2023 Jetboil Cooking Systems: Which One is Right for You?

I like organisation. So when Jetboil came out with a 'nesting' system that also promised highly efficient boiling times. I was immediately interested. Sure, my PocketRocket is like a little blowtorch of a cooker, and I have a nice system that all fits together - but - you know - new shiny things! To have everything working together, optimised for boil times, and with an optional coffee-making system! Genius!

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Initially, it was just one model; now, there are multiples – with slight specialisations that are important to understand. This article gives you a quick overview of how the Jetboil system works and guides you to the correct model for your use.

Key Features of Jetboil Cooking Systems

So, what makes Jetboil systems truly stand out? Don’t worry, dear readers; the good news is that I have crunched the details – so you don’t have to! Let’s dive in. 

There are a few key features that all Jetboil cooking systems have in common which assert their dominance in the tramping cooking system market:

  • Hyperefficient heat transfer: This is where Jetboil systems shine. They have integrated pot and burner designs, which direct the heat straight into the pot (and not into the chilly air around your site). This means faster boil times and less gas used – essential for long treks where every ounce of backpack weight counts!
  • Compact design: Space is at a premium when you’re out in the wild, and Jetboil gets that. With every part designed to nest within the pot, their cooking systems are compact, easy to pack, and won’t take up precious backpack real estate.
  • Easy to use: Jetboil designs their appliances with ease of use in mind, from instant ignition (no need for matches) to easy-adjust heat controls. Everyone loves a hot meal after a long day’s hike – even those of us who are slightly technophobic! Those are the common features but keep in mind each model has its unique attributes – like the lightweight minimalist design of the Jetboil Zip or the larger capacity of the Jetboil Minimo. Those are the kinds of details we should delve deeper into!  We aren’t leaving you high and dry trying to figure it all out. As is customary, we are here to help decipher it all. Stay tuned for a detailed comparison of the latest models, complete with potential scenarios where each one might shine. We promise it’ll make you more prepared for your next tramping adventure!

Comparing the 2023 Jetboil Cooking Systems

Let’s delve into the specifics of the 2023 Jetboil cooking systems models; more specifically, we’ll be looking at the Zip, Flash 2.0, MicroMo, MiniMo, Sumo,  and Stash Cooking System

ModelUnique FeaturesReasons to chooseWater CapacityPacked WeightRegulatorSimmer Control 
ZipSmall size, simple design.Best for solo trekkers on quick trips.0.8 litres340gYesNo
Flash 2.0Thermochromatic, colour-change heat Indicator.Best for immediate visual feedback and precision.1 litre370gYesNo
MicroMoLightest with simmer control.Great for the weight-conscious gourmet backpacker.0.8 litres340gYesYes
MiniMoPerfect for gourmet cooking with a controlled simmer.An all-in-one integrated system, ultralight.1 litre415gYesYes
SumoLarge capacity, good for group cooking.Excellent for small groups needing to boil lots of water.1.8 litres496gYesYes
Stash Cooking SystemAll-in-one integrated system, ultralight.Ideal for those looking to carry as little weight as possible.0.8 litres200gYesNo

If the goal is to tread lightly on your trek, you might want to glance towards the Zip model of Jetboil’s 2023 offerings. Small and minimalist in design, the Zip is designed with solo travellers in mind – it’s perfect for those quick trips when all you need is a reliable hot drink or single-serving ‘boil in a bag’ or dehydrated meal. Ideal for the minimalist backpacker who values simplicity and efficiency above all. 

The Flash 2.0 model, while slightly heavier than the Zip, offers a touch of technological brilliance. The unique thermochromatic colour-change heat indicator is your cooking coach – a glance can tell you exactly how hot your meal is. This model is well-suited for those who appreciate instant feedback on their cooking. Perhaps you’re a precise cook or love a gadget; this could be your choice. 

Are you meticulous about what’s in your backpack, yet refuse to compromise on flavour? The MicroMo may be your perfect companion. Exceptionally lightweight with precise simmer control, this model is an excellent fit for any weight-conscious backpacker who still loves a gourmet meal at the end of a long day. Just because you’re on the trail doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy great food, right? 

The MiniMo ranks a bit higher in weight but has seen some thoughtful redesign. With an improved valve design and cooking cup, it offers a controlled simmer for the gourmet cook in disguise. If you like to flex your cooking muscles even while camping, then the MiniMo is the Jetboil model to consider. This is the perfect system for those who don’t want their culinary creativity to be limited by their camping gear

If you’re the designated cook for a small group, though, the Sumo is tailored to meet your needs. With its large capacity, it’s optimized for group cooking, making it that much easier to provide hot meals or drinks for your entire crew. Solo adventurers might find it more than they need, but if you regularly find yourself cooking for several people at a time, the Sumo is well worth a look. 

Finally, if the main aim is to reduce as much weight as possible while staying self-sufficient, the Stash Cooking System is ahead of the pack in the 2023 range. An integrated all-in-one system that screams ‘ultralight’, the Stash is a one-step solution for any hiker where every gram matters. With the Stash in your pack, you’re making a declaration: light load, high mobility, no compromises.

What is a regulator?

A regulator, in the realm of gas-powered camp stoves like the Jetboils we’re chatting about, is kind of like the traffic controller of fuel flow. Imagine a road with cars zooming down it willy-nilly. Without traffic lights (our gas regulator here), there would be chaos. A regulator ensures  the fuel, or cars in our scenario, gets to the burner (the final destination) in a controlled and steady way. This helps to ensure an optimal performance in the Jetboil stoves, regardless of the fuel amount or the weather conditions.

This also means that if you’re out venturing in chilly conditions or your fuel canister is running on empty, you won’t see a significant drop off in performance. Your Jetboil is still going to get you that hot cup of cocoa at the end of a long day. The regulator is a tiny yet crucial part of the Jetboil system, ensuring consistent stove performance regardless of the weather or fuel level.

You see, the gas regulator has a certain ‘gatekeeper’ quality about it. Its prime function is to control the pressure of the gas as it travels from the canister to the stove. Imagine it like this: without a regulator, the gas is a herd of overexcited sheep rushing out of a gate. The resultant chaos can lead to inconsistent heating and inefficient fuel use. By contrast, a regulator acts as a shepherd guiding these metaphorical sheep at a steady pace, providing a consistent flame regardless of fuel level or environmental conditions. 

But how does this translate into better gas flow? Well, gas – just like any other material- behaves differently under different temperature conditions. In low temperatures, its pressure decreases. Hence, if you are out up in the frosty mountaintops, without a regulator, your stove might not perform as expected. It’s the hard truth that we all discovered in our early days of tramping. But chuck a regulator into the mix, and voila! It maintains a steady gas flow by compensating for the lower pressure, so even at freezing temperatures, your stove doesn’t falter. It’s a game-changer, truly. 

Now, as with most things in life, there are some limitations to the magic of regulators. The higher you go, the less they can compensate for the thin air. However, within typical tramping altitudes, you can expect a consistent output, regardless of conditions, resulting in a trusty Jetboil experience I’m sure you’re eager to have!

How does it differ across 2023 models? 

So now you’re thinking, “Great, but how does this play into my decision about which 2023 model to buy?” Firstly, let me tell you, you’re asking all the right questions. Here’s the inside scoop on what you need to know: 

  • Jetboil Flash and Zip 2.0 : These units do have a regulator, but it’s a more basic version. It’ll still do the job of keeping your fuel flow steady, but might not provide as much control as the models that come with an advanced regulator.
  • Jetboil Minimo, MicroMo and Sumo: These models sport an advanced regulator offering a wider range of heat options. This is perfect if you’re looking to whip up more than a simple boil-in-the-bag meal.
  • Jetboil Stash: This unit saves weight by not having a regulator on it.

The ‘Advanced Regulator’ – i.e. Simmer Control

Allow me to introduce you to the ‘Advanced Regulator’ A.K.A Simmer Control. This amazing feature isn’t just a fancy term that Jetboil threw into the mix, it’s a kitchen on the go. You’re probably thinking, ‘Simmer control? How does that work on a camping stove?’ Fair enough question.

Simmer control is essentially about finely adjusting the intensity of the flame. Where a basic regulator only gives you an small amount of control, and generally not much on the lower side of things, an advanced regulator like Jetboil’s allows you to control the intensity of the heat that your cooking system produces, kind of like your kitchen stove’s knob control. This means you can simmer your tomato soup without scorching the bottom. 

When it comes to the 2023 line-up of Jetboil systems, there are three models – the Minimo, the MicroMo and Sumo – come equipped with this premium feature. If you’re someone who cooks a range of dishes while camping or has a knack for slow-cooked meals, this feature is a godsend. 

Not only does this allow for more precise cooking, but it also delivers fuel efficiency.

Boiling Water vs Cooking in a Pot

It’s important to understand a fundimental ‘usuage’ differnce between the options. Unregulated or, basic regulation really leans itself towards boiling water (it’s hard to burn!) or boil in a bag type cooking. Essentially, the Jetboil concept was originaly focused on quickly and effiecntly boiling water that you would then use to rehydrate your meals.

However, as Jetboil expanded its offerings, they recognised that trampers often prefer simmer-like cooking. And thus, they introduced models with ‘Advanced Regulators’. These provide stable, controllable heat down for a more controlled, even flame which simmers rather than basically ‘full-bore’ or ‘off’.

Comparing the Stash to the rest of the range

So, now let’s throw the spotlight onto the Jetboil Stash and see how it pegs against the rest of the range, shall we? One of the outstanding characteristics of the Stash is its lightweight attribute, and this lighter weight is primarily due to the reduced fuel flow it sports. 

Because it doesn’t have a regular, the design results in the Jetboil Stash having a slower gas flow rate, which results in a bit slower boiling times compared to the rest of the Jetboil models. While this might initially seem like a drawback, consider this. Lower fuel flow means slower boil times, but not necesarily worse fuel efficency. In essence, it gives you the advantage of a lighter backpack while not drastically affecting your cooking experience. 

I can hear the cogs whirring in your mind – you’re weighing the pros and cons, aren’t you? Well, slower boil times and a lightweight feature might seem conflicting at first. However, if you’re up for that longer-than-usual wait for a boiling cup of soup or coffee, and if a lighter pack is higher up on your priorities, the Stash could turn out to be your ideal cooking companion on the trail. 

In conclusion, while the Stash may boil your water for meals a tad slower, the trade-off comes with the significant benefit of reduced weight to carry. It extends an unmissable advantage to those hiking long distances or attempting to streamline their pack weight.

But wouldn’t an unregulated flow mean more gas and better flame?

Well, you might think that initially – I did too. But, in reality, unrestricted gas flow doesn’t guarantee a stronger flame. It’s all about control. 

Consider driving a car. If you consistently push the pedal to the metal, you’re not necessarily going to get the best performance. You’ll burn through fuel at an alarming rate, and in certain conditions, it could even be detrimental to your engine. It’s about finding the right balance

Similarly, in a Jetboil system, if gas flow is unregulated, there’s a higher chance of the flame being extinguished during windy conditions. You also can wave goodbye to any dreams of simmering your beans without scorching them. Not to mention, inefficient burning of fuel isn’t great for our dear Mother Nature. 

A regulator comes to the rescue in such scenarios. It allows for optimal gas flow, adjusting according to varying external factors such as temperature drop and fuel level. This ensures a consistent flame, better cooking control, and efficient fuel use.

Which one for you?

Making a choice between these stellar Jetboil systems is no easy feat, but it all boils down to your unique needs and preferences. If you’re a fan of lightweight equipment, and water-boiling speed isnt your ultimate priority, then the Jetboil Stash could be your perfect tramping buddy. It’s the lightest of the lot and, while it lacks an advanced regulator, its efficiency in boiling water is quite impressive.

However, if you fancy the idea of creating culinary delights on your adventures and appreciate precise control of your cooking flame, then the Jetboil systems equipped with the advanced regulators are the ones to consider. Having upgraded simmer control at hand opens up the door to a wider array of dishes you can whip up in the great outdoors

So, whether you’re looking to upgrade your current setup, or you’re purchasing a tramping cooking system for the first time, Jetboil offers options for everyone. Balance your needs with the features of these models, and you’ll find the perfect cooking companion for your outdoor adventures.