Jetboil Flash ReviewApril 17, 2014
- Most efficient stove in test
- Fast average boil
- Large fuel control valve easy to use with gloves
- Stable when in use
- Slower than competitors in cold and wind
- Piezo igniter is ineffective in cold with low fuel pressure
- Pot must cool before safely detaching from stove
- Bottom cup weak, can be tedious to remove
The Jetboil Flash is more efficient than the MSR Reactor 1-Liter Stove System and by the slimmest of margins, also the Primus Eta Lite. But it’s the worst performer of the three in cold and wind. And I’m still waiting on Jetboil to solve the “too-hot-to-handle” problem. Yet, its average boil time, fuel conservancy and price make it a more than suitable option.
The Jetboil Flash is a gas canister stove that partners with a proprietary 1-liter pot to create an all-in-one cooking system. The pot’s FluxRing bottom is designed to increase fuel efficiency and to ensure quick heating. It comes with an integrated cup, Piezo igniter and a heat indicator which alerts user when contents are “close” to boil.
If you’re familiar with Jetboil’s products, you’re familiar with the Flash. There’s nothing new here, as I consider the heat indicator merely a somewhat useful gimmick. The bottom cup remains tedious to remove and is prone to cracking, and the pot cozy provides very little protection when handling after a boil. But considering the price of the MSR Reactor in this pot size, you can’t go wrong with the Jetboil Flash if the two are staring at you from the store shelf. For something new in the all-in-one system canister stoves, check out the Primus Eta Lite.
In calm, warm conditions, the Flash boiled 10, two-cup pots of water at an average of about 3 minutes. It’s slower than the both MSR Reactor 1-Liter Stove System and the Primus Eta Lite. When used over a weekend in an array of cold mornings and warm afternoons, the Jetboil Flash averaged boil times closer to 4 minutes.
The Flash can go longer on a single can of gas than the MSR Reactor and Primus Eta Lite. However, the difference between it and the Primus is miniscule. The Flash boiled two cups of water 21 times using a single 100 g canister of Jetpower fuel, an isobutane/propane cocktail. If heading out for a weekend, be confident you can make it to Sunday afternoon with a single small canister.
The Flash performed okay when it’s windy, but not nearly as well as the other two stoves in this test. The Jetboil Flash’s average boil time was the slowest in the test, coming in at 4:39.
The Jetboil Flash simmered well and was easy to clean, making it ideal for firing up stuff like a can of Chef Boyardee or some of those pasta sides. This category of stove is meant to heat its contents quickly in a no-nonsense fashion. They are not delicate simmering machines. Nonetheless, Jetboil makes it work. What little char was left smoldering on the pot bottom I either ate or easily scrubbed away.
The Flash is the heaviest of the three stoves in this test at 15.7 oz.. The Reactor is the lightest weight at 14.5 oz. and the Eta Lite is 14.8 oz. The differences here should matter only to the most hyperactive ounce counters.