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Reader Reviews

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MSR Pocket Rocket

in Stoves - Canister

Average Rating
4.39 / 5 (18 reviews)

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Zeno Martin
( ananda )
MSR Pocket Rocket on 08/24/2005 14:14:53 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

I'd probably give this a 2.5 rating but that wasn't an option.

Light weight.

Horrible in any wind (I went through a whole canister one day) even with aluminum wind foil and a tarp/rock wind block.

Fragile. The tripod stove support legs bend easily, too easily.

Doesn't support pans well. My Ti pan tends to slide off support legs.

I don't think I've used this stove since getting my Jet Boil.

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Timothy Davis
( Davis2001r6 )

Best stove for the $$ on 02/16/2006 13:29:09 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I bought this stove used from a friend for $20. Even at $40 it's a great deal.

I've used it in temps down to 20 degrees and as high as 90. Never had any problems in wind, if it is really gusty then find a few rocks to put around it.

Boils water quick, doesn't use a lot of fuel. I've had one canister last me 9 days, five days in Paria Canyon, Northern AZ and then another 4 days in the Grand Canyon in Decemember. That was boiling water for oatmeal and hot cider every morning, 16 oz for a mountain house for dinner, then another 2 hot chocolates every night as well.

Used it with MSR Guidelight cookset at first, but now use it with my Titanium cookset.

I wouldn't hesitate to buy another one.

Edited by Davis2001r6 on 02/16/2006 13:29:41 MST.

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Richard Gless
( rgless )

San Francisco Bay Area
MSR Pocket rocket - great lightweight stove on 03/08/2006 22:41:58 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I've used my pocket rocket now on two long trips and several short ones. On the long trips I used one 12 oz (gross wt) cannister for 6 days with 3 people and 8 days on another with two people (with some leftover). I really didn't expect this level of efficiency. My dinner meals are usually store bought rice or noodle dishes so I end up simmering them for 10-20 minutes. I usually put up rocks around the stove as a wind break and to help support the pot. I use a fairly wide old lightweight aluminum pot and have never really had any problems with stability using this system. This stove seems to be as good in the wind as other stoves I used e.g. MSR and Svea. In my experience this is a great spring/summer/fall stove.

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Matt Eckhart
( matte580 - M )
Simple design proves worthy on 03/22/2006 00:30:22 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I tried a few small canister stoves and this one is my favorite one so far. I wasn't paying attention and had a boil over of some ramen noodles. It burned on the stove and plugged some of the burner holes where the flame comes out of. Fortunately the holes are big enough I could clean them out with my mini Swiss army knife toothpick. Some other stoves use a very fine screen for the burner holes making it almost impossible to clean out in the field. I prefer the MSR fuel canisters since they have a wider base making it more stable. This stove works with Jetboils and Snow Peak fuel canisters but they have a smaller diameter base making the stove less stable. I used this stove at 12,000 feet around 50 degrees F and didn't have any problems though I was using it in low wind conditions inside a rock windbreak. It does have 3 pot supports and not 4 but I didn't have any problems with pot stability. Hopefully they'll come out with a titanium model.

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Phil Barton
( flyfast )

MSR Pocket Rocket on 03/22/2006 09:41:20 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I've used the Pocket Rocket for 5 years in a variety of conditions.
Light - 3 oz.
Reasonable efficiency - allowing 5-6 days on 1 canister.
Not very stable.
Not easily adapted to a windscreen.
Doesn't function well in cold temps.

I seldom carry this stove any more but it was an excellent introduction to lightweight gear for me.

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Glenn Roberts
( garkjr )

Southwestern Ohio
Good Canister Stove on 01/25/2007 13:19:33 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

This is a nice, functional stove but nothing extraordinary. On the plus side, the valve can be fully closed for storage (unlike the Snow Peak Gigapower), so you don't get that little "hssss" that says you forgot to close the valve before attaching it to the canister. I like the MSR canisters, since they're a little wider which makes things a little less tippy.

The stove works fine with the MSR Titan kettle and Titan mug to make a very versatile, if somewhat heavy, 2-piece cookset. The supports make it feasible to cook in either piece of cookware, with no sliding around. It will also support the Titan Mini cookset, if you're cooking for two or three people.

The stove suffers (as nearly all canisters do) from the lack of a decent windscreen. However, the dividers on the burner do work quite well; I've never had a breeze blow the flame completely out, and the burner re-lights the blown-out section(s) nicely. The stove itself has a fairly long neck (I can't figure out why) that makes it a little awkward to store, and the pot supports seem unnecessarily fussy (compared to the simple but elegant supports on the Snow Peak stove.)

I usually store the stove, wrapped in my dishcloth, inside the mug, and store the canister and lighter inside the kettle. The little plastic storage box is dead weight; if they hadn't left a sprue hole in the bottom, it could have been a functional measuring cup or even drinking cup. (A round, rather than triangular, shape would also have helped accomplish that.)

But, overall, this is as good as any other canister stove out there, at a very good price; it lives up to MSR's overall reputation for quality.

Edited by garkjr on 12/05/2008 20:30:12 MST.

Price comparison from GearBuyer: MSR Mug priced at: $11.96 - $14.99
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Joseph Aulwes
( eispickel )
MSR Pocket Rocket on 02/28/2007 13:59:18 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

Basic Canister top stove

-Reliable, I’ve never had it fail.
-Worked in 10 degree temps. (warmed canister in my jacket)
-Could be lighter
-Can’t liquid feed fuel.

David Neumann
( idahomtman - M )

Northern Idaho
MSR Pocket Rocket - Great stove! on 02/28/2007 18:22:30 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I've used this stove for many years. Great value, low price, good fuel economy, fast. Not great in the wind, but with some natural screening, works pretty well. Never had any problems with the stove over the years. Just as good now as when I bought it.

Used on a 10-day trip several years ago. Packed one small canister and resupplied halfway through the trip with another one. Didn't use up the fuel on either leg of the trip!

dave hollin
( backpackbrewer )

Deepest darkest Wales, boyo
does exactly what it says on the tin! on 09/08/2007 15:11:32 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

Well this is my first gas stove since I used an old style camping gaz unit 25 years ago. Since then i have been using denatured alcohol stoves. I just fancied a change and to be able to have more control over my cooking so bought the Pocket rocket

It is light, compact, fast, highly controllable, wind resistant especially when using a wide brimmed pot on top and I love it.

On the downside (very marginal) is the supports don't grip that well on titanium. the way in which i have got around this is to put very small indentations into the bottom of my titanium mug and kettle that line up with the support arms. Problem solved!

Really good bit of kit and one of my favourites

Chad Ellertson
( NorthernLights )

Superior Hiking Trail
Affordable, Spits Fire, and Lightweight on 12/06/2007 16:42:04 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

This stove is about 3 oz. I really enjoy using it. I pair it with my MSR .85L Ti Kettle, and it works like a charm. I boil water mostly and simmer with it. It is a great little stove.

You do have to be sure to have a wind screen around it. I made a nice heat reflector and wind screen out of a pie tin and heavy duty aluminum foil which weighs a little under an ounce. It works well and increases the efficiency of the stove.

I have used it for backpacking on the Superior Hiking Trail, the Kekekabic Trail, the Boundary Waters, and in temps ranging as low as 28F. I just stick a canister in the foot of my sleeping bag and the stove works great at cooler temps.

I have gone about a week with 2 cups of water boiled morning and night with extra fuel left in my canister at the end of trips.

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Mike Barney
( eaglemb )

AZ, the Great Southwest!
Good value for a starter stove on 12/08/2007 17:52:31 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

This is a pretty basic stove that is simple to operate. It's lightweight and reasonably efficient. We used 3 of these on a 10 day hike with 10 people and they worked well.

The stove is reasonably adjustable. I'd agree with the earlier comment the carrying case is of no value.

The area for supporting a pot is pretty small, so youhave to be careful and make sure that the canister is very level.

There are several variants of this classic, some having more diverse flame spreaders, push ignition and titanium components.

It really depends upon your budget, but for a base stove, this is a pretty good start. You can often find these on ebay for $25 - $35, or for about $40 from well known retailers such as REI or Campmor.


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bobby c
( bobbycartwright )

i don't need no stinkin badges!
excellent stove on 12/12/2007 12:05:22 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

yes, while it is small, it's supposed to be! last time i checked there weren't any ultralight 6 burner stoves out there with magical fuel that weighed nothing. well, you could possibly do something with hexamine but that's another story. it's a great stove and serves it's purpose well. now if we can just get people to stop leaving them screwed onto their gas cans too close to the campfire then we'd be in business

Justin Chaussee
( judach )

MSR Pocket Rocket. It's, ok... on 06/23/2009 14:26:09 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I've used the pocket rocket for a few years now. I rated it a 4 for the following reasons:

-easy to use/light
-boils water fast in calm weather
-small size fits easily in just about any cookset.

-pot stands are too high which cause it to be highly unstable and prone to bending/breaking.
-Performance greatly deminishes in even the slightest of wind. Boil time quadruples. (it once took me almost 20 minutes to get a small amount of water to boil in a moderate wind while camping in the sonoran desert)

The reason why I rated the Pocket Rocket a 4 was due to it's design flaws. The pot stands should be thicker, shorter, and flat on the top instead of angled to increase stability and durability. If MSR was to change the design of the Pocket Rocket, it would be a 5.

The Pocket Rocket stove is very reasonably priced (around 30 bucks) and MSR is a very trustworthy brand who backs up their products. So yes, it does have some flaws, but you're getting a pretty good stove for around 30 bucks. This stove was best meant to boil small amounts of water for small, solo dehydrated type meals. It's not meant to make gourmet or even a one pot style meal. Just to boil water quickly... In calm weather.

Edited by judach on 06/23/2009 14:36:55 MDT.

Elliott Wolin
( ewolin )

Hampton Roads, Virginia
Very satisfied with MSR Pocket Rocket on 06/26/2009 09:01:04 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I don't know what everyone is complaining about. Do you want a light stove or a strong stove? Do you want an unstable canister-top stove or a much more stable sit-on-the-ground stove? Do you use a windscreen or not?

If you want a lightweight canister-top stove and use a windscreen, it's hard to beat the Pocket Rocket, particularly for the price.

You want lighter? Then pay a LOT more for titanium or get a more fragile stove.

No windscreen? All canister tops work poorly in the wind with no windscreen (some better than others, of course).

I've used the pocket rocket for two people, 2-liter MSR and 0.85 liter MSR titanium pots, with no problems whatsoever. This includes everything from boiling water to complicated multi-component cooking involving long simmer times.

And it uses 12-18 g/person/day of fuel, depending on the temperature and how long things have to cook.

Minor would be nice if the Pocket Rocked had a piezo-electric lighter, but you can't have everything!

Dan Durston
( dandydan )

Good Stuff on 06/30/2009 23:06:16 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I've been happy with MSR Pocket Rocket. I've been using it for about 4 years now.

- Flame is very focused, so it's hard to avoid burning the center.
- Seems like it could be a bit more stable. If the stove wasn't so tall then things would be less tippy.

- lightweight
- packs small
- price
- quality
- narrow flame means efficient heat transfer to the pot (since less heat is wasted going up the sides) which gives you great fuel economy.

Edited by dandydan on 11/18/2009 17:40:28 MST.

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Mark Stalbird
( Off-road )
Very impressed on 11/22/2009 19:52:08 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I'm a long distant solo backpacker and found holy grail with this stove,just what i was looking for.

I use a lot of Mtnhouse/Bp pantry meals and experience quik boil times.

Small,lightweight and efficient.
Have not eperienced any stability issues,never lost a pot.
Love the hard case.
Very affordable.

Well i'm not sure,not much wind in the heavily forested area's i hang out.

Edited by Off-road on 11/22/2009 19:52:59 MST.

Richard Colfack
( richfax )

Great Product and Reasonable Price on 04/11/2010 11:28:28 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I'm extremely happy with my MSR Pocket Rocket, which I've used as my primary stove for the last 5 years. I pair it with my 850 mL MSR Titan Kettle and I only use it to boil water for Mountain House freeze-dried dinners and Starbucks Via instant coffee. (I don't enjoy cooking & cleaning pots, I get enough of that at home). I've completed the JMT and the TRT with this stove without a single issue. I don't bring a windscreen, which I find unnecessary. When it's not windy, I don't need a windscreen, when it is, I've always been able to find a natural wind-blocking feature to cook behind. I don't bring the red plastic hard case the stove comes with, I instead store it in the pot. Luckily, I've never tipped it over, although accidents can happen, but can't you accidently tip over any stove? Are the little arms long enough or wide enough or grippy enough? For me, yes. For whiny types, maybe not.

I certainly enjoy the convenience that a canister stove provides. Screw the stove on the canister, open the valve, light the gas with your mini-Bic, place you water-filled pot on the stove and in a few minutes you'll have boiling water. If you like to tinker with your stove, this is not the stove for you.

It's not intended to be used in winter conditions, so I don't. Isobutane/Propane canisters are readily available throughout the U.S.

*Excellent Price at $39.
*Low Weight. 3 oz. In comparison SnowPeak's lightest canister stove, the LiteMax, costs more at $59 but only weighs 1.9 oz.
*Convenient, Fast Boil Time
*Lightweight, Packs Small
*Durable, Fool Proof
*Iso/Pro doesn't leave residue on my pot.

* Not so environmentally friendly canisters (canisters are typically recyclable, but not refillable).

Bottom Line: You won't be sorry you bought one. You can always sell it if you don't like it. Enjoy your next hike into the backcountry!

Price comparison from GearBuyer: Starbucks Via priced at: $3.99
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Micah Caley
( cascademillenial )
Very good. on 04/29/2013 20:19:57 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5


Initial cost is decent
Fast boiling time


Cost of fuel canister
Needs a level surface, otherwise the stove will tip over and pose a problem to the surrounding area ;)

All in all, this stove is awesome.

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