MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe Stove Kit

MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe Stove Kit

Update: February 13, 2020
—-
MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe
Enjoying the fruits of my labor (actually cocoa)
—-
It appears life has conspired to keep me from getting out much since I received the MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe stove kit.  Besides several family emergencies, I was sidelined with a bad cold for a couple of weeks and then when I had a few opportunities to hike, the weather had other plans.  I can hike in cold weather, but I try to avoid tornadoes, flooding and severe thunderstorms, which have all been a part of Alabama’s weather the last several weeks.
—-
But enough about my problems, I recently went on a day hike and stopped to make some hot cocoa.  The temperature was 51 F, the skies were overcast and it even sprinkled some during my hike.  I carried my gear in an upland bird hunting vest.  The stove and cook kit fit easily in the rear compartment along with my jacket which I removed after I warmed up.  I stopped beside a small stream that I have cooked at before because it has a pretty flat cooking area, but more importantly, a great place to sit while I’m cooking.
—-
I set everything up and was about to light the stove when I noticed I had put the stove onto the canister with the fuel adjustment handle still folded up.  In other words, it was impossible to turn the gas on.  This was easy to rectify but proved that the stove wasn’t “Coy Boy” proof.  Once I fixed the fuel handle I was able to lite the stove with one click of the piezo.  I had already put 500 mls of water in the cook pot and placed it on the stove with the burner adjusted just over half way (my estimate).  I place the lid on the pot and was fooling around with my phone for what seemed like only a minute.  I looked over and was surprised to see the water was already at a full boil.  Seriously, I was expecting it to take longer.  The other thing I noticed was the quietness of this stove.  No, it’s not dead silent, but it is very quiet.  I tuned off the gas and moved the pot over onto the rock using the pot gripper before adding my cocoa mix.  I waited about a minute before testing the groved (insulated) area up near the top and was able to hold the pot with my hands.  This did not mean I could gulp the cocoa immediately.  The liquid was still hot and the outer part of the pot felt a little too warm on my lips.  After a few minutes of sipping I was able to drink it normally.  Drinking from the pot was different than drinking from a regular coffee cup because my nose was inside the pot.  This was most noticeable as the pot got emptier because I needed to tilt it higher and higher.
—-
Cleanup was a snap, I rinsed the pot in the stream and saw it still had a little residue inside.  I picked up a few leaves off the ground and did a quick scrub.  Another rinse left the inside looking shinny and clean. I packed the stove and accidentally discovered something.  I had noted earlier that I couldn’t get the lid down snug on the pot with the an 8 oz canister, the stove and pot gripper stored inside the pot.  As I was putting the stove in the carrying pouch I slide the pot gripper in as well.  When I placed this on top of the fuel canister the lid went on easily.  I’m not sure why I never thought to try this earlier but I’m glad I stumbled across this solution.  Like the ole sayin goes, even a blind squirrel finds a nut once in a while…
—-
So, what have I learned so far about the MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe stove kit. It is super quite.  It is easy to light if you remember to position the fuel regulation handle correctly.  It is a very fast stove.  I also think the stove is a lot more stable then my original pocket rocket. I wasn’t set up on a perfectly level surface but the pot never hinted it wanted to fall off.  Granted, I wasn’t stirring but it seemed very stable.  I am disappointed I haven’t been able to put the stove through more rigorous testing but it seems to be a very well thought out little unit.  Here are a few more photos showing my adventure with the Pocket Rocket Deluxe stove kit.
—-
MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe
Ooops, might want to fold out gas valve handle first…
 —
MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe
ahh, works much better now…
—-
MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe
I didn’t time the boil but it was fast.
—-
MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe
The little marshmallows melted to fast to get a photo. Tasty nevertheless

I’d like to thank MSR and 4alloutdoors for this testing opportunity!  Please stay tuned for my final update.

Initial Review : 12/20/2019

Review by Coy Starnes

Item: MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe Stove Kit
Manufacture: MSR (Mountain Safety Research) under the umbrella of Cascade Designs
Listed kit weight: 13.1 oz (371 g)
My weight with all stuff sacks:  13.7 oz (388 g)
Pot capacity: 1.2 L (40.6 oz)
MSRP: $114.95
——
You might say my camp kitchen has been predominantly MSR for the past 20 years.  I’ve occasionally used homemade alcohol stoves but the fuss they require was always a downside.  My go to kit for most solo trips has been an MSR Pocket Rocket stove and an MSR Ti Kettle.  I also purchased an MSR Titian 2 cook set for times when I would need more than one pot for cooking.  I have been jealousy eyeing the newer stoves, but since the Pocket Rocket refuses to die, I resisted.  However, when I was offered a chance  to test the MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe stove kit I jumped at the opportunity.
MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe Stove Kit
MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe Stove Kit
——
The MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe stove kit is basically two MSR products, the Pocket Rocket Deluxe stove and the Trail Mini Duo Cook Set.  The stove itself is an upgraded version of the Pocket Rocket 2 which was an upgrade of the original Pocket Rocket.  The new stove has several advantages over its predecessors, mainly piezo ignition, pressure regulation and better simmering capability.  The piezo ignition is more of a convenience but the improved simmering should make cooking things like rice a lot easier.  The pressure regulation should make the stove a much better performer in cold conditions and with near empty canisters.  I won’t get into the science but there is an excellent article on the MSR website that explains why.  https://www.msrgear.com/blog/technology-stove-pressure-regulators-work/
——
At 2.9 oz (83 gm) the Pocket Rocket Deluxe stove is slightly heavier than the Pocket Rocket 2 but still a very reasonable choice for backpacking, or dare I say, even ultra-lite backpacking.  Once I subtract the weight of matches or a lighter it is really pretty much even anyways.  I don’t own the Pocket Rocket 2 but my original Pocket Rocket is very loud and the reviews I have read say the Deluxe is much quieter than either.  After firing it up I can honestly say it is a lot quieter than my old stove. The Deluxe comes with a small stuff sack.  This is different than the predecessor which came in hard sided plastic storage boxes.
——
The Trail Mini Duo Cook Set is the second part of the kit.  It is a 1.2 liter pot made of hard anodized aluminum.  The pot comes with a pot lifter, and a clear plastic (polypropylene) lid and bowl.  The pot nest in the bowl and the lid has a strainer and pouring slot built in.  The pot lifter will grip the pot at the pouring slot of the lid so the pot can be moved without removing the lid.  I was wrong and have corrected the next part in my first update but the short version is, when the pot lifter is places inside the storage sack with the stove it will all fit inside the cook kit. Here is what I originally said.  The website says the pot will hold an 8 oz fuel canister and the Pocket Rocket 2 stove.  I tried every way imaginable to fit the Deluxe stove (in its small stuff sack) and pot gripper in with an 8 oz canister but the lid would not fit snugly.    Fortunately, the pot stuff sack will hold the lid firmly in place with the stove, an 8 oz canister and the pot lifter inside.
MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe Stove Kit
MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe Stove Kit in stuff sack
——
One very interesting design feature of the cook set is the insulated top section.  It is definitely thicker then the lower section of the pot and has ridges running vertically. At firsts I thought the extra thickness of the ridges might be the insulation but there was a pamphlet inside the pot warning not to let the flame of the stove go up the sides of the pot as this could damage the insulation.  This leads me to believe there is actually some kind of foam insulation encapsulated inside the pot.
——
Stove operation
As with any open flame devise, this stove must be operated in a safe manner.  The provided illustrated and written instructions (in 12 languages) were very detailed on proper and improper usage of the stove.  Of course common sense goes a long way, but some folks might not be aware of how dangerous it could be to use the stove inside a tent or poorly ventilated area.  Lighting the stove with the push button piezo is much easier than with a match or lighter.  The flame is very easy to adjust from a tiny flame to full blast.  I found that running the flame at about the 3/4 setting appeared to be the best setting for the 1.2 liter pot, any higher and flames went out side the bottom of the pot.  Boil time is listed at 3.3 minutes for a liter of water but this is under a controlled environment.  In the field, air temperature, starting water temperature, wind and many other factors can come into play.  As an aside, I emptied my last fuel canister about a month ago and failed to pick up a new one.  I was going to order one from Amazon but quickly realized it would be much cheaper to drive to town and get one.  Fortunately, my wife had a meeting in town and agreed to stop at Guntersville Outfitters and picked me up a canister.  I called ahead and made sure they carried MSR branded fuel.
——
I did a quick boil test using 1 liter of 52 F (11 C) water. The outside temperature was 38 F (3 C) and it was breezy.  I ran the stove at just below maximum and got a rolling boil in 4 min 43 secs.  I took the lid off at 4:20 so I could get a good picture of the boil.  I quickly realized my photo didn’t show the boil so took another.   By the time I sat my phone down water was spilling over the top of the lip.  After this I immediately tried to pick the pot up barehanded. The insulated section was much too hot to hold.  I poured out enough water to get the water below the insulated section and was surprised I could pick the pot up after just a few seconds.  However, if I touched the very top lip it was still very hot.  So the insulated section was doing its job but I wouldn’t be able to drink from it immediately.  In a couple of minutes it was cool enough to touch at the lip.
MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe Stove Kit
boil test
MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe Stove Kit
better photo
Impressions so far
With a 4 oz canister this should be a great weekend trip stove.  With a full 8 oz canister I should be able to get close too a full weeks worth of use from the stove.  It lit on the first push of the piezo.  The pot seemed very stable on the stove.  I liked that I could use the pot lifter with the lid on the pot but could also remove the lid very easily while the water was boiling by using the center knob.  I played with the flame after my boil test and could run the stove with a very low flame.  And while I wouldn’t consider this a true mountaineering stove, with the pressure regulation it should work for me in all 4 seasons.  I will try to use it on a sub freezing morning just to be sure but it worked really well in windy 38 F conditions.  Stay tuned for my next update!
——-——————————————————————————————————————————