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Reviews > Cook Gear > Stoves > MSR PocketRocket Titan Kettle Kit > Owner Review by Nathan Kettner

MSR PocketRocket/Titan Kettle Kit
By Nathan Kettner
OWNER REVIEW
April 29, 2008

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Nathan Kettner
EMAIL: kettnernw "at" yahoo "dot" com
AGE: 30
LOCATION: Colorado Springs, Colorado
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 6' 1" (1.85 m)
WEIGHT: 175 lb (79.40 kg)

I'm a medium weight backpacker, meaning my pack usually weighs 30-35 lb (13-16 kg), and I generally hike a moderate pace and mostly in mountainous terrain. I almost always use a tent (lightweight when backpacking, wall tent when hunting). I'm a weekend backpacker and make lots of day trips and single nights out, plus a few week-long backpack trips. All of my outings have been in the beautiful and rugged Rocky Mountains of Colorado and Wyoming since I started backpacking in 2004.

PRODUCT INFORMATION

Manufacturer: Mountain Safety Research (MSR)
Year of Manufacture: 2007
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.msrgear.com/
MSRP: US$ 84.95
Listed Weight:
Stove 3.0 oz (86 g)
Kettle 4.2 oz (118 g)
Listed Volume:
Kettle 29 oz (.85 L)
Measured Weight:
Stove 3.0 oz (86 g)
Kettle 4.2 oz (118 g)
Other details (measured values):
Stove with plastic container 3.9 oz (110 g)
Kettle with rubberband 4.5 oz (138 g)
Stove height - folded 4.0 in (10.16 cm)
Kettle volume 30 oz (.89 L)

This kettle/stove combination is an ultralight, pocket-sized canister stove designed to nest in the kettle for backpacking. According to MSR's website, "...if you're looking to go light, simple and fast, we've got your stove. "

The recommended fuel source is MSR's IsoPro, an 80/20 blend of isobutane and propane, which burns very clean and hot, and comes in pressured cans that don't require any pumping. The stove is silver in color with three folding support arms which provide a steady surface on which to set the kettle just above the flame. The bottom of the stove is threaded so that it can be attached directly to the fuel cans. A separate ignition source, such as a match or lighter, is required to light the stove, but no priming is required. A folding handle allows for easy fuel flow control for a larger or smaller flame. The stove has a very small windscreen embedded in the burner. The stove comes with a triangular, rigid, red, plastic container/sleeve in which the stove can be packed.

The MSR Titan kettle is an ultralight, all-purpose backpacking kettle. The kettle is made from durable lightweight titanium. It comes with a large rubberband to secure the cover for packing/storage. The kettle is just large enough to contain the stove (without the plastic sleeve) and a 4 oz (114 g) can of fuel (as seen in the picture below) or just an 8 oz (217 g) can of fuel. The snug-fitting cover has a small venting hole and a small insulated handle that can be situated such that it stays standing upright for easy access while the kettle is on the stove. The kettle also features a spout for pouring and folding handles that are curved to fit tight against the side of the kettle for packing/storage.

FIELD USE

IMAGE 1
Kettle w/ stove in plastic sleeve. (Photo Courtesy of MSR)
IMAGE 2
See-through of stove packed with 4oz can. (Courtesy of MSR)
IMAGE 3
Stove assembled on 4oz can. (Courtesy of MSR)


I have used this stove and kettle combination on one six-night backpacking trip in the Teton Wilderness near Yellowstone National Park in Wyoming and on several overnight hikes in Lost Creek Wilderness in Colorado. On the six night trip, we carried two 8-oz (227-g) cans of MSR IsoPro fuel for the two of us because we were uncertain of how much water we would be able (or want) to heat each day. MSR's website states that each 8-oz (227-g) can of fuel will boil 16 L (541 oz), but I think real life experience is much different than tests performed in a controlled environment. In real life I have found that wind, variable air and water temperatures, and the lack of a thermometer to tell me exactly when the water has reached boiling temperature limit the usefulness of published boil data. So here are the results of my real-world experience: every day of the six-day trip we heated enough water to make two packages of oatmeal and two cups of hot chocolate for breakfast, and a 2-serving size package of Mountain House meals for lunch and dinner or about 5 cups each day; which makes 30 cups (7 L) total. Even with all this cooking, at elevations from 6,900 - 8,500 feet (2,100 - 2,600 m), we never even opened the second can of fuel and the first can still has some fuel left. This was well within the 16 L (541 oz) published on MSR's website and well within my expectations.

To light the stove I use a small, cheap, butane lighter (like the ones sold at the check-out counter of convenience stores in the US) and I never had a problem getting the stove to light. It's as quick and easy as could be.

As a precaution against running out of fuel, we also used the Titan Kettle to heat water over an open fire on several occasions before our six-night trip just to see how it held up. Other than turning the outside of the kettle black with carbon, it held up very well.

As the images above show, I can pack the stove (without its plastic container, because that takes up too much space) and a 4-oz (113-g) can of fuel inside the kettle, if I have very limited space. However, we chose to carry 8-oz (227-g) cans of fuel, so we stored one of the fuel cans inside the kettle, carried one separately, and packed the stove separately in its plastic container. This container is very useful because the points of the foldable supports are rather sharp and could easily cause damage to a backpack. Even in the plastic sleeve, the stove is very small (fits in the palm of my hand) and is easy to pack. I have even carried the stove and kettle in a day pack for a hot lunch because it is so small and convenient.

The handles on the side of the kettle and the handle on the cover (if stood upright) never got too hot to touch with bare hands even with boiling water inside. Also, when we used the kettle for hot chocolate or oatmeal, it was very easy to clean. Most often we simply rinsed it with water and wiped it dry with a cloth.

SUMMARY

This stove and kettle combination worked very well in all circumstances that I used it and I would highly recommend it to any backpacker looking for a lightweight, easy-to-use stove.

THINGS I LIKE

POCKROCKET STOVE
1. Easy and lightweight to pack
2. Easy to set-up.
3. Easy to light.
4. No maintenance.

TITAN KETTLE
1. Easy to clean.
2. Lightweight.
3. The handles on the kettle and cover stay cool enough to touch, even when the water is boiling.

THINGS I DON'T LIKE

1. The price is reasonable for the quality of the product, but the price was high enough that I had to really consider how much I would use it before I bought it.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2008. All rights reserved.

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