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JetBoil Zip Review

This basic integrated canister stove gets the job done for those on a budget
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Price:  $85 List | $84.95 at REI
Pros:  Compact, lightweight, fairly efficient
Cons:  No piezo igniter, tiny valve knob
Manufacturer:   JetBoil
By Ian McEleney ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 29, 2020
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68
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#6 of 17
  • Fuel Efficiency - 25% 8
  • Weight - 25% 9
  • Simmering Ability - 20% 5
  • Ease Of Use - 20% 5
  • Boil Time - 10% 5

Our Verdict

The Jetboil Zip is a small and simple integrated canister stove. It's 0.75-liter pot makes it a bit more packable than some other stoves in this category. The burner and pot connect securely, and the integrated design improves fuel efficiency. However, we've become used to the wire control valves and reliable piezo igniters found on top models. The tiny knob on the Zip can be hard to operate when the stove is about to boil over, and we had to remember which backpack pocket our lighter was in whenever it was time for a hot drink. However, for folks on a budget who are willing to forgo these nice extras, this stove could still be a good choice.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Zip is a basic smaller integrated canister stove without any of the nice details we've grown used to in the last decade or so.

Performance Comparison


This little stove is quick and convenient enough that we pulled it out of our packs for a mid-morning coffee break.
This little stove is quick and convenient enough that we pulled it out of our packs for a mid-morning coffee break.

Fuel Efficiency


The Zip is fairly efficient for an integrated canister stove. Though it only used 0.2 ounces of fuel in our no wind boil test, we say "fairly" because of the pot's low capacity. The pot on the zip only holds 0.75 liters of water when full to the brim. We tested it with 0.5 liters of water; the other stoves were tested with 1 liter. That said, if we doubled the fuel burned (and we think that would be an overestimation), the Zip would still be performing respectably for an integrated canister stove and well compared to many other stoves in this review. In our 2-4 mph fan test, the Zip burned 50% more fuel.

Weight


At 10.6 ounces (300 grams), the Zip is the lightest integrated canister stove in our review and one of the lighter stoves in general when you take into account that a pot is included. This weight does not include the canister stand (0.9 ounces) or the small plastic cup that comes with the stove.

Remember that the Zip comes with the smaller JetBoil pot, which holds 0.75 liters when filled to the brim. For a couple of ounces more, you can get one of their 1-liter pots.

The Zip with lid  burner  and pot. This is the lightest integrated stove in our test bunch  but the volume of the integrated pot is only 0.75 L  compared to the standard 1 to 1.5 L volume of most other integrated pots in our test bunch. For solo or two-person use  0.75 L is usually enough.
The Zip with lid, burner, and pot. This is the lightest integrated stove in our test bunch, but the volume of the integrated pot is only 0.75 L, compared to the standard 1 to 1.5 L volume of most other integrated pots in our test bunch. For solo or two-person use, 0.75 L is usually enough.

Simmering Ability


Integrated canister stoves are generally not built to simmer. The Zip can technically simmer, but it's not great at it. That said, the control valve sensitivity isn't too bad, and the small diameter of the pot means that, with a little stirring, it's easy to keep the middle from getting scorched.

One advantage of the Zip's small pot is that you don't need an extra-long spoon to stir the bottom.
One advantage of the Zip's small pot is that you don't need an extra-long spoon to stir the bottom.

Ease Of Use


At the dawn of the integrated canister stove category, we would have thought this model was pretty easy to use, because back then all stoves like this were easier to use than others. Nowadays, however, the fact that there's no piezoelectric igniter makes the Zip feel old-fashioned for a Jetboil.

The other characteristic that brings us back in time is the valve control knob. Compared to the modern wire control found on many stoves in this review, the knob seems dated. If or when the Zip starts boiling over, it's not fun to reach under there to shut it down, doubly so if you have sausage fingers. The color change heat indicator found on the cozies of other Jetboil models at least helps you anticipate the onset of volcano mode, but the Zip lacks this nicety.

The Zip's small control knob.
The Zip's small control knob.

Boil Time


While boil times are a fairly low priority when comparing backpacking stoves, they're not irrelevant. Just like with fuel efficiency, remember that the pot included with the Zip is smaller than most of the other integrated canister stove pots, so we boiled half as much water in our testing.

The Zip brought that 0.5 liters of water to boil in 3 minutes and 12 seconds. Using the stove in front of our fan blowing 2 - 4 mph added only about 40 seconds to that time.

Value


The Zip is not a bad value. Though it lacks some of the details we've come to appreciate, it does have the basic integrated canister technology, and for quite a bit less money.

Conclusion


The Jetboil Zip is the back-to-the-past integrated canister stove from our test. It has the core feature set that characterizes this type of stove: good pot to burner mating and above-average fuel efficiency. However, it lacks some of the little things we've come to expect; chiefly, a piezo igniter and an easy to use control valve.

Recommended pairings for the Zip: dehydrated meals  titanium utensils  coffee. Don't forget a lighter.
Recommended pairings for the Zip: dehydrated meals, titanium utensils, coffee. Don't forget a lighter.


Ian McEleney