With spring in the air and summer right around the corner, it’s time to start planning this year’s camping expeditions. Finding the best camp stove for you shouldn’t be a painful process, but it may not come easy!
Truth is, there are a lot of solid options out there! If you’re living in the Southwest (like myself), you might even want to consider more than one camp stove, depending on the type of camping you’re doing.
Before you hit your local REI or scour the internet for the best camp stove for your outdoor activities & pursuits, here are a couple things you might want to consider-
- What type of a trip is this? Backpacking? Car camping? Other?
- How many heads do you have to feed?
- Type of Fuel
- Additional Features
To make things easier, I’ve listed the best camp stoves under two categories:
- backpacking, and
- car camping.
Key things to consider:
- trekking or trip distance,
- number of people to feed,
- type of fuel,
- additional features.
Weight: 2.07 lbs
Power: Boils 4.25 cups of water in 4.5 mins
Additional Features: LED dashboard, onboard battery, USB charger, internal fan jets
At only 2.1 lbs this stove is great for a backpacking trek of any distance. While it takes up a little more room in your bag, it’s worth every inch of space.
This stove wins with its additional features. Not only does it double as a portable charger complete with USB outlets so you can charge your devices as you cook, but it holds the charge so you can use battery after the flame goes out.
As one of the more eco-friendly stoves, this bad boy is powered off of twigs and other natural firestarters giving you the opportunity to channel your inner scout. Because you don’t have to worry about fuel supply, this stove is great for larger groups. Ditch the petroleum and SAVE– save money, weight in your pack, and the environment!
However make sure to check the weather forecast, as it will be tough to use in a damp forest.
While it doesn’t come with the frying pan or pot, it is compatible with BioLite’s KettlePot and Portable Grill. At $129.95, it’s definitely on the pricier side but anyone that’s used it will tell you it’s worth the extra dollar.
The woods have never tasted so…smart!
Weight: .88 lbs
Power: Boils 2 cups of water in 2 mins
Additional Features: insulated cozy, color changing temperature indicator, push button ignitor
I used this stove on a camping trip to Shi Shi beach in the Olympic Peninsula and was thoroughly impressed with its efficiency on the windy western shores.
This is a fairly simple stove, ideal for beverages, soups and freezable meals (that’s not to say you can’t get creative and “think outside the stove”). The burner is stainless steel and the cup is anodized aluminum making this a very practical, reliable option.
All units are super easy to clean and can be stored inside the cup when not in use.
When you’re camping like you mean it, it’s essential to have durable equipment you can pack around without question.
This is the perfect stove in the eye of the storm with a built in windscreen and FluxRing technology that optimizes heat so whatever your cooking is ready in a flash!
This stove had my water boiling before I even had time to set up my sleeping bag! The burner is easy to ignite with just the push of a button, and each fuel canister provides enough energy to boil up to 100 cups of water.
While the protective plastic cup at the bottom doubles a serving bowl/measuring cup, the Flash is compatible with a number of fun accessories worth investing in as well.
Weight: .56 lbs
Power: Boils 4.25 cups in 8-10 mins
Add. Features: Double wall Airflow
Efficiency is the name of the game with the Solo Stove.
It’s unique airflow sends heat up the hollow walls of the stove for a double combustion, making it very efficient!
This second combustion also eliminates much of the smoke, which like many of us, is the least desired aspect of wood burning.
Like the BioLite, this a free fuel eco-friendly option that is great for your summer expeditions. And like other wood burning stoves, the Solo Stove requires a little more time to heat up your pot. But hey, you’re camping! What’s the rush?
Power: Boils 4.25 cups in 4.5 mins
Fuel: Isobutane-propane fuel canister
Add. Features: Radiant heat, insulated cozy, lid with drinking/straining ports
The MSR WindBurner has many of the same components of the earlier mentioned JetBoil, however this stove offers radiant heat, making its fuel burning much more efficient.
A backpackers delight, this baby is optimal for the mountaineers and deep forest navigators.
If you’re out crushing nature, sometimes at the end of the day you just want results. The WindBurner is known as one of the fastest and easiest operating stoves.
Like the JetBoil, everything stows away nicely into the pot, and comes with a 16oz bowl that snaps on the outside. The unique enclosed air combustion and internal pressure regulation makes it 100% windproof!
Weight: .3 lbs
Power: 6.666 BTU
Fuel: Butane fuel canister
Add. Features: Compact carrier case
This stove is for the budget shoppers out there.
Where it lacks in advanced technological perks, this guy makes up for it in cost.
I used this stove when I was just getting started and can’t say I wrote home about it. It did however, get the job done.
This is the lightest and most compact of the backpacking stoves, but the required additions equal out at the end of the day.
The Piezo Ignition is nice but it requires the tedious operation of the valves and screw on butane fuel canister. The Etekcity does accommodate a 7 inch diameter pot which comes in handy when cooking for 2-3 people.
CAR CAMPING/ BIG GROUP
Key things to consider:
- number of heads to feed,
- size of car,
- BTU (power).
Weight: 10 lbs
Power: 25,000 BTUs per burner
Add. Features: Dual burners, windscreens, drip pan
At only 10 lbs, this is one of the more portable car camping stoves.
This is a great stove for group camping, as it supports two large pans comfortably and a single 1lb can of propane should get you through a weekend with ease.
The windscreens come in handy in open spaces making this an ideal stove for beaches and public parks.
No need to fight for public BBQ’s during the summer when you have one of these bad boys. It’s 24 inches long and 6 inches high making it an easy squeeze into almost any car.
Weight: 12 lbs
Power: 20,000 BTUs per burner
Additional Features: Dual burner, windscreens, drip pan, locking latch and carrier handle
The locking lid and carrier handle make this an easy transport from your car to the picnic table.
Although the Everest has less torque than the Stansport, the extra couple pounds and carrier handle make it a more durable, practical choice. The stainless steel drip pan is super easy to clean and the matchless ignition system just makes life that much easier.
Weight: 4.68 lbs
Power: 7,650 BTU
Additional Features: Instastart automatic ignition
I like this stove.
At just under 5 lbs with a carrying case to boot, this stove is great for short hikes and smaller groups.
The porcelain coated cast-iron makes it extremely durable and easy to clean.
This stove might also be the best bang-for-buck stove at only $20!
While it only takes the 8.8 oz butane canisters, you can find these stoves at Walmart, Target and other general merchandise stores, so they availability isn’t limited.
It can handle a 10 inch skillet for your car camping, or easily heat up your portable camping cookware.
It only has one burner so I would definitely suggest getting two if you plan on cooking for the family. No windscreens on this guy making it less than ideal in the wind, but go get creative!
Weight: 22.5 lbs
Power: 30,000 BTUs per burner
Additional Features: Removable/adjustable legs for storage/portability and setup on uneven ground, 3 ft. hose for bulk propane tank, 3 sided windscreen
Here we have the king of large group cooking!
With 60,000 total BTU’s this baby will light up whatever you throw at it.
With adjustable legs, you don’t need a table. Matter of fact, you don’t even need even ground!
The hose allows you to go big with the bulk propane tank. If you doing a big cook out, say for tailgating, this is your stove.
The power behind each burner allows you to really cook whatever you desire.
Let’s say you have a vegetarian in the group– no problem! Cook your veggies on one skillet and meat on the other. If you’re going big, you might as well throw in the additional carrier bag and cast iron grill for burgers and steaks!
Weight: 9 lbs
Power: 10,000 BTUs per burner
Additional Features: Dual burners, 5L FluxPot for industry-leading Jetboil fuel efficiency, 10 in. ceramic coated fry pan, JetLink output
This is the easily the most expensive route but an excellent option nonetheless!
The Genesis stores itself in a 10 inch pan and 5 liter pot, making this stove efficiently compact.
It’s very light in weight for longer expeditions, yet big enough to feed up to 4 people.
At just 10,000 BTU’s per burner, this won’t be the fastest of cooks, but the Flux technology helps distribute the heat to help move along the boiling process.
The JetLink output allows you to connect additional burners with the same propane source.
The included windscreen is a little too flimsy to really be considered in extreme conditions, but nothing a little extra effort in cooking location can’t handle.
Nice roundup of some of the best camp stoves for 2017, both for backpacking & car camping (or even RV’ing).
Oh, and if you’re looking for a camp lantern, check out our list of the top-rated lanterns. The list is dead-simple to use (the list of lanterns in the table can easily be ordered depending on your preferences).