Home Gear Review: JetBoil Stash Camping Stove
Feature type Review
Read time 10 mins
Published Jan 04, 2023
Author Hannah Mitchell
Light and stashable (as the name might suggest), this compact camping stove packs just the right amount of punch for overnight hikes and brews on the move.
|RRP||£140 (although deals as low as £104.99 available at the time of publishing)|
|Weight||232g/455g with gas canister and lighter|
|Features||800ml FluxRing pot with lid and collapsible handle, titanium burner, 2.5 minute boil time, nesting design, fuel canister stabiliser|
When the world starts to weigh me down, sneaking off on an overnighter in the nearby Lake District fells is a real tonic. Signing off from my online life for 24 hours and stomping away from civilisation, seeking out a secluded spot to camp; I want to warm up something simple to eat before wriggling into my sleeping bag for the night. Oh, and perhaps even more importantly, I want a nice, hot coffee in the morning.
Often these trips are spontaneous, fitted in between work commitments and need to be quick, which means packing light. I want faff-free, minimalist, easy-clean, lightweight and compact for these kinds of trips – stoves included.
When the Stash arrived on my doorstep, I picked up the package and was immediately surprised by how light it felt. I unpacked the stove and reassembled it with a 100g JetPower gas canister (you have to buy these separately), and a lighter. Instructions on how to pack the Stash are printed on the side of the pot, making it virtually idiot-proof (so naturally, I got it right on the second try). Assembling it for use is straightforward, you simply secure the canister to the fuel stabiliser and screw the burner into the canister.
the handle of the pot folds on top of the lid, which makes it feel extra secure
The gas canister clips upside-down into the innovative lid, which has a slightly raised section so that a mini lighter will sit in the recess on the underside of the canister. One big advantage of this setup is that because the canister doesn’t touch the metal cooking pot at all, you don’t get that annoying ring of rust transference if you put the canister back into a slightly damp pot, and nothing rattles around. Once the Stash is packed, the handle of the pot folds on top of the lid, which makes it feel extra secure.
The Stash pot has an 800ml capacity, and given that most of the dehydrated meals I use require 4-500ml of water adding, it’s more than enough for solo adventures. Ration packs for two might be do-able if you’re happy with the minimum amount of water or not opposed to doing a couple of boils, but you certainly wouldn’t want to be cooking for the masses.
Of course, the Stash’s suggested 2.5 minute boil time is going to be affected by a number of elements. For example, if you’re melting down snow it’s going to take significantly longer to reach boiling point than room temperature water. Another factor is the wind, the FluxRing system on the Stash pot offers a degree of shielding, but strong gusts are certain to slow down the boil time too. Under various circumstances, I tested the Stash for boiling water for dehydrated meals and hot drinks using the FluxRing pot, as well as some simple meals with both the FluxRing and other pots that I already owned.
The Stash was first put through its paces on the aforementioned overnight escape into the local Lakeland fells. My partner and I tested the Stash’s ability to cater for two using only the components it came with (plus gas) with a dehydrated meal each followed by a cup of tea, and coffee and instant oats in the morning. With a nearby water source we didn’t have to be frugal, and did six boils in total. This trip was in warm, mid-July conditions with very little wind and the boil time was impressively just shy of 2.5 minutes.
The Stash accompanied me on a five day van trip to the French bouldering mecca of Fontainebleau in early September, where I tested its compatibility with my trusty mocha pot (well, you’ve got have something wash down all that Pâtisserie), as well as cooking simple pasta and sauce meals for myself and a friend. It was warm and lightly breezy for most of the trip. I took the remains of the previous 100g canister plus a backup 230g and only just broke into the larger canister. This is testament to the fuel efficiency of the stove in good conditions.
Finally the Stash embarked on the UK Fjällraven Classic with me, catering for myself and my hill companion on a three day loop of the Lairig Ghru in the Cairngorms. For this particular trip we took two 230g canisters as we anticipated consuming two or three ration packs a day, as well as large quantities of tea and coffee to sustain us as we walked through every kind of weather Scotland can throw at you! The conditions were unsurprisingly damp and blustery, and we had one particularly chilly evening when sleet was threatening which stretched the boil time out to just under three minutes. We used 1.5-ish of our two canisters in total.
The Stash is suited to outdoor folks who wish to keep weight and bulk to a minimum, I imagine this would be a brilliant addition to a bikepacking setup, given how compact and un-intrusive it has been on my adventures on foot. It’s for those who want quick and easy food and drink on the go without the need for additional cookware; you can eat or drink straight from the pot and it’s easy enough to clean, although without a neoprene sleeve on the pot, things do cool quite rapidly in lower ambient temps.
The FluxRing pot does a brilliant job at distributing heat from the burner for a fast boil time, though as mentioned before it is affected by windspeed and therefore operates at its most efficient when used in a sheltered area, tent porch, or in still conditions. In a ‘worst case scenario’ test in high winds on an exposed plateau in the Cairngorms for example, I couldn’t get the Stash to stay lit, so you do have to offer some thought to your location when using it.
The Stash is perfect for short, two-person adventures or longer solo missions if you want to make the most of its compact nature and only need a 100g gas canister. Anything bigger means that you have to pack the other elements of the stove elsewhere, or keep the canister separate. Not a biggie, but sort of defeats the point.
The Stash is perfect for short, two-person adventures or longer solo missions if you want to make the most of its compact nature
I was a bit apprehensive about how robust the Stash might be given its lightweight nature, so in the name of a fair test it hasn’t received any special treatment when being packed. Despite being stuffed in the bottom of my rucksack and more recently lugged inside a holdall amongst 18kg of metal climbing gear, it’s still impressively ding and dent-free.
As long as you’re on sort-of flat land, you’re good to go. The Stash is surprisingly stable for something so light, the fuel stabiliser clicks firmly onto the canister and the teeth of the burner hold the pot in place well.
An obvious one perhaps, and it comes with both pros and cons largely depending on what you’re after in a stove. The Stash is stripped back to the basic components in order to keep it as light and compact as possible, but I can’t help but wonder if ‘missing’ elements such as Piezo ignition would only add as much weight as putting your own lighter in does anyway?
In terms of keeping life as mess and hassle-free as possible, the Stash is obviously best used with water alone in conjunction with ration packs or sachets. The environmental implications of plastic sachets however are not lost on me, and for trips where I can afford the extra bulk and weight of pots, ‘normal’ food, and the luxury of said mocha pot, I’m going to bring them. The Stash doesn’t have a regulator however, so whilst a simple sauce and pasta dish worked well with minimal cleaning required, I wouldn’t recommend trying to sauté anything much from scratch unless you’ve packed your scourer.
Again, the stripped-back nature of the Stash means it is missing a few features that might sway your purchase, if you’re in the market for a stove. Comparing the Stash to other similar models in use on the trail, such as JetBoil’s ZiP and the Alpkit Brukit, it clearly wins hands-down in terms of weight and size, but both of those seem to have a degree more protection from the wind when used in exposed positions, which in turn affects fuel consumption.
When it comes to super-lightweight gear, there’s always going to be a trade-off on something; comfort, features, cost, etc. With the Stash, you might be compromising on features that would otherwise make this stove an excellent option in all-weathers, but in my opinion, the price is pretty reasonable if it fits your needs.
A comparable model at a similar price for example, would be the Primus Lite Plus, which weighs a little more, is a bit bulkier and has a smaller capacity pot, but includes features such as Piezo ignition (although some might argue that this is less of a perk, owing to how easily integrated igniters can break). Again, trade-offs. But if you want THE lightest on the market, for fast-packing competitors and FKT wannabes, streamlined bikepacking or lightweight rafting, it seems that you can’t really beat the Stash. I’d say it’s worth its weight in gold, but…
It might not be an all-conditions stove on exposed terrain, but with a bit of strategic shelter, the Stash holds its own with a rapid boil time, surprising fuel efficiency and simplicity of use. Its unique nesting design is intuitive and brilliantly compact and the pot and pour lid are tough and easy to clean.
A whole 40% lighter than JetBoil’s previously lightest model, the ZiP, if you’re the sort to trim the labels off your gear in order to minimise your pack weight, you’re going to like the Stash.
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