The MSR Pocket Rocket camping stove is a good choice for backpackers who want an inexpensive and lightweight camping stove. The Pocket Rocket weighs only 3 ounces, and although it's not the lightest camping stove on the market, reviewers nevertheless praise its compactness and portability. Fuel canisters and pots are sold separately. This canister camping stove gets very high marks from owners, and reviewers call it a great bargain. The Pocket Rocket includes a clip-on windscreen, and reviewers say the stove doesn't suffer in windy conditions as a result. MSR claims the Pocket Rocket can boil a liter of water in 3.5 minutes, but testing indicates that four to six minutes is more realistic. Still, owners say the MSR Pocket Rocket is easy to light -- even though it doesn't include an automatic igniter -- and the temperature control also earns high marks. The biggest downside to the Pocket Rocket appears to be stability. Multiple reviewers complain that the stove needs larger pot supports or a canister stand to make it more stable. As it is now, owners recommend keeping the Pocket Rocket on level ground and using small pots to prevent tipping. If you have more room in your pack, the MSR Reactor (*Est. $140) receives excellent reviews and includes a stove and pot in one compact package.
The best test of the MSR Pocket Rocket comes from Backpacker magazine. Reviewer Casey Lyons tests a number of camping stoves, and the testing results are clearly detailed. Rocky Thompson at Backcountry.com also tests the Pocket Rocket, and the stove attracts a number of user reviews on Buzzillions.com.
The MSR Pocket Rocket doesn't score as highly as the Snow Peak LiteMax, but reviewer Casey Lyons calls it a good bargain. Lyons says the Pocket Rocket performs well in bad weather, but he describes its stability as "iffy."
Review: Gear Review: Snow Peak LiteMax Stove, Casey Lyons, June 2009
Rocky Thompson says the MSR Pocket Rocket is a "screaming deal." In this scientific test, the Pocket Rocket performs well in wind and freezing temperatures, but it burns fuel quickly and is not as stable as other stoves tested.
Review: Goat Test #1: Canister Stoves, Rocky Thompson, Not Dated
About a half-dozen owners write lengthy reviews of the MSR Pocket Rocket at BackpackGearTest.org. All have good things to say about the Pocket Rocket, but a few reviewers report subpar performance in cooler temperatures.
Review: MSR Pocket Rocket, Contributors to BackpackGearTest.org
The MSR Pocket Rocket is the top-rated stove on Buzzillions.com, which compiles nearly 300 owner-written reviews. The stove gets excellent ratings overall, but many note that it's not the most stable camping stove.
Review: MSR Pocket Rocket Backpacking Stove, Contributors to Buzzillions.com