Jetboil Genesis Basecamp ReviewMay 21, 2018
- Unrestricted cooking space
- Easy to clean
- Available Jetlink acessories
- Susceptible to wind
- Fuel dial placement
- Strap closure
The Jetboil Genesis Basecamp stove isn’t the rapid-fire, water boiling beast that it’s backpacking brethren are, but it still gets things hot as quick as any camper will need it to with two 10,000 BTU burners. It simmers very well, offering several dial turns of control.
Wind protection is provided by an included, wrap-around plastic shield that was more irksome to install than the otherwise stellar product engineering choices made here would suggest. We’re not sure we ever had it in place properly, at least not securely, and it’s not something you can install while the stove is lit. Nevertheless, native burner position helped “enough” in wind resistance, as it sits a half-inch below the rim of the stove.
The Genesis provided a full backcountry hut of people food for two days, from breakfast burritos and home fries to steak fajitas and chicken stir fry. And it’s efficient with Jetboil’s 5-liter Flux Pots*. Testers used the very smart and practical Jetlink (sold separately) connectivity to daisy-chain four Genesis burners (two Basecamp systems) and a Luna satellite burner (sold separately) to melt snow and make food all weekend. We only ran through two standard green 16 ounce propane bottles despite melting a lot of snow. Each burner maintained a consistent simmer to cook while others roared to provide water.
*Testers used Jetboil’s 5-liter Flux Pots, which include heat exchangers and pot bases specifically designed to partner with the Genesis. They’re available separately or as part of a complete Basecamp system.
The Jetboil Genesis showed no signs of wear after being tugged into the Tahoe National Forest for about four miles in a sled beneath a heavy load of gear. Given the general excitement that accompanies such a weekend jaunt, and the ensuing combination of adult beverages and lack of organizational space common to backcountry huts, the Genesis wasn’t given a ton of “personal space” in what was designated as the kitchen. In short, it was moved a lot, shoved, and kicked once or twice while being unpacked. It remained intact.
There’s no doubt the unique, compact clamshell design contributes to its heartiness when packed away. That said, testers never felt totally confident in material choices when the stove was deployed. To the touch, it feels easy to warp or damage. The plastic hinges, removable burner heads, and rubber closure straps combine to remind us that when it comes to product engineering, the fewer parts that move, the better. The straps, for example, can be totally removed easily, making them prone to getting misplaced. Perhaps a more permanent form of closure will appear on future version of the Genesis.
The Jetboil Genesis is the slam-dunk winner in this rating. With only a 9.5’’ footprint, the Roomba-shaped camp cooker claps together to take up less space than any of the test competitors. Outside of its carry bag, it can be stowed inside large pots, small gear bags, and within just about any available space in a camper van. It’s only 6 pounds, 3 ounces with the fuel regulator, making it the lightest two burner stove tested.
Each side of “the clam” has a hinged stainless steel handle for transport, and it’s held shut by rubber straps that each grasp a plastic tab on the stove base. Unlike almost every two burner stove on the market, the Genesis is round, not rectangular, which contributes to its stout packability.
The most unique feature of the Jetboil Genesis is clearly its physical stance and “UFO” form factor. The squatty, bright orange stove unfolds to reveal two large, individual burner heads connected by two plastic arms and a single fuel source. It’s a completely unique entry this category of camp stove.
The elevated grill grates are removable by pinching the insert points at the hinge. The burner heads can be unscrewed, as well, making drip pans easy to shine. Burners are lit by levered piezo ignitors along each exterior edge, instead of the standard push button design.
The proprietary Jetlink output, a brass external fuel connector, allows users to collect an array of Jetboil and Eureka (JB’s sibling under Johnson Outdoors) accessories that can “link” to a Genesis’s fuel source via an accessory fuel line. The list of compatible devices include another Genesis, a Luna Satellite burner (essentially a traditional Jetboil PCS), or any number of single burner Jetboil and Eureka stoves. For commercial outfitters or large outdoor groups, the Jetlink is a very useful, innovative feature that really helps the Genesis stand out.
Fuel control valves rest along the bottom of each burner housing, rubber straps hold the stove together during transport in the included carry bag.
Setup & Use
To get cooking with the Genesis Basecamp, disconnect the two rubber straps holding it together, unfold the burners, and connect the fuel tube. Then, turn a fuel dial to the left and push the adjacent piezo lever to ignite the burner.
The fuel dials are small and their surrounding inset makes them difficult to manipulate with cold weather mittens or gloves. This is compounded by their placement on the stove base and consequently, whatever surface on which the stove is resting.
The large burner grates and lack of windscreens allow the Genesis to accommodate large pots and pans, which makes using long cookware handles and utensils easier, too. There’s nothing overly unique about operating the Genesis Basecamp, and it shuts down and folds up in seconds.
Guide, writer, Truckee local, pub trivia host, and inventor of TripTarp®, Craig Rowe is the Gear Institute's chief stove and insulated jacket tester.