Classic Gear Review 4 – MSR Pocket Rocket
Just like the Titan kettle, the MSR Pocket Rocket is another classic piece of kit by this company. After over five years use, this hasn’t worn in but instead has developed a patina from the heat. When first released, it set the standard for lightweight stoves and acheived the holy grail of lightweight. It essentially did everything you’d expect from the gear but with minimal weight. In fact, it was replacing a stove at twice the weight twhat it could easily outperform. Not only was it more for less weight, but at a reasonable price. As it usualy goes with lightweight, you can have any two of light, performance/durability or price. The pocket rocket is one of those rare items that hits the three.
The MSR Pocket Rocket is so called as it fits in your pocket and is brazenly noisy in operation. This may not sound great, but on a wild camp it starts the morning off with a familiar roar, and you know that despite the rain outside, you’ll soon have a brew. This is your own protection against those mornings where the tent is flapping in the wind, you know you’ll get soaked breakingcamp, but not only have you water on the boil, everyone else nearby knows so too. In a sociable wild camp, the polyphony of the pocket rockets firing away on a rainy morning cuts through the noise of rustly si-nylon flys in a dawn chorus of 20/80 butane and propane.
What this doesn’t have is a piezo electric ignition, but it’s debateable wether that’s necessary. I prefer the simplicity of the Pocket Rocket as it comes, less to go wrong in the field. There are now many similar stoves on the market, some blatant copies of the MSR Pocket Rocket.
Since then the lowest weights have dropped to just over 50g for stoves such as the Snow Peak Lite Max, they’re more expensive and fold down almost to nothing. With more moving parts I wouldn’t expect them to have the durability of the Pocket Rocket. It’s rather academic though, as the Snowpeak Lite Max isn’t readily available in the UK.