MSR PocketRocket Deluxe Review
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MSR PocketRocket Deluxe
|Price||$63.69 at Backcountry|
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|Pros||Compact, lightweight, works well in the wind, great for simmering||Lightweight, works in the wind, great piezo igniter, fuel efficient, very stable for a small canister stove||Ultralight, fuel efficient, affordable, quick to boil even in wind||Good at simmering, simple operation||Tiny, light, cheap|
|Cons||Unreliable piezo igniter||Pot supports pack up separately from stove||A bit loud, possibly less durable pot stabilizers||No piezoelectric igniter, slow to boil, bulky, somewhat heavy||Small burner head, poor wind performance, not great fuel efficiency|
|Bottom Line||A fantastic and reliable option that simmers well, works in the wind, and is very compact||Our favorite small canister stove, providing the best performance for most backpackers||This affordable and fuel-efficient canister stove is also tiny and ultralight, perfect for your next backcountry adventure||This standard small canister stove is good for simmering but bulky and a bit heavy in your pack||A shockingly small, ultra lightweight, and straightforward backpacking stove at an impressively low price|
|Rating Categories||MSR PocketRocket De...||Soto Windmaster||Soto Amicus||Primus Essential Trail||BRS-3000T|
|Fuel Efficiency (25%)|
|Simmering Ability (20%)|
|Ease of Use (15%)|
|Boil Time (15%)|
|Specs||MSR PocketRocket De...||Soto Windmaster||Soto Amicus||Primus Essential Trail||BRS-3000T|
|Category||Small Canister||Small Canister||Small Canister||Small Canister||Small Canister|
|Essential Weight (stove or stove + integrated pot only)||3.0 oz||3.0 oz||2.79 oz||4.5 oz||0.9 oz|
|Trail Weight (stove, fuel, pot)||15.13 oz||15.63 oz||14.92 oz||16.63 oz||12.63 oz|
|Wind Boil Time (1 liter, 2-4mph)||5:27 min:sec||5:46 min:sec||6:30 min:sec||10:10 min||14:45 min:sec|
|Boil Time (1 liter)||3:14 min:sec||4 min:sec||3:52 min: sec||5:30 min:sec||5:13 min:sec|
|Packed Weight (stove + all accessories)||3.5 oz||3.5 oz||3.5 oz||4.5 oz||1 oz|
|Dimensions||3.3" x 2.2" x 1.8"||4.7" x 3.9" x 3.6"||3.9" × 0.7" × 6.5"||4.3" x 2.4"||2" x 1.2" x 1.3"|
|Additional Included Items||Stuff sack||Stuff sack, pot support||Stuff sack||None||Stuff sack|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The latest in a line of "rocket" themed stoves, MSR's PocketRocket Deluxe is a great backpacking stove. It simmers like a champ, is among the lightest weight small canister stoves, and is incredibly compact for how durable it feels. While it boasts respectable fuel efficiency and an impressive boil time, what blew us away was that it can bring water to a rolling boil even in an 8-10 mph wind! It is very similar in features to the Soto Windmaster, our Editors' Choice. Indeed, the burner heads on these two stoves are almost identical.
Fuel efficiency is a nice feature for a stove on shorter trips, but it becomes increasingly important as your wilderness forays grow in length. Fewer fuel cans means more space in your pack and less weight on your back. Fewer cans is also gentler on the environment and your budget. While the PocketRocket Deluxe is not the most fuel-efficient stove in our review, it held its own against stiff competition.
When tested in calm conditions, the Deluxe used 0.52 ounces of fuel to boil one liter of water, comparable to the best small canister stoves and even some of the integrated canister stoves.
To test fuel efficiency in wind, we situate each stove adjacent to a box fan blowing 2-4 mph of "wind." In this test, the Deluxe burned 0.83 ounces of fuel to boil one liter of water. On average, between these two tests, this stove consumed 16% of a 4-ounce fuel canister per boil test. This is slightly above average when compared to other stoves in our review. It is remarkable that this stove can boil water in the wind, and it does so much quicker than other small canister stoves. Only integrated canister stoves boil faster with wind present. However, while it did have a slightly above average fuel efficiency score, the high performance and quick boil time in the wind is likely why it did not prove even more fuel-efficient. The burner's high output can produce a hotter flame, resulting in a faster boil time in the wind but more consumed fuel. If you want to conserve fuel with this stove, turn down the fuel knob to avoid blazing through your supply.
The PocketRocket Deluxe weighs 3 ounces on the nose (85 grams), very similar to most of the small canister stoves in our review. Its predecessor, the PocketRocket 2, weighed 0.4 ounces less but didn't come with a piezo igniter and performed poorly in the wind. The Deluxe comes with a burly stuff sack that only adds another 0.5 ounces.
The Deluxe is one of our favorite stoves for cooking real food. The control valve has the right amount of resistance, making it easy to dial in the correct amount of heat. While the burner head isn't as large as some of the behemoths found in this competition, it is wider than many small canister stoves, which means heat distributes evenly around the bottom of a pot or pan.
Even though this stove doesn't support large pots and pans as well as the liquid fuel stoves in our test (bigger groups may want a second stove or something that performs better with larger cookware), this stove was still our favorite for making fancy meals.
Ease Of Use
Within the sub-categories of this review (integrated canister, liquid fuel, small canister), the differences in weight are rarely more than a few ounces. Similarly, the differences in boil times are generally hard to detect without a stopwatch. Because of that, our testers are also interested in how easy it is to use each stove, whether we're dumping boiling water into a water bottle or flipping pancakes.
Like all of the small canister stoves, the Deluxe boasts some basic design features that make it easy to set up. It gets extra points for a large control valve wire and simple fold-out pot supports that lend more stability than you'd expect — though it's still not as stable as the competition.
Previous reviewers have had issues with the reliability of the piezo igniter on the Deluxe. Even though it sparked every time we pressed the button, it sometimes struggled to light the stove, even when the valve was fully open. More recently, we have found improved reliability with the igniter, signaling some variability in how consistently these igniters work. This is why we always carry a lighter with us, even when our stove has an integrated igniter. The igniter on the Deluxe is protected by burly housing that attaches it to the stove, and we never worried about damaging it when packing up. Overall, other models edged out the Deluxe in this category because of their consistently reliable piezo igniters and more substantial pot supports.
Our testing team doesn't think boiling times are that important, as long as they're not outrageously slow. Nevertheless, the PocketRocket Deluxe delivered proud results, boiling 1 liter of water in 3 minutes and 14 seconds — an unbeatable score that couldn't be bested even by integrated canister stoves. Don't expect to multitask while boiling water with this stove; make sure you have everything ready to go before you fire up, it will surprise you with how quickly this stove boils.
What impressed our testers most was how well the Deluxe performed in the wind. When we tested the stove in front of a 2-4 mph wind generated by a box fan, this stove boiled one liter of water in 5 minutes and 27 seconds. We think the secret sauce behind this performance is the tapered and slightly protected shape of the burner head and a high-powered burner. The only stoves that are faster at boiling in the breeze are integrated canister stoves.
Should You Buy the MSR PocketRocket Deluxe?
This is the most expensive small canister stove in our review. Do we think the extra dollars are worth it? Absolutely. We can't recommend it enough. The PocketRocket Deluxe, is an almost unbeatable backpacking stove. It boasts impressive performance in the wind, lightning fast boil times, decent fuel efficiency if you can keep it out of the wind, and when it comes to simmering it's our favorite, working almost as well as the stove in your home kitchen.
What Other Backpacking Stoves Should You Consider?
We think the PocketRocket Deluxe is top-tier, but if you want to spend a bit less, both Soto models — the Soto WindMaster and Soto Amicus — are fantastic, they just don't simmer quite as well or boil quite as fast. But the differences are rather subtle if you need to save some bucks. For a truly budget model, check out the itty-bitty BRS-3000T as well. If you'd rather have an integrated canister design and can spend more, the Jetboil MiniMo is our favorite.
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