Jetboil is no longer a a new upstart in the backpacking stove universe. They have years of development and experience behind them and the MicroMo is one of the newest refined stoves in the Jetboil family. We recently tested the Jetboil MicroMo on El Capitan and some backpacking in the Wasatch mountains.
The Jetboil MicroMo Cooking System comes with the burner, pot, pot cozy, lid, measuring cup/bowl, and fuel canister stabilizer. The whole package comes in at 13 oz. And it all fits together in the pot, including room for a 100 g fuel canister. The pot is made of very lightweight aluminum and holds a maximum of .8 liters. The included pot cozy pulls double duty as both an insulator from heat sapping wind while you’re cooking as well as insulating your hands so that when you’re food or beverage is warm you can comfortably hold the pot while eating or drinking. The magic of the whole system though is the burner. I have used an older Jetboil Flash for years. It’s been my backpacking mainstay and has done a great job. The only thing I have really wished for was better simmer control. The MicroMo, as well as several other Jetboil cooking systems, have updated burner controls that allow for much more finite control of heat so you can get that perfect simmer going. A piezo push-button igniter is integrated into the system so that you don’t have to mess with a lighter or matches in windy conditions. The included lid has both a small opening for sipping beverages as well as a strainer opening for pasta or other foods you may need to strain after cooking.
I was interested to see what improvements Jetboil has made to the MicroMo, over the old Flash that I’m so familiar with. From start to finish I was impressed with the performance and use. The super-fast boil times that Jetboil has staked their name to is still there. I didn’t time it, but I’d have to say it was 2 min. or less to take 16 oz. of 70F water to boiling. I’m not much of a backcountry chef so my backpacking stove use is generally just to get water to boil for freeze dried meals or melt snow for water. One note with regards to getting water to boil is to watch it carefully, especially if you’re on a portaledge on a big wall. The water gets to a rolling boil very quickly and the updated burner control that allows for good simmering isn’t very fast at turning off so you can get boiling water popping out of the lid if you’re not careful (clearly I wasn’t careful one time, but I learned my lesson). However, I did manage to cook some ramen one night and was quite pleased with the simmer control that allowed me to quickly and efficiently cook my ramen without having to constantly mess with the burner to get just the right amount of heat. I have never had any problems with the piezo ingniter not working on either of the Jetboil stoves that I’ve used so the backup lighter that I always have with me has never been put to use. If it is very windy, you may find that you need to block the wind a bit to get the stove lit, but after that it will usually stay lit thanks to the integrated wind-blocking shroud. The only nit-picky thing that any of our testers had to mention was that once the stove has been heated the locking ring, that locks the pot to the burner can be hard to unlock. I assume this has to do with two different metals heating and expanding. We stopped locking the pot to the burner so this wasn’t a problem and never felt like the pot was unstable, even in the hanging kit on the portaledge.
Jetboil has a number of accessories to go along with their cooking systems, coffee press, lids, pots, utensils, etc. We tested the Jetboil Hanging Kit useful for using the Jetboil cooking systems on a portaledge, in a tent, or to hang from a tree. We used the Hanging Kit on a recent ascent of The Nose on El Capitan. It weighs practically nothing (54 g) and folds up to pack down to practically nothing. Doesn’t really take up much more room than the spork that I always pack with me. It also proved to be much stronger than I thought it would. We packed it up and shoved it in the zipper pouch just inside the haul bags. I expected to have it get bent up a bit, which probably wouldn’t cause it much harm, and would be easy to fix, but it always came out of the pouch perfectly unharmed. It is made of three thin aluminum rods that connect and wrap around the Jetboil burner in a triangle. A little locking pin locks it in place so that you can cook and remove the pot without ever disturbing the burner and hanging kit. Three thin braided wires extend above the kit to a wire hook that easily slides onto a tree branch, tent support or strap on a portaledge. To secure it on a portaledge strap we simply clipped a quickdraw from the gear loops at the top then clipped the hook on the hanging kit so that it hung on the strap out in front of us for easy cooking.
The Jetboil MicroMo used on it’s own or with the Hanging Kit is a great system for cooking on a big wall or in the backcountry. The whole system is remarkably light, durable, and easy to use. Whether you’re just boiling water or cooking a gourmet meal the MicroMo is a fantastic stove for any climber, mountaineer, or backpacker.
More information at www.jetboil.com