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JetBoil Sol Ti (titanium) Cup Resizing Modification

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EBY265, Resized 400ml Jetboil Sol Ti. Full size Jetboil Sol Ti.

EBY265, Resized 400ml Jetboil Sol Ti. Full size Jetboil Sol Ti.

Greetings hikers, adventure racers, alpinists, runners, and all other outdoor enthusiasts.

In April of 2011 I was the first person to post an online review – both a video and article – of the then brand new “Jetboil Sol Ti” which has become one of the highest awarded cooking systems the outdoor industry has seen in the last decade. Before the Sol Ti was released I had used their aluminium “Personal Cooking System“, the original Jetboil, and had extensively used the Jetboil “Helios” system. In May of 2013 I posted an extensive review sharing my overall thoughts on the Jetboil Sol Ti as well as numerous modifications that I have made to my Sol Ti.

Since the very first day that I held the Jetboil Sol Ti there was this thought in the back of my mind, “I wonder what it would weight, and how fast it would boil, if the volume of the cup was not 27 oz (0.8 Liter)?

Two years later, I have finally taken the time to find out these two questions.


Other Article’s About The JetBoil Sol Cook System That I Have Written :

Jetboil Sol Titanium vs Jetboil Sol Aluminium - about a ton of research I have put together an article that explains the differences between the Sol Aluminium and the Sol Titanium.

Jetboil Sol Ti, Initial Review – My initial review here at hikelighter on the Jetboil Sol Titanium cook system.

 

Disclaimer:

I want to say from the very get-go:

I accept full responsibility for the modifications I make to gear that I have bought.

I accept full responsibility for a nullification of warranty to gear that I have bought and modify.

What I do with gear that I BUY is MY right – and my responsibility should things go bad!

The Goal:

The four aspects that I have always wondered about how the Jetboil Sol Titanium cup would perform differently if it were resized have been:

  1. Weight of resized titanium cup
  2. Boiling duration of resized titanium cup
  3. Fuel useage differences
  4. Compactness

Resizing:

From the get-go there were two different sizes that I wanted to test.

  1. The first was at the 500 ml / 16.90 oz / 2.11 cup / mark.
  2. The second was at the 400ml / 13.52 oz / 1.69 mark. This would be to compare it to the eby265 that I use.

Overview:

The first task was to purchase a brand new Jetboil Sol Ti Companion cup.

Next was to hunt down somebody that was willing to help me – my good friend Ken Thompson was up for a day of fun and mayhem.

Next on the list was to rip off the Insulating Cozy and put the full size Ti cup onto the scale. - Result: 109 grams / 3.844 oz.

Next was to do a boil test to give us a base-line for duration of the water that we were using and the normal time for the full size titanium cup. - Result: 2 minutes 56 seconds.

Post Publication of this Article: I have also performed a comparison of 400ml of water in a full-size cup and 400ml-cut-down-size cup.  - Result: averaged 1:20 seconds with BOTH sizes, and identical amount of fuel consumption – therefore it would seem that cutting down the size of the cup does NOT result in any saved time nor fuel consumption. See the video at the end of this article for further details.

Next was to start cutting the cup down to the initial 500ml size. A simple handsaw did the trick – this was not about making a pretty cup, just getting results.

Aftering getting the cup cut down to the initial 500ml size it was time to put it onto the scale – Results: 82.64 grams / 2.915 oz. This initial resizing from the original 27 ounce volume down to a 16.9 ounce volume (800ml to 500ml) resulted in cutting off 25.65 grams / 0.904 oz. We then performed a boil test and the time duration was 1 minute 56 seconds – exactly one minute faster.

Ken then grabbed his handsaw and cut off another 100ml worth of volume from the cup. Results: 72.64 grams / 2.562 oz. This second resizing from the 16.8 oz volume down to 13.5 volume (500ml to 400ml) resulted in cutting off 9.43 grams / 0.332 oz. We then performed a boil test and the time duration was 59.98 seconds – lets just call it 56 seconds faster than the 500ml test and just four seconds shy of two minutes faster than the original size cup.

Overall Savings:

Overall savings by cutting down the full size (800ml) cup to the same 400ml volume cup that I now use:

Weight Saved: 36.36 grams / 1.282 ounces
Boil Duration Saved: 1 minute 56 seconds

Fuel Consumption:

Using the standard pre/post boil weight test, I have found after repeated testing, using a Jetboil 100g canister, that the 400ml size cup consumes right at 2.5 grams of fuel per FULL boil. If my math is correct that means I should get 40 boils per 100g canister.

The weight of an empty 100g canister is 97 grams and a full canister is obviously 197 grams / 6.94 ounces. I am not smart enough to sit here and know or calculate all those mathematical formulas you math-smart people do/use to calculate when a certain stove setup, with a certain weight, with a certain overall distance per stove+fuel weight, starts to become less or better weight-to-performance. Such formulas just make my head spin. But, I know a lot of you out there are smarter than I am in the world of math, so I will leave it up to you’all to do what it is you are gifted at doing.

To be totally honest, I kind of like the idea that I could go 20 days of being out on the trail without having to resupply a new batch of fuel. Right now, with my esbit setup, 20 days of fuel is 466 grams / 16.43 ounces. So, 6.94 ounces for a full canister of fuel (at the very start of the 20 days) vs 16.43 ounces of esbit (at the very start of the 20 days) for the same 20 days.

The 400ml eby265 system that I use is 78 grams / 2.75z for the pot, stand/screen, ground protector, lid and rubberband.

The 400ml Jetboil system is 184 grams / 6.5 oz for the pot, stove, sleeve and lid.

That makes the cut down sized Jetboil 106 grams / 3.74 ounces heavier than the eby265 system that I have pieced together. What weak math logic my brain has, seems to indicate that a stove that is 3.7 ounces heavier, yet has an initial 10 ounces of less fuel, it would be a good choice for those hikes where you cannot resupply for 18-20 days. Right?? (honestly asking that, my math skills suuuuuuck)

Compactness:

As can been seen in this photograph there has been a fair amount of savings in the overall height of the setup. We ended up cutting off two and one-half inches (6.35 cm) of the titanium from the top of the cup.

There has been a brief discussion on my post of this article at facebook regarding what is better, a taller Jetboil that you can store the stove and canister in, or a shorter stove and the ability to have two parts (stove system + canister) to shove into smaller spaces/gaps of your backpack. To pull in what I posted over there, “I would perhaps challenge the thought/theory/idea – in that having the ability to shove two smaller things into areas allows for better overall negation of wasted pack volume space, than one larger item. (ie: filling up dead space, rather than just taking up space)” I will just leave this whole issue up to how each hiker prefers to go about packing their backpack.

The overall height of the 400ml size Jetboil Sol Ti is right at 3.5 inches / 8.89 cm.

A Few Concerns:

During the process of all of this, one of the topics that Ken Thompson and I talked about was what kind of issues cutting down a Jetboil cup might have. I was, rather unfortunately and absolutely without intent, the person behind the initial generation of the Sol Ti cups having failure issues and it going viral around the internet and that have now been well documented. Full disclosure here mandates that I make it clear that what I originally posted was not with malintent. All I did was post some pictures and share a story. It was a small handful of other hikers that turned it all into the “ball of flame” issue that it became – and which I totally stayed out of. It was never my intent for that to happen. But, what it did do is cause me to lose serious faith in the Jetboil Sol Ti product. It was not until well after they made a second generation of the cup that I, very hesitantly, decided to give the Sol Ti another try. As I pointed out in my review earlier this year, the second generation Jetboil Sol Ti has become one of my favorite cooking systems. Yes, its heavy in my world of hiking – but not for the average weekender. Yes, it is a rather expensive cooking system – but I have spent just as much on other and much lighter and heavier cooking systems.

But back to my concern… I cannot lie when I share that in the back of my mind is a serious amount of concern and worry about whether whacking off around 75% of the Sol Ti cup is going to cause a greater amount of heat build-up in what little bit of material there is, and whether or not that is going to cause issues with the welding points of the Fluxrings. It is just insane how fast this thing is boiling water. A few times, with water that has been in sitting around on my desk for a couple of hours, I have gotten a full rolling boil of 400ml of water in 56 seconds. That is just crazy. The amount of heat being built up in such a small and thin amount of titanium, I just have to be honest, does concern me. As I continue to use this system over the next hiking season or two I will give feedback on how things are going. I totally welcome feedback from you engineers and stove developers out there on whether you think this concern is valid or not.

This all, obviously, falls under the “disclaimer” part at the start of this article. What I do with gear that I buy I take full responsibility for.

In Closing:

Trust me when I say that the very first person to ask “why?” in all of this. Why. Why take a $90 titanium cup and start cutting it. Why. There are perfectly good other cups on the market, and entire cook systems on the market that are lighter weight, massively less expensive, and use less volume space inside of my backpack. So, why? In all, one-hundred percent honesty, my only answer to that question – a question I have been asking myself for two years – is, “because I was just wondering“.

A Few Photos:

IMG_1365

Note board as we progressed through the process.

400ml Jetboil Sol Ti with stove inside and the original lid. All sealed up and ready:  177 grams / 6.20 ounces.

400ml Jetboil Sol Ti with stove inside and the original lid. All sealed up and ready: 177 grams / 6.20 ounces. (without sleeve, which I later cut down to size to fit)

The original Jetboil Sol Ti cup next to the resized 400ml size.

The original Jetboil Sol Ti cup next to the resized 400ml size.

Post Publication Video To Answer Questions:

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Written by John Abela

November 27, 2013 at 11:20 am

Posted in Gear Modifications

Tagged with

24 Responses

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  1. Very interesting! I look forward to future updates regarding this mod.

    Paul

    November 27, 2013 at 3:51 pm

  2. Sounds like you’ve been having a blast! See what happens when you get cooped up at home for too long?

    I would have thought the answer to why you did it is because of the heat exchanger. The heat exchanger is what separates this system from the others, and the superior gas consumption rates it gives.

    Personally, I’m never really sure how much fuel I burn and how much of it I drink. I’ve discovered a very seductive Polish vodka (95% alchohol) … purely for medicinal and cooking purposes you’ll understand, hurrumph…

    Andy Jarman

    November 27, 2013 at 4:43 pm

    • Hey Andy,

      Yeah, the winter season is never a good time of year… for my gear :-D It just never knows what is going to happen to it. lol

      I really did do this for no other reason then that I was curious. Kinda sad, but tis true. lol

      John B. Abela

      November 28, 2013 at 5:18 am

  3. Great write up on a fun project. I know exactly what it’s like to have an idea in the back of your mind for too long and need to exercise it. To complete this amazing transformation you just need to come up with a way to create that nice roll top edge on the cup and you’ll be just like the original – only shorter!

    There is a way to create beautiful roll top edges, Steve at SNC Tool does it on his Bud-light cups with a custom built tool he made. If I can get him to share his secret I’ll pass it along.

    Brian Green (@bfgreen)

    November 27, 2013 at 5:00 pm

    • Hey Brian, if you figure out a way to do the roll top you should totally give it a try!! I would recommend you cut it off at around the 550ml mark and than do the roll. Gotta be honest and say that at the 400ml mark this thing just feels all wrong. If I were to do it again, I would absolutely not cut it below the 500ml mark.

      John B. Abela

      November 28, 2013 at 5:19 am

  4. Really enjoyed this article and I’ll never buy a Jetboil. Used them a few times but they don’t fit my MO. I only ever get out for 3-5 days and I’m usually at 6 ounces or so including fuel. But I sure do love how fast even a stock JB boils the water. Thanks for sharing. -I’m now pretty curious what JB will think of this.

    Warren

    November 27, 2013 at 6:02 pm

    • Hey Warren,

      Yeah, there is no doubt that the JB can be a heavy cooking solution in the light of other systems out there. Be it the EBY265 system that I use, or the LiteTrail 550ml setup, or any of the bazillion bear-can setups being made these days.

      I typically find myself using it in three different situations:

      1) When I am going on day hikes with friends that are not really hikers, just day walker kind of folks. The JB allows me to very quickly be able to produce a cup of coffee or tea. And, on day hikes, so what about an extra few ounces.

      2) Speed hiking/adventure racing. Both of these I am getting into more and more know that my knee is feeling better. In these situations, sitting around for 8-12 minutes waiting for esbit/heet to heat up my water hurts the bottom-line (time), so by going with an extra few ounces warrants it. The extra few ounces could never slow me down so much time that it would equate out to being 6-10 minutes (given an average of 2 minutes per boil with the jetboil)

      3) When building the trails that I am building I can often times be out for 5-7 weeks at a time. I precache food and water and fuel and batteries and such. The Jetboil, even though it consumes twice as much bulk volume space in my pack, allows me to go further without having to worry about fuel consumption. Mentioned some of this info within the article.

      So, yeah, from a SUL/XUL perspective, and to a degree even UL, the Jetboil has its place, but only in very rare situations. It still is one awesome little cook system for the weekender though!!

      John B. Abela

      November 28, 2013 at 5:28 am

  5. I don’t think you need worry about the “extra” heat. you simply are applying the same heat to a smaller vessel and less water, so you are boiling faster. I would be more worried about the exposed aluminum shards on the cut edge of the cup. Any plans to roll the top edge?

    Craig "Skygzr" Gulley

    November 28, 2013 at 5:07 am

    • Hey Skygzr,

      I would have not the slightest clue how to go about rolling the titanium so no-go on that factor. We actually got it sanded down pretty darn well and its not at all sharp. I also do not think rolling it at the 400ml mark would be a good idea, you’d lose too much volume in the process. Maybe keeping it at the 550ml mark and then rolling it would be a pretty sweet idea.

      John B. Abela

      November 28, 2013 at 5:11 am

  6. To be perfectly accurate, why didn’t you put 400ml in the original cup and measure the boil times?

    Of course 400ml boils faster than 500ml or 800ml. You haven’t standardised your tests to show any benefit of reducing the size of the pot!

    Mike

    November 28, 2013 at 5:24 am

    • Hey Mike, Uhh, because we didn’t think of doing that (shrugs). Totally agree with you though… should have done that. Later today I am going to fire up my other Sol Ti and put 400ml of water into it, and 400ml of water into the hacked one, and see. It will not be a 100% accurate test, but best that I can do at this point. But anyway, yep, totally agree I boneheaded this particular aspect.

      John B. Abela

      November 28, 2013 at 5:33 am

      • The test with the less water in the standard size container will still show a longer boil time than the cut down version because some heat is required to be absorbed into the extra material. If you can get by with eating and drinking only 400-500 ml then to be the most efficient you should have a smaller vessel. I have done a few charts and tests and find that at 7 days out the JB Ti can actually be lighter than my alcohol set up given how long a cartridge can last. Personally, if you have any influence over them with your reviews, I wish they would make a wider cup (easier to re-hydrate and easier to clean) :-)

        Craig "Skygzr" Gulley

        November 28, 2013 at 5:41 am

        • The Sumo is 0.8 inches wider… maybe take it and whack it down, and we could have our “wide/short” that so many of us (myself included) really love. No idea on how much it would weigh.

          I have zero influence with Jetboil. Just the opposite.. I have received multiple threats from a Jetboil VP and other ‘representatives’ over the last few years in an attempt to get me to stop posting these type of things. They even sent a letter to Ryan Jordan and BPL a couple years ago and got an entire thread removed – one that I did not even start – I happened to post a couple of photos within it.

          Yeah there does reach a point where a Jetboil (and other canister stoves, lets just be fair here across the board) becomes much more viable than alcohol AND esbit. I think, maybe at the 500ml level, this whole idea could be a pretty amazing thing to really start putting the numbers too and seeing how viable it actually would be… but as I utterly suck at math, that will not have to come from my end.

          I did post at BPL asking for help on the mathematical side of things. http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=84587 – it might be worth keeping an eye on.

          John B. Abela

          November 28, 2013 at 5:49 am

          • you have given me some ideas…. bad situation now…LOL…
            I would frame those letters and emails as a badge of honor to rattle the cage of any manufacturer with new idea. In order for me to use this set up I will have to get someone who can roll the edge, as I don’t personally think the raw aluminum is very safe.

            Craig "Skygzr" Gulley

            November 28, 2013 at 7:02 am

  7. John,

    Cutting down will cause the whole pot to get hotter. The same amount of heat is going in, but the heat loss is reduced because you cut away the extra “fin”. That being said, you would probably be better off throttling back on the flame and shoot for the the original boil times (ultra conservative). My guess is that you would see an improved fuel efficiency with the lower output.

    Jon Fong

    November 28, 2013 at 10:15 am

    • Hey Jon, thanks for stopping by.

      Yeah that is a good idea. Later today I will grab a canister that is under 3oz so I can put it onto my ultra sensitive scale and then turn the flame way down and see if I can get something closer to the 2g of fuel usage, rather than the 2.5 – 3g of fuel consumption. That could increase the duration required before resupplying by a couple more days.

      John B. Abela

      November 28, 2013 at 10:19 am

      • Jon, been testing this out…

        The lower I turn the fuel down, the more fuel it seems to be burning.

        The lowest I have been able to get it, resulted in a boil time of 6 minutes, 18 seconds. It consumed 3.1 grams of fuel, vs 2.5 through 2.8 in all of my other tests.

        John B. Abela

        December 9, 2013 at 5:37 pm

  8. Assuming yo’ve used up ALL of the fuel at the end of the 20 days, the avg weight of the JB setup is 331g and the EBY265 is only 272g. Assuming you keep 10% of the fuel as a safety the avg weight work out to 336g vs 291g, still a weight advantage for the EBY265. In fact the EBY265 setup has a lower avg weight than the JB up until 41% remaining fuel at the end of the trip.

    JoeSwede

    December 1, 2013 at 2:02 pm

    • 45grams, could be worth it in a howling gale in the middle of the night when the roar of a Jetboil gives you that little bit of extra reassurance that you aren’t completely barking mad to be out in such weather! But then you can’t drink the 10% left in the Jetboil. Not that I have a drink problem … I’m just saying is all…

      rgbarg

      December 2, 2013 at 1:07 am

  9. Good article. I reduced the size of my JetBoil cup by about 50% about one year ago and it works fine. No issues with overheating. I took it to a local engineering shop who chucked it up in a big lathe and neatly parted it off with a sharp parting off tool, then smoothed the edges with fine abrasive paper. I trimmed the neoprene holder with scissors. It is a very neat job. I usually hold it close to my chest with my back into the wind and hunch over it. It is comforting to know that you can make a hot drink, some instant soup or a Mountain House meal anywhere, including where there is no shelter from the wind at all, even in a violent storm. Because I hold the gas canister and warm it with my hands it works even at very low temperatures (I usually carry the gas canister inside my outer garment in very cold conditions.) I don’t think any other stove can do this except perhaps a Trangia which is much bigger, slower and heavier to carry.

    Christopher Mark Gould

    December 9, 2013 at 1:43 pm

  10. Hey John, thanks for all your reviews and videos. I’m in the process of converting my old, heavy gear to UL and have benefitted greatly from all the information on your website. Re: Jetboil, I have the original system and want to convert to the lighter Sol stove, but want to save $ if possible, so could you tell me whether the old aluminum cup fits on the new Sol stove? I found the Sol ” burner assembly” on the Jetboil site (hidden under “spare parts”) for $60. Since you’re familiar with the systems, I wonder whether you think it would work to combine the old cup with new stove and not have to buy the whole system?

    Dan Gregerson

    December 14, 2013 at 9:16 am

    • Hello Dan, wish I could help answer this but I do not have any of the Al cups to be able to see if they fit into the newers Sol stove unit. Guessing somebody that visits this website might know and hopefully answer this, but this is something I do not know the answer too.

      John B. Abela

      December 14, 2013 at 9:23 am

  11. […] you feel that you just have no need for 16+ ounces (473 ml) of water, you might be interested in this article that I wrote regarding cutting down the size of your Jetboil Cup. Obviously this is going to nullify your […]


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