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MSR Pocket Rocket 2 Stove Review

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.

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Quick Specs

MSR PocketRocket 2

Best backpacking stove overall

Price: $50

Weight: 2.6 oz.

Fuel Type: Isobutane/propane canister

Other Options:


  • Ultralight
  • Compact
  • Durable
  • Simmer control
  • Efficient


  • Somewhat bulky carrying case
  • Not as good in wind as some
The Pocket Rocket 2 is efficient and has a full range of simmer control.



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.


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.

The MSR Pocket Rocket 2 is very 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.

We love the stable arms on the MSR Pocket Rocket 2 .


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.


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.

The Pocket Rocket 2 is much more compact without its case.
Comparing the size of the Pocket Rocket 2 carrying case with a 110g isobutane fuel canister.



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.


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.

Comparing the MSR Pocket Rocket 2 (left) to the MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe (right)

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.

Bottom line

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.

Boiling water for a freeze-dried meal in our favorite cookpot, the Snow Peak Mini Solo.