A great budget choice for a variety of activities from big walls to backcountry missions, the Jetboil Flash will boil water fast and efficiently.
Being able to drink directly from the pot gives this stove some versatility.
The Jetboil Flash is the most fuel-efficient stove in our test in windless conditions. It barely squeaked ahead of the Windburner and Jetboil MiniMo. The Flash's pot is well insulated and we think this helps. The Flash's fuel efficiency goes out the window in windy conditions. In our 8 - 10 mph wind test it blew out and needed to be re-lit multiple times, never quite reaching boiling. If the Flash goes out and you are not paying attention, you will lose precious fuel while its valve remains open. It will boil at lower wind speeds. 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, the large flame logo, is also a water temperature indicator. It turns red 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 color change heat indicator turns red as water approaches boiling, a feature we wished for on all of the integrated canister stoves.
The Jetboil Flash has a trail weight of 12.3 oz, lighter than both the Windburner and the MSR Reactor. Bringing the plastic accessory cup along adds another 1.2 oz. 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. We awarded it a low score for simmering, while the MSR PocketRocket 2 and Primus Classic Trail take the cake for their simmering capabilities on the trail.
In our testing, the Flash boiled one liter of water in a review-leading 3 minutes 42 seconds. This is a comparable time to the Reactor. In the 8-10mph wind test, water did not reach boiling. As most outdoor situations involve breezes and gusts of wind, we couldn't justify giving this model a high score in this metric, despite its impressive boil time in perfect conditions. If you plan to hang this model inside your tent while heating water, though, the boil time will be super speedy.
Ease Of Use
The deep and narrow design makes this stove best suited for boiling water. 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. Like all Jetboil stoves, the pot-to-burner coupling is inspiring. The burner and pot connect with a comforting slide and click sensation. Jetboil has long included small plastic cups with their stoves. 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.
Unlike in past versions, the included cup seems less brittle and longer lasting.
We really like the cozy with its flame-shaped heat indicator panel on the side. This lets us know that the contents are almost boiling, and allows us 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, and we wish that the all the canister stoves had one of these. Our testers have heard of and experienced many problems with these in the past. Jetboil claims that the new Flash has an "advanced igniter" which may be their attempt to address this problem. We've used it over 100 times with no issues so far.
The piezoelectric igniter on the Flash works.
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.
The Jetboil Flash 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 Flash is a great choice for backpackers (or car campers) who eat a lot of dehydrated and instant food and want a stove system as simple as their diet. Since it's one of the cheapest integrated canister stoves, it's also a good choice for big wall climbers on a budget. If you are anticipating harsh conditions on your trip, we would suggest the MSR Windburner instead. Backpackers who are looking for a lighter solution that works with a variety of cookware should check out the MSR PocketRocket 2.
We think the Flash offers some of the best value of all the integrated canister stoves and a good value overall.
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.
The pot and burner attach securely, so there are no worries when pouring with the burner attached.