accompany you on your next backcountry adventure, look no further. The Jetboil Flash cooking system will guarantee quick easy meals without the bulk and weight of other stoves. The philosophy behind its design is a high intensity burner integrated with an insulated pot, allowing you to boil half a liter of water in just two minutes. This means a quick and easy cup of coffee, or a bowl of noodles on your way up a mountain. It would also be perfect for extended trips where freeze-dried meals are your main staple.
On a recent outing we brought our stove to a remote lake in Central Alberta. Many species of birds migrate through this area and we thought we would go look for them at dawn. It was a beautiful paint-by-numbers morning: no wind and pleasantly warm for a November day. We hiked in about 5 km before reaching the shore and decided that a cup of coffee was in order. The stove was easy to assemble, started quickly, and within minutes we had a pot of boiling water. The stove comes with a built-in temperature indicator, which is fun to see, and also serves as a warning indicator that some parts may be hot. The coffee plunger worked better than expected, and provided a tight fit that didn’t leave you with a mouthful of coffee grains. I also found that the stove cooled off very quickly making it safe to dismantle and easy to repack when we were ready to go.
On the subject of safety, the isobutane / propane mixture is a high-energy fuel and the BTUs are very effectively transferred to the pot. As a result, this stove is great for boiling water, but because it heats so well the hot metal parts do have the potential to cause injury if your skin or clothes come in contact with them. The Jetboil Flash stove also makes numerous claims regarding Carbon monoxide poisoning, with warnings printed on the fuel canister and the handle of the integrated pot. I would take this warning seriously and therefore recommend only using this stove in well ventilated areas.
Having owned a number of stoves over the years, I was very impressed with the Jetboil Flash right from the start. The stove, fuel canister, and all its parts fit inside the cup making for a nice self-contained package. I also liked the overall appearance and found that all the parts were made of high quality materials that would not crack in cold weather or melt from the heat of the stove. The one drawback I felt worth mentioning is the fuel source, which can be problematic in cold weather and not refillable as with white fuel. I also feel that if you are a foody and like to impress your friends with your backcountry cooking this stove might not give you the control that you will need. Overall I rate this stove 4 out of 5 for performance, value, design and efficiency. I look forward to packing it this winter when my family and I go off on our snowshoe adventure in the Canadian Rockies.