I have been curious about the Jetboil ever since I first saw them advertised in a magazine and, as a self-confessed foodie, I am always on the lookout for ways to cook fast and have minimal dishes to clean in the wild. In the past, we have used a trangia for most of our preparing while hiking, which has been great but can take up the room, carrying fuel and matches, and to be honest, is a bit overkill when all you want is a hot cup of tea!
The Jetboil Flash is a personal cooking system, and Steve and I have been standing in multiple outdoor retailers for the past few months and eyeing them off, trying to decide how badly we wanted/needed one. It was late on a Friday night before a weekend of chasing that we finally gave in – but then came the next point of indecision – which type of Jetboil will best fill our outdoor-hot-beverage void?
We stood in the store reading reviews comparing the Zip and the Flash, and trying to decide which one deserved our hard earned dollars. The benefit of the Flash is that it comes with a push-button igniter, heat indicator and increased volume compared to the Zip, which is the model down in the range. Do we need that extra volume? Well, in the end, the heat indicator and easy to use push button igniter won us over to spend a bit extra on the Flash, and that extra volume has been quite useful as well. The heat indicator is an excellent design as it changes colour as it warms up which signals when the Jetboil is ready and hot, this means no uncertainty if the water is hot enough – and there is less chance of burning myself.
Jetboil Flash heat indicator
It all packs down into itself – so it’s perfect to fit in a small day pack and won’t weigh down your hiking bag with heaps of different bits and pieces. We realised after our transaction that we’ve purchased a 230g fuel canister, which worked fine, but if you are buying a 100g fuel can, it conveniently fits into the Flash for more comfortable carrying.
On the trail, the Jetboil was easy to set up and boiled water for our tea in just over two minutes. The Jetboil Flash’s cooking cup clips onto the burner, preventing spills while out on your travels. It also comes with a fuel canister tripod which balances the rig while cooking, giving us confidence it wasn’t going to fall over on us. It makes a distinctly ‘jet-like’ noise while in action which can be a bit disconcerting, but it is definitely doing its job well. The yellow indicator panel on the side is really clear, and it isn’t lying about the temperature inside.
Another thing we were worried about is how you pour the water out without burning yourself, but by clipping the plastic cover back over the gas burner, you can avoid touching any potential hot parts of the burner.
A hot cup of tea is no longer only the domain of the kitchen and kettle, we are happy to travel with the JetBoil flash, and bring it on everything from long hiking trips to afternoon picnics.