BackpackGearTest
  Home Guest - Not logged in 

Reviews > Cook Gear > Stoves > Jetboil Zip Cooking System > Owner Review by Marina Batzke

JETBOIL Zip Cooking System
BY MARINA BATZKE
OWNER REVIEW
June 26, 2014

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Marina Batzke
EMAIL: mbbp2013 (at) hotmail (dot) com
AGE: 54
LOCATION: Los Angeles County, California, USA
GENDER: F
HEIGHT: 5' 5" (1.65 m)
WEIGHT: 130 lb (59.00 kg)

I converted from day hiking and car camping to backpacking in spring 2013. Since then, I have selectively purchased new, more lightweight gear, while I still carry some heavier gear from my car camping trips. I always hike with a group and I like the gear talk when in camp. I am a tent camper looking for ways to lighten my pack. My backpacking trips are currently weekend excursions in Southern California, USA. If my business travel allows me to get away, I try to backpack one or two weekends a month.

PRODUCT SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: Johnson Outdoors Gear, Inc
Year of Manufacture: 2013
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.jetboil.com
MSRP: US $79.99
Listed Weight: 12 oz (340 g) system weight without stabilizing tripod
Measured Weight: 12 oz (340 g)
Weight of orange stabilizing tripod: 1 oz (28 g)

Other details:
Jetboil also offers the superior cooking systems: Flash and Sol, plus group cooking systems.

PRODUCT DESCRIPTION

The Jetboil Zip is a lightweight and compact cooking system set. Zip is Jetboil's entry-level cooking system. Zip consists of the:
- 0.8 liter (27 fl oz) cooking cup with its insulating wrap and its FluxRing bottom
- adjustable burner
- stabilizing tripod
- opaque black rubber lid with spout and strainer
- plastic bottom cover which doubles as measuring and drinking cup
- metal pot support
I only need to separately buy the gas canister.
IMAGE 1
The purchase set components

Jetboil's patented FluxRing is made from aluminum and welded onto the bottom of the cooking cup. This FluxRing is a corrugated metal ring that through its many folds increases the metal surface area on the bottom of the cup. This increased surface area improves the heat transfer and leads to more efficient boiling.

These Jetboil Zip components are designed to stack perfectly inside of the insulated cooking cup: first I place the orange tripod inside, then the burner, now the gas can and I seal the set with the rubber lid. I protect the FluxRing bottom with the plastic cup. As I always cook using the insulated cooking cup and do not even own another cook pot, I do not take the metal pot support on my trips.
IMAGE 4
If I wanted to use other pots than the Zip

PRODUCT REVIEW

On my overnight trips, I typically have hot oatmeal for breakfast and either Ramen soup or Miso soup for dinner. I pour the package contents into the insulated cup, filter water into the cup and I make sure not to exceed the maximum fill line indicator.
IMAGE 5
Ramen soup for dinner
IMAGE 3
The Jetboil Zip assembled

While the insulated cup can theoretically hold 27 fl oz (0.8 L), the recommended maximum fill is only 16 oz (0.47 L). I snap on the orange stabilizing tripod to the gas canister bottom, then I screw-attach the stove to the gas canister by rotation. Now I turn the black plus/minus button left to start the gas flow. I ignite the gas with a lighter. I position this set on firm ground, so it cannot tip over. I attach the insulated cup to the stove by inserting the indentation at the cup's bottom onto the stove top's tiny bump, then slide the canister left.
IMAGE 2
Insert the cup over the bump, then twist cup left
IMAGE 6
Oatmeal in insulated cup, coffee in cup

It is important to not use a windscreen with this gas canister stove to avoid a heat buildup of the canister itself. I usually try to shelter the stove from excessive wind with my body, while lighting it. Once the Zip stove burns, I have not experienced the wind blowing it out.

During a 3-day snow camp, I kept the fuel canister whenever not in use in the foot area of my sleeping bag to protect it against the freezing cold. I was impressed that the Jetboil started right away when I boiled water for a hot breakfast or dinner. Due to the high elevation of 8860 ft (2700 m) and the cold temperatures of 18-43 F (-8 to 6 C), it took quite a bit longer to boil the hot water and I used up a small canister on that trip, boiling water for breakfast oatmeal and coffee, dinner and tea for 2 people over 3 days.

I am very careful when I insert the system components into the cooking pot or when I take them out to avoid scratching the sensitive pot inside walls.

I have noticed that the cooking cup has kept a faint Ramen soup scent, even though I have also made hot oatmeal in it or just boiled plain water and I always immediately clean the cup when I return home from a backpacking trip. I smell that slight Ramen soup scent even after having aired out the cup for a couple of days.

There are a couple of things I do not like about the Zip and that I feel make it essential to go with the Flash upgrade instead:
1) Zip does NOT have the color-change heat indicator. I feel it is a guessing game when the water is boiling.
2) The rubber lid of the Zip is opaque black. It happened to me on several occasions that I repeatedly kept lifting the opaque lid to peek inside whether the water was already boiling or not yet. Each time, heat (steam) escaped which probably delayed the boiling point a bit. So I kept the lid on and waited a while longer ... until suddenly hot soup or water came bubbling through the lid pour spout and strainer openings. One time I was hastily trying to turn the stove off with boiling hot soup spilling over my hands. Now I always strategically position the gas on/off button for my right hand's direct access and - once I feel that the liquid is near its boiling point - I have my right hand on the on/off turn button to turn the gas off the second I notice the liquid bubbling up.
I contacted Jetboil Customer Service and suggested they switch to see-through, translucent rubber lids for all their Jetboils for safety's sake. After I described my experiences with the liquid boiling over, they shipped me an orange translucent lid (from the Flash Tomato) free of charge and I can now peek through the orange lid.
IMAGE 8
My Zip now with the new orange lid

3) Zip does NOT have the push-button igniter. I have no good experience lighting the Zip with matches. By the time I have ignited the match and try to move it to the Zip gas ring, the wind has blown the match out. Instead I use a cigarette lighter. Yet throughout the winter months, my hands were often cold and stiff and it was difficult for me to ratchet the lighter to a spark. A couple of times, I used a twig with a glowing end from our camp fire to light the Zip.

FIELD USE

Location: Third Stream Crossing Lytle Creek, San Bernardino National Forest, California, USA
Elevation: 4000 ft (1200 m)
Trip duration: 2 days/ 1 night
Temperatures: 60-80 F (16-27 C)

Location: Henninger Flats, Angeles National Forest, California, USA
Elevation: 2600 ft (790 m)
Trip duration: 2 days/ 1 night
Temperatures: 64-90 F (18-32 C)

Location: Little Jimmy Campground, Angeles National Forest, California, USA
Elevation: 7500 ft (2290 m)
Trip duration: 2 days/ 1 night
Temperatures: 35-58 F (2-14 C)

Location: Henninger Flats, Angeles National Forest, California, USA
Elevation: 2600 ft (790 m)
Trip duration: 2 days/ 1 night
Temperatures: 64-90 F (18-32 C)

Location: Mount Lowe Trail Camp, Angeles National Forest, California, USA
Elevation: 4500 ft (1400 m)
Trip duration: 2 days/ 1 night
Temperatures: 50-67 F (10-19 C)

Location: Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA
Elevation: 3000 ft (914 m)
Trip duration: 2 days/ 1 night
Temperatures: 45-70 F (7-21 C)

Location: Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA
Elevation: 5000 ft (1525 m)
Trip duration: 2 days/ 1 night
Temperatures: 50-75 F (10-24 C)

Location: Table Mountain Group Campground, SW of Bishop, California, USA
Elevation: 8860 ft (2700 m)
Trip duration: 3 days/ 2 nights
Temperatures: 18-43 F (-8 to 6 C)

Location: Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA
Elevation: 3080 ft (940 m)
Trip duration: 2 days/ 1 night
Temperatures: 50-90 F (10-32 C)

SUMMARY

While I love the Jetboil Zip for its light weight and compact size (all components easily stored inside the cooking pot), I would not buy the Zip again but instead the Jetboil Flash for its improved features.

THINGS I LIKE

Light weight
Compact: all components fit into cooking pot

THINGS I DO NOT LIKE

No color-changing heat indicator when contents is hot
Black opaque lid does not allow me to look into the cooking cup
Cooking cup has persistent Ramen soup smell
Occasionally has taken me numerous attempts to light stove with a lighter (forget matches)
Scratch-sensitive cup inside walls

SIGNATURE

Marina Batzke

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2014. All rights reserved.

Read more reviews of Jetboil gear
Read more gear reviews by Marina Batzke

Reviews > Cook Gear > Stoves > Jetboil Zip Cooking System > Owner Review by Marina Batzke



Product tested and reviewed in each Formal Test Report has been provided free of charge by the manufacturer to BackpackGearTest.org. Upon completion of the Test Series the writer is permitted to keep the product. Owner Reviews are based on product owned by the reviewer personally unless otherwise noted.

If you are an avid backpacker, we are always looking for enthusiastic, quality reviewers. Apply here to be a gear tester.


All material on this site is the exclusive property of BackpackGearTest.org.
BackpackGearTest software copyright David Anderson