Chris Townsend is impressed by the new offering from Jetboil – the company’s lightest stove system so far.
Jetboil launched the first stove system combining a burner with a pot with built-in heat exchanger nearly twenty years ago. It was a great success, being convenient and easy to use as well as fast boiling and fuel efficient, and there are now half a dozen Jetboil stove system models. I’ve always liked the Jetboil system except for one thing – the weight. So I’m really delighted that Jetboil’s new model, the Stash, is the lightest Jetboil stove system by far. At 200 grams it weighs 40% less than the previous lightest models, the Zip and MicroMo (both 340 grams), whilst having the same size pot.
Jetboil has achieved this by simplifying the design and reducing the weight of components. In particular the hefty plastic collar that links the burner and pot has gone. Instead, the pot just fits onto the serrated arms of the burner. This does reduce wind resistance but also makes it easier to remove the pot from the burner – no twisting the housing to unlock it, just lift it off.
The 800ml pot is made from hard anodized aluminium and comes with a fold-out insulated handle and a plastic lid with pourer hole. It’s wider than tall (12 x 8.25 cms), which I really like as it makes it easier to use as a bowl or mug, and better for stirring food than the tall narrow pots found on most Jetboil stove systems (for this reason my favourite up until now has been the MiniMo, which also has a wide pot). This shape makes it more stable too. Unlike other Jetboil stoves the pot doesn’t have an insulating sleeve, again to save weight. The pot complete with lid and handle weighs 140 grams.
The burner itself weighs 60 grams and folds down neatly. The burner head is made of titanium. It doesn’t have a regulator and because of this Jetboil says it’s best for boiling water rather than simmering food as the flame can’t be as controlled as finely as on a burner with a regulator. There’s no piezo igniter, which I don’t think is a problem as in my experience these can fail so I always recommend carrying a lighter or fire steel anyway. The burner comes with a small bag that weighs 7 grams. Other pots can also be used with the burner, another bonus as this isn’t the case with other Jetboil stove systems.
A canister stabiliser is also provided. It adds 27 grams to the weight. I’d leave it at home. The pot clicks onto the burner and the unit feels quite stable.
The burner, stabiliser, and a 100-size canister can be stored inside the pot to form a small, neat unit that is easily packed. The canister clips inside the pot lid to stop it rattling. A mini lighter fits inside the concave base of the canister.
Jetboil sent a Stash for test in advance of the launch on January 27. My initial impressions are very good. It boils water fast – 3 minutes for 500ml in my first tests with an air temperature of 14.8°C and a water temperature of 10.5°C – and despite not having a regulator it does simmer ok. Jetboil says it “performs on-par with similar canister stoves in wind”, which is true, like them it performs poorly. In anything more than a light breeze a windscreen is needed. However, a simple foil one weighs little, certainly far less than the big collar found on more wind resistant Jetboil stove systems.
What I particularly love is how light it is. I like Jetboil stoves and have used them on short trips but never on long ones due to the weight. My standard 0.9 litre pot weighs 116 grams, just 24 grams less than the Stash pot. It doesn’t have a heat exchanger though. And there are few gas burners weighing less than the Stash’s 60 grams. I’ll certainly be considering the Stash for my next long walk. I think it’s the ideal size for solo use, and just big enough for two if you’re not making huge meals.
This is an exciting new stove system. I’ll report on it again when I’ve used it extensively.