I have a Jetboil. It's essentially a blow torch welded to a cup. Is it good at boiling water? You betcha. Is it good at doing anything else? Not really. If all you do is rehydrate your food, then it could be a good match. I have also done freezer bag eggs in it and the like.
Personally, I like the versatility of other stoves in my collection. I keep meaning to sell the Jetboil as soon as I'm out of fuel for it, but I usually take alcohol over the Jetboil so it never gets used.
The fry pan system for the Jetboil is a waste of time. If you need to fry, either do it on the fire, or bring a different system. The Jetboil cook pot is less of a waste of time, as you can boil water or cook in it, but you do still have a hot spot. For boiling water, cooking noodles or even cooking some brats, there is nothing better. The amount of heat that the 'flux ring' saves from escaping up the sides of the pot is amazing. While it cooks, you can put your hand right down by the burner and feel very little heat. This is why the neoprene cozy can stay on while cooking. With the cozy on, you can grab the cook cup full of boiling water with a bare hand (I always do). When done eating, the water left over in the pot is still warm enough to clean your dish, fork and cup.
“The more you know, the less you carry” Mors Kochanski
And just so we are clear, while the SOL and other cup systems are pretty much a boil and dump deal Jetboil does have a very capable everyday stove that has all there innovation and tricks, just in a little larger unit meant for real cooking, it’s called the Helios and it works VERY well. I have the Guide kit which is massive by Jans standards but is fine for a groups of 4, has a 2 liter and 3 liter pot, both have fin protectors and lids that double as kick butt high sided plates, you know you don’t want all that juice for your just grilled steak to go to waste! The entire system consisting of stove, 2L pot, 3L pot, 4 plates and slick wind screen all nest together neatly , very compact considering all that it contains, can even fit 8 Jetboil collapsible utensils inside, along with a few other small items., has really shrunk my group mess kit down in size.
When reading reviews be cautious, people are stupid and need to RTFM, I’ve seen a few reviews of people saying it won’t simmer. When in winter mode the canister is inverted making the expansion from liquid to gas take place near the stove vs in the canister, this is how most 4 season canisters attempt to work in the cold, the draw back is you do get reduced simmer control. But for warm weather you simply don’t do this, run the canister upright and it has excellent simmer control.
The pans(s) all have the neoprene cozy’s and fluxring bottoms. I don’t know what the stove itself weighs but I’m sure it’s close to a dragonfly, likely less when the weight of the white gas bottle is factored in and again, when a canister runs out crush it and pack it, when a white gas fuel containers runs out….. it’s the same size as it was when full. The cost has never bothers me, even a big trip I’ll use less than $10 in fuel and not having to mess around with filling bottles and dealing with bottle/pump maintenance is worth every Penny.
I really like my Jetboil but as others have said its mainly for getting hot water fast. Being breakfast out camping generally consists of Coffee and Oatmeal it works perfectly i can get enough water for my french press and oatmeal in about 3 min. I know they have a french press attachment for it but I prefer to just bring my french press to save on cleaning the stove pot. I also really like how small it packs down and everything fits inside of it. That being said I do generally bring my MSR Dragonfly with as well for any actual cooking.
I will be getting the ETA multifuel and the new for 2012 Omnilite Ti as stoves they in my opinion offer the best of compactness and multifuel also the eta pots work well with the built in heat exchanger.
We also have both the standard jetboil and the helios and we love them. I do agree that the standard jetboil is only good for boiling water (makes a quick coffee in the morning) but the Helios is what we use for all our meals and couldn't be happier. It all comes down to personal choice, my recommendation is to borrow some one else's system and see what you think before you buy.
quote TrebleHook: "We also have both the standard jetboil and the helios and we love them. "
It’s a pretty slick unit (the helios), the wind screen is super trick, nothing like having a gust of wind blow your make shift wind screen into a pot of food, not the case with the jetboil, and the fins keep the pots pretty well planted.