Most Efficient

MSR (Mountain Safety Research) first took the backpacking community by storm in 2005 when they released the original Pocket Rocket, one of the smallest and most lightweight backpacking stoves on the market.

The Pocket Rocket has been a game changer for outdoor enthusiasts ever since its release, offering one of the most compact, light, efficient, and versatile stoves sold today.

Since 2005, there’s been an abundance of brands like Snow Peak, Soto, BSR, and many more who have released highly compact stoves to compete with the likes of the MSR Pocket Rocket. But what these other stoves don’t have, is the quality that comes from a company that’s been in the industry since 1969.

MSR produces every style of stove a backpacker could ever want, from canister stoves like the Pocket Rocket, integrated canister stoves like the MSR Windburner Stove System, and the MSR Whisperlite Universal Stove which runs on everything from white gas to petroleum.

What makes the MSR Pocket Rocket 2 stand out from the others is its size, weight, and versatility.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.5

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    Lightweight
  • check-mark
    Packable
  • check-mark
    Efficient
  • check-mark
    Easy to use
  • check-mark
    Affordable

Things we don't like:

  • check-markDoesn’t have an igniter
  • check-markNot as efficient as an integrated canister stove
  • check-markNot the best choice for high altitudes or freezing temperatures
  • check-markCan be affected by strong wind

Where to buy:

msr-pocket-rocket-2-product

MSR Pocket Rocket 2

Features:

  • Precision flame control
  • Serrated supports prevent pots or pans from sliding
  • WindClip™ wind protection ensures a solid flame
  • So compact it can fit inside your pocket
  • Easy to use, no priming required
  • Compatible with most brands of canister fuel
  • Hard shell carry case protects the stove when traveling

Specs & Features

  • Weight: 2.6 OZ
  • Boil Time: 3:30 min / 1L
  • Fuel Type: Canister (Isobutane-Propane)
  • Output: 8,200 BTU
  • Dimensions: 3.1 x 1.3 x 1.7 inches
  • Simmer: Yes
See the complete list of the best Backpacking Stoves here!

Fits in your Pocket, burns like a Rocket

Fuel Source & Efficiency

The MSR Pocket Rocket 2 includes all the same impressive features of the original model, though MSR has made this version even smaller, lighter, and more efficient.

The Pocket Rocket 2 is a canister stove that runs on a mix of Isobutane and Propane. The stove is compatible with most self-sealing canisters on the market, not just the MSR branded ones. This means you can shop around for the best price, but keep in mind each brand has a slightly different mix of Isobutane and Propane, meaning some will work better in colder temperatures than others.

msr-pocket-rocket-2-fits-in-your-pocket

What has made this backpacking stove so successful is its quality, packability, and efficiency. Some of the cheaper canister stove options on the market like the BRS-3000T are easily affected by the wind. But the WindClip™ wind protection feature on the Pocket Rocket 2 helps to maintain a solid and direct flame, keeping its boil time down even in windy conditions.

The PR2 may not have the boil time of the Jetboil Flash, but it’s one of the most efficient canister stoves in its class. Sure, there are cheaper options out there, but for the extra $30, you can buy a stove from a brand that’s stood the test of time for more than fifty years.

Weight & Portability

The Pocket Rocket was one of the first canister stoves of its time to change the way people cook in the backcountry. Ultra-light backpackers who may not have traveled with a stove are now able to justify the additional 2.6 OZ.

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Of course, you still need to factor in the fuel and cookware, but the great thing about the PR2 is you can choose the most minimalistic cookware and a small 4 OZ canister to keep the weight down.

MSR also led the field in portability with its clever folding design of this compact stove. The pot supports fold down and are so adjustable they’re able to wrap around the body of the stove so the entire thing fits within the palm of your hand.

Since the Pocket Rocket’s release in 2005, a number of other brands have released their own versions of canister stoves that are similar in size. The Soto Amicus and the Snow Peak Giga Power Stove are similar in size to the Pocket Rocket 2, while the BRS-3000T is almost half the size.

msr-pocket-rocket-2-variety

Despite the competition, however, the MSR Pocket Rocket 2 remains the most robust, high quality and efficient canister stove on the market.

Boils Like a Rocket

The Pocket Rocket is fractionally faster at boiling water than its Japanese competitor, the Soto Amicus. At 3 1/2 minutes, the PR2 was the fastest for boiling water in its class, miles ahead of some of its smaller competitors like the BRS-3000T, which took over five minutes in similar conditions.

msr-pocket-rocket-2-boil-time

The efficiency of the PR2 comes from its custom designed WindClip™ wind protection, which helps to maintain a direct and solid flame even in windy conditions.  Even though the Snow Peak Giga Power Stove is said to have a higher output of BTU’s (British Thermal Unit), which is a measurement of energy, the PR2 is able to boil a liter of water a minute faster in similar conditions.

Using the Pocket Rocket

The MSR Pocket Rocket 2 is one of the most simple backpacking stoves to set up and use. You simply take it out of its case, unfold the three pot support arms and adjust them into position, screw the base onto the fuel canister, open the gas using the control valve, and ignite the burner using a lighter.

msr-pocket-rocket-2-ease-of-use

Although the PR2 is uber simple, the Soto Amicus has a built-in igniter, which can be helpful if you forget your lighter and also prevents you from burning your hand. The Pocket Rocket 2 saves a little weight by not having the igniter. But if you’re dead set on having one, and want to stick with MSR, the Pocket Rocket Deluxe has one built in.

A Versatile Backpacking Stove

What we love about this compact stove is how versatile it is. It’s a high-quality and high performing backpacking stove that not only fits in your pocket but can be used with practically any type of cookware. We tested it using a regular kitchen pot and pan and the stove performed exceptionally well.

msr-pocket-rocket-2-versatility

Unlike integrated canister stoves like the Jetboil Flash that come with the cookware attached, MSR’s stove allows you to select whichever type of pot or pan you desire.

The Pocket Rocket can also be used in windy conditions and still performs well compared to most canister stoves. You can also use the PR2 at higher altitudes. Just be aware that canister fuel doesn’t burn as well at higher altitudes or in colder temperatures, which means it will take much longer and use more gas to boil water and cook food.

How the Pocket Rocket Stands

The PR2 has three serrated pot holder prongs designed to keep your pots and pans resting safely and securely on top. We believe the three-pronged design is sufficient in creating good stability while cooking. Others argue, however, that a four-pronged design like the Soto Amicus or the Snow Peak Giga Power Stove will make the stove more stable.

msr-pocket-rocket-2-stability

In regards to stability, the WindClip™ wind protection also creates a stable and solid flame, even in windy conditions. Compared side by side with a cheaper version like the  BRS-3000T, the PR2 is far superior and in windy conditions, boiling water twice as fast in adverse conditions.

Safety

This stove is a safe and reliable stove for all your outdoor adventures. It’s designed to be used with canisters of isobutane and propane, which are both safe and stable fuels widely used in backpacking stoves.

Msr Pocket Rocket 2 Safety

The PR2 stove has a number of built-in safety features, including a pressure regulator that helps to maintain a consistent gas flow and prevent overpressure. Additionally, the stove has a durable, high-quality construction and is designed to be used in a variety of outdoor conditions, including higher altitudes and windy conditions.

Pocket Rocket Value

The MSR Pocket Rocket 2 cost is in line with most of its competitors including the Soto Amicus and the Snow Peak Giga Power Stove. Each of these stoves cost between USD $60-70 depending on where you buy it.

soto-amicus-stove-portability

Given this stove will last you many years with good care, we believe it’s a small investment for a high-performance stove that will outlast the quality of its competitors. MSR also offers great warranties and repairs on all their products.

Compared to the BRS-3000T, spending an extra $30 will provide you with a stove you can trust, that performs well in a variety of conditions, and will save you money on fuel in the long run because of its efficiency.

Do we recommend it?

In one word, yes. The MSR Pocket Rocket 2 has years of testing behind it. It’s one of the most recognized canister stoves in the world of backpacking, and because MSR is recognized for their quality, you get what you pay for.

The PR2 is an amazing stove to take on longer trips where you’re trying to save weight and space. It’s also the perfect option for a backup stove if you’re traveling remotely for multiple days.

Having used this stove on multiple backcountry trips over the years, we feel confident recommending it as a top pick for a lightweight, portable, fuel efficient, and quality backpacking stove.

msr-pocket-rocket-2-recommend

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.5

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    Lightweight
  • check-mark
    Packable
  • check-mark
    Efficient
  • check-mark
    Easy to use
  • check-mark
    Affordable

Things we don't like:

  • check-markDoesn’t have an igniter
  • check-markNot as efficient as an integrated canister stove
  • check-markNot the best choice for high altitudes or freezing temperatures
  • check-markCan be affected by strong wind

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FAQ

Frequently asked questions

Is the MSR Pocket Rocket 2 worth it?

The MSR Pocket Rocket 2 is a popular and lightweight camping stove known for its reliability and performance. It is a great choice for backpacking and camping, as its small and easy to pack, yet powerful enough to boil water faster than other canister stoves. If you’re looking for a compact and reliable stove for your outdoor adventures, then the MSR Pocket Rocket 2 is a great choice.

What is the difference between the MSR Pocket Rocket and Pocket Rocket 2?

The MSR Pocket Rocket 2 is an upgraded version of the original Pocket Rocket released in 2005. The Pocket Rocket 2 folds better and is more compact than the original. The Pocket Rocket 2 is also lighter than the original and has a better built-in flame protection, making it more efficient than its predecessor.

What fuel can I use with MSR Pocket Rocket 2?

The MSR Pocket Rocket 2 is designed to run on isobutane fuel canisters. These canisters are widely available and provide a clean-burning fuel that is safe and easy to use. Although MSR sells its own brand of isobutane canisters, the MSR Pocket Rocket 2 will work with all standard screw-on canisters with a threaded or Lindal valve.

How long does it take to boil water with an MSR Pocket Rocket 2?

The MSR Pocket Rocket 2 is an efficient stove capable of boiling water in approximately 3.5 minutes using an isobutane fuel canister. This boil time may vary slightly depending on factors such as the altitude, temperature, and wind conditions. In general, however, the Pocket Rocket 2 is known for its fast boil times compared to its competitors.

Does the Pocket Rocket 2 have an igniter?

Both the original Pocket Rocket and Pocket Rocket 2 do not have a built in igniter. They require a lighter to ignite the burner once the gas has been turned on. The newer MSR Deluxe Pocket Rocket version does have a built-in igniter.

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