JETBOIL MINIMO REVIEW: BACKPACKING STOVES
Campfires are great for roasting marshmallows, but for serious trailside cooking, look no further than the Jetboil MiniMo system. Not only is the MiniMo able to boil a 1/2 liter of water in just over two minutes, but details such as its simmer control knob, the strainer and drink spout on the lid, and convenient measurement markers on the bowl and cooking vessel make the Jetboil MiniMo functional and easy to use.
Time to Boil
|Burn Time (Max Flame)||100g canister: 60 minutes|
|Average Boil Time||4 min. 30 sec.|
|Dimensions||Packed: 5 x 6 inches|
|Liquid Capacity (L)||1 liter|
|Liquid Capacity (fl. oz.)||33.8 fluid ounces|
The Jetboil MiniMo is one of the more efficient systems available to outdoor enthusiasts. Partly, this is due to the simmer control knob which allows you to better control cooking speed and fuel use. If you do not need to bring your food or water to a full boil, you can set the knob to a lower setting and merely warm it.
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The second feature which makes the MiniMo more fuel efficient is the design of the FluxRing technology cooking element. While it is far bulkier than most lightweight cook stoves that typically have a small tripod on which to set a pot, the design of the MiniMo keeps the flame better protected from the wind and inclement weather. Even during windy conditions, the heat produced by the heating element remains directed at the cooking vessel. This means that the MiniMo will cook your food faster and with less fuel than other systems during windy conditions.
The amount of time it takes to boil water in the Jetboil MiniMo will, of course, depend on the conditions at your campsite. Under most circumstances, the MiniMo will bring half a liter of water to a boil in 2 minutes and 15 seconds. This is impressively quick compared to other camp stoves or cooking over a campfire. Other models typically take about 3 minutes to bring a similar amount of water to a boil, and cooking over wood or other solid fuels can take much longer.
Understandably, all camping stoves will suffer from a drop in performance when it is cold, but Jetboil stoves seem to handle inclement weather better than others. The company guarantees performance down to 20°F (-6°C), but if used below that temperature, or if it is exposed to rain or the wind, it may take longer for food to cook.
Versatility is a strong point for the MiniMo, and you will find that this basic model can cook most trail foods quickly. Unlike other integrated canister products, you'll conclude that it's possible to do more than simply boil water on the MiniMo and that it is better than its competitors at simmering and other temperature-dependant cooking. Separate accessories are available that make it possible to use a small frying pan with the MiniMo, and there are also items like a coffee press which expand this system's usefulness.
Looking for a little bit of foodie inspiration for your next trip, then check out our guide to the best hiking and backpacking foods.
The redesigned cooking vessel was specially engineered to be shallower and wider than previous Jetboil designs so that you can use the cooking vessel itself as a bowl or cup. The convenient drink spout on the lid means you can drink your coffee or hot cocoa without the liquid losing a lot of its warmth. The lid also has a strainer in it so that you can cook and strain pasta, rice, or other foods.
The Jetboil MiniMo weighs in at 14.6 oz (415 g) which makes it lighter than many integrated models, but heavier than ultralight systems which make use of a simple folding regulator. This happy medium means that it is more stable and user-friendly than its lighter competitors.
The MiniMo packs down to 5” x 6” (127 mm x 152 mm) which is a convenient pack size, and all of the components will fit inside of the cooking vessel for ease of travel. The plastic cup attaches to the bottom of the cooking vessel and protects the FluxRing cooking element. A small cloth bag is included for the regulator that serves to protect the non-stick surface of the cooking vessel from scratches and keeps clanking to a minimum. A 100g canister will fit inside the cup along with the stand and regulator.
Since you're unlikely to find an ideal flat surface to cook on while camping, it's important to have a product that performs well while at a slight tilt or on uneven ground. The MiniMo has several features that make it more stable than other stoves under these less than perfect conditions. Like other integrated canister stoves, the canister and cooking vessel form one unit during use. This keeps the cooking vessel from sliding off of the flame, but also creates a tall and narrow structure which can be unstable and may be easier to tip over. Because the MiniMo is shorter and wider than other Jetboil models, it is sturdier than some of the other Jetboil products.
You can use the MiniMo with only a canister beneath it, but for more peace of mind, the three-pronged canister stand included with the unit can be used to make this product much sturdier. It has notches that allow it to fit with several sizes of fuel canister so that you can use it with Jetboil JetPower or other brands of isobutane canisters.
Overall, the Jetboil MiniMo hits the sweet spot for most outdoor enthusiasts. If you're hiking alone or with a partner, this stove is the perfect size for cooking meals or boiling water for one or two drinks. Its stability, reliability and quick boiling time make it a great option for just about any location, and if used with Jetboil's Jetpower 4-Season Fuel Blend, the MiniMo is effective even during the coldest weather.
The main limitation of this camp stove is its price. While it is true that it comes as an entire cooking system and contains everything you'll need except a canister, it is about ten times more expensive than a simple, inexpensive camp stove regulator. This puts it out of reach of many newcomers to hiking and camping and to those who do not have a lot of cash to spend on camping equipment. The MiniMo is also heavier than many camp stoves, and ultralight backpackers may want to consider a more compact and lightweight alternative.
If you're able to afford the MiniMo, however, you'll find that it is one of the most fuel efficient and useful stoves on the market. Anyone who has ever scorched their dinner while trying to evenly heat food on a traditional camp stove will appreciate the fine control provided by the simmer knob. If you're planning a long expedition or if you need to heat large quantities of water during your trip, you'll be amazed by how little fuel the MiniMo needs to fulfill these tasks.
The MiniMo comes from a diverse line of camping stoves. Jetboil produces several successful and practical alternatives to the MiniMo to meet different needs. The Sumo Cooking System is a larger version of the MiniMo and can hold 1.8 liters at one time. If you need an even larger stove for a group of hikers, the Genesis Base Camp System is a great choice as it provides multiple surfaces so that more than one meal can be cooked at the same time. The Jetboil Zip, Jetboil Flash, and Jetboil MicroMo stoves are the lightest stoves in the lineup and are perfect for an individual hiker who wants a lightweight camp stove.
Jetboil also offers a large number of accessories that fit all of their models. One of the most popular accessories is the pot support which makes it possible to use a small pot or skillet on the stove. There is also a coffee press which makes brewing a morning cup of joe a snap.
Although the MiniMo will work with any standard isobutane canisters, Jetboil sells its own fuel canisters in multiple sizes. Standard Jetboil Jetpower isobutane fuel canisters are available in 100g, 230g, and 450g. For four season camping, you can also use the Jetboil Jetpower 4-Season Fuel Blend which makes winter cooking easier and more efficient.
The Petforu Ultralight Portable Outdoor Camping Stove offers some of the features of larger camping stoves in a tiny package. The ultralight element is only 0.4 pounds and folds down to an incredibly compact size for transport.
Unlike many ultralight stoves, the Petforu Ultralight has a fuel control valve and a high-energy ceramic piezoelectric ignition. It's also more fuel efficient and powerful than many small stoves despite being one of the least expensive camp stoves on the market. You can purchase the element on its own, or you can purchase it with a the pot set.
If you need a stove for emergency situations or if you prefer using natural materials for cooking rather than isobutane canisters, the Fameley Lightweight Folding Wood & Fuel Camping Stove offers you the ability to use wood, sticks, alcohol, leaves, charcoal, or any other solid fuel to prepare meals.
The stove's design is lightweight and compact, and you won't have to carry heavy fuel canisters, saving, even more, weight. Keep in mind that it will take about 8-10 minutes to bring water to a boil using this stove, but if flexibility is your goal, the Fameley stove won't disappoint.
MSR have long been an industry leader, and are well-respected by outdoor enthusiasts who appreciate the reliability of these camp stoves. The MSR MicroRocket Stove is MSR's smallest stove, and weighs just 73 g (2.6oz.) yet will bring one liter of water to boil in only 3.5 minutes.
It comes with a hand-held Piezo igniter for quick startup. While the MicroRocket Stove isn't as stable or as quick to boil as larger models, if you're looking to shave weight from your pack, this stove is a great option.
In an age when everyone seems to be locked to their small blue screens, I am vehemently passionate about getting more people outside to enjoy the wonder of nature. I grew up with the outdoors on my doorstep, and when I headed off to university I picked a degree in geology that allowed me to spend a lot of time outside on field trips! Over the last 30 years, I have camped or hiked through the wilderness on 5 continents. I hope my posts are informative for both the grizzled veteran and the complete novice alike.