It’s late; you are just finishing up a long day on the trail. Maybe you are arriving back at basecamp after an 18-hour summit push. You are exhausted, maybe hot, maybe cold, but definitely starving. So you need something to cook up that delicious Mountain House dinner on. Enter the MightyMo, by Jetboil. If you are looking for a compact, lightweight canister stove, then read on. The Jetboil MightyMo just might be what you are looking for.
What is it?
The Jetboil MightyMo is a lightweight, ultra-compact canister stove that weighs in at just 3.3 oz. and only costs around 50 dollars.
“So what?” You might ask. At its weight and price point, it fits comfortably among other canister stoves, but really does nothing special to stand out. Its features, however, are what set the MightyMo apart from the competition.
This is the first canister stove by Jetboil that was not part of an “integrated system.” Integrated canister stove systems come with a single pot that connects to the stove, and no other pots or pans can be used with the stove. By contrast, the MightyMo is compatible with virtually any pot or pan that will fit on its burner.
Most canister stoves have two heat settings: wide open, and off. For this reason, they have historically been relegated to the job of boiling water for freeze-dried meals; a task they excelled at. This is also the reason that having a single compatible pot wasn’t much of an issue, as you would only be using the stove to do one thing.
Historically, the two main complaints against canister stoves were: 1. There was no way to simmer or cook anything on low, and 2. Cannister stoves lost pressure and heat in cold weather and at high elevations. The MightyMo fixes both of these problems by allowing you to adjust the heat of its flame. With a maximum of 10,000 BTU, the MightyMo boils a litre of water in about three minutes, making it extremely competitive at that task. What sets it apart though, is that you can turn that flame up or down, depending on your needs. This means that you can scale it back if you are a backcountry gourmet who needs to simmer a bit of sauce, or make sure you don’t burn your pancakes. It also means you can crank up the pressure to use this stove in cold weather and at higher altitudes. Jetboil claims consistent performance down to 20 degrees Fahrenheit, and we can verify this down to just below freezing, as that is the coldest temperatures that we have tested it in so far.
The arms that fold away for a tiny packed stove fold out to offer a fairly solid stovetop. It is still a small surface though; so don’t expect to just throw a full sized skillet on there without extremely careful balancing and placement. It also comes with a foldable tripod base to sit your canister on. This is a nice feature, but some ultra lightweight backpackers will leave it behind, not feeling that it offers enough added stability to warrant the extra half an ounce in their pack. Personally, we use the GSI Halulite Microdualist Cookset, and there is enough room for the stove, tripod, and fuel canister to pack away inside it, so bringing it along is totally worth it for us.
So far, things have been pretty rosy when it comes to my feelings toward the MightyMo. And overall, I do feel pretty rosy toward it. That all comes with one big caveat.
If you are familiar with the MightyMo, you are probably wondering why I never mentioned its piezo lighter, which Jetboil describes as a “convenient, reliable push-button lighter.” The reason I did not include it as a feature? I don’t consider it one. Period. Piezo lighters are known for being unreliable, and the one included on this stove is no exception, whatever Jetboil may claim. Virtually all of the negative reviews I found for this stove were aimed not at the stove itself, but at the push button piezo lighter. It failed us on our third weekend long trip, and it will fail on you too: maybe on your first use, maybe after a year, but it will fail, and probably nearer your first use than one after year.
For us, this is not a deal breaker. Many of the MightyMo’s competitors don’t even offer a starter. Instead, they simply rely on being lit with a match or an external lighter, which is how stoves have traditionally been lit. I honestly don’t understand why Jetboil did not go this route with the MightyMo, as it would have eliminated virtually all of the complaints about the stove, and saved a half of an ounce to boot. So if having an auto-igniter is a must, then don’t buy this stove, it isn’t auto-igniting, and shouldn’t claim to be.
Overall, I love the Jetboil MightyMo. I don’t really care that it is not an auto-igniter stove. I just carry a lighter and matches, which you should always carry in the backcountry anyway, and light it manually. In my mind, this is a small tradeoff for a great little stove that offers big features. I highly recommend the MightyMo for anyone looking for a lightweight, ultra compact stove with excellent simmer control and high performance in cold weather and at high altitude. Just don’t expect an auto-igniter.