This is one of those pieces of gear that you just…
Source: They came with my Jetboil PCS's when purchased new.
This is one of those pieces of gear that you just take for granted. You get so used to it always being there, quietly doing its job, that you just forget about it and never think about NOT having it. It's a constant.
It says a lot about gear that is so simple and reliable, that you just don't even think about it. If you aren't using one of these, then I recommend you get one. They're everywhere, and they're cheap, so there's no reason not to have one!
- Inexpensive ($5.95)
- Simple—does what it is designed to do
- Lightweight (.9 oz/27 g)
- Foldable, and packs up neatly into the cook system
- Obviously durable (since 2009)
- It's a little fussy about attaching to the bigger canisters
- After years of use, the legs loosen up, meaning they aren't stiff enough to hold a position
Way back in 2009, when I started looking at getting into hiking and backpacking (as a civilian sport, rather than as grueling punishment), I came across something I had never seen before. Something that I thought was the coolest invention ever—the Jetboil PCS.
I did some research, and price shopping, and... between my daughter and I, and one (1) I purchased for a friend/hiking partner, I ended up buying three (3) of them!
Two (2) of them were sets—the "Backcountry Gourmet Bundle" (or something like that), that included: the PCS, pot support, canister stabilizer, fry pan, and utensil set. The other, my daughter's, just came with the PCS, pot support, and canister stabilizer (I had to buy utensils for hers).
We immediately started playing around with them at home to familiarize ourselves with them, as well as taking them out on day hikes. We were like kids with a new toy at Christmas! Lol.
You couldn't keep us away from our Jetboils! We were even cooking things at home, just to be using them! (And I still do. They boil water faster than doing it on the stove top!)
Then we started eating Mountain House meals at home... hey, you just HAVE to try them out before you're in the woods, right? Yeah, that's right! ;-)
Anyway, to make a long story short (too late), I have had a long, wonderful, loving relationship with my... wait a minute... that just doesn't even sound right! Okay, pay no attention to that last part.
So I have... um... thoroughly enjoyed? Yeah, thoroughly enjoyed, that's it! I have thoroughly enjoyed using my Jetboil PCS as often as possible since 2009! And the Jetboil Canister Stabilizer (which is what my old version is "officially" referred to as) has been an integral part of my cook system, right there with me on every trip!
Upon closer inspection, you will notice...
The outermost notch is for the larger 220-250 gram sizes, and purportedly will even fit the big 450 gram canisters- although I've never laid my hands on one of those. I've only seen pictures, and heard rumors, so I'm not convinced they even exist! ;-)
I have to be honest. These stabilizers do NOT like the 250 gram canisters like the one pictured below, on the left. It is more than a little difficult to get those cans to snap into place, and is the reason I knocked the rating down to 4 1/2 stars instead of 5.
Here you see the stabilizer at work, doing what it was designed to do—securely hold a fuel canister. On the right is a 100 gram can that you can easily see is resting in the innermost notches in the legs. On the left is the larger 250 gram can, clearly residing in the outermost notches.
Okay, so you are thinking "Yeah, what's the big deal? What's the purpose to all of this? After all, can't the canisters just sit on their base?"
Well, yes... and no.
Remember- they are called "stabilizers", right? Yes! They provide stability.
The wider reach of the "tripod" design makes them much more stable than just the fuel can base by itself. And not just for the obvious reason of un-level ground, either- although that IS important. Face it, if you spend enough time in the outdoors, you will quickly realize that nice flat, level, patches of ground aren't easy to come by!
But no one is ever REALLY surprised when their cook system falls over on un-level ground, are they? They shouldn't be. What about when it happens on fairly level ground?
Where the real importance of stability comes into play, is when you start stacking things on top of your fuel canister. Things like the stove, pots, pot supports, frying pans, etc. As you get higher, your system becomes top heavy. The higher you get, the more stability/support you need.
Case in point: the very high, standard 1L PCS integrated cooking cup. As you can see, we're starting to get on up there. You're cook system is starting to fall under the influence of some of the laws of physics (surely you are familiar with the concept of leverage, right?)
I forgot to add the tape measure to the picture, but you are looking at upwards of 13-14 inches!
Now add a cup or more of boiling water, some noodles, meat, vegetables, mushrooms, etc.
You now have a very high, very top heavy, disaster in the making (commonly referred to as a "noodle-dumper", among other things), even on a piece of fairly level ground! That is, unless you have sufficient stability AT THE BASE.
THAT is exactly what these stabilizers are designed for—stability down low, where you need it, to fight back against forces of physics.
You've heard the term "center of gravity", right? Without getting into a physics leverage formula, let's just say that off-center weight is not your friend.
Where these stabilizers REALLY shine is when you have instances of off-center weight up above. Such as when you are using the pot support for things like pots with handles, frying pans with handles, etc.
As you can see, we don't have nearly the height we had with the standard, tall, cooking cup. But notice how both the pot and the pan tend to lean in the direction of the handles! And this is on a level kitchen counter top! Imagine what would happen WITHOUT the stabilizer.
So anyway, we've most likely covered more than you ever wanted to know about fuel canister stabilizers, physics, etc., and their important role in the battle for your pasta! LOL
Keep your pasta, boys and girls! Don't let the dirt, bugs, and forces of physics have it!
If you are not using a Jetboil fuel Canister Stabilizer, then you are playing Russian Roulette with your noodles!
Oh yeah, I almost forgot—another one of the great things about the Jetboil Canister Stabilizer, is the fact that it "nests" (?) neatly into the top of the stove...
What's not to like?
On this very page, you can see for yourself that these are available everywhere (everywhere that matters) for 6 bucks!!
So what are you waiting for?
Go out and get one today... and fight the evil forces trying to steal your Ramen! ;-)
Good luck, and get out there!