I’ve had a number of different go-to stoves since I was a kid, but this MSR PocketRocket stove kit might just be my new fave, taking the slot as my go-to solo stove set.
The set comes with the PocketRocket 2 stove, a .75 liter aluminum pot, a 16-ounce bowl, a lid with straining holes, a potholder, and a stuff sack with room for a 4-ounce fuel can.
The stove is a workhorse in an unbelievably small package. It brought my half liter of soup to a boil in under two minutes, in temperatures just above freezing and moderate wind. With the folding pot supports, the stove packs down to a size barely larger than the included potholder (3.1” x 1.7”), not much bigger than a thumb. The pot is a keeper, because of the insulated grip around the rim. This lets it double as both a cooking and an eating or drinking vessel. The potholder is…well… a potholder. I’ve definitely had more secure potholders, and it seems a bit irrelevant because of the insulated rim. I haven’t used it. The plastic lid has a large port for the potholder to get in and nine little holes for straining. The port lets enough air out that it takes a lot for it to boil over. The lid is also very easy to take off, eliminating any fumbling and resulting spillage.
On the flipside, the downfall of the lid setup is that the lid doesn’t seal securely onto the pot. Ridges on the interior ensure it won’t fall off when the pot is jostled side to side. Unfortunately, it fits on the top so loosely that if you invert the pot even slightly, the lid will come off. This means unless you tape it down when packing the stove set away, it’s probably going to come off in your pack.
The interior of the pot has measuring marks at 0.5 L. The included plastic bowl holds more measuring marks at 120 mL, 240 mL, and 360 mL (4oz, 8oz, and 12oz). It nests on the outside of the pot, on the bottom of the set. This isn’t a problem, but it was for me when, bleary-eyed, I awoke in darkness for an alpine start and set the pot on the stove to boil tea. Unfortunately, I forgot about the plastic bowl nested on the bottom and melted the entire thing, nearly setting fire to my backpack. This is a clear user error, so nothing to discount the stove here… But it is something to keep in mind!
Overall, I’m a fan of this little kit. The stove is a beast, and the pot doubles nicely as bowl/mug and cooking vessel, thanks to the insulated rim. For the size (4” x 5”) and weight (10 oz), it’s hard to beat.
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