JetBoil Performance / Fuel Quality?

SonnyDay

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2019
Messages
13
Hey All,

My son and I were out this year on a backpack elk hunt for 1st rifle in Colorado.

We had hoped to filter water with a Sawyer Squeeze... but it froze immediately when we tried to pump water we found under ice in a small pond/wallow (water was not terribly disgusting... I don't think the filter was clogged).

After realizing we had no good way to get water, I trekked out to the truck for some additional JetBoil fuel canisters. It was pretty quick to melt snow versus actually boiling the water we could access by breaking ice.

But JetBoil performance was not as solid as I would have hoped.

My understanding is that JetBoil fuel (IsoButane) is intended to perform well at low temperatures (to me, this means below 0 F, and at altitudes up to at least 10,000 feet). Unfortunately, even at temps close to freezing, the JetBoil required constant cradling of the fuel canister (with bare hands) to maintain performance (we were at about 9,000 feet).

I'm curious if anyone else has experienced this. Do I have a lemon of a JetBoil? Is this expected performance?

I've also considered that the fuel may have been bad. We used both MSR and "official" JetBoil brand. Anyone experienced issues in the cold? Recommendations for the best fuel brand for a JetBoil?

Thanks!
 

sneaky

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 1, 2014
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ID
When it's cold take a steripen or a hiker pro filter, something not affected by the cold. Most guys I know using stoves to melt snow are using multi fuel stoves, or on top of their titanium wood stoves.

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neil.hansford

Member
Joined
Jan 12, 2014
Messages
77
Location
Montana
I have not had that problem with my jetboil. I'd say it's one of, if not the best pieces of hunting/camping gear I've ever bought. Had it about 7 years and used it in very cold conditions and up to about 9500 feet. May want to give it another test run, and if still not working, it may be something wrong with it.

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Baxterb

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 24, 2016
Messages
577
This is typical canister performance, especially an upright canister. Use a remote, upside down canister stove or a gas stove when it is very cold or very high altitude. But keep your canisters close to your body. Oh, and go read stuff from roger caffin.
 

Wrench

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Joined
Aug 23, 2018
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Location
WA
It's a balance of pressure and boiling point of the fuel. Google isobutane boiling point and it'll help understand what makes them tick.
 
OP
SonnyDay

SonnyDay

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 22, 2019
Messages
13
Hey All, thanks for the input.

Good call on the steri pen. I have been curious about this tech but haven't picked one up yet. Maybe it's time.

Did a quick look on Roger Caffin... will dig into his info.

I'll take a look at getting four season canisters. Hadn't noticed more than one option before, but it'd be nice to get something that did better in the cold.

Thanks.
 

mtnbiker208

Senior Member
Joined
Apr 4, 2017
Messages
143
Location
north idaho
was your jet boil right on the ground? did you get lots of ice and the dirt sticking to the can?
if yes to any of these questions, you will have better performance with something under the jet boil. I ended up using part of a foam pad, to insulate the canister from the ground.
 

Hackleback

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 25, 2013
Messages
104
Location
Truckee Meadows
I have had issues with the Coleman brand canisters - the ones you find most times at Walmart during cold weather. I switched to a red MSR canister and had no issues. Now I just reserve the Coleman canisters for summer camping. If you have issues, try another fuel brand,
 

mcdbrog

Newbie
Joined
Dec 19, 2018
Messages
1
Location
Ohio
Was in Colorado for 2nd rifle camped at 10,800 and the Jetboil flash worked fine for us with Jetboil brand fuel. Coldest morning was about 10 degrees ( Not sure what the temp was with wind chill ). Two of us had the flash and one had the mini mo and the mini mo took noticeably longer to get the water boiling.
 

netman

Senior Member
Joined
Mar 30, 2018
Messages
284
Location
Indiana
I’m not for sure and maybe guessing but I think the fuel canisters I buy at my local hiking shop vary greatly in performance . It’s the four season blend. But I have used my JetBoil enough to say that I think the performance varies canister to canister. I say this as I was hunting in Montana this fall and noticed the fuel was not performing as usual. That was at 7-8000 feet.
I did not give it much thought.
On a fourth season elk hunt in Colorado at over 10,000 the JetBoil was quite hard to light. I switched over to a fresh canister I bought at Walmart and it performed great .
The Walmart canister will not fit down inside the JetBoil. The brand I buy from the hiking store drops down into the JetBoil.
The hiking store brand has performed excellent in the past.
I used several canisters this fall during my trips.
 

mtnwrunner

Senior Member
Joined
Oct 2, 2012
Messages
1,983
Location
Sweet, Idaho
I had this issue also earlier in the year when it was cold. After a shitload of research and talking with others.........here is the bottom line. Keep your canisters warm, put something on the ground to sit them on, MSR canisters seem to be the best or use a liquid fuel stove.
I also have a couple of friends who are world class rock and alpine climbers and have climbed all over the world. Hands down, they use the MSR reactor which uses canister fuel.
As of now, I've settled on the msr deluxe pocket rocket due to the weight but may also end up with a reactor.

Randy
 
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