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I love going on my off-grid adventures… as long as I have access to good coffee. And I've probably tried and tested dozens of different ways to heat water, including the time-tested, bombproof, and heavy Kelly Kettle that uses paper or twigs as fuel, as well as a variety of gas and gasoline stoves.
All have upsides and downsides. Speed -- for both setting up and boiling the water -- is one downside.
The first thing I liked about the JetBoil Flash was how compact it was. Everything packs away easily into the mug -- even the gas -- with no rattles. It's a very neat and tidy design, and the chances of losing a vital part are low.
Then, there's the speed. It's fast.
In my tests, I hit 100 seconds per 0.5-liter or better every time, which is very impressive. In fact, I could go from sitting down to having boiling water in under four minutes.
No stove I've previously owned comes close to this performance.
The silicone lid and neoprene sleeve help with this speed (keeping in the heat), and the FluxRing on the bottom of the mug is very effective at transferring the heat from the flame to the water.
Talking about that neoprene sleeve, I'd initially thought that it would burn or catch fire. It hasn't and does a very good job of keeping the outside of the mug cool enough to touch after boiling.
The thermochromic color-change heat indicator on the outside of the mug is also a game-changer because I don't have to keep lifting the lid (which would let out previous heat) to check when the water is boiling.
At $125, it's certainly not cheap, but the build quality is second to none. Paying extra for robustness and reliability makes sense when you're going places that don't have a coffee shop on every corner.