All canister stoves suffer a performance drop in cold weather. The colder the fuel, the lower the vapor pressure, and the lower the burner output. As far as the fuel, the
output pressure in any canister stove is governed by the temperature of the gas inside the
canister. As temperature drops, so does
pressure. The result can be noticeably longer boil times and difficulty lighting the burner with the built-in piezoelectric ignitor. Jetpower’s lower firing rate reduces canister cooling and increases performance. Jetpower fuel, with propane, helps to mitigate cold weather problems.
When temperatures drop below
freezing, canisters typically need to be kept warm in a coat pocket or sleeping
bag so they’re ready to use. We suggest that you keep the canister in a warm pocket between uses and remove it immediately prior to heating your food. Insulating
the canister by not setting it on a cold surface also helps. We have had mountaineers use Jetboil stoves up to 8,000 m
(26,000 ft.) on Mt. Everest and love them.
The pressure in the canister is directly proportional to ambient temperature and as the
canister gets colder, the pressure drops and therefore the heat output from the
burner drops. However, by keeping the
canister warm before use, it is possible to use the stove with reasonable
performance even when the ambient temperatures are at and below 0
Placing the canister on or
in a small piece of foam to keep it insulated from snow will also help. Altitude in itself is not so much of a
problem: the pressure difference between
the canister and the environment is also greater for any given temperature, so
the effective gas flow rate is higher even when the canister is cold. The reduced oxygen causes the burner to burn
richer, which is also helpful in the cold.
Finally we do suggest that you always carry an extra canister and keep it warm to swap out with a cold one when necessary and always carry matches or lighter as a backup.
If you are looking to use your cooking system in temperatures colder than 45 degrees Fahrenheit, please check out our Sol and Sumo cooking systems. These systems feature our advanced Jetboil Regulator Technology to deliver consistent heat output down to 20° F (-6° C).