Jetboil Zip ReviewI was on the fence about this purchase. I picked one of these up at an REI membership sales event. Generally, my criteria for buying gear revolves around the functionality and durability. I didn’t have many concerns about the durability of the Jetboil Zip (more about that later) but I was really struggling with the functionality of it. I ultimately bought it for when I go SCUBA diving. At many dive sites do not have access to hot or boiling water. Primarily, I’m a coffee snob and travel with an Aeropress. My initial thought was I would be able to boil water and make good coffee to enjoy in between dives. I’ve found that during colder dives I can heat up some water with the Jetboil, dump it on my wetsuit and it helps warm things up before I hop in the water. I’ve started throwing the JetBoil in the truck when I go skiing and have expanded its usage out to other activities,(mostly so I can make coffee). Until recently, outside of boiling water it wasn’t very useful. I recently picked up an attachment for it that allows for the use of a standard pot or pan. Until I got this attachment the only thing I could put over the burner was the Jetboil cooking cup that attached directly to the burner. The attachment is also made by Jetboil and attaches the same way the cooking cup does.
I’ve been camping and adventuring for well over 20 years. I’ve used a wide variety of stoves, both in terms of brand and style. In that time I’ve never managed to melt a stove. I’ve managed to set picnic tables on fire with poorly primed white gas stoves but that didn’t negatively impact the stove. The Jetboil has a pice of plastic around the burner and I’m not sure how this happened other than it was very windy but that piece of plastic melted. The burner still works but due to the plastic melting it no longer breaks down to fit back in cooking cup. I reached out to Jetboil, explained the situation and was told I could purchase a new burner for $50 minus a few bucks that basically covered the shipping. I was disappointed in this outcome and it has made me look at other stove brands. Durability is a major criteria for me and this stove does have the durability I would expect from a product like this.
Water boils really fast in this thing and I like how compact it can get but due to the low functionality and what I perceived as poor customer service and craftsmanship I would not recommend this product to my friends. A stove should be able to withstand heat, it makes a hot flame that you can cook with and it should be able to do this without melting. My experience is that this stove critically fails (maybe I got a lemon 🤷🏼♂️), since I’m not sure why the plastic melted I’m not going to be using it anymore because the stove broke during the operation it was intended for. I have no guarantee it won’t have further critical failure and the response I received from Jetboil didn’t give me any extra confidence in their product. If I could do it over again I would pass on this purchase and go with a different product.