When you’re out on the trail, the last thing you want to worry about is a camp stove failure. No one wants peanut-butter-and-jelly sandwiches when they could have a piping hot meal at their campsite.
Some of the most important attributes of the best camping stoves are the burner’s BTUs, the cooking space’s surface area, ease-of-use, safety, and versatility. Many camp stoves come with excellent temperature controls that let you simmer as if you were in your kitchen.
As with everything when you camp, weight is a crucial element, especially if you’re packing your gear in. Some camp stoves have auto-ignition, and others don’t, but it’s always wise to bring an extra light source, just in case.
At a reasonable price point and with thoughtful features, the Classic Camp Stove from Coleman is the top choice in terms of reliability, ease-of-use, and portability. The valve controls are extra sensitive to allow for minute adjustments, and it weighs 12 lbs., packing up into a compact case.
It works well on a dark winter morning in New Hampshire or the Utah salt flats’ blazing heat. If you need a camp stove that can handle small to mid-sized meals, the Coleman Gas Stove is a convenient device with thoughtful features.
Best Camping Stove in 2021
Coleman Gas Stove | Portable Propane Gas Classic Camp Stove
The go-to choice for many experienced campers, fans often laud the Coleman Classic as the simplest to use and the most reliable when you’re cooking. With excellent wind blockage, it’s easy to keep a flame going on the Coleman Classic, and it has ideal simmering control.
The two burners provide 10,000 BTUs each, and the fuel adaptor threads on easily. It packs down to a compact size and weighs 12 lbs., making it an ideal choice for your camping trips. The Coleman Classic boils a quart of water in five minutes, and the 16.4 oz. tank lets you cook with both burners on high for over an hour, making this the best 2-burner camp stove of the bunch.
- Uses propane to create flames
- Fuel adaptor connects easier than other models
- 2 burners at 10,000 BTUs each
- Weighs 12 lbs., making it easy to pack in
- 16.4 oz. propane tank
- Limited flame control
- No ignition, so you need a lighter
Primus Classic Trail Backpacking Stove
You may remember the Primus Classic Trail from the camping trips of your youth. The innate design and simple-to-use interface make this a practical camping stove for any camping ventures.
This is an especially easy-to-use camping stove, making it perfect for those who haven’t used a stove outdoors yet. The 4” wide, 4-point base is exceptionally sturdy and can easily bring a large pot of water to boil in minutes.
With a wide burner that emits strong and steady flames, this camping stove is surprisingly sensitive and can handle large cookware. If you’re looking for a stove that performs similarly to the one you have at home, the Primus Classic Trail is the best portable camping stove.
- 4-point pot stand is a sturdy base
- 4” wide pan support and wide flames
- Only weighs 6.9 oz.
- Cooking sensitivity rivals your stove at home
- May leak when attaching fuel
G.S.I.Sports 56012 Selkirk 540 Camp Stove
This is a reliable and easy-to-use camping stove that has a 22” x 13” cooking area. It can fit a reasonably sized cast iron pan next to a Dutch oven, so you can easily fry up some bacon while flipping pancakes for your crew.
Although the Selkirk can’t handle extra-large meals, it is perfect for small-party or solo camping. It has a Piezo ignition, which can be a little finicky at first or in the wind, but generally works very well. It doesn’t hurt to bring an extra lighter, just in case.
The Selkirk is easy to set up and has generous wind screens that slide into place. With a powdered coating and easy-to-grab handle, the Selkirk is light to pack in at just under 10 lbs. It is a great camping stove for those who hike with only one or two other companions.
- Works exceptionally well on windy days
- Can boil a quart of water in 4 mins
- Micro control valves to tweak flames
- 22” x 13” cooking surface area
- Easy to connect to fuel adaptor with no cross-threading
- Auto-ignition struggles in breeze
- May need heat diffuser for low-heat dishes
Camp Chef Versatop Portable Flat Top Grill
If you would rather cook on a griddle than a pan, this portable flat top gives you a lot more surface area and plenty of cooking power.
Powered by propane in a 1-lb. canister, the Versatop has adjustable legs for different heights, a heat-control knob, and it’s compatible with other Camp Chef 14” accessories. After you’re done cooking, there’s no pan to wash, and it’s a cinch to wipe down the cooking surface.
The cooking surface is also special since it’s Camp Chef’s True Seasoned flat top, which gives excellent flavor and provides a nonstick surface for any food you want to cook on it.
It’s not as easy to pack in this flat-top portable stove, but it is the best car camping stove on our list.
- Large flat surface makes for easy cooking
- Comes with a grill accessory
- 15,000 BTU burner underneath flat-top grilling surface
- Camp Chef’s patented nonstick surface
- Matchless ignition for ease-of-use
- Not as portable as other cooking stoves
Snow Peak LiteMax Titanium Stove
This stove, crafted out of titanium, is the lightest our reviewers came across and still stands up to some serious culinary tasks. All Snow Peak products are made with precision and care in Japan, using a multi-step process.
The Snow Peak LIteMax is an elegant and durable stove that weighs only 2 oz. It can bring 1 qt. of water to boil in six minutes, so it’s not just compact and handy, but very effective as well.
The spokes fold into the device so you can easily pack this away or even store it in your pot. Set-up is a cinch – screw it into a canister of Isobutane, turn the valve, and light for a flame. This product has a lifetime warranty, so you won’t have to worry about repairs or replacement parts.
- 0.12 lbs. or 2 oz. makes this stove the lightest
- Built-in windscreen to protect flame
- Made of titanium in Japan
- Perfect for long camping trips
- Has an adjustable flame
- Flame may die after 2 minutes
MSR XGK EX Extreme-Condition Camping and Mountaineering Stove
The choice of many professional backpackers and wilderness leaders, the MSR XGK burns on a variety of fuels, is field-maintainable, and one of the best snow melters on the market.
You’ll find the MSR-XGK in base camps around the world, from Denali to Kilimanjaro. Although it’s loud when cranked up to full heat, the MSR-XGK may offer you some respite from your campmates’ idle chatter.
There’s not a lot of temperature control with this rugged camping stove, so if you’re interested in simmering your food, you may want to opt for another choice.
However, if you need a hearty workhorse that is easy to repair and can melt a lot of snow for tired trekkers, the MSR-XGK is the perfect device to put in your pack.
- Excels at long, hard use at high altitudes
- Melts snow quickly
- Simple to troubleshoot in the field
- Flexible fuel line to pack easily
- No temperature control
- Bulky and heavy at 13.8 oz.
Trangia Spirit Burner with Screwcap
For a convenient, compact alcohol burner, the Trangia Spirit Burner regularly gets top prizes in its home country of Sweden. It won’t cost you too much out of pocket, and it will last a long time because the metal exterior is durable, and the device can even be stored with leftover alcohol in it.
The Spirit Burner has three modes – full blast, simmer, or off. To get to simmer, you attach the simmer ring to decrease the heat. One of the most ingenious aspects of the Spirit Burner is its windscreen, which fits over the flame. The perforations allow for greater or lesser oxygen flow to the flames, which gives you control over the temp.
This package also comes with a twist-on cap, so you don’t have to dump out unused fuel when you’re done cooking.
- Top-rated in Sweden
- Weighs 2.88 oz.
- Boils 1 qt. in 8 minutes
- Runs on methylated spirits like Tenol
- Includes a simmer ring
- Snuff ring has no wire extension
Camp Chef Explorer Double Burner Stove
This sturdy camp stove is great at preparing lots of food for hungry campers. Not only does it have powerful burners at 15,000 BTUs each, but it also has excellent temperature control, so it is great for simmering.
Removable legs on the Camp Chef Explorer make it a versatile camp stove, as you can have it standalone or place it on a picnic table or truck tailgate. With a broad cooking area of 448 in2, the Explorer sits at a height of 32” with legs attached.
This is too much camp stove for solos or pairs, and it is too heavy to bring on extended trips where you have to pack your gear in. However, if you have lots of mouths to feed and want some extra power, the Explorer is an ideal cooking apparatus.
- Removable legs for easy moving
- Large cooking area for big groups
- Powerful cooking ability at 30,000 BTUs
- Great at simmering
- Fuel hose joint hook-up may leak
- No auto-ignition included
Solo Stove Campfire
This wood-burning stove is perfect for section hikers, day hikers, or those who are in it for the long-haul.
The main benefit is that it burns hot due to its unique double wall and produces very little smoke. This means that you won’t have to cook over a smoky fire with streaming eyes.
You don’t need to worry about toting in liquid fuel canisters. The only thing you need to do is to make sure that the wood you use is dry enough to burn steadily.
You can even use lumps of charcoal that may have been left over from previous camping parties. The Solo Stove has a lifetime guarantee, so you never have to worry about replacing broken parts.
- No batteries or liquid fuel needed
- Burns hot with less smoke
- Ashpan for easy cleanup
- Cooks for up to 4 people
- Stainless steel design and lifetime guarantee
- Hard to keep lit
Gas ONE GS-3000 Portable Gas Stove
This 1-burner stove uses petroleum gas as an incendiary and sets up easily, cooks well, and cleans up in an instant. If you’re looking for a lightweight, easy-to-use, one-burner cooking apparatus for your camping trips, this is an excellent choice.
The other standout about this particular stove is that it has a lot of excellent safety features. If an irregular gas flow is detected, the automatic shut-off system immediately turns off the stove. Additionally, a built-in mechanism prevents leakage because it locks in the canister when the dial is off.
The Gas One GS-3000 has a slow fire, which makes it perfect for simmering. Eggs and bacon, and popcorn are standouts when it comes to the low simmer of this 1-burner camping stove.
- 1 burner for intense cooking ability
- Weighs only 3.1 lbs.
- Uses liquefied petroleum gas
- Puts out 9,000 BTUs an hour
- Tons of safety features
- Not great customer service
- No windscreen to block breeze
Jetboil Flash Camping and Backpacking Stove Cooking System
If you’re looking for a quick way to boil water on the trail, the Jetboil Flash is an excellent companion to take with you. The integrated system screws onto its fuel canister on one end and the included 1-liter FluxRing cooking cup on the other.
The JetBoil can boil 16 oz. of water in 100 seconds. If you’re a hiker who hates to wait for boiling water, this is the integrated system for you. It’s easy enough and quick enough to brew a hot cup of tea on a break.
The push-button ignition fires up in an instant, emitting 9,000 BTUs with just the push of a button. A corrugated metal heat exchanger at the base of the Jetboil Flash keeps heat in, making this an efficient and convenient choice.
- Easy to carry at 13.1 oz.
- Reliable push-button ignition for an easy light
- Comes with a 1-liter cooking cup
- The bottom cup doubles as a measuring cup
- Small pot size
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If you want a reliable and transportable camp stove, the Coleman Classic isn’t too heavy, is a cinch to set up and break down, and provides adequate heat control and excellent reliability. This camp stove won’t let you down.
As an all-around addition to your camping retinue, the Coleman Gas Stove gives you the ability to control the temperature, cooking your food more effectively and with more fuel efficiency. A camper’s favorite for very good reasons, the Classic Coleman is the most well-rounded campstove on our list.