Stated Weight: 14.6 oz / 415 g
Volume: 32 oz / 1 L
Dimensions: 5″ x 6″ / 127mm x 152mm
- Redesigned valve and regulator for simmer control
- Metal handles provide a robust interface for both cooking and eating
- Convenient push-button igniter
- Lower spoon angle for easier eating from the cup
- Insulating drink-through lid & measuring cup
- Sideways burner storage minimizes pack space
- Fuel canister stabilizer included
- Compatible Jetboil accessories
Days Tested: 15
Test Locations: Indian Creek, Zion, Utah; Vail, Colorado, and camping all over Colorado
Jetboil’s new stove, the MiniMo, is a canister-based, modular backcountry stove with a design similar to previous Jetboil stoves like the Flash and the Sol and the MSR Reactor. Unlike those stoves, however, the MiniMo features a simmer control that Jetboil says allows you to cook your meals, rather than just boiling water for them.
More details on the MiniMo’s modular, canister-based system can be found in my review of the now-retired Sol Ti, but in short, the cooking system is made of a small stove that screws onto the top of an isobutane/propane canister. The top of the stove locks on to the bottom of the MiniMo’s cook pot via grooves in the aluminum heat exchanger. The three stove components stand upright, resembling a totem pole.
Size and Capacity
The MiniMo is essentially a slightly refined and slimmer version of Jetboil’s large-capacity Sumo. Even though it has a smaller pot than the Sumo, both of their pots are wider in stature relative to the Sol or Flash. The extra width provides additional surface area through which to draw heat from the flame, and also makes it easier to get a spoon in there.
While the broad pot makes the MiniMo seem like it would fall between the Flash and Sumo in terms of volume, the MiniMo and Flash’s pot can both hold 1 liter. And at full blast, the MiniMo cranks out enough heat to boil a pint of water (roughly half a liter) in about 100-130 seconds.
Jetboil claims that the MiniMo has better simmer control than stoves like the Flash and Sol, and this is undoubtedly true. While you can run other Jetboil stoves at less-than-full blast, the MiniMo’s paperclip-esque flow controller turns farther from fully open to fully closed. This allows for a broader range of adjustment of the amount of fuel flowing from the canister, and makes it possible to dial back the stove’s output more precisely and run it at a lower heat setting. Culinarily advanced backpackers will really appreciate this, as it opens up many more cooking possibilities. For example, it’s much easier to cook vegetables without torching them if the stove can sit at a moderate setting.
You may not care as much about using this simmer feature if you intend to use your stove primarily for boiling water. You can still run the MiniMo at full blast to achieve a quick boil, but if efficiency and short boiling times are all you’re interested in, you might be better of with the Jetboil Flash or MSR Reactor.
If you’re new to these types of stoves, there are a couple of limitations (which apply to any canister stove) that you should be aware of. Given the type of fuel used, as well as the delivery system from canister to flame (there is no way to further pressurize the canister or pre-heat the fuel), this class of stoves doesn’t do particularly well at high altitudes or in extremely cold temperatures.
The high altitude limitation is something to be aware of, but shouldn’t be a big issue for those camping in the lower 48 states. In my experience, the cold temperature boundary has been somewhere around 15 to 20º F. Below that, you’re definitely going to be struggling to get the stove lit and keep it going. (If you’re going out in conditions below 25º F, I would definitely bring a lighter with you, just in case.)
These are important considerations, but the MiniMo has me covered for about 80 percent of the nights I spend in a tent (including car camping, at the crag, and so on). For serious car camping with a larger group, no canister-based backpacking stove is going to compete with something like a big, two-burner Coleman, and high altitude mountaineers will probably want a stove with higher output, better wind resistance, and a pump-pressurized fuel source. But outside of these scenarios, the MiniMo is an excellent jack-of-all-trades stove.
The MiniMo’s pot has two handles that fold in to wrap around it. The Jetboil stoves I’ve had over the past ten years (a couple Flashes and a Sol Ti) all had fabric handles that were part of the neoprene sleeve insulating the pot, but I never found these handles too confidence inspiring when the pot was filled with hot coffee. More than once I’ve almost had a full pot slide out of the sleeve entirely when trying to hold it with the neoprene handles. The addition of proper handles to the MiniMo is a welcome change, in my opinion.
The MiniMo has what appears to be the same built-in igniter that is used on other Jetboil stoves, and it has performed more reliably than the Flash stoves I’ve had in the past. Several of the Flash stoves I’ve used had occasional but recurring problems with the igniter not sparking the fuel, but I haven’t had a single issue with the MiniMo’s igniter.
I think the MiniMo is an excellent new addition to Jetboil’s line of stoves. The MiniMo bears a distinct resemblance to the Jetboil stoves that came before it, but has greatly-appreciated improvements like the new pot handles and simmer control.
If you’re familiar with canister-based stoves and know one will suit your needs, the Jetboil MiniMo is a fantastic option, especially if you’re looking to cook (rather than just boil) your backcountry meals.