The Jetboil PCS is a new take on the portable gas stove which has earned several gear test awards in magazines. I took a detailed look to see how useful it could be for the Sea Kayaking fraternity. (Click any image to enlarge)
The Jetboil Personal Cooking System (PCS) is marketed as a compact ‘food and beverage multi-tool’. It consists of a 1 litre pot, tall and thin in design. This pot is surrounded by a neoprene sleeve with a sewn in webbing handle. When in transit a heavy duty rubber drinking lid, similar to those found on thermal mugs, is attached to the top of the pot. A plastic measuring cup attaches to the bottom to protect the base of the pot.
The burner unit is a small push button ignition affair which screws directly onto the bottom of the pot. It is designed to accept a 100g gas cartridge. When not in use the burner/gas canister can be stowed inside the 1litre pot.
When in use the whole unit is firmly attached together and the neoprene outer/webbing handle allow the pot to be unscrewed from the burner and used as a mug/pot even when hot – the rubber drinking cap coming into play to prevent burnt lips.
Stowing the Jetboil PCS is simple and easy. It’s relatively slender shape fits neatly into a small dry bag and can be tucked into oval or round hatches including a day hatch with ease.
The Jetboil is simple to set up. Drop the burner unit/gas cartridge out of the pot. A half turn until the burner is attached to the base of the pot. Turn on the gas and push the ignition. This can all be done in seconds.
The burner is quite ferocious for it’s size and testing showed the published 2 mins for half a litre of water to be accurate. Similarly the published 12 litres per 100g gas canister was also accurate.For making a fresh hot drink this unit is superb requiring no extra hardware (mugs etc). Similarly, for boiling water for rehydrated meals which can be mixed and eaten from their packet or the 1 litre pot, the Jetboil is superb.
If you are looking to cook more advanced meals, then the standalone Jetboil PCS is limited on it’s own – it’s tricky to clean out after heating food directly in the pot. However Jetboil sell a range of compatible accessories such as larger/wider pots, frying pan etc.
The ignition works very well and the construction of the unit seems very robust. My only concern in use is the relatively high centre of gravity this design has on a small base ie: the bottom of the 100g gas canister. PCS sell a fold out base support which stabilises the unit and to my mind should really be part of the basic kit.
On a personal level, I now carry the Jetboil on every paddle, with a few cuppa soup and instant coffee sachets squashed inside the pot.
From the Manufacturer:
Our ultracompact 1 liter unit is ideal for dehydrated meals, coffee or tea on the go, remote worksites, and emergency kits. Travel light and prep easy. The Personal Cooking System (PCS) is a complete food and beverage multi-tool you can hold in your hand and weighs about a pound. Lights with the click of a button, and within two minutes you’ve got two cups of boiling water ready for coffee or a quick meal. Pack components, fuel and accessories into the Nalgene-sized cup for convenient transport.
◦ 1.0 Liter FluxRing® cooking cup with insulating Cargo Cozy
◦ Adjustable burner with push-button igniter
◦ Insulating drink-through lid
◦ Insulating measuring cup bottom
Weight: 15 oz (425 g)
Volume: 32 oz (1 Liter)
Boil Time: 16 oz (1/2 Liter) = 2 minutes
Water Boiled: 12 Liters per 100g Jetpower canister
Dimensions: 4.1” x 7.1” (104 mm x 180 mm)