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Stoves, Tents and Carbon Monoxide - Deadly or not? Supplement 4: Jetboil Helios
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Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Stoves, Tents and Carbon Monoxide - Deadly or not? Supplement 4: Jetboil Helios on 04/15/2009 00:00:07 MDT Print View

Companion forum thread to:

Stoves, Tents and Carbon Monoxide - Deadly or not? Supplement 4: Jetboil Helios

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
BPL's NeoAir review? on 04/15/2009 00:12:59 MDT Print View

Ryan, do you have an ETA on the BPL NeoAir review?

Each week I keep expecting that it is going to appear ("very soon" says Roger!) but no luck so far.

Some sort of indication of when the review is out would be appreciated... I'm sure there's quite a few people waiting to read it.

Cheers, Ashley

Edited by ashleyb on 04/15/2009 00:13:30 MDT.

Matt Lutz
(citystuckhiker) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: BPL's NeoAir review? on 04/15/2009 07:44:39 MDT Print View

Ryan's tweet (twitter.com/bigskyry) from two weeks ago:

"Wrapped up a review of the ThermaRest NeoAir today, collabin' with Mike Martin & Roger Caffin. Fun, interesting, overrated? See@BPL 2-4 wks?"
Timestamp: 10:44 PM Apr 2nd from web

Derek Cox
(derekcox) - F

Locale: Southeast
Re: Re: BPL's NeoAir review? on 04/15/2009 12:45:56 MDT Print View

If a review was "wrapped up" then why 2-4 weeks until it gets put up? and why are we just now getting reviews for gear that has been out for over a year? i am no longer a member because there is nothing BPL provides me with anymore that I a)care about or b)don't already know since others have reviewed the gear for months before BPL does.

Ryan Jordan
(ryan) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Greater Yellowstone
Re: BPL's NeoAir review? on 04/15/2009 19:58:00 MDT Print View

>> If a review was "wrapped up" then why 2-4 weeks until it gets put up?

Because it's in peer review, and our Managing Editor is on her honeymoon, and at the time the review was completed by the authors we already had 4 weeks of content scheduled.

>> i am no longer a member because there is nothing BPL provides me with anymore that I ... don't already know since others have reviewed the gear for months before BPL does.

Case in point: the Neo Air. Backpacker Magazine was the first to deliver a review on it. They gave the pad an Editor's Choice Award - months ago.

First is nice because it provides a neat scoop. But sometimes thorough is worth the wait. I hope that's the case with our Neo Air review.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Re: BPL's NeoAir review? on 04/15/2009 20:07:46 MDT Print View

Thanks for your response Ryan.

I think it would be worthwhile for BPL to consider giving priority to reviews which are going to be of interest to a great number of members. An awful lot of members have rushed out and bought a NeoAir already so in some sense BPL has "missed the boat" with those people.

Although you already had 4 weeks of content scheduled, perhaps something less popular or timely could have been bumped back by a week to make way (eg. this Jetboil Helios report).

Anyway, it's not a serious issue and not something I am upset about. But I do know you are always looking for ways to make BPL better. I'd love to see some BPL reviews given special "Feature" status, with the review release date announced well in advance so that people know when it is coming out, and preferably in advance of the product release date. It might be impractical to do this with many product reviews, but it would be a nice touch occasionally for reviews that are for much-anticipated products like the NeoAir.

Just my 2c.

Cheers, Ashley

Matt Lutz
(citystuckhiker) - F

Locale: Midwest
Re: Re: Re: BPL's NeoAir review? on 04/15/2009 20:17:57 MDT Print View

This thread has gone long off topic.

That said, BPL's reviews are always more in-depth (in terms of pure copy) than Backpacker mag's are - even their Editor's Choice awards. This is purely a function of our medium; we have more space to give to such content.

Joe Clement
(skinewmexico) - MLife

Locale: Southwest
Stoves, Tents and Carbon Monoxide on 04/15/2009 20:59:06 MDT Print View

>An awful lot of members have rushed out and bought a NeoAir already so in some sense BPL has "missed the boat" with those people.

Doesn't sound to me like it was BPL who "missed the boat", but potentially the buyers who can't delay gratification. I'd rather have a thorough review than something rushed because a bunch of people are going ape for a new toy.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Stoves, Tents and Carbon Monoxide on 04/15/2009 21:38:55 MDT Print View

To be fair both BPL and the neoair buyers lose out.

Brad Groves
(4quietwoods) - MLife

Locale: Michigan
Re: Stoves, Tents and Carbon Monoxide - Deadly or not? Supplement 4: Jetboil Helios on 04/18/2009 11:43:56 MDT Print View

Hmmm...

While it's an interesting stove and I enjoyed the review, 29 ounces or so is too much for me. I think I'll stick with my "heavy" 8 oz white gas stove and 4.5 oz 2L Ti pot.

Nia Schmald
(nschmald) - MLife
Re: Re: Re: Re: BPL's NeoAir review? on 04/18/2009 12:41:14 MDT Print View

I agree with Ashley. If the reason for not publishing the neoair review is that it is not ready that is one thing. If the reason is that it was delayed for other content like the recent rei pack review I think that's a poor excuse. As a website changing the publishing schedule is a trivial thing. Thoroughness is a requirement as a distinguishing feature of BPL, but timeliness and meeting user demand for a "hot" piece of gear is a virtue as well.

As for me, I bought from REI, so if the neoair doesn't perform I'm not going to lose out. So at this point the BPL review is basically meaningless as I'll do my own testing.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife

Locale: Gateway to Columbia River Gorge
NeoAir review on 04/18/2009 15:19:33 MDT Print View

I fully understand the need for peer review! It's one of the reasons that most individual reader reviews need to be taken with several grains of salt. However, during my professional career, any time I was going to be absent I had to arrange for someone to cover at least my major tasks, known in most businesses as a "delegation of authority." Surely your editor has delegated authority to allow release of articles while she's gone? (Congratulations to her, BTW!)

I very much agree with Ashley: With such a "hot" item as the NeoAir, you should plan to bump reviews and articles of far less interest (like the reviews you published the last 2 weeks--I bought my MLD rain mitts almost 2 years ago, and I didn't even bother to look at the other reviews) in favor of getting the "hot" review out to the public! One of the great things about internet publishing is that it can be extremely flexible--you don't have to be on a strict schedule! Even the lovely John Muir essay could have waited another week!

The worst part is that, in the horrendously long NeoAir thread, there are several posts from BPL staffers recommending that would-be buyers wait for the reviews. How long? Next fall? In another month, the first field reports from Backpackgeartest.org will be online, and their testers didn't receive their NeoAirs until the end of March (early April in the case of the Australian tester). According to Ryan's blog, he's had his since at least early December, and the review article was completed over two weeks ago.

Edited by hikinggranny on 04/18/2009 15:34:29 MDT.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Stoves, Tents and Carbon Monoxide - Deadly or not? Supplement 4: Jetboil Helios on 04/18/2009 15:34:27 MDT Print View

Hi Brad

> While it's an interesting stove and I enjoyed the review, 29 ounces or so is too much for me.
I have to agree if you are looking for a one-man stove for mild weather.
But if you want a stove for 2 - 4 people in the snow, you might want to have another look.

Cheers

Bradford Rogers
(Mocs123) - MLife

Locale: Southeast Tennessee
BPL Reviews on 04/18/2009 15:54:59 MDT Print View

I know currently I am not a premium member (things got tight money wise, and I couldn't warrant spending the money, when things pick up, I will for sure renew), but one of the things I always liked and respected about BPL reviews were that they were not afraid to give a bad review. Most magazines are so afraid of losing advertising dollars, that they would never give a really poor review. I respect BPL reviews more because they are not afraid to tell it like it is.

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Stoves, Tents and Carbon Monoxide - Deadly or not? Supplement 4: Jetboil Helios on 04/18/2009 17:57:28 MDT Print View

Roger, I too am turned off by the weight, but I routinely head out in the winter with at least 1 partner - so maybe it does make sense. I would assume we would need fuel consumption rates to prove this though...is it really that efficient? I used the Coleman Extreme for the end of last winter and found I was using about 150 grams of fuel to melt ~4 liters...so my search continues.

Re: Neoair conversation. It should be moved to a different thread so that people searching for stove reviews don't have to sift through all the off topic stuff.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: BPL Reviews on 04/18/2009 21:29:54 MDT Print View

Thank you Brad.

Cheers

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Stoves, Tents and Carbon Monoxide - Deadly or not? Supplement 4: Jetboil Helios on 04/18/2009 21:45:43 MDT Print View

Hi Steve

Yes, the heat exchanger stoves are more efficient, but the pots are heavier. We have a series coming up which will take a very scientific look at stove efficiency in general and heat exchanger stoves in particular, but we haven't done all the testing yet :-)

The Xtreme is a good stove (as I keep saying!). 150 g of gas to melt 4 L of water: that's about 37 g per litre. If you were only melting that much snow to cold water then your fuel consumption was very high. From memory I think you should be able to melt a litre of snow with about 20 g of gas. But if you were melting and then heating nearly to the boil, then you were getting reasonable efficiency.

Cheers

Steven Evans
(Steve_Evans) - MLife

Locale: Canada
Re: Re: Re: Stoves, Tents and Carbon Monoxide - Deadly or not? Supplement 4: Jetboil Helios on 04/18/2009 22:13:15 MDT Print View

But if you were melting and then heating nearly to the boil, then you were getting reasonable efficiency.

Ahh, i should have phrased that differently. Yes, I was bringing it to a boil...I was wondering why my fuel consumption was off by so much. Melting it doesn't take too long, but bringing it to a boil can if it's really chilly out.

Looking forward to the review. I wonder if fashioning one onto a BPL ti pot is a good idea...we'll wait for the review.
Thanks.

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Re: Re: Stoves, Tents and Carbon Monoxide - Deadly or not? Supplement 4: Jetboil Helios on 04/19/2009 03:53:26 MDT Print View

Hi Steve

From memory (risky), I think melting snow from about -20 C to water at 0 C uses as much energy as taking the water from 0 C to 100 C. That really eats into your canister!

Here in Oz I can usually find flowing water in a creek, even up high. Getting it out without getting in it ... can be fun. But it is certainly worth it for fuel weight and cooking time.

Cheers

Eric Blumensaadt
(Danepacker) - MLife

Locale: Mojave Desert
"Heat Exchanger Stoves/Pots" on 04/22/2009 13:52:24 MDT Print View

I own a JetBoil 1.5 liter pot. I use it W/O the steel wire handles because my aluminun pot gripper is lighter & more versatile.

From my own tests of bringing 1 liter of water to a boil on my stoves tested (MSR Wind Pro canister stove, Vargo Triad base W/ ESBIT tabs, and Vargo Jet-Ti canister stove) I can say the JetBoil wins the time-to boil contest hands down on any of the stoves. This testing was against another, nearly identically shaped, 1.5 liter pot I'd used for years. All tests were with an MSR windscreen and same temperature water.

It only makes sense that JetBoil's "Flux Ring" heat exchanger and neoprene cozy would use less fuel and thus produce less CO than my regular 1.5 liter pot but it's good to know that your tests confirm that concept.

Eric
P.S. Since JB's "Flux Ring" works so well I'm waiting for JetBoil to eliminate canister fuel with a "Flux Capacator". Beam me up Scotty...

Edited by Danepacker on 04/22/2009 13:53:42 MDT.