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The Best Camping Stoves of 2024

We turned up the heat on stoves from all of the top brands to determine the best camping stoves for 2024. Whether you're a car camping pro or just getting started, we've got you covered.

Camp Stove ComparisonsTesting camp stoves in Colorado; (photo/Eric Phillips)
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Camping and food go hand in hand, especially when car camping affords you the luxury of a two-burner stove. And when good grub is on the line, not just any stove will do. That’s why we’ve been testing this camp cookware for multiple seasons, and to date have fired up nearly 20 different stoves in order to sniff out the best for your next camping trip.

A good camp stove should fire up quickly, provide a steady stream of heat to get things rolling, and be able to dial it back for precision work like simmering or sauteing. There are other details about your camp cuisine to consider as well, such as the number of hungry hikers you’re looking to feed, and whether you’ll only need a raw flame or the sizzle of a griddle to whip up some chow.

With years of combined experience with camp cooking, we used our collective knowledge to narrow down the best camping stoves available today. For each stove in this comprehensive review, we considered design, ease of use, BTUs, windy weather performance, simmer control, weight, cost, and boil time. On the surface, these stoves all have a lot in common, but each has unique features that stand out for specific uses.

Scroll through to see all of our recommended buys that we’d suggest to anyone looking to get into a camp stove for the first time. At the end of our list, be sure to check out our comprehensive buyer’s guide. We have also assembled a list of frequently asked questions and a comparison chart that can help guide your decision. 

Editor’s Note: We updated our Camping Stove guide on April 5, 2024, to add the iKamper Disco to the line-up of award-winners as our ‘Best Overlanding Stove’, as well as the Camp Chef Mountaineer — a high BTU brute that’s decked out in all aluminum for a lifetime of durability.

The Best Camping Stoves of 2024


Best Overall Camping Stove

Camp Chef Everest 2X

Specs

  • Number of burners 2
  • BTU output 20,000-BTU per burner
  • Boil time 3:06 min. per L
  • Fuel type Propane
  • Weight 12 lbs.
Product Badge The Best Camping Stoves of 2024

Pros

  • Produces strong flames
  • Works well in windy conditions
  • Burner design evenly spreads out heat
  • Windscreen tabs stay secure with exterior locks, which is a nice touch

Cons

  • A bit heavier (12 lbs.) and bulkier than we'd like
Best Budget Camping Stove

Coleman Cascade Classic Camp Stove

Specs

  • Number of Burners Two
  • BTU Output 10,000-BTU per burner
  • Boil Time 7:00 min. per L
  • Fuel Type Propane
  • Weight 11 lbs., 14.4 oz.
The Best Camping Stoves of 2024

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Durable enough for the outdoors
  • Ease of use

Cons

  • Regulator control knobs could be better
Best Compact Camping Stove

Primus Kinjia

Specs

  • Number of Burners Two
  • BTU Output 10,200 BTUs per burner
  • Boil Time 6:40 min. per L
  • Fuel Type Propane
  • Weight 8 lbs., 3.2 oz.
The Best Camping Stoves of 2024

Pros

  • Compact packed size slides into tight storage spots
  • Fine simmer control
  • Black, brass, and wood details make for a classy look

Cons

  • No windscreens
  • Gas bottle stand is easy to misplace
Best Grill/Griddle for Camping

Coleman 3-in-1 Stove

Specs

  • Number of Burners Two
  • BTU Output 12,000 BTUs per burner
  • Boil Time 4:30 min. per L
  • Fuel Type Propane
  • Weight 13 lbs., 8 oz. (21 lbs., 8 oz. with cast iron griddles)
The Best Camping Stoves of 2024

Pros

  • You get what you pay for — quality
  • Extra features: Cast iron attachments, carry handle, igniter

Cons

  • We wish the windscreens were slightly taller
  • Pretty hefty with included cast iron attachments
Best Overlanding Stove

iKamper Disco Series Camping Grill

Specs

  • Number of Burners One
  • BTU Output 8,455 BTU
  • Boil Time 7:00 min. per L
  • Fuel Type Isobutane
  • Weight 27 lbs.
The Best Camping Stoves of 2024

Pros

  • All-in-one modular cooking system
  • Kovea-made burner head
  • Easy-to-clean enameled cast iron skillet
  • Campfire-tripod cooking mode
  • Burly anodized aluminum leg system

Cons

  • On the heavier side
  • Pricey
Best One Burner Camping Stove

Eureka SPRK+ Camp Stove

Specs

  • Number of Burners One
  • BTU Output 11,500 BTUs
  • Boil Time 4:50 per L
  • Fuel Type Butane
  • Weight 5 lbs., 2.4 oz.
The Best Camping Stoves of 2024

Pros

  • Compact packed size with carrying case
  • Robust single burner
  • Easy stove fueling

Cons

  • Not great wind performance
  • Butane fuel not as easily sourced
Best Large Group Camping Stove

Camp Chef Explorer 14

Specs

  • Number of Burners Two
  • BTU Output 30,000 BTUs per burner
  • Boil Time 2:50 min. per L
  • Fuel Type Propane
  • Weight 30 lbs., 8 oz.
The Best Camping Stoves of 2024

Pros

  • Impressive heat output 
  • Large cooking area can accommodate multiple stock pots
  • Many add-on cooking surfaces

Cons

  • Quite heavy
  • Non-adjustable legs
Best of the Rest

Camp Chef Mountaineer

Specs

  • Number of Burners Two
  • BTU Output 20,000 BTUs per burner
  • Boil Time 3:25 min. per L
  • Fuel Type Propane
  • Weight 16 lbs.
The Best Camping Stoves of 2024

Pros

  • All-aluminum build
  • Broad 302 sq. in. cooking surface
  • Add-on leg system makes the stove fully freestanding
  • Plenty of heat with twin 20K burners

Cons

  • Higher price
  • Adapter needed to run 1 lb. propane bottles

GSI Outdoors Selkirk 540+

Specs

  • Number of Burners Two
  • BTU Output 14,000 BTUs per burner
  • Boil Time 4:25 min. per L
  • Fuel Type Propane
  • Weight 10 lbs.
The Best Camping Stoves of 2024

Pros

  • Slim collapsed profile
  • Easy-to-clean cook area
  • Updated burners put out 14,000 BTUs

Cons

  • Not the best wind resistance

Camp Chef VersaTop

Specs

  • Number of Burners One
  • BTU Output 18,000 BTUs
  • Boil Time  N/A
  • Fuel Type Propane
  • Weight 24 lbs.
The Best Camping Stoves of 2024

Pros

  • Even cooking surface
  • Great option when cooking for large groups of people
  • You don't need additional pans

Cons

  • It takes a while to heat up fully
  • Can't boil
  • Weighs a hefty 24 lbs.

Snow Peak Home & Camp Burner

Specs

  • Number of Burners One
  • BTU Output 8,333-BTU
  • Boil Time 4:00 min. per L
  • Fuel Type Butane
  • Weight 3 lbs.
The Best Camping Stoves of 2024

Pros

  • The legs and burner are low to the ground, reducing wind interference
  • Great simmer control
  • Highly responsive dials

Cons

  • On the pricier side ($120) for only one burner
  • Butane fuel can be less universal than propane

Eureka Ignite 2-Burner Camp Stove

Specs

  • Number of Burners Two
  • BTU Output 10,000 BTUs per burner
  • Boil Time 5:40 min. per L
  • Fuel Type Propane
  • Weight 10 lbs.
The Best Camping Stoves of 2024

Pros

  • Falls in the middle/upper end of the pack
  • Simmers really well
  • Looks great
  • Fairly priced

Cons

  • We had occasional issues with the strikers
  • Slower to boil than its higher-priced competition

Primus Profile 2-Burner Stove

Specs

  • Number of Burners Two
  • BTU Output 14,000 BTUs per burner
  • Boil Time 8:00 min. per L
  • Fuel Type Propane
  • Weight 11 lbs., 8 oz.
The Best Camping Stoves of 2024

Pros

  • Updated burners now put out 14,000 BTUs
  • Ideal for steady, low-heat cooking
  • Dial is accurate and slow to turn

Cons

  • Lacks adequate wind protection
  • A bit pricey

Jetboil Genesis Basecamp Stove System

Specs

  • Number of Burners Two
  • BTU Output 10,000-BTU per burner
  • Boil Time 5:45 min. per L
  • Fuel Type Propane
  • Weight 6 lbs., 3 oz.
The Best Camping Stoves of 2024

Pros

  • The clamshell folds down small
  • Great simmering control
  • Includes pot and pan
  • Can chain additional burners

Cons

  • More expensive than other stoves on the list
  • Hi-tech, modern look isn't for everybody

Camping Stove Comparison Chart

Camping StovePriceBurnersBTU OutputBoil TimeFuel TypeWeight
Camp Chef Everest 2X$190Two20,000-BTU per burner3:06 min. per LPropane12 lbs.
Coleman Cascade
Classic Camp Stove
$100Two10,000-BTU per burner7:00 min. per LPropane11 lb., 14.4 oz.
Primus Kinjia$210Two10,200-BTU per burner6:40 min. per LPropane8 lbs., 3.2 oz.
Coleman 3-in-1 Stove$210Two12,000-BTU per burner4:30 min. per LPropane13 lbs., 8 oz.
iKamper Disco Series Camping Grill
$490One8,455 BTU7:00 min. per LIso-butane27 lbs.
Eureka SPRK+$70One11,500-BTU4:50 min. per LButane5 lbs., 2.4 oz.
Camp Chef Explorer 14$150Two30,000-BTU per burner2:50 min. per LPropane30 lbs., 8 oz.
Camp Chef Mountaineer
$390Two20,000-BTU per burner3:25 min. per LPropane16 lbs.
GSI Outdoors Selkirk 540+$150Two14,000-BTU per burner4:25 min. per LPropane10 lbs.
Camp Chef VersaTop$190One18,000-BTUN/APropane24 lbs.
Snow Peak Home
& Camp Burner
$130One8,333-BTU4:00 min. per LButane3 lbs.
Eureka Ignite 2-Burner
Camp Stove
$125Two10,000-BTU per burner5:40 min. per LPropane10 lbs.
Primus Profile
2-Burner Stove
$140Two12,000-BTU per burner8:00 min. per LPropane11 lbs., 8 oz.
Jetboil Genesis
Basecamp Stove System
$400Two10,000-BTU per burner5:45 min. per LPropane6 lbs., 3 oz.
Scroll right to view all of the columns
Best Camping Stoves Review
(Photo/Mary Murphy)

How We Tested Camping Stoves

You wouldn’t head out into the backcountry with an untested backpacking stove, and while the stakes might not be as high while camping, it’ll certainly put a damper on the evening should things fizzle out. Luckily, we’ve done the heavy lifting for you, and thanks to our crew of outdoors enthusiasts, we’ve field-tested the entire spectrum of camp stoves, from compact single burners to brew up your coffee to full-blown mobile kitchens that’ll feed 10 people with ease.

Managing Editor Mary Murphy is a multisport athlete, and it wouldn’t be off-base to claim that camp cooking is also one of those sports. From her outpost in Denver, she assembled our initial slate of 12 camp stoves in 2021 and dreamed up our boiling and simmering testing regimen to ensure each stove was tested on an even playing field.

Senior Editor Nick Belcaster has experienced the entire backcountry culinary spectrum, from cold-soaking ramen noodles on months-long thru-hikes to whipping up full-course meals for groups of friends while car camping, and his time on the hot side has earned him the title of honorary grill master among his camping compadres. Based in Washington State, Belcaster continues to test the latest and greatest in camp stoves on forays into the mountains and out to the coast — typically in something a bit more casual than chef’s whites.

Besides just boiling water, we cooked meals on each of the camp stoves for this review (including mac and cheese, sautéed veggies, meats, rice, and more). We also conducted boil and simmer tests, which are a consistent way of comparing stove performance. We believe this provides a good understanding of each stove’s technical cooking capabilities. And finally, as the green canisters started to pile up, we tallied our fuel consumption to figure out the relative efficiency of each stove.

When we test a camp stove, we’re also looking at the big picture, and we pay special attention to functional differences in ease of use, packability, weight, and availability of fueling. All told, we’ve put close to 20 different stove systems through our ringer, and have come up with a pretty good understanding of what makes a great camp stove the center of your outdoor kitchen.

Best Camping Stoves — iKamper Steaks
From ramen to strip steaks, we fired it up on meals across the country to test ease of use and versatility; (photo/Erika Courtney)

Boil and Simmer Tests

We subjected each propane stove to a substantial boil test. We boiled 1 L of water with the same GSI pot and lid on each stove. Before each test, we made sure the pot and water were at the same temperatures as in prior tests. We also checked the water occasionally to note when it began to boil.

Different air temperatures and altitudes will boil water differently, so we tested all of these stoves at the same altitude. Don’t buy one of these stoves and expect it to boil water at these specific times; instead, use this as a rough guide as to which stove heats the most effectively and gets the hottest. Some stoves might have faster boiling times, and others might have better simmer capabilities.

Simmer Test

To test how well a stove could simmer, we tested the knobs and saw how low the flame could go while still remaining active. We also placed a hand above the flame and lowered it to see how close we could get before it got uncomfortable.

The closer the hand could comfortably get (measured in inches), the lower we found a burner could go. Why does this matter? You don’t just want a stove to have hot and very hot settings; sometimes you need less flame to cook on a low simmer.

We also tested each of the dials to see the range of control they allowed. The higher the degrees of rotation, the more you can turn the dial and change the heat output.

Generally, the higher the better, as this lets you clearly know if you’re cooking on low, medium, or high. Some knobs are also marked with high and low settings to indicate the range.

Camp Chef Everest Simmer Test
Our simmer testing shed a lot of light on the pure performance of these stoves; (photo/Mary Murphy)
Camping StoveTime to Boil 1 LiterSimmer Test
Camp Chef Explorer 142:50 minutes per L3 inches, 180 degrees
Camp Chef Everest 2X3:06 minutes per L1 inch, 360+ degrees
Camp Chef Mountaineer3:25 minutes per L1 inch, 360+ degrees
Snow Peak Home & Camp Burner4:00 minutes per L2 inches, 3 settings
GSI Outdoors Selkirk 540+4:25 minutes per L4 inches, 720 degrees
Coleman 3-in-14:30 minutes per L2 inches, 360 degrees
Eureka SPRK+4:50 minutes per L2 inches, 180 degrees
Eureka Ignite5:40 minutes per L1-2 inches, 440 degrees
Jetboil Genesis Basecamp Stove5:45 minutes per L2 inches, 1,440 degrees
Primus Kinjia6:40 minutes per L2 inches, 360 degrees
iKamper Disco Series Camping Grill7:00 minutes per L1 inch, 270 degrees
Coleman Cascade Classic7:00 minutes per L2-3 inches, 270 degrees
Primus Profile8:00 minutes per L1-2 inches, 120 degrees

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose a Camping Stove

This list is for car camping stoves. If you want to eat hot food while hiking or backpacking, check out our review of the best backpacking stoves. Or, if a good char is your thing, take a look at our gear guide of the best portable grills. Otherwise, read on as we break down the nitty-gritty details of camping stoves.

While the camp stove might be the centerpiece of your camp kitchen, its not alone, and building out your perfect camp kitchen will require assembling the proper cook and tableware, utensils, furniture, and organizers. Check out our article on Dialing in Your Camp Kitchen for more details.

Types of Camping Stoves: Standalone Remote Fuel or Freestanding

Best Camping Stoves — iKamper Setup
A remote fuel stove like the iKamper Disco System means you can swap in canisters without disassembling the stove, and even use the burner remotely; (photo/Erika Courtney)

Camping stoves can be broken down into two main groups, and deciding what kind of camp cooking you’re aiming to do will help you narrow in on which stove is better for you. The vast majority of camp stoves are stand-alone remote fuel stoves, which differentiate themselves from backpacking stoves by not relying on the canister to support the stove. Weighing right around 10 pounds and packing down efficiently to be stowed away, these stoves are best placed on a camp or picnic table, with their outboard fuel canisters supported.

Freestanding stoves, on the other hand, are large group cookers and are totally self-supporting with adjustable legs that both make them easier to stand at while using, but also bulkier and harder to move around. These models typically have higher outputs in order to handle boiling large pots for things like crab boils or stews, and the 30,000 BTU Camp Chef Explorer 14 is an excellent example. Freestanding stoves typically are fueled by the larger 20-pound propane canisters or can be used with smaller refillable canisters like the Ignik 5-pound Gas Growler.

Number of Burners

Jetboil Genesis Camp Stove Two Burners
Two burners are our recommendation for most everything you’d want to cook up while camping, but chainable systems like the Jetboil Genesis allow you to add on even more; (photo/Eric Phillips)

If you spend more than 2-3 months out of the year camping — even if you are a single household — we’d recommend going for a two-burner camping stove. Two burners mean you always have the option of cooking with a pot and pan or, for instance, making one entrée alongside a vegetarian or kid-friendly option, and you avoid the musical chairs of attempting to have everything hot at the same time.

Not to mention, two-burner stoves are the standard. However, for those wanting something different, there are now many single-burner (and even a few three-burner) options on the market. For larger groups, consider a three-burner such as the Coleman Cascade 328, which sports 28,000 BTUs across the cooking surface.

Also, remember that not all two burners are built the same. The 30,000 BTU output of the Camp Chef Explorer 14 is a one-way ticket to boiling large stock pots, while the lighter-duty 10,000 BTU stoves that are more common will struggle to accomplish this quickly.

Another easy way to augment the number of burners available is to add a single-burner type stove, like the Eureka SPRK+ or Snow Peak Home & Camp Burner, into the mix. We’ve often utilized combos like this to churn out pasta and sauce, while our sous chef whips up a hot side.

Chainable stove systems like the Jetboil Genesis Basecamp or Eureka Ignite are another excellent way to add additional cooking surfaces, and cut down on the number of propane bottles you need to lug around. Compared to bigger three-burner units, the beauty of a chainable system is that you can leave components behind if you’re going solo or don’t need to cook that much.

BTUs Explained

Camp Cooking Pinnacle Stove
The author camping and cooking along the Arkansas River; (photo/Eric Phillips)

BTU stands for British Thermal Unit. Basically, it’s a measurement of energy and, in the case of camp stoves, heat. A gas range stove you’d find in a home has about 6,000-8,000 BTUs per burner (on average), and for the curious, a single BTU is the amount of energy needed to raise the temperature of 1 pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit.

Lower BTUs generally mean lower-heat cooking (good for simmering and light cooking uses). While higher BTUs (anything above 10,000) indicate high-heat cooking (great for meals with longer cook times and essential for being able to boil lots of water quickly). The flame pattern that a burner head puts out will also have an effect on heat transfer, but BTUs are a relatively clean way to compare stoves to one another.

Most camp stoves today hover around the 10,000 BTU mark, which for almost all cooking purposes is a perfectly functional amount of heat. It balances the fuel efficiency well, and will still boil a pot of water in a reasonable amount of time. Stoves like the Coleman Cascade Classic, Primus Kinjia, and Eureka Ingite all put out around this amount, and all worked admirably in our testing.

Bumping up the BTUs can certainly speed up the cooking process, especially when it comes to bringing water to a boil. The GSI Selkirk 540+ and Coleman 3-in-1 both pump out around 12-14,000 BTU, and were able to bring a liter of water to a boil in less than 4 minutes 30 seconds. This increase in performance does come with a cost, however, and in high-performance 20,000 BTU stoves like the Camp Chef Everest 2X, fuel consumption will take a hit. Consider bringing along multiple gas canisters when cooking with these higher-power options.

Time to Boil

Jetboil Genesis Basecamp Stove - For carcamping
Firepower is typically the quickest route to a fast boil, but other mechanisms are at play, such as wind shielding and burner head design; (photo/Sean Jansen)

Usually, when you go camping, you’re there to enjoy the outdoors. And yes, that also means enjoying hanging around camp and eating good camp food. One of the most essential criteria for a camp stove is its ability to boil water.

Some stoves can boil in 3 minutes, while others take as long as 10 minutes. The stove that boils the fastest marks a great stove, but doesn’t necessarily make it the best. If you are looking for certain features, say a lightweight stove or one with an igniter, you may have to sacrifice some boil time.

In our testing, it was no surprise that the 30,000 BTU powerhouse Camp Chef Explorer 14 was hot to trot right out of the gate and boiled a liter of water in less than 3 minutes. Following that were the higher-end BTU stoves, including the Camp Chef Everest 2X, the Camp Chef Mountaineer, and the Coleman 3-in-1. Interestingly, the glut of stoves with around 10-12,000 BTU shook out with a wide variance of times, and can likely be attributed to their burner size and shape. Bringing up the rear was the budget Coleman Cascade Classic, which took a full 7 minutes to boil.

All the stoves we reviewed were able to efficiently light/start, heat, and reach a rolling boil in 8 minutes or less.

Simmer Control and Flame Pattern

Afterburners are cool and all, but being able to dial back your heat will make much more enjoyable meals; (photo/Nick Belcaster)

We did a whole test on simmer control because, as we’ve mentioned, boiling water isn’t everything. In order to enjoy a good chef-quality camp meal, you want to be able to boil, but also bake, sauté, fry, simmer, grill, and more. We measured the simmering range on the flame of each burner/stove to see how they stacked up.

The pattern of the flame that the burner head puts out also has a good bit to do with how well a stove will simmer. Small burners like those present on the Primus Kinjia concentrate the heat in one area, and you’ll need to continue stirring to keep food from burning, or use cookware that dissipates heat, such as cast iron. This was one of the reasons we loved the Camp Chef Everest 2X so much, which has broad burner heads that distribute heat evenly and make for fuss-free simmering.

Performance in Wind

Eureka Ignite Camping Stove
Tall windscreens, like on the Eureka! Ignite, can greatly reduce the wind effect on your stove’s flame pattern; (photo/Mary Murphy)

Think about how often and under what conditions (such as in cold weather) you’ll be using your stove. The more you expand your horizons to travel, the chances of harsh weather and wind will increase. Knowing whether or not your stove can hold up in windy weather isn’t something you want to learn on a 10-day camping trip on the blustery New England coast.

Camp stoves aim to protect themselves from the wind in three ways. The first is windscreens, which typically are attached to the lid of the stove and are deployed by folding them out. This creates a three-sided barrier from gusts that might otherwise attempt to snuff out your flame. Windscreens aren’t often very adjustable, so you’ll want to aim your stove with the lid pointing into the wind.

The second method to block wind is by recessing the burners into the stove pan. This is fairly prominent on stoves like the Primus Kinjia or Coleman Cascade Classic, but noticeably absent on the GSI Selkirk 540+, which likely contributed to that stove’s lesser ability to avoid being blown out. The final barrier against wind is only seen on the Camp Chef Everest 2X, and those are small metal dishes that surround each burner. These made the Everest extremely resistant to being blown out.

If you live somewhere windy, you can also ensure better stove performance in wind and cold by investing in more BTUs.

Fuel Types, Capacities, and Efficiency

Snow Peak Home and Camp Burner Set Up
While butane isn’t the most popular fuel type, it is still readily available and can make for an overall more compact stove setup; (photo/Mary Murphy)

The majority of stoves on this list (as you can tell by the images) use 1-pound propane canisters. However, a few, like the Snow Peak Home & Camp, use butane fuel. While it varies based on how long you take to cook your meals and what setting your burner is on, a 1-pound propane canister generally lasts about three or four meals, or about 1 hour of cooking time. If you’re headed out for a weekend, we recommend packing a few canisters, as multiple meals can start to chew through them.

Propane is generally considered an all-weather cooking fuel, but will start to get finicky as the temperatures drop. You can help safeguard against this by keeping your canisters in a warm place before cooking, and tucking them back away when you’re done. Butane, on the other hand, doesn’t do so hot in the cold, and we don’t generally recommend it for shoulder season cooking.

In our testing, we timed each stove for how long it would run on a single 16-ounce propane canister and found that in general the higher the BTUs, the thirstier the stove and the quicker it would burn fuel. At full-blast, the Camp Chef Everest 2X will always find the bottom of a canister before the 10,000 BTU stoves, and because of this we always recommend only running your stove as hot as you need to cook on.

While traditional 1-pound propane canisters are single-use, you may consider investing in a refillable propane tank like the Gas Growler from Ignik ($150), which will allow you to refill your camp canister from 20-pound propane tanks. This can greatly simplify your camp cooking needs and keep disposable tanks out of the landfill.

Or, if space is at a premium, the Flame King 1-pound refillable bottles offer the same convenience, at the same size as the single-use tanks. Take note that generally all camp stoves use a screw-on adapter that accepts 16-ounce canisters, but adapters can be purchased for running off bigger tanks.

Weight and Packed Size

Weight is one of the biggest differentiators between the stoves on this list. However, these stoves are built for car camping, so you won’t really be carrying them too far. If you know you want a capable and strong two-burner, weight might not matter as much as other features.

What matters more is the packed size. There’s only so much space in your car or truck or at your campsite, so compact stoves like the Jetboil Genesis Basecamp Stove or the Primus Kinjia can make a difference. 

Check to see if the stove packs down into a case, has a cover, and how the fuel line and grill can be stored. Is it all stored together? Do accessories take up more space? These are all factors to consider for your unique preferences and needs.

Ignition: Strikers vs. Matches

GSI Pinnacle Camp Stove Testing Detail
While packed size isn’t as important as with backpacking stoves, you’ll want to consider the overall size and weight for lugging around in your adventure-mobile; (photo/Eric Phillips)

Strikers, also sometimes known as auto-igniters or piezo igniters, are buttons that expel a spark using electricity to ignite a stove. (It’s a process similar to the button that ignites the pilot light on your stove at home.) Over the years we’ve had the pleasure of using some high-quality piezo igniters, and seen the sadness of realizing that your built-in striker has bit the dust. Know that different qualities of piezo igniters exist, and that generally you get what you pay for.

Other strikers that provide a spark can be flint or metal. We always opt for a camp stove that has an integrated igniter — as long as the igniter works consistently, this is the best option.

The last option for lighting your camp stove is the good ol’-fashioned match. However, matches can be wasteful and fragile, and not all are waterproof or can stand up to harsh weather. You can always bring flint or some matches as a backup method.

Extra Features: Griddles, Grates, Pots, and More

Best Camping Stoves — iKamper Fire Mode
The ability to switch to cooking over a campfire makes the iKamper Disco super versatile; (photo/Nick Belcaster)

Think about who you’re cooking for. Is your group size usually one to two people, three to four, or a larger family? Also, consider what you’re cooking.

Do you make a lot of one-pot meals, or do you like sautéing, simmering, slicing, dicing, and baking when outdoors? Do you want to invest in these features down the road? Or do you want a stove with a compatible grill top, or a stove big enough for say, a dutch oven?

Finally, consider your budget. If you see a stove on sale for less than the others, we recommend jumping on it.

FAQ

What is the best small camping stove?

Small can mean compact or, in the case of camp stoves, slimmer and lighter. Each of the stoves on this list is designed with some form of portability and compactness in mind.

If you are tight on space and looking for a truly small stove to stash away in your camp kit or vehicle, we’d recommend the Eureka SPRK+ (a one-burner option) or the Primus Kinjia (a slim and more budget-friendly two-burner).

Eureka SPRK+ Camp Stove
For simple meals for one or just boiling some water, the Eureka SPRK+ is an excellent option; (photo/Nick Belcaster)
What is the best camping stove for families?

By far, the best stove for families is the one that will fit your family’s needs. That being said, we’d recommend a stove that’s sturdy, versatile (can cook multiple meals), and easy to clean.

You can’t go wrong with any of our top picks, but the Camp Chef Everest 2X stands out for peak cooking performance and durability. The Coleman Cascade Classic Camp Stove, on the other hand, stands out for budget-friendly, simple, and durable use. Both are durable options that should last for years of family gatherings.

Which is better — a butane or propane camping stove?

Both butane and propane have their pros and cons. Both are pressurized gasses — gas that is compressed and stored as a liquid. Butane tends to perform less well in colder weather. Propane canisters can come in all types of sizes (a better variety to suit a wider range of needs).

It’s important to take note of what climate you’ll be using your camp stove in most. Also, propane is fairly easy to access — you can find it in a big city, in rural towns, even in general stores near state or national parks.

Does the stove have a fuel line adaptor to accommodate different types of fuel? Only a few stoves on the market can run on multiple fuels (Coleman even makes one that runs on gasoline), but the majority are designed for solely butane or propane.

Backpacking stove vs. camping stove: What’s the difference?

Backpacking stoves are very small single-burner units that can fit in a backpack (even the palm of your hand). Their weight is measured in ounces. Camping stoves, however, are used at “base camp” when you are car camping, truck camping, visiting National Parks, or traveling between.

Camp stoves are bigger and heavier (average 8-14 pounds), and they’re made to be set on a tabletop, truck bed, picnic, or camp table, converting your camp into a camp kitchen.

If you’re looking at the differences between both and are still stumped as to which to choose for your next outing, read up on How To Choose A Camp Stove in our handy guide.

What to look for when buying a camping stove?

First, consider how you plan on using your camping stove. Someone who is looking to make a near-fixture of their camp stove in a van build-out is likely to have different requirements over someone who only needs to boil water during weekend camping trips. If you are in the first camp, look into your more substantially built stoves, such as the Camp Chef Everest 2X. For more casual use, consider the Coleman Cascade Classic.

Then, think about the types of meals you are looking to brew up. More substantial or complicated meals will require more cooking space, as well as potentially more heat output. Look for a twin burner stove with at least 10,000-BTU output if you’re the camp chef of your friend group. We find the Coleman 3-in-1 to be a versatile stove that is ready for any type of meal.

Finally, consider if you might ever utilize your stove in a hike-in capacity. There are a number of lighter camp stoves on the market, such as the Snow Peak Home & Camp Burner or Jetboil Genesis Basecamp Stove, that make packing them into camp a much easier chore.

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