MSR Pocket Rocket stove review.

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MSR Pocket Rocket stove review.

Post by Woods Walker » Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:35 am

The MSR Pocket Rocket is an Isobutane/Propane blend canister stove. The canisters are sold in 4 or 8oz sizes. The actual weight for the 8 oz canister full is 12.6 oz. The stove and container is 4 oz. Here is the technical information from the MSR web site:

http://www.msrcorp.com/stoves/pocket_rocket.asp

"When it comes to canister-mounted stoves, MSR proves less is more. The PocketRocket is a favorite of BACKPACKER Magazine Tester Andy Dappen, who said, "This midget flamethrower is one of the lightest backpacking stoves available, and the best cartridge stove I’ve used."

 Ultralight, Pocket-Sized
Weights just 3 oz. (86 g). Palm-size dimensions, 4x4x2 inches.
 Simple, Lightening-Fast Operation
No need for priming, pressurizing or maintenance.
 Blazing Heat Output
Boils a liter of water in under 3.5 minutes.
 Simmer or Boil
Glove-friendly controls allow precise flame adjustment and stability.
 Windclip™ Windshield
Micro-burner, tri-sectional clip protects flame in light wind gusts.
 Burns MSR IsoPro™ Premium Fuel

Clean burning, ultimate performance from start to finish of canister life.
Weight: 3 oz. (86 g)"

The stove comes with a protective plastic case that even includes a drainage hole. For scale here is a photo of the stove and canister next to a 32 oz canteen.

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The Pocket rockets uses an integral 3 point pot support that folds for easy storage.

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The pot supports fold out in a reverse tri pod system. Any 3 point support system tends to be more stable on un level ground than a 4 point support. I have found the Pocket Rocket very stable when using backpacker sized cookware. But it is very possible to dump any cook pot if the user accidentally bumps into it with sufficient force.

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To set up the Pocket Rocket the user simply checks that the fuel adjustment valve is off than screws the stove to the top of the canister. The adjustment valve folds out and is easy to work. No priming or pumping is required. The stove does not come with a self ignition system so it is necessary to turn the gas on and use a match or lighter. I tend to light the stove with my Fire steel. Just toss some sparks into the burner.

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The company web site has a listed boil time of 3.5 minutes per what I am to assume is one liter. The total liters boiled per 8oz canister is listed as 16. This would imply a greater efficiency than my MSR Whisperlite International. It has a listed boil time of 3.75 minutes per liter with a total of 14.3 liters of water boiled using 11 oz of White gas. I have never verified any of these boil times or total quantities boiled per canister of IsoPro fuel however it does seem that the Pocket Rocket is a fast boiler from my unscientific observations.

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One thing I have always liked about the Pocket Rocket is the small pack down especially when combined with the MSR Titian Titanium kettle.

http://www.msrcorp.com/cookware/titan_kettle.asp

For pack storage the fuel canister fits into the kettle. Just place the canister inside.

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After that put the lid back on and fold the pot support and adjustment valve than slide the stove into its container. The total package is very small and fairly lightweight.

Image

Pros:

1. Few moving parts so the stove is very reliable.
2. Stove and fuel is light weight.
3. Fast boil times.
4. Packs down small
5. The stove in not overly expensive.
6. Fairly stable pot support.
7. No priming or pumping.
8. Safe to operate.
9. Does not smell or char pots.

Cons:

1. The fuel is more expensive than white gas or standard Propane.

2. The Pocket Rocket can use other IsoPro type canisters like those made from Primus but unlike a multi fuel liquid gas stove, wood burning stove or to some extent an alcohol stove once the fuel runs out it is game over. The chances of finding more IsoPro canisters on the fly seem unlikely in an emergency situation.

3. You can't use a wind screen. It does have a “Windclip Windshield” but this is not to be confused with a windscreen. Do to the fact that the fuel canister is a working part of the stove support system it would become dangerously hot if surrounded by a windscreen. If used in high winds someone must block the prevailing winds. I often just use my body, tarp or a tree.

4. Canister performance is reduced by extreme cold. I tend to warm it up inside the sleeping bag or under my jacket in temperatures below the 20’s.

5. They don’t call it a rocket for nothing. It sounds just like one.

Conclusion:

The pocket Rocket is in my view a reliable lightweight easy to pack stove. It does have its limitations but overall I like it.
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Post by Hanuman110 » Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:42 am

Excellent review! I've been using one of these for about 3 years now and I love the little thing. I had a hard time deciding between the pocket rocket and the Snowpeak Gigapower stove. My decision came down to price. I paid around $35 for the Pocket Rocket and it's only slightly heavier than the Gigapower and from what I've researched on both stoves the biggest difference is the price.

Now days I hop between the Jetboil PCS and the Pocket Rocket when I go wandering.
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Post by Gunny » Mon Jan 07, 2008 1:04 am

Very solid review WW.

How many canisters of fuel do you carry with you on each trip?

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Post by Woods Walker » Mon Jan 07, 2008 1:39 am

It depends on the length of the outing. Often one 8oz canister is enough for 3 days. The stove is a very fast cooker. Sometimes I pack an extra 4 oz canister if the larger one has been previously used or if the trip is more in the 4 day range but so far have never had to crack it out if using a new 8 oz canister and standard backpacking food. Some of my food items takes longer to cook than others. This too is a factor with both my White gas and canister stoves. I could carry more canisters for even longer trips but for these activities I tend to use my tent wood stove or a Hobo wood stove. I label the canisters that have been used. At first I used my digital scale to check the canister before taking it. But after some time I could makes a fairly accurate guess as its remaining capacity simply by shaking the canister.

I like the fact that the IsoPro canisters also work with my Primus lantern. This is more of a group item than a bug out thing. Nothing illuminates an area like a good mantel lantern. Just like the stove any lanterns powered with canisters don’t require pumping. The Primus lantern being powered by the MSR IsoPro canister is in the background behind the feared and often misunderstood Mega Hobo stove. 8)

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Re: MSR Pocket Rocket stove review.

Post by sheddi » Mon Jan 07, 2008 9:03 am

Woods Walker wrote:The Pocket Rocket can use other IsoPro type canisters like those made from Primus but unlike a multi fuel liquid gas stove, wood burning stove or to some extent an alcohol stove once the fuel runs out it is game over. The chances of finding more IsoPro canisters on the fly seem unlikely in an emergency situation.
This could be a US-UK thing, but the screw-on attachment for the canisters is standardised EN 417 and is used for all kinds of small gas appliances, not just stoves and lanterns. Canisters with this attachment are available from hardware and gardening stores and some gas stations as well as "outdoors" suppliers. I've seen them in a range of sizes from 100g (~4 oz) to 500g (~16 oz) and from 0% to 40% propane-in-butane.

You're not going to find canisters lying in the woods, but they're available most places that there's civilisation.
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Post by Ringo » Mon Jan 07, 2008 9:24 am

Great review Double W, appreciate the effort as always - great contribution.

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Post by Obiwan » Mon Jan 07, 2008 9:55 am

For comparisons sake...the type of cooking you do makes a difference

My cooking consists of boiling water for meals/drinks and I can go a week (cooking for two) on a single 100g canister with my Jetboil
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Post by Woods Walker » Mon Jan 07, 2008 12:25 pm

Sheddi.

Yea the canisters are less common in the States. Never seen them in gas stations or other places like that. I buy mine at EMS or Dick’s.

Obiwan.

If I am just boiling water the thing seems to last forever. For stuff like non instant rice or cooking game I will burn though more fuel. But this is the same with any stove.
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Post by canuck » Mon Jan 07, 2008 5:22 pm

I've been wanting one of those for ages. Great review.
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Post by Woods Walker » Mon Feb 04, 2008 9:43 pm

REI has the Pocket Rocket/Ti kettle on sale.

http://www.rei.com/ShoppingCart?storeId ... d=48281321

The total cost for the combo is 46.33. It is like getting the Ti kettle for free. :D
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Post by 111t » Mon Feb 04, 2008 10:16 pm

Nice review! Capable little system!

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Post by sporkticus » Mon Feb 04, 2008 10:55 pm

Thanks Woodswalker. I just picked it up. That is a great price!!!!

Edit: REI also has the Waterworks Ex on closeout for $99.00 dollars. I wonder what advantage the PES membrane has over the normal Miniworks?

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Post by Packin' Heat » Mon Feb 04, 2008 11:44 pm

111t wrote:Nice review! Capable little system!

Don't be like these idiots
what a let down. I was waiting for the whole thing to explode Hindenburg style.
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Post by Indiana » Mon Feb 04, 2008 11:54 pm

Great review Woods Walker thanks for that.

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Post by Fenris » Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:01 am

I was wondering about this stove, I saw it at Acadamy for $35 dollars... Thought it would be nice for my friend's BOB. Thanks WW

-fenris-

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Post by CavemanSam » Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:05 am

Excellent review, WoodsWalker.

A common complaint I've heard of on other reviews of this particular stove is that the support struts are very malleable and become even more malleable when they are heated and may bend under the weight of a heavy pot. The particular reviews I had in mind are here, and here.

I just wanted to know what you thought about the supports and if you had encountered this problem in your pocketrocket
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Post by canuck » Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:31 am

CavemanSam wrote:Excellent review, WoodsWalker.

A common complaint I've heard of on other reviews of this particular stove is that the support struts are very malleable and become even more malleable when they are heated and may bend under the weight of a heavy pot. The particular reviews I had in mind are here, and here.

I just wanted to know what you thought about the supports and if you had encountered this problem in your pocketrocket
I just typed an entire post drunkenly and deleted it. 5:30 in the morn in dublin by the way...

What i MEANT tos ay is that the name of the small stove that woods reviewed (that I can'tr emember now) is good for 1-2 people, and that it's dumb to put a lot of weight on such a small base. it's good at small pots, low weight, and ease of use.

any big groups go for a whisperlite or something.
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Post by AltimGXE » Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:40 am

Packin' Heat wrote:
111t wrote:Nice review! Capable little system!

Don't be like these idiots
what a let down. I was waiting for the whole thing to explode Hindenburg style.
Man, agreed. That video had so much potential...

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Post by Woods Walker » Tue Feb 05, 2008 12:52 am

CavemanSam wrote:Excellent review, WoodsWalker.

A common complaint I've heard of on other reviews of this particular stove is that the support struts are very malleable and become even more malleable when they are heated and may bend under the weight of a heavy pot. The particular reviews I had in mind are here, and here.

I just wanted to know what you thought about the supports and if you had encountered this problem in your pocketrocket
I never had a problem. If someone is using pots heavy enough to bend the supports they are screwing up form the get go. It is not a group cooking stove. From what I have seen the supports are not malleable nore become more so when heated. But there are limits as it is a 1-2 person cooking stove.
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Post by 111t » Tue Feb 05, 2008 2:06 pm

Woods Walker wrote:
CavemanSam wrote:Excellent review, WoodsWalker.

A common complaint I've heard of on other reviews of this particular stove is that the support struts are very malleable and become even more malleable when they are heated and may bend under the weight of a heavy pot. The particular reviews I had in mind are here, and here.

I just wanted to know what you thought about the supports and if you had encountered this problem in your pocketrocket
I never had a problem. If someone is using pots heavy enough to bend the supports they are screwing up form the get go. It is not a group cooking stove. From what I have seen the supports are not malleable nore become more so when heated. But there are limits as it is a 1-2 person cooking stove.
Unless you're smelting lead, you won't overload the stove with that cookpot.
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Post by bmonday » Tue Feb 05, 2008 2:20 pm

Here's the correct link to that special REI deal: http://www.rei.com/REI-Outlet/product/770295

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Post by CavemanSam » Tue Feb 05, 2008 2:32 pm

Woods Walker wrote:
CavemanSam wrote:Excellent review, WoodsWalker.

A common complaint I've heard of on other reviews of this particular stove is that the support struts are very malleable and become even more malleable when they are heated and may bend under the weight of a heavy pot. The particular reviews I had in mind are here, and here.

I just wanted to know what you thought about the supports and if you had encountered this problem in your pocketrocket
I never had a problem. If someone is using pots heavy enough to bend the supports they are screwing up form the get go. It is not a group cooking stove. From what I have seen the supports are not malleable nore become more so when heated. But there are limits as it is a 1-2 person cooking stove.
Cool. Thanks 8)
canuck wrote:I just typed an entire post drunkenly and deleted it. 5:30 in the morn in dublin by the way...

What i MEANT tos ay is that the name of the small stove that woods reviewed (that I can'tr emember now) is good for 1-2 people, and that it's dumb to put a lot of weight on such a small base. it's good at small pots, low weight, and ease of use.
:lol:
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Post by 111t » Tue Feb 05, 2008 3:24 pm

This Is quite sturdy... Not as much of a "neato" factor though.
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Post by Makarov » Tue Feb 05, 2008 3:49 pm

Nice review.

I've been discussing stoves with a friend of mine, and ultra light gas stoves in particular. What I would have liked to see in a lightweight stove is a preheating coil that leads the gas over the flames and thus making the stove more effective in cold weather. The only example I could dredge up on the spot that had a preheating coil was the Primus Gravity EF, I haven't found any smaller stoves like the Pocket Rocket with the same feature.
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