MSR PocketRocket Deluxe Stove vs. PocketRocket 2

The MSR PocketRocket® stoves have been favorites among backpackers for more than a decade. These ultralight and compact stoves are trusted for their ease of use and rock-solid reliability—making them a solid choice for elite adventurers and first-timers alike.

The original and now-iconic PocketRocket model quickly became MSR’s bestselling stove. Seeking to refine it further, MSR engineers designed the PocketRocket 2—an even smaller and lighter high-performance stove that keeps travelers cooking fast and moving fast in the backcountry.

The most recent addition to the PocketRocket family, the PocketRocket Deluxe, is a highly equipped micro-stove that is packed with big-stove features.

msr pocketrocket 2 vs. deluxe stovesLet’s look at the key features of the PocketRocket 2 and the newer PocketRocket Deluxe.

How are the MSR’s PocketRocket Deluxe and PocketRocket 2 stoves similar?

  • Ultralight
  • Fast-boiling
  • Incredibly compact
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Simmer control
  • Folding pot supports

It wouldn’t be a PocketRocket stove if it wasn’t small and light.

But packed into those tiny frames is a ton of power. Despite their size, these stoves crank out fast boil times. They clock a liter of boiling water in 3.5 minutes or less. In fact, at room temperature with no environmental factors, they’re as fast or faster than some system stoves!

All PocketRocket stoves share a similar stainless steel design with folding pot supports that allow them to shrink down for efficient nesting inside other gear.

They also offer simmering capabilities, expanding your menu options in the backcountry.

Finally, with simplicity as a hallmark, PocketRocket stoves require no maintenance and no fuss to use, making them ideal whether you’re striking out for two days or two months into the wilderness.

What’s the difference between MSR’s PocketRocket Deluxe and PocketRocket 2 stoves?

Rather than iterations of each other, the PR2 and PR Deluxe are siblings with unique feature sets. Let’s boil (ba-dum-tss) them down to help you choose which stove is right for you.

pocketrocket 2

PocketRocket 2

  • Weight: MSR’s lightest stove at 73 g (2.6 oz)
  • Boil time: 3 min 30 sec
  • Design: Minimalist and utilitarian; MSR’s smallest stove
  • Fits in: Titan Mug
  • Best for: Absolute minimal pack weight when traveling in favorable weather conditions and/or you want our most affordable stove

The PocketRocket 2 is a no-frills solution for adventurers with a fast-and-light style. If counting grams is priority number one and your trips tend to have more favorable weather conditions (think: warm weather, little wind), this is your Rocket.

backpacking with pocketrocket 2

With its smart ease of use, the PocketRocket 2 is also a surefire stove if you’re seeking MSR’s quality and durability at a great price. It’s a tried-and-true piece of high-quality gear.

PocketRocket Deluxe

  • Weight: Ultralight at 83 g (2.9 oz)
  • Boil Time: 3 min 20 sec
  • Design:
    • Pressure regulator for consistently fast boil times
    • Built-in Piezo push-start ignition
    • Broad burner head with wind lip
  • Fits in: Pika Teapot
  • Best for: Ultralight travel during a wide range of seasonal conditions, including colder conditions

Small but mighty, the PocketRocket Deluxe is a grand slam. This latest PocketRocket is packed with premium features you’d typically find in stoves twice its size—and for hardly a few grams more than the PocketRocket 2.

pressure regulator for pocketrocket deluxe
Photo by Scott Rinckenberger

Pressure Regulator

The most significant of these features is the Deluxe’s built-in pressure regulator. This component is one of the secret sauces behind our two bigger powerhouses, the WindBurner and Reactor system stoves. A pressure regulator ensures the stove delivers consistently fast boil times across a range of conditions. The regulator’s job is to minimize the detrimental impacts that environmental factors like cold temperatures have on a stove, keeping the flame burning strong through it all.

Unregulated canister stoves often suffer when the temperatures drop and/or you have low fuel in your canister.

But a well-designed pressure regulator helps the stove manage those adverse factors so that you experience more consistently fast boil times. This means that on warm days, colder evenings and everything in between, you’ll enjoy a fast, hot meal.

In other words, the pressure regulator takes the PocketRocket Deluxe to the next level of performance.

PocketRocket Deluxe with push start ignition
Photo by Scott Rinckenberger

Push-start Ignition

With its built-in piezo lighter, a simple push of a button fires up the PocketRocket Deluxe.

In the past, MSR shied away from using push-start igniters because they can present a weak point on a stove. But after a great deal of testing, we developed one we could proudly stand behind.

To ensure its durability, we routed the wire up through the stove body so there’s nothing hanging on the exterior of the stove that could catch. In addition, the electrode igniter is set deep within the burner cup for maximum protection.

We’re confident this piezo will hold up to the reputation and long-term durability of the PocketRocket name. (Of course, we’d be remiss to not advise that you always carry the Ten Essentials, including a lighter and/or matches.)

packing pocketrocket deluxe
Photo by Scott Rinckenberger

Broad Burner

The Deluxe’s broader burner is new for the PocketRocket line. The wider diameter spreads the flame’s focus, making it easier to cook real food without scorching rather than just boiling water. The burner’s lip also increases wind resistance, boosting the stove’s efficiency.

compact backpacking stove and cookware
Photo by Scott Rinckenberger

Ultralight & Easy to Pack

It’s hard to imagine that for the weight of just two nickels more than the PocketRocket 2, you get these bonus features in the PocketRocket Deluxe. It’s no surprise that this micro-stove has become a staff favorite.

Still, each PocketRocket has its place in the lineup. Depending on your priorities, either one makes an excellent stove for your ambitious fast-and-light or simple weekend escape adventures.

MSR stove kits comparison

All three PocketRocket stoves are also available in stove kits, bundled with a pot and cup.

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Updated. Originally Published May 6, 2019.

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