JetBoil Flash

By Harlan Price

The JetBoil Flash is the updated version of their classic PCS model, which was introduced to me by a friend who used it to make French pressed coffee post-ride. I think my heart was taken then. JetBoil has staked its reputation on making a super efficient, portable camp cooking system, and has become popular amongst the outdoory types since its inception.

The most revolutionary feature of the JetBoil system is the efficiency with which it boils water. You can expect to boil at a rate of about a minute a cup. For some reason there is a “Max Safe Fill” line only half way up the inside of the Flash’s container. I suppose that is the legal limit, but if you follow that guideline you’ll only be making two cups at a time.

In order to update an already popular product, JetBoil gave the PCS a makeover and added a few usability tweaks. The new insulator comes in four colors and features a gel that changes colors when your water reaches a temperature around 140 degrees Fahrenheit. The lid is see through and has a hole to allow the user to drink directly from the cup and makes it easy to pour water with control. On the outside is a strap to slip your hand through to make handling easy while being protected by the insulating cover. They also redesigned the piezoelectric igniter to protect it from rough travel.

One of the coolest things about the JetBoil is its self-contained designed.When not in use everything fits inside and a plastic protector that doubles as a cup, covers the heat exchanger on the bottom. For fuel, the Flash uses isobutane/propane canisters from JetBoil. I hear you can use canisters from other makers that have the Lindal-valved connection, but the canisters will not fit inside the Flash as seamlessly as the one from JetBoil. It’s good to know that if you are stuck without a JetBoil fuel source, there are other options.

Accessories available for the JetBoil include a hanging strap, pans, pots and a coffee press for that French style coffee. A neat little trick I found was that I could take my home French press plunger and use it in my Flash if I fluffed out the wire filter and pressed slowly.

Overall the JetBoil is a great traveling companion and compact style helps keep a camping trip or long distance travel less cluttered. The Flash retails for $99.95 without a fuel canister (about $4.99ea). www.jetboil.com

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