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Reviews > Cook and Food Storage Gear > Stoves > MSR Pocket Rocket > Owner Review by Jes Sterling

Mountain Safety Research (MSR) PocketRocket Stove

Tester Bio

 Jes Sterling
 5'8" (1.7 m)
 185 lbs (84 kg)
Email address:
City, State, Country:
 Columbia, South Carolina, USA
 February 10, 2008

Backpacking Background: I have been backpacking for about 12 years now. Because of my busy schedule, I usually only get to go out for 2 or 3 nights at a time, but I have been out for as many as 5 nights. I normally backpack the Southern Appalachians, but I have also been found in swamps and coastal areas. I try to keep my pack lighter than 50 lbs, but have recently been working to scale the weight down. My goal for my next trip is 25 lbs.

Product information

: Mountain Safety Research (MSR)
Year of manufacture
: 1999
Manufacturer’s Website:
Listed weight
: 3 oz (85 g)
Weight as delivered: 3 oz (plus 1 oz more in storage container) (113.4 g)
MSRP: 39.95 USD

Product description

The MSR PocketRocket is a great stove for the cost, weight, and size. The design of the stove is simple. It screws onto MSR’s IsoPro fuel canisters. The gas comes directly up a central tube, through an adjustable valve, then out through the burner. It comes in a triangular, hard plastic container, measures only 4 in x 4 in x 2 in (10.16 cm x 10.16 cm x 5.08 cm), and weighs only 4 oz (113.4 g). There are 3 small pot supports that fold out from the center of the unit (away from the burner). Full extension of its pot supports creates an equilateral triangular pot support base with about 3 in (7.62 cm) between support points. The PocketRocket also sports a “quickclip” built-in windscreen and a “glove-friendly” flame control.

Field information

I have used this stove in climates ranging from low-lying swamps to 6,000 ft. peaks. I have used it in warm, dry weather, summer thunderstorms, autumn winds, and even in a winter storm rolling over the peak of North Carolina’s Cold Mountain (6,030 ft.). I bought this stove in 1999 and have used it on every backpacking trip I have taken since.


Overall, the PocketRocket has proven itself to be a durable, reliable, and easy-to-use stove. In the 8 years since I bought it, I have never once needed to clean or prime it to get it going. Simply screw it on to the fuel canister, turn the valve, and light it. I can generally boil a small pot of water (about 3 cups or 0.7 liters) in just over 2 minutes, depending, of course, on altitude and weather conditions. I have used the stove to make everything from ramen noodles to pancakes and it has always worked well.

I have found the MSR IsoPro fuel canisters at almost every outdoors shop I have been to. The canisters come in 4 oz (113.4 g) and 8 oz (226.8 g) sizes. I have always bought the 8 oz (226.8 g) and will last, at the very least, 2 trips if I am only cooking for myself.

The PocketRocket's drawbacks are typical to all canister-mounted stoves I have used. The stove sits high on top of the canister so it is important to find a flat and level space to cook on and use extra care when stirring the pot, particularly when I am cooking something thick. Another drawback is that the flame tends to concentrate in the middle of the pan, thus making stirring a constant when I use high heat and simmering can be difficult. The quickclip wind shield does not work well in high winds and, due to the height of the unit when cooking, cooking in high winds is nearly impossible unless I am inside the tent (which, of course carries with it the standard safety hazards).

Overall, though, I would consider the PocketRocket an excellent piece of gear. The price is relatively low, there is no maintenance, the fuel is not expensive, the weight of the stove and 8 oz (226.8 g) fuel canister together is only slightly more than 1 lb (453.59 g), and the stove has proven reliable for me for 8 years of heavy use and counting.

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Reviews > Cook and Food Storage Gear > Stoves > MSR Pocket Rocket > Owner Review by Jes Sterling

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