Jet Boil released their newest stove, the Mighty Mo, on January 1 of this year, but I picked mine up at REI back in October when it was an in-store exclusive. It’s the first individual burner Jet Boil has produced, filling an obvious gap in their product line. It’s lightweight, rugged, and packs 10,000 BTUs in a compact package for backcountry and emergency cooking.
What’s exciting about this stove, is that it includes Jet Boil’s gas valve and regulator for simmer control. For those of you who have used the Mini Mo from JB, it’s more or less the same unit with a longer neck and without the pot and pot attachment. While MSR’s Pocket Rocket also includes some flame control, it does not have a piezo ignitor or a regulator.
Weight: 3.35 oz (95 grams)
Material: Anodized Aluminum
Dimensions: (Folded) 3 x 2 inches (7.62 x 5.08 cm)
(Deployed) 6.5 x 4.1 inches (16.51 x 10.41 cm)
Features: Simmer Control, Piezo ignitor, three folding arms, cleated pot supports
With lightweight, stand-alone burners, I’m most interested in weight, pack-ability, and performance. I’m not expecting these units to excel at cooking for my party of three, and I’m not really even expecting to be able to cook that well with it for myself, regardless of the simmer control function. I carry a lightweight burner like the Mighty Mo to melt snow & boil water; every other function it serves is an added bonus.
What am I looking for in a stove?
Weight: The Mighty Mo comes in at 95 grams. As a comparison, the MSR Pocket Rocket 2 weights 73 grams and the Snow Peak Giga Power Auto weighs 106 grams.
Pack-ability: How convenient is it to carry? Does it nest well with the rest of my kitchen kit?
Performance: How fast does it boil a half liter of water? That’s approximately how much it takes to get my Mountain House meals to cook. Indoors, the control boil for a half liter is just under 3 minutes using a Snow Peak Trek 900 cup.
Versatility: How many camp kitchen functions does the burner fulfill and how well does it complete those tasks?
I’ve used the Mighty Mo on multiple outings including two overnight trips and several day length trips only to heat and boil water using a Snow Peak Trek 900 cup as my main container.
Backpacking and hiking through temperate rain forests: Fall and winter backpacking and hiking through Washington’s Hoh River and Middle Fork Snoqualmie River with temperatures between 30-45 degrees with high humidity, persistent rain, and wind speeds below 5 mph.
Snowshoeing in colder sub alpine terrain: Snoqualmie, WA: Temperatures between 15-30 degrees, medium humidity, intermittent snow, and wind speeds between 10-15 mph.
Pack-ability: I’m happy with how well this packs down. It fits in the palm of my hand and can nest in a cup with a fuel canister no problem.
Performance: 10,000 BTUs is a lot of heat, transferring that to our container is the tricky part. Without a windshield, the Mighty Mo struggles in breezy conditions, but still functions.
Half-liter boils times
Boiling water inside (control): sub 3-minutes
Boiling water in temperate conditions: sub 3-minutes
Boiling water in subalpine conditions: upwards of 5 minutes with wind and low temps
If you want to crisp up some sausages, sauté an onion, or cook a piece of fish, I’d say go for it. Use a good pan and don’t leave anything unattended.
In colder conditions, the Mighty Mo experiences fuel canister related sluggishness but still performs its essential duties.
Versatility: This stove is not a one trick pony. While I wouldn’t outright suggest cooking with the Mighty Mo, I was able to fry an egg indoors with the burner on the absolute lowest setting. With a little practice, I think it’d be feasible to cook eggs outside. If you want to crisp up some sausages, sauté an onion, or cook a piece of fish, I’d say go for it. Use a good pan and don’t leave anything unattended.
Weight to benefit ratio: It’s not a big decision most days to throw an extra three ounces in my bag and most of the trips I do as a backpacker aren’t in environments extreme enough to discount canister stoves.
Cold weather performance: Like all canister stoves, the Mighty Mo slows down as the temperature drops, but in my experience you can rely on this with good fuel in temps as low as 15-20 degrees so long as wind is not a factor.
What’s not good?
Wind performance: The open nature of the Mighty Mo’s design leaves too much room for error in regard to heat loss from wind. Choosing a place to cook with protection from wind shear is not always an option though.
MSR Pocket rocket/Snow Peak Giga Power
I do not have firsthand experience with either of these stoves, though at the price and BTU output, the Mighty Mo has mores features and stacks up well to its competition in weight and size.
In relation to the competitors, I think the addition of both the simmer control gas valve and piezo ignitor put the Jet Boil a notch above the rest. The Pocket Rocket’s wind screen is a nice addition, and while the Mighty Mo’s wind performance is its weakest factor, I think that’s part of the territory. Cooking outside can be challenging. Nature rarely cooperates. A small piece of tin foil or a brief consideration of the environmental conditions level the playing field in my opinion.
I’ll be packing the Mighty Mo with me on fair weather overnights where my main food source is going to be freeze dried meals, but also on day trips as a morale booster. For multi-day trips in a group, I’ll likely end up packing a self-contained unit, like the Jet Boil Mini Mo, though that statement is subject to change if jet boil can engineer a light, foldable windscreen as an additional accessory.
I purchased the Mighty Mo at full price from REI in October of 2016, and I have no affiliation with Jet Boil or REI.