Well-loved hiking stove brand Jetboil has a new, packable car camping stove, the Jetboil Genesis. We took it for a burn.

For many of us, our introduction to the Great Outdoors is through the simple pleasures of car camping.  Whether at the beach, by a river, or just somewhere in the bush, car camping is the simple, accessible, and affordable way to ‘get away from it all’ and in touch with nature.

My love affair with camping began this way when I was still in nappies, just starting to walk and prone to causing mischief with handfuls of sand* – well, so says my mother! Summer holidays were spent on the coast – not in hotels.

As a child of the 80s, car camping back then meant canvas tents and tarps, rubber sleeping lilos that doubled as watercraft, oiled-cotton jackets, solar showers, gas-powered lamps and folding aluminum picnic tables that would collapse at random.

Suffice to say, camping gear has moved on rather considerably since then. Everything is better, lighter, more powerful, more waterproof, more efficient, more compact.

Well, with one exception – the humble camping stove.

Camping Stove Innovation Has Been Stagnant for Years

Ours was already older than me, the classic two-burner design that folded up into a yellow mass of metal the size of a briefcase. But much heavier.

Reliable? Sure. Compact though? Hardly! Oh, and don’t forget the big LPG cylinder to fuel it too. It’s no wonder every camping trip involved an hour-long game of Tetris to fit everything (and ourselves) into the confines of the family 4WD.

The funny thing is, I still see the exact same car camping stove designs being sold today. Nothing’s changed!

Contrast that lack of change with their hiking stove cousins, which have been continually evolving as manufacturers added features and improved efficiency, while shaving off excess grams into the pint-sized, tightly integrated cooking systems we now use and love today.


Hiking stove packability has finally come to camp stoves


Given the folks at Jetboil have been major contributors in that continued hiking stove evolution, it’s no surprise then some clever boffin there looked at a car camping stove and finally said ‘Hey, we can do better!’.

Compact Car Camping

It’s uncanny, but that clever boffin likely had us in mind when designing the Jetboil Genesis Stove.

My partner and I often car-camp at trailheads the night before, to ensure an early start on our bushwalking adventures. To keep things simple and efficient, we usually end up sleeping in our car, which is a small SUV. As you can imagine, loaded up with a foam mattress, two multiday packs, afterbags of fresh clothes and a couple of camping chairs stuffed in there, there’s not a lot of free space left for our camp kitchen.

Sure, we could just use our Jetboil hiking stoves to handle dinner, breakfast, and coffee duties. But they’re usually buried deep within our backpacks, with only the necessary fuel required for our trip. Faffing around with cleaning and repacking on the morning of a big trip isn’t my idea of fun. Especially when the whole point is getting on the trail at first light.

And while hiking stoves are fantastic at doing all the things we need hiking stoves to do – boil water and heat up one-pot meals – they do struggle with being the one thing they’re designed not to be – being big enough to cook bigger meals!

Maybe it’s just me, but there’s also much to be said for the simple joys of a proper dinner and cooked breakfast before commencing a week long diet of dehydrated dinners and instant oats.

Enter the Jetboil Genesis

How’s the Jetboil Genesis different to your run-of-the-mill camping stove? Well it’s an integrated system, one that combines the classic two-burner configuration with a 5L pot and full size frying pan that all nest together as tightly as Jetboil’s hiking stoves – plus a few unique twists.

Features We Love

  • It’s incredibly compact! Perfect for smaller cars, boats and kayaks
  • Two high power (10,000BTU) gas burners – that also can be turned down all the way to a gentle simmer
  • 5L Pot with FluxRing technology to prevent heat loss and strainer lid for super fast boil times
  • 26cm ceramic coated frying pan
  • Easy-to-use integrated piezo igniters (Forget the matches again? No problem!)
  • Cooking for multiple people or tackling elaborate meals is a breeze
  • Did we mention it’s incredibly compact?! 

Unzipping the padded 25cm x 28cm case reveals the full-sized frying pan, with folding handles and an easy-clean, non-stick ceramic coating – perfect for grilling meats or frying eggs.


Non-stick frying pan included, how good!


Immediately underneath sits the strainer lid for the 5L FluxPot, which is great for draining pasta, while improving boil times and overall efficiency.

Speaking of efficiency, the FluxPot features the same FluxRing technology used on Jetboil hiking stoves. This heat exchanger design ensures the burner’s output is captured by the base of the pot, speeding up cooking while saving gas.

Nestled within the FluxPot itself, the Genesis Stove itself is lifted out with a convenient handle, revealing the unique hinged design that enables the spacious cooktop to fit within the confines of the Pot. Releasing the two rubber straps allows the Genesis to unfold into a broad work surface with plenty of room to cook with both burners at once. Nothing cramped or compromised about it.


A pocket in the top of the case stores the fuel regulator. The Jetboil Genesis Stove uses readily available and affordable 460g propane canisters for economical, long burn times without much extra weight or bulk.

The padded case also hides a simple but ingenious plastic wind guard to stop blowing wind slowing you down.

In use, the Genesis Stove is as simple and straightforward as using your cookstop at home. Each burner has a dedicated piezo igniter (this is actually better than my stove at home) and the FluxPot’s base locks securely into the stove’s grating.


The Jetboil Genesis Stove Redefines What a Car Camping Stove Can Be (and Do!), ben wells, genesis cooking stove

No lighter required


The stove controls are particularly worthy of praise. Unlike so many stoves, the Jetboil Genesis’ valves allow for fine linear adjustment of each burner’s output. Fully cranked, they’ll happily sear a steak, fry veggies or boil a litre of water (in a little over three minutes in the FluxPot). Backed off, gentle reheating of soups, stews or curries is a doddle, without burning or the need for constant readjustment.

Communal Cooking and Beyond

The Jetboil Genesis is squarely aimed at the car camping market, but being such a compact and versatile camp kitchen system, other users will invariably be drawn to it too.

It’s a bit big and heavy for typical backpacking use, but for group based camping situations – like rock climbing or fishing trips – where you’re setting up in a given area and have plenty of mouths to feed (and share the load to carry in) its bulk could be justified.


The Jetboil Genesis Stove Redefines What a Car Camping Stove Can Be (and Do!), ben wells, genesis cooking stove

Two beasty burners allow for a proper cookup, and the included windguard keeps things efficient


Another perfect environment for the Jetboil Genesis is kayaking, canoeing and boating. The Genesis Stove wouldn’t struggle to find room in the hull of an expedition kayak. In recent years a few of my friends have been kayaking across lakes in Tasmania’s south-west wilderness and setting up onshore base camps to better access some of the more remote peaks.

Not only would the Genesis Stove be a much more versatile and efficient cooking system than a bunch of individual hiking stoves on such trips, but it also allows for true communal cooking too. Enjoying great food is a huge part of the camping experience – cooking and sharing great food with your mates only enriches everyone’s time in the Great Outdoors.

Read more: Check out our Eat & Drink category for camp cooking inspiration!


The Jetboil Genesis Stove Redefines What a Car Camping Stove Can Be (and Do!), ben wells, genesis cooking stove

The included FluxPot is perfect for anything from boiling water to preparing a stir fry

The Camping Kitchen Reimagined

The Jetboil Genesis Stove brings the humble car camping stove out of the 1980s and firmly into the 21st Century. The combination of powerful burners and a full pot-and-pan set that can fit almost anywhere means gourmet quality meals on your next camping trip are easier than ever.

The Jetboil Genesis Camping Stove is now available in Australia – get yours at your local outdoor store.


* My father’s portable radio/cassette player never played a cassette again, I’m told. I have no recollection of the event, Your Honour…