Update: In February 2009, the Consumer Product Safety Commission recalled thousands of Jetboil PCS stoves sold between July and November 2008. The stoves had a faulty valve near the fuel source that could lead to a gas leak, and several consumers reported fires. Campers looking for a more reliable backpacking stove should take a look at the MSR Reactor (*Est. $140), an integrated stove that gets high marks for reliability and fast boiling times.
The Jetboil Personal Cooking System (PCS) was the first integrated stove -- a modular combination of burner and snap-on cooking cup -- to hit the market. It's ideal for simple meals, such as dehydrated foods, and boiling water for one or two people. The Jetboil PCS is a long-running favorite in user reviews, but it's important to note its limitations: It can only boil two cups of water at once and isn't designed for slow cooking. Soups or other prepared foods may burn, as this stove works best on high. At 15 ounces, it's heavier than many backpacking camp stoves.
We found dozens of expert and user reviews of the Jetboil PCS camping stove on outdoors websites. An article in The Seattle Times reports on field tests of this stove. Compared to other stoves, the Jetboil PCS has garnered a lot of attention. Major retail sites such as Amazon.com don't have many reviews of these kinds of camping stoves compared to other products.
1. Seattle Times
Testers hit the trail with three camping stoves: the Jetboil PCS, the MSR Reactor and the Primus EtaPower. The testers consider ease of use, efficiency and versatility; the Jetboil PCS wins out over the other two stoves.
Review: Cooking in the Backcountry: Three Systems Face the Heat, Dan A. Nelson, Jan. 17, 2008
In this detailed review, John Walter deems the Jetboil PCS an industry-changing product, thanks to its heat exchanger and compact design. This balanced review also points out the negatives: its top-heavy design and limited capacity.
Review: Jetboil Personal Cooking System -- A Backpacking Stove, John Walter
Dozens of reviews praise the Jetboil PCS, earning it a high average score. Users say they love its design and efficiency.
Review: Jetboil Personal Cooking System Reviews, Contributors to Trailspace.com, As of Sept. 2009
A couple dozen reviewers posting comments on this site say the Jetboil PCS is a handy, speedy cooker, albeit with limited function. Overall, reviews are positive, and the stove earns an average four stars out of five.
Review: Jetboil Stove Review, Contributors to TheBackpacker.com