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When you’re camping, taking what’s necessary is of utmost importance. So is good food, and you can’t take stoves with you. That’s where the best backpacking stove comes in handy. The MSR PocketRocket Stove is 2.6 oz, uses propane to fuel its fire, boils 500ML water in 1.5 minutes, and is very easy to store. A great camping stove is essential for the best camping gear setup.
If you’re looking to travel light, the MSR PocketRocket Stove clocks in at 2.6 oz. and still manages to boil 500ML of water in 1.5 minutes using high-performance isobutane-propane.
When it came to performance, the MSR PocketRocket 2 Backpacking Stove was second to none. You can boil water—a single liter, 1000ML—in just under 3.5 minutes. It owes its success to the high-performance isobutane-propane inside the canister, as opposed to Coleman fuel or unleaded gasoline used in a Coleman Camping Sportster Backpacking Stove.
Where it stumbled was in windy conditions. It has a WindClip windshield, but it didn’t perform as well as we hoped. This can make its propane less efficient than it actually is. It wasn’t until we set up a proper windshield that it really outperformed liquid fuel stoves.
Related: Check out our Jetboil MiniMo review to see another great backpacking stove.
The MSR PocketRocket Stove isn’t much when you first see it. All it is is the burner head itself. This isn’t uncommon among fuel canister stoves. Since its propane canister fuel is separate, the two can be separated and stored (the nozzle is 2.6 oz.) more easily than the Jetboil Camping Stove Cooking System Carbon. At the same time, when they do come together, you have flame control. People found, as did we, that it helped use the propane more efficiently with flame control. Lastly, the nozzle has a 3-arm system and the pot supports a wide range of sizes.
Related: If you’re looking for a full cooking setup, then check out our Odoland Cookware Carabiner Stainless Steel review.
So, is the MSR Pocket Rocket 2 worth its salt? As far as performance is concerned, it certainly does—but since you’ll have to purchase a piezo igniter, plus fuel canisters, it’s harder to say. If you plan on spending a week out in the wild, you’ll need at least two or three canisters depending on how often you plan to use it. That adds up mighty fast. Its high-performing propane may not be worth the cost. If you want more bang for your buck, we’d suggest the Ohuhu Camping Stove. It’s cheaper and uses wood (or solid alcohol).
The MSR PocketRocket Stove was at its best when wind wasn’t an issue, almost always outperforming other backpacking stoves on our list. It boiled 500ML in under 2 minutes, and its 3-arm system could hold a wide range of pots. When wind was a factor, it dipped drastically. Is it worth picking up propane canisters? You decide.