Whether you are in the woods for a day or a week, eventually you will get tired of energy bars and granola mix. When that happens, you need a stove to cook a decent meal.
This is the moment when the right stove can make or break your outdoor excursion.
There are a lot of different types of camp stoves available. The best one for you strongly depends on your individual needs. Do you need something lightweight that won’t weigh down your backpack? Prefer a natural fuel source? Or do you like using butane burners?
There are many flavors, which is why it’s important to identify the best stove for you. Don’t get left eating twigs in the great outdoors. Like the scouts say, be prepared!
The Quick Answer
Choosing the best camp stove on this list depends on different factors. Some are compact. Some are light in weight. Some stoves depend on fuel found in the environment. While others necessitate you packing a fuel source with you. Choosing the best camp stove may depend on your individual preferences, but the Solo Stove Lite backpacking stove is the best camp stove for multi-purposes.
Our Camping Stove Comparison
This is a quick comparison guide of every camp stove this article examines:
Camping Stove Reviews
There are many things to consider when you are choosing your camp stove. A general look at comparisons is great, but sometimes you need a more in-depth discussion.
Here are the camping stoves that stand out in five important categories.
1. Reehut Camp Stove (Best for Backpacking)
So, you like to strike out into the great unknown. Or, at least semi-unknown with trail markers? You are a fearless backpacker who likes to go off the beaten path. You need a camp stove as durable as you are.
This camp stove is made from a lightweight aluminum alloy and stainless-steel material. The tough material allows for it to withstand high temperatures, while not taking up much room or weight in your pack.
At only about 4 ounces each, when you collapse it down and fit it into its carrying case it is only the size of a pack of cigarettes.
Its material also makes it anti-corrosion, which will help it last longer while outside in the elements with you.
This stove also has a piezo ignition. This means that you don’t have to worry about carrying along weather-proof matches or any other fire source. It has an adjustable flame to accommodate your different cooking need.
Additionally, it can accommodate cooking for up to three people. Therefore, you can go it alone or bring a friend and still use the same stove. If you have more than three people in your group, however, you will have to bring more than one stove.
This stove, however, needs fuel canisters to fire up. The added weight of carrying around a butane or butane-propane canister may even out this camp stove’s light weight.
You won’t have to worry about foraging for fuel for the stove, though. A potentially frustrating experience if your own body is already screaming for its own fuel. Or if you are in a place where wood is scarce.
Who It’s Best For
This is the best camp stove for backpackers who are flying solo, or in a very small group. It is also great for those who are familiar with using canister-type stoves and don’t mind carrying the extra weight of the liquefied gas in their packs.
It is also good if you are camping out in unfamiliar environments. You don’t have to worry about matches to light it. Or, foraging for a fuel source.
2. Joyard Camp Stove (Best for Car Camping)
If you are driving to your camp site, you still need the best camp stove. Preferably one that does not take up a ton of space in your car. This camp stove does everything you need without taking up room in your trunk.
This lightweight, canister-type stove is also durable and compact. Just what you need to make room for more important things.
Unfolded, its dimensions are no more than four inches at its highest. Yet, it can take a pot up to seven inches diameter. This translates to more cooking options for you.
It also comes with a Piezo ignition. So, you don’t have to worry about pesky things like lighting it up. It even has adjustable settings, so you won’t miss out on those culinary camping masterpieces.
Unfortunately, like most canister-type stoves it is difficult to tell how much fuel you have left. And, the canisters themselves can get pricey too. To be safe, bring a few extra so you don’t run out of heat mid-cook.
Who It’s Best For
This is a great stove for anyone who prefers using canister-style fuel types. This is especially good for car camping. Though the stove is compact, it can accommodate a seven-inch pot which is a decent cooking size.
Even though a pot that size is not something you are going to carry around the wilderness, you can just stick it in the trunk for car camping.
3. Icetek Sports Camp Stove (Best for the Money)
For any of you who are watching your wallet, you are looking for the best camp stove you can buy for the least amount of money. You need something that is reliable, works well, and relatively inexpensive.
If you are only using this camp stove a few times a year, this Icetek Sports camp stove is a great buy. Priced on the low end of the spectrum, it does exactly what you need it to do: cook your food.
It is super light at only 3.9 ounces. Aside from being very light, it also comes with a piezo ignition, so you don’t have to worry about how you will light it.
Like most self-ignition systems, the flame is adjustable for your cooking needs. You can even set it to simmer.
Also, like most canister-type stoves, this one requires you to bring your fuel source with you. You don’t have to worry about keeping your matches dry to light it.
But, you do have to worry about carrying an adequate supply of fuel on your excursion.
And, unfortunately for you gourmet campers out there the base is not wide enough to support bigger pots. Think in terms of small pots of coffee or oatmeal. If you eat light when you camp, though, this shouldn’t be a deal breaker.
Lastly, sometimes the ignition doesn’t work straight out of the box. So, before you head out into the wilds, test it out first to make sure it’s working properly.
Who It’s Best For
If you are looking for the best camp stove, this probably isn’t it. But, this is the best camp stove you can buy at a low price point.
If you are budget conscious, or simply don’t plan on using it often this will do what it needs to do. It will provide a flame to cook or reheat your food. If you are a heavy packer when it comes to food rations, this one probably isn’t for you.
4. Ohuhu 174 Camp Stove (Best for Beginners)
You may be new to the outdoors, but your gear doesn’t need to be. Picking the right stove is essential for not starving out in the wilderness. Finding the best camp stove that even a beginner can use is even better.
This compact and lightweight stove uses the environment for fuel. Instead of bringing a canister fuel source, you gather twigs, pine cones, and leaves for the stove. You would free up extra space in your pack without having to bring along a fuel canister.
Additionally, the cooking platform is very stable. It has a 3-arm support for pots. You would normally have to balance your pots on other types of stoves. Despite this, it is very easy to assemble and comes with its own mesh carry bag.
The design also helps distribute heat evenly. The dual wall construct creates air flow that makes fire flow out of the top of the burner like a rocket. Good news for all you morning coffee drinkers because boiling water is a cinch since heat goes directly to the pot.
Unfortunately, this little camp stove is not perfect. It is a little on the heavier side when it comes to portable camp stoves. And the edges of the base can be a bit sharp. Also, it can rust if you take it out into damp environments.
Speaking of damp environments, as you can imagine this is not the best camp stove to take into damp environments anyways. Wet twigs make a lot of smoke, not fire. So, if you were planning on taking it out to a place that had changeable weather this is probably not the best choice.
Another downside to this camp stove is the soot marks it leaves on your pots and pans. As you can imagine, real wood-burning fire makes smoke.
Smoke leaves black sludgy marks. Not a problem if you have cookware dedicated for this purpose. But probably a deal breaker for anyone who is sentimental about their camp pots.
Who It’s Best For
If you want to take a foray into environmentally friendly camping, this is the best camp stove for beginners. It is easy to assemble, heats quickly, and uses the wood you find as fuel. This means that you don’t have to worry about remembering to pack a fuel canister or having to carry the extra weight of one.
True, you won’t be able to find any dry twigs or leaves to burn if it’s raining, but if you are a beginner you probably are not camping in the rain anyway.
5. Solo Stove Lite Camp Stove (Best Survival Stove)
Survival mode isn’t just for gamers. When it comes to the outdoors you need the best camp stove that will get the job done with minimal fuss. Minimal fuss means lightweight, compact, and easy to use.
This camp stove is for the survivalist in you. Whether you are going into the great unknown wilderness with the bare minimum in your pack, or you are a prepper that needs a reliable stove to go into their go bag, the Solo Stove Lite can be as versatile as you need it to be.
First and foremost, this is a wood-burning stove. If you need to live off the land, this is the only way to do it without making a fire pit.
Utilizing the environment around you is what a survivalist is all about. And the only way to get this stove going is to pick up leaves, twigs, and pine cones as your fuel source.
Contrary to other wood-burning stoves, this one doesn’t leave your cookware covered in soot. It has a patented double wall design that gives off less smoke.
That’s less scraping off unsightly black goo, or less smoke for a predator to see in the woods. Whichever one you are more concerned about.
It’s also one of the lighter stoves on the market. It weighs a little over half a pound, so it won’t weigh down your pack too much. The Solo Stove Lite fits inside the Solo Stove Pot 900, but that is sold separately.
Sadly, the best camp stove doesn’t always mean the best priced. And this one is at the higher end of the pricing scale.
You also need to be careful where you use it and when you do. Since it is a wood-burning stove, some places you venture into may have fire safety laws.
And you may need a permit to use this stove outdoors, but who cares if you’re in survival mode. You also must be careful about what weather you set out to use this in.
Wet wood does not make good fuel. If you do decide to venture out anyway, make sure to have dry wood chips with you to feed the stove.
Who It’s Best For
If you are looking for an environment-friendly stove, or simply want to live off the land this is the best stove for you. Gather dry twigs as you are trekking through the wilderness will save time when you finally stop to eat.
And all that room you save in your backpack can go towards more important things, like bringing more food.
Buying Guide: What To Look For in Your Next Camp Stove
Overwhelmed a little by all your options? If you are new to buying camp stoves, you may well be. This article gave you five possibilities for the best camp stove on the market right now.
But, if you would like to do your own research here are a few things to consider.
Are you exploring the wilderness on foot, or camping out of your car? Is fueling your stove going to be a problem? How you plan to fuel your stove is just as important as what you plan to use your stove for.
If you know you will be in dry wooded area where finding twigs will not be a problem, the best camp stove for you will probably be one that makes use of your environment. A wood-burning stove can free up room in your backpack.
Alternatively, if you are a pro at using fuel canisters and don’t mind the extra weight, canister stoves may be the best camp stove option for you. Also, if you know you are going to be in inclement weather and you don’t want to worry about finding dry kindling to eat, you may consider a canister stove.
Every stove in this article is lightweight, though that may be relative to someone planning on a solo backpacking trip through the woods.
If you are simply going out on a weekend car camping trip, weight may not be as important to you. But, if you are planning an extended trip off the beaten path, the best camp stove for you shouldn’t weigh you down.
An overstuffed pack can test your endurance. You may find yourself getting tired sooner. This is also when the choice of camp stove type comes into play.
The fuel canisters you carry make a difference after hours of hiking over uneven terrain. Whereas gathering fuel from the land may save you from carrying that extra weight.
Fuel Burn Time
This is particularly important if you are taking your fuel source with you. Canisters are difficult to determine exactly how much fuel you have and how much cooking time you have left.
You have to plan accordingly and bring extra canisters just in case. This can translate into extra money and camping weight.
The best camp stove for you will accommodate the type of cooking you plan on doing. Long simmers or cooking at full blast will burn a lot of fuel.
So, figure out what you plan on cooking and then you can estimate the most efficient and reliable stove to do the job.
Self-Ignition System or Matches
This option may boil down to preference, but some planning must go into where you plan on using your stove.
Are you confident about keeping track of your weather-proof matches? Do you know how to use a flint? If so, you probably don’t need a self-ignition system like the Piezo ignition.
Likewise, if you are planning on simply boiling water you probably don’t need the fancy flame control that butane stoves typically offer.
On the other hand, if you need to simmer food for your gourmet creations, liquefied gas canister stoves with a Piezo ignition usually offer flame settings for more intricate camp cooking.
This is all down to your personal preference, but if you need your water to boil quickly, canister stoves usually boil water faster than other fuel sources like wood. You are talking about a matter of minutes, however, between one fuel type stove and the other.
But, if shaving off the time you spend cooking is important, canister stoves may be the best camp stove for you.
If you want to get a good idea about boil times, you’d check out the BTU output. Most manufacturers list this if not the actual boil times themselves.
Camping Stove FAQ
Here are some frequently asked questions about the best camp stove to round off this article.
What is the difference between a backpacking stove and a camp stove?
In this article, we use the two terms interchangeably. But if you prefer the nitty gritty, a true backpacking stove is often a lightweight and compact single-burner fire source.
Backpacking stoves are mainly for boiling water when out in the wilderness. A camp stove, on the other hand, refers to larger and bulkier stoves used when car camping. Camp stoves typically have two burners and more deluxe features than a backpacking stove.
What is BTU?
BTU stands for British Thermal Unit. The BTU measures a stove’s heat output, which determines burn time, cooking power, and efficiency.
In general, the higher the BTU the more powerful the stove burner and the more fuel it consumes.
Which type of stove boils water the fastest?
Sometimes stoves carry patented designs that may change this generalization. But, the rule of thumb is that canister stoves have the quickest boil times while wood-burning stoves have the slowest.
Typically, wood-burning stoves take about double the time to boil water than canister types.
What is a piezo ignition, and do I need one?
Many canister stoves on the market come with piezo ignitions. Simply put, it is a small button that ignites the gas through a high voltage electrical discharge. It takes the guess work out of lighting your stove, but it has a few known problems.
More notably, severe cold and high altitude may affect this ignition. If you tend to trek in these environments, make sure to bring an alternate fire starter.
Additionally, wear and tear will have the piezo ignition break over time. There is not much you can do once this happens. Your stove will still work, but the magic ignition button will not.
Given the additional cost to have one of these on your stove, you can still use it. You just need to light it the old-fashioned way with a lighter or matches.
The Final Say
Choosing the best camp stove can be a daunting experience. With this article’s information, though, you will be able to pinpoint your special needs and choose the one that works best for you.
Remember to keep the main considerations in mind. Be realistic about your needs and expectations from a stove and check your requirements against the reviewed camp stoves on the list.
You don’t want to venture out into the wilderness unprepared, or even worse, starve because you chose the wrong type of stove.
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