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Sig Olsen

Jetboil Sol or Sumo?

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I have an msr dragonfly international. I am thinking of picking up a jetboil. Primarily for short snow climbs (2-5 days) (US cascades). It will probably be just for me. I have never melted snow but I believe I read the larger one is easier so you can keep more melted snow/water in as you add snow. Will get the Titanium versions unless people dont think they worse than the other one. I will be using 4 season gas of course.

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I used a Titanium Jetboil down in Patagonia this year and it was an absolute piece of shit. Probably the worst gear failure I've ever seen. First the knob to adjust flow broke off, then the small cup cracked in half, then the whole plastic ring/piece on the bottom of the pot melted and broke, and finally all of the little heat dispersing things on the bottom started falling off. Then not to mention the poor design of the handle and how loose the cozy/insulating layer is.

 

My old original Jetboil lasted years with countless day of use. The new one made it less than 15 days and at $150 i was really disappointed.

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My old original Jetboil lasted years with countless day of use. The new one made it less than 15 days and at $150 i was really disappointed.

 

+1. I still have the old jetboil, and it seems to work way better than any of the new models my friends have.(Flash, Sol) It seems to light way easier, is more reliable, and holds up way better.

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Also had a Jetboil that I returned a few times due to several breakages, melting, etc... The problem with the old Jetboil even if you think it is higher quality, they don't work well at altitude and pretty much worthless below 10 degrees. Eventually tossed it and got MSR Reactor that is better than any Jetboil in terms of quality and performance. However, The weight makes it better for 2-3 person party. Think about why you want a Jetboil. For 1 person you could get a lighter stove like a Soto that has a regulator for gas pressure like the new Jetboils and get a Ti pot size of Sumo.

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For three season use, an MSR Pocket Rocket or Giga Power stove are cheap, light, and durable.

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I just got a non-titanium Sol this winter, and I've loved it so far. They say it doesn't work well under 25F degrees or whatever, but I had the 0.8 liter cup boiling in what seemed like a minute or less, almost too fast! I've only had it for 3-4 months though, so I can't talk about durability. As far as size and packability, I think it beats the Sumo anyday though...

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I have a Jetboil Flash and have really liked the size and have used it a ton for boiling water and melting snow. Hope you enjoy yours.

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I used a Titanium Jetboil down in Patagonia this year and it was an absolute piece of shit. Probably the worst gear failure I've ever seen. First the knob to adjust flow broke off, then the small cup cracked in half, then the whole plastic ring/piece on the bottom of the pot melted and broke, and finally all of the little heat dispersing things on the bottom started falling off. Then not to mention the poor design of the handle and how loose the cozy/insulating layer is.

 

My old original Jetboil lasted years with countless day of use. The new one made it less than 15 days and at $150 i was really disappointed.

 

Yeah, I gotta say the titanium Jetboils strike me as flimsier than shit. I've had that same problem with the heat exchanger just plain melting off the bottom. I'm not a moron (generally) and had plenty of water in the bottom while melting snow but you can still get it hot enough to melt off. The plastic cups do break easily. The cozy does fit poorly as well. I had the Titanium Sumo but when it's heat ring melted I took it back to REI. I got the small titanium one now for personal use and will just be extra careful with it. It is so small and compact I think (for now) I'm willing to live with it's drawbacks. For longer trips or with more people I think I'm going to just get a Reactor rather than deal with the Sumo again.

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Bought the Jetboil SOL ti today.

 

Be ready to curse that thing and take it back to REI and don't rely on it if its needed for survival.

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Mine has been great. 11 months of pretty heavy use and I haven't had any issues at all (we had a distressing issue once but it turned out to be a fuel can problem). The clicker sparky thing even still works. It's treated me well down to around 0 degrees.

 

Maybe they have quality control issues and some bad ones slip through. I've heard about other people (including you, Mike) having serious trouble.

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We melted the colored plastic on our new style jetboil, near the actual burner section. I thought maybe we had it too close to our wind barrier or something, but it sounds like it's just a bunk design. This one still functions fine, but since the melting plastic oozed out a bit, the burner unit no longer fits into the cookpot.

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Hi Sig:

 

I'm curious as to why you chose the Titanium version. Care to share what steered you to that decision?

 

 

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Mine has been great. 11 months of pretty heavy use and I haven't had any issues at all (we had a distressing issue once but it turned out to be a fuel can problem). The clicker sparky thing even still works. It's treated me well down to around 0 degrees.

 

Maybe they have quality control issues and some bad ones slip through. I've heard about other people (including you, Mike) having serious trouble.

 

Mine might be the aluminum one actually, I don't really know. I've really liked it, but we might try to get our hands on an MSR for this years AK trip for more volume and speed.

 

P1010132_Medium_.JPG

 

P1010952_Medium_.JPG

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Bronco I chose the ti version for a few reasons. I know the heat exchanger will burn off easily if there is not enough starter water in it. I try to not use anything with non stick coating. I know the newer version is suppose to be safe, but so was the original non stick until it wasn't :-) The cozy being thinner is really not that big of a deal. Yet anyways.

Weight/Size ease of use are the primary reasons. I will try it a few times before I go to Mt. Shasta next month hopefully.

I have read on other forums/posts that the earlier versions of this had a problem but it was suppose to be better. I was really more interested in finding if the SOL or Sumo cup would be better. I appreciate all the input.

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Dan, yours is the aluminum one. The Ti version features a thinner "cozy" that doesn't have the color-changing heat gauge, which I see in the picture of yours.

 

Blake, the orange plastic on mine slightly melted and deformed as well, but thankfully not enough that it won't fit in the pot.

 

It definitely seems like a stove that you have to excercise some caution with.

 

Sig, to your question, I definitely found the Sumo more user-friendly when melting large amounts of snow for water. I do melt snow in the smaller one, but it obviously takes a lot more user input to continuously be adding snow and emptying the small cup. For now, since Spring is finally here, I'm sticking to the smaller cup. Next winter I may look at getting an MSR reactor (or whatever the latest and greatest is) for large scale snow melting instead of replacing the Sumo I returned.

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I've been pretty happy with the Primus version of Jetboil, the Eta Solo (almost identical and Primus used to make the burners for jetboil). It seems a little more durable, has a better more positive attachment to the pot, and comes with a handy hanging kit, pot supports, etc and it's cheaper. No melting parts or anything in the last couple of years with mine.

 

http://www.primus.eu/templates/pages/product.aspx?ItemId=90563

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for multiday trips in the cold at elevation the reactor is unbeatable. It might weigh more initially, but as long as your just boiling water for freezedried meals and tea a single canister will easily last a week. cooking for 2 the pot is just about perfectly sized. I need to figure out how to jerry rig a hanging stove setup though...

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I haven't used my Reactor extensively in the field, but like keenwesh said, the efficiency of the stove makes the extra weight justifiable. Not to mention it's super wind-resistant and comes with a larger cup by default. Melting snow for a few hours on Rainier with a less-efficient stove was incentive enough to get the Reactor. Sucks when you're tired and just want to sleep.

 

I do like the JetBoil as a more multi-purpose stove, great for trips where you're not melting lots of snow, or when you're backpacking. It weighs nearly half as much as the Reactor too. Might have to pick up one of them as well.. :)

 

I've also looked into the hanging setups, such as the mod for JB hanger to Reactor (which apparently isn't very stable). I may have to play around with something...

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i use the reactor year around almost. i am only ever boiling water or melting snow, never 'cooking' and it just works flawlessly. Stability--no it is not like a jetboil, it doesn't lock onto the burner, but I don't think it is unreasonable. I've used mine perhaps 40-50 times in different conditions/locations/seasons and never once had an accidental tip-over.

 

it melts snow like a champ, anyone who sees it for the first time in action is always instantly sold. I have a lot of gear I can 'waffle' on about if this brand/model or that brand/model is better or not but I never ever think twice about the reactor.

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I know it is late response, but i just purchased a Ti sumo and used it for the first time. My experience was also that it is a piece of garbage.

 

Pre-trip test showed that the burner wobbled a fair bit in the shitty plastic retaining system, so much so that it looked like it overbalance unless on dead flat ground.

 

First melt of snow on trip, burner on gently until we had some water then turned up. Result was melted plastic support on the burner melted, and much of the flux ring seperated from the cup and more or less combusted.

 

After that it still worked, but couldnt get the heat into the cup.

 

Our group already use a PCS and Helios Guide system with great success.

 

Has anyone had any success approaching Jetboil about the weight saving and cost saving design??

 

Previous jetboils have seemed bomber.

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According to each manufacturers specs, the JB Sumo is about 10% more fuel efficient than the Reactor. The Reactor does better in the wind, so, depending on how much effort you put in making a windbreak, that could negate the advertised advantage in the field. Apples to apples weight difference (Ti Sumo sans cup and universale pot adaptor v Reactor) is 6 oz, weighed side by side at REI.

 

The JB is poorly designed and delicate for sure. The folding tripod is fun to play with, though.

 

I like mine, have had no probs with it (Ti version), but I've also benefited from the previous experience of Mr. Kaplan, so I treat it gently.

 

I'm wondering if the plastic melted when a windscreen was used, or did it just achieve critical mass?

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