Blimey, at long last we're going to feature a JetBoil personal cooking system...
Astonishingly, in more than ten years, we've never actually reviewed a JetBoil Personal Cooking System - we've used other people's, we've tried equivalents from other brands - fiddly and disappointing - but we've never tested the original, but that's about to change thanks to the arrival of a JetBoil Flash in a shade of particularly lurid green...
Genius In A Stove
The concept behind the JetBoil system is genius. The dedicated pan incorporates a heat-exchanger called the Flux Ring for über efficient heat transfer which locates directly onto the burner which, in turn, screws into a suitable gas cartridge. To increase efficiency still further, there's an insulating sleeve complete with handle to help keep the heat in where it's needed.
And once you're done, the whole caboodle - including the gas canister if it's the right size - all stack neatly inside the hard-anodised pot for a complact, light cooking outfit. The Flash, which we have in for review, sits somewhere in the middle of the JetBoil hierarchy - you can spend more and go for titanium pots and other microgramme saving extravagances, but the Flash does everthing you need it to really.
Weights And Measures
Weight of the whole package including a gas cartridge stand and an clip on pan support so you can use the burner with conventional pans as well as the dedicated JetBoil PCS one is a very reasonable 483g, leave the pan support at home and you're looking at 447g. Of course you have to add fuel to that and a nearly full 125g butane/propane mix canister of pottable size weighs 215g.
So you're looking at something in the region of 700g for a full cooking system. And the beauty of the PCS system is that the effiency of the stove with super rapid boil times, means you lose less fuel, so you save more weight there too. JetBoil says that a 100g canister of gas can boil up to 12-liters of water.
What's In The Pot
Unpack the Flash and it's hard not to be impressed by the neatness and slickness of the whole system. The burner and pan fit together seamlessly and and slickly. The gas canister support is a nice touch too, early JetBoils were notoriously unstable, and it fits nicely with notches for two sizes of canister base and there's even a neat little piezo electric igniter incorporated into the burner, though you should note that it protrudes slightly when disassembled, so try not to stub.
The pot itself, is hard anodised. It's basically what the name suggests, an extremely hard surface treatment that's ideal for durability, though obviously not as slick as anti-stick coatings.
So its neat, it's light, it's efficient, and really easy to use, but are there downsides? It's more, we think, that you need to adapt your menu to suit. You'll need to stick to noodles, pasta and similar dried food and, of course, the smaller PCS systems like the Flash with their one-liter capacity are best suited to one or, at a stretch, two people. And it's a phenomenally bright shade of green, which might put some people off their food, though to be fair, other, more muted colours are available.
Suggested retail price is £95 and you can find more info at www.jetboil.com.