Best Camping Stoves – 2018 List

A woman standing in front of a fire - camping stoves
If you're tired of cooking over the fire, a camping stove might be just what you need!

Grilling hot dogs and marshmallows over a campfire is fun, but it can also get old very quickly. Cleaning off dirty sticks, finding the right spot over the fire to cook your food, waiting for what feels like an eternity, and potentially even dropping your dinner make cooking over an open fire more than a small annoyance. For a truly enjoyable camp-cookout experience, camping stoves are a much better bet.

A stove may seem like an unnecessary luxury for the backcountry, but they can be more useful than you might think. Besides allowing you to cook over a controlled flame, camping stoves can be a lifesaver in rainy weather when it’s hard to get a fire started. If you think a camping stove would improve your next outdoor adventure, check out our camping stove buying guide to get started, and have a look at some of our favorite stoves this season!

What to Consider When Buying Camping Stoves

As with all outdoor equipment, it is important to make sure that you will be satisfied with the product you purchase. However, because of their small parts and mechanisms, it is even more important to make sure that the camp stove you buy will be one that won’t let you down when you need it the most. Here are some things to think about when purchasing your camping stove:

Type

-First and foremost, it is important to assess whether you want a camping stove or a backpacking stove. Backpacking stoves tend to be smaller, lighter, and more compact, and intended for use in the backcountry. While they can be useful for typical “camping” scenarios, they don’t have the capacity of traditional camping stoves. This article deals primarily with camping stoves, but there are a few backpacking stoves included as well for more intrepid adventurers.


Group Size

Obviously, cooking for a bigger group means you’ll need more space to cook. You can probably get away with a one burner stove if you’re cooking for only a few people. However, for groups of 4 or more, a two burner stove is strongly recommended. Groups of 8 or more will need even more burners. Camp cooking often means that space is at a premium, so if you need an extra large stove, you may want to consider getting a free-standing one. This will expand your cooking area and give you more space to prepare your food.

Fuel Type

There are two primary fuels for camping stoves: propane and liquid fuel. Propane stoves are far more common than liquid fuel ones. Propane is a great fuel because it lights quickly and doesn’t require much work. On the other hand, liquid fuel is more efficient in colder temperatures, and performs marginally better than propane. Both fuels have their benefits, but in the end, it largely comes down to preference. Additionally, some backpacking stoves burn wood in an effort to save on weight (instead of hauling fuel tanks around).

Power

Stove power is measured in BTUs – British Thermal Units. One BTU is the amount of energy required to heat one pound of water by one degree fahrenheit. Higher BTU camp stoves are generally more powerful than lower BTU ones, but the measure can sometimes be deceiving. High BTU stoves that are not arranged well may have higher energy outputs and be less efficient.

Best Camping Stoves – 2018 List

Now that you know what to look for in your camping stove, it’s time to start shopping! Here are 6 of our favorite camping stoves to keep you well fed this season.

Camp Chef Everest 2 Burner Stove

A red 2 burner camping stove
Photo: Amazon

Type: Camping Stove

Fuel: Propane

BTUs: 20,000 per burner

Price: $100

If you want a stove that’s going to deliver real power, Camp Chef Everest’s 2 burner stove is the one for you. Delivering 20,000 BTUs out of each burner, this powerful little stove will cook your meal quickly and leave everyone happy. It features controllable flames that allow you to boil water in a few minutes, but can be turned down to allow your food to simmer. The Instant Start feature means you won’t have to waste precious time trying to figure out how to light the stove. This Camp Chef Everest Stove is ideal for camping trips where you will be close to your car – at nearly 22lbs, it’s far too heavy to haul on the trail. However, if you’re looking for a powerful camping stove to feed an army, this one is a sure bet.

Buy it here.

Stansport Outfitters 2 Burner Stove

A grey and steel camping stove - camping stoves
Photo: Amazon

Type: Camping Stove

Fuel: Propane

BTUs: 25,000 per burner

A tough contender for top notch camping stoves, Stansport Outfitter’s 2 burner stove delivers an excellent cooking experience. This stove is perfect for small to medium groups – its burners don’t deliver quite the flame power of the Camp Chef Everest Stove, but it is still a great option if time isn’t a big issue. Some users complain that the knob that controls the burner is rather difficult to use, but other than that, the stove stacks up well against the competition, especially for its price. Buyers say that the stove performs well at high altitudes and in cold conditions. Overall, a good camping stove for a good price.

Buy it here.

Coleman Triton Series 2 Burner Stove

Coleman Triton 2 Burner
Photo: Amazon

Type: Camping Stove

Fuel: Propane

BTUs: 11,000 per burner

Price: $50 – $70

Camping stoves

If you have any experience at all with camping equipment, then Coleman is a familiar name. The rather ubiquitous camping brand has had a standard of excellence for decades, and this stove is certainly no exception. While the BTUs are somewhat lower than the competition, this stove delivers a strong, even flame in almost any condition. The stove’s shipping weight is only 10lbs, making it easy to carry around at least for short distances. Buyers say the stove is almost totally indestructable – living up to Coleman’s reputation of building camping equipment that just won’t quit. While the stove does not have an auto-ignite function, it performs well and the flame is easily controlled. Many camping aficionados consider this to be one of the best camping stove buys you can make.

Buy it here.

Camp Chef Pro 90 3 Burner Stove

A free standing red camping stoves
Photo: Amazon

Type: Camping

Fuel: Propane

BTUs: 30,000 per burner

Price: $240

For large camping groups or families, you’ll need a stove that can deliver enough power to feed a bunch of hungry mouths. This stove does just that, while saving you space. The free-standing design allows you to keep your stove off of the picnic table, so you have more room for food-prep. Additionally, food preparation wings on the side of the stove allow you to free up even more space. The fold-out legs make for a sturdy foundation and easy setup. A matchless ignition system takes the hassle out of lighting your stove. Overall, this camping stove makes cooking a joy and provides the home base for an excellent camp cooking operation.

Buy it here.

FireFly UL Titanium Collapsible Wood Stove

Camping stoves
Photo: QiWiz.com

Type: Backpacking

Fuel: Wood

BTUs: N/A

Price: $66

Any seasoned backpacker knows that if you’re doing an extended hike, chances are you’ve packed too much. If you want to avoid carrying extra weight, this little stove has your back. At just 2.7 ounces, this stove is truly lightweight and won’t weigh you down. In addition to having a light build, it will save you from having to haul around fuel tanks because it burns wood. Simply collect sticks at your campsite, and you’re good to go. The one downside to this is that wet conditions can make cooking difficult, but that is something to be expected on the trail. This stove is obviously not going to deliver the cooking experience of standard camping stoves, but for roughing it in the backcountry, this stove has you more than covered.

Buy it here.

MSR XGK-EX Multi Fuel Stove

Camping Stoves
Photo: EMS

Type: Backpacking

Fuel: Liquid Fuel

BTUs: N/A

Price: $160

If you’re looking for a backpacking stove that packs a little more power, MSR has you covered. This little stove can boil a pot of water in 3 minutes and 30 seconds, and is effective at high altitudes. It is versatile and will burn any type of liquid fuel very efficiently. This stove has been a favorite of hikers everywhere for many years; it requires little maintenance, burns just about anything, and works almost anywhere. It is on the pricey side, but for the power it delivers, it’s worth every penny.

Buy it here.


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Phoebe Harnish
When she's not writing, you can usually find Phoebe making music, reading, or enjoying the great outdoors. Phoebe studies literature and linguistics at a small liberal arts college in Pennsylvania.

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