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Canistor Stove Systems
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Manfred von Richthofen
(adama) - F
Canister Stove Systems on 06/13/2011 20:35:28 MDT Print View

I've done some searching, and people seem to recommend the below CANISTER options as alternatives to the Jetboil. But looking at the weights, I haven't found much differences between some of the options. Others are a bit more significance. Obviously an ounce or two may mean little to some and much to others. An ounce or two means little to me. 4 is a bit more significant. Not something I'd go home crying about if I had to carry 4 more ounces, but if it wouldn't buy me much I'd just as soon go for the lighter option.

I'm looking at canister stove systems. I'm a lightweight hiker, not ultralight. While convenience is worth something, I don't want a system heavier than I really need. Sometimes I think the convenience of a jetboil could be worth it because it could, say, make me more likely to stop and whip up a quick steaming cup of hot chocolate while I'm snowshoeing. But I really don't know, is it any more convenient than a nice canister stove and a cheap aluminum pot?

Also, when I started looking at the weights, I didn't seem to be saving THAT much by going to a different system, plus the jetboil seems to be quite competitive in terms of cost. So here we are:

Option 1: 9.25oz - 9.75oz, $60-$70
Snow Peak Giga Power - Manual/Piezo (3.25oz/3.75oz) - $40-50
Snow Peak Giga Power Windscreen (2oz) - $10
*Pot (~4oz) - $10

Option 2: 7.9oz, $70
Snow Peak LiteMax (1.9oz) - $60
Homemade wind screen (~2oz?) - free
*Pot (~4oz) - $10

Option 3: 11.75oz, $70
Jetboil Zip - 11.75oz

*For the pot I don't have any ideas. Need anything cheap and light. I'm guessing 4oz at this point, and $10.

So I'd be saving 2-2.5oz with Option 1 over Option 3, but 3.85oz using Option 2 over Option 3. A mark against the Jetboil is I'd sometimes be cooking for 2, and that means 2x2 cups which means I'd have to heat the Jetboil up twice. However, there would be times where I'd take the Jetboil just to heat up some hot chocolate. It's a tradeoff, there. If I ditched the cozy and the measuring cup, it'd be dead even between Options 1 and 3. Why wouldn't I get the Jetboil, at that point, other than a preference for a different pot?

Any thoughts in addition to what I've stated? The fact that I'm asking this gives away that I'm not ultralight, but I guess I'm especially curious of people's experiences. It seems to me Option 1 vs Option 3 isn't a significant difference in terms of weight and I should just go with which system appeals more. But I'm especially curious about difference in user experiences. If I wouldn't be frustrated with the LiteMax, perhaps that would be my best option, so long as it would hold in high/cold/windy conditions if required.

I have an alcohol stove if I need one for summer.

Cost is a big factor.


Edited by adama on 06/13/2011 20:36:50 MDT.

Robert Cowman
(rcowman) - F

Locale: Canadian Rockies
Re: Canister Stove Systems on 06/13/2011 20:41:07 MDT Print View

monatauk gnat (1.7oz) and a Evernew 1L pasta pot. (4oz)

I can cook for two in a BPL 900pot (3oz)

Stuart R
(Scunnered) - F

Locale: Scotland
Re: Canister Stove Systems on 06/14/2011 02:18:15 MDT Print View

What do you use currently?
Why are you fustrated by the LiteMax?

It is not clear to me what your priorities are and there are always tradeoffs.

If you want cheap and light, a Monatauk Gnat with a AGG 3-cup pot, Al foil lid and DIY windshield is the cheapest lightweight canister system by a long way.

A Jetboil may be more 'convenient' (meaning less care required by the user), but is neither cheap nor light.

James Klein

Locale: Southeast
Option 4 on 06/14/2011 07:32:23 MDT Print View

Monatauk Gnat -- 1.7oz $50

Stanco Greasepot -- 3oz $7.5 ~5 cup capacity
(w/ MYOG Al pie lid)

MYOG Ti Windscreen -- .5oz $15+time
source Ti from

<5.5ozs, <$75

trade the ti windscreen for heavy duty foil and the Gnat stove for slightly heavier option and I bet you could come in at:

<6.5ozs, <$50

and this gives you about double the cooking capacity

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Option 4 on 06/14/2011 07:52:33 MDT Print View

Jetboil Sol Ti - 8.5 ounces - as light as any other canister system - $150

I have no experience, just heard about it

Dan Cherry
(risingsun) - F

Locale: Northern Arizona
Jetboil Sol on 06/14/2011 07:57:25 MDT Print View

Don't fear the new Jetboil Sol. It's a great stove and heating water for two is not a concern at all. I've supported 4 with my one Sol and could have easily provided boiling for more if needed (provided the fuel). The super quick boil times make waiting a non-issue. Seems very efficient with fuel as well. Love mine.

Gary Dunckel
(Zia-Grill-Guy) - MLife

Locale: Boulder
Jetboil Sol on 06/14/2011 08:16:08 MDT Print View

Dan, does your stove sort of wobble where it screws into the canister? I returned mine because of this, as well as the flimsy cosy. The REI demo model also wobbled on its canister. It seems to me that a full group pot would be a bit unstable because of this. Maybe they don't all do this?

John Vance
(Servingko) - F

Locale: Intermountain West
Jetboil on 06/14/2011 08:21:36 MDT Print View

I have the SOL ti and have no wobble issues. Moreover, I contacted Jetboil to discuss the "flimsy" cozy and was told I could have my choice of the SOL Alu or the Zip cozy. I chose the ZIP and removed the handle for essentially the same weight and more insulation.

Dan Cherry
(risingsun) - F

Locale: Northern Arizona
Sol on 06/14/2011 08:23:33 MDT Print View

Gary - yes, it does slightly, but I do not find this to be a problem. I also have the Aluminum pot which I understand has a slightly more substantial cozy. I didn't have a problem grabbing it with bare fingers.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
jetboil on 06/14/2011 10:47:08 MDT Print View

the real advantage of the jetboil is the lack of flaff

you simply turn it on ... and it cooks fast ... you can boil water while warming yr hands, or in a canoe, or at a belay, etc ...

no fussing around ...

sure there are lighter systems around ... but the jetboil is a favorite of climbers for a reason ;)

i find it somewhat ironic that some people may argue against a jetboil, especially the lighter ones, yet think nothing about bringing other luxuries

Mark Ries
(mtmnmark) - M

Locale: IOWAHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!
zip on 06/14/2011 11:34:20 MDT Print View

Im thinking of going to a zip good prlce and weight I have a pcs I dont use cause of weight and use a SP100 manual and a SP700cup and lid currently

Dave -
(FamilyGuy) - F

Locale: Up there
Canistor Stove Systems on 06/14/2011 11:46:12 MDT Print View

Eric - the problem with the Jetboil is that it is heavy when compared to other offerings. And the motto of UL backpackers is that one takes the lightest option that does the same job - in this case boiling water. Even the 'lightweight' versions of the Jetboil are comparably heavy (not to mention will be getting heavier as the neoprene covers are recalled).

James Klein

Locale: Southeast
Re: jetboil on 06/14/2011 11:49:40 MDT Print View

canister stoves are generally pretty low on "flaff". Turn gas on, ignite and you can about walk away. Yeah if is windy you will need to shield. And depending on levelness of site and pot size vs stove size you might need to take a couple extra precautions to prevent tip-over. But for most cases where these are required I bet is under 2 minutes extra setup (over jetboil).

Now if I was trying to boil on the side of a rock (like if I was climbing - not hiking) I would probably perfer the jetboil. But for general hiking with sub-alpine sleeping the jetboil doesn't really offer me any advantages. Relative to other options, its heavy, expensive and small.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
UL on 06/14/2011 13:35:57 MDT Print View

are we talking about the same people who use tents instead of tarps, comfy inflatable mattresses, and framed packs?

sure you wont see anyone with a sub 5 lb base weight using a jetboil, but neither will you see em using some of the tents BPL recommends, or other BPLers use ... or those exped down mattresses for 3 seasons

everybody has their own "luxury" goods ... sure i can use something smaller and lighter, but then i could also use a poncho tarp too, and a simple foam pad, etc ...

each to his/her own ...

as to how heavy and expensive it is ... the OP has a listing of the weights and prices of the stoves hes considering, doesnt seem too much more expensive than the alternatives ... and the same could be said for other "luxury" goods as well

this bum wouldnt use it if it didnt work for him in the himalayas ...

Edited by bearbreeder on 06/14/2011 13:39:37 MDT.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Canistor Stove Systems on 06/14/2011 13:43:38 MDT Print View


New Jetboil Sol Ti is not heavier

Sol Ti - 8.5 ounces

Canister stove - 3 ounces, plus 5 ounces for a Ti 0.9 liter pot, plus 0.5 ounce windscreen = 8.5 ounces

Maybe you can find a 2 ounce stove so it saves 1 ounce

But the Jetboil will use less fuel so will weigh somewhat less because of that, depending on how long a trip

Manfred von Richthofen
(adama) - F
Expensive on 06/14/2011 19:13:18 MDT Print View

The Sol and Sol Ti are a bit pricey, for me. I'm not sure why the Zip never gets mentioned. Much cheaper and not TOO bad as far as weight.

What I'm curious now is this: having no experience with any canister stove, how is a jetboil really more convenient than, say, a Snowpeak LiteMax and a cheap Al pot? Both you store the stove in the pot, and both you take the stove out and put it under the pot. Is it because the Jetboil has everything right-sized and it clicks together nicely? Is it partly just the novelty and fun-ness of it? Is the Jetboil really that much easier to use?

I'm trying to figure out what the disadvantages really are of Jetboil alternatives. It's clear the disadvantage of Jetboil is weight. It's also clear enough to me that some of the Jetboil systems should not be classified as "heavy" nor as "ultralight." I think I would be fine with the weight of a Jetboil system. I also don't think I'm too worried about the fuel efficiency of any system--they are all ok for me, so long as they all work in the cold, wind, and high altitude about as well as one another (with a windscreen). The question becomes what the advantages actually are of the Jetboil system. Then I can better make the determination if the extra ounces is worth it.

If the Jetboil is the type of thing where you buy the car, the house, and the helicopter all in one great package where the car is just the right size for the garage and the helipad is just the right size for the roof, and the fuel economy of the helicopter and car is a little better, I'd rather just buy the house that has a garage big enough for the car I choose and backyard big enough for the helicopter I choose. But if there's more to it than that...

Also, I don't need Ti pot suggestions. Those are too pricey, and I can't possibly justify purchasing Ti over Al. Plus at that point might as well but the Jetboil Sol Ti or something for an ounce or two penalty.

James Klein

Locale: Southeast
Re: UL on 06/14/2011 19:32:21 MDT Print View

WhOOO, WHOO, wait....we have ppl and this site choosing inflatables, tents and framed backpacks...gonna need a list of names and alias's -- this ain't the blaze or It is a slippery slope, first goes the tarp for "creature comfort" or b/c the "significant other" needs it. Next "oh my old boney hips need a 2.5 (hell probably more like 3.5) air mat". Then goes the rucksack for a nice frame b/c of the old "bulging disk". Before you know it this has snowballed in to trading in the standard OH+ stove setup for a, a dAmn jetboil....

Eric, you always seems to be a (welcomed imo) devil's advocate from the "other side" of things....but you really just seem to be arguing for arguments sake...

No one has called the JB sol not LW, UL or whatever....the point is that there are lighter, cheaper options that (for most backpacking situations) don't give up much in terms of useablility. The OP asked that quesiton. Yeah he put together a listing of options and didn't appear to be tied down to them...

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: UL on 06/14/2011 19:47:02 MDT Print View

The advantage of the jetboil is the heat exchanger

It requires less fuel to heat a given amount of water

You can save some weight by carrying less fuel

I use a MSR Pocket Rocket which costs about $30. That weighs the same as the Sol Ti when you count everything.

Just make sure and also get a windscreen. There are a number of threads and articles on this site that describe MYOG versions that are easy to make.

James Klein

Locale: Southeast
heat exchanger on 06/14/2011 20:19:30 MDT Print View

The heat exchanger is on the wrong side of the pot to be really effective...put it on the inside of the pot and then you'd be talking...

I believe Roger Caffin did comparison article that found htx stove stepups save 2-3 grams per liter boiled over standard canister w/ windscreen. If this generalizes to my setup vs the JB ti Sol.. that means it would take 30-40L boiled before you break even with the JB. Probably 1 in 10 of my trips would I boil that many cups for myself.

For the conditions you describe (alpine wind and temps) I would be looking for a remote canister (w/ a fuel preheat, allowing you to invert the canister) setup. One of these sits lower (stability), allows for better windscreen coverage and helps push the stove setup to lower temps (fuel vaporization now happens in the preheat tube) - this will be heavier than the JB though.

I would also expect the JB to outperform the standard upright options present here under these conditions.

Edited by jnklein21 on 06/14/2011 20:20:26 MDT.

Thomas Trebisky

Locale: Southern Arizona
Eric is right on. on 06/14/2011 20:40:24 MDT Print View

I love my jetboil, but recognize it is a convenient luxury. It is part of my 3 stove arsenal that I choose between depending on mood. It is either the caldera cone alcohol stove setup, the bush buddy, or the jet boil. The trick is knowing what tradeoffs you are making and how it all adds up.
The absolute best part about the jetboil is the integrated french press, and that counts for a lot!
On a really long trip, the bushbuddy wins if you can always count on finding fuel, and it wins more and more the longer the trip. It is just plain fun on a shorter trip too, fire danger and all that permitting. Someday I may get one of these tiny stoves that screw on top of a canister and a Ti pot, but odds are I just won't. If I am really serious about going light in mild conditions, then the alcohol stove wins. And you won't catch me without my exped! And you won't EVER catch me carrying a frame pack again (I am trying to give away my old 8 pound internal frame dana design). My MLD exodus with the exped is still less than half the weight of that thing empty.

So my conclusion, just get the Jetboil for decadent convenience!