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MSR Pocket Rocket Stove Review

The MSR Pocket Rocket stove is one of the most well known lightweight backpacking stoves available on the market.

The review takes a look at the design, features and more importantly gives you an overview of how this little canister stove performs.

    What's Smart?

  • Lightweight
  • Simmers well
  • Fast boiling
  • Very compact
  • Durable

    What's Not?

  • Stability (more about that in the review)
Suitable for: Camping, Backpacking light
Approx price: $39.95 US
Countries available: Worldwide (check with MSR or us)

stove just out the box image Contents when taken out of the box (stove, manual, storage box)
pocket set up Tess likes the stove, or should i say the food cooking :)
switch image Glove friendly switch
top view Birds eye view and wind clip

Weight/Packing

The MSR pocket rocket stove weighs a mere 3 oz without fuel making it light enough for most of us. This makes is pretty light even for those minimalists that don't like the extra weight of wearing underpants . Add an extra 8 oz or 4 oz for fuel then times that by how many canisters you plan to take for the overall weight.

The stove when its inside the triangular protective box is 4.5 in x 3.5 in and only 4 in high without the box. The main weight and pack space used is from the fuel canisters needed.

For extended trips a liquid stove is likely to be more suitable because the pocket rocket will need more fuel canisters. The extra canisters will increase the weight, cost of fuel, and use up too much room in the backpack. My 8 oz canister lasted 2.5 days so if I planned a 7 day trip I will need three of them so I would not take the Pocket Rocket.

Performance/Using The Pocket Rocket

The Pocket Rocket is simple to put together by twisting the canister on the stove thread and then open the three pot supports. If gas does not seem to be coming out properly you may need to twist it on a little tighter. When I first lit up the stove and then switched it on full power it was a good job the ceiling in the house was 8 ft high otherwise it would have stripped the paint off it. So I can see where the name Rocket comes from.

The control from fast-boiling to simmer works perfectly for such a small stove. And, using it with the 8 oz canister gives it a sturdy base as long as the surface it sits on is level.

The advertised boiling time of 3.5 minutes for a liter of water is based on using an MSR 8 oz IsoPro canister. A user cooking in higher winds, colder conditions, or with cookware that does not conduct heat well is likely to increase the amount of boiling time, naturally.

The 3.5 minutes boiling time that's advertised is about right when I use the Pocket Rocket even in high winds. I have noticed users having issues when using the stove in high winds which is easily overcome by creating a wind sheild.

I had no problems with keeping the stove sturdy which I see others mention in reviews. I see it as my responsibility to create a level surface and not MSR's. It has been fine on slopping ground as you can see in one of the pictures. The stove stand that can be bought separately will help some users , however, I have never needed it.

The glove friendly switch is a feature I like. Its simple to use and folds back nicely into the body of the stove.

Fuel Perfomance

The fuel to be used with the stove is the MSR IsoPro 4 or 8 oz canister. The 8 oz gives a user around 60 minutes of cooking time. I cook a lot and drink plenty of tea or coffee throughout the day and the 8 oz canister lasts me 2.5 days

Some people may have a problem getting MSR fuel like I did. I bought a Coleman 8oz canister which has the correct 70/30 mix of butane with propane and complies with European standards (EN417). It works fine, performs the same although IsoPro can perform a bit better at lower temperatures.

The IsoPro fuel will perform better at lower temperatures than plain old butane/propane, however , the MSR Pocket Rocket stove is not designed to be used in extreme cold.

For those outdside the US, IsoPro canisters are harder to buy, however, as mentioned above Coleman and a couple of other brands like snow peak will fit.

Common Problems

The main issue users seem to have is the stability of the stove. This is easily overcome by making sure the surface is level or if no level surface is available make it.

Using a kind of wedge on the side of the stove that is lower tricks out this problem of levelling the surface.

The other issue a small amount of users have is when using the stove in high winds. As mentioned above this can easily overcome by creating a windsheild. A flame of any type used in high winds will naturally reduce its ability to heat something above it unless it's protected from the wind.

Summary/Verdict

The Pocket Rocket is an ideal stove for those backpacking or camping light on a few days outing. It costs an affordable $40 which gives a buyer a lightweight, durable and compact unit that performs well.

Personally I can find no fault if it's being used for the correct type of outing and conditions. Yeah, I have to find or make a level surface but I'm unable to down rate the Pocket Rocket based on something that's my own responsibility.

Weight: 3oz
Fuel burn time: About 60 minutes (8oz IsoPro canister)
Boiling time: Approx 3.5 minutes
Warranty: Limited for life
Size: 4 inches long, 2 inches wide
  • A glove friendly control switch makes it easy enough to adjust the flame when wearing gloves or not.

  • Weighs only 3 oz without fuel and is only 4 inches in height, making it light and compact.

  • Boiling time is advertised at 3.5 minutes for a liter of water which is dependant on a couple of factors mentioned in the review.

  • A wind clip is attached which helps to protect the flame output.

  • Comes with a small protective plastic case that the stove fits into nicely.

  • MSR advises the stove to be used with MSR IsoPro ( more about fuels in the review).

  • 8oz/227-g canister should last for around 60 minutes

    Features/Design
    Performance
    Pack Size
    Maintenance
    Value For Money
    Overall

Pocket Rocket Video Info

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