A portable stove can make your camping trip much easier. Once you reach the desired destination and set up a base, a reliable camping stove may turn the camping trip into a gourmet adventure. It needs to be lightweight and portable, yet provide enough heat for a few decent meals. Although there are a bunch of different options available in the market, the Camp Chef Everest 2-Burner Stove stands out from the competition. It is the best camping stove on my list since the overall design, build quality, and power make the Camp Chef one of the most ideal portable stoves for any camping trip.
However, I have created a list of top five camping stoves to help you can select the one that is the best for you. The stoves I have reviewed come with various features and prices. Also, you can find two popular backpackers’ stoves in case you are looking for the ultimate portability.
This stove features two high-quality burners with adjustable flame settings. You won’t have any problems with wind or unpredictable weather since this stove comes with a full windscreen. It is portable and relatively lightweight so you might even be able to put it in a bigger backpack. And the stove is made of durable materials which should ensure years of carefree use.
Top 5 Camping Stoves
|Camp Chef Everest 2-Burner Stove||Propane||20000||Check Price|
|Gas One GS-3000||Butane||9000||Check Price|
|Coleman Triton 2-Burner Stove||Propane||22000||Check Price|
|Etekcity Outdoor Camping Stove||EN417 canister||6666||Check Price|
|Bisgear 12/16 Pcs Camping Stove||EN417 canister||N/A||Check Price|
Best Overall Camping Stove
Camp Chef Everest 2-Burner Stove
The Camp Chef Everest is our top pick because it features one of the best combinations of build quality, power and ease of use. The Camp Chef measures 23.5 x 4.25 x 13.5 inches and weighs only 10 pounds. These dimensions should allow you to easily transport and set up the stove regardless of your camping location. The Camp Chef can also be used in your backyard or balcony, provided there’s enough room.
The stove features two high-quality burners which are conveniently placed inside the body of the Camp Chef. You don’t need to worry about the wind or other harsh weather conditions since the stove body protects the burners really well. Also, the burners are far apart from each other, allowing you to place two bigger pots/pans without any hassle.
The cooking grate on this stove is nickel-coated which adds to the overall durability and strength. This should enable you to place some heavier pans without compromising the integrity of the stove.
The level of the flame is adjustable with the individual knobs on the front of the stove. They perform really well on low settings and offer you premium simmering even in windy conditions. The stove features piezo-electric igniter that is triggered by a simple push of a button.
This camping stove has a dual-lock lid which acts as a windshield. On top of that, you get two side lids that make the Camp Chef one of the best-performing camping stoves in windy conditions.
Lastly, the Camp Chef is rated 20000 BTU which should be enough heat output to prepare more than a few meals in the wild. This stove uses propane fuel. The hose is equipped with connector for 1lb propane cylinders, but you can buy an adaptor to use it with 20lb propane tanks.
Pros and Cons
- Excellent build quality
- Compact and portable
- Can fit two bigger pans/pots
- Great wind resistance
- Very sensitive adjustment knobs
2. Best Single-Burner Tabletop Camping Stove
Gas One GS-3000
The Gas One GS-3000 is one of the most sought-after single-burner tabletop camping stoves in the market. Its overall compact design and relatively high heat output make it a great choice for backpackers and small groups of campers.
The GS-3000 measures 13.5 x 4.4 x 11.2 inches and weighs merely 3.1 pounds. This makes it the most portable tabletop camping stove I liked. But this small size shouldn’t fool you because it features a sizable single burner and enough heat for outdoor cooking.
The Gas One has a single high-quality burner which can accommodate sizable pots or pans, but you should be careful not to overload it since the stove has a very small footprint. The GS-3000 can provide you with up to 9000 BTU which should be enough for your weekend in the wild.
Unfortunately, this camping stove does not come with any windscreens. So you should purchase a windscreen separately or otherwise protect it from unstable weather conditions. However, if you are willing to spend just a few more dollars there is a package deal which includes a separate windscreen.
A windscreen is very important for this stove because the burner is slightly raised from the body, putting it in direct contact with the elements. But even without the screen, the stove performs well in mild wind conditions.
The GS-3000 also features safety shut-off piezo-electric starter and has been certified by the CSA. This stove uses 8-ounce butane cartridges that you can find at most gas stations and mini-marts.
Pros and Cons
- Most compact tabletop stove
- Very affordable
- Large single burner
- Wind protector sold separately
- The butane cartridge doesn’t last long
3. Most Powerful Camping Stove
Coleman Triton 2-Burner Stove
The Coleman Triton 2-Burner stove is the most powerful one on our list with 22000 BTU, making it quite suitable for more demanding outdoor cooking. Also, it comes from a top name in the industry renowned for reliable camping gear.
The Coleman Triton measures 13.9 x 5.8 x 23.1 inches and weighs 11.2 pounds. It is one of the biggest and heaviest camping stoves on our list but this adds to the overall stability and sturdiness of the stove. You should be able to transport it without too much hassle but it’s probably not ideal for backpackers.
There is plenty of room on the cooking surface. The two high-quality burners can accommodate one 12-inch and one 10-inch pan at the same time. The panels are also adjustable in case you want to put on a bigger pan.
The stove comes with a single-lock lid which acts as a windscreen along with two side windscreens. The Coleman Triton features the so-called PerfectFlow technology that should ensure reliable performance even in harsh weather conditions. However, the burners are not that well protected by the body of the stove are there is some space between the body and the side windscreens.
This stove uses propane fuel and works really well with the standard 1lb cylinder. Again, you can buy an adaptor to use it with 5lb and 20lb propane tanks. But it doesn’t come with a piezo-electric igniter so you should consider getting a stove igniter for this camping stove.
Pros and Cons
- 22000 BTU
- Great cooking space
- Adjustable wind panels
- Very sturdy and durable
- No piezo igniter
- Might be a bit too bulky
4. Best Canister Camping Stove
Etekcity Outdoor Camping Stove
The Etekcity is one of the tiniest yet powerful canister camping stoves that you can find on the market. Also, it is one of the most popular camping stoves in the canister category for its portability, high heat output, and affordable price.
This camping stove measures only 3.5 x 1.8 x 2.3 inches and weighs just above 4 ounces. It is designed to attach easily to your backpack and you may even connect it to a keychain. What’s more, the Etekcity is made of a premium combination of stainless steel and aluminum alloy which ensures its durability.
This camping stove is able to withstand high temperatures and has a heat output of up to 6666 BTU. The stove arms are collapsible and it comes with a carrying case to ease the transport. This 7/16 thread connector is built into the bottom of this for use with EN417 butane-propane/butane canisters.
Additionally, the tiny Etekcity comes with a piezo-electric igniter and full flame control. So you will be able to prepare meals and simmer your food rather than just boil water. The control valve is very responsive and feels well built.
This canister camping stove adheres to the Leave No Trace safety standards with its clean debris/sooth-free burn. The Etekcity also comes with a one-year warranty.
Pros and Cons
- Great power-to-size ratio
- Very affordable
- Full flame control
- No windscreen
- Not suitable for bigger pots and pans
5. Best Camping Stove Set
Bisgear 12/16 Pcs Camping Stove Set
If you are a fan of one-day camping trips with your partner or a friend, the Bisgear Camping set might be the thing for you. It features a canister camping stove with a few other pieces that should allow you to prepare and heat up a meal for two in the wild.
The Bisgear Camping Stove Set comes with a mini stove, a foldable cutlery set, a wine opener and two anodized aluminum pots. The set also comes with a carabiner, mesh bag and cleaning cloth for easy transport and maintenance. Also, there is a separate stand for the pots once your meal is ready.
The stove itself features piezo ignition and flame control for cooking and simmering. It is similar to the Etekcity canister camping stove and also uses EN417 butane or butane-propane canisters. The cutlery set is made of stainless steel and the pieces fold and open really well and feel stable in your hand.
The pots are non-stick to simply cooking. Also, the whole set is rather compact and lightweight at a hair above 1 pound, making it perfectly suitable for short visits to the wild.
Pros and Cons
- Multi-piece set
- Non-stick anodized aluminum pots
- Suitable only for light use
- Everything looks a bit miniature
What are Camping Stoves?
Believe it or not, the first portable stove came from Japan and dates all the way back to the Edo Era (1603-1868). This type of stove was called Shichirin and it used charcoal fuel, so in a way it resembles certain types of modern outdoor grills.
In the 19th century, some clever marketing saw Frenchman Alexis Soyer promote his magic stove as a solution that allowed people to cook wherever they were. This first camping stove was similar to a kerosene lamp since it used a wick to draw the fuel from a canister to the burner.
Modern camping stoves, on the other hand, use mostly on propane or butane gas although there are also models that run on wood and liquid fuels. Besides camping, portable stoves are frequently used in outdoor catering, field hospitals, and the military.
How to Choose a Camping Stove?
Your ideal type of camping stove depends on your needs. If you are camping alone with just a backpack over your shoulders, you might have to rely on a compact and lightweight canister stove to get you some quick meals in the wild.
A bigger tabletop or freestanding stove is a better option if you plan to take your family on a camping trip or if you need to prepare more meals. Regardless of which option you choose, these are the features that you should know:
- Camping stoves may be categorized by the type of fuel they use, the number of burners, and whether they are the canister, tabletop or freestanding type. While canister camping stoves are great for backpackers, the tabletop and freestanding ones may offer you a home cooking experience. Also, you should note that canister stoves can be unstable and some models are only good for boiling water.
- Each stove comes with specific features in terms of size/weight and burn/boil time. Also, you should consider whether the stove has an adjustable flame in case you need to simmer or heat up the food. In general, if you need to do some serious cooking it is advisable to choose a dual-burner tabletop stove. They can be relatively lightweight and portable while providing much more versatility than the canister ones.
How to Choose the Right Size?
The size of your camping stove should be determined by the number of people you need to cook for. Assuming that you are not traveling alone, I have created some guidelines to help you choose the right stove based on the number of people in the party.
Up to 4 People
If you plan to spend a weekend camping with 3 of your friends or family members you might need to get a 2-burner camping stove. You can find a few compact and lightweight options in our list that may give you more than enough cooking power for this number of people.
On the other hand, the Gas One GS-3000 is a single-burner tabletop stove that might be suitable for small groups as long as you don’t plan to make any extravagant meals. Also, it is advisable to get a bulk tank hose adapter because it would enable you to use a large propane tank (but note that the Gas One uses butane). The size of the fuel tank should also depend on the length of your camping trip and the number of meals you need to prepare. This is assuming you’re driving to a campsite, as you probably wouldn’t want a carry a 20lb propane tank on a trek.
If you plan to spend just the weekend camping, a 1lb cylinder may be enough but it is advisable to go for a 5-gallon tank. These tanks are easy to refill and should let you prepare more than a few meals.
You should check out the dimensions of the camping stove closely. The dimensions should be suitable for your favorite pot or pan and help you get an idea if you have enough cooking space. Some stoves can fit only a 12-inch skillet, while others can fit up to two 12-inch skillets.
Lastly, you should check out the placement and size of the burners since these may affect usability and your cooking time.
5 or More People
In case you are camping with more than a few friends, a 2-burner stove should be an absolute must. You can go with either tabletop or freestanding camping stoves. Tabletops are usually easier to handle and most of them can fit two sizable pans or pots. To extend their outdoor kitchen, some people use the Gas One GS-3000 in combination with another 2-burner tabletop.
This might require some additional effort on your side but you should be able to feed up to a dozen people if you have 3 burners on your side. On the other hand, freestanding camping stoves can get you a full-on kitchen experience, though transporting them can be a hassle.
If you choose a freestanding camping stove, it should be easily foldable and compact enough so that it doesn’t require any extra energy or maintenance. Also, you may want to consider some freestanding options that offer table/preparation space. This should give you more versatility and you wouldn’t have to scramble for space when getting the ingredients ready.
Camping Stove Heat Output
The heat output of any camping stove is measured in British Thermal Units (BTUs). One BTU represents the amount of energy needed to heat 1 pound of water from 39° to 40° Fahrenheit. To put it simply, the bigger the number, the more heat your camping stove outputs.
However, high camping stove heat output shouldn’t be the single decisive feature in your decision. The performance of a camping stove also depends on its wind resistance, burner placement, and overall design.
It is worth noting that wind can come from different, unpredictable directions. Since weather conditions in the wild are in most cases unreliable, it is wise to spend a bit more and get a camping stove with a powerful burner, compact design, and full windscreen.
Most dual-burner camping stoves come with a lid that acts as a windscreen. But to maximize cooking efficiency, it is advisable to go for a camping stove that features side windscreens as well. This should ensure even flame and heat when you cook.
Boiling and Simmering
The boiling time might be one of the key features to look for in a camping stove. Most camping stoves have a decent boiling time if the conditions are ideal. But if we factor in the wind, climate, and a few hungry campers, things can be much different.
The BTU number in combination with the stove design should give you a better idea of the actual boiling time. You should check the burner placement and position/number of windscreens. The stove body should protect the burners and it would be perfect if they sit very close to the cookware.
Camping stoves that have the ability to simmer your food are highly sought-after. Even though there are a lot of models that boil water quickly some of them struggle with simmering in windy conditions. You should choose a camping stove with a burner that can maintain stable flame at low heat, and the flame shouldn’t go out when you try to decrease the heat.
How to Use a Camping Stove?
Camping stoves are really fun to use, but since you are working with gas and open flame they can be dangerous. So feel free to take a look at our tips below that should help you have a pleasant and safe outdoor cooking experience.
- You should have a cleaning cloth by your side whenever you are using a camping stove. It can be used to clean the propane adapters or hose, the windscreen, or the drip tray. Cleaning the stove regularly after use helps you get rid of any residual fat or grease that might catch fire or clog the stove.
- If you use a larger propane tank, you should always turn off the tank first and then the stove. This way you avoid any residual gas in the system. It is especially important since some of the residual gas may shoot out when you disconnect the stove.
- If the propane flow is poor, you should reset the stove. This means disconnecting everything and reconnecting it all back. If the flow is still poor after the reconnection, you should check your hoses, valves, and burners. Make sure nothing is clogged or leaking by applying some suds to the connection points.
- As I have previously mentioned, some larger groups of campers like to use two stoves. This is where propane splitters come in handy. They help you use one propane tank for two stoves but bear in mind that the tank will run out quicker.
- It may go without saying, but you should never use a camping stove in an enclosed space or in a tent. This may cause a dangerous build-up of CO2 and greatly increase fire hazard.
You may also want to consider bringing a multi-tool with you and some matches. The tool can help you deal with emergency repairs and the matches come in handy in the event that the piezo-igniter fails.
All of the camping stoves on our list can give you a reliable outdoor cooking experience but the winner of the best camping stove in 2018 is the Camp Chef Everest 2-Burner Stove.
The Camp Chef’s compact and smart body design protects the burners from the elements. It comes with full wind protection and a dual lock for safe transport and premium cooking experience. Even though it is very compact, it has more than enough cooking real estate to fit two pans.
The above-mentioned features in combination with an affordable price make this stove a very good choice for veteran campers and hobbyists alike.