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Jetboil Flash Lite Personal Cooking System Review

Jetboil Flash Lite PCS Stove
Jetboil Flash Lite PCS Stove (gas canister not included)

Jetboil Flash Lite Personal Cook System

Fuel Efficiency
Weight
Time to Boil
Ease of Use
Durability

Excellent

The Jetboil FlashLite Personal Cook System is the lightest weight Jetboil cook system available today clocking in at minimum of 10 ounces. It's very compact, ultralight, and self-contained when packed with a small fuel canister, ideal for multi-day or weeklong backpacking trips.

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The Jetboil FlashLite Personal Cook System is the lightest weight Jetboil cook system available today, weighing 12.3 ounces (10 oz. minimum). It’s basically the same as the 1.0 Jetboil Flash Personal Cook System but with a smaller volume and lighter weight 0.8L pot. Designed for non-winter use, it’s ideal for rapidly boiling water to make things like coffee, soup, pasta, or rehydrating freeze-dried backpacking meals. You can further reduce the weight of the system to 10 ounces by leaving the included pot stabilizer and plastic cup home and just eating and drinking out of the pot. If all you need to do is to boil water, the Flash Lite will work admirably for your needs.

Specs at a Glance

  • Boil time: 2 min 30 sec for 500 ml (2 cups) of water
  • Max Number of boils per 100g canister: 24
  • Total weight: 12.3 oz
  • Minimum weight: 10 oz without folding stabilizer stand and plastic cup
    • Pot and cozy: 5.5 ounces
    • Stove with integrated pot stand: 3.9 ounces
    • Lid: 0.6 ounces
    • Plastic cup/fin protector: 1.3 ounces
    • Folding stabilizer stand 1.0
When you buy a Jetboil you're paying for the convenience of an integrated unit
When you buy a Jetboil you’re paying for the convenience of an integrated unit

The Jetboil Personal Cooking System

The Jetboil Flash Lite isn’t just a backpacking stove, but a complete cooking system, an important distinction when comparing backpacking stoves to one another. It consists of the following components:

  • self-igniting stove mounted in a plastic bracket
  • 0.8 liter cook pot with embossed liquid measurements
  • insulating pot sleeve and flexible cloth handle
  • fold out stand (that most people leave at home – but is actually quite useful)
  • plastic lid with sipper and strainer
  • plastic cup which fits over bottom of pot

When you buy a Jetboil, you’re paying for the convenience of an integrated unit that’s easy to pack and fairly idiot-proof to use, which can be a good thing. The components themselves work well together and well enough for their intended purpose, but I wouldn’t call them best of breed. While you can assemble your own cook system from scratch using better or lighter weight components, it’s hard to beat the convenience and degree of integration provided by Jetboil’s stove systems.

The Jetboil pot has heat retention coils that help boost the stove's efficiency when the two are coupled together
The bottom of the Jetboil pot has heat retention coils that help boost the stove’s efficiency when the two are coupled together

The stove provided with the Jetboil Flash Lite is fairly unremarkable as backpacking stoves go. It has a push button piezo igniter which eliminates the need for matches or a lighter to light the stove. While these do break and stop functioning eventually, they can be replaced and are quite convenient when they work. The pot is small but has heat retention coils on the bottom which help improve the overall efficiency of the system and provide the stove with some wind protection. A small 110g gas canister will fit inside the pot with the stove, and the lid holds all of the components inside for easy transport.

If there’s a limitation with the stove, it’s that it is nearly impossible to simmer with, which is a common fault of cooking systems like this which are mainly intended to boil water and not intended for heating anything up except hot drinks or thin soups. Part of the problem is that you simply can’t see the flame when the pot is locked into the pot stand that surrounds the stove and the other is that it goes out if you turn the stove down too low. If you want to cook pasta, like ramen noodles, your best bet is to boil your water and then let the noodles soak in the pot (see Forget Boiling: How to Cook Dried Pasta and Stretch Your Stove Fuel).

While you can lock the pot to the stove, it can be difficult to disengaged when it's finished cooking.
While you can lock the pot to the stove, it can be difficult to disengage it when your water has finished boiling and you want to separate the two.

Eating from the Pot

If minimizing gear weight is a priority, you can discard the plastic cup and eat and drink from the cook pot itself. In my experience, the plastic cup is  easy to crack, so you’ll end up eating and drinking from the pot sooner or later anyway. It’s also one less thing to wash and keep clean.

The insulated cozy surrounding the pot has a fabric handle which is strong enough to hold the pot when contains hot liquid or food. However, it can also be a little tricky to disengage the hot pot from the stove/pot stand if you use the twist lock mechanism provided to lock the two together while cooking. I usually leave the pot deliberately unlocked, if a bit titled, so I can lift it off the combo stove/pot stand when my water has finished boiling.

Likes

  • Complete cook system including stove, pot, lid and optional cup
  • Heats water really fast
  • Fuel efficient
  • Packs up small in your backpack together with a small canister
  • Very lightweight at 10 ounces, without fuel and optional components

Dislikes

  • Difficult to use for cooking more substantive meals than soups
  • Limited liquid capacity

Recommendation

The Jetboil Flash Lite Personal Cook System (PCS) boils water quickly and efficiently for making hot drinks or rehydrating pre-packaged backpacking meals. It’s very compact, ultralight, and self-contained when packed with a small fuel canister, ideal for multi-day or weeklong backpacking trips. If you need to boil water for multiple people or want to be able to simmer more complex 1-pot meals, you’d be better off getting the 1.8L JetBoil Sumo or the 1.0L Jetboil Minimo.

Disclosure: The author purchased this product with his own funds.
Written 2017.

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7 comments

  1. I have the Jetboil MicroMo that I really like, and I think the only difference is that the FlashLite has a cheaper stove. With the stove on the MicroMo, I can get the flame down to an extremely low simmer to where I can cook regular rice without burning. Another benefit to Jetboil is that you can buy the pots separate. For example, by adding the one liter short pot I can transform the MicroMo into the MiniMo (I know, too many Mo’s here), which is a great system for two people. I’ve got stoves and pots out the wazoo, but I seem to mostly reach for the Jetboil.

  2. I have a second generation Jetboil. After a few years of use the piezo stopped sparking. Everything else seemed fine, so I soldiered on with a lighter to get the flame going. Luckily one of my backpacking buddies is a natural gas manager. He said that after a while the spark wire on the piezo gets coated with carbon, much like a spark plug in a car motor. He said to gently rub a piece of paper on the wire to take the carbon off. It now works like new.

  3. While less stable, I’ve tried several of the tiny folding Ti stoves and found better success with those. Combine with a Ti pot and you can really get the weight down.

    My current package is:

    Toaks 900ml pot
    Small 100/110g fuel can
    Kovea Superlite stove (wrapped in a bandana)
    Mini Bic lighter
    Toaks folding Ti spork
    silicone collapsible cup
    1/4 scotchbrite scrubbing sponge

    Everything fits in the pot. The sponge keeps the fuel can from moving much and the bandana keeps the metal parts from rattling. I use the orange Toaks mesh bag to hold the pot and that keeps other things from making noise with the pot.

    I’ve gone without the cup, but it’s nice to have a warm beverage AND warm food to consume at the same time. Worth the extra ounce and a half to me and the kit is still lighter than the 1 liter windburner.

    The 900ml pot seems the ‘right’ size. Big enough to pack everything inside, but still small enough to take up little room in the pack.

    I always carried a bandana, one of those things that is just too handy to leave out. Using it to keep the cook kit quiet simply moved an item, not adding any weight for me and solved an annoyance where it seemed I would always get something in the pot just right and every step would produce a ‘tic…tic…tic…’. Same deal with the sponge. Cutting a scotchbrite into quarters makes it a perfect size to jam between the fuel and the side of the pot. Lighter and spork can fit in the gap next to the sponge.

    Since I carry a firesteel, I’ve debated dropping the Bic, but having it gives me 2 different means of making fire and the mini Bic is light and lasts a long time.

    Folding spork fits nice. Can’t say it’s the best utensil I’ve tried. So darn hard to find something that works well and also stores small. Maybe it’s just that I am using it when I’m tired that it makes such a huge deal. I just hate the fact that a proper fork and spoon suck to carry and the compact items suck at being a fork or spoon. Other than the spork, a heavyweight plastic fork and spoon on a mini caribiner attached to the pack works, but I’ve broken them twice when my pack has rolled over. I don’t like the idea of keeping a pointy item in the pack. Tried rolling it in an item of clothing, but it just seems like I end up needing that item and the alternative is to roll them in something dirty or sweaty. yuck.

    OK, writing an article now. (^_^) Cook kit is just one of those sore spots where you know you don’t need much, but it also annoys the heck out of you when something isn’t quite right. Like I said, you are likely tired when you are using it, so it doesn’t take much to be annoying.

  4. Being new to backpacking, are these jet boil set ups windproof? Just wondering why there is so much to it. I currently just have a small burner and pot and it works with some wind.

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