For anyone who has an interest that takes them outdoors will know, A hot drink on a cold day can really lift your spirits…
For many years I’d been relying on a combination of kit to provide myself with a hot cup of coffee or to heat up some food, Originally i started out with Hexamine burners and mess tins, after a short amount of time being distinctly unimpressed I migrated swiftly on to a Mini Trangia burner and a SnowPeak solo titanium pan, this was my staple outdoor cooking system for well over a decade…
Fast forward to 2/3 years ago on a bitterly cold weekend game at Rype with Infiltration Airsoft and I see a good friend of mine walking around with a jetboil, the fact he could attach it all together, full with water and then light it whilst carrying it to boil outside seemed genius! Much better than me being hunched over a pan in the sub-zero cold, and then having to decant the hot pan into a mug whilst still outside… I ordered one literally the next day.
The model I ordered was the Flash in Multicam, firstly because the flash comes with a heat indicator which turns from black to yellow/orange to let you know when your water is about to boil…
The second reason is I was going through one of my “buy all the Multicam things!” Stages that I seem to do every year or so.
The beauty of the Jetboil cooking system is that when it’s not in use it can all be stored within its own pan,
You can comfortably fit the gas can, can stabilisation tripod, burner and a number of other optional accessories within the pan, the bottom flux ring being protected by a smoke colour transparent “cup” and the top being secured by a flexible translucent lid.
The key part of the jetboil flash (and indeed other jetboil burners) is the flux-ring on the base of the pan, this ensures that the maximum amount of heat is transferred into the pan instead of simply spilling over the side and being wasted. A side benefit is that it also cools down the pan once it’s empty by acting as a heat sink.
Outside of the flux-ring is the built in pan attachment system, this uses a triple bayonet lug fitment to attach to the burner.
The burner itself has built in piezo ignition, with spares available if it should fail, worth noting that if you don’t pack the gas can properly you could damage the ignition wire, although it’s built solidly enough for the job.
As for the pan, it’s got a total capacity of a litre although for rapid boiling there is a fill line halfway up which indicates 2 cups (or one mansize cup of coffee) which is also the perfect amount for reheating MRE or Wayfarer Foods pouches which are a snug fit once folded up. The sheer speed of boiling a mug full of water is astonishing! Consistently less than 90 seconds and even in sub-zero temps your likely to be brewing your beverage within 2 minutes.
The outside of the mug is covered with a neoprene sleeve, this contains the aforementioned boil indicator and also a small loop which comes in handy for storing a spoon or similar.
There are also various sleeves available ranging from bright colours to other camouflage patterns including a pretty rare US woodland pattern.
The lid also is packed with a few features, not only there to speed up the boiling process it’s also more than useful if drinking directly from the mug with a built in spout along with a central boil off hole which doubles as a holder for the optional coffee press (sold separately)
You can also attach a lanyard to the lid if required but I’m pretty OCD about my gear, I don’t tend to misplace stuff.
The coffee press is functional and splits into 3 components, for just over a tenner it can really transform your Jetboil into a dedicated coffee brewing unit. One slight criticism is the ease in which the press rod can be lost, as I mentioned I’m not one to often lose things but I did misplace the central rod section for nearly a year in a box of gear. I nearly binned the whole press but luckily the missing part turned up. I have since modded the press to hold both bar sections, something that could easily be incorporated a lot better into the press by simply adding a clip on the inside. (Ahem, Jetboil I’m looking at you… you can thank me by sending me one for free 😂)
Another optional accessory is the cutlery set… a bit of an impulse purchase if I’m honest, I already have an exceptional titanium KFS set, but the spatula is why I decided to buy it. All three items are sturdily built and slide out from within their handle to become a very usable length. The fork if I’m honest is surplus to my requirements, the spoon on the other hand is a great length and can reach the bottom of the pan with ease. The key component is the spatula… this was solely purchased as I also invested in the flux-ring fry pan which I’ll go into deeper detail in a moment, as anyone will know an egg is a bastard to keep in one piece without a decent spatula.
So, on to the pan…
I require two things to make a weekender enjoyable… bacon and coffee. Coffee is obviously the priority but bacon runs a close second, I’ve known people to cook all sorts in their Jetboil, with porridge having the most hilarious consequences. Personally I stick to just water in mine with the occasional coffee (I have a JavaPress I tend to use more often, review to follow shortly)
The Fry Pan at its core is a flatter, larger flux ring pan, you do need to attach a pot stand (available separately) to the burner but once together it’s pretty sturdy.
The pan stand will fold up and fit inside the main Flash pot with all other accessories,
The pan sits comfortably on the stand and the flux ring should stop it spilling off the side in all but the most challenging of terrain. It comes a equipped with a very traditional camping pan type folding dual handle which once pulled out remains stable and unlikely to move even when moving the pan around.
The bottom of the fry pan has a large flux ring which in testing does efficiently spread the heat pretty consistent around the pan avoiding cool spots, this flux ring is protected in transit by a large orange plastic bowl which is perfectly sized to dish up your meal if your a posh bastard.
The non stick coating works, on its initial outing I neglected to bring any oil and dry fried some bacon directly in the pan… it stuck to the pan somewhat but after a soak I did manage to get it looking as new.
All in all, a great cooking system. One of those bits of gear that you don’t think you need until you buy it, then you become one of those annoying people that tell everybody else they “must buy one”
Your looking at between £80 to £100 for the flash, £60 for the fry pan, £10 each for the pan stand and cutlery sets and £15 for the coffee press. Most of this was sourced on eBay but you can often find these on offer at camping stores in town. Taunton Leisure being a great place for shiny outdoors gear as well as local to me to “try before I buy”
I hope you guys found this useful, I’ll have some more outdoors and Airsoft reviews coming soon…