Chris Townsend reviews an updated classic.
This review was first published in the August 2018 issue of The Great Outdoors.
The original Pocket Rocket was one of the first ultralight canister stoves, and it’s still a favourite of many people. A few years ago, MSR introduced a lighter version called the Micro Rocket. Now the company has merged the two in the Pocket Rocket 2, which is lighter and smaller than the original.
This has clever pot supports that fold sideways, downwards and then inwards to make a very compact unit for carrying. When in position the supports are quite firm and will hold quite big pots. They are lighter than on the original but feel stiffer and more solid. The stove is best used with smaller pots, though, and especially ones that aren’t very wide, as the burner head is narrow, and the flame is concentrated.
MSR doesn’t give a power output figure but it must be similar to the other ultralight gas stoves as boil times are much the same. This is another stove that is amazingly powerful for the size. There’s a tiny triangular windshield on the burner that MSR says ‘boosts efficiency in breezy conditions’. It does, as long as the breeze isn’t very strong. As with the original Pocket Rocket, flame control is excellent so simmering isn’t a problem.
There’s little to choose between most of the ultralight stoves reviewed. The Pocket Rocket 2 is as good as any and the price is low. It has the heritage and reputation of the original Pocket Rocket behind it too.