The MSR Pocket Rocket 2 is a whole lot of power in a tiny package. With excellent simmer control, stable supports, and an efficient burn, it’s no wonder we named it best overall canister stove on our Best Backpacking Stoves list.
Measured Weight: 2.6 oz.
Fuel Type: Isobutane/propane canister
Other Options: Pocket Rocket Deluxe (Piezo igniter, better wind performance), Pocket Rocket 2 Mini Stove Kit (1-person), Pocket Rocket 2 Stove Kit (2-person), Pocket Rocket Deluxe Stove Kit (1-2 person)
GOOD VALUE– Comparable backpacking stoves typically cost around $10-$20 more than the Pocket Rocket 2, so this is a really good value buy. In our experience, the Pocket Rocket outperforms more expensive stoves when it comes to stability, durability, and efficiency.
ULTRALIGHT – At just 2.6 oz., this thing is light. Sure there are lighter stoves out there, like the Snow Peak Litemax or BRS 3000T, but they don’t offer the same stability and efficiency as the Pocket Rocket.
COMPACT – The Pocket Rocket folds down small enough to fit in the palm of your hand and can easily nest into most cook pots. The included hard plastic case makes it a little more bulky than others, but it can always be swapped for a small stuff sack if desired.
STABLE – One of our biggest pet peeves with canister stoves is that the pot support arms can be loose and wobbly, which can lead to cooking disasters. The arms of the Pocket Rocket, however, are made with a tight folding mechanism that keeps them securely in place and ensures they don’t fold down when you place your pot on top.
GOOD SIMMER CONTROL – The Pocket Rocket gives you full control over your flame, so you have a range of cooking power from a simmer to a roaring boil. Whether you’re wanting a quick boil for a freeze-dried meal or you’re a backcountry chef who likes to whip up DIY backcountry masterpieces, the Pocket Rocket is up to the task.
CARRYING CASE IS A LITTLE BULKY – While we love that the included hard carrying case for the Pocket Rocket increases durability and protects it from dirt, it does make the stove less compact. Unless you have a pretty large cooking pot, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to nest both a fuel canister and the Pocket Rocket case inside. We typically leave the case at home when we’re on the trail and opt to carry it in a small stuff sack instead.
NOT AS GOOD AS SOME IN WINDY CONDITIONS – The burner head on the Pocket Rocket is not recessed and there’s no screen to help protect the flame from wind like that on integrated stoves, such as the Jetboil Flash. We haven’t had any real issues with performance in wind, but you can upgrading to the Pocket Rocket Deluxe if that’s a big concern for you. The Deluxe version is designed with a lip around the burner to help with efficiency in windy conditions.
MSR POCKET ROCKET 2 VS POCKET ROCKET DELUXE
The Pocket Rocket 2 and Pocket Rocket Deluxe are both great stoves, but there are a couple of notable differences. The Deluxe version is about $25 more expensive which gets you a push-button igniter and a slightly wider burner head with a lip that helps it perform better in windy conditions.
We generally prefer the standard Pocket Rocket 2 because we don’t find piezo igniters to be necessary, and they’re typically the first part to fail on a stove. We’ve also never had any real trouble using the standard version in wind, but if higher efficiency and not having to manually light your stove is important to you, the Deluxe is also an excellent stove.
The Pocket Rocket 2 is the stove we carry most often for backpacking trips because of its durability, great simmer control, compact size, and stability. It’s an excellent value buy for both first time backpacking stove purchasers and for those looking to upgrade their current setup.
We hope this review helps you determine if the Pocket Rocket 2 is right for you. As always, please leave a comment below if you have any recommendations, questions, or suggestions or visit ourFacebook page andInstagram to join the community conversation. If you found this review helpful, please share on social media and click the little heart button below to give us a digital high five!
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