Chris Townsend is a world-leading authority on outdoor gear. In his weekly column, he assesses new innovations and tests exclusive early samples of new kit.
An ultralight compact backpacking stove
When Jetboil launched the first integrated cooking system that combined pot, heat exchanger and burner into one compact, fuel efficient and powerful unit it was the first big innovation in backpacking cooking since MSR introduced the first hose-attached remote fuel tank. Since then Jetboil has expanded the range to a whole family of cooking systems. However with its latest model, the Mighty Mo, Jetboil has come full circle as it’s a stand-alone burner of a type that was around long before Jetboil began. Presumably Jetboil has accepted that not everyone wants an integrated stove system, especially as it adds weight and restricts the pots you can use.
The Mighty Mo screws into a gas canister and has three pot supports, a well-proven design for compact lightweight stoves. It has a built-in Piezo igniter and a folding wire control lever and comes with a stabilising base for the canister and a small storage pouch. The weight is 98 grams, which is relatively heavy for this type of stove, though hardly significant overall. Some models weigh as little as 44 grams. The Mighty Mo is solidly made and feels tough. The three pot supports are rigid and don’t bend or move as they do on some stoves. They have serrated tops with extensions too and so are more stable with big pots. The stove folds down neatly to an easily packed compact size.
The burner is regulated, controlling the flow of gas, which means that it will work down to -7°C according to Jetboil. I haven’t used it in sub-zero temperatures yet but it worked well at +2.5°C with a two-thirds empty gas cartridge (GoSystem butane/isobutene/propane mix).
The Mighty Mo is very powerful, bringing half a litre of water to the boil in a couple of minutes. You need to have your food or drink ready before switching on the stove. It also simmers well. So far the Piezo igniter has worked fine. I always carry a back-up lighter though as in my experience these igniters do fail eventually.
The Mighty Mo isn’t wind-resistant and so needs sheltering from all but a very light breeze. I use a foil windscreen curved round three sides of the stove, leaving plenty of space so the canister doesn’t overheat.
I’ve used the Mighty Mo with my old titanium pots and the pot supports hold these in place well even when the stove is on a slight angle. The stove will be more fuel efficient and boil even faster with a heat exchanger pot but one of those will add a fair bit of weight.
For an ultralight stove for solo or duo cooking the Mighty Mo is one of the better ones in the market in my opinion due to the quality construction and the excellent pot supports.