Whether you’re an avid backpacker or new to the experience, finding a way to carry all the essentials in your pack might be a challenge. Traveling across unstable terrain on foot means you need to keep your weight down, but won’t enjoy it if you don’t have access to a hot meal and clean drinking water on your journey.
Having a portable cooking device that can boil water quickly and store easily is a must-have for any backpacking outdoorsman. The MSR Pocket Rocket stove is a compact solution to your needs.
In this MSR Pocket Rocket review, we’ll look at the pros and cons of the stove and outline what you need to know before you buy.
Things to Consider Before Buying a Backpacking Stove
The Pocket Rocket Stove is a perfect portable cooking device for minimalist campers and backpackers. Its lightweight design will fit in any pack without adding unwanted bulk, and the fast-acting flame will prepare your boiled water or a hot meal in no time.
If you’re someone who likes more bells and whistles or you plan to cook larger meals while you camp, this might not be the right stove for you. Additionally, this small cooking surface is perfect for heating up a tea kettle or pot, but if you’re after grilled burgers and hot dogs, this isn’t a good solution.
Before buying, think about your camping style and make certain you fit into the minimalist backpacker category.
MSR Pocket Rocket Stove
The Stove is a 3-ounce gas-powered stove that can heat one liter of water to the boiling point in less than 3.5 minutes.
It has an adjustable flame allowing you to do everything from simmer to boil and includes a tri-sectional wind clip to protect your heat source from the elements. Designed with a minimalist backpacker in mind, the no-maintenance stove doesn’t require pressurizing or priming before use.
The recommended fuel is the MSR IsoPro canister, which is powered by an Isobutane mixture. However, if you’re looking for compatibility, you can use any canister with the industry standard LINDAL valve to power the stove.
- Very lightweight and about the size of your palm
- Simple to operate
- High heat output for fast boiling
- Control of the flame
- Wind shield boosts efficiency
- Very budget friendly, low-cost option
- Requires MSR IsoPro canister (sold separately)
- The long stem and uneven pot supports may create stability issues when cooking
Features and Benefits
The Pocket Rocket stove has an impressive array of features for such a small device. Here we’ll review its main components, and what they mean to you on your next trip.
Lightweight and Compact
Weighing in at 3 ounces, and measuring just 4 x 4 x 2 inches, the MSR Pocket Rocket is an excellent palm-sized companion that will fit easily into any pack without adding unwanted weight or bulk.
The Isobutane powered flame can boil 1 liter of water in less than 3.5 minutes. This means that after a long day of hiking, or if you’re cold and need something warm in your system right away, it will be ready quickly. Especially if you plan on camping in cold or harsh conditions, sometimes a hot cup of soup or tea can make a big difference in how you feel.
60-Minute Burn Time
Each canister delivered around one hour of flame and cook time. This makes it easy to plan and pack for your meals on the trail and means you won’t run out of fuel when you need it most.
The Pocket Rocket stove has a fully adjustable flame making it easy to use as much or as little heat as you require. While it’s wonderful to be able to boil water quickly, if you’re trying to heat up a meal that you want to eat right away, it’s helpful to be able to keep the temperature low enough that it won’t burn your mouth.
Wind Clip Wind Shield
Operating a small, single-burner portable stove can be difficult in adverse weather conditions. If the wind is whipping it might be difficult to control your flame. The MSR Pocket Rocket comes equipped with a clip-on windshield to help protect your flame to keep it burning hot and strong and maintain its efficiency in breezy conditions.
The beauty of the design is that it’s ready to go whenever you are. You won’t ever need to pressurize or prime your tank before lighting up and cooking your meal which saves time and energy at the end of a long day.
Alternative Minimalist Stoves
If you’re in the market for a minimalist stove you can use on your next backpacking adventure; the MSR Pocket Rocket isn’t the only one you can choose. Here are two other picks that might also meet your needs. We’ll discuss a few similarities and differences between the models. Be sure to check them out to pick which one is right for you.
This 4.1 x 7.1-inch cooking system weighs in at 15 ounces but has some extra components. When comparing the MSR Pocket Rocket vs. this Jetboil stove, you’ll find that they are both compact and portable, feature one-touch lighting, and have their windscreen.
However, the Jetboil Flash comes with its own FluxRing cooking cup. While the container is responsible for the added weight, it has some interesting features. Its neoprene lined and has a color change window that displays an alert when the contents are heated up.
The 1-liter cup connects directly to the Flash burner and minimizes the amount of heat that’s lost while cooking.
Also powered by its proprietary canister, this system boils 1/2 liter of water in 2 minutes and costs around twice what you’ll play for the MSR Pocket Rocket.
The MiniMo Personal Cooking System by Jetboil is the most expensive stove of the bunch. Weighing in at right around 1 pound total weight, this stove has all the bells and whistles making it an excellent choice if you want an efficient, portable campfire and you’re willing to pay for it.
The single-burner has an advanced valve and regulator system giving you more control over lower heat settings. It includes a push-button lighter, and comes with an adjustable insulated cup to keep your items warm.
It stores in your pack sideways, fitting in a 6 x 7 x 8-inch space. You can also purchase accessories like a coffee press, hanging kit, or additional pot support to round out this stove.
If you’re looking for an inexpensive, durable, and efficient stove to take with you on backpacking and camping trips, the MSR Pocket Rocket does the job. It’s extremely compact, and lightweight design makes it easy to carry and don’t take up unnecessary room in your pack.
It’s simple to use and can quickly heat up water for cooking, making it a great companion to your other mealtime accessories.