Jetboil Group Cooking System (GCS)
Price Paid: $85 + shipping
I recently took this for a long weekend to Havasu Falls and it worked great. I used it to boil water, simmer foil-pack chicken and pasta, and even roast a marshmallow or two.
* Boils water QUICK
* Igniter worked well every time (not sure about reliability)
* Pot is easily big enough to make a meal for 2 people
* It's difficult to adjust the flame to a simmer setting. There's only about 1/2 a turn of the control knob between near-full blast and off.
* When packed the parts inside the pot rattle around. You'll have to pack other stuff in the pot to avoid clunking noises on the trail.
* The pot support can snag on the pot and lift off the stove. I’m sure this is intentional so you don’t pick up the entire stove by accident, but it would be nice if the support fit the stove more securely and did not snag on the flux ring on the pot.
Overall, this is a great stove that works as advertised. The few complaints I have are pretty easy to work around and would not discourage me from recommending this stove.
Price Paid: $95
This backpacking stove is so-so. The igniter never has worked on mine. The flame is adequate but unimpressive. A friend has the Jetboil Personal Cooking System, which sounds like a nuclear explosion when it ignites. Mine sounds like a whimper.
e-OMC won't replace my Jetboil because it's after the year warranty. Jetboil has not responded to my concerns.
I'm not sure if I got a defective model or if Jetboil is an inferior product.
Pretty convenient, but not without flaws.
I have the Jetboil Personal Cooking System (PCS) and the Group Cooking System. They're essentially the same thing -- a PCS becomes a GCS with the addition of 1) stabilizing legs that fit under the canister; 2) a pot stabilizing device that fits on the burner; and 3) a 1.5 liter pot instead of that big mug.
Hard to beat the conveniences of the system -- quick to set up, quick to boil, packs down conveniently, not too heavy, easy to adjust the flame, integrated igniter.
However -- and this is why I give it 3.5 stars -- while I have used it successfully in warm and cool-ish weather, when I used it on a cold Columbus Day weekend in the Adirondacks, it was difficult to get started; I was worried I might not be able to get it going.
This is always a problem with canister stoves, I realize, but this wasn't winter camping, it was colder-than-usual fall camping, so I was a bit disappointed.
I won't give up on this system, but in the future, I will probably feel compelled to carry a back-up stove that can invert the canister (MSR Windpro or Snowpeak Gigapower or similar).
20 oz / 560 g
51 oz / 1.5 L
32 oz / 1 L in 4 minutes
2 L per 100g Jetpower canister
7.0 in / 175 mm
4.5 in / 110 mm