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January 19, 2018 Comments (0) Hiking

Jetboil Zip vs Flash: Which one is right for you?

jetboil zip vs flash

Leave those dry, dehydrated camping meals at home! When you have an excellent camp stove, there is no reason to go hungry. One of the more popular manufacturers of camping stoves would be Jetboil; and two models by the distributor are held in high regard: the Flash and the Zip. Though these two stoves have the same use and look more or less the same on first glance, both also have a fair share of differences.

So which one is correct for you? This article is going to help you figure that out.​ 

Quick Comparison:

Jetboil Flash

Jetboil Zip

Best Usages

For groups and lengthier trips

Minimalists and single travelers

Camping out


Quick, convenient set-up

Convenience and simple set-up

Size & Weight

1 Liter Tall / 14 oz (400g)

0.8 Liters Tall / 12 oz (340g)


Does not require a lighter (push-button ignition)

Lightweight and compact

Color-changing heat indicator

Easy to set up and pack

Easy to set up and pack

Spill prevention clip

Heat regulation valve


Spill prevention clip

Measurement markings

Convenient for large hiking groups

Insulated pocket for storing utensils

Insulated pocket for storing utensils

Quick boil time at 10,000' elevation (1 minutes, 44 seconds)


Push-button igniter sometimes requires troubleshooting

Requires a lighter to ignite

No inside measurement markings (only available at the MAX FILL line)

Boil over risk

Not ideal for backpackers/minimalists

Heat regulation knob isn't reliable

Lower fill capacity

Size Matters

When it comes to the size differences between the Jetboil Flash and Zip, to the naked eye, it is quite subtle. The Jetboil Zip is a minimalist design that caters to the backpacker in all of us and only holds about 0.8 liters of fluid. If you try to boil up enough warm water for two people, you can expect there to be some boil over issues. On the other hand, the Jetboil Flash is best made for serving a group. At 1 liter, the Flash holds much more fluid, and you don't have to worry about encountering overflow problems.

For weight, the Zip weighs a pleasant 3.5 ounces less than than Flash. A hiker who wants a backpack that is as light as possible will find that the Zip is a much friendlier decision; but if you have a number of people with you, that extra 3.5 ounces isn't going to be much of a burden—especially when the group can split up the load of camping gear between themselves.​


Both products look the same, as mentioned earlier. The two share the same drink lids, measuring cups, fuel compatibility limits and canister stabilizers. The Zip does feature measuring lines inside the container, but that is simply to save your from overflow when boiling.

The greatest difference of these two camping stoves has to do with ignition and how well said ignition systems actually work. The Jetboil Zip is much more simple: it only needs a match. Naturally, the minimalist will find this reasonable. Someone who doesn't want to have to remember matches might find this inconceivable. And if you're stuck in a windy environment, there will be no way to keep the Zip lit.

The advantage to the Zip's match ignition is that you don't have to worry about an advanced technology system backfiring on you.​

Such is the case of the Jetboil Flash. Many campers will soon find that even though the Jetboil Flash has a nifty push-button igniter, they still need to bring a lighter with them. Yet, do note that the push-button igniter issue is usually the result of wear and tear from extended use. When the igniter is operating optimally, though, not only does it take one to two clicks to be done, the fire usually will withstand the elements too.​

But when talking about functionality, the heat regulation valves can't be overlooked. Neither the Flash nor the Zip have very effective methods for controlling the internal temperature of the container. That doesn't mean the heat regulators are the same.

The Zip's nob is awkward, made of plastic, and located close to the heat, making it a clumsy piece to handle. On the other hand, the Flash has a metal valve that flips out from the stove. The distance from the heat source is decent, limiting the chances of burning yourself.​

Boiling Test

The Jetboil Flash is reported to boil within 2 to 2.5 minutes, and the Jetboil Zip can boil water within 2.5 to 3 minutes. The time difference is often attributed to another feature included on the Flash camping stove—the color changing indicator.

Both stoves, though, are much faster than other models on the market. The inclusion of FluxRing technology and an insulated container systems means that 16 oz (0.47 L) of water can be transformed into tea within minutes.

Color Change Indicator

One of the advantages of the Jetboil Flash is the “Color Change Indicator.” The Zip is too small to utilize this technology. No, the color changing indicator isn't some gimmick. This tiny strip alongside the Flash will change from gray to yellow as the liquid inside the stove reaches a temperature for coffee, tea, or soup. Because of this indicator, you will realize the water is hot faster, shut off the stove faster, and thus save more time and fuel in the long run.​


The winner: Jetboil Flash. When you are searching for a reliable cooking system for hiking, the Jetboil Flash is the bargain. The camping stove is not much more than the minimalist model, nor does the extra 3.5 ounces really matter when you think about the increase functionality, safety, and ease of use.

You also have to consider that the push-button ignition may fail in the future. That said, solo backpackers will find the durability of the Zip to be wonderful -- and so the end result truly comes down to how many you’re camping with and if you want the extra features! Both stoves are excellent choices, no matter which one you decide on.

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