MSR PocketRocket 2 Mini Stove Kit Review: When Packability Counts
New for 2018, MSR’s PocketRocket 2 Mini Stove Kit takes the already compact canister stove we reviewed last year and incorporates an aluminum pot with lid, a bowl, an ultralight pot lifter, and stuff sack, all while leaving room for a 4 oz. fuel canister. Here are our thoughts after a few months and far too many instant oatmeals…
In case you missed it, Logan already reviewed the new PocketRocket 2 stove, which you can read here. To summarize, he was impressed with both the design and output of the stove. For those reasons, and more, it was awarded a 2016 Gear Of The Year award. The stove boils water fast, is pretty lightweight, and is surprisingly sturdy – especially when compared to other foldable canister stoves on the market. The MSR PocketRocket 2 Mini Stove Kit is new for 2018, and it creates an all-in-one cook and eat system for minimalist bikepackers. Although it’s geared towards solo pursuits, it could work great for making morning coffee, tea, and oatmeal for duos who aren’t in a hurry.
Ben and I decided to bring the kit on our Oregon Timber Trail ride as our only cook system as we expected simple, boil-only options for meals, tea and coffee, and a few crazy breakfast concoctions based around instant oatmeal packets. It turns out if you’re not too hung up on cooking sophisticated meals out on the trail, this one person cookset might just fit the bill when trying to minimize weight while still cooking for two. Logan and I also relied solely on the kit on our recent scouting ride of The Vapor Trail near Salida, Colorado. Since we were able to cram the route into just two days, boiling water for some simple dehydrated meals and coffee was all we required. Sometimes, quick and simple is more than enough.
At first glance, the Mini Stove Kit may not look like anything special, and although MSR hasn’t made any massive leaps forward here, there are a few little features that give this portable and lightweight cookset an edge over comparable options out there. To start, I think the .75L aluminum pot hits a sweet spot when it comes to pack size and capacity. It’s enough to satisfy the 250ml – 450ml of water that most dehydrated meals require, and can boil enough water for two hot drinks when sharing the kit. The pot also features an insulated grip that makes eating and drinking hot contents significantly easier, solving an issue I often have with ultralight titanium pots and mugs. The plastic lid has an integrated strainer, a rubber handle on top, and a cutout where the pot lifter can grab hold. It’s features like these that set the entire kit apart from other pot sets I’ve used, including ones I’ve pieced together myself.
The included plastic bowl is safe to use with both hot and cold foods, and adds no extra bulk and virtually no added weight to the kit. Nested securely on the bottom of the pot, the 16 oz. bowl also has volume measurements clearly marked on its side, doubling as a measuring cup when some precision is needed. It’s not big, but it’s easy to clean, which often left the pot for boiling water only, and if ‘quick and dirty’ is in your vocabulary, then it could be all you need. I’ve read of several people forgetting to take the plastic bowl off the bottom of the pot before starting the stove, resulting in a melted bowl and a sticky mess, but I haven’t had this problem. I’m not so sure you can consider that a problem, anyway. Just be mindful.
Everything nests together, including the ultralight pot gripper, and still leaves room for a standard 4 oz. fuel canister. I was also able to pack in a lighter and my Vargo Folding Titanium Spork. All of that crammed into a total pack size 0.8L is darn impressive in my opinion, and considering the low price tag of $79.95, what’s not to like?
- Weight: 278g (9.8oz)
- Dimensions (stowed): 4″ x 4.5″ (10.16 x 11.43cm)
- Price: $79.95
- Place of Manufacture: Korea
- Manufacture’s Details: MSR
- Buy: Amazon / REI
I’ve always been impressed with MSR’s products. From ultralight tents to tiny stainless steel pot grabbers, there is a consistent and recognizable design and attention to detail that sets them apart from other big brand gear manufacturers. The PocketRocket 2 Mini Stove Kit is no different. It takes an already impressive canister stove, adds in an aluminum pot and plastic bowl, all while leaving room for a pot grabber, 4 oz. fuel canister, and even a tiny foldable spork if you’ve got one. It’s a fantastic minimalist cook system for those preparing simple meals or boiling water. Although it may not promote to most intricate of feasts, it’ll definitely leave some room in your frame bag for a few more fresh fruits or vegetables.