UPDATE 2 – The Winehiker did some research into the much acclaimed JETBOIL stoves. His conclusion:
Until JetBoil and other campstove manufacturers adopt product policies that incorporate zero waste and a more open design approach to fuel type, canister reuse, and fuel distribution systems, I cannot in good conscience buy or endorse their nonrefillable products.
Dropping the eco-ball: camp stove manufacturers – Winehiker
UPDATE 1 – after a couple of trips with my new Jetboil Personal Cooking System my experience is “thumbs up”. It’s the easiest stove I have ever used.
A couple of cautions though. Do NOT fill the pot above the “fill line”. If it boils over you are in trouble since the pot is physically attached to the stove.
Also, I found it very difficult to find fuel canisters, even in large cities. And since I was flying between destinations I had big problems. You need small canisters with valves made to the EN417 specification. Only JETBOIL and Snowpeak canisters fit, so far as I know.
The JETBOIL website is not exactly up front on this point. Bad JETBOIL.
=== original post July 14, 2006
Upstart JETBOIL took the Backpacker magazine award for best stove in 2006.
I went to order their Group Cooking System with 1.5 Liter Cooking Pot from Amazon. Built-in igniter, 1.5 liter pot, weight 1lb 3oz. Packed size: 7 x 4.5 inches.
Ultra-efficient, it looks great. (Note: it still suffers the same decrease in performance in cold weather as other propane / iso-butane canister stoves. You are advised to keep the fuel in your sleeping bag at night.)
Problem. Amazon will not ship this product to Canada. When I contacted the manufacturer they told me they have not yet found a distributor.
3 Replies to “JETBOIL cooking system – update”
Rick, I’ve camped with others who really love this system too. They certainly can put a hot steaming mug of highly-caffeinated goodness in my hand quickly on a cold winter morning.
I, however, being more of a car camper, do not buy disposable/nonrefillable products if I can help it — clogs the landfills and enlarges the aggregate ecological footprint, you know — so I’ve not gone the JetBoil route to date.
I’ve just contacted JetBoil to see if their products can connect to a larger fuel distribution system, i.e., a one-gallon propane tank, and basically to inquire as to whether they have plans to make a reusable/refillable fuel container. I’ll follow up.
Very good point which I had not considered.
In Canada our main outfitter is Mountain Equipment Co-op (the best gear store in the world, I feel) which has a special recycling program just for spent fuel canisters.
The FREE program is well known and well used. I collect empties myself at the end of hikes and bring them in for the group.
That said, refillable systems are generally more ecologically friendly. When someone invents a good one … I will switch.
Hiker Rick, disgruntled former WhisperLite owner
Rick, I wrote JetBoil and asked the question, “Do you plan to produce a fuel canister that is refillable, and can the JetBoil connect to a larger fuel distribution system such as a one-gallon propane tank?”
I just received the following response from Kristin Headley at JetBoil Customer Service:
“At this time our canisters are not refillable. However the canisters
can be recycled anywhere that will recycle steel products. When
recycling we do recommend that you puncture the canisters before sending
them to be recycled. This can be done with a common can opener.”
Her response is quite disappointing in that it tells me nothing I don’t already know, plus it evades the questions I asked her. Apparently JetBoil does not plan to adopt a universal system that allows for reuse.
Boo on JetBoil!