7 Best Camping Stoves

7 Best Camping Stoves

Best Camping Stove Overall
#1
Solo Stove Titan
  • No need to carry fuel for this wood-burning stove
  • Super durable and well made
  • Easy to use
Best Group Cooking Camping Stove
#2
Solo Stove Campfire & 2 Pot Set Combo: Compact Wood Burning Rocket Stove
  • Great for cooking for larger groups
  • Well-made and reliable construction
  • Easy to use as either a stove or a campfire
Most Reliable Camping Stove
#3
Jetboil MiniMo Personal Cooking System
  • Features versatile cook settings that make it easy to do everything from simmer to boil
  • Smart construction: all pieces of unit fit within the bowl for easy carrying
  • Reliable stove for cooking in all weather
Best Backpacking Camping Stove
#4
Coleman Butane Instastart Stove
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Gets really hot, very quickly
  • Super easy to use

Pippa Middleton—that’s right, the sister of Duchess Kate—had this to say about camping in her 2012 book Celebrate: A Year of Festivities for Families and Friends:

“Whatever form it takes, camping is earthy, soul enriching and character building, and there can be few such satisfying moments as having your tent pitched and the smoke rising from your campfire as the golden sun sets on the horizon—even if it's just for a fleeting moment before the rain spoils everything.” 

Most camping enthusiasts, I think, would agree with Middleton—especially the part having to do with settling in around a campfire. There’s just something about that moment when you sit down to relax, warm up, eat, and socialize that makes the whole camping experience worth while.

But here’s the kicker:

That perfect moment could easily be ruined by a bad investment in camping gear.

We’ve previously shared with you the results of our research on the best camping chairs, the best camping backpacks, and some other camping gadgets you might want to bring with you. And if there was one common thread we found throughout all of our camping gear research, it’s that comfort, convenience, and reliability are of the utmost importance when camping, regardless of what type of camping, backpacking, or hiking you do.

In our research for the best camping stoves, we discovered that, while a lot of the same factors matter, there is quite a bit more to consider.

Let me explain:

You’re going to need a stove that fits your particular camping needs. So before committing to a purchase, make sure to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What type of camping do you most commonly do? Backpacking? Car camping? Cabin camping? Weekend hiking?
  • Do you need a stove for the purposes of cooking? Reheating? Boiling water? Or substituting for a campfire?
  • How many people do you plan to cook for?
  • How often will you use the stove?
  • Will you need to take the stove on the go?
  • Will you use it indoors?
  • What sort of fuel do you prefer to use?
  • Will you need a stove that can function in most climates, elevations, and wind speeds?

Once you’ve identified how you’ll put your camping stove to use, you’ve got to sift through the plethora of models and types available. To help you along, we’ve identified the top performing camping stoves that will cover a wide range of needs.

Now:

Ready to round out your camping gear collection with a high-performing and reliable camping stove? Keep reading to find the right camping stove for you.


Editorial staff

7 Best Camping Stoves

7 Best Camping Stoves

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Pippa Middleton—that’s right, the sister of Duchess Kate—had this to say about camping in her 2012 book Celebrate: A Year of Festivities for Families and Friends:

“Whatever form it takes, camping is earthy, soul enriching and character building, and there can be few such satisfying moments as having your tent pitched and the smoke rising from your campfire as the golden sun sets on the horizon—even if it's just for a fleeting moment before the rain spoils everything.” 

Most camping enthusiasts, I think, would agree with Middleton—especially the part having to do with settling in around a campfire. There’s just something about that moment when you sit down to relax, warm up, eat, and socialize that makes the whole camping experience worth while.

But here’s the kicker:

That perfect moment could easily be ruined by a bad investment in camping gear.

We’ve previously shared with you the results of our research on the best camping chairs, the best camping backpacks, and some other camping gadgets you might want to bring with you. And if there was one common thread we found throughout all of our camping gear research, it’s that comfort, convenience, and reliability are of the utmost importance when camping, regardless of what type of camping, backpacking, or hiking you do.

In our research for the best camping stoves, we discovered that, while a lot of the same factors matter, there is quite a bit more to consider.

Let me explain:

You’re going to need a stove that fits your particular camping needs. So before committing to a purchase, make sure to ask yourself the following questions:

  • What type of camping do you most commonly do? Backpacking? Car camping? Cabin camping? Weekend hiking?
  • Do you need a stove for the purposes of cooking? Reheating? Boiling water? Or substituting for a campfire?
  • How many people do you plan to cook for?
  • How often will you use the stove?
  • Will you need to take the stove on the go?
  • Will you use it indoors?
  • What sort of fuel do you prefer to use?
  • Will you need a stove that can function in most climates, elevations, and wind speeds?

Once you’ve identified how you’ll put your camping stove to use, you’ve got to sift through the plethora of models and types available. To help you along, we’ve identified the top performing camping stoves that will cover a wide range of needs.

Now:

Ready to round out your camping gear collection with a high-performing and reliable camping stove? Keep reading to find the right camping stove for you.


Editorial staff

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Best Campfire Substitute

76
Score 76

Why People Love it

  • A great alternative to campfires
  • Easy to setup and use
  • Convenient carrying bag

The U.S. averages about 100,000 wildfires every year, so many states have (camp)fire restrictions in place throughout the year—especially during camping season. For campers missing the centerpiece of their experience, these propane Camp Chef stoves have proven to work as a great substitute for the campfire.

Because this is a propane camping stove, there is quite a bit of hissing that issues from the unit when the heat is turned up high (a common complaint with propane stoves). Some previous users have also commented on the small size of the flame.

Details

Price: This camping stove comes with lava rocks, cooking forks, and a carrying bag, so the price on this reflects the whole package. A propane tank will still need to be purchased, but overall it’s a pretty good value considering everything that comes with it.

Size: When you think about a campfire, you usually don’t picture something small. However, this portable campfire is indeed compact with a diameter of 15” and a height of 6”. And with a small diameter comes a small, but strong flame for keeping warm or roasting food.

Stability: There are three short legs to prop this stove up off of the ground, so it appears relatively stable. Reviewers have yet to report any issues with stabilization.

Fuel: By relying on propane, this stove burns cleanly and efficiently.

Reliability: Despite the small flame that comes from this stove, previous users report that it produces a good amount of heat. They’ve also noted that it stands up well to the wind. And since this campfire alternative runs off of propane and not wood, it should perform perfectly well in all types of weather, too.

Best Wood Burning Camping Stove

80
Score 80

Why People Love it

  • Burns hot and boils quickly
  • Environmentally friendly, wood-burning stove
  • Durable and well made

Wood-burning stoves are always a great investment when you find one that works exactly as you need it to (as this one does). No fuel needed (other than the wood you collect while camping), super light to carry, and easy to use, this affordable camping stove is a great addition to your camping gear.

When you burn kindling, there’s always a chance you’re going to be left with a sooty residue—which some users have noted with this stove. There have also been complaints regarding flimsy construction.

Details

Price: Since this stove is only $20, you’ve got to expect some tradeoffs in exchange for the low price. If you’re not opposed to extra soot cleanup or to being extra careful with a more delicate camping stove, then the small investment in this unit may just be worth it.

Size: This is the smallest camping stove on our list—it weighs less than a pound and it’s about 5” x 5” x 3”—so it makes for super easy packing and carrying. No issues have been reported with placing larger pots or pans on this stove.

Stability: There are three arms included on the stove which provide extra support to whatever pan has been placed atop it. The base itself is a flat cylinder, so it’ll lie flat on whatever surface you put it on.

Fuel: This is a strictly wood-burning stove, so fuel is free and very clean.

Reliability: With complaints made regarding the “flimsy construction” of this stove, it’s important to set proper expectations for what you can and cannot do with it. Other than that, so long as you can collect enough dry kindling, you shouldn’t have many problems with getting this stove to work in all temperatures, altitudes, or wind speeds.

Best Propane Camping Stove

83
Score 83

Why People Love it

  • Simple, yet solid construction; lasts a long time
  • Two large burners provide excellent cooking space/capacity
  • Heats up very quickly

Outdoor Gear Lab called this camping stove “the most low-maintenance model” in a side-by-side comparison with the competition—and it’s true. If you’re looking for a well-designed propane stove that’s reliable, durable, and easy to set up/use/clean, then you’ve got to give this one a go.

While the overall construction of this camping stove appears to be sturdy, buyers should beware of possible fragility in the smaller parts (like knobs, screws, etc.)

Details

Price: While the $93 price tag on this seems reasonable for what you get, it’s important to keep additional purchases in mind. You’ll need to buy a propane tank and lighter, to start. The large burners also aren’t accommodating for a lot of cooking accessories, so you may have to purchase those from Camp Chef.

Size: In terms of specifications, this camping stove is 34” tall, 9.5” wide, and 16.25” in length, so it provides a lot of space for cooking meals, small and large. And while you might think a stove this long/tall might be difficult to carry around, think again. Reviewers say this one breaks down nicely into an easy-to-carry unit.

Stability: With four legs on the ground and sturdy construction, this camping stove provides plenty of stability when cooking.

Fuel: This camping stove runs strictly on propane, which means fuel will be cheap, easy to light, fairly clean (i.e. less soot), and work well in a variety of climates.

Reliability: Aside from issues some users have reported with broken parts, everything about this stove appears to make it a super reliable pick. From its sturdiness to its all-weather capacity, and its ease of use and proven track record in holding up to repeated use, this Camp Chef stove is a great pick.

Best Backpacking Camping Stove

87
Score 87

Why People Love it

  • Lightweight and compact
  • Gets really hot, very quickly
  • Super easy to use

For people looking to cook on their outdoor adventure, this Coleman camping stove is a great addition to your backpack. It’s lightweight, easy to use, and safe. It also gets hot quickly, which means breaking for meals doesn’t have to take time away from hiking.

There are only a handful of complaints lodged against this stove, but they’re all the same: that it doesn’t work properly. Since Coleman is such a well-trusted brand in camping circles, our suggestion would be to make sure you read the instructions before taking it on the trail to ensure you know how to use it properly.

Details

Price: For under $20, this super powerful and lightweight camping stove is a steal. Just keep in mind that you also need to purchase single-use butane cylinders separately (Coleman cylinders are about $5 a pop).

Size: Despite its super compact size, this Coleman stove can fit pots and pans up to 10” in diameter for small- to medium-sized meal prep.

Stability: This stove is a little over a foot in length and relatively flat, which makes it a super stable stove for wherever you want to do your cooking.

Fuel: You’ll need to purchase one-time use, disposable butane cylinders for this unit, each of which will only last between 15 minutes to an hour.

Reliability: So long as you receive a unit that doesn’t have any defects, this camping stove should prove to be a reliable way to cook while you’re camping. It’s important to note, however, that butane has a tendency to not perform all that well in colder temperatures, so this may not be good for all-weather purposes.

Most Reliable Camping Stove

90
Score 90

Why People Love it

  • Features versatile cook settings that make it easy to do everything from simmer to boil
  • Smart construction: all pieces of unit fit within the bowl for easy carrying
  • Reliable stove for cooking in all weather

The Jetboil MiniMo camping stove consistently wins awards for its reliability in the field. Gear Patrol named it the best camping stove for weekend campers or day hikers looking for a quick boiling system. Backpacker’s GearFinder named it their 2015 Editor’s Choice.

Complaints are few and far between with this stove. However, some users have noted issues with plastic pieces coming loose or with the lighter not working.

Details

Price: This is a pretty expensive camping stove for what it actually does (i.e. boil liquids to serve 1 - 2 people). However, what you’re paying for is the convenience and reliability factor. It’s also important to remember that fuel is separate and will cost you more.

Size: This cooking system was really constructed quite intelligently. Once all pieces are taken apart, they fit nicely into the cup which makes for easy packing. The cup also works well as a boiling unit and a mug/cup that you can eat/drink directly from.

Stability: Many users have stated that this boiling system is quite stable despite how tall it is.

Fuel: You’ll need to purchase isobutane-propane fuel canisters for this. A 100mg canister will last about an hour and each one costs about $6, so fuel efficiency is possible so long as you control the simmer/boil well.

Reliability: Reliability is what you get with the Jetboil MiniMo. You’ll get a lot of versatility in the cook settings, it’s super easy to light, fuel efficient, and works in all types of weather.

Best Group Cooking Camping Stove

94
Score 94

Why People Love it

  • Great for cooking for larger groups
  • Well-made and reliable construction
  • Easy to use as either a stove or a campfire

Solo Stove has made three lightweight wood-burning stoves—two of which have made this list. This particular camping stove wins for Best Group Cooking—not just because of its larger size, but because it comes with this two-pot set which makes for easy food prep, packing up, and carrying (the stove fits inside the pots).

Because this is the largest of the Solo Stoves, it is a little too bulky to be carried around by backpackers.

Details

Price: This Solo Stove Campfire deal brings two pots and a carrying case along with it, so you don’t have to worry about purchasing extra accessories that may or may not work or fit. While this is the most expensive camping stove on our list, we think the price is worth it if you cook for larger groups on a regular basis.

Size: This two-pound camping stove is about twice as big as its Titan sister, which is why this is perfect for cooking for larger groups of campers. While it does come with its own carrying case, it's not as convenient to pack up and carry as there are two pots and a fairly tall unit (9.25”).

Stability: With a 7” diameter, this stove doesn’t have any reported issues of instability in supporting pans or standing on the ground.

Fuel: Solo Stove is all about relying on environmentally-friendly fuels to power their stoves. While that means it may take a little longer to bring liquid to a boil, that shouldn’t take away from the overall efficiency of this stove.

Reliability: There are no 1-, 2-, or 3-star reviews on Amazon for this stove, so that’s an excellent indicator of overall reliability of this camping stove.

Best Camping Stove Overall

98
Score 98

Why People Love it

  • No need to carry fuel for this wood-burning stove
  • Super durable and well made
  • Easy to use

Camping pros like Section Hiker and 50 Campfires love this stove for its ease of use and ability to utilize natural resources for fuel. If you're looking to invest in a relatively lightweight, well-made, and affordable camping stove, check out the Solo Stove Titan.

Aside from a little soot accumulation, most users seem pleased with this camping stove.

Details

Price: $89 covers it all: a single compact unit and no additional fuel purchases needed. If you prefer wood-burning stoves to handle your outdoor cooking, this is a great value.

Size: This camping stove weighs about a pound, so it’s super lightweight and compact. Reviewers of this stove have used this for cooking with smaller pans as well as larger pots, so it’s pretty versatile in terms of what it can hold and cook.

Stability: This solidly constructed unit sits flat on the ground, with no stability issues (unless you attempt to cook something too large).

Fuel: Discovery Channel’s Matt Graham tested this stove out so you can get a sense for how little wood/kindling is needed to create a decent flame on it.

Reliability: This stove is made with stainless steel and nichrome wire, so it’s an extremely sturdy unit. Its double wall construction is also quite laudable as it helps fuel burn more efficiently for a quick and even boil/cook.

A six-year marketing veteran and a writer since the womb, Suzanne Scacca now specializes in writing content for a variety of audiences. She has been published on Inc.com, Examiner, SEJ, Elegant Themes, and other marketing, tech, hospitality, and business blogs. When not writing about the latest news and trends, Suzanne can be found hanging out with her dog, eating way too much dessert, and watching horror movies.

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