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Reviews > Cook Gear > Stoves > MSR Pocket Rocket > Owner Review by Mark McLauchlin

Owner Review MSR Pocket Rocket Stove
19th April 2008


1
* Reviewer Information
Name: Mark McLauchlin
Age: 30
Gender: Male
Height: 1.76 m (5’ 9”)
Weight: 80 kg (176 lb)
Email: mark at swanvalleyit.com.au
City: Perth, Western Australia

* Backpacking Background
I have been hiking since 2006 with most of my hiking consisting of day walks averaging 16 - 22 km (10 - 14 mi) and short overnight trips where possible.

I consider myself to be a light hiker with an average pack weight of 13 kg (29 lbs).

My preference is for hot dinners, breakfasts of cereals with fresh fruit, and lunches usually of bars and sandwiches. I am starting to work with freezer bag type meals.

* Product Information
Manufacturer: Mountain Safety Research / Cascade Designs Manufacturer's2
URL: www.msrgear.com
Year of manufacturer: 2006
Listed Weight: 86 g (3 oz)
Verified Weight: 86 g (3 oz)
Listed Dimensions: 10x10x5 cm (4x4x2 inches)
Year of Purchase: 2007
MSRP: $39.95 (USD)

* Product Description
The Mountain Safety Research (MSR) Pocket Rocket is a canister mounted, single fuel, IsoPropane stove.

One of the greatest benefits of this stove, my main reason for purchase also, is its size and weight. As can be seen from the images the stove fits within the palm of my hand, and weighs only 86 grams or 3 ounces.

Starting from a top down approach on the stove we can see that there are three ‘legs’ which fold out when in use and back in towards the main body when packed away. The legs are tightly hinged at the base so there is no instability.

When the legs are in the outer position they are not completely level, as can be seen from the image, the manufacturer advises that this creates better stability for a wider range of pots or pans. The legs are also 10 cm or 4 inches apart, (point to point) and have small serrations for extra grip.

At flame point there is a Windclip Windshield, (tri-sectional) designed to help protect the flame from light winds. 3

The stove has a standard screw type connection valve to the gas cylinder, however one point which I find
advantageous is that there is a differing in texture around the area where it is tightened to assist with grip. The stove is sealed to the cylinder with an o-ring.

Located near the base of the assembly is the flame control valve. The flame can be turned right down
(counter clockwise) to simmer and conversely turned (clockwise) up to a very fast boil. The control valve also folds away close to the body for packing and to prevent damage.

There is no ignitor with this model which does not create any issues as far as I am concerned, it always starts first
time with a match or lighter which I generally carry for other fire lighting purposes.

The Pocket Rocket was purchased as part of the Titan Kettle Kit, however that is outside the scope of this report and will be addressed in a separate owner report.

* Test Locations
Western Australia is known to bushwalkers for the Bibbulmun Track which runs from Perth to Albany (nearly 1000 km or 621 miles long). The many tracks that lead through this area also make up most of my walking. 4

The diversity of the track sections can range from well marked trails to overgrown and sometimes more
challenging tracks to navigate. Old forest tracks and Park Ranger (Conservation And Land Management) gravel roads make up the majority of the access points to the track.

Elevation is from sea level to 585 m (1,920 ft).

The Pocket Rocket has been used mainly around the Bibbulmun track as this is an area great for hiking.
Walks can be from a few hours to 6 weeks to complete end to end. All of my walking has been on this track and its surrounding areas.

I have completed several sections of the track at the northern most end and spend several days out walking per month. The layout of the track means that I have been able to walk between huts which are generally one full days walk, 16 – 22 km (9.94 – 13.66 mi).

* Test Conditions
As I have been testing this item of over 18 months an exact temperature, wind and rainfall pattern is difficult to monitor myself, the details in the table below are courtesy of the Bureau of Meteorology. This stove has been used in all the months below.

Statistics

Jan

Feb

Mar

Apr

May

Jun

Jul

Aug

Sep

Oct

Nov

Dec

Annual

 

Temperature

Mean maximum temperature (°C)

30.5

31.1

29.5

25.6

22.3

19.3

18.4

18.7

20.1

22.8

26.4

28.7

24.4

 

 

Mean minimum temperature (°C)

17.7

17.9

16.4

13.6

10.7

8.5

7.9

8.1

9.5

11.1

14.2

16.2

12.6

 

 

Rainfall

Mean rainfall (mm)

17.6

9.1

21.1

31.1

91.5

134.3

151.3

134.9

90.1

43.4

19.7

6.1

747.9

 

 

Decile 5 (median) rainfall (mm)

1.8

3.5

9.2

27.0

93.4

123.2

137.6

130.8

91.0

41.9

17.8

4.8

741.2

 

 

Mean number of days of rain ≥ 1 mm

1.4

1.1

2.8

4.5

9.2

12.9

14.7

13.7

10.9

5.5

3.8

1.9

82.4

 

 



* Review
Stability of the Pocket Rocket is surprisingly good, to date I have not had any issues with the stove toppling over. I have used the Titan Kettle, mainly to boil water, and prefer to use an aluminium pot which provides me with the ability to cook meals.

Both the titan kettle and the aluminium pot I have used have been very stable which attribute to the cerated edge and inward angle of the legs. The performances of the cooking pots are not discussed in this review.

In normal conditions I have experience whilst hiking, boiling water takes approximately three minutes as per the manufacturer’s website. On most occasions I do not bring the water to the boil as this is too hot for my liking and also saves on gas. Two and a half minutes is sufficient for hot drinks and dehydrated meals.

Testing has made it is apparent that the Windclip Windshield this does prevent the flame from blowing out but it does not protect it from being blown sideways thus reducing the efficiency of the flame.

The o-ring which provides the seal between the stove and cylinder has not shown any signs of wear after 18 months.

The control valve has proved to be exceptionally good, as mentioned above in the product description, and shows no signs of wear. I was initially concerned about the location of the valve and thought that it might be difficult to get to or become hot as the stove is in use, neither of these proved to be an issue.

There are few safety items, specific to the stove, which I would like to mention, as per the instructions that came with the stove.

      *Ensure the stove and the canister is correctly assembled before operating. 5
      *Do not light indoors, in a tent, vehicle or other enclosed area (Carbon Monoxide hazard)
      *Do not obstruct the flow of combustion and ventilation air.
      *Always check for leaks before operating.
      *Never disconnect stove while still lit.
      *Do not place heavy loads on the stove, maximum of 3.6kg or 8 pounds.
      *Never leave unattended.

The pocket rocket comes with a red plastic case for storage which due to the pointed nature and legs and the
build up of soot from burn time is a great idea to help protect my pack and other items. (also protecting the stove).

Upon reading the information on the back of the MSR branded IsoPro canister I was amazed to read about a warning that the use of, in some states in America, can lead to cancer. An email was sent to the customer service with a very prompt reply to state that legally they are obliged to note this as legislation in some states requires this, other states do not. Other brands of IsoPro that I currently use to do not note this, I will be following up to see if there are any specific reasons for this.

* Conclusion
This is a great stove and I highly recommend it to anyone that is looking for fast, effective cooking with minimal weight and at a great price.

* Pros
Light, efficient, durable and affordable.

* Cons
Unable to utilise a windshield (as with any canister mounted stove).

My reports and reviews can be fount at;
http://www.backpackgeartest.org/tester_reviews/markmclauchlin


Read more reviews of MSR gear
Read more gear reviews by Mark McLauchlin

Reviews > Cook Gear > Stoves > MSR Pocket Rocket > Owner Review by Mark McLauchlin



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