A hot cup of coffee is just about the ideal start to any backpacking day in the backcountry and a meal at the end of a long day is truly lifesaving.
To achieve this, you will need a backpacking stove in your gear. The big question is, which is the best backpacking stove to buy?
Well, it’s hard to point out to a specific backpacking stove as people have different needs, including budget.
This guide below includes reviews of some of the high-quality stoves to consider; big and small, single fuel and multi-fuel system stoves, and others with fantastic features such as fuel adjustment.
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Top 9 Camping Stoves
The MSR WindBurner Personal Stove System is one of the high-quality and high-performing integrated canister stove systems in the market.
This stove is especially loved for its superior performance in windy weather, exceptional fuel efficiency and fast boil times.
The integrated system comprises of a stove and a pot that firmly attaches to the stove, and this combination delivers awesome value considering many other models sell the two components separately.
However, this kind of integration makes it a bit heavier than ultralight backpackers would like as it weighs 440g.
Most casual backpackers won’t mind the weight though. The product has some of the fastest boiling times averaging 3 minutes and 30 seconds to boil 1L of water.
It even has simmer control. For increased stability, it features a three-pronged plastic stand, while there’ also a plastic handle to help you lift the stove when needed.
The pot lid is securely strong and has two spouts for pouring liquid.
MSR additionally offers optional accessories to work with this system in the form of a coffee press kit, extra pots, skillet, and hanging kit.
Overall, the convenience and durability of this MSR WindbBurner are hard to beat and the product is fairly priced, standing out as our number one backpacking stove.
This Jetboil Flash Camping Stove Cooking System is another integrated and dependable product.
It brings water to a boil in just 100 seconds, making it arguably the fastest backpacking stove out there.
This lighting speed could be a game-changer for folks who usually get cold easily, as it can prepare coffee or hot water so quickly.
With a push-button igniter, the stove is incredibly easy and convenient to light.
No lighter is required but you may carry one for emergencies. The stove emits an impressive 9000 BTUs of heat.
This stove is also fuel-efficient since it consumes just 100g of fuel to boil 10 liters of water.
The pot’s lid is brilliantly designed with a sipping spout to drink from as well as an integrated strainer for draining water.
The product is extremely compact and would sneak easily into any backpack.
There are also many accessories compatible with it including a coffee press, pot support, hanging kit, FluxRing cooking pot, skillet, and utensils, all of which can improve your cooking experience in many different ways.
3. MSR Dragonfly Portable Camping and Backpacking Stove
Yet another one from MSR, the Dragonfly Portable Camping and Backpacking Stove live up to its name as well as the standards we’ve come to expect from the leading outdoor equipment manufacturer.
This stove works pretty fast to boil 1 liter of water in a matter of 3.5 to 3.9 minutes depending on fuel.
You can use either kerosene, white gas, diesel, unleaded auto fuel or jet fuel to power this backpacking stove.
It features a heat control valve that lets you control the flame, thus delivering the ideal heat that your food needs to cook at.
There’s also the simmer control and fuel controller calve, which lets you control your fuel usage.
These are nifty features to appreciate if you plan to camp for longer periods or perhaps catering for a group.
The foldable design of this stove is an added bonus as it allows for space-saving packing and storage.
It also has a nylon shack that helps in carrying the stove conveniently.
Although a bit expensive than other stoves, the Dragonfly has the advantage of holding even bigger pots thanks to its three pot-supports.
The SOTO WindMaster w/Micro Regulator and 4Flex is probably the lightest thing on the market at a mere 160g.
It utilizes a stand gas canister and has a flame adjustment knob to give you maximum control overheat.
The stove also comes with a unique micro-regulator that allows the flame to function evenly and consistently notwithstanding the fuel level in the canister, something that’s not present with many other backpacking stoves.
So even if the canister is running low on fuel, you can increase gas pressure so that the flame does not flicker out.
In addition, there’s an integrated igniter which makes lighting a doddle with no match sticks needed at all.
The strove sits below a raised wing-guard and the pot rest leaves little space between the bottom of the pan and the burner, meaning there’s little chance of wind blowing out the flame.
Overall, this SOTO WindMaster is perfect for use in any weather or terrain, while remaining an excellent choice for ultralight backpacking.
Made in Korea, the Snow Peak BiPod Stove is an affordable model that gets the job done in minutes.
It features the ‘BiPod’ design, which allows the legs to adjust in height in order to fit different sized pots and pans.
To enhance this, the stove also has a large burner head. Moreover, the legs fold away nicely for compact packing after you’re done using the stove.
An outstanding feature of this stove is that it has four-burner arms, unlike many other models with three.
This makes it extremely stable and at minimal risk of toppling over in strong winds. You can even shake a pan on the stove while sautéing mushrooms.
This stove delivers 11,600 BTUs of heat which provides the fast boiling time of just 3.35 minutes for 1 liter of water.
Included in the box is an igniter to get things running in seconds and a fuel valve for regulating fuel usage.
The stove weighs 200g and the body features stainless steel, aluminum, brass, and plastic parts.
All things considered, this one strikes a sweet spot between backcountry lightweight and front-country luxury.
6. Bulin 6800W/3800W Camping Gas Stove
The Bulin 6800W/3800W Camping Gas Stove boasts outstanding firepower of 6800W, which allows you to boil a liter of water in just 120 seconds and cook meals within minutes.
It also has a windproof design that improves the efficiency of the stove and greatly saving fuel.
This camping stove features a piezo ignition switch that allows convenient lighting at the press of a button.
There’s also a flame adjusting knob that optimizes output according to what you’re cooking.
In terms of construction, this gas stove is made of robust stainless steel that’s rust-, temperature-, and corrosion-resistant.
The base is wide for increased stability and the top can accommodate various sizes of cookware.
The maximum load capacity is 75kg, so even if you have a large group to cook for, this stove is sure to hold up to demands.
At 2lbs, this one is a lot heavier than many others, but that’s because of its premium construction which also gives it unparalleled strength.
Whether heavy-duty camping, backpacking, hiking or family picnic, this stove is ready to go and even comes with a 30 days money-back guarantee.
This single burner stove is the cheapest on the market as goes it goes for around $25.
Better still, it also boasts the title of the most ultralight backpacking stove weighing only 25g.
There’s no doubt that this product would be an amazing addition to minimalist backpackers’ gear.
The stove measures 2 x 1.5 inches and its base is very narrow at 3.25 inches. Now, this only allows you to use small diameter pots on it such as mug pots.
As a bonus, the stove works with various types of fuel including propane, butane, and isobutene.
It consumes just 4.9 grams of fuel per hour, meaning the costs of running it as seriously low.
The product is made with stainless steel which guarantees a great level of durability. It is also eco-friendly because the material is non-toxic and hypoallergenic.
Another appealing attribute is its spiral flame technology, which ensures even heat distribution so your meals cook nicely all around.
Additionally, this thing brings water to a boil in just 2 minutes. If you’re looking for truly innovative design but willing to compromise on how large you can cook, the OutSmart Ultralight Titanium Gas Stove is one to buy.
8. Coleman Portable Bottletop Propane Gas Stove
Coleman is a famous brand in the outdoor gear industry and this Portable Bottletop Propane Gas Stove, they have an easy-to-use, generous 8-inch burner that works with large pots and pans.
It has a unique pot support system that helps it distribute heat evenly for a more evenly and thoroughly cooked meal.
The best part is that the stove’s output is fully adjustable from a light simmer to full boil, allowing you to prepare various dishes with maximum precision.
The 10,000 BTU gas stove is also designed to help reduce cooking time.
You get a PerfectFlow regulator that ensures a consistent cooking performance by producing a stable fuel stream that is steady even in high altitudes or when the fuel is running low.
Another design plus is the removable base that’s sturdy enough to prevent tipping over while remaining easy to detach for easy packing. Moreover, the unit cools down quickly for quicker moving on after each use.
9. Camp Chef MS200 Stryker Multi-Fuel Hiking Camping Stove
Winding up our list is this Camp Chef MS200 Stryker camping stove. The canister stove is designed to use either standard or IsoPro propane bottles, making it perfect to use remote areas.
Weighing around 500 grams, this stove is on the heavier side of things, but includes everything you need for cooking meals.
These are a burner, insulated pot, lid, tank stabilizer, and a carry bag.
Performance-wise, the stove is able to boil 1/2-litre of water within 2 minutes, thanks to its heat ring technology and wind guard.
These properties also help reduce fuel use by 30%. The stove also features a piezo igniter that provides instant lighting.
The supplied 1.3-liter pot has markings that indicate how full it is. Impressively-made and affordable, this stove functions well in windy conditions and offers fuel flexibility that’s perfect for remote trips.
How to Choose the Best Backpacking Stoves
The following considerations can help you select a good backpacking stove from the plethora of options on the market.
Stove type: from canister stoves to solid fuel stoves, liquid fuel stoves, and wood stoves, there’s plenty to ponder in this regard.
For backpacking, the canister stoves using gas fuel in the form of propane, butane, isobutene, and the likes are the best options. They are compact, work quickly and are low-maintenance.
Weight: it varies among different stoves. For instance, OutSmart Ultralight Titanium Gas Stove is just 25 grams heavy while the Camp Chef MS200 Stryker is 500 grams heavy.
Ideally, a backpacking stove shouldn’t be 1kg heavy and many weigh around 500 grams or less.
Cooking vs boiling: think about whether you’ll need to cook as most stoves are designed to boil water, not necessarily cooking.
The Coleman Portable Bottletop Propane Gas Stove is a good option for both functions.
Wind use: strong winds whip away heat and can potentially blow off the fire.
For this reason, think about a windshield and try to focus on integrated stoves as they perform well in such conditions.
Stove stability: if you’ll be cooking with the stove, get one with a wide base as it can hold its cool pretty well. You will also be able to use it with large pots and pans.
Simmer control: a great feature if you to cook complex meals, allowing you to adjust between warming and boiling water, as well as warming or intensely heating your food.
The information above may not be the most comprehensive about backpacking stoves but we believe the choices listed herein are some of the most sought after.
As you have seen, you can get a good backpacking stove at almost any price, from as low as $25 to $150.
Just consider what you need to use the stove for and it would be easy to narrow down to your best backpacking stove. I hope you enjoy your trip.