Lightweight, inexpensive, and a surprisingly strong burner.
Integrated systems like the Jetboil Flash below are more stable and windproof.
MSR’s small PocketRocket has earned a cult popularity in the backpacking world and the most recent “2” has reduced additional weight as well as bulk. The result is an ultra-compact stove that can be attached onto the upper part of an Isobutane container and allows for a great stove control. It weighs only 2.6 pounds and takes up tiny space in your bag. With a remarkablely large and powerful burner and a price of just $50 it is no wonder that the PocketRocket 2 is one of the most sought-after alternatives available on the market, and an everyday image when you are in backcountry. The integrated designs such as those in the Jetboil Flash below offer better resistance to wind as well as greater efficiency and include pots, but it’s a sign of the times that we find ourselves looking for the MSR for nearly every backpacking trip.
Within the wider range of stoves for backpacking among the larger backpacking stove market, the PocketRocket 2 hits a highly desired middle ground. While multi-purpose designs such as the Flash excel in heating water to boiling, they’re more bulkier, heavier and more expensive. On the other side on the scale, real people who count ounces may prefer the simplest of systems, such as alcohol stoves, but this comes with significant limitations in terms of boiling time, simmer control and overall dependability. Overall it’s this PocketRocket 2 is everything most backpackers require and everything they need and that’s why it’s our number one pick for 2022. If you want a more upgraded model, MSR also offers the price of $80 for the pocket rocket deluxe with a heavier weight at 2.9 pounds, but comes with an igniter with a push-start feature and a regulator for improved performance in cold.