The MSR Pocket Rocket stove is my choice of stove for camping and backpacking.  I know Michael prefers the MSR Windburner which we reviewed last month, but this one works well for me.  They have since updated the design slightly so if you buy one now you are likely to be buying the MSR Pocket Rocket 2 which is slightly smaller and even more lightweight than the original version.

 

MSR Pocket Rocket Stove on a cannister of Optimus gas

  

If you’ve not seen one before, the green canister in the photograph above is the gas, with the green plastic feet clipped on to give the stove added stability.  The MSR Pocket Rocket itself is the metal section that I have screwed onto the top of the gas canister.  Mine comes folded up  in the little red toblerone shaped plastic box to protect it – and only measures 11.5cm by 6cm by 6cm.  The three legs unfold, then the thin metal loop folds out – this is the piece you use to allow the gas through, turning your gas flame up or down or off.

 

MSR Pocket Rocket stove and it's red holder           MSR Pocket Rocket Stove opened up and ready to be attached to the gas canister

I can fit the stove, a lighter and the plastic feet for the gas canister all in my saucepan which keeps them all together and saves space in my rucksack.  That’s one of the reasons why I prefer the Pocket Rocket to the Windburner – it’s much smaller and lighter weight so gives me more room in my pack for everything else I take with me.

Benefits of the MSR Pocket Rocket Stove

  • The new design is just 73g in weight (12g less than the original) and boils 1 litre of water in only 3.5 minutes.
  • It’s so quick to get out and set up, you can have a cup of tea brewing in less than 5 minutes.
  • The legs have a serrated top to them – this helps to prevent a pan from slipping off.
  • The y shape metal over the burner head helps to protect the flame from the wind.
  • It is compact and stores easily in its own case.
  • Perfect for backpacking or camping.

Disadvantages of the MSR Pocket Rocket Stove
The only disadvantage for me is one that exists for many backpacking stoves.  The flame is SO strong, you have to be really careful when you’re cooking ‘real’ food.  By that I mean if I’m just boiling water, or having a boil in the bag meal, it’s perfect.  But if I was to cook a meal like a chilli or stew in a pan over this stove I would have to pay particular attention to ensure that the food was being stirred continuously and remained wet enough not to burn onto the bottom of the pan.  I would say that this stove does have more control over a simmer level of flame than alternative stoves, but you do still have to keep an eye on it.

The MSR Pocket Rocket is currently retailing at around £28 in UK outdoor stores.

What is your favourite camp meal?  Share in the comments below…

Find all of our gift recommendations here;
Day 1 – The Buff
Day 2 – The Lifeventure Thermal Mug
Day 3 – The Silva Expedition 4 Compass
Day 4 – The MSR Pocket Rocket Stove
Day 5 – The Alpkit MytiStax
Day 6 – The Satmap Active 12 GPS
Day 7 – Icebreaker Merino Tshirts
Day 8 – Leki Walking Poles
Day 9 – Alpkit Viper 2 Headtorch

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