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Camping requires a lot of essential equipment. There is a tent, a sleeping bag, and probably the most important of all (if you’re not going old school, that is) is the camping stove. There are many different types of camping stoves on the market. These vary in use and size, as well as burner capability but all of them have one thing in common — it can be hard to choose which one is perfect for you and your camping needs.
That is why in this guide, we will be discussing some of the key factors to look at when making this decision as well as breaking down several of the best camping stoves of 2020. In the end, we hope that you will be able to use this information to make the best decision for your needs and do so without stress or regret.
Table of Contents
Best Camping Stove Comparison Chart
Best Camping Stove Reviews
1. Coleman Gas Stove
Our first entry comes from one of the biggest names in camping gear, Coleman. Their classic propane-fueled portable camp stove is a durable and reliable option for any campers’ culinary needs.
Coleman has been known for years as the go-to camping gear manufacturer because of their dedication to building and crafting high-quality, durable equipment that lasts a lifetime. To do that, they stick to including features that only serve to further their mission. The features that do that when dealing with this classic camping stove are:
- All metal construction
- Dual adjustable burners
- Built-in high-pressure regulator
- Adjustable windscreens
- Removable grate
Performance is everything, and with this Coleman stove, there seems to be no difference. When choosing this option, you get an easy-to-transport high-performance stove that won’t break the bank. With the addition of adjustable windscreens, you will be able to make sure that your cooking time is optimized no matter how strong or which direction the wind comes from.
Now there are a couple of things that previous buyers would change with this unit. The lack of an auto-ignition means that you will need to use matches or a BBQ lighter which increases safety concerns and adds one more thing to your packing list. Build wise, many feel that the handle because of its sharpness is not comfortable to carry for long times. Plus, many feel that the latch that is used to pack it up is slightly cheap and tends to break easily.
Even with the few design flaws that spring up if you look at the durability and the performance of this camping stove, you will quickly see why we had to include it on our list.
- Adjustable windscreens
- Good quality performance
- Cheap front latch
- Handle is uncomfortable
2. Camp Chef Explorer Double Burner Stove
This versatile dual burner stove from Camp Chef is the perfect choice for those campers living the RV lifestyle or are parking where they are camping.
Camp Chef brings to our list a finely crafted piece of camping equipment that seems to be fit with many features that are meant to enhance your time communing with nature. These features include:
- Fitted with dual cast-aluminum burners
- Removable legs
- Built-in windscreens
- Comes with hose and propane regulator
- Temp controls (appliance style)
This unit offers versatility in its setup with its removable legs. This makes this unit perfect for any occasion. Because of its size and design, you will be able to use any size cookware with ease and utilize a wide array of cooking methods due to its power output.
Now the size and weight make this unit one that is only suited for the park and camp option. If you are looking to hike to that perfect spot, then you may want to keep looking for your camping stove. There have also been some complaints about corrosion issues and well as the lack of auto-ignition.
This unit has excellent performance capability and offers versatility like few other options on our list, and that is why it is simply one of the best choices for those park and camp adventurers.
- High BTUs
- Simmers well
- Compatible with a wide range of cookware size
- Lack of auto-ignition
- Not good with wind variation
3. Stansport Outfitter Series Camp Stove
This 3-burner propane camp stove from Stansport is a nice lightweight option for your camping needs.
Stansport brings us our next entry, and this small but efficient unit is one of the most feature-rich options that we have included on our list. Because of features like the ones below, you will be well equipped for your family camping adventure.
- Multiple stainless-steel burners + 1 center burner
- Sturdy cooking grate
- Stainless steel drip tray
- Tri-fold windscreen design
- Built-in Piezo electronic ignition
- Fitted with a high-altitude pressure regulator
This unit comes with a built-in auto-ignition which makes it super safe to have out in the wilderness. That’s not the only thing there is to love about this unit. It is crafted with high-quality materials that help make this amazingly durable and with the power that the burners afford you nothing is out of your limits when prepping your meals.
Though the windscreens are well built the fact that they are not adjustable makes this unit have problems when the wind varies in direction. This could be a problem when camping in the colder months. The only other issue is that some have found that the ignitor is hard to turn.
Even with the few issues that have been brought to our attention when you take a close look at all the advantages, there is no way you can let the disadvantages deter you from considering this one of the best camping stoves available.
- Excellent windscreens
- Powerful flame
- Cooks evenly
- Built-in auto ignition
- Difficult to turn ignitor
- Windshields aren’t adjustable
4. Jetboil Genesis Base Camp Cooking System
This unit can function as a stand-alone stove or be linked to other compatible stoves to create a whole cooking range. The Jetboil Genesis Base Camp Cooking System is innovative and could be an excellent choice for any camper.
This cooking stove may not look like the traditional ones above, but it brings with it a whole different level of features that others simply can’t contend with. This model is an innovative design and offers the following features:
- Designed with a dual burner layout
- Compatible with Jetlink or Luna satellite stoves and burners
- Enhanced heating system (10,000 BTU)
- Attachable windscreen included
- Accessories included (frypan, pot, and carry bag)
This unit is small but might and with its interconnectivity with JetLink accessories offers more versatility and cooking options than many of its more high-end competition. It provides multiple burners and a flexible design that could be a good choice no matter what type of camping you are setting out to do.
Though you do get a lot for what you are purchasing, some still feel that the price tag is still a little on the high end. The other issue that some have is in the design and construction of the windscreens. This unit’s windscreens seem to be just a little less than what most campers would really like when dealing with their camping stove when it comes to durability and size.
Though you may have to pay a little extra and really consider the placement of your camping stove, in the end, the wide range of versatility is well worth the investment.
- Lightweight and compact
- Dual burners
- Flexible design
- Built-in JetLink accessory port
- Sub-par windscreen
5. Gas One GS-3000 Stove
This single-burner portable butane camping stove from Gas One rounds out our list and does so with high-quality performance and enhanced portability.
This easy-to-use and simply designed camping stove may not look like much, but it has so much to offer. This unit comes with enhanced safety and performance features like the ones below:
- Lightweight construction
- Built-in Piezo electric starter w/shutoff system
- Carrying case included
- Safety lever system to ensure butane is set properly
- Cartridge ejection system
This budget-friendly camping stove packs a lot into its lightweight and compact design. Optimized with enhanced flame control and an auto-ignition system, this unit also pays close attention to your safety needs as well.
The auto-ignition system also comes with a shutoff system that detects when there are issues with the fuel source and reacts accordingly. The system also has a cartridge ejection system that works similarly to the shutoff in that if a problem is detected, the unit will eject the fuel cartridge.
Now it is small and has only one burner, so if you are planning elaborate meals, this may not be the right choice for you. There is also no windscreen attached or included with the unit so it will not fare well with any wind. Other than that, the fuel source is butane, and that does not work well with extreme cold, so this is not an excellent option for fall and winter camping, or in areas where it gets cold.
None of the disadvantages of this unit are insurmountable, nor are they universal. This means that when looking at this unit you only need to consider the high level of performance, when and where you are camping when making your ultimate decision on if this unit from Gas One will meet your camping requirements.
- Excellent flame control
- Durable and lightweight
- Built-in Piezo auto-ignition
- Only one burner
- No windscreen
Along with your camping style and how long you intend to be out in the wild, there are several features you can look at to determine if any given stove will be the right one for you. Looking at these features will help streamline the decision-making process and allow you to find the perfect fit for your needs.
This feature comes with two wholly different meanings, and each is important to the final selection. The first thing to consider when thinking about burner power is the number of burners. This can be determined by the number of people you are bringing along on your adventure or the type of meal prep you like to do while basking in the beauty of nature.
You can find stoves that come with a single burner and some that come with many more. Choose the option that will make the cooking process enjoyable and time-efficient.
The second consideration is the actual power output itself. When looking at this feature you will be looking at the number of BTUs (or British Thermal Units). You will want a burner that is enough for your needs. This is determined by what you intend to cook. One thing is for sure though, make sure you find the one that will help you conserve fuel.
Looking at how the fire of your portable hearth gets lit is a vital part of the puzzle. They come in many varieties, but by far the best options are the matchless ones. This will mean less equipment to carry and be safer for you and the environment. With ignition, you may also want to look for an auto shutoff system which will help with safety precautions and fuel conservation.
Several types of fuel power camping stoves (see FAQ section below for a full list), but most commonly you will find the propane variety. However, understanding each fuel and knowing which one you can afford to use can help you narrow down the options you have before you.
Grate and Grills
This is all about durability and the clean-up process. Be sure you pay attention to the metal used in grills and grates construction and determine how sturdy they are. You will also want to look for removable grills and grates so that the cleanup process is more straightforward.
This is a key factor when you consider packing and carrying. So, let’s start with the size of the camping stove. You will want one that is large enough to accommodate all your needs, but that doesn’t mean you have to go all out. Try sticking to as few burners as possible this will decrease the dimensions and make it not only easier to set up but to find a place in the back of your vehicle, or backpack if you are solo hiking.
Now for weight. This may not seem like a big deal if you are doing RV or even tailgate camping but think about how far you will need to carry the stove and then choose accordingly.
The last thing you want is to hike into a beautiful destination and be so exhausted from carrying a stove that is just too heavy. This will take away from the oy of being one with nature (at least for a little bit).
Camping Stove FAQ
If you are new to the world of camping stoves as you read this guide, you may have had a few questions pop into your head. That is understandable with any new equipment or technology, and so we have taken the liberty to collect several of the most commonly asked questions and answered them below. Hopefully one or all these questions will check a few of yours of that list.
How many types of fuels do camp stoves use?
Many different types of fuel can be used to power your camping stove. Here is a quick look at them:
This is what many call camp stove fuel. This fuel is cleaner to use than regular gasoline.
This fuel is a liquid form of hydrocarbon and is not as common as other fuels like white gas or propane.
Some stoves will use a special type of denatured alcohol. It is a clean burn and really works well with stoves specifically built to run off it.
This can be many things, but most often regarding camping stoves, it pertains to either Bhutan or Propane. This is by far the cleanest fuel for camping stoves, but it does not do well in extreme cold.
What is the difference between propane stoves and camp fuel stoves?
This is a great question. Let’s start with the similarities, though. These are both distilled petroleum derivatives and are probably the two most used options for powering your camping stove. That is about where the similarities end. Here are some of the differences:
- White gas is liquid at room temperature, and propane stays in a gaseous state
- Propane tends to be stored as a compressed gas and transported in liquid form
- White gas looks like regular gas but has additives thrown into the mix
- The camping gear manufacturer Coleman almost exclusively produces white gas.
- White gas burns clean with no smell
- White gas is easier to transport and safer too
- White gas is reasonably affordable though stoves that use this fuel can be harder to use in general
- With propane, you will not have to pump anything as it comes pressurized.
- Propane is more expensive
- Propane decreases the chance of spillage
These are just some of the differences, but looking at them, you can see why many prefer propane over white gas.
How much does a camping stove weigh?
This all depends on the unit itself, the features you want your stove to have, and the fuel source. This means that a camping stove can weigh anywhere from 3 ounces all the way up to 40 lbs. Therefore, knowing how far you will be carrying it and for how long, plays such a vital role in the decision-making process.
Is propane stove better than any other stoves?
This is dependent on what and where you are looking to head out on your camping adventure. But looking at the basics many feel that the propane option is better for the following reasons:
- Propane fuel offers more diversity of use. You will see it in both backpackers and traditional camping stoves
- Propane operates well with high altitudes and colder climates
- Propane is a bit more expensive than some of the others but is still affordable and easy to procure
This versatility is why many prefer propane other fuels like butane or white gas. However, you do have to be okay with a more massive load as propane adds to the weight of the canister and is just traditionally a heavier fuel.
Learn about the difference between two common fuel types Butane vs Propane Camp Stoves.
My propane tank leaks, what do I do?
This could be dangerous, and if your propane tank is leaking, you will want to fix it immediately. Here are a few steps you can take to ensure you and your camping compatriots’ safety:
- You will want to shut off the main valve the minute you smell the gas.
- Take a spray bottle and fill it will water and dish soap. Then spray around the valve and the gauge of the tank.
- Examine the canister for any signs of leaking. The mixture you sprayed will create bubbles if there is any leak.
- If you find any, then you will want to try to tighten the screws on the gauge and tighten the valve.
- Then wait a few minutes and repeat the spraying process and the examination as well.
- If the leak persists, use another propane tank and return the one that is faulty as soon as possible.
If you are getting ready to head out for a relaxing adventure in nature, the last thing you want to have to worry about are things like what camping stove to bring with you. Hopefully, now that we have laid out all the information above, you might feel better equipped to make the right decision.
Now all that’s left is to pack up and disconnect from the world for a few days with your handy camping stove at your side. Enjoy all your favorite foods in the peace and tranquility of nature with friends and family.