For convenience and ease of use there’s nothing to beat lightweight canister stoves. Simply screw in an isobutane fuel canister and within minutes you’ve boiled up a brew.
MSR’s PocketRocket has been a firm favourite among backpackers and campers for many years and has also been my go-to stove for about the last decade. Recently I’ve been testing out the integrated 2-person MSR PocketRocket Stove Kit. It’s a well-designed and affordable option if you’re looking for a no-fuss approach to camp cooking.
The first thing you notice about the stove kit is its ingenious design. Everything fits within the 2-litre anodised aluminium pot, rattle-free and fastened tight. Inside there are two 0.7-litre plastic bowls and nested inside these are a pair of insulated mugs containing two folding sporks and the stove itself.
I found the bowls just the right size for hiker-sized portions but not too large so that your food gets cold quickly. The mugs seem a strange shape at first but then come into their own as effective hand-warmers!
The materials are good quality and I especially like the conductive, non-stick surface of the anodised aluminium pot.
The tiny PocketRocket stove weighs just 85g on its own and as its name suggests is a lively little burner that can boil a litre of water in just 3½ minutes. Paired with an isobutene canister it’s great for 3-season use. The lever control is easy to use, allowing you to adjust the flame from a simmer to boiling even with gloves on.
The transparent pot lid allows you to check on your food and doubles as a strainer with its handy holes on one side. Also useful are the volume measurements (in ounces and grams) on the insides of the pot and mugs.
I didn’t fully trust the folding sporks though. They’re quite bendy plus I suspect they could be prone to snapping over time after repeated refolding. For the sake of a couple of quid I’d prefer just to use regular sporks.
USING THE STOVE KIT
The PocketRocket gives a reassuring ‘roar’ when turned up high and is a quick, adjustable and efficient burner. You’ll want to make absolutely sure that the gas canister is sitting on flat ground so it’s totally safe. The height of the pot on top of the canister and burner means that it could possibly be knocked off or topple over, and this was one of the main drawbacks for me.
At 732g the weight of the stove kit is the other main downside of the stove kit. While this isn’t an issue for car camping it may put some backpackers off. It’s great to have a self-contained kit of course but by replacing the mugs and sporks with lighter weight alternatives, the ‘base kit’ of pot, lid, stove and bowls weighs a much more respectable 450g. And you could store your gas canister and some spare socks inside!
The MSR PocketRocket Stove Kit is available from Nevisport for an affordable £79.99. Apart from my minor niggle about the weight of the full kit, it’s a very convenient and versatile option for two campers and well worth a look.
Note: The MSR PocketRocket Stove Kit was provided to me to review for free by Nevisport. I am an independent member of the Nevisport gear review team and have no other connection with the company. I have provided an honest and impartial review based on my personal experience in using the stove kit.