10 Best Camp Stoves | April 2017

We spent 30 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top choices for this wiki. Whether it's deep in the back country or just the back yard, you can enjoy hot food and drinks wherever you are with one of these camp stoves. Ranging from the ultra-portable to multi-burner models capable of preparing a true feast for the whole family, they're perfect for your next hiking or camping excursion. Use with caution, though -- some units can pose a safety hazard if handled incorrectly. Skip to the best camp stofe on Amazon.
10 Best Camp Stoves | April 2017
Overall Rank: 1
Best Mid-Range
★★★★★
Overall Rank: 5
Best High-End
★★★
Overall Rank: 7
Best Inexpensive
★★★
10
The compact Etekcity E-gear collapses for easy storage and has a bladed shield that protects it from the wind and also effectively eliminates side heat loss. It is compatible with both thread and lock-connector butane or butane-propane mixed fuel canisters.
  • retractable metal feet
  • electric spark ignition
  • burner head isn't very wide
Brand Etekcity
Model 679113375079
Weight 1.2 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
9
The GasOne GS-3000 is a powerful little burner that comes with a protective carrying case, so you don't have to worry about it getting dinged up outside. It's simple to operate and self-lighting, meaning you won't have to go searching for a lighter when you're hungry.
  • great for home power outages too
  • uses low-cost butane canisters
  • inconsistent flame intensity
Brand GasOne
Model GS-3000
Weight 4.4 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
8
The Camp Chef Explorer is too large and heavy for backpacking trips, but if you are going family camping at a site that has vehicle accessibility, it's a great choice that can easily handle the cooking demands of a large group.
  • low to high flame options
  • 448-square-inch cooking area
  • propane hookup is in an awkward spot
Brand Camp Chef
Model EX-60LW
Weight 33.8 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
7
The minimalist Esbit CS585HA stove and cook-set combination has volume indicators on the side of the pot for quickly measuring ingredients. It uses solid state fuel cubes, which are sold separately, and has a convenient wind-deflecting stand.
  • made from lightweight aluminum
  • handles fold flat against the pot
  • takes a long time to boil water
Brand Esbit
Model E-CS585HA
Weight 8 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
6
The Optimus Crux Weekend HE is a mid-range model that weighs just 305 grams, making it highly portable, and can boil a liter of water in just over two minutes. It comes with a hard-anodized aluminum pot and a frying pan that also doubles as a lid.
  • stove nests in pot for travel
  • burns for 90 minutes on 8 oz of fuel
  • hard to adjust flame level
Brand Optimus
Model 8016164
Weight 14.4 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
5
For hardcore backpackers who mostly need to boil water for their freeze-dried food, the Flash Personal Cooking System is the ideal solution. It boasts an adjustable stainless steel burner, a push-button start, and a color-change heat indicator, so you know when it's hot.
  • has an insulating cargo cozy
  • comes in a range of colors
  • only suitable for heating liquids
Brand Jetboil
Model Flash
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
4
Long respected by dedicated and recreational campers alike, the Coleman Bottle Top is a basic single-burner model that hooks right up to the company's ubiquitous green propane canisters. The accompanying base ensures that the unit is standing upright and stable.
  • accommodates 8-inch pans
  • great value for price
  • offers 9 hours of cooking on low
Brand Coleman
Model 2000020950NP
Weight 2.1 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0
3
Winner of a "gear of the year" award from Backpacker Magazine, the Solo Stove Titan is an eco-friendly unit that uses foraged twigs and leaves as fuel, so you never have to worry about running out of propane. The double-wall design produces clean, smokeless flames.
  • best choice for survivalists
  • nests inside the solo stove pot 1800
  • includes a nylon stuff sack
Brand Solo Stove
Model SST
Weight 1.6 pounds
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
2
The best-selling MSR PocketRocket is a palm-sized burner that weighs just 3.5 ounces, making it a great option for long hiking excursions. It doesn't require any priming, pressurizing, or maintenance, so it's always ready to go when you need it.
  • boils 1 liter of water in 4 minutes
  • large glove-friendly controls
  • good emergency kit addition
Brand MSR
Model 11792
Weight 7.2 ounces
Rating 4.0 / 5.0
1
The Coleman Classic is light enough to lug to most campsites, but large enough to heat two pots at once. Each burner can be controlled independently via large, user-friendly knobs, while the stove's durable steel construction stands up to intense conditions.
  • 11000 btus per burner
  • large windshields for anytime use
  • very fuel efficient
Brand Coleman
Model 2000020943NP
Weight 11.9 pounds
Rating 4.5 / 5.0

Buyer's Guide

Carry Your Cookery

Cooking at the campsite presents its fair share of challenges, not least of all is what you're going to cook for the bears. I hear they like salmon, but if you're hiking a long way into the site you're going to need to bring a cooler because bears are notoriously picky about the freshness of their fish. If you decide you'd rather not feed the bears there are certain things you can do to avoid your duty, but not to avoid the karma that follows.

Either way, I think we can all agree that it's much more enjoyable eating in the wilderness if you can get some heat under your meal. Cheese wedges, summer sausage, and gorp can only take you so far along the trails before you start to lose your mind.

Portability is the primary difference between the stoves on this list and the stoves in your home. These ranges and pots all get up and get going with you wherever you want to take them, though a few of them are more suited for the hiking trail, while others are truly designed for family camping out of a car, trailer, or RV.

The stoves on our list all allow you to get cooking in the wild by either using a connected gas tank filled with butane or a butane/propane mixture, or by using foraged materials like leaves and twigs.

Whatever fuel you end up using, all of the stoves here let you heat up liquids, which can mean fresh, safe water should you run out of purification measures, as well as the ability to rehydrate and cook freeze-dried camping meals that are tremendously easy to pack and lightweight in the bag.

What Do You Want To Eat?

I've always been an occasional camper, but when I go, I go hard. We're talking 12 to 15-mile hikes in the day, setting up shop in bad weather and worse locations, etc. Before I hit the long trails, I usually need to upgrade my gear pretty significantly, but a good stove will last a lifetime. I've had my camping stove for about a dozen years and I've done just about everything to it that should stop if from working short of dropping it off a cliff, and it still keeps kicking.

Considering how durable the stoves on our list are likely to prove, it behooves you to make a selection that will serve the bulk of your camping needs, since it's the one you're going to have at your disposal for so long. Of course, if your needs are diverse enough you may find that you need more than one of the stoves on our list.

All of the smaller stoves you see are great for trail hiking, camping wherever you end up when the sun starts to set. They're small enough to fit in most packs comfortably, and their fuel usage is considerate enough to keep your canister count at a minimum. A few of them are pot-only models that don't allow you to get very creative beyond heating water for soup or sanitation and for making pre-made freeze-dried camping foods. These are fine if you're not the most creative cook, or if your packs are so laden with other supplies than food that you need to conserve weight and space, two things the freeze-dried stuff does really well.

Other models work the same way that the range in your kitchen works, creating a small stage above the flame upon which you can place a pot, or a pan, or anything you like. These tend to take up a little more room in your pack, and a few of them are built with full stands and dual burners. These are clearly intended for less intense camping, as they're too heavy and bulky to pack for a hike.

Ask yourself exactly where you're going, how you're going to get there, and what you want to cook when you arrive, and you should get a pretty clear sense of one or two great options on our list.

Fine French Cuisine

I don't know if there's a single piece of camping gear in the world that didn't originate as a military technology. Everything from the tent to the trekking pole came from the mind of some soldier or military-commissioned inventor, and the camping stove is no different.

In the late 1920s, a French industrial engineer named Jue Lefare pitched the idea for a portable gas stove to the French Army, and began in earnest to create a viable prototype. By 1932, he had his cooker complete. The design had a troubled start, however, as its first true test faced the German's advance on the French countryside in May 1940.

After the war, especially as the baby boomer generation came of age in the US, active interest in camping and other outdoor activities exploded. It was around this time that we saw the invention of a tent made from synthetic materials, as well as things like mountain bikes and other tools for exploring the wild. Right there along with them burned the flame of the portable camping stove.



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Last updated on April 23 2017 by Chase Brush

Chase is a freelance journalist with experience working in the areas of politics and public policy. Currently based in Brooklyn, NY, he is also a hopeless itinerant continually awaiting his next Great Escape.