For over a decade, hikers have enjoyed the MSR Pocket Rocket. This canister stove wasn’t the absolute lightest stove out there but it is not heavy by any means. The Pocket Rocket is best known for its toughness and reliability. At least that’s what the people that I know say about the stove. This year, the Pocket Rocket got a redesign, and the MSR Pocket Rocket 2 hit the trails.
The MSR Pocket Rocket 2 arrived late last winter. Testing has shown the Pocket Rocket 2 is just as tough and reliable as the original, and improvements make it even better. First, the Pocket Rocket 2 is lighter. On my scales the stove weighs barely over 2.6 ounces, and the hard shell case adds about 1.1 ounces more. The Pocket Rocket 2 packs inside my cook pots so I don’t usually carry the case.
Second, the Pocket Rocket 2 packs down a bit smaller. Each arm has two folding points. Pull the support legs away from the stove body and then flip up. While this is an easy motion, my brain took several cycles before things became second nature. Since this isn’t the military and we don’t have to do things blindfolded in 10 seconds, I’m ok. Click HERE to see a demonstration by MSR.
Third, the pot supports on the MSR Pocket Rocket 2 form a bigger support area and more pots fit better on the stove. A small pot designed to slide over a standard Nalgene bottle gave me a little trouble with its rounded edges on the bottom but things worked out fine with it. The pot supports are plenty sturdy and the pivots hold up well. The arms fold out and back up just as easily now as they did brand new.
MSR says the Pocket Rocket 2 boils 1 liter of water in 3.5 minutes and I don’t dispute that at all. I never boiled a liter of water but this stove will boil water for coffee faster than Earnhardt Jr. drives his NASCAR. Flame control is very good and I was able to turn the flame down to almost nothing. Simmering is not a problem with the MSR Pocket Rocket 2. The WindClip windshield works well in windy conditions and the stove never blew out on me. I don’t remember running this stove in super stormy conditions but it is always windy here.
MSR recommends that you use their IsoPro fuel with the Pocket Rocket 2. They say the stove will burn 60 minutes on one 8 ounce canister of fuel and boil 16 liters of water. To put it another way, each ounce of fuel should boil about 2 liters of water. Your mileage may vary with outside temperature and your elevation.
The MSR Pocket Rocket 2 sells for $44.95 so it won’t break the bank. I often use homemade alcohol stoves out on the trail and probably will continue that sometimes. After carrying the MSR Pocket Rocket 2 on a few trips and enjoying my coffee so much quicker, the Pocket Rocket 2 is edging out those stoves in my pack. Click HERE to head over to the MSR website.
Thanks to MSR for sending out the Pocket Rocket 2 over for testing and review. This stove is going to see lots of trail time with me and hopefully everyone finds this review helpful. We have to budget our cash around here just like everyone else and it is a real privilege to be able to pass along information on our testing.