< Go to Backpacking Stoves

Hands-on Gear Review

MSR Pocket Rocket Review


Backpacking Stove

  • Currently 4.0/5
Overall avg rating 4.0 of 5 based on 1 review. Most recent review: February 10, 2015
Price:   $40 List | Varies from $30 - $40 online
Compare prices at 5 resellers
Pros:  Simple, durable, inexpensive, strong hardcase
Cons:  Unstable
Manufacturer:   MSR
Review by: Jessica Haist ⋅ Review Editor, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ February 10, 2015  
The MSR Pocket Rocket is the least expensive backpacking stove we reviewed. It is small, simple and durable, but not very stable. For the same price we believe the Optimus Crux is a better buy because it's more durable, more stable, and stores conveniently under a fuel canister. If you travel to high altitudes, we recommend the MSR Windburner because it does much better in cold temperatures and high winds, and is more fuel efficient. If you are looking for the smallest and lightest stove you can carry, then go with the similar MSR Micro Rocket.

If environmentally harmful fuel canisters and tiny unstable stoves aren't your thing, we recommend the stable, versatile, and durable MSR Whisperlite. This liquid fuel stove will last you a lifetime.

RELATED: Our complete review of backpacking stoves

  • Photos
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

This little rocket can boil water fast and is small and light, but not as small or light as other canister stoves we tested.

Performance Comparison

Click to enlarge
The Micro Rocket (right) has the widest platform by a few millimeters when compared to the other small canister stoves, the Pocket Rocket (middle) and Optimus Crux Lite (left).
Credit: Jessica Haist


This little stove can go anywhere because it is so small and light, and unlike an integrated canister stove like the Jetboil Flash, you have the ability to simmer on it and can use your own cookware. The Pocket Rocket is very simple and durable and comes with a hard plastic case to store in your pack although we usually leave this behind to save weight.

Fuel Efficiency

The Pocket Rocket is relatively fuel efficient, although we notice that when you screw it on to a canister there is always a bit of leakage that sprays out. If you can use the stove in a sheltered location it will be much more fuel efficient. Once there is any kind of breeze, the Pocket Rocket's fuel efficiency is gone with the wind. The most fuel efficient stove we tested was the MSR Windburner, which performs admirably even in strong wind.

Click to enlarge
MSR Pocket Rocket, which is one of the least stable small canister stoves.
Credit: Max Neale

Boil Time

We boiled half a liter of water in 2 minutes and 8 seconds when there was no wind on the Pocket Rocket. This is decently fast and impressive. If there is wind present this will take a lot longer.


Although this small and light stove appeals to fast and light backpackers, the Pocket Rocket is the heaviest small canister stove we tested at 3 oz. The lightest and most compact stove, the MSR Micro Rocket is only half an ounce lighter. If you are on a budget and want a small stove, the Pocket Rocket will do just fine.


The Pocket Rocket is the least stable stove we reviewed. While the pot supports fold out to a reasonable diameter, they do not extend perfectly flat. This leaves your pot or pan balanced on three small points and nothing more. Further contributing to this stove's instability is its long stem. This raised the stove's center of gravity slightly higher than all the other small canister stoves.

Click to enlarge
The legs on the MSR Pocket Rocket. You can see that the pot balances on smaller points because the legs are not completely level.
Credit: Max Neale

Packed Size

This little canister stove will indeed fit in most pockets. It has, however, the largest packed size of the three small canister stoves in this review, measuring 4.1 x 2.1 x 2 inches.

Click to enlarge
The small canister stoves we tested from left to right: MSR Micro Rocket, MSR Pocket Rocket and Optimus Crux Lite.
Credit: Jessica Haist

Best Application

This is a great little stove to bring along on backpacking and car camping getaways, especially if you are looking for a cheap, simple solution. Three ounces is light enough to make an excellent option for any type of multi-day backpacking trip.


While this is the least expensive stove in our test, we believe the Micro Rocket, which will save you half an ounce, is worth the extra $20. However, if you are on a budget and want the least expensive product that will work backpacking, this is a very functional and small stove for only $40.

Other Versions and Accessories

Click to enlarge
MSR MicroRocket
  • Same style stove as this
  • Ultralight weight at 2.6oz
  • $60

Click to enlarge
MSR Whisperlite International or MSR Whisperlite
  • White gas and Multi-fuel version of the Whisperlite stove that can burn diesel, kerosene, gasoline, jet fuel and white gas
  • Minor differences compared to standard whisperlite to accommodate multiple fuel types
  • Wicking cup for less flammable fuels
  • Interchangeable jets for different fuel types
  • Self cleaning shaker jet

  • Wrap your stove and pot to block the wind
  • Increase fuel efficiency
  • $15

Click to enlarge
Quick 2 Pot Set
  • A recommended pot set made from hard anodized aluminum
  • Includes a non-stick1.5L pot, hard anodized 2.5L pot, Aluminum Strainer Lid and Handle
  • Lightweight, durable, efficient boiling time
  • $70

Jessica Haist and Max Neale

Where to Buy?

Thinking about buying some gear we've reviewed? Help OutdoorGearLab out if you do. Just click on any of the above seller links and if you make any purchase, the seller will contribute a portion of the sale to help support this site. It won't cost you anything extra, and it's a simple way to help us fund our gear reviews. Thanks!

*Most retailers free shipping offers apply only to lower 48 US states using ground/economy shipping. See retailer's website for details.

OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews

Most recent review: February 10, 2015
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Average Customer Rating:     (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)

Have you used the MSR Pocket Rocket?
Don't hold back. Share your viewpoint by posting a review with your thoughts...

Write a Review on this Gear
Click to enlarge
MSR Pocket Rocket
Credit: Max Neale
Where's the Best Price?
Seller Price
Amazon $29.96  -  25% off!
MooseJaw $29.96  -  25% off!
REI $39.95
Compare prices at 5 sellers >

*You help support OutdoorGearLab's product testing and reviews by purchasing from our retail partners.
Related Review
The Best Backpacking Stove Review

The Best Backpacking Stove Review

We tested a comprehensive selection of backpacking stoves in the cold and windy High Sierra, along the rainy coast of the Pacific Northwest, and in the high desert of central Oregon to find the best.
Helpful Buying Tips