Review – Jetboil Sol Titanium Stove   8 comments

Well here we go my first gear review post!

Over the last few months I’ve been converted to the idea of a fresh cup of tea while out on a day-walk. It’s always been one the best advantages of backpacking that you can pull over for a brew whenever you want a pep up as it were. For day walks I’d been using a small lightweight primus kettle and mini gas burner but I was looking for something a little more compact and lightweight. I also have my eye on some short one night backpacks when the spring arrives so something I could cook up a simple meal for one in would also be handy.

I’d seen a few mentions of the Jetboil range and had my eye on the Flash range but when I did some searching I managed to find a price for the slightly smaller and much lighter Sol Titanium version for £105.00 from The Outdoor Shop online store so I thought I’d go for it as a little treat. Other than my gas burner I have a Trangia that still sees good service and a much more exciting MSR petrol stove that I love but can’t use in a backpacking tent for obvious reasons so this was something of a luxury purchase but there you go.

So onto the review. I’ll say up front that I think this is a top piece of kit. It comes with the main mug and Flux Ring unit, lid, burner unit with push button ignition, pot stand and base stand for a standard gas canister. Every time I mention the flux ring I’m always drawn to think of the Flux Capacitor from the Back to the Future films. Disappointingly no matter how hard I tried I can’t get the thing to go back in time. “You made a stove…….out of a DeLorean!”

Full componants, all fit into the unit as shown in the next photo

As it’s Titanium its extremely light, the figures from the Jetboil site aren’t very useful as they don’t include some of the bits but I weighed it all together on my kitchen scales and came up with 17oz (I’m old school)

When packed for transport it packs up neatly such that the everything including a 100g gas canister fits neatly inside the mug.

Packed and ready to transport

To assemble you just screw the burner unit into the gas canister, clip on the base stand and then twist the mug unit on to the burner and you’re ready to go.

Ready to use

Now to the most important part. Its full capacity is 0.8l but I normally brew up around 0.5l and it does that in a little over 2 minutes which is pretty damn fast in my book. I can assemble it in about 2 minutes and by the time I’ve dug out the milk, teabags, sugar and my lunch it’s boiled. Putting it back together takes another couple of minutes.

Are there any negatives. Couple of minor points. It has a plastic measuring cup that protects the flux ring that can take a couple of seconds to twist off and if you want to disconnect the burner from the mug to drink you tea (you can just pick up the whole unit) it can take a bit of pressure to unclip it. There is also a small online debate going on that the incompatibility between the two metals used in the flux ring and the mug may cause some degradation in the bond and the stove might fail (or explode). I’ve used mine a few times now and I can see no signs of that and it’s by no means a definitive problem for a product recall. Martin Rye over at Summit and Valley has a blog post up about this and you can read that here if you have any worries but I’m not concerned if that helps. Mind you I think lighting a petrol stove in a backpacking tent is fun so my sense of danger and risk might be different to everyone elses

I took it out on my days out last week in the Southern Highlands. My pals were initially sceptical and took the pish somewhat (they still use flasks the Philistines) but when they saw how neat, light and quick it was they were suitably impressed. There are a range of equally lightweight accessories, pots and pans to expand the Sol beyond a one person brew and quick meal machine. I may take a look at that in future to possible replace my Trangia but it would be a very expensive cooking system if you did. For now I’m happy with what I bought it for.

In Summary

Pros

Lightweight

Compact

Extremely fast and fuel-efficient

Easy to assemble and use

Cons

Cost (although factor against fuel efficiency)

Minor assembly niggles

Possible (unconfirmed) metal fatigue issue

Overall Rating

9.5 out of 10

Gets the surfnslide Best Buy award for stoves 🙂

P1080166

In action in the Brecon Beacons

Usual advice to shop around applies here as it’s RRP is up around £140

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Posted March 11, 2012 by surfnslide in Gear, Reviews

Tagged with , , , ,

8 responses to “Review – Jetboil Sol Titanium Stove

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  1. Good to hear that you are pleased with it Andy as I ordered the Aluminium version yesterday. Now a bit pissed off as checked website where you purchased it and realised it was for sale at £85 rather than the £100 I paid for it! As with you I fancied being able to make a brew whilst on a day walk as well as backpacking.

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    backpackingbongos
    • Sorry I didn’t get the review out a bit quicker to save you a few quid. In future I might put up a quick post if I think I’ve found a bargain before I road-test stuff and review it. The Outdoor Shop is normally the cheapest of the online stores if they have what you want. Bought from them a few times and they haven’t let me down so far.

      Nothing finer than a lazy lunch stop on a summit with a fresh cuppa. It’s part of my standard day walk packing list now

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  2. Ah! Sheesh! I shouldn’t read gear reviews as I want, want, want (and I’ve just splashed out 200 quid on a GPS). Actually, I’m in a similar boat to you. My main stove is a MSR multi-fuel jobbie. I forget the model, but it’s that one that sounds like a plane taking off – which I like when backpacking when cooking for two, ie preparing stuff from ingredients, not simply boiling water. This is worth the weight and bulk when backpacking with Neil, but when I’m on my own, I’d prefer something smaller, simply to boil water.

    I read the comments re the potential problem with the titanium ring earlier in the week, but, like you, have been known to use my MSR flame-thrower very near (ahem) the porch of my tent, so surely this is no more a risk…?

    Anyway, you’d ‘sold’ this to me – until I read the price. Hmm, my tea actually tastes quite ok out of my flask. But then again… if I was going out more often…?

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  3. It’s begun. I anticipate videos of you using the stove and timing how long it takes to boil various volumes of water in different weather conditions, temperatures and altitudes. Presently you’ll find yourself itching to buy and ‘test’ another stove. Before you know it you’ll have a garage full of ’em. I’ve seen it before. Remember kids – ‘testing’ stoves is addictive and dangerous.

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    beatingthebounds
    • At least I pay for the stuff I review out of my own pocket!

      “I bought a mini-trangia, I thought, you know, I can handle it!”

      “Buying Gear – it really screws you up”

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  4. Nice concise review Andy. Do you know whether (or any of your readers) how this stove performs in low temperatures say below freezing?

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    • Thanks Mark. Not had chance to use it cold temperatures, coldest I’ve used it would be around 3 or 4 degrees last weekend and it performed the same as warmer conditions. Probably a bit late this year to try out the extremes but I use it pretty much every time I go out so if I do get chance for a cold weather test I’ll let you know. Great piece of kit anyway

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