Jetboil Flash Review

We tested the Jetboil Flash and this is our verdict.

August 16, 2022
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The iconic Jetboil Flash is famous for being a simple stove system that efficiently boils water in record time. The integrated stove-and-pot design is not the lightest combo on the market though.

Product Overview

PROS:

✅ Fast boil time

✅ Fuel-efficient

✅ Packable design

✅ Heat indicator on coozie

CONS:

❌ Simmer control is limited

❌ Had high altitude problems with lighting and staying lit

KEY SPECS

  • Weight: 13.1 ounces (includes pot and other accessories)
  • Price: $114.95
  • Fuel Type: Isobutane-propane fuel canisters
  • Pot Liquid Capacity: 1 Liter
  • Average Boil Time (2 cups): 108 seconds

Our Conclusion:

The Jetboil Flash is an affordable option for those who are looking to save fuel and space in their pack. I would recommend this system to anyone who likes to move fast and keep their pack light by not carrying extra fuel.

If you are wanting to do more cooking, sautéing veggies, simmering rice, or making bacon and eggs then this is not the stove for you. Also if your goal is ultralight then there are lighter options out there, such as an MSR pocket rocket and a titanium cook pot.


Performance Test Results

jetboil flash performance scores

Weight: 8/10

Weighing in at 13.1 ounces, while not ultralight, The Flash is lighter than most other systems in the Jetboil lineup. Compared to other similar cooking systems like the MSR Reactor (19 ounces) and the MSR WindBurner (15.5 ounces), the Flash is the lightest.

jetboil flash
The Jetboil Flash, including the pot and other accessories, weighs 13.1 ounces

To save even more weight you could always leave the stabilizer legs, lid, and bottom cup at home.

Burners sold by themselves, like the Soto Amicus or MSR Pocket Rocket are a lighter option, just under 3 ounces, but with these, you will still need a cook pot. The 1-liter pots seem to average around 7-9 ounces, adding up to around 10-12 ounces.

jetboil flash

Packability: 9/10

One of the benefits of buying an integrated cooking system is having a kit that is designed to fit perfectly together. This version of the Jetboil does this exceedingly well. Packed up the kit measures 7.1 x 4.1 inches. When packed away you can fit the Jetboil burner, stabilizer legs, and 100g fuel canister inside the cook pot, protected by the bottom bowl and top lid.

hiker packing jetboil flash

Other similar kits won't fit the fuel canister inside the pot, making for just one more thing floating around in your pack.

Inside your pack, you can easily fit it in the main compartment, even in a mesh outside pocket, or even in the bottle holder pockets on the side of your pack.

jetboil flash in a mesh outside a bag
The Jetboil Flash can fit in your pack easily. It can even fit in your pack's bottle holder!

Other cook kits I've used consisted of everything just put into a sack to keep them together. My one complaint is that the bottom cover/bowl only attaches loosely to the pot and is prone to falling off.

jetboil flash

Price: 9/10

Compared to similar cook systems the Jetboil Flash is one of the lowest options in the price range. In the Jetboil family, there is only one other system that is cheaper, and it beats out the price of other integrated systems from other brands as well. When you are making your decision keep in mind these “cook systems” aren't just a burner, you're getting a pot, bowl, and more.

jetboil flash

The Flash gives you a pretty great value for the price. Sure you're trading off simmering ability, but how many of us have the energy to cook up a nice meal at the end of a long day on the trail anyway?

food

With other burner-only stoves, you'll still have to buy a pot and possibly a bowl too. However, if you already have a nice ultralight kitchen setup you might save yourself some weight and money by buying an ultralight burner.

hiker eating from jetboil flash

Stability: 8/10

There are two things that make the Jetboil Flash quite stable: The foldable legs that attach to the bottom of your fuel canister and the interlocking burner and pot. When everything is locked in together you can actually lift the entire system up by the pot and move it around if needed.

foldable legs
The attachable foldable legs of Jetboil Flash.

While the stabilizing legs are not necessary, they do make a noticeable difference. If you are looking for even more stability a hanging kit is available from Jetboil to hang the kit inside your tent while you cook.

hiker using jetboil flash

Ease of Use: 5/10

When everything is working as it should, the Jetboil Flash is very easy to use. Just connect it to the fuel, turn it on, light it and add the pot with water. I own a Jetboil Flash and this is how easy mine operates every time. I however had some troubles with the model I tested (Jetboil was very willing to inspect and replace this model).

hiker setting up jetboil flash

Sometimes it was not able to light using the push button and having the burner get blown out more than once in light wind. When I looked into this further it seems a lot of people have this problem. Each time I had these problems it was at a higher elevation, once at 9,000 and again at 11,400 feet.

hiker with jetboil flash

The first problem was solved by luckily having a backup emergency lighter to ignite the burner. Then shielding the burner from the wind, either by hand or cooking in the tent vestibule seemed to help somewhat to keep the flame from getting blown out.

jetboil flash

Another minor worry was if you set it down in sand or gravel the base of the FluxRing pot will pick up a lot of debris that you will have to be careful to shake out before putting it on the burner. I worry loose sand and dirt could accidentally clog up the burner if you're not careful.

jetboil in gravel

The deep sides of the Flash make it very packable. However, the sides being deep can make it difficult to eat out of unless you have a long spoon, and it's difficult to clean for the same reason. Like everything in life, there's a tradeoff. Why can't we just have it all…

hiker eating from jetboil flash

The coozie is a really nice feature allowing you to hold the pot directly and warm your cold hands, and it also has a fabric handle. Its built-in heat indicator is something I hope they include in all future Jetboil coozies. It's really nice to have an easy visual reminder that your water is ready before it starts to really boil. No need to waste fuel.

coozie

It boils enough water to make the 2 portion dehydrated backpacker meals, so it's suitable for cooking for 2 people. Potentially more but I never used it for more than two.

dehydrated food

I am happy with the size of the 1 Liter cook pot, most dehydrated backpacking meals need about 2-3 cups of water (or .5-.7 liters) to cook, which leaves a little extra water for a hot beverage with dinner or breakfast.

jetboil flash

Simmer Control: 4/10

While it is possible to reduce the heat on the Jetboil Flash, it's very tricky to do since it doesn't have a fuel regulator. You can tell that simmering is not an intended use for this product. You can turn down the dial to decrease the heat, but it's difficult to do before it just shuts off.

jetboil flash

For me, this was never a problem because I generally avoid meals that require long cooking times as a way to save fuel, and therefore weight. Typically, all I bring on a multiple-day hike are foods that either don't need, water, or just need hot water added, i.e. instant coffee, dehydrated meals, and powdered beverages.

hiker drinking from jetboil flash

Pot heat distribution: 5/10

Since the purpose of the Jetboil Flash isn't so much to cook food as to boil water I consider pot heat distribution as a low priority.

jetboil flash

The cook pot is made from anodized aluminum. The heat gets sent to the outer edges of the pot because of the FluxRing design which makes it heat up there first and makes a cooler spot in the middle.

jetboil flash

This is only really a problem if you are cooking on lower heat and trying to cook food evenly, and if that's your goal you might want to look into another system like the MiniMo.

jetboil flash

Fuel Efficiency: 10/10

The fuel efficiency of Jetboil systems benefits from their FluxRing cooking cups, which increase the surface area heated by the flame, transferring it more quickly to the water. The advertised time to boil is 100 seconds which I found to be accurate for 2 cups of water in a windless warm room. If you stop when the indicator turns red, then it saves even more fuel.

fuel

I tested my Jetboil Flash indoors with no wind at 75°F at 4,150 feet elevation, with the burner on its highest setting and these are the times I got:

Time to Color Indicator Time to Rolling Boil
2 Cups 1 min 6 sec 1 min 38 sec
1 Liter 2 min 3 sec 3 min 45 sec

The indicator activates when the water is just starting to form small bubbles and steam. While the water at this point isn't quite at 212°F, it is hot enough to make a coffee or re-hydrate a backpacker meal. If I'm in the backcountry trying to conserve fuel on a longer trip this is when I would typically take the heat off and now I have a visual reminder that the water is ready.

jetboil flash

While I didn't thoroughly test how long a 100g fuel canister would last with the Flash, others have already done this, and at least in the Jetboil lineup, it looks like the Flash is the fastest boiler, and the most fuel-efficient. Here's the article if you care to read up on it.

jetboil flash

Keep in mind things like wind, cold temperatures, and high elevation can affect boil times. When testing the Jetboil outdoors on a cold and windy trip recently, I found myself having to re-light the Jetboil Flash more than once.

lighting jetboil flash

Features: 8/10

The Jetboil Flash system really packs in a lot of features into a compact package. Working up from the bottom it has stabilizer legs that attach to your small and large fuel canisters. There is a bottom cover that doubles as a bowl, measuring, or drinking cup.

jetboil flash

Pot Features

  • Lid - comes with a strainer and drinking spout
  • Pot - is made from anodized aluminum. It's wrapped in a coozie which lets you hold the cook pot barehanded right after cooking. The coozie also has a fabric handle and a built-in indicator to show when your water is hot. The pot base also has the FluxRing base to increase heat induction
pot features

Burner Features

  • Burner - has a foldaway twist knob to turn the gas off and on. The burner includes a push button lighter, which again I had difficulty with at high elevation, so a backup lighter is a good idea. The pot and burner also interlock with each other, making them more stable.
burner features

I found myself wishing there was a way to attach a long-handled spoon to the kit, so I could have everything in one place.

hiker using jetboil flash

Jetboil also has various separate accessories available including folding utensils, a pan-style cooktop, and a hanging kit that lets you hang the system from inside a tent. This is useful if you're big wall climbing, or just need to cook inside the tent due to high wind.

jetboil flash

Other Similar Integrated Cook Systems

Brand & Model Weight Fuel Type Pot Liquid Capacity Average Boil Time Price
Camp Chef Stryker (Multi-Fuel) 19.4oz Isobutane, Propane 1.5L 5min 38sec/L $149
Primus Lite+ 14oz Isobutane, Propane, Butane 1L 2min 45sec/.5L $120
MSR WindBurner 15.3oz Canister 1L 4min 30sec/L $159
MSR Reactor 14.6oz Isobutane 1L 3min 30sec/L $249
JetBoil MiniMo 14.6oz Canister 1L 4min/L $155

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Dana Felthauser photo

About Dana Felthauser

Dana Felthauser is a climber who has thru-hiked the Annapurna Circuit Trek and Jiri-San mountains in Korea. He has climbed El Capitan over 4.5 days and summitted over 300 peaks.


About Greenbelly

After thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail, Chris Cage created Greenbelly to provide fast, filling and balanced meals to backpackers. Chris also wrote How to Hike the Appalachian Trail.

Stoveless Backpacking Meals
  • 650-Calorie Fuel
  • No Cooking
  • No Cleaning