Jetboil Flash Review
Cons: Small pot size, not versatile
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Our Analysis and Test Results
A great semi-budget choice for a variety of activities from big walls to backcountry missions, the Flash will boil water fast and efficiently.
The Flash is one of the most fuel-efficient stoves in our test in windless conditions, probably due to its well-insulated pot. Its fuel efficiency drops by about 25% in windy conditions. Be sure to put it 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.
The coolest feature on the Flash is that the large flame logo is also a water temperature indicator. It turns red as the water approaches a boil. We really like this feature and wish all the integrated canister stoves had it. 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 has a trail weight of 12.3 ounces, one of the lighter integrated canister stoves in our review. Bringing the plastic accessory cup along adds another 1.2 ounces. We think this combination can add up to weight savings over other stove systems where you need to carry a heavy pot.
Like most of the other integrated canister stoves, the Flash does not simmer particularly well. This stove is made to get liquids hot quickly and not much more. We awarded it a low score in this category. If simmering is a priority for you, look to a small canister stove — they take the cake for their simmering capabilities on the trail.
Ease Of Use
The deep and narrow design of this stove makes it best suited for boiling water. The 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. Like all Jetboil stoves, the pot-to-burner coupling is inspiring, connecting with a comforting slide and click sensation. Jetboil has long included small plastic cups with their stoves, and, in the past, these were fairly brittle and didn't last long. The cup with the new Flash seems more flexible and durable and has survived our use so far.
We really like the cozy on this stove with its flame-shaped heat indicator panel on the side. This lets the user know that the contents are almost boiling, and allows them to monitor the stove or turn it down before it goes into volcano mode. We've seen many backcountry travelers dealing with a boiling-over integrated canister stove, and it's a hot mess at best. We wish Jetboil would incorporate this feature into all of their cozies!
The integrated igniter is great as well. Our testers have heard of and experienced many problems with these in the past, but Jetboil claims that the new Flash has an "advanced igniter." This may be their successful attempt to address this problem — we've used it over 100 times with no issues so far.
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.
In our testing, the Flash boiled one liter of water in a respectable 4 minutes and 10 seconds. In the 2 - 4 mph wind test, it took just over a minute longer. Most outdoor situations involve breezes and gusts of wind, so consider finding a sheltered spot to replicate its impressive boil time in perfect conditions. And, if you plan to hang this model inside your tent while heating water, the boil time will be quite speedy.
We think the Flash offers some of the best value of all the integrated canister stoves and a good value overall, especially if you're eating a lot of dehydrated or instant food.
The Jetboil 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 cozies are known to loosen up and sag eventually. On the bright side, they are inexpensive to replace. The Flash has lots of great features, such as the heat indicator, and comes in a compact, lightweight package. Recommended.
— Ian McEleney & Jessica Haist