Published on April 4th, 2009 | by Greg0
More Great Outdoors: JetBoil’s Easy, Light Camping Stove/Coffee Press
Don’t worry- despite appearances, we’re not roughing it. Despite our new focus on the world outside of our computers, we still prefer to take the comforts of home with us. And since Starbucks still hasn’t managed to extend their tentacles to every campground yet, and parks tend to not have food courts, we need to handle some cooking and coffee-making duties without our fancy grinders and gadgets.
That’s where JetBoil comes in. They offer a few models, including some aimed at large groups. But we’re not bringing a large group along, so have been trying out the Personal Cooking System, which comes with the handy acronym PCS. Able to boil 1 liter of water at a time, it works quick- about two minutes from click of the button to ready-for-coffee. The unit itself is fairly light (6 oz, 15 for the complete system), insulated, and quite sturdy- made for hiking and getting banged around, it still should be packed carefully. It is quite a bit heavier than some other water heaters, but serves with attachments as an well-insulated pot, mug, and measuring cup unlike others. The spout really helps, and the whole package feels well-designed.
You’ll need fuel as well- but the efficiency and speed of the Jetboil system (with FluxRing) means that you won’t need much. You can get about 12 or 13 liters of water from one can of their 100g fuel canisters (~$5), enough for several meals. We haven’t tried melting snow with it, but tried the PCS out in a few conditions, and it performed quite well. It offers a more limited range of options than a normal camp stove, of course, but heats water (for rehydrating meals or drinks) amazingly well. You can use the companion cup option for when you want to have coffee and a meal, and they offer an easy maintenance kit as well.
A quick word about an attachment we tried and liked- the coffee press. It wasn’t as nice as some presses (plastic weighs less, but feels and looks worse)- but it got the job done, and was easy to carry, store, and use. It also works well for loose leaf tea. The price- $20- seems a bit steep, but likely worth it for a no-hassle cup of java. The Jetboil PCS itself sells for around $100, and is available online and in most camping/hiking stores.