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Jetboil Flash About the Jetboil Flash

The Jetboil Flash in the latest innovation from Jetboil. Like the Jetboil Personal Cooking System (PCS), the Flash is an integrated cup, stove, and heat exchanger. The integration of all the components make the Jetboil systems extremely efficient. According to Jetboil the Flash will boil two cups of water in an amazingly fast two minutes. The features and specs from the Jetboil website:

  • 1.0 Liter FluxRing® cooking cup with insulating cozy, featuring Flash color-change heat indicator
  • Adjustable stainless steel burner with push-button “through-cup” igniter
  • Drink-through lid and insulating bottom cover/measuring cup
  • Tripod base for added stability
  • Available in Gold, Violet, Sapphire and Carbon
  • Weight: 14 oz (397 g)
  • Volume: 32 oz (1 Liter)
  • Boil Time: 16 oz (1/2 Liter) = 2 minutes
  • Water Boiled: 12 Liters per 100g Jetpower canister
  • Dimensions: 4.1” x 7.1” (104 mm x 180 mm)

Differences Between Jetboil PCS and Jetboil Flash

On initial inspection, the differences between the Jetboil PCS and the Flash seemed fairly cosmetic to me so I inquired further. Ric Pratte from Jetboil's PR firm gave me some more in-depth information on the updates.

The technical difference between PCS and Flash is in the burner. [The] Flash burner control is a wire "bale", which is easier to access and operate than [the] knob on the PCS. The Flash igniter is low profile and comes up through the burner head, which means its less likely to be damaged than the PCS igniter. The burner head is solid stainless steel, as compared to the mesh head on the PCS, which is subject to shrinking over time and then falling out. Also, the Flash comes with a tripod stabilizer, which is a $10 retail value.

First Impressions of the Jetboil Flash

The Jetboil Flash is a pretty impressive piece of equipment. Stowed, all components fit within the Flash's 32oz. cup for easy transport. The Flash is a bit heavier than the homemade alcohol stove I currently use for warm weather pursuits but the Flash's simplicity and quick boils will no doubt be key during the colder months. In the couple boils I did to test the Flash did indeed get water to a boil very quickly, and the heat indicator on the side is a nice (though not altogether necessary) touch -- it turns orange when the water reaches 140°F. I look forward to giving the Jetboil Flash a good workout in the coming months.

What We're Looking for in the Jetboil Flash

With the Jetboil already being used by many of the top mountaineers on some of the highest peaks in the world (see Peter Whittaker mention the Jetboil as a mountaineering game changer) we anticipate that the Jetboil Flash will be an asset on our backcountry endeavors in slightly less demanding conditions.

Stoic Merino Wool Crew This lightweight wool next to skin base layer should be an essential for anyone doing cold weather activities. This Athletically fitted crew neck shirt has long sleeves and offers thumb holes to keep it getting bunched up under other layers. Even giving your hand a little extra heat inside gloves. All of Stoic shirts are somewhat stylish and would look just fine spending time at the bar after making your final tracks of the day. Although I would probably wear another shirt or a vest over it to keep from being “That Guy.” But at least it won’t smell bad when you offer to buy the cute ski bunny a beverage. Design: Ultra-fine Merino Wool base layer Retail: $59 (Buy) Why it’s hot:
  • Athletic Cut
  • Thumb Holes
  • Better Looking Than Plain Base Layers
Why it’s not:
  • Thumb Holes Could Be a Tad Bigger
  • Lighter colored fabrics are a little see though

Found this pretty funny video of Backpacker Magazine editors interviewing the designers of Eddie Bauer's First Ascent clothing line.  Included are Ed Viesturs, Pete Whittaker, and others. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JRKyqYeutyY

Check out this hilarous video on cross-country snowboarding, a sport that is sure to take off. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4w7sVSMbjyM

2009 Patagonia R2 JacketAbout the Patagonia R2 Jacket

Along with my Patagonia Primo Jacket and PantsI received an R2 jacket to serve as my insulation layer.  Like I said in that article I have gotten a late start in testing my new ski gear but I plan on giving it a run for it's money in the coming months.  Before we get too involved let's take a look at the R2 jacket features from the Patagonia website:

  • Highly technical R2 fabric is light, stretchy and compressible, with great breathability
  • Insulating long fibers alternate with dense, supportive short fibers to optimize insulation and reduce bulk
  • Directional knit wicks moisture and speeds dry time
  • Inner collar lined with R1® fabric (made with recycled polyester) for next-to-skin comfort; collar and protective chin flap lined with R1 fabric (made with recycled polyester) for next-to-skin comfort
  • Low-bulk R1 fabric cuffs
  • Pockets: one chest and zippered handwarmers; zippers all welded and reinforced with Supplex® for snag-free operation
  • Shoulder seams set forward for pack-wearing comfort
  • R2® shell: 7.4-oz Polartec® Thermal Pro® 100% polyester (40% recycled) fleece. R1® panels: 6.5-oz Polartec Power Dry® 93% polyester (60% recycled)/7% spandex. Recyclable through the Common Threads Recycling Program
  • 419 g (14.8 oz)
  • Made in Colombia.

First Impressions of the Patagonia R2 Jacket

The first thing I noticed when I pulled the R2 jacket out of the box was how light it was, even for a fleece.  The high loft of the soft polyester fleece seems ideal for great compressibility while providing great insulation qualities.  It's quite soft too!  It is a shame that Patagonia hasn't been able to get a lightweight fleece such as the R2 with wind resistant properties like the R4 but I suppose that's the trade-off.  That said, the R2 jacket seems to be constructed to the high standards that is common of Patagonia.  I did have a few issues when I wore the jacket around the neighborhood for the first time.  The fit seems to be a little weird with a tight fit in the shoulders and arms.  Perhaps I was wearing a bulky sweater, but it still struck me as odd.  The second problem I have is similar to the many jackets sporting a napoleon pocket: when reaching to unzip the jacket I tend to grab the pocket zipper instead.  It's really a love hate relationship with napoleon pockets in general.  Otherwise there seems to be no problem with materials, design, or construction.

What We're Looking for in the Patagonia R2 Jacket

In the next few months we will be testing the Patagonia R2 jacket under hard shells while skiing both downhill and AT, on it's own while climbing in the Gunks, and of course we will be wearing it around town after a day of hiking.  We expect the R2 jacket to perform as advertised with it's light weight, compressible, insulation goodness. Make sure you subscribe to out RSS Feed so you don't miss the final review.

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