The wider pot design and better temperature control make the MiniMo a great choice for someone who wants all the convenience of the Jetboil Flash with greater cooking and simmering potential, lighter weight, and better fuel efficiency
The MiniMo is a great choice for fast and light off trail backpacking.
Our no-wind testing found that the MiniMo is as fuel efficient as the MSR Windburner both used 0.3 oz of fuel to boil 1 liter of water. It's slightly less fuel efficient than the Jetboil Flash (0.2 oz/L) and more fuel efficient than the MSR Reactor (0.5 oz/L). The pot's flux ring disburses the heat efficiently, and the insulated pot keeps things hot. Jetboil claims that with its redesigned regulator diaphragm and valve, this stove performs better in the cold. We used the MiniMo quite a bit in the snow and we did not perform our quantitative tests in a cold environment. Anecdotally, we found its cold weather performance satisfactory.
Lighting the stoves in front of the fan shook up the standings a bit. While the MiniMo boiled water in the 8 - 10 mph wind it used 0.7 oz of fuel to do so, 0.1 oz more than the Windburner or Reactor under the same conditions. Overall this stove was slightly less fuel efficient than the Windburner and slightly more than the Reactor.
When camping above the treeline, it's almost always a possibility to make a windbreak with rocks and other natural materials lying around. Otherwise, a tent vestibule can often accommodate a small stove. Readers should be aware that MSR disapproves of cooking in your tent or shelter. Backpackers who expect to be camping in the wind and do not think they'll be able to compensate should look into the similar but heavier Windburner.
We had to get creative finding ways to shelter the MiniMo from the wind.
The MiniMo sports a trail weight of 12.2 oz. This includes just the lid, pot, and burner, and leaves out the cup and canister stabilizer. It is the lightest integrated canister stove in our test. Only the small canister stoves are lighter, like the MSR PocketRocket 2 (3.7-ounce packed weight).
Integrated canister stoves were not initially developed for cooking, they were engineered to make water boil as fast as possible. While the MiniMo will never simmer as well as a gourmet machine like the Snow Peak GigaPower 2.0 it holds its own among the integrated canister stoves. The MiniMo burner unit seems to help with this, as does the wider FluxRing heat exchanger.
We tested the MiniMo in our laboratory (ahem - garage) and found that it boils water FAST. In the no-wind test, it boiled 1 liter of water in 4 minutes and 6 seconds, right behind the Reactor and Flash. It was a minute faster than the Windburner, and faster than all of the small canister and liquid fuel stoves in our test.
Of course, our 8 - 10 mph wind test changed things up a bit, but less than we expected. All stoves, including the integrated canister stoves, suffered slower boil times in the wind. The MiniMo, Windburner, and Reactor all saw their boil times increase by 10 - 20%.
Ease Of Use
We think the pot's wider, shorter shape and more distributed flux ring helps make this stove easier to cook with. We would not try to cook anything more complicated than pasta or rehydrating some beans in the MiniMo, but this is easier to do than with other integrated canister stoves. If you want to cook gourmet meals for a group, try the MSR Dragonfly or Primus Classic Trail. This new pot shape also allows for easier eating out of the pot. You no longer need to buy yourself an extra-long titanium spoon to eat your dinner directly out of the pot.
We miss one of our favorite features from the Flash, the color changing boil indicator. This used to be a common feature on the Jetboil stoves, and we wish they would bring it back. Thankfully, the MiniMo has a long control valve wire, because we experienced it boiling over when we weren't paying attention - and were able to shut it off without getting boiling water on our hands. Jetboil has improved the handle and added sturdy plastic coated wire handles instead of the flimsy neoprene handle of the past. The pot lid is very similar to the Flash and is the best in our test. It fits securely, stays put when we're pouring, and the fit quality doesn't degrade over time, a problem we experienced with the Windburner.
We like that we can fit an 8oz canister in the wider pot of the MiniMo. You can also fit a 4 oz canister along with the MiniMo's burner in its pot sideways. The MiniMo is slightly more stable than the Flash and more the Windburner. It's shorter than both of these (it's about the same height as the Reactor stoves, making it less wobbly when attached to a canister. It also comes with a canister support stand for stability, but our testers rarely bring it in the field.
Early Jetboil stoves were notorious for having the piezoelectric igniters die after a short time. We made a point of using the piezo lighters on all of our stoves repeatedly, each has been tested well over 100 times, and they seem to be better than the older igniters. While this feature does add weight to our packs, so do lighters, and since the piezo is always attached to the stove it's more convenient than a lighter. None of our testers are leaving their lighter (or lighters) at home when traveling with the MiniMo, be we all appreciated the convenience and wished more stoves came equipped with piezoelectric lighters.
McKenzie Long enjoys a hot beverage through the MiniMo's convenient drink through lid.
The MiniMo is best for backpackers who are eating dehydrated or very simple meals and want a cooking system that is light and fuel efficient. We have found that its low weight and fuel efficiency also make it a reasonable choice for alpine climbing, as long as it can be protected from the wind, perhaps in a tent or snow shelter. Backpackers seeking a more compact burner that works with a variety of cookware should read up on the MSR PocketRocket 2. If you're looking for something to take on an expedition and don't mind more weight click over to the MSR Whisperlite.
We think the MiniMo is a good value. Though it costs more than the similar Flash, it has more to offer. The MiniMo retails for $135, a bit less than the Windburner and much less than the Reactor.
Jetboil has made cooking simple meals easier with the MiniMo, as well as created an easier vessel to eat out of with more reliable handles. This improved cooking ability, coupled with the fuel efficiency of the burner and the overall low weight of the system win this stove our Top Pick For Integrated Canister Stoves.
We were impressed with how quickly the MiniMo boils water, even at elevation, but we found that it loses its fuel efficiency in any windy conditions. Here it performs the all important task of making some morning VIA.