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Thru-Hiking 101: 4 Popular Fuel Canisters Compared

I analyzed the differences between the MSR IsoPro, Snow Peak Giga Power, OLicamp and the Jet Boil Jetpower fuel canisters to see which performed the best.

Paul Bodnar      Educational       8/28/2020
Paul Bodnar
Educational
8/28/2020

I analyzed the differences between the MSR IsoPro, Snow Peak Giga Power, OLicamp Rocket Fuel and the Jet Boil JetPower fuel canisters. For the analysis I used full canisters (220 to 230 grams) and a new Soto Amicus stove.

For this test I heated 2 cups of room temperature water (72° F) to a boil (elevation of 5280 feet) using the maximum heat setting. I repeated this process three times for each brand of fuel and then averaged the values.

All the canisters tested boiled water in about 1 minute and 50 seconds (110 seconds) with an average consumption of 8 grams of fuel per boil. The MSR IsoPro brand performed on average one second better but the difference was insignificant (<1%). 

I believe the biggest decision in selecting a canister is determining the size not brand. The smaller fuel canisters (100 to 110-gram fuel weight) have a weight savings of around 170 grams (6 ounces) over the medium sized fuel canisters (220 to 230-gram fuel weight). But these smaller fuel canisters are almost double the cost per gram. If money isn’t a concern, then I would recommend the smaller lighter weight canisters.  For the cost sensitive hiker, the medium sized canister provides a lot of value without adding too much weight. 

CONCLUSION:

MSR IsoPro, Snow Peak Giga Power, OLicamp Rocket Fuel and the Jet Boil Jetpower fuel performed about the same.


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Photo courtesy of the Tahoe Rim Trail Association

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About the Author
A man wearing an Arizona Trail baseball cap stands in a field in front of a mountain.

Paul Bodnar

Paul has always liked hiking and thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 1997 after college. After years of working in chemistry, he wanted to create a career involving the outdoors, so he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail again in 2010 to do research for his guide book Pocket PCT. He realized that creating a smartphone app for navigating the outdoors would make it easier to keep the data current and provide a better way to navigate. While hiking with Ryan (aka Guthook) in 2010, they decided to work together to create the first comprehensive smartphone guide for the Pacific Crest Trail. Now with the help of a team of great people they have created over 50 guides for trails around the world.