Update

This stove has been used extensively over the last eight months on my cycle from Canada to central America. I just wanted to say that this stove has worked flawlessly. It is robust and reliable. Exactly what you want when camping, especially in remoter areas. I always packed it away in the ‘toblerone’ container which fits inside my pan. The stabiliser arms which, in my initial review, I thought were a bit flimsy have been fine. No sign of damage or wear.

Gas was easy to find in Canada and the USA, and in Mexico you could buy gas in the larger cities at the sports store Marti.

There were a few times when boiling the water seemed to take a long time, but these were limited to when the canister was getting empty and it was particularly cold (camping in Utah in November we experienced temperatures down to -13C/9F). I didn’t think about it at the time, but there are things you can do to improve gas stove performance in cold weather – such as keeping the canister warm by having it in your sleeping bag (but not while cooking obviously)!

Initial Review

When I first received the MSR Pocket Rocket stove, I couldn’t quite believe just how small it is. The red plastic storage box it comes in is tiny… Think five triangles of a Toblerone bar and that’s it. I’m pretty sure this Pocket Rocket stove is going to last longer than any chocolate bar though! (And my history with camping stoves is not great – having got through 4 of them on my 20 month cycle ride through Africa).

It took 2mins 15secs to boil half a litre of water indoors. So MSR‘s claim that it takes 3mins 30 to boil a litre of water is not unreasonable.

The stabiliser arms are in the flame and were soon glowing red, but that’s nothing to worry about. It did take a few minutes for them to cool down once the stove was turned off. But it would be cool enough to pack back in the case by the time you’ve drunk a coffee or eaten.

The stove itself is very easy to use. Just take it out of the box, open up the three stabiliser arms, make sure the flame adjuster is closed, screw onto a gas canister and you’re ready to go. Then just turn the flame adjuster and light it.

I took the stove outside and placed a 1.5litre pan on top. It looks a bit top-heavy and on the uneven grass, I wouldn’t want to leave it long.

However, the stove is very lightweight. Together with the protective red case, it weighs only 110g. The small MSR canisters weigh 225g. Since the local camping store didn’t stock MSR ones, I bought a Primus brand instead, which worked fine.

The three stabiliser arms seem a little flimsy and I think they could easily be damaged if mis-handled. So it will definitely be necessary to pack the stove in the red case when not using it. Having said that, I am sure they are strong enough to take the weight of a pan plus water, which is what they’re designed to do.

Overall, I think this is going to be a great stove for my next trip. I don’t cook all the time so the fact it is lightweight and compact is great. It is definitely the perfect size for making coffee in the morning, and I’m sure it’ll do the job of cooking up a bowl of pasta when needed.

I’ll update the review once I’m using it regularly…