Nothing ruins a camping trip more than poorly cooked food and hungry, except maybe animals getting into your camp. Having a camp stove that adequately cooks your food is essential. However, the world of camp stoves can be quite overwhelming. When researching camp stoves, there are so many aspects to consider that you can easily get caught going into a rabbit hole and never returning, making a rash decision, and finding out that stove doesn’t work for you and your family. So we’ve done the research and come up with the best camping stoves.
We looked at the following features to help determine the best stoves for camping: freestanding or tabletop, number of burners and burner power, weight and packed size, fuel type, ignition, and how well it did in windy conditions. We also took into account companies we can trust that have been around for a while. Depending on what kind of camping you do, we know from our list, you will easily find a stove that you will love!
We start our list of camping stoves with a stove that is moderately priced. It is a solid stove at a reasonable price. The Triton+ is dependable, inexpensive, and ideal for small groups. It weighs 11 lbs. and has a packed size of 21×12.5×4.5 inches. It is not as powerful or as fancy as some of the other stoves on this list, but it gets the job done. It will boil a quart of water in five minutes if there is no wind and fifteen minutes if there are windy conditions. Run off of a 16 oz canister of propane, the burners are 11,000 BTU, and there are two of them. With the purchase of an adapter, the stove could run off a 20-gallon propane tank.
The Triton+ is compact and suitable for simple needs. It will fit two 10-inch pans next to each other. Although boiling water may take a while, the stove has excellent simmer control and an auto-ignite system. Be cautious when purchasing; many consumers get confused and buy the Triton instead of the Triton+. The Triton does not have auto-ignite. The Triton+ is easy to clean and comes with a 3-year limited warranty from Coleman.
- Easy to clean
- Slower boiling time
- Struggles with wind resistance
Another stove from Coleman, this butane single burner stove stands alone as a tabletop stove. The InstaStart is sturdy and has auto-ignite but no windscreen. The reason we like this stove is that it is versatile. You can use it as a single burner or add it to another camp stove to have more burners. You can also have it stored in the garage for an emergency. Running off butane, the burner is 7,650 BTUs, which isn’t very powerful, but it simmers well and has easily adjustable controls. Having no wind guard means it struggles with the wind. On a still day, the stove can boil a quart of water in five minutes, but it will take over 20 minutes to boil a windy day.
This stove is ideal for one-pot meals such as soup, mac and cheese, and Ramen Noodles. It is suitable for a new or infrequent, single camper. The pack away size is 14.25 x 12 x 4.5 inches and weighs less than five pounds. It is big enough for a 10-12 inch skillet and comes with a carry case. Running on butane means you will use less fuel because it is more efficient than propane. You could have this stove on high for 1.25 hours using an 8.8 oz butane canister.
- Easy Setup, Easy Care
- 1-year limited warranty
- Affordable without sacrificing quality
- Butane doesn’t do well in freezing temperatures
- Slow boiling point
Coleman appears on our list three times for excellent reasons. It is a trustworthy company that has been around for years. This classic stove is also a purchase you can trust. It is simple, straightforward, and reliable. The two-burner stove has an adjustable windscreen that widens effortlessly to enlarge the cooking surface. A larger cooking surface will accommodate a larger pan. The fuel adaptor threads easily to a 16-ounce propane canister. If you were to leave the stove on high for one hour, you would use one 16-ounce canister of propane. The stove measures 21 x 13 x 3.5 inches when packed and weighs 9.8 lbs.
Each burner is 10,000 BTUs and can boil one quart of water in 4.75 minutes. On a windy day, a quart of water boils in 6.25 minutes. The stove has commendable wind resistance. The flame control is limited as the knobs are difficult to read but don’t affect the simmering. There can be hot spots, but overall The Classic stove performs steadily and predictably. We like this stove because it is easy to clean and comes with a 3-year limited warranty similar to the Coleman Triton+.
- Simple, Classic
- Adjustable windscreen
- Wind resistant
- Adapt to fuel easily
- No auto-ignite
- Lower BTUs
- Prone to hotspots
Our absolute favorite camp stove on the list is the Camp Chef Everest. It is our top choice and well worth the cost. The durability, wind resistance, and powerful, even cooking stands out above the rest. This tabletop stove has two 20,000 BTU burners and boils faster than any other stove on the list. With no wind, the Everest can boil a quart of water in 2.5 minutes. With wind, the Everest can boil a quart of water in 3 minutes. It will hold 12 inches in diameter pots on both burners simultaneously, which is suitable for family cooking.
Weighing 12.3 lbs, the Everest has a packed size of 23.5 x 13.5 x 4 inches. Armored with auto-ignite, this stove allows you to control the flame with precision. However, the low setting is still a little high and can cause burning, so checking on the food repeatedly is essential. A stainless steel drip pan makes cleanup a breeze, and the propane attachment fits inside the stove nicely for transportation. The biggest downfall with the Everest is the plastic latches. Camp Chef did upgrade these in the Camp Chef Everest 2X, but it isn’t worth the new price tag. You won’t be disappointed with this stove. It has a noticeable, quality design with an all-around solid performance.
- Quality design
- Plastic latches
No camp stove list would be complete without a freestanding stove on it. Powered with propane, the Explorer has two burners that are each 30,000 BTUs. It is relatively heavier than the other stoves coming in at 36 lbs. This extra weight comes from the powder-coated metal. To remove some of the weight, you could remove the removable legs and make it a tabletop stove. It is very versatile and great for large groups. You could also use it as a patio or backyard stove or have it in case of an emergency.
The Explorer is pretty bare-bones and bulky but suitable for Camp Chef’s add on cooking devices. If you are a solo, backpack camper or camp in a small group, this stove is not for you. If you car camp and camp in a large group, this stove is perfect for you. It has a large cooking space that is easily set-up and minimal maintenance. You can boil a quart of water in 3.75 minutes with no wind and 5 minutes. It has little wind resistance and no auto-ignite feature.
- Large dials like a home cooking stove
- Large cooking space
- Great for large groups
- Must use 20-gallon propane canister
- Little wind resistance
- No auto-ignite
The big brother to the Camp Chef Explorer is the Camp Chef Tahoe. The Camp Chef Tahoe adds another burner for a total of three burners. These burners are 30,000 BTUs. It is a basic design with the capability of adding Camp Chef accessories such as a griddle. With a sturdy cast aluminum frame, the Tahoe is reliable, powerful, and wind-resistant. There is minimal chance of the flame blowing out in windy situations.
Armored with auto-ignite, the Tahoe has even heat distribution and quality components. The Tahoe measures 30 inches high and has a 608 sq inch cooking area. It weighs 48 lbs., so it is not ideal for backpacking or trail camping. A three-foot hose connects to a 20-gallon propane tank. Great for larger groups. It comes with a one year warranty.
- Fully adjustable heat-controls
- Not ideal for backpacking or trail camping
The GSI Outdoors Selkirk 540 is similar to most of the stoves on this list. It is a middle of the road value and does what it is supposed to do. The stove is compact and gets the pans closer to burners. It functions well with an easy to grab handle. The powder-coated exterior makes the stove extra durable. Each burner puts out 10,000 BTUs using a 16 oz propane canister. On a windy day, this stove will boil a quart of water in 5.5 minutes. On a non-windy, the stove can boil a quart of water in 4 minutes. The packed weight of the Selkirk 540 is 9.8 lbs. and 21 x 12.9 x 3.8 inches.
Other features we like about the Selkirk are the micro control knobs, auto-ignite and that it is easy to set up and easy to clean. The compact design also makes this stove have decent wind resistance, which makes it efficient. A couple of things that don’t make this stove shine are that it cooks hot and has a temperamental ignitor and struggles when simmering. However, these three things are minor, and the Selkirk 540 is still a good stove.
- Pans are close to burners
- Cooks hot
- Temperamental ignitor
- Struggles simmering
We can’t finish off our list without a stove designed for backpacking and trail camping. The MSR Windburner meets this need. The MSR Windburner is a tabletop stove that is stable and windproof. The anti-topple technology ensures your pot won’t fall over as food is being cooked. You can boil a liter of water in 6.2 minutes. Efficiency and durability are significant characteristics for the Windburner.
Powered by a radiant burner, using an all-season fuel blend, instead of a flame, the Windburner cooks thoroughly and has a good simmer. Designed for 2-4 people, the system comes with ceramic cookware that is nonstick and self-centering. The packing size is 7.25 x 7.25 x 6 inches; the Windburner Stove System weighs 1 lb 4 oz. You can purchase additional accessories and cookware from MSR to make it fit all your backpacking and trail camping needs. It comes with a three-year limited warranty. It is not ideal for car camping as there are better and bigger camping stoves that will do a better job.
- Pans are close to burners
- Cooks hot
- Temperamental ignitor
- Struggles simmering
This list contains numerous camp stoves that any camper will be able to use as they enjoy nature. All of the stoves on this list are user-friendly, easy setup, and easy clean. Keep in mind that as you research camp stoves, you should consider the type of stove and fuel and the number of burners and burner power. Other things to consider include what kind of camping you will be doing, windy weather performance, auto-ignite, and weight/packed size. If auto-ignite is not essential to you, be sure to pack a lighter or matches. Whether you are backpacking, trail camping, or car camping, we are sure you will find a camp stove you love. So grab your bag, bedding, and stove and enjoy your time connecting with nature and feast on some well-cooked food.
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