The Jetboil Minimo is a revised take on the traditional ‘personal stove system’ from the company. There are some instantly noticeable variances, and then some finer details that are supposed to make the Jetboil Minimo a little more than just an expensive kettle.
- Weight – 415g
- Volume – 1L
- Boil time – 2m 15s (1/2L)
- Dimensions – 127mmx152mm
- Power – 6,000BTU/h (1.75kW)
You can view the Jetboil Minimo on their website here
Throughout the Autumn, Winter, and now into Spring; I have used no other Stove on wild camping trips than the Jetboil Minimo. One thing is certain, it has not left any doubt of capability in terms of a good backpacking stove for one person. In fact, the Jetboil Minimo has surpassed expectation in some respects.
All the typical features are still present here; everything fits into one package (including a 125g canister), boil times are incredibly quick, the system is relatively lightweight whilst remaining robust enough to put up with a bit of hammer on multiday trips. So with that said, what is new? Well, it is safe to assume that the biggest frustration with previous models was that there is little else that could be done with them other than boiling water. Speedy, and gas efficient boil times but no ability to use the stove for anything more. The Jetboil Minimo though, features Jetboil’s improved regulator – something that is noticeable immediately. When turning the regulator to start the flow of gas, it takes a few turns for the gas to start coming through. When in use, this gives much more control over the level of the flame and leads to a bigger variance in operating temperature. There are four and a half turns of control before the burner shuts off completey. Compared with only one and a half turns on another, popular, personal stove system – this gives the Jetboil Minimo the added capability of simmering. In real terms, using the Minimo to steadily cook food through or simmer after having brought to the boil is definitely possible.
Having used the stove to cook pasta, rice, curry etc – simmering is definitely a solid, and prevalent feature that sets the Jetboil Minimo apart. Having said that, I still found that stirring was neccesary more than with other gas stoves. This is likely down to how heat retentive the Jetboil Minimo pots are, having heat exchangers on the bottom. The burner has definitely moved on from the ‘full throttle’ or nothing effect, that was an apt description with previous models. But on one occasion, I did find that the curry I had been cooking ended up burning to the bottom of the pot. It is still a good idea to work closely with it if heating food through or cooking anything with a sauce, as opposed to leaving it alone for longer periods of time. With an attentive eye, it is really quite easy to cook meals using the Jetboil Minimo.
Throughout the Autumn/Winter season, and across several backpacking trips; the Jetboil Minimo has been the only stove that I have used. Jetboil have commented on the regulator diaphragm as having been enhanced. To summise, the diaphragm reacts to differences in pressure – opening or narrowing the burner valve to maintain consistent output. Having been out in temperatures below freezing and having seen no decline in the stove’s performance whilst using four season gas, however Jetboil have come to achieve this; they seem to have got it right. Stoves that I have used in previous winters, such as the Jetboil Sol, did struggle somewhat in lower temperatures with a decreased gas flow rate. Of course, inherently with the cold, the pressure in a gas canister will be lower. As such, eventually; as gas is expended (lowering the pressure and so, temperature inside the canister still further) the stove can tail off a little – but this is to be expected. It only becomes noticeable when the gas canister is near to empty.
Going back to what are instantly visible steps forward in the design of the Jetboil Minimo pot, the handles are far superior to previous models. Instead of a thin piece of webbing, that would provide a precarious method of pouring there are now fold-out, rigid metal handles. Not only does this lessen the chance of burning your hand on the pot, but it more or less eliminates the potential for flooding your tent inner with scolding hot water. Another change for the pot on the Minimo is its overall shape. Jetboil tell us that it is to provide a better angle for eating from it with a spoon. Whilst undecided on whether there is a discernible difference, the increased surface area of the base is sure to have increased efficiency in cooking.
On thing that is still not right on the Jetboil Minimo, and has been a bit of a gripe for a while now, is the lid. There is still not tab or handle on the top that would allow the user to remove it without having to peel it from the rim of the pot – needing to be careful of steam when doing so. Although it would be such a small effort to rectify, it is only one drawback amongst a swathe of positives.