Gear Review: MSR Micro Rocket

Instant Backpacker Gear Review: The MSR Micro Rocket

Date Purchased: 11/4/15

Source: Cabella's 
Price Paid: $40
Summary
The MSR Micro Rocket has been a staple in my backpack for all my trail hikes and overnights. MSR engineers have done their homework on this little marvel making it super lightweight and compact while delivering high power to cook your meals on the trail. Be sure to add this gem to your list of 'mission critical' equipment.
I give the MSR Micro Rocket 5 out of 5 stars for its lightweight design, reliability and high output burner.  There are many other stove options out there for far less, but not all of them deliver all the bells and whistles that the MSR Pocket Rocket does.
The pot base is created by unfolding the Micro Rocket's three foldable arms and is stable enough to support 1-2 pounds but I would skeptical putting much more weight than that on it.  The fold out arms are manufactured out of a light gauge metal to keep the overall weight down but they are strong. The base created once the arms are unfolded is just out of the sweet spot for balancing my Stanley Outdoor Adventure Camp Cookset but would fit many other cook pots on the market.
Of note is the fact that stoves like the MSR Micro Rocket require an outside fuel source such as butane, isobutane and propane.  Fuel choices are relatively abundant and are becoming popular for many of the larger stores to carry in stock so finding them locally is very possible.  The fuels offered are slow burning and efficient and come in different mixes to suit cooking in different seasonal temperatures.  Although the fuel sources are not as sustainable as cooking with wood, the MSR Micro Rocket is still a great option for the backpacker looking to cook a quick meal.
If you're one to want to stay in tune with your surroundings, know that the Micro Rocket is quite loud when burning.  The sound can easily overshadow that nearby running brook or wildlife.  Fortunately, the Micro Rocket does such a quick job of boiling water [just over 3 minutes] you won't have to listen to it for long.
Pros
  • Reliability
  • Compact, lightweight packaging
  • Speed and power
Cons
  • Relatively small base
  • Need fuel source
Setup: The MSR Micro Rocket sets up in under a minute ready to get to the task of cooking your next meal.
Ignition: The Piezo lighter that comes with the purchase is only marginally effective at igniting the stove. Since it is unreliable, I choose to use either my own hand lighter or flint and steel to get the stove running.  It does ignite very easily by my means.
Flame Control: The built-in adjustment lever does a fine job of adjusting the flame through a fairly wide range. And with flame control like this, not only can you conserve fuel when a full burn is not needed, but the flame control also allows the chef-in-you a little more finesse with your trail cooking.
Cooking: In prime conditions, the MSR Micro Rocket can bring 2 cups of water to full boil in just over 3 minutes [assuming start temp of 70°F].  And the flame control stated above allows you to make temperature adjustments easily.  Winner winner, chicken dinner!
Wind: Although the MSR Micro Rocket does not come with a wind screen, building your own out of light gauge metal or several layers of tin foil is easy to do. Wind screening will make your PocketRocket more efficient, but I've found that it's not a necessity to have one.
Lifespan: I've owned my Micro Rocket for nearly 6 months and have had it with me on around 4 excursions.  It shows no signs of wear and I expect a long lifespan from it.
Base/Stability: The fold open pot base is quite secure and opens/closes easily. I did find, however, that the Stanley Adventure Camp Cook Set Pot does not fit very well on this base. The cook pot bottom diameter is a bit too small for the fold out arms and the pot does notify securely on the arms. Larger posts will do much better on the MSR Micro Rocket.
All in all, I'm a big fan of this MSR product. It has been a very reliable piece of equipment that delivers every time I expect it to.

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