Jetboil flash vs. Minimo Review
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Ever since coming into the market in 2001, Jetboil has steadily grown to be one of the go-to manufacturers of portable stoves the world over.
Comparing two popular stoves from its products range tends to start a war of words between customers with opposing opinions. The Jetboil Flash V the Jetboil Minimo…just which one between the two is better?
While it is true that both are very reliable integrated cooking systems, each comes with its unique pros and cons.
In this jetboil flash v minimo review, we will pit the two Jetboil stoves against each other to see which ticks the most boxes.
Integrated Stove Systems
Lets first define what an integrated stove system is. An integrated stove system is an all-in-one stove set up that comprises a burner, a heat exchanger, and a cooking pot. It is essentially the complete setup you’ll require to prepare a hot cup of coffee or a simple meal, and this is exactly what you get in the Jetboil Flash and Minimo.
Both these are integrated stove systems that come with a stove, fuel can stabiliser, as well as a cooking pot that also doubles up as a measuring bowl. The main difference between the two, as far as appearances go, is the cooking pot.
While both have a 1-liter capacity, Minimo’s cooking pot is short and broad while Flash’s is relatively lanky in design.On the one hand, Minimo’s shorter pot supports a low spoon angle, meaning it will be easier to access your food. On the other hand, Flash’s taller and narrower pot exposes less food to the air, which ensures that your food will stay warm longer. Another noteworthy difference between the two pots is the design of the handle. Both use an insulating neoprene cover to retain warmth, and on the Flash, the handle is made out of the same material. The neoprene lacks rigidity, which calls for care when handling the cup. Meanwhile, the handle of the Minimo features a sturdy metal that allows you to comfortably carry the pot, even when it is full. There isn’t much difference in value when it comes to the nature of the handle, but if I had to choose between the two, I would go for the Jetboil Minimo. The handle is solid, therefore, makes things much easier for you.
Jetboil Flash Review
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SpecificationsThe Jetboil Flash is designed to boil your water remarkably fast! The stove can boil half a litre of water in just 100 seconds. It is the shortest way to get hot water when you’re on a camping expedition. With its main focus on boiling water in the shortest time possible, the Flash, unfortunately, makes a couple of oversights. A good example is the lack of a regulator.
You can’t control the heat when simmering water or any other meal you’re trying to cook. The stove operates at full throttle when you light it up and that’s just how it remains.While this is a quality you’ll appreciate when preparing a cup of coffee or tea, it eliminates the prospects of regular cooking. Nevertheless, it comes in pretty handy for dehydrated meals. If this is what you fancy while camping, then you’ll have every reason to get the Flash. The stove also weighs around 13.1Oz-not exactly as lightweight as you might have wanted but it will do for a camping escapade. Keep in mind that this weight does not include that of the gas canister. It is fairly compact at 4.1 x 7.1 inches while the pot can support a weight of up to 1.20z.
Using the Jetboil FlashYou won’t have a problem igniting the Flash. It is a simple process that entails pushing a button igniter and the stove will be good to go. But if the igniter lets you down, you can opt for an external match stick to get the stove running. One cool feature you’ll appreciate on the Flash is the thermochromatic heat indicator on the insulating jacket, which changes colour. This colour change happens as the water gains temperature and starts to boil, ensuring that you get the alert soon enough not to waste your fuel. This stove is a lot more efficient than a traditional wood burning tent stove water to a boil in just 100 seconds. However, there are some instances when it falls short of this depending on the prevailing temperature conditions. The good thing is that the lag is almost negligible, and may just be a few seconds less. You get a conventional 100-gram fuel canister on the Flash that typically boils an average of 10 Litres of water, which should be enough for your camping adventure. An integrated tripod stand serves to keep the stove upright during operation but the light plastic clips struggle to perform their duty. You could blame it on the lanky build of the cooking pot on the flash, so you need to be cautious not to topple the stove over. Another grievance about this stove is that there is nothing to shield the flame from the breeze. Exposure to just a little wind is enough to make the stove unreliable. As such, you need to device a barrier from the wind for fewer handling problems. Extremely fast boil rate Compact and lightweight Simple ignition Easy to use Colour-changing boil indicator Packs down easily Cheap No simmer control No wind protection Only good for boiling water
Jetboil Minimo Review
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SpecificationsUnlike the Flash, the Minimo comes with a set up of a conventional stove geared towards outdoor enthusiasts. The benefit of the Minimo is that you get a bigger cooking pot compared to the Flash. This makes it more practical for you to prepare a meal and makes it easier for you to feed out of the cooking pot. Also, this stove comes with a regulator that allows you to adjust the flame or heat to the specific needs of the water you’re boiling or food you’re cooking.
When it comes to boiling water, it will take around 2 minutes and 15 seconds for the Jetboil Minimo to boil half a liter of water.
This is just over 30 seconds slower than the Flash, but still pretty fast. However, the Minimo comes to its own when you consider versatility and efficiency. This is among the more fuel-efficient models you can get in the market today. You’ll be comfortable making a cup of coffee with it but it is also practical enough to cook a proper meal.
The Minimo is slightly heavier than the Flash at 14.6Oz, but this is exclusive of the fuel canister. When fully assembled, a canister adds another 100g to the weight of the stove. However, the Minimo is generally manageable and you won’t be slowed down when carrying it during a hiking and camping trip. The canister can hold a maximum of 1 litre of fuel, which is okay for most camping needs. A sturdy, plastic-coated handle on the pot makes for a cozy feel while allowing you to manoeuvre the pot more comfortably.
Using the Jetboil Minimo
Just like the Flash, this stove is fitted with a push-button igniter that makes it easy for you to get it burning. But if the igniter fails to work; you can use an external flame from a matchstick as an alternative.
The stove’s simmering ability allows you to use it at temperatures starting from 20F, which is why the Minimo is considered a 4-season camping stove. The inclusion of a regulator on this unit lets you adjust the flame as needed; just what you want when preparing a meal. The Minimo also impresses when it comes to efficiency. It can boil 12 liters of water with the 100-gram fuel canister.
You don’t have to worry about shielding the flame from the wind since it is well protected. It may not be stormproof, but it does much better than the Jetboil Flash.The Jetboil Minimo also employs a tripod stand to keep the stove upright. It is more stable than its narrower counterpart and this is thanks to its 5 x 6” dimensions. Just to be safe, you can reinforce the shielding of the flame so that it’s not blown out when the breeze gets stronger. This should ensure that your water continues boiling even when you’re not watching. Fuel efficient Push-button igniter Flame regulator Compact and portable Flexible cooking options Wind protection available Fast boil rate 4-season stove functionality Wide and stable cooking pot Firm metal handle No simmer control Heavier than ultra-light stove options
Jetboil Flash Vs. Minimo- ComparisonNow that you’re familiar with the basic look and operation of each stove, let us now consider the difference in features to determine what set the two stoves apart. Something to note is that Jetboil stoves use gas canisters as fuel, which may come with travel restrictions when compared to liquid fuel. The major advantage here is that there is no need to pump or prime the fuel before lighting up the stove. Moving on, lets look at how the performance differs between the two.
DesignNot many will consider appearance as a major factor when shopping for a camping stove but it matters a lot to some people. Not to mention that you’ll be seeing a lot of your tent during a camping expedition. Both the Flash and Minimo have a charming look with a small and sturdy frame. The insulated jackets surrounding the pots add to their look with various adventurous colors, although I prefer the orange on the Minimo. There isn’t much to talk about here, but you might want to note that the Minimo is shorter and wider. It looks more stable and is less likely to be toppled over by the wind. The metallic handle is also firmer and more upright compared to the Flash.
Boil TimeThe major attraction of the Jetboil Flash is its ability to boil your water in a flash; a fact that can easily be picked from its name. The stove takes just 100 seconds to do this, which is something that any camper would appreciate when the temperatures fall to an uncomfortable low. When you want something to get you warmed up after a long hike in the cold, you can count on the Flash to deliver this ASAP! Also, the thermochromatic colour-change indicator on the stove is a useful feature that will alert you when your water is ready so that you don’t waste any more fuel.
On the other hand, the Minimo takes needs a little more time to boil water, 135 seconds to be precise.This is still pretty fast compared to most rivals out there. You don’t get an indicator to let you know that the water is ready, but you can set a timer instead of checking every other time to see if the water has boiled. The fast boiling time of the Flash means that you need more heat to achieve this. At the end of the day, you can boil more water per fuel barrel with the Minimo than with the Flash (12L to 10L respectively).
Ultimately, it all comes down to your level of patience and how fast you want your water boiled.If you’re camping in the summer months, waiting an extra half minute for your cup of coffee to be ready won’t mean much. Not to mention that you’d want to extend the use of your fuel. On the other hand, if you decide to camp during the winter when it’s snowing or raining hard, half a minute of waiting could make a very big difference. So, the winner in this category is the Flash but both stoves heat water astoundingly fast!
Regulator and Flame ControlThe Jetboil Flash does not come with a regulator. Once you push the ignition button and the flame is up, expect it to stay that way until your water is ready. This means the flame of the Flash burns at full throttle the whole time, and this will depend on the pressure in the canister. Other factors such as altitude, ambient pressure, and canister fullness may also come into play. A regulator gives you better control of the fuel and whatever it is you’re cooking, and this is what is compromised on the Jetboil Flash. When it comes to the Minimo, a regulator has conveniently been included with four different settings to regulate the flame, as well as fuel usage. The obvious benefit here is that you’ll have everything going for you when you intend to do some serious cooking. It enables you to let your meal simmer as required in proper cooking as opposed to just heating your dehydrated meal instantly. Another positive of having a regulator is that the stove performs better in cold environments. The Minimo, in this case, is a nice 4-season stove that can be used under temperature conditions as low as 20F. Meanwhile, the Flash is very unreliable during the winter season and may generally be considered a three-season stove. The addition of a regulator in the Jetboil Minimo allows it to pip the Flash as far as flame control and reliability during the winter is concerned. On the flip side, it also adds to the weight and overall cost of the stove. That’s why the Minimo is a little bit costlier than the Flash!
PortabilityA practical stove should be portable and easy to handle, especially now that you’ll be carrying it for most of your adventure. The weight does matter in this case, although ultralightweight units tend to be affected by the wind and rugged terrain. It may be hard to use them stably while cooking. So, how do the two stoves perform when it comes to portability? Well, the Flash weighs 13.1Oz compared to the Minimo’s 14.6Oz. Both are certainly pretty lightweight by market standards, although you’ll notice that the Minimo adds slightly more weight. Overall, this is impressive for both stoves, considering that you’re getting a fully integrated stove.
Many people think that getting a non-integrated stove can help you to manage the load better but forget that you’ll need to purchase extra pans and pots to have a complete cooking unit. At the end of the day, it will add even more weight to your backpack!Another advantage of integrated stoves is that the pieces can be joined together and stay put during transportation, which saves you the bulkiness when you want to carry. You require less space in your backpack to accommodate the Minimo and the Flash, plus the two fit snugly while reducing the chances of leaving behind any piece of the stove. So, if you are looking for a functional cooking system that won’t slow you down on the trail, both these stoves will be a great pick. But if you plan to do some serious cooking during your camping adventure, you might want to consider investing in more cooking equipment aside from the integrated stove. Overall, the Flash and Minimo will fit nicely in a backpack without taking too much space. Nonetheless, if you have to choose between the two, the Flash is more portable because it weighs less and features a less bulky design!
Fuel Efficiency and VersatilityIf we exclusively consider what it takes to boil water, the Flash is less fuel-efficient compared to the Minimo. This should, however, not be misconstrued to mean that the Flash is inherently inefficient; it’s actually more efficient than the majority of alternatives in the market. But when comparing the two Jetboil stoves, you’ll realize that the Minimo is more precise on the efficiency front. The Jetboil Minimo is a leading market trendsetter when it comes to efficiency. This is, in a big way, a credit to the wider flux ring employed in the design of the stove. It gives the flux a wider surface area that is in contact with the flame for faster heating.
To compare the numbers, the Minimo uses 6000BTU/hr of fuel compared to 9000BTU/hr that the Flash needs to consume for a similar heating performance.On average, the Minimo can boil up to 12L of water when using a 100g fuel canister against 10L of water that the Flash can boil using the same amount of fuel. The difference is even wider in windy conditions. This is because the Flash has little to no wind protection, so the flame can easily be compromised and tends to struggle to some extent. Elsewhere, the Minimo comes with more reliable wind protection and the flame remains relatively stable. From the above, the Minimo proves to be more fuel-efficient than the Flash. It will also maintain its performance even under windy conditions!
Meal VersatilityThe Minimo provides you with more flexibility in terms of the range of meals you can prepare. As far as the Flash is concerned, you can best use the stove for boiling water. Beyond that, things get a little bit complicated. This is mainly due to the high and narrow frame of the cooking pot. It makes it difficult to fry meals or even eat anything out of it.
You may be able to cook oatmeal, warm some beams, or even make scrambled eggs, but you’ll find it challenging to prepare a more elaborate meal.Cooking with the Minimo makes it much easier for you to prepare tastier meals. This is thanks to the wide shape of the cooking pot, as well as the inclusion of the regulator. It enables you to reduce the heat as necessary when you want your meal to simmer and prevent it from getting burned. This is not possible on the Flash given that there is no regulator and the flame burns at maximum pressure from the start to the end.
With the Minimo, you can comfortably cook up some rice or fry veggies with no trouble.This should not mean that you can’t cook elaborate meals when you camp with a Jetboil Flash. The only thing is that you will need to invest in a pot adapter so that you can use any generic pan or pot for cooking. So, when it comes to cooking meals, the Minimo gives more options compared to the Flash!
Value for MoneyBoth the Minimo and Flash come with quite a price tag! They are not cheap, but you’ll be impressed by what you pay for. These are fully integrated cooking facilities that save you the cost of spending on extra gear. Not to mention that they are fuel-efficient and will serve as a convenient gear when going on a camping trip. Overall, you get a compact, stable, and highly practical cooking stove in both that you can count when you’re in the middle of nowhere. The extra features such as a push-button ignition and the simmer control on the Minimo, as well as a boiled water indicator on the Flash enhance their functionality and reliability during use. That being said, both the Flash and Minimo will offer a bang for the buck; but which one would you rather invest in? Well, the Minimo costs just about 1.5x as much as the Flash, which to some is quite a difference! However, you have to consider the simmer control and overall meal versatility it offers. Overall, I would say the extra almost 40 pounds is a huge price to pay, so the Flash gets the nod from me when it comes to value for money.
Final VerdictAt the end of the day, the choice between the Jetboil Flash vs. Minimo will come down to your preference. It may depend on the types of food you plan to cook during the camping trip and the weather conditions at the campsite. The Minimo’s simmer control feature allows you some sense of luxury when using the stove. Its wider pot design also means that you can eat out of it easily and makes it less likely to be knocked over by the wind.
However, if you simply want something to prepare a quick cup of coffee or cook up relatively simple meals, then you won’t see the value in the simmer control.You’ll also appreciate the almost 40 pounds you save when you go for the Jetboil Flash. Furthermore, if you like to venture into the snowy mountainside landscapes, then you will need the speed of the Flash when it comes to boiling water to keep you warm. In a nutshell, a regular hiker who likes to cook during a camping trip should take their chances with the Jetboil Minimo whereas thru-hikers looking to save a bit and still enjoy a hot cup of coffee at their earliest convenience can trust the Jetboil Flash to work its magic! Whichever choice you make, I highly doubt you will regret investing in either of these exciting camping stoves!
Do Jetboil Stoves Work in Cold Weather?Typically, all canister stoves tend to suffer a dip in performance when exposed to cold weather. As the fuel gets colder, so does the pressure of the vapour and this results in lower burner output. The output pressure of the fuel in any canister is determined by the temperature of the gas in the canister. This means that as the temperatures drop, the pressure also drops. The implication here is that the time taken to reach boiling point will slightly be extended and there will be considerable difficulty in lighting up the burner using the built-in piezoelectric ignitor.
Thanks to Jetpower’s lower firing rate, canister cooling is significantly reduced, helping to enhance the stove’s performance.Also, Jetpower fuel (with propane) proves useful when it comes to shielding against cold weather challenges. When the temperature falls below freezing point, it is advised that you try and keep the canister warm to maintain the gas pressure inside. You can do this by putting it in a sleeping bag or coat pocket so that it is always ready for use. If you’re camping in a cold environment, you can try doing this between uses. Put it in the sleeping bag immediately after heating your food to keep it warm and insulate by avoiding setting it up directly on the cold surface of the floor. This will go a long way to improving the cold-weather performance of the stove.
Can I Bring My Jetboil Stove into a Commercial Plane?If you’re planning a camping trip abroad, you might fancy the prospect of traveling with your camping stove from Jetboil. The short answer to this is yes! Your stove will be allowed inside the plane, but you can’t bring in the fuel. While airlines and airline regulators may let you travel with a camping stove as carry-on or checked luggage, they insist that you ensure the canister is thoroughly cleaned so that there is no residual vapor. Merely emptying the gas canister may not be enough as some flammable vapours can easily stick around.
It is recommended that you ship the stove ahead of time since in most cases, they are confiscated because of fuel vapours.In the UK, airline operators from carrying compressed gas cylinders. So, before you take your Jetboil stove on the plane, you might want to check with the local airline policy to get a better idea of whether you’ll be allowed on board!
Should I Use a Gas or Propane Camping Stove?Both of these fuels will be great for camping stoves but it all boils down to your preferences, as well as the kind of camping you intend to do. Generally, white gas stoves produce the most heat for all kinds of camping stoves.
The gas burns clean with nod odour and won’t affect the taste of your food.Also, the fuel evaporates relatively fast when you spill it so that there is no odor left behind. This makes for a much cleaner fuel source, especially if you plan to be doing a lot of cooking. On the other hand, propane stoves do not produce as much heat as their white gas counterparts, although they are easier to manage. These come in bottles and are screwed into the stove. This means all you need to do is light a burner to turn on the gas-just as you do it at home. You can even find propane stoves with integrated electronic starters, which makes the transition from home cooking to cooking at camp almost flawless.