Updated: May 29, 2015

Camping Stove Reviews:

Camping stoves are split into two main categories - car camping and those used in backpacking excursions. When it comes to regular car camping in campgrounds, a heavier duty stove is ok since you won't have to carry in on a trail while backpacking. Two-burner propane camping stoves are the preferred choice over the older white gas camp stoves. The pressurized butane and propane camping stoves are rated the easiest to use which is what we are looking for in convenience. For the hardier backpackers among us, a lightweight, single burner stove is what ranks as the #1 priority. Backpackers need stoves that work in cold weather, windy areas, and at high altitudes. Stove manufacturers measure their performance in terms of "boiling time". The boil time is usually done on 1 quart of water using the "recommended" fuel for that stove. They range from 2 1/2 minutes to 10 minutes (at sea level). Look for a mid-range stove with 3 to 5 minute boil times. The higher up in altitude you go, the longer it takes to boil water so if you plan on backpacking high up in the mountains, look for a stove that is rated favorable for those conditions.
camping stove


Stove efficiency is another factor to consider when buying a camping stove. Efficiency is measured by how long the stove can run at full throttle on a fuel tank. Most experts agree this can be a misleading # to look at, but you would prefer a stove that can run for about 10 minutes on 1 oz of fuel. Backpackers who want to maximize their supplies but limit weight should assume that 4 oz of fuel will be needed each day to cook 3 meals. There are many options in camping stoves and some make more sense than others. A double burner stove has 2 burners that can be run separately or together and at different temperatures. When you are camping with a group or just doing regular car camping with your family, a 2 burner camping stove is the way to go. The push button ignitions on some stoves are definitely convenient, but over time the mechanism tends to break, so make sure you have matches or a lighter to get your stove up and running just in case. Having a windscreen attached to your camp stove can be critical on windy days. Keeping your flame lit or even getting it to light is nearly impossible when the winds start to howl, so a windscreen can be a lifesaver. You'll want to store your stove in a case or stuff sack so that all the parts stay together. Experts all agree that you should never cook inside a tent or an enclosed shelter since it can be very dangerous. Some of the top camping stove brands are Primus, Peak I, Optimus, Brunton, Coleman, Mountain Safety Research (MSR), and Century. You should be looking for a stove that lights easy, carries well, can hold specific types of pots or pans without wobbling, and work well in windy or cold conditions. We have tried to break down camping stoves into various categories below so that you can quickly find one that fits your needs. We found excellent camping stove reviews on Trailspace.com, Backpacking.net, Rockandice.com, and Amazon.com. Prices range from $40 to $400 for camp stoves and those used in backpacking. You can browse the most popular camping stoves online here.

Best Camping Stove:

When it comes to camping outdoors, not all of us want the conveniences of home right by our side. The Century Deluxe Stainless Steel 2-Burner Stove ($75) is certainly not as high end a stove as the Brunton listed below, but it will do sufficient cooking when you are camping. The stainless steel and aluminum casing is rust-proof and it easily lights with a push button ignition with its piezo ignition system. The two large burners give off 12,000 BTUs each and the lid and side panels provide a natural windscreen so that wind is not a problem. It weights a little over 12 pounds and runs on either disposable propane cylinders or refillable propane tanks. Owners say they like the fact you can use griddles and skillets on this stoves since the 2 burners are far enough apart. You can find this stove online at Rei or Amazon. In terms of budget camp stoves, Coleman stoves are still bought all the time and reviews show that their quality standards have improved in recent years. RECOMMENDED - The Coleman Two-Burner Propane Stove or the Coleman 2 Burner Dual Fuel Premium Compact Liquid Fuel Stove. For basic needs around a campsite, the Coleman stoves do the job just fine and help you create simple meals for the entire group.

High End Camping Stove:

Anyone who wants to be a gourmet cook at the campsite should consider the Brunton Wind River Range ($400). The Wind River Range is a luxury camp stove that was built for the outdoors. The dual burner stove has 15,000 BTU per burner and boil time can be as fast as 3 minutes with a burn time of up to 1 1/2 hours. Although the stove is heavy at 23 lbs, it folds up nicely and stores compactly. Comes with a removable burner plate for easy cleaning and the stainless steel and aluminum constructions makes this camping stove very durable (hence the lifetime warranty). The grates can handle large or small pots and there is even a storage area under the cutting board. Other features include a towel/utensil rack, 10" canister hose adapter, regulator hose, and windscreens. The Brunton camping stove is compatible with disposable propane canisters or refillable propane tanks. This stove recently won a Editor's Choice award from Camping Life Magazine as "best new camp stove". Editor Stuart Bourdon refers to the Brunton Wind River Range as "Porsche" of stoves in this category. You can find more details on the Brunton stoves at Brunton.com. Another excellent option at less than $250 is the Camp Chef Professional Series Deluxe Universal Output Triple Burner which features 3 cast burners, 90,000 total BTU/hr, and even heat distribution so you can cook up all sorts of delicious foods.

Best Backpacking Stove:

The MSR WindPro II Stove ($100) clearly stands out as the top rated backpacking stove we could find. It's the lightest remote canister stove on the market at 6.8 oz. The WindPro stove gets excellent ratings for high altitude cooking and it supports large cook pots. If wind is a factor then the MSR WindPro backpacking stove will perform flawlessly with a windscreen and heat reflector to get your food cooking. Owners say it cooks perfectly as the heat is distributed evenly on the burner. Reviewers also note that the flame can be adjusted from a "steady simmer to a full boil and the 12 inch long fuel line keeps the control valve away from the flame". One user even describes the stove as a "flame thrower" that is both "lightweight and compact". The overall features that the WindPro offers along with the reputable history of MSR products, it's no wonder this backpacking stove is ranked #1. The lifetime warranty tells you that MSR stands by its product 100%. The MSR website has all their stoves listed with descriptions, pictures, and a great stove comparison chart with tips on using the stoves. You can also download an instruction manual and get tech support at Msrcorp.com.

Lightweight Backpacking Stove:

The Jetboil Personal Cooking System ($100) wins out for best lightweight backpacking stove. Many of the user reviews we read noted that they either looked at the MSR WhisperLite International or previously owned one and said the JetBoil does a better job. The Jetboil is a compressed fuel canister stove that weighs in at 15 oz and has a 1 liter volume. Boil time is 2 minutes based on 2 cups of liquid. Some owners say it has trouble in temperatures 20 degrees or cooler, but for a lightweight stove it works wonders. Fuel efficiency is what sets this stove apart from say the Snow Peak GigaPower which takes longer to boil water. Backpackers say the Jetboil stove is compact, simple to use, and lighter than almost all other competitors. RECOMMENDED - The MSR Whisperlite International Liquid-Fuel Stove is top rated as well and slighltly less expensive than the Jetboil. See all the popular MSR backpacking stoves here.

High Elevation Backpacking Stove:

Primus stoves are definitely made for high altitude use and one of their top selling stoves is called the Primus Himalaya Omni-Fuel Stove ($110). This stove is designed for use at high elevations such as in the Himalayas (where Mt Everest is located). It burns almost any fuel - gas canisters/cartridges with a butane-propane mix, white gas, auto petrol/auto gas, diesel, kerosene/ paraffin and jet fuel. The pre-heating system will save you fuel and minimize the priming time. The built-in windscreen and heat reflector improve heating efficiency. Has an 8000 BTU rating and weighs in at 14.4 oz and the 3 arms form a nice pot platform about 6 inches in diameter. The Primus high elevation stove has been around for a few years but nothing has come along since to knock it off the top ranking. Browse the top selling Primus stoves here.