Hands-on Gear Review
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Street Price: Varies from $120 - $140 | Compare prices at 2 resellers
Pros: Compact, light, fast boil time, stable, insulated pot, many accessories
Cons: Small pot size, not versatile
Best Uses: Fast and light activities where youll be cooking dehydrated meals for two less, alpine climbing and lightweight backpacking
The Jetboil Sol is an iteration of the Jetboil Flash. Overall we prefer the Flash because it is a better value, has more capacity, can often be found on sale, and is cheaper to replace parts down the road.
There are three main differences between the Flash and the Sol. 1) The Sol uses a smaller 0.8 liter cup as compared the the 1.0 liter cup on the Flash. 2) The Sol uses a new "Thermo Regulate" burner that gives "consistent heat down to 20 degrees F." According to Jetboil, it only boils water a little faster: the Sol boils 16 oz of water in 2:15 while the Flash takes 2:30. 3) The Sol weighs 3.5 oz less than the Flash. Considering most of this weight savings comes from a 20 percent smaller cup, this does not seem like a big improvement.
Considering the Sol costs $20 more than the Flash and is smaller, we don't think its the best buy unless you think you will notice saving 3.5 ounces. What is the better system to buy if you don't mind dropping cash to shave weight is the Jetboil Sol Ti ($149, 8.5 oz, 0.8 L). This system is 40 percent lighter than the Flash, 50 percent more expensive, and has 20 percent less capacity. The Sol is less versatile, slower, and not as storm-proof as the MSR Windboiler.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
The Jetboil Sol is small and light, a great choice for minimalist activities.
Integrated canisters are water boiling machines and that is all, so don't expect to be cooking elaborate meals on the Sol. The deep and narrow design makes the stove best suited for boiling water. With a great deal of additional stirring we were able to successfully make a pasta meal for two in the Sol. This, however, was painfully laborious. It's also challenging to boil safely more than .65 liters of water. Our favorite feature on the Sol is its neoprene covered pot. This has a webbing handle, clip-in point, and coffee-mug-style lid. Slip your hand in and use the pot as a mug. Clip in a carabiner and you can cook on a big wall. Unfortunately, these cozy's are notorious for loosing their shape over time and becoming saggy. You can buy a hanging kit to reduce the stress on the cozy for those big wall missions. Regardless of how and where you cook, the pot and the burner lock together, forming a one-piece unit that's secure and stable.
A conveniently long control valve is easy to use and tucks away under the stove when not in use. All Jetboil stoves include a built-in igniter, which we believe is wonderfully convenient but not to be trusted in the long term (we've heard so many many stories of them breaking).
We found the pot on the Sol to be incredibly well insulated. When it is not windy the Jetboil Sol is incredibly fuel efficient. If you are out in windy conditions with the Sol we recommend finding a sheltered place to use it or its fuel efficiency will be greatly reduced. If you want an integrated canister stove for bad weather, consider either the MSR Windboiler or the MSR Reactor, both of which perform well in wind.
In our tests we boiled half a liter of water in the Sol in 2 minutes, 26 seconds The Jetboil Flash took 2 minutes and 49 seconds.
The Jetboil Sol is the lightest of the integrated canister stoves we tested, weighing in at 10.1 ounces. The heaviest of the integrated canister stoves we tested was the Windboiler weighing 14.8oz.
Because the Jetboil Sol has the smallest, shortest pot, it is the least tippy of the integrated canister stoves, but we still find them all a bit unstable. The Sol comes with a canister stand to help with this problem, but we seldom carry that into the backcountry when we're trying to go fast and light.
The burner assembly, pot support, and a 100g fuel canister all fit neatly inside the pot. Yes, that means your entire kitchen fits in a 4" x 6.5" package.
The Sol is a fast and light stove. We recommend using it only for your more extreme exploits like alpine climbing and trusting a more durable workhorse such as the MSR Whisperlite for casual camping and expeditions.
The Sol is solid buy but not nearly the value of the Flash, which is bigger and at least $20 less (it can often be found on sale). Over the long term, the Flash replacement parts cost less than the Sol.
We appreciate Jetboil's stylish and snappy approach to stove design, but we also value durability. In the long haul, after five years of extended use and abuse, we predict the igniter will have long ceased functioning, the colored neoprene cozy will be brownish and tattered, and the plastic burner housing may have broken. A friend who has had two of these stoves has had both plastic igniters break after a few months. It is not a big deal, it just means that you then need to light the stove manually with a lighter. Our friend does not like the stove any less; a broken igniter just comes with the territory.
Other Versions and Accessories
The Jetboil Flash, $100, can usually be found on sale and replacing the cup is much less expensive. If you don't mind dropping the cash to shave weight, the Sol Ti ($149, 8.5 oz, 0.8 L) might be for you. This system is 40 percent lighter than the Flash, 50 percent more expensive, and with 20 percent less capacity. The Zip, $80, is a simple, compact and lightweight system that includes a 0.8L cup.
This stove is compatible with the light and compact Jetboil Hanging Kit ($30), which turns this into a hanging stove. It works with the Jetboil Coffee Press, which is a $20 accessory that turns your Jetboil Flash or Jetboil Classic into a reasonable effective French press. The Jetboil Pot Support and Stabilizer gives more stability to the setup while making it compatible with other camping pots.
The Sol Ti Cup ($69, 6.3 oz, 0.8 L) shaves another 1.5 ounces off the Sol Aluminum Cup by using titanium.
The Jetboil Sumo Cup ($49, 12.5 oz, 1.8 L) is over double the size of the standard Jetboil Sol Cup and can be used with the Sumo cooking system. It is just the right size to store an entire Sol or Zip system inside.
— Jessica Haist and Max Neale
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Most recent review: February 10, 2015
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