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Hands-on Gear Review

Jetboil Flash Review

Jetboil Flash Sapphire
Best Buy Award
Price:   $100 List | $79.96 at Backcountry
Compare prices at 4 resellers
Pros:  Compact, light, fast boil time, stable, insulated pot
Cons:  Small pot size, not versatile
Editors' Rating:     
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Manufacturer:   Jetboil

Our Verdict

The Flash is Jetboil's tried and true basic model. It lacks the bells and whistles of some of its brothers and sisters like the Sol Ti, but it has all you need to boil water fast. It wins our Best Buy Award because at $100 it provides great bang for your buck, and is much cheaper than most other integrated canister stoves. The Flash is fast and efficient at boiling water, and we really like the color-changing heat indicator on its cozy that lets us know the water is ready before it boils over. Key features include a one-liter insulated pot, piezo auto ignition, water temperature indicator, and a lock that secures the stove and pot into one stable unit. It does not work well in cold or windy conditions. If you are anticipating harsh conditions on your trip we suggest the MSR Windburner instead.

Is Weight a Factor?
In addition to some sweet new colors that Jetboil has cooked up this year for the Flash… get it?… this model now comes in a lightweight version: the Flash Lite is 3oz lighter than the Flash. This is a great option for those who love the Flash, but are looking to save weight.


RELATED REVIEW: The Best Backpacking Stoves of 2017 for Simmering and Boiling

select up to 5 products
Score Product Price Category Weight (ounces) Dimensions (inches)
82
$140
Editors' Choice Award
Integrated Canister 14.8 oz. 4.24x6.75 in.
81
$200
Integrated Canister 14.5 oz. IL: 4.5x4.5x5.5 in., 1.7L: 6x6x7.5 in.
80
$140
Liquid Fuel/Canister 11.5 oz. 6x4x4.75 in.
77
$140
Top Pick Award
Liquid Fuel 14 oz. 6.3x5x3.5 in.
76
$100
Liquid Fuel 11.5 oz. 6x4x4 in.
76
$135
Integrated Canister 13.1 oz. 5x6 in.
73
$100
Best Buy Award
Integrated Canister 13.2 oz. 4.1x7.1 in.
73
$100
Best Buy Award
Liquid Fuel 11.5 oz. 6x4x4 in.
73
$60
Top Pick Award
Small canister 2.5 oz. 3x2x2 in.
72
$45
Small Canister 3 oz. 4.1x2.1x2 in.
72
$40
Small Canister 2.6 oz. 3.3x2.2x1.2 in.
69
$160
Liquid Fuel 13.8 oz. 5x3.9x3.5 in.
67
$12
Best Buy Award
Integrated Canister 3.3 oz. 3.25x2x1.5 in.
66
$160
Liquid Fuel 15.3 oz. 6x5.5x2.8 in.
46
$40
Wood/Esbit 9.2 oz. 5x4x.2 in.

Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Jessica Haist
Review Editor
OutdoorGearLab

Last Updated:
Tuesday
April 4, 2017

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The New Colors for 2017


Jetboil has introduced new colors this year. In addition to Sapphire, shown above, the following colors are also available, shown from left to right below: Blue Desert, Carbon, Forest, and Real Tree. We contacted Jetboil and they confirmed that the color updates were the only updates to have occurred since we last reviewed this product.

Blue Desert
Jetboil Flash
Forest
Real Tree
 

Hands-On Review


A great budget choice for a variety of activities from big walls to backcountry missions, the Jetboil Flash will boil water fast and efficiently.

The Jetboil Flash is a great budget option for fast and light alpine missions like this one in the Palisade range of the High Sierra.
The Jetboil Flash is a great budget option for fast and light alpine missions like this one in the Palisade range of the High Sierra.

Performance Comparison


Check out the chart below to see where the Jetboil Flash ranked in Overall Performance.



Versatility


While the neoprene covered pot is attractive and fun, it's most assuredly not versatile. The deep and narrow design make this stove best suited for boiling water. With a great deal of additional stirring we were able to successfully make a pasta meal for two. This, however, was painfully laborious. It's also challenging to safely boil more than .75 liters of water in the included pot. The Flash now comes with an additional pot supporter plate that is meant for use on the burner if you want to use a frying pan or different pot on the burner. We're guessing this is the result of too many people melting their pots by trying to cook directly on the burner without any space for heat to escape. We still don't think it's a good idea to cook anything other than water on the Flash. The burner is capable of maintaining a reasonably good simmer in low wind conditions, something most integrated canister stoves cannot do. A conveniently long control valve is easy to use, will help you not scald your hand if your pot is boiling over, and tucks away under the stove when not in use.


The integrated igniter is great, and we wish that the Editors' Choice winning MSR Windburner had one of these, but we have heard that they almost always inevitably fail after regular use. Jetboil claims that the new Flash has an "advanced igniter" which may be their attempt to address this problem. We like the cozy with its flame-shaped heat indicator panel on the side, but it is well documented that Jetboil's cozys sag over time and the handles are wimpy. The MSR Windburner's cozy is much more sturdy and the handle is extremely burly. Where the Jetboil exceeds over the Windburner is in the pot-to-burner coupling. The burner and pot connect with a comforting slide and click sensation on the Flash, but with the Windburner the attachments feel shallow and there is not a secure, reassuring click when they are joined.

The Jetboil does not perform well in the wind. If you will be out in the elements find a sheltered place to use it.
The Jetboil does not perform well in the wind. If you will be out in the elements find a sheltered place to use it.

The Jetboil Flash does not work well in windy conditions; we have watched it blow out completely in about 20 mph winds. We have also watched it flare up in gusts of wind, singeing the pot cozy. Otherwise, the Flash performs its function well and is a great budget choice to take on all kinds of quick backcountry missions, whether you're melting snow in Alaska, making coffee on a big wall, or boiling water for dehydrated food on a backpacking trip. This stove will be your smallest and warmest backcountry friend.

Fuel Efficiency


The Jetboil Flash is a very efficient water boiler and was neck and neck with the other integrated canister stoves in its class. The Flash's pot is incredibly well insulated — almost too insulated. The coolest feature on the Flash, the large flame logo is also a water temperature indicator, turns bright yellow as the water approaches a boil. This helps you save fuel, especially if you are heating water for tea or coffee and don't need water to reach a total boil.


The Flash's fuel efficiency goes out the window in windy conditions. It simply blows out in 20 mph. If the Flash goes out and you are not paying attention, you will loose precious fuel while its valve remains open. Be sure to put your Flash somewhere sheltered if you will be using it out in the elements - or get yourself a hanging kit so you can cook inside your tent.

Integrated canister stoves being put to the test. The Jetboil Flash can keep up with the integrated canister pack when boiling water  except when the winds pick up. The MSR Windburner and Reactor are much more wind resistant than either Jetboil.
Integrated canister stoves being put to the test. The Jetboil Flash can keep up with the integrated canister pack when boiling water, except when the winds pick up. The MSR Windburner and Reactor are much more wind resistant than either Jetboil.

Boil Time


Windy conditions aside, the Jetboil Flash does not sully its name. In our testing, we boiled half a liter of water in 2 minutes, 46 seconds.


It is not the fastest of the integrated canister stoves, but it's pretty darn fast, and we do love those flames that tell us the boil is coming and helps us avoid scalding our hands trying to turn it off when it's boiling over.

We love the flame shaped heat indicator panel on the Flash's cozy that lets us know the water is boiling  before it boils over!
We love the flame shaped heat indicator panel on the Flash's cozy that lets us know the water is boiling, before it boils over!

Weight


The Jetboil Flash weighs in at 13.2 oz, lighter than both the Windburner and the Reactor. Broken down by components, the cup is 1.2 oz, the pot is 7.9 oz and the burner is 5.1 oz. We think this combination can add up to weight savings over other stove systems where you need to carry a heavy pot.


The chart above gives you an idea of where the Flash, shown in blue, ranks in weight compared to its competition.

The Jetboil Sol and Flash. The Sol is the more minimalist cousin to the Flash.
The Jetboil Sol and Flash. The Sol is the more minimalist cousin to the Flash.

Stability


Integrated canister stoves are inherently unstable because their base is only as wide as the canister they sit on, and they all are quite tall and can get blown around in the wind. Jetboil has included a canister stand to address this problem, but let's be honest, we never bring it along when we are trying to go fast and light.


The Flash is somewhat unstable, but more stable than the Windburner, which is the tallest of the integrated canister stoves. We also find the Jetboil more stable than the MSR Reactor because the pot and burner can connect together, making it easier to move around - whereas the Reactor's pot and burner do not connect.

Jetboil Flash adapter plate and canister stand.
Jetboil Flash adapter plate and canister stand.

Packed Size


The Jetboil Flash is one of the more packable stoves in our review. See the chart below to learn where the competition ranked in our Packed Size metric.


The burner assembly, pot support, and a 100 g fuel canister all fit neatly inside the pot. Yes, that means your entire kitchen fits in a 4" x 7" package. The Jetboil Sol has the smallest packed size of all the integrated canister stoves, but also has the smallest capacity pot. The MSR Reactor is the bulkiest.

The Jetboil system all packs inside the pot for easy packing. And the whole pot can fit inside your hand. It is the least bulky of the integrated canister stoves we tested.
The Jetboil system all packs inside the pot for easy packing. And the whole pot can fit inside your hand. It is the least bulky of the integrated canister stoves we tested.

Best Application


The Flash is a fast and light stove. We recommend using it only for your more extreme exploits and trusting a more durable workhorse like the MSR Whisperlite for group camping and long expeditions. If you are going solo or with a partner the Jetboil Flash will boil up enough water for two. It is more fuel efficient than a small canister stove like the MSR Pocket Rocket 2 so you can potentially save weight by taking less fuel on short trips. We talk more about this in our Buying Advice Article.

Value


We think the Jetboil Flash is the best value of all the integrated canister stoves, and it wins our Best Buy Award for its low price tag of $100. It offers great bang for your buck and you will be happy with your purchase.

Conclusion


The Flash is a great deal for a good product. It is an excellent little companion for any short backpacking or alpine mission - as long as you like food that only requires boiling, such as freeze dried astronaut food and Ramen noodles. One thing to note is that the Flash is not the most durable of integrated canister stoves. Jetboil's cozys are known to loosen up and sag eventually, and the built in igniters stop working. This is not a big deal, it just means that you then need to light the stove manually with a lighter. We do think that the Jetboil Flash has lots of great features, such as the heat indicator, and comes in a compact, lightweight package.

The Jetboil Flash on a lightweight backpacking trip with the MSR Hubba Hubba NX tent.
The Jetboil Flash on a lightweight backpacking trip with the MSR Hubba Hubba NX tent.

Other Versions


New to Jetboil's line up for 2015 is the Flash Lite. It has many of the same features, but has a been outfitted with a redesigned lid, cozy, burner, and shroud. You might be wondering where the "Lite" comes in. The new Flash Lite has a .8-Liter cup to help shed those ounces. With its new redesigned features from the Flash, Jetboil has managed to shed a total of 3oz! At $100, this lighter weight cooking system doesn't set you back any more than the Flash.

Jetboil Zip
JetBoil Zip
  • Same great JetBoil stove without the frills
  • 0.8L Pot
  • $80

Jetboil Sumo
JetBoil Sumo
  • Updated for 2015 with new burner
  • 1.8L cup for small groups
  • $140

JetBoil MiniMo
  • Mini sized JetBoil for one person cooking
  • Excellent simmer control
  • Small sized pot for cooking and stirring
  • $130

Accessories


jetboil coffee press
Jetboil Coffee Press
  • $20

JetBoil Hanging Kit
JetBoil Hanging Kit
  • Allows you to hang your JetBoil stove from a single point
  • Idea for big wall climbing or tent cooking
  • $30
Jessica Haist

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Most recent review: April 4, 2017
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