CAMP KITCHEN

Jetboil Sol vs Flash: Which Outdoor Cooking System Has the Upper Hand?

Jetboil Sol vs Flash
Russell McCarty
Written by Russell McCarty

At first sight, the Jetboil Sol and the Jetboil Flash are very similar making the comparison Jetboil Sol vs Flash too close to call. The two devices work on the same principal, so determining a clear cut winner at a glance is would be a tall order.

Both are convenient personal outdoor cooking systems that function on the basis of a “cooking mug” with efficient internal heat exchange systems to make the most out of the limited source of energy attached to them. This is made possible using heat exchange fins located at the base of the Jetboils. In both systems, a small fuel canister attaches onto a burner and the burner screws into the boiler mug to complete the Jetboils.

In addition, Jetboil Sol and Flash share the following similarities:

  • An in-built flame control knob
  • A piezo-electric igniter
  • Sport heat-resistant system
  • Compact and easy to carry
  • Mini gas canister
  • Light weight

So the big question is; which of the two is better?

Jetboil burner

This review, Jetboil Sol vs Flash is based on a first-hand user’s experience on both devices. If you already have some information about the two mobile stoves but still need a deeper insight on the unique differences between them, then this review is for you. For the start, let me shed some light on the two independently.

Jetboil Sol

The Jetboil sol has reigned over the “cooking mugs” market for a while now. Actually, it’s one of the pioneering prototypes for the Jetboil concepts. The boiler mug is made of anodized aluminum pot, a hardened rubber lid and an outlet that allows the user to pour out the liquid in-situ. The barrel can hold up to 0.8 liters and is fully wrapped in a removable insulating case with a hard plastic handle.

Also, the Jetboil Sol comes with a convenient foldable stand that can be adjusted to improve the stability of the gas canister. Moreover, it has a plate adapter and replaceable prongs. The plate and stove prongs allows you to use the stove with the traditional stove pan if you find it more convenient. Here are all the features of the Jetboil Sol:

  • The Jetboil collapses into itself and all components fit into the cup.
  • Easy to move around when cooking
  • The pot can be used either as a mug or as a pot; it’s multipurpose.
  • Comes with a hanging kit
  • The pot is can be replaced with a light frying pan which comes with the package
  • The pot can hold two cups of water
  • The heat is controllable
  • The clicker sparks to light the Jetboil Sol with great ease
  • Light, 310 grams (about 11 ounces)

Jetboil Sol

CONS

  • Relatively small if you’re melting snow or boiling water for two
  • Doesn’t work well in a windy environment
  • When full, the water often boils over pot
  • When cooking noodles in the Jetboil Sol, you have to stir the noodles often, otherwise it will burn from the bottom upwards.

Jetboil Flash

The Jetboil Flash is relatively new compared to the Jetboil Sol. The design is a little fancier and the ignition is impressive. It lights up at the press of a button and in less than two minutes the water will be boiling.

The new burner design ensures that the burner is safer to use and minimizes the impacts of a bumpy ride. The burner screws into the cooking cup securely to prevent any accidental spills or wavering of the flame by the outdoor wind. The gas canister for the Jetboil Flash is fitted into a stable tripod stand. Its sleeve has a heat-sensitive indicator that changes its color when the temperature of the contents changes.

Jetboil Flash

Jetboil Flash is a compact all-in-one device that brings together the fuel canister, the burner, the cup and the lid into a single unit. This greatly improves its mobility, stability and efficiency.

The cooking system has a clever design which secures the igniter, making it one of the safest outdoor cooking solutions available. The cooking cup attaches onto the burner, which prevents spills and other mishaps, and the fuel canister tripod provides all around stability. Generally, here are its unique features:

  • A hard aluminum pot, anodized
  • Built in electric piezo-ignition
  • An integral ‘’Flux ring’’ internal heat exchanger
  • A fully insulated casing
  • A tripod fuel canister for improved stability
  • Adapter plate
  • A color changing temperature indicator
  • Has a hardened plastic cup that protects its flux ring.
  • Weighs just 419 grams

Cons

  • Lacks a handle for hanging
  • With the plate and the pan on, it weighs 459 grams

Jetboil Flash Sapphire

Jetboil Sol Vs Flash Head To Head

The Jetboil Sol and the Jetboil Flash are both integrated cooking devices with efficient heat exchangers fitted at the bottom of their pots. The heat exchangers in both cases surrounds the burner and makes outdoor cooking a lot easier as compared to the conventional stoves whose burners are open and the wind tosses the flame to any direction.

These stoves are very efficient because a good percentage of the heat produced goes into the intended use and very little energy goes into waste. In this way, they perfectly overcome most of the problems with the conventional stoves. Besides, they are both light and would easily fold to fit into your backpack. Here’s a head to head comparison for the two.

The Jetboil Sol was released into the marked towards the end of 2010 and is one of the latest members of the integrated cooking systems. Comparing it to the Jetboil Flash is not easy because they are based on a common concept. They are also very similar in size and design. In fact, they have a similar gas burner.

Jetboil Sol versus Flash

However, they have a few outstanding differences that you may only notice after trying them out. The Jetboil Sol can hold just 0.8 liters while the Flash can hold a liter. So if you want more liquid holding capacity then the Flash is a better option compared to the Sol.

The Jetboil Flash came into the market with a very innovative temperature indicator. The temperature indicator on the sleeve regularly changes color as the temperature rises so if you don’t want the liquid too hot you will know when to turn the Flash heater off.

It also has a quick lock which holds the pot securely on to the burner to improve its stability. The Jetboil Sol on the other hand lacks this quick lock.

Weight

The Jetboil Sol weighs almost a hundred grams less than the Jetboil Flash. This is basically because the Flash has more volume and more peripherals as compared to the Sol.

Jetboil Flash and Sol

The Sol cup lid is also much lighter compared to that of the Flash hence the overall difference in weight. The two lids are made different materials but they work on the same principle. If you want something easy to carry around on your backpack then the Sol beats the Flash.

Here’s a breakdown of the weight:

ComponentJetboil SolJetboil Flash
Burner102.2 g145.6 g
Lid18.7 g28.5 g
Diffuser protector33.4 g29.4 g
Weight of pot without sleeve112.2 g209.1 g
Weight of pot with sleeve129.9 g169.2 g

Strap vs handle

The Sol has a strong strap for a handle. The Jetboil Flash on the other hand has aluminum handle, no wonder it’s weightier. The clothe strap can at times be a bother to users because you may have to put your hand into the strap and balance the clothe strap in order to hold the Jetboil in a balanced position before lifting.

Jetboil blue

Many Jetboil Sol owners hardly use the strap. The aluminum handle on Jetboil Flash is a lot more convenient and is used often in carrying the device around.

Cooking Capacity

While the Jetboil Sol holds a maximum of 0.8 liters, the Jetboil Flash holds up to a liter. So when it comes to capacity, the Flash wins. It’s a better option if you’ve got some company for the hike because it can make two mugs of coffee at once.

Even though the Flash has a higher capacity, the two have devices have the same diameter. In both, the diameter sets a limit to what meals you can prepare. For instance, you can’t fly fry eggs in it because the diameter would not allow you to and partly because they have no simmer controls for temperature adjustments.

Better igniter

Among the limited perks of the Sol, if reviews on Amazon are to go by, it has a better igniter. Its ignition may be more efficient to use in colder temperatures or violent windy situations. But the difference in ignition is only marginal.

Jetboil piezo

The Flash is more than sufficient to be used in most environments. However, after trying them out, I would not recommend either the Sol or the Flash for very high altitudes. Their burner mechanism is not designed to hold their flames extremely high altitudes. Based on ease of ignition, the Sol scores slightly higher than the Flash.

Performance

So how exactly do the Jetboil Sol compare to the Jetboil Flash on performance? Let’s find out. According to the information provided by the manufacturers, the Sol can boil 0.8 liters in two and a half minutes while the Flash can boil a liter in two minutes. The two have a similar 100 g gas canister and the manufacturers project that the Flash can boil up to about 14 liters while the Sol can boil 12 liters per 100 grams of gas.

Theoretically, that’s a win for the Flash. In reality, when filled to the brim, they boil their contents within the same time of two and a half minutes. So in real life, it’s a stalemate in terms of boil time.

Usability

At a glance, the Flash would look like a more advanced fast boiling stove as compared to the Sol. It’s also heavier and costs more. But when it comes to usability, there’s more to stoves than the boiling speed and the weight. There’s the ease of use and that matters a lot. The Flash may be more advanced but that also means it’s more delicate and requires more care when handling.

Jetboil Flash assembly

The Sol is more conventional, so anybody who has used a similar outdoor cooking device would quickly understand how it works. If you are using the Flash for the first time, you’d need to give it more attention before you can get comfortable with it otherwise you’d easily get a few things wrong especially when it comes to putting the components together.

Here are a few point on why the Sol, though not as advanced, would beat the Flash on usability:

  • The Sol uses a simple twist to lock pot attachment which is easier to understand and easier to use than the fast lock on the Flash.
  • An easier to turn flame adjustment knob
  • The burner fits more securely on the cartridge
  • Some have a translucent lid which allows you to see what’s going on in the pot

Why the Flash would beat the Sol on usability:

  • The Flash components easily fit into the pot so carrying it around is more convenient
  • The insulating sleeve has an indicator which changes color as the contents’ temperature rises
  • The Flash is easier to ignite
  • The Flash boils more, faster and its fuel lasts longer thanks to its higher efficiency
  • The Flash comes in a more stable adjustable tripod stand
  • The fast lock on the Flash holds the pot to the canister more securely than the twist lock on the Sol.

Jetboil Lock System

Jetboil Flash has more pros on usability than the Sol and therefore wins on the usability front.

Eating from the Pot

Judging Jetboil Sol vs Flash based on the ease of eating from their pots presents a stalemate. This is because the pots have the same diameter and both are made to serve a dual purpose of a cooking pot and a mug for drinking or a bowl for eating.

However, in this case the Sol would have a slightly upper hand considering that while the diameter is the same, the Flash’s pot is deeper. In both cases, you will need to be patient for a few minutes while the pot and its content cools down before you start eating otherwise the pot would be too hot to hold or the food too hot to eat.

Disengaging the pot from the stand would be trickier for the Jetboil Sol users because if the lid is not securely held, the hot contents would easily splash from the pot on to your hands.

Cooking in a Jetboil

The Verdict

On the face of it, the Jetboil Sol would seem to be a very attractive option and if the beauty, simplicity and weight are to go by it would have the edge. The reality is that all the work that has gone into the Jetboil Flash is not in vain because it is more efficient and more economic that the Sol. Actually, many customers say they really don’t mind the extra weight as long as the performance and the efficiency is top notch.

The pot attachment is another factor worth considering when giving a verdict. The Sol’s pot attachment system is rather fiddly. The fast lock on the Flash is more reliable. It binds the pot to the burner securely so you don’t have to worry that the components would fall apart easily. A win for Jetboil Flash.

The Flash has a flashy temperature indicator which changes color as the pot’s content temperature rises. So, if you only needed to warm the food, you know exactly at what point to turn off the stove to save energy. For the Sol, there’s only one way to find out if the content is boiling; by looking through the translucent lid, which could be dangerous if the pot emits hot steam. That’s another win for the Jetboil Flash.

Jetboil Flash Temperature Indicator

The Flash stove stands on a stable tripod while most versions of the Sol stand on a pan. The adjustable tripod greatly improves stability. In most cases, the Sol comes with accessories like a removable hanging system, a spare flame adjustment knob, an adapter and a small pan. All these peripherals would come in handy at one point; a win for the Sol.

The Jetboil Sol has very few perks above the Jetboil Flash. The Sol is more compact, and smaller (about eight inches shorter than the Flash). Well, many would argue that the size is convenient because it would fit into a smaller space but the smaller size also means you can only make a cup of coffee at a go. More wins for the Flash.

The prices of the two devices vary from site to site. Generally, the Flash costs a few bucks more than the Sol, perhaps because it’s more advanced. From another point of view, using the same amount of gas, the Flash boils almost two liters more than the Sol, so in the long run the Sol is more expensive.

One on one, the Jetboil Flash has more pros and fewer cons than the Jetboil Sol. If this Jetboil Sol vs Flash review is to go by, the Flash carries the day.

Jetboil Flash on Snow

Final Thoughts

Generally, both stoves display an impressive performance on outdoor cooking. Once you have your menu planned, your food can be ready in a few minutes. They make the best out of the 100 g gas by ensuring that it is used with uttermost efficiency.

Generally, most folks think that the Jetboil Flash would be a great pick on the usability front. Once assembled, it’s pretty easy to handle. The usability can be improved even further using a pot adapter. The adapter allows it to be used even with the conventional stoves. The Flash is simply an evolved version of the easy to use but less efficient Sol.

Jetboil Flash

  • 1.0 Liter FluxRing® cooking cup
  • The Flash runs on 100-gram fuel canisters, which provide enough energy to boil 12 liters or 100 cups of water each
  • A simple-to-use electric igniter
  • Insulating drink-through lid and bottom cover
  • A sip-through lid
  • The pot can be used either as a mug

Check price on Amazon

Jetboil Sol

  • Thermo-Regulate technology
  • 0.8 liter FluxRing cooking cup
  • Convenient, reliable push-button igniter
  • Intended use: quickly boil water. Not recommended for cooking food or melting snow
  • Collapses into itself and all components fit into the cup
  • The pot can be used either as a mug
  • Comes with a hanging kit

Check price on Amazon

So which outdoor stove do you prefer: the Jetboil Sol or Flash? We’d love to hear your opinions on this much-debated topic.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Russell McCarty
Russell McCarty

Russell considers backpacking one of his great passions in life. He actually managed to transform his passion into a living becoming a professional adventurer. Russell loves long-distance backpacking and he enriched his portfolio with famous trails like the Alaska-Yukon Expedition or the Appalachian Trail. With thousands of miles under his feet, Russell is the expert to consult when it comes to how to prepare for a successful outdoor adventure.

  • April Bevan

    I like the Flash Personal Cooking system, myself. I do a lot of cold weather hiking and camping and I feel like this is just an essential gear item you have to include in your backpack. Great for cooking up some baked beans or even some coffee!

  • Russell McCarty

    I love these clever designs, don’t you April? The design is sleek and modern, but it gets the job done. Boiling water is easy and fast. I also love the stable tripod and it’s so compact. The gas won’t leak, either so it’s safe to use.

  • Marcus Sheehan

    I’m using the Jetboil MiniMo Personal Cooking System. I love packing this little guy up with me on trips because it works so well and is simple to use. It was able to boil water in the blink of an eye even at 4,500-feet of elevation on a cold (33-degree), windy night.

  • Russell McCarty

    Wow, that’s indeed quite a feat for the little fellah! I’m glad you’re pleased with your Jetboil. It has a lot of loyal following, and I can see why. It even outperforms the bigger and bulkier stoves I own! 🙂

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