UPDATE 30 December 2016: MSR PocketRocket Review Supplement #1
UPDATE 25 January 2017: MSR PocketRocket Review Supplement #2
See also: The MSR Pocket Rocket 2 vs. the Soto Amicus
|The new MSR Pocket Rocket 2|
Note: Gone as well is the Micro Rocket.
The obvious gain here is in compactness. For example, no matter how you turn it, the original Pocket Rocket just isn't going to fit into a 550 ml mug shaped pot, the kind that a 110 g canister of gas nests in. You can't lay it flat, you can't put it in diagonally, and you can't stand it up straight.
|The original Pocket Rocket just won't fit in a little 550 ml mug shaped pot.|
|The new Pocket Rocket 2 fits into a 550 ml mug type pot with room to spare.|
There's also a fairly significant weight reduction over the original Pocket Rocket. The new Pocket Rocket 2 weighs in at 73 g (2.6 oz) vs. 87 g (3.1 oz) for the original.
|The Pocket Rocket 2 weighs in at 73 g (2.6 oz).|
Now, some of you are no doubt saying to yourselves, "um, gosh, but the Pocket Rocket 2 looks a whole lot like the Micro Rocket." Well, if you were thinking that, you'd be right, BUT there's just a bit more to it than that.
|The Micro Rocket, left, and the new Pocket Rocket 2, right.|
For example, if one were to use something small like, say, a Sierra cup, you were balanced on little more than a prayer.
|The pot supports on a Micro Rocket are just barely there with smaller diameter pots.|
|The greatly improved pot supports of the Pocket Rocket 2 offer a lot more support for small diameter pots, cups, or mugs.|
|The new Pocket Rocket 2, upper left. The Micro Rocket, lower right.|
More teeth (and longer) = better grip.
Note: Nearly all I wrote in my review of the Micro Rocket applies to the Pocket Rocket 2.
The original Pocket Rocket had an MSRP of $40. The Micro Rocket had an MSRP of $60. The new Pocket Rocket 2 has an MSRP of $45.
I think this is good news. One receives all the benefits of the improved features and reduced weight of the Pocket Rocket 2 at only a nominal price increase over the original. MSR is basically merging the two product lines (Pocket Rocket and Micro Rocket) into one and passing on the cost savings to you, the end user.
The Micro Rocket, left. The new Pocket Rocket 2, center. The original Pocket Rocket, right.
I think this new stove is a win for someone like you or like I – a back country stove user. It looks like MSR just didn't find the two pronged approach of having two very similar stoves (the Pocket Rocket and the Micro Rocket) advantageous. So, they've decided to cut costs – while at the same time improving the stove overall. In so cutting, they're able to offer a better stove, the Pocket Rocket 2, at a much cheaper price. Whereas one formerly had to pay a premium to get the compactness and lightness of the Micro Rocket, now one gets the improved features and reduced weight at a very much reduced cost.
There is additional information in the appendices, below, about flame control, height, and other changes.
- For availability and technical data, see Appendix I.
- For flame control (simmering capability), see Appendix II. Nice flame shots here. :)
- For other changes (case and ignition), see Appendix III
- For a height comparison, see Appendix IV
- For disclosures, see Appendix V.
So, the Pocket Rocket is dead, but long live the Pocket Rocket 2!
The MSR Pocket Rocket 2
What's good about it.
- Good price point
- Nice compactness
- Robust, simple, and solid
- Good flame control – see Appendix II, below.
- Reduced weight as compared to the original
- The tops of the pot supports aren't completely level when fully deployed. The supports all slope downward into the center toward the burner. Better grip would be achieved were the tops of the pot supports all level (i.e. in the same plane) similar to how the Soto Amicus is configured.
- The open burner is vulnerable to wind.
- A further weight reduction would have been most welcome at this juncture.
The MSR Pocket Rocket 2: Highly recommended.
Appendix I – Manufacturer and Technical Data
Date Available: January, 2017 – see MSR Pocket Rocket Review Supplement for any updates
Manufacturer: Mountain Safety Research (MSR), a subsidiary of Cascade Designs.
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.cascadedesigns.com/MSR
Weight (measured): 73 g/2.6 oz
Materials: Primarily steel and aluminum
Packed dimensions: 1 11/16" x 1 11/16" x 3" (43 mm x 43 mm x 76 mm).
Unpacked dimensions: 4 3/4" x 4 3/4" x 3 9/16" (121 mm x 121 mm x 90 mm)
Size/Model tested: Pocket Rocket 2.
Colors available: Silver with a red valve block.
Requirements: A standard threaded canister of gas, sold separately. (Well, that and a pot of course)
Warranty Information: Contact Cascade Designs through their website (see above).
|The Pocket Rocket 2 – full power.|
|The Pocket Rocket 2 – medium flame.|
|The Pocket Rocket 2 – low flame.|
|Big flames + small pot = big waste|
|A flame, properly adjusted, never exceeds the diameter of the pot.|
Appendix III – Other Changes
There are a few changes as the original Pocket Rocket and the Micro Rocket go the way of the Dodo (i.e. extinct).
There's a new, much easier to use case for the Pocket Rocket 2. The original Pocket Case wasn't bad, but it was a bit bulky, and sometimes it would warp a bit making it hard to get the stove in and then close the case.
|The original Pocket Rocket's case, left, the Micro Rocket's case, center, and the new Pocket Rocket 2's case, right.|
|The Pocket Rocket 2 in it's completely re-designed (and much improved) case.|
|The new Pocket Rocket 2 doesn't come with a hand held piezo ignition, but there's room in the case if you want to carry one.|
The ignition in the above photo is from Kovea but is identical to the one sold by MSR except for the color and logo.
The height of the new Pocket Rocket 2, when fully deployed, remains consistent with the original Pocket Rocket (as well as the Micro Rocket).
|The original Pocket Rocket, left, the Micro Rocket, center, and the new Pocket Rocket 2, right – all about the same height.|
The stove featured in this review was provided to me at no charge by MSR. I have no financial relationship with MSR. I do not receive any compensation from MSR for this or any other review except that I typically get to keep the stove. I have pretty much every MSR stove known to man including many stoves that no longer exist (Firefly, Rapid Fire, "G" stove, Simmerlite, non-shaker Jet Whisperlite, etc.), so one more stove isn't a particularly big deal to me and certainly did not influence the way this review was written. I go out of my way to be thorough and objective in my reviews.
Also, I don't make money through this blog, not really. Sure, I have ads, and on a good day, I make about $2 USD. On a typical day, I make more like $1. Let's call it $35/month. That covers hosting fees and fuel, but precious little else, and certainly doesn't compensate me for my time. This is just my odd little hobby, and that's about all it is. There are those who have suggested that this blog is a plot to achieve world stove domination. Nothing could be further from the truth – although it is odd that those making such suggestions have all met with a series of freak white gas stove priming accidents...