Choosing a Jetboil for Adventure Riding

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Choosing a Jetboil for Adventure Riding

We’re taking a look at the best Jetboil for camping from a motorcycle.

Let’s see how Jetboil’s original claim to fame and inspiration for their brand name, the Jetboil Flash, stacks up against other models of Jetboil, other types of portable gas cooker and its overall suitability for motorcycle camping. If you’re on the fence about whether or not to use gas at all, we’ve discussed liquid fuel vs gas cookers in the context of motorcycle camping in our mammoth sized adventure riding packing list.

Warning When Choosing a Gas Cooker for Adventure Riding Around the World

The thread types are not the same in every country, even when using only the Jetboil brand and if you have bought a cooker in Australia, the gas bottle in Chile (or anywhere in South America) will not fit. Please see the main packing list linked just above for more detail.

Jetboil Models – What’s the Difference Between Them?

As we can see from the diagram above, there’s quite a few models of Jetboil, but there’s fundamentally only 3 types:

Unregulated Gas Feed Cooker

Unregulated just means that there’s no variable heat setting. It’s full throttle or nothing at all.
Gas feed in this context, means that it specifically uses the Jetboil brand of disposable gas canister, as opposed to a liquid fuel.

Jetboil Zip

As the cheapest of the two unregulated gas cookers in the Jetboil lineup, the Zip’s main advantage is just that: it’s cheap. At 800ml, it’s also slightly smaller than the Flash but the difference is negligible. The compromise with the cheaper price of the zip is that it takes longer to boil water, at a time of 2 minutes and 30 seconds.

Jetboil Flash

As the slightly bigger brother to the Zip, the Jetboil Flash’ main selling point is that it’s the fastest boiling model in the entire range, with a blistering 100 seconds to boil a litre of water. This is why it’s more expensive than the zip. The Flash is slightly heavier, but not enough to make a difference for adventure riding.

Regulated Gas Feed Cooker

These are gas feed cookers, but have adjustable heat settings to have greater precision over cooking.

Jetboil Mightymo

The Mightymo might have several advantages, but it’s basically just a standard cooker that sits on a gas canister and not a “real Jetboil” so I’m throwing it out of this writeup.

Go on, get out…

That’s the last we’ll see of him.

Jetboil Micromo

The Micromo is the most compact of all the “real Jetboils” and the lightest.

While we’re concerned with weight at every stage of packing for adventure riding, we’re not hiking or riding bicycles so reducing functionality for the sake of a few grams isn’t something we need to do. So with that, sorry Micromo, but it’s a no from me. Go join your little brother in the corner, you won’t be needed again in this comparison.

Jetboil Minimo

Despite the odd naming convention, the Minimo is in my opinion, much mightier than the Mightymo and better suited than the Micromo, while still being more than micro enough for our purposes.
It’s a good sized “real Jetboil”, with the added functionality of being able to adjust the cooking temperature.
The Minimo gets to stay. For now…

Jetboil Sumo

Probably the most aptly named Jetboil of all, the Sumo packs a whopping 1.8 litre capacity and is designed around the idea of cooking for small groups.

The Jetboil Sumo is a brilliant option for motorcycle camping trips in a group, where you will all stay together for the whole trip and one person carries the cooker while another carries utensils etc.

The Sumo’s advantage in a group, being its size, is also the reason why it’s not suitable as the only Jetboil in your lineup because it’s a too big to be practical for solo trips. I know a lot of “adventure riders” love to spend ludicrous amounts of money on accessories so would probably be happy having two Jetboils, but these same GS riders don’t need a Sumo when the closest Starbucks is already equipped with a kitchen. With that in mind, the Sumo would have also been sent to the corner but he didn’t fit…

Regulated Gas Feed Cooker

Jetboil Joule

Probably the most aptly named Jetboil of all, the Sumo packs a whopping 1.8 litre capacity and is designed around the idea of cooking for small groups.

The Jetboil Sumo is a brilliant option for motorcycle camping trips in a group, where you will all stay together for the whole trip and one person carries the cooker while another carries utensils etc.

The Sumo’s advantage in a group, being its size, is also the reason why it’s not suitable as the only Jetboil in your lineup because it’s a too big to be practical for solo trips. I know a lot of “adventure riders” love to spend ludicrous amounts of money on accessories so would probably be happy having two Jetboils, but these same GS riders don’t need a Sumo when the closest Starbucks is already equipped with a kitchen. With that in mind, the Sumo would have also been sent to the corner but he didn’t fit…

Jetboil vs Flash vs Minimo for Motorcycle Camping

Now that the losers have been swept out the front door, it is time for the showdown between the three top-dogs of the Jetboil line-up and to crown one the Best Jetboil for Adventure Riding.

The Minimo has the greatest versatility as it’s designed to also be able to cook food, not just boil water to be added to a dehydrated food package. This could be a key factor to choosing a winner.

The Flash has the fastest boiling time, and is therefore a nice comfort when camping for days on end and trying to reduce camp set-up time. Could this make the Flash the superman of Jetboils?

The Zip is basically just a Flash for riders on a budget, so depending on your circumstances it may be the best option. The Zip is to a Flash as a KLR is to a KTM 1290. It get’s there, it just takes twice as long.

Therefore:

The Best Jetboil for Adventure Riding Is:

None of them. Go buy a multi-fuel stove so you can do a round-the-world trip and not have to worry about canister size or compatibility.

But… It’s these times I have to remember I write for motorcyclecamping.com and not adventuremotorcycle.com and therefore the context is not the same and it’s not just about long distance off-road. Well that’s not quite true, I do occasionally write for adventuremotorcycle.com, but this site is a bit broader in scope and includes road riders.

 Anyway, I’m running late to get to my girlfriend’s house so let’s just call the Flash the winner. I think in most circumstances where someone will be using a Jetboil (i.e. a multi-day trip to Starbucks), dehydrated food packages will be brought along as well so the Flash is better suited and because the water is poured into the packet, there’s no need for washing up either which is a huge hassle saver.