JetBoil Zip Review
Cons: No piezo igniter, tiny valve knob
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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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
— Ian McEleney