Jetboil Flash vs. Jetboil Zip: Cooking systems review

If you need a quick way to boil water while backpacking or camping, Jetboil makes two excellent models for this purpose. The Jetboil Flash and the smaller Jetboil Zip are awesome cooking systems to use while in the wilderness!

Basically, Jetboilcooking systems are tiny gas stoves with mugs that sit directly on top of them. When not in use, you can pack everything back into the metal mug. These are great for boiling instant meals or just water for coffee.

The Jetboil Flash and the Jetboil Zip are extremely similar models. However, they do have their differences. Which is best for your needs? Read on to see which Jetboil will be best for your next camping excursion.

Quick Comparison: Jetboil Flash vs. Jetboil Zip

 Jetboil FlashJetboil Zip
Our Best Pick
Images
Capacity1 liter0.8liter
Weight1 pound12 ounces
Heat IndicatorYesNo
LightingAuto ignitionManual
Servings21
Boiling time4 min 30 secs5 min
PriceCheck PriceCheck Price
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aDvVuNj6DPs

Uses

The Jetboil cooking systems are a great tool for camping! You can use them for many cooking purposes. Of course, boiling water for coffee or tea is the most common use for these heaters. However, you can also make food in them!

You can make rice, pasta, and instant dinner mixes in both Jetboil models. They’re not particularly easy to clean, so you’ll have to be careful not to burn food to the bottom.

One huge benefit of keeping a Jetboil while backpacking is that you don’t have to create an open fire for cooking. The Jetboil models use gas, and the flames are fairly contained. You can skip the campfire and just use the Jetboil for heating food and water!

Parts

There are several pieces for both Jetboil personal cookers. First, there is the cup. The cup is metal and covered with a Neoprene cozy for heat protection. It also includes a lid, which you can drink through of just use for storage.

The cooking parts of the products include a tripod, a pot support, and a burner. Everything in the product can be stored inside the cup. To put everything back together, set thetripod in the bottom of the cup. The burner goes in, the gas sits on top of this, and then the pot support goes on. Finally, you put the lid on.

Capacity and Servings

The JetboilFlash has a slightly bigger holding capacity than the Jetboil Zip, but not by much. However, that 0.2 liter discrepancy actually does make a difference. While both Jetboil cups can contain at least two cups, the Zip makes one serving of food and the Flash can make two.

I’m not sure if the difference between one large serving in the Zip and two small servings in the Flash justifies buying the Flash over the Zip for the sake of size. You may as well get the smaller and cheaper Zip, and just boil water twice.

Heat Indicator

One of the main differences between the Jetboil Flash and the Jetboil Zip is that the Flash includes a heat indicator. While this doesn’t affect the performance of the product, it is nice to have a heat indicator for safety reasons. For example, you may find this well worth the extra size and cost if you’re camping with kids. It will reduce the risk of little ones getting burned by something they don’t realize is still hot.

Lighting

Another difference between the Jetboil Flash and the Jetboil Zip is the way they light. The larger Flash lights with a piezo lighter. You don’t have to worry about bringing matches, which is nice! The Zip requires a manual light. However, an automatic lighter can be good or bad. The downside of the piezo lighter on the Flash is that it eventually gives out. If you don’t care, go for the Zip. It will last a lot longer. However, you can always manually light the Flash if the automatic lighter breaks.

Boiling Time

The Jetboil Flash has a slight edge over the Jetboil Zip as far as boiling times go. The Flash boils in four and a half minutes, while the Zip takes five. Of course, this is a pretty small difference.

Designs

The Flash features a lot of cool designs. Of course, there is the typical black look, but you can also get a good blue and lime green set called Blue Desert. Hunters will love the Real Tree camo version! Check out the designs available and you’ll surely find something that suits you. The Zip, on the other hand, has just blue and black color options.

Verdict

Both the Jetboil Flash and the Jetboil Zip are great products that work wonderfully! However, they have different purposes. The Zip is perfect for solo camping. It’s light, small, and easily packed away into a backpack. The Flash, on the other hand, is good for family camping trips. It can serve more people, and it’s easier to use. The color change heat indicator adds a level of safety that the Zip does not have. It also lights easier, eliminating the need to leave matches or lighters laying around.

However, the Zip is overall a better deal. You can make it work for solo, double, or family camping trips. You may have to boil water multiple times, but at a 5 minute boil time, this isn’t a big deal. The Zip also stays in tact longer, which is a definite benefit. While both are nice, I’d say go for the Zip if you can’t decide.

Breana
 

Chief editor here at Sky-Liners, Breana is a former expat and outdoor enthusiast who grew up on camping, hunting, and hiking. If she could live anywhere, it would be a tree fort in the woods. For now, she's surviving on weekly hiking trips and monthly mountain breaks. You can read more about Breana's adventures on her blog at 3rdCultureWife.

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