Home & Office
Why you can trust ZDNET : ZDNET independently tests and researches products to bring you our best recommendations and advice. When you buy through our links, we may earn a commission. Our process

'ZDNET Recommends': What exactly does it mean?

ZDNET's recommendations are based on many hours of testing, research, and comparison shopping. We gather data from the best available sources, including vendor and retailer listings as well as other relevant and independent reviews sites. And we pore over customer reviews to find out what matters to real people who already own and use the products and services we’re assessing.

When you click through from our site to a retailer and buy a product or service, we may earn affiliate commissions. This helps support our work, but does not affect what we cover or how, and it does not affect the price you pay. Neither ZDNET nor the author are compensated for these independent reviews. Indeed, we follow strict guidelines that ensure our editorial content is never influenced by advertisers.

ZDNET's editorial team writes on behalf of you, our reader. Our goal is to deliver the most accurate information and the most knowledgeable advice possible in order to help you make smarter buying decisions on tech gear and a wide array of products and services. Our editors thoroughly review and fact-check every article to ensure that our content meets the highest standards. If we have made an error or published misleading information, we will correct or clarify the article. If you see inaccuracies in our content, please report the mistake via this form.


I found the ultimate off-grid coffee maker - and it brews at rocket speed

This might just be the quickest, most reliable way to boil water in the wild.
Written by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, Senior Contributing Editor
Reviewed by Min Shin
JetBoil Flash Camping and Backpacking Stove Cooking System

JetBoil Flash Camping and Backpacking Stove Cooking System.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

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.

Also: Siphon-brewing coffee looks like alchemy, but it makes the best cup of joe

But there's one stove system that I've seen time and time again when hiking and camping, and I've finally got around to trying one -- the JetBoil Flash.

And this thing is fast.  

View at Amazon

JetBoil Flash specs

  • Volume: 1 liter
  • Speed: 100 seconds per 0.5-liter (average over the life of JetPower can)
  • Fuel: Screw-fit propane/isobutane four-season canisters (100 g and 250 g)
  • Number of boils: 10 liters per 100 g JetPower can
  • Ignition type: Piezoelectric push button
  • Weight: 13.9 ounces (393 g)
  • Group size: 1-2 people 

Also: Picky about coffee? This compact grinder has over 30 settings to brew the perfect cup

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.

Hand holding JetBoil Flash

Very compact design.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

Then, there's the speed. It's fast.

Very 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.

The FluxRing closeup

The FluxRing carried the heat from the flame to the water efficiently.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

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.

Also: The best coffee makers: Get the perfect brew at home

With this, you wait until the color changes and the water is ready. 

Closeup of the thermochromic patch on the side of the mug

The thermochromic patch on the side of the mug is a game-changer.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

The push-button ignitor is fast and reliable, and it is a lot easier than faffing about with lighters and matches. 

And they've thought of everything -- even a stand for the base to help keep the burner stable.

The base that fits on the gas cylinder that keeps the stove stable

The base that fits on the bottom of the gas cylinder helps keep the stove stable.

Adrian Kingsley-Hughes/ZDNET

It's a great system. I've since bought a silicone french press coffee maker plunger that fits into the mug and makes the JetBoil Flash the ultimate portable coffee-making machine.

Also: The best travel mugs: Does anything beat Yeti? 

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. 

Editorial standards