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Friday, December 30, 2016

MSR Pocket Rocket 2 – Review Supplement

A few questions have come up since I posted my Review of the new MSR Pocket Rocket 2.  As always, I welcome your questions.
The generations of the Pocket Rocket Line.
Left: The original Pocket Rocket.  Center:  The Micro Rocket.  Right:  The new Pocket Rocket 2
Availability
When I first inquired, I was told that the new Pocket Rocket 2 would be available in "January."  However, I see that two sites already have the stove listed.  I shall list links below as a service to you my readers.  I receive no benefit from placing these links here, and I receive no benefit if you purchase.  The below links in no way constitute an endorsement.  These links are herein listed simply for your convenience.  In no particular order:


Disclosures:  

  • I have purchased things in the past from LL Bean. I have no financial relationship with LL Bean other than that of an ordinary customer.
  • I don't think, going on my memory which is far less than fully reliable, that I've ever purchased anything from Backcountry Gear.  I certainly nave no financial relationship with Backcountry gear.


Simmering
The stove simmers well.  I was trying to illustrate just how good the flame control is in Appendix II (which is well worth referring to).  Let me here show a photo of the food as opposed to the flame.  Look at the photo below.  If you look a bit to the left of center.  You can just barely see a few bubbles.  Now that's a true simmer (a simmer being the ability to hold contents of a pot at or just below a low boil).  And look at the food debris left on the sides of the pot.  Only moments before, I practically had a boil over, things were boiling so furiously.  That's some nice flame control.

Note:  The majority of the flame control occurs in the range of approximately 1/6th to 1/2th of a turn of the valve adjuster.  You have to have a fairly deft touch, but with just a minimum bit of skill, you can have just about any flame setting you so desire.
An **extremely** low simmer can be achieved on the new MSR Pocket Rocket 2
And now, a flame shot.  I mean who doesn't love flame shots?  But, seriously, look closely.  That's a nice, low flame (and you can get it even lower) – with absolutely no spillage up the sides of the pot.  This is just the flame control you want to have on a stove.  
The Pocket Rocket 2 – really good flame control
Pot Supports
I covered the subject in the general case in my Review of the new MSR Pocket Rocket 2, however, let me respond to one specific question and then give one more general example.

First, the specific question:  "How do the supports on the new Pocket Rocket 2 fit on an MSR Titan Kettle?"  Presumably they were referring to the standard sized (850 ml capacity) kettle.

Well, inasmuch as a picture is worth a thousand words, I give you:
An MSR Titan Kettle (850 ml) atop the new Pocket Rocket 2
Now, notice in the photo above that the inner circle of the bottom of the kettle match nearly exactly the inner diameter of the pot supports.  With respect to the outer diameter, the pot supports extend a mm or two beyond the outer periphery of the kettle.  I'd say that the Titan Kettle is a really strong candidate for use with this stove, particularly for a soloist.  I think it a tad small for two.

Incidentally, MSR has announced that they are coming out in 2017 with the "Big Titan Kettle," a two liter version of the current Titan Kettle.  Why they went all the way from 850 ml to 2000 ml (two liters), I'm not sure, but that's my understanding.  I typically recommend something on the order of 750 ml per person in terms of pot capacity, so a 2 L kettle would be a pretty good match for a group of two or three people.  I haven't seen one.  I'll keep you apprised if I get any further information.

Now, for a more generic example:  Here is a photo of the Pocket Rocket 2 with standard 355 ml (12 fl oz) beverage can.  This particular beverage can has been made into a Trail Designs 12-10 alcohol stove, but the outside diameter of course has not changed.   Now, the point here is not that you should use a Coke can to cook in, really it's not practical, but rather that this stove will support really small pot diameters.  Note however that all you Heineken and Fosters "pot" lovers had best turn down the stove lest you ruin your pot.
The MSR Pocket Rocket 2 with a standard 355 ml beverage can

Valve block
The valve block of the Pocket Rocket 2, to include the threads, is made from anodized aluminum.  Note that this is not "hard" anodization (the type of anodization that makes aluminum pots tougher) but is merely the means by which the valve block has been colored that nice MSR red.  The valve spindle, at least what I can see of it, is brass.  I have not disassembled the unit (nor do I intend to), but presumably it is all made of brass.  The valve adjuster handle is stainless steel.
The valve block of the MSR Pocket Rocket 2 is made out of aluminum.
Some stoves* will have a brass insert in the valve block for the portion that threads on to a canister.  Brass generally wears a bit better than aluminum, but aluminum has not been shown to to be a poor choice of materials.  Many a through hiker has done a long trail  (for example the Pacific Crest Trail) without a problem.  The threads on all canister gas stoves, whether brass or aluminium, will wear with time.  Do not over tighten.

I hope this review supplement will be of assistance,

HJ

*I just went into the gear room (the very room my wife detests but is of course entirely necessary) and pulled out a couple of canister stoves that my memory suggested had a threaded brass insert, specifically the Soto Amicus and the Snow Peak GigaPower.  Both of those stoves do in fact have a threaded brass insert.

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