Greetings hikers, climbers, adventure racers, bikers, and all outdoor lovers!
I have a rather long and unique history with the Jetboil systems – those who have followed my articles for any length of time know some of the good and the bad – but there is one thing about the JetBoil Sol Ti that keeps haunting me: I just really love this thing!
Now sure, talking about something like the JetBoil Sol Ti might seem totally out of place on a website that tends to focus on SUL/XUL hiking, but hopefully over the last few years I have been able to get across the point that a hiker can carry one or two “heavy” or “luxury” pieces of gear and still be a SUL hiker (BPW sub 5lbs/ 2.3kg.)
More and more one of mine has been the JetBoil Sol Ti, and here is why:
Using 16 oz of water, enough for a meal and coffee, I am able to get 22 uses out of a single 100g JetBoil JetPower canister. I am no great math genius like some of the guys at BPL who can figure out at what point in a long distance hike, or even a weekend hike, a certain weight of something becomes viable or nonviable, but from a few hundred days spent on the trail over the last few years, over 500 at this point, it would seem to me that if I can go 11 days and not have to worry about whether I am going to run out of fuel, well that is a very nice thing. And, if I decide to have a cold breakfast every couple of days I could easily extend that one canister of fuel well into the two week duration. On an ounce-by-ounce comparison, even my beloved esbit weighs more at those durations of being on-trail.
Other Article’s About The JetBoil Sol 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 (titanium) Cup Resizing Modification – an article about cutting your Sol Cup in order to make it help fit the needs of how much water you might normally use.
Overall System Weight:
The issue, of course, is the weight of the rest of the system – the pot, the sleeve, the lid, the stove.
There are ways to lighten up things a small amount, here are some of what I have done to lighten up the overall weight of my JetBoil Sol Ti system:
(Full disclaimer: modification of MY/YOUR Jetboil may result in void of warranty – and the VP of Jetboil has already tried once to scare-tactic me once to not talk about these kind of modifications to the JetBoil stove system — but what I do with gear I BUY is MY right – and my responsibility should things go bad! Same goes for you!)
First, I took off the orange thingy (the orange stove stand, that contains the piezoelectric igniter) – it was 20.31 grams (0.7164 oz) on my calibrated scale. You can see photographs of this modification that I posted on my facebook page (keep up with my thoughts and adventures on my HikeLighter facebook page.)
The weight of a mini-bic, which most of us already carry, is usually around 12 grams NEW, and will last way longer and is way more reliable than one of those stupid piezo igniters, so it just made sense to pull out the piezo igniter and the orange stand. The pot is a weeebit unstable without the orange stove stand, but to test it I let my pot sit with the stove going full-blast with a full pot of water to see if it would tip over and it never did (reference video at bottom of article)… proof enough for me – but remember my disclaimer statement above.
Next I proceeded to cut off the stupid black “handle” (which JetBoil does not want us to call a ‘handle’ because it is not stable enough) — interesting side note: the new version of the JetBoil Sol Ti now has two velcro straps that go on the inside of the silver cozy, which I suspect was done to try to give some rigidity to the “handle”, for those people who just naturally use the handle as, well, a handle. Once I had the velcro and black ‘handle’ removed the cozy came in at 19.23 grams (0.678 oz). So I ended up cutting off, literally, an additional 7.93 grams (0.279 oz) of weight. I know a lot of hikers have cut their cozy height to about half of what it is to try to save a few extra grams, but I have big hands so I like having the whole cozy there. Regarding the new cozy… it seems far in-superior to the previous version of the JetBoil Sol Ti cozy. I am thinking it is thinner material. It gets waaaay hotter than what I remember the original cozy getting. Could just be bad memories from my previous one.
The lid appears to be identical to the previous one, so nothing there to do to try to save weight, same goes for the orange canister stand. I did discover that the lid of the 550ml pot that LiteTrail sales fits perfectly onto the top of the Sol Ti – but it does not stay attached like the plastic lid.
Before all the modifications the Total Stove Weight was 258 grams (9.100 ounces)
In removing the orange stove stand and the modifications to the cozy….
I was able to reduce the Total Stove Weight by 27.93 grams (0.985 ounces).
This now puts the Total Stove Weight at 229 grams (8.077 ounces) – that is the stove, the pot, the cozy and the lid.
[give or take a gram here or there]
Improvements I Would Still Like To See:
There are a few things I would like to see from JetBoil in a 3rdGen release.
Perhaps make a “short” version. Yes this would mean it could no longer “all fit in the pot” but I would be willing to suffer not having the canister inside of the pot, in exchange for a pot that is only 16oz in size. Given the fact that almost all the popular “prepackaged meals” these days only need 16oz or less of hot water, it just seems like it would make sense. Being somebody that makes most of my own meals now, I usually only need around 12 ounces (355 ml) of water for a meal, plus whatever for a warm drink if I want one. At 27 oz (0.8 Liter) of capacity, there is just no way I could use an entire pot of hot water – except maybe in the winter time boiling down snow(??) but for that, the MSR Reactor is the better way to go. With the pot being the heaviest part of the setup, a “short” Sol Ti pot would be an awesome thing! JetBoil went and made that humongous “Sumo” which holds like 60 ounces of water, so maybe now they could go in the other direction! All I am saying is that it would be nice if they could do a sub 5 ounce pot.
Bring back the old sleeve. It was better at keeping your hands from burning. Yeah, it slid off at times (solved by the velcro on the Gen2) but at least it seemed to be less likely to get your fingers burning hot.
Same two complaints with the lid I have always had: first is that it is heavier than it needs to be, make a new mold and use less material and bring down the weight of it. Second, maybe actually use a little more material along the bottom of it so it stays attached to the pot a bit better. I hate heavy lids, but if a lid can actually do its job really well – and that includes staying attached – the weight I am willing to accept.
It would be interesting to know if JetBoil ever considered, or tried, to switch out the orange plastic part with some titanium or aluminum. It might be heavier, or it might be lighter, not really sure. But if they could make it lighter that would mean I would not have to rip the thing off. 20.31 grams (0.7164 oz) just for that orange plastic thing seems overly heavy.
The Still Unanswered Question:
The question still exists… is an 8 ounce cook kit really the best option out there, when we in the SUL/XUL world have sub three ounce cook kits?
Well, my answer to that is: there are certain times, on certain trails, on certain hikes, where yes, a heavier and more efficient pot can make logistical sense. They are few and far between, but such situations do exist.
And, to be honest, having some water hot enough for a nice cup of tea and a meal, in under 90 seconds, is kind of nice!
I was the first person on the internet to review the JetBoil Sol Ti when it was first released. At that point in time I gave it a 3 out of 5 rating. After having had that first one fail on me, waiting a year for JetBoil to fix the issues, and me buying another one and using it for the last year or so, I am ready to give the JetBoil Sol Ti a 4 out of 5 rating – once the modifications I have done it have been done. A “short” version of a pot will probably lead me to give it a 5 out of 5 rating.
So after all is said and done regarding modifications I have done, I have ended up with a 229 grams (8.077 ounce) cook system that can provide me over a week of two hot meals a day, or well over two weeks of one hot meal a day – on a single canister of fuel.
While time is not always a factor when hiking, if you have been pounding out 30 or 40 mile days for days on end, sometimes sitting around waiting 8 or 10 minutes for your water to be ready is a really nice thing, and other times it is not. HYOH on this issue. But what is really nice, like, really really nice, is when I am in the middle of my day, or out on a day hike with some friends, and the desire for a hot cup of tea or coffee hits me – being able to pull off my backpack, pull out the JetBoil, assembly it, heat up water, make the tea or coffee, put the system back together, and be back on the trail, all in under three minutes – well, that is just a nice thing. Sometimes, when it is getting close to dark and I still have a few more miles, I can do a quick stop, heat up water, put the water into a food bag, get back onto the trail (all in under 3 or 4 minutes) and have it ready to eat at soon as I reach a good spot to setup for the night. Of all the cook systems I have tried, and that has been a lot, nothing has been easier or quicker to perform those type of situations. Does this justify going out with an 8 ounce system rather than a 2 ounce system – meh.
Perhaps, just perhaps, it all goes back to having those one or two “luxury” items that most long distance hikers realize is what makes pounding the miles day after day worth it. There is still something to be said to doing it the Lint way (10,000+ miles of wood burning via a bushbuddy) and there is still something to doing it the way I have done it for a couple of seasons (zelph 2cup flat bottom+esbit tray) so I am by no means saying I have become a JetBoil convert. But as I said above: there are certain times, on certain trails, on certain hikes, where the answer is just a ‘yes’ – and when those times arise, the JetBoil Sol Ti is the stove I have been taking.
Photos For Those Who Enjoy These Type Of Things:
Videos I Have Posted About The JetBoil:
June 04, 2013 — Added Videos Section
In accordance of USA Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR, Part 255: I hereby declare that the products mentioned within the content of this article were not supplied to me in exchange for services.