JETBOIL STASH COOKING SYSTEM
Light. Compact. Hot. Quick.
Words: Dan Slater
(This story originally featured in Wild #179)
In 2003, US brand Jetboil burst onto the stove scene with their revolutionary Personal Cooking System (PCS). Even though the original design—featuring a heat exchanger, insulated one-person cup and integrated burner head—was a huge success and spawned many variations, it seemed inevitable the company would eventually diverge into other stove types. Their initial foray into the more common standalone burner head was the 95g MightyMo, and then in February 2021, their latest unit, a mash-up of the two, arrived in Aussie stores.
The 200g Stash is Jetboil’s latest attempt to pack a versatile stove into the smallest setup possible. On paper, they’ve succeeded. The Stash is a non-integrated, screw-in gas canister stove that, unlike the MightyMo, comes with its own 800ml pot (with 250/500/750ml gradations). That’s generally enough for one to two dehydrated meals, depending on the size. A 100g gas canister can be stored upside down in the pot, locking into catches on the underside of the lid. This prevents scratching and leaves room for the (folded) stove, a pot support and I also squeezed in my washing sponge and drying rag. A small cigarette lighter will fit in the concave base of the inverted canister, which is nifty, although there wasn’t room for a backup ignition source.
In terms of weight, Jetboil claim to have the lightest comparable stove system. The kit comes in at 200g, comprising of the 120g anodized aluminium pot and the 80g stove, which has a titanium burner head and aluminium arms. NB The plastic pot support isn’t included in this calculation; it adds roughly 30g. By comparison, the MSR PocketRocket 2 Mini Stove Kit weighs 278g with an 800ml pot, and the Optimus Crux Weekend set tips the scales at 358g, with a 950ml pot (and second pot/lid). You could get a lighter cooking method, such as the Evernew Titanium Alcohol Stove, Trivet and Titanium pot at 165g, but that’s a whole different kettle of fish.
In an echo of Jetboil’s original integrated system, the burner arms are grooved to accept the heat exchanger on the pot’s base, which notches smoothly into those grooves for excellent stability—you won’t need to hold nervously onto the silicone pot handle while stirring your soup, fearing it might slide off. Speaking of stability, the folding pot support has a little silicone pad on each foot, in case your only flat surface is a slippery rock. Nice touch.
The Stash is classified as a Fast Boil system, meaning it’s intended to boil water quickly for your dehydrated packet meals. The advertised boil time is 2m30s for 500ml. In my test it performed better: 2 minutes dead, on full blast, lid on, with room temperature tap water. Under the same conditions, the Crux pipped it with 1m45s, but then it does boast more than double the output, 12,000 BTU/hr vs the Stash’s 4,500 BTU/hr. The latter seems to be punching above its weight. To dismiss the Stash as a blowtorch though is unjust; in the field I cooked a dehydrated Strive Food Laksa, which required five minutes of simmering. It wasn’t hard to reduce the flame enough for this purpose, and it came out delicious. Jetboil isn’t making any such simmering claims in its marketing, which is somewhat understandable, but rest assured—you can use it for gourmet meals as well as tea-boiling duties.
Are there any downsides to the Stash? Well, not really. More like suggested improvements. There’s no wind barrier or igniter, but those aren’t deal breakers. There’s no lip on the pot, but the lid has a good pouring hole, (although this stops short of a full set of straining holes, which ironically would have made it lighter). Most of all, I’d suggest including a bag for the pot. While not strictly necessary, this would protect other gear from the residual dirt and sharp-ish edges of the heat exchanger. A bag that doubles as a washing-up bowl would be a great idea, and besides, people love having the perfect little bag for their gear. I certainly do!
So, a win for Jetboil? I think so. The Stash is light, compact, stable, can boil at speed or simmer like a good thriller. All you need now is $250
NEED TO KNOW
Product class: Non-integrated canister stove system
BTU: 4500 BTU/h
500ml boil time (claimed): 2m:30s
500ml boil time (tested): 2m:00s
Dimensions (packed): 112mm x 130mm
Where to buy: Contact your local stockist or Sea to Summit on (08) 9221 6617