The How Zone


Stove Tests

Test Stoves Burning

Since this is a stove performance test I cut out one variable by using just a single brand of fuel. Here's the rest of the configuration:

Units:ounces and fahrenheit
Fuel:MSR IsoPro 4oz net weight
Temp Measure:digital thermocouple, .1 degree resolution
Weight Measure:digital scale, .001oz resolution
Environment:Indoors, 70°, no wind
Pot:24oz Trek-700 Titanium
JetBoil Cup
2 Quart stainless
Water:16oz, around 60°

The Titanium pot is about the same size as the Jetboil cup, just a bit shorter. Since it doesn't hold a liter I switched to a 2 quart pot for the One Liter test. The 2 quart has double the diameter, or four times the surface area.

This isn't a quick test, in fact I spent most of a Saturday setting up and conducting the tests. In between tests I would let things cool down or in the canister's case, warm up. Temperature was recorded every thirty seconds and each test stopped when the water reached 206°, which was when rolling boil started (the meter is off a little?). The fuel canisters were wiped down to remove any condensation before measuring.

After finishing the third Jetboil test I accidentally dumped hot water into the cold water bucket thereby raising its temperature. Rather than trying to get another bucket of water to reach the test temperature I went ahead and performed the final test for the Pocket Rocket and Snow Peak with the warmer temperature (68°). They did a little better.

Test Results - One Pint

The first Pocket Rocket test was a little slower because when I tried to turn it up all of the way the flame started extinguishing itself (too much tank pressure?). I backed it down until it stabilized and then slowly turned it higher. This resulted in a slower boil time, but you'll note that it also didn't eat up as much fuel as the subsequent tests did.

Which brings up a good point. With the Pocket Rocket and Snow Peak I initially had to mess around with the flame setting. These two stoves seem to have high, higher, and way to high settings. It reminds me of cooking with the white gas stoves and always wondering if I had the flame on a good setting or not. With the Jetboil you turn it on, click the piezo ignitor, and that's about it.

To prove the point about larger surface area, I ran one test using the Pocket Rocket boiling a pint in the 2 quart container. It did better, not quite matching the Jetboil, with a boil time of 3:02 and fuel use of 0.275oz. I even tried to use the Jetboil cup with a Pocket Rocket as a heat source. It seemed to work but I spent way too much time trying to adjust the heat setting and almost burned my hand in the process.

Giving up on trying to jam a rocket into a jet I moved on to the one liter test.

I based this test on a Snow Peak brochure which explained their stove being able to raise one liter of water from 68° (20°C) to 203° (95°C) in three minutes and forty eight seconds. They didn't include any of the other test variables so perhaps that is why the results below are different?

Test Results - One Liter


Despite initial appearances all of the stoves checked in with pretty much the same boil time on the one liter test. The major difference, of course, is fuel consumption. Jetboil used about 40% less. As I mentioned earlier the other two stoves were using the 2 quart pot on this test, which I think contributed greatly to their improvement in boil time.

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