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February 2015 Issue
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Jetboil Joule Group Cooking System

Family friendly - the Jetboil Joule Group Cooking System



Our Rating:

If you want to boil water fast, you’re reading the right review.

Many readers will by now be familiar with Jetboil’s lightweight cooking systems aimed at mountaineers and backcountry users looking to save weight and bulk.

I adopted the Jetboil Sol system a couple of years ago as a weight saving measure, to help offset the extra load of lenses and tripod that I carry in the hills and have never looked back.

Worth considering for weight conscious family groups

The Jetboil system has its limitations though: output drops in the cold and at lower canister pressures, and it’s basically just a water boiling device; ‘cooking’ as such is not really possible in the tall, narrow pots, nor do they lend themselves to being useful for more than one or two people (I use a Sumo pot when with a companion). This is where the Joule Group Cooking System comes in. Despite the slightly grandiose name, it’s a stove and a pot in practical terms, and it’s the fastest thing I have used to boil water.

Aimed at parties with 3-5 people, the Joule comprises a burner unit with inverted gas cylinder, Piezo ignition and a regulator that pre-heats the fuel passing through to the burner head. This is a feature that sets it apart from regular Jetboil (and many other) butane/propane mix stoves. Because the inverted canister delivers liquid fuel, rather than vapour, and is preheated, it maintains pressure and output in cold conditions and as canister pressure drops. The 2.5 litre pot has an integrated heat exchanger, neoprene insulation sleeve and integrated handle.

I boiled 500ml of water in a vaguely scientific test (at sea level, with a three-quarter full canister and bringing water to a rolling boil) and compared it with with boil times for some other stoves I own. The results speak for themselves: Jetboil Joule, 1min18sec; Jelboil Sol, 1min58sec; Regular lightweight burner/pot with heat exchanger base, 1min48sec; MSR Whisperlite International with heat exchanger base, 2min1sec.

The Joule system packs conveniently into its own pot and seems relatively robust for a lightweight, high output cooking system (813g without fuel).

Deservedly the Joule has won a number of international awards, and I think it’s definitely worth considering for weight conscious family groups, expeditions and small teams of climbers or trampers.