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Gear Review: MSR PocketRocket 2

10.22.18

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Gear Review: MSR PocketRocket 2

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  • I love how minimalist the packaging is, and how they opted to not waste too much plastic or materials.- Gear Review: MSR PocketRocket 2
  • Quickly screw the stove's bottom onto a fuel canister, and you're set!- Gear Review: MSR PocketRocket 2
  • The PocketRocket 2 is compatible with standard-opening fuel cans. MSR makes a great variety!- Gear Review: MSR PocketRocket 2
  • As you can see, the PocketRocket 2 (left) packs down a bit smaller that its predecessor.- Gear Review: MSR PocketRocket 2
  • When you're done cooking, pack the stove into its handy carrying case to protect it.- Gear Review: MSR PocketRocket 2
  • The MSR PocketRocket 2 Stove is sturdy, lightweight, and easy to use.- Gear Review: MSR PocketRocket 2
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MSR PocketRocket 2 Stove specs

  • Weight: 2.6 oz.
  • Packed weight: 3.7 oz.
  • Can boil a liter of water in 3.5 minutes
  • Burn time (MSR IsoPro 8 oz. canister): Approximately 60 minutes
  • Water boiled per 1 oz. of fuel (MSR ISoPro): 2 liters

Where to Get It

The Bottom Line: The main things you need to know about the MSR PocketRocket 2 Stove are that it's solid, it's tiny, and it's ultralight. For the price and the weight, it's hard to find a better backpacking stove on the market, and this semi-recent redesign has taken a tried-and-true product and made it even better.

The MSR PocketRocket 2 in its case. Photo by Emily Pennington.

The PocketRocket 2 manages to take an excellent tiny stove design and make it even better. It weighs less (2.6 ounces, as opposed to 3 ounces), packs down smaller, includes an easier to use carrying case, and features a slightly larger wire knob for more easily controlling flame size.

The main complaint I've heard about this stove is that it's not wind-resistant, and that's true. With its minimalist design and small size, there's no room for wind flaps or other mechanisms that might obstruct wind from tampering with the lighting of the stove or the flame itself. Lighting can often be a bit of an issue on windy days, making it crucial to find a rock, tree, or other wind break to block its blustering. The good news is that most campsites have plenty of rocks around, so finding one that obscures the flame while cooking hasn't been an issue! I'd recommend bringing a more robust lighter than a 99¢ BIC to use with this stove.

One thing I love about this stove is that it isn't an "all-in-one" cooking system, like a JetBoil. I can swap out pots or water vessels as needed to cook however I please - anything is instantly compatible! MSR does sell the PocketRocket 2 as a more expensive "stove kit" as well, which includes a pot and a bowl that the stove and fuel canister both pack into for maximum efficiency.

I tested MSR's claim that this stove can boil a liter of water in 3.5 minutes, and it was pretty spot-on! In a fraction of the time you would spend cooking over a campfire, the PocketRocket 2 Stove can boil enough water for a Mountain House dehydrated meal and two cups of hot coffee or tea, giving you more time to relax and enjoy the sunset or pack up and get going to hit your miles on a long trail day.

Another thing of note is the redesign of the stove's small metal arms that hold your pot. In the PocketRocket 2, they rotate and fold out from the center piece, which is what allows the stove to pack down smaller and into a more rectangular shape. This makes the little carrying-case it comes with much easier to utilize, as the sides of the older, triangular model would often collapse and be difficult to fit the stove into.

Especially at this price point, the MSR PocketRocket 2 Stove is a subtle but great redesign on an old classic that backpackers have loved for years. It packs down small, weighs next to nothing, and will last for years of outdoor adventures. If you're looking to save money and weight on your next overnight adventure in the backcountry, this stove has got you covered.

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