There are few things better at the end of a solid day of fast-packing than to cook up a hot meal… and then brew a strong cup of coffee to get going the next day. There are few things worse about fast-packing than trying to fit a stove and pots into your pack.
MSR (Mountain Safety Research) founded in Seattle in 1969, and is now owned by Cascade Designs – the same people who bring us Thermarest, Sealine and a number of other great lines. MSR was originally know for its legendary XGK liquid fuel stove – a burn-anything, boil-anywhere stove which was the staple of international and high-altitude expeditions for years. MSR then started developing more refined, controllable liquid fuel stoves, gas stoves, water-bags, tents, and a host of other high-quality yet affordable products.
The Pocket Rocket (since replaced by the lighter, more compact Pocket Rocket 2) is their lightest stove, at a featherweight 73g (120g including the rigid transport case). My experience is with the original Pocket Rocket, but statistics here refer to the Pocket Rocket 2.
You can buy a range of sizes of gas canister. The larger ones are more cost- and weight-efficient than the smaller ones, but the smaller ones allow for light-and-fast travel. The output of the stove is instantly adjustable from the faintest whisper to a solid burn. According to the MSR website, the stove can boil a litre of water in 3.5min, and can boil two litres of water for every ounce of fuel. The self-sealing canisters are a pretty standard, and can be reliably removed and re-connected.
The easiest and most annoying thing that can go wrong with this stove is forgetting an ignition source. This can be infuriating!! Luckily, there is a simple solution – get a flint and striker ($10 from Canadian Tire or $15 from MSR) which fits inside the rigid carry case.