Jetboil PCS Vs MSR Pocket Rocket

jetboil-flash-stove Vs msr-pocket-rocket-stove


Comparing between MSR pocket rocket and jetboil Personal Cooking System.

To begin with, some basic facts on the two:

Jetboil PCS

Jetboil pcs (which nowadays comes in the flash addition) is Jetboil's basic cooking kit. It's a nice kit, build of a burner that can be stored inside the unique mug that serves as the cooking pot too.
The big idea is the special pot, that got these fins welded to its bottom. The fins absorb lots of the heat from the flame that runs under it. The pot is also designed to block the wind in some manner. The windshield also helps to keep more of the heat for cooking instead of just being wasted to the free air. What you get is a cooking kit with much higher efficiency than the average stove+pot combination.
The way I see it, the main disadvantage of the Jetboil is that you have to get it as a kit and use it as a kit. Another issue with it, is that it is not suited for simmer and for wide pots.

More on Jetboil PCS

MSR Pocket Rocket

The pocket rocket, on the other hand, is an ultralight gas stove, meant for ultralight backpacking but can be great in many other opportunities. For me, the pocket rocket is a simple, robust and reliable stove. You can use it with any pot or pan, it weighs around 3Oz and folds quite compact. It is far more versatile than the Jetboil.
If we want to have a fair comparison, I think we should look at it along with a pot. MSR got this Ti pot that is meant to go along with the Pocket rocket. Just like the Jetboil, this pot can store the burner and the canister. This is the pot I suggest (for the sake of comparing, that is.): 0.85 liter pot by MSR: http://www.rei.com/product/649902
An even better offer I have is to go for the 1 liter pot by Primus  . It got them fins on the bottom, and it comes with a dedicated lid. It really boosts up the efficiency.

More on  the Pocket Rocket...

Comparing the two

Price

At the basic, the MSR burner is around 40$. The Jetboil kit is around 100$. On the one hand, if you'll add a pot to the MSR kit we'll also get to around 100$. On the other hand, if you got some pots at home, you can keep on using them and save the money. Win by points to MSR

Weight

The Jetboil kit is around 15Oz. The Pocket rocket burner is 3Oz. Adding the pot (10.4Oz) gets you to 13.4Oz. Not a big difference, but same goes here, you can get a lighter pot... Win by points to MSR

Performance

Both stoves will boil the water pretty fast, but this is not the point... The point is, that Jetboil will do it with half the fuel... On a single canister, you can boil twice as much water, which might be significant on a few days hike. BTW, I think that using the Primus pot will close the gap  a bit. Win by points for Jetboil.
Another big difference is handling winds. Both stoves will keep on running in the wind. The thing is, that with the MSR, most of the heat will blow in the wind unlike the Jetboil that absorbs most of the heat in windy usage too. Win by KO for Jetboil.


Some easy cases to choose:

  • You simply have to simmer: Go for the pocket rocket
  • Expecting often winds: Go for the Jetboil
  • Going ultralight? Go for the MSR
  • You have this pot at home you want to keep on using? Go for the Pocket Rocket.


Bottom line?

On most cases, I'd recommend the MSR. Go for the Jetboil kit if the look does it for you (It is colorful, after all...). On most cases, if the winds are moderate, hiding the MSR behind some rock or your backpack should be enough to overcome this issue.

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