MSR ‘PocketRocket 2’

Greetings Adventurers!

Here is my first article on the 2017, second generation, of the MSR PocketRocket!

Most of this was originally published on my patreon.com/hikeligher page, on September 2016, five months before being published here at hikelighter.com – so I invite you to become a patron so you can gain early access to other gear that I get early and/or get exclusive access too!

First the disclaimer that I am sponsored by MSR and that the MSR Stove Division sent this stove to me for doing T&E (testing & evaluation) as a ‘pre-launch use & report back‘ usage case. They also gave me permission to share photos/video of it – as a pre launch product. So big thanks to them for the early access and gracious kindness to sharing it with my readers.

The MSR PocketRocket 2:

Those of you who know the MSR stove product line are probably going to look at the ‘PocketRocket 2‘ and think to yourself, “wait, that looks like the MSR MicroRocket AND the MSR PocketRocket 1!?

If such a thought went through your mind, good on you!

In pretty much every way the PocketRocket 2 is a combination of the long standing, and massively loved, MicroRocket and the PocketRocket 1 canister stoves.

In doing so MSR has now discontinued the MicroRocket and the PocketRocket 1 stoves.

Insider Insights:

I had a chance to talk with MSR Director of Stoves, Doug Sanders, a guy I have gotten to know over the last couple of years, about MSR discontinuing the MicroRocket and PocketRocket 1, and merging them into one stove, the PocketRocket 2.

The comments below are my own rewording of some of his statements about the thoughts and processes MSR had and went through in producing a “new generation” of MSR small stoves:

They wanted to find a way to resolve the MicroRocket issues of:

(a) the size of the stove case
(b) the pot supports were too narrow to fit some of the smaller cups

They wanted to find a way to resolve the PocketRocket 1 issues of:

(a) the stove was too tall to fit inside of most pots
(b) it has reached a point where it is heavy compared to most other stoves on the market
So, from this we can gain insight into what they really wanted to accomplish with the PocketRocket 1.

Interesting, my Snow Peak 450 that I have used for years and years did not fit on the PocketRocket 2, even though getting the legs to fit smaller pots was one of their goals. They pointed out to me that the MSR Titan Cup does fit on the PocketRocket 2.

Below is an exact quote from Doug on what MSR really wanted to solve:

When deciding to make the PocketRocket 2we set out to:

  1. Make the stove fit inside the diameter of a 4oz cylinder while still in its case.
  2. Have it be the same weight as the current MicroRocket.
  3. Wider leg supports that the current MicroRocket to fit smaller cups

So in trying to come up with a new stove to replace two existing stoves, it seems they really wanted to focus on getting it to fit within (inside of) most of the pots that most of us use (because most of us just toss our stoves into our pots) yet also make the legs/pot supports better.

Doug went on to say:

“The basic design of the MicroRocket is already highly optimized. When we designed that stove 5 years ago we put a lot of the effort {in} valve design to minimize weight and the burner head design for maximum performance at minimal size. We couldn’t do much to improve those aspects of the stove so we retained them and focused the improvements on the 3 bullets above.”

So overall, it seems as if they have taken the body of the MicroRocket and the pot stands of the PocketRocket 1, and merged them together, into this replacement stove, the PocketRocket 2, which will fit into more pots/cups, but still have the lean mean trimmed body of the MicroRocket.

And yep, the new red anodized body was just something they did to make it look a bit more refined and give it a nice standout/pop look to it (which I think it does).

Official Specs:

The official weight of the PocketRocket 2 is 73 g (2.6 ounces) and 119 g (4.2 ounces) with the little red carry case it comes with.

They state the PocketRocket 2 will boil 1 liter of water in 3.5 minutes.

They state that the burn time per 227 g (8 oz) canister is going to be around 60 minutes.

They are indicating that you should be able to boil 16 liters of water per 227 g (8 oz) canister of fuel.

Pricing:

The PocketRocket 2 is priced with a MSRP of $45 which will make the stove $5 dollars more than the previous PocketRocket 1 ($40) but also $15 less than the now discontinued MicroRocket ($60).

Photo Comparisons:

I do not own either a MicroRocket or a first gen PocketRocket, so I went by my local outdoor store and found a MicroRocket and took a couple of pictures, so we can see the differences:

4ee0c6319df208a0bf87e651cbaa95fc
MSR ‘MicroRocket’
2ca95e538976dee938a574c36c53383d
MSR ‘PocketRocket 2’

So as we can see from these two photographs, MSR retained the head unit of the MicroRocket for the PocketRocket 2.

Here is the biggest change, I feel, the pot legs of the PocketRocket 2are significantly different:

74267cd3030ebe7777b1cfbaa1cc4279
MSR ‘MicroRocket’ – notice the lack of a cut-out slot

 

727f3fd22df88e6875784e7ced46d29f
MSR PocketRocket 2 – now has a cut-out slot

 

Underside of the MSR PocketRocket 2.
Underside of the MSR PocketRocket 2.

One thing an observant stovie will notice is the lack of a piezo ignition on the PocketRocket 2– it should be noted that neither the MicroRocket nor the PocketRocket 1 had a piezo either.

Here is a slow motion video (iphone 6) I shot of the PocketRocket 2, for those interested in how the flame behaves:

Fuel Efficiency:

Most hikers these days seem to really only care about fuel efficiency.

So just how efficient can the PocketRocket 2 be?

Well, I will let this video speak for itself:

If you do the math, I am pretty sure that works out to ~4g per boil – which is just exceptional and gives the MSR PocketRocket 2 an A+ in the efficiency category.

If a hiker can get 27 boils from a single canister of fuel that means a hiker can get right at two weeks of use (hot coffee in morning, hot meal at night) on a single 110g canister, and I guess that would put you right at a month for the larger 227g canister!

Now yes, that was me being extremely conservative, but I have gone through multiple 110 g canisters and gotten about that many every time. Other times I have have not been so conservative in my flame use, and turned the stove up to NASA rocket level, and gotten closer to what MSR states in their Stats, but if you really are willing to be conservative and not jack up that flame, it can be rather impressive what this stove can do.

For example, the JetBoil SolTi, which I consistently, year after  year after year of using it, got 21 boils per canister. Now, I know, comparing an all-in-one stove to a stand-alone stove are two totally different classifications of stoves, I know, but for me, the JBSolTi has been the hallmark of efficiency in my book for a decade. But what this MSR PocketRocket 2  is doing, is blowing the JetBoil SolTi away, with another 5+ boils per canister!

Below is another video, this time total boils per canister, when making coffee with a GSI 3 cup percolator that I have been using.

Boil Times:

Understanding that the PocketRocket 2 is an upright canister and not an all-in-one like the MSR WindBurner, boil times are expected to be above that magical two minute mark.

In mild to mid-windy conditions, with the stove flame turned about half-way, the stove can consistently boil water in my 400ml pot in just under four minutes. In my 700ml pot I get boil times of about four and a half minutes. In my 900ml pot I get boil times of around five minutes.

In mid to high wind conditions, without a windscreen, just using a tree or other natural wind block, one has to add about one to two minutes.

Quick Review:

  • Weight – 74 grams / 2.6 ounces.
  • Price – $45.00 & Discussed above
  • Ease of use – Very easy.
  • Efficiency – Excellent, Discussed above
  • Reliability – In my three months of using it, zero issues.
  • Compactness – As expected, nice and small.
  • Stability – Very stable with my 900ml pot, 600ml pot and 400ml cup, but not my 450ml Snow Peak Cup
  • Wind Resistance – Comparable to pretty much all the upright canisters on the market.
  • Speed – Boil times in the 3-5 minute range, weather/wind/pot-size dependent.
  • Noise – Surprisingly less noisy than I expected.
  • Safety – ALL canister stoves can suffer flare-ups, as I have documented within my ‘Safe Fuel Sources‘ video series.

In Closing:

I have been, mostly, a no-cook hiker for the last few years. Nonetheless, I still have very much enjoyed a warm cup of coffee or tea. And sometimes it has been nice to just be able to heat up a no-cook meal every so often just to have a warm meal.

As I said at the top of this article, I have not owned either the MSR MicroRocket nor the original generation PocketRocket. So when the PocketRocket 2 showed up from MSR, the first thing I did was email them, and I was like “uh, guys, I got a stove from you guys and did not ask for… what’s up?“. To which they explained it was a pre-launch stove and asked if I wanted to give it a go and report back to them my usage and thoughts. I have done all of that good stuff for them. In fact, that is a big part of what I do throughout the year… test unreleased products for companies.

Somewhere along the way I started getting impressed by the PocketRocket 2. That being impressed turned to admiration. Neither they, nor I, ever had any intentions of be doing a public write-up on the PocketRocket 2, but somewhere along the way my admiration towards this little stove lead me to asking them if I could release an article on it. So I asked them to review my videos, and content, and after a couple of edits, it was all agreed upon, and thus this article come into existence. I hope it proves to be useful over the year(s) ahead as the PocketRocket 2 becomes popular within the hiking, biking, packrafting, FKT’ing, and other outdoor communities!

Thanks for reading,
+John Abela
HikeLighter.Com

As of the time of this article being published I am a sponsored hiker of  MSR. They sent this stove to me (had no idea it was coming, it just showed up one day) six months before release date so that I could perform pre-release testing & feedback to them (something I do throughout the year for many companies with alpha/beta/prototype products) and with zero expectation of publicly writing about it.

History:
January 12, 2017 – Published Article
January 17 2017 – Fixed incorrect name of ‘Pocket Rocket 2’ to the correct name of ‘PocketRocket 2’ and changed wording ‘Wind Proofness’ to ‘Wind Resistance’
January 30, 2017 – Added video and text regarding the GSI 3 cup percolator.

5 thoughts on “MSR ‘PocketRocket 2’

  1. Yeah, you noticed that too that the valve doesn’t need much of a turn at all to open up the gas. The majority of the action is from 1/6 to 1/2 of a turn.

    HJ

  2. Hi there! Do you think the MSR PR2 will fit in the 0.85L MSR Titan kettle together with a small canister or is that not going to be possible? Thanks.

    1. Sorry for the late reply, I have been attempting to find a way to answer your question.

      I do not own a MSR Titan Kettle (though it was the very first ‘ultralight’ cook pot that I ever bought, years ago) so I have no way to check to see if it does.

      I drove down to the local outdoor store and while they had a Titan it was plastic wrapped so I could not actually test. I set a canister next to it and put the PR2 on top of the canister, and it seemed like it would not fit, but that is not saying it will not, just an rough observation.

      The other delay has been because most folks that I could contact to ask about this have been out the Outdoor Retailer in SLC. I will be sending an email to Doug later this week and I will ask him about this, and let you know what MSR states.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s