MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe $169.99
Used by: Distracted chef and deputy editor Matthew Cattin
Used for: One year
My first tramping stove was bought by my parents in the early 2000s for family overnighters. It sounded like a jet, had awful simmer control, and I don’t remember a time when the piezo ignition actually worked.
When it came time to buy my own, I nabbed this deluxe unit and have been thoroughly impressed at its luxurious performance.
At 83g, it weighs less than my tramping socks, and is super compact. Its pot supports tuck away nicely against the body of the stove, and a ridged top surface gives decent grip on pot bottoms.
MSR claims the piezo ignition is the hardiest it’s ever produced on a stove, and it hasn’t let me down yet – it’s a one-click wonder.
As somebody who’s prone to distraction when cooking, I appreciate the lengthy simmer control knob, which comes in useful when your water is boiling over.
Despite its name, the pocket rocket is the quietest stove I’ve seen in action, and its broad burner spreads the flames widely across the pot bottom. I’m still likely to burn my porridge, but having a dispersed flame certainly helps.
I’ve also found the lip on the burner edge helps the stove to perform well in moderate winds – a real bonus.
Verdict: Pounds of performance packed into a tiny stove.