The Best Backpacking Stove on the Market (You Will Be Shocked 3rd Stove Exists!)
So you’re going outdoors…
You want to go backpacking with your friends over the weekend. Make sure everything you need is ready. Tent, tent poles, and sleeping bag, best backpacking stove? Check. Backpack stuffed with clothes, flashlight, first-aid kit, cards, and other essentials? Check. Food? Check.
But you forget one thing: how are you going to cook your food?
Don’t Forget Your Camping Stove…
To cook your food you need a burner, an igniter, and a fuel canister. That’s all you need, except, of course, the frying pan for your fried egg and the pot to boil water for your coffee.
But you want something that will not need extra space in your backpack. The key is portability and… it can cook decent food. You want a patio grill type quality for your steak. Now you ask what type of stove to bring with you outdoors.
These are the things you must consider before you shop for that dream backpacking stove:
Lightweight and portable
You don’t want to carry a heavier item on top of your backpack when going outdoors. So bring a stove that’s easier to carry and easy to use anytime, anywhere. Cut out those stuff that add extra weight. You’re not moving your room outdoor.
Fuel efficient and cheap
If you plan for a longer camping time, make sure that you have enough fuel for your stove with you. Remember, you’re hiking to a place that’s far from the nearest hardware or gas station. You can choose a more fuel efficient stove that consumes less gas or propane yet its heat output is superb.
Sturdy and safe to use
You’re not going out to burn the forest. So choose a cooking stove that’s sturdy and safe to prevent forest fires. It should have a wider base so you can stir that pot of corn porridge. You will also avoid pouring yourself with boiling water.
No need for matches to ignite
When it rains, your matches may get wet. Of course, you wouldn’t want to be one of those pre-historic people who use stones or forest woods to create fire. Worry not for matches or lighter, choose a stove that has a built-in ignition system. I tell you it will save your time.
Can cook with less time
The purpose of your going outdoor is to enjoy nature. You want to feel the fresh air or you want to dip yourself in the pristine lake water. But if you spend more time cooking your meal, then it defeats your purpose. It’s either you go home or choose a stove that cooks faster.
Reliable in all weather conditions
The weather outside is unpredictable. It may be windy or it could be a rainy day. And if you plan to go to high altitude camps prepare a cooking tool that functions in cold conditions. You need that hot coffee or cocoa when you’re in a cold mountain.
No BS This Stove Exists…
Check this one out. It has all the features you want for a backpacking stove.
The Camp Chef Everest High-Output 2-Burner Stove. No, that’s not a technical term you just encountered. Camp Chef is a camping stove that has two burners. Not just ordinary burners! Each burner has an output of 20,000 BTUs of heat. It’s super hot, baby!
Now you ask, what the heck does BTU mean? BTU stands for British Thermal Unit. It is a unit of energy used to measure how much heat is needed to boil that 1 cup of water.
Camp Chef combines utility and quality for your camping stove. You will have a steak that’s cooked in a patio grill with this one. Plus, it is portable and easy to carry, just a little thicker than your old laptop computer. Its dimensions? Well, 4.25 x 23.5 x 13.5 inches.
It has a strong nickel-coated steel cooking grate designed to hold your pots, griddles, and skillets. It cooks faster, too. Its two burners with an output of 20,000 BTUs of heat each, you can boil water for your coffee and cook your omelette at the same time.
You don’t need a match or lighter to ignite. It has a built-in ignition system.
It has a wider base, thus, sturdy and safe to use. You can rely on it and use it anytime, anywhere… and at any weather condition. It can stand against the wind and the cold.
As to the fuel? It is sold separately. Well, you can buy that propane from your reliable hardware store. You can also order online.
Shop for the Best Backpacking Stoves Available Online…
When you Google search or check the Amazon there are also other equally good stoves available. Save your time because it’s all taken care of. Here are what I found:
Coleman Bottle Top Propane Stove
This is an easy-to-use stove. It claims to be fuel efficient, but it only has 10,000 BTUs. It fits an 8-inch pan. The burner and the base are separate from the propane canister to make it easier to carry.
You can adjust the burner and control the temperature. It has wind baffles to protect the burner from wind. It also has stable base so you can stir the food you’re cooking. Its 16.4 oz propane cylinder (sold separately) lasts up to 2.5 hours on high.
The burner is sturdy, it can handle an iron skillet but the heaviest you can put on top weighs around 5 pounds. It is pretty lightweight at 3.4 pounds, and reliable, too. You can use it even at high altitudes.
And yes, it has 3 years of limited warranty.
Its cons? Well, it only has 1 burner with an energy output of 10,000 BTUs. It will take a lot of time to boil your 3 cups of water, 4-5 minutes at high temperature setting.
MSR Windboiler 1.0L Stove – One Size – Red w/Coffee Press
This stove comes with a coffee press as complimentary. It is built for outback adventures. You can use it even in strong winds because of its windproof design. The windproof encloses the heat so that you can boil your water fast. It also has an integrated cookware.
It comes with freebies: a 1.0 liter complimentary coffee press, a 16 oz full-size bowl, and a .47L folding canister stand. It is portable enough that it weighs only 1 pound, not included the canister.
And the cons? Again, it only has 1 burner, and it doesn’t come with fuel canister when you buy it. And there’s no igniter. You need matches or a lighter.
Coleman Sportster II Dual Fuel 1-Burner Stove
This is another Coleman product, a fully adjustable, easy-to-use single-burner stove. It is compact enough for easy carry. Its dimensions? 7.38 x 7.8 x 6.55 inches and it weighs only 2 pounds.
It comes with its own liquid fuel, an unleaded gasoline. Your 1 gallon of liquid fuel is equal to 4.5 cylinders of propane. It has blue fire burner and can operate in all weather conditions. It has a total of 10,000 BTUs of heat.
You can put on it a 6-in pan. Your 1.1 pints of Coleman Liquid Fuel will last up to 2 hours on high temperature. But the fuel is sold separately. It also has a filtering funnel.
What are the cons? You can only buy the fuel designed for the stove from Coleman. You may use gasoline from your gas station, but it is unsafe and not advisable.
Camco 58031 “Little Red Campfire” Portable Propane Camp Fire
If you want the feel of wood burning this one is for you. With fire restrictions prevent forest fires this is a safer alternative for campfire.
This one is a portable campfire but no wood burning. It has realistic log piece, a 91/2 inch diameter ring burner. This burner creates a natural look and ambiance of a campfire. It comes with an 8-foot propane hose for use with standard LPG cylinders.
And you can also use it to cook your food. It has a Little Red Campfire Cooktop that is sold separately. You can boil water and cook your favorite dish in the frying pan.
It is quite sturdy. The fire tray has a diameter of 11.25 inches. It also includes an adjustable regulator. Its energy output is 65,000 BTU per hour.
And the cons? You can’t use a small, disposable fuel canister. You need a regulator to do that. Also, a standard LPG cylinder adds extra weight to your backpack.
Choose this Backpacking Stove…
So far, the best backpacking stove for me is Camp Chef Everest High-Output 2-Burner Stove.
Here are the reasons why:
- It is very cheap, yeah, just round it off to a hundred bucks. Pretty fair for a quality stove.
- I love to cook and I want that quality of a patio grill.
- It is portable enough and easy to carry. Well, like a traditional camp stove. You can bring it with you in your adventures.
- But 20,000 BTUs of heat each burner, yeah, you can burn even your soul. You can boil your water fast enough on one burner and fry your eggs on the other.
- You don’t need matches or lighter to ignite it. It has a built-in igniter.
- It is sturdy and stable, and reliable and durable, too.
Going on a backpacking and camping trip is an exciting adventure. Imagine the smell of the trees, the picturesque view of the mountains, and the cool people you get to hang out with. However, before you get all worked up, there are many things you need to cross off your checklist.
One them includes packing an ultralight backpacking stove among many others. A cooking set is crucial to your survival in the wilderness.
A stove is an essential tool to keep your energy refueled after a long day’s hike. Cooking allows you to enjoy and combine a culinary and outdoor experience in one adventure. Having the proper equipment for cooking can help enhance your outdoor skills and improve your cooking style.
Ask yourself what are the things you need to know so you can pick the right ultralight backpacking stove for you? Here are some tips.
What you Need to Know
- Different types of backpacking stoves
- What to look for in an ultralight backpacking stove
- The best ultralight backpacking stoves
Different Types of Backpacking Stoves
Before anything else, it’s important to familiarize yourself with the different types of backpacking stoves for your camping.
A canister stove is light, compact, and very easy to use. You won’t have to pump the stove and it doesn’t require any maintenance. All you need to do is set-up your stove, light it up, and you’re good to go.
This type of stove is easy to pack and carry on your back. An empty isobutane fuel canister weighs about 3.3 ounces. The weight is nothing compared to the benefits you’ll be reaping once you get a taste of your favorite meal.
However, it requires a compatible isobutane fuel canister. The good thing is, you can easily get this at any outdoor shops but expect that it can be a bit pricey. Also, if you are planning on hiking in extremely cold areas, an isobutane fuel canister may not function in temperatures below 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
For most backpackers and hikers, a small canister stove is still their top pick for outdoor cooking. It is more convenient, weighs less, easy to use, and even the boiling time is faster.
It doesn’t leave a burning smell. Plus, you can even recycle the fuel canisters for your next adventure.
Liquid Fuel Stove
A liquid fuel stove is recommended for longer expeditions. This type of equipment requires more knowledge and practice on how to operate. It comes with a number of parts and you need to figure out how to build it together. This type of stove requires preparation time.
The advantage, however, is that a liquid stove appears to be the most versatile among other stoves. Most liquid fuel stoves are multi-fueled which means you can start a fire using diesel or white gas. This makes it more appropriate for international climbs because its fuel is easier to buy.
In terms of cooking capability, some liquid fuel stoves can simmer your meals. This way you can prepare and devour more complex meals. It is also suitable for use in cold temperatures.
On the downside, most liquid fuel stoves require priming, maintenance, and is bulkier to carry,
The best alcohol stoves are widely popular, especially in ultralight backpacking communities. This type of stove can burn different types of alcohol such as methyl, grain, denatured alcohol, and gelled fuel. It is simple to operate. Just add the fuel, light it up, and cover to put out the fire.
It is simple to use and light to carry. On the downside, it produces a low fire which is not suitable for heating large amounts of water. Also, the flame is hard to control.
If you are planning on cooking a delicious meal, you may have a hard time using this stove. However, it can be efficient for boiling water and warming up your meal.
What to look for in an ultralight backpacking stove
Now that you’re familiar with the different kinds of stoves, the next step is to identify the factors in choosing an ultralight backpacking stove. Here are some of the things you should look out for:
- Fuel efficiency – A fuel efficient stove is crucial because you don’t want to end up running low on fuel in the middle of your camping trip. We recommend you check and identify the amount of fuel you need for your entire hike. This way, you can carry only what you need especially since you need to save enough space and weight on your backpack.
What we think: For fuel efficiency, we recommend using a liquid fuel stove.
- Boiling time – A lot of backpackers prefer to cook and prepare simple meal plans that usually just require boiling water. Most stoves are specifically designed for this purpose. It depends on the type of food preparation you will require.
What we think: We strongly suggest you go for the small canister stove where boiling is quicker.
- Duration – You should identify how long you plan to stay in the wilderness. This will help you plan for the best type of stove and the amount of fuel consumption for the entire trip.
What we think: We recommend using a small canister stove for shorter trips because they are easier to use and lighter to carry. For longer expeditions, we strongly suggest you use a liquid fuel stove because its fuel can last longer.
- Number of people in the group – Another important factor to consider is how many people you need to feed. There are some ultralight backpacking stoves designed for one or two persons. However, if you have a bigger group, you should bring an extra stove. Otherwise, your fellow campers might end up going on a hunger strike while waiting for you to finish cooking their meal.
What we think: Since liquid stoves are more stable and can accommodate a bigger pot, we suggest you use this especially if you are cooking for more than two people.
The Best Ultralight Backpacking Stove
After evaluating the types of stoves and the things you need to consider when buying an ultralight backpacking stove, here are some products worth mentioning based on their features and functionality.
When looking for a product make sure you combine most if not all the factors we mentioned above. One product worth mentioning is the MSR Pocket Rocket Stove. It weighs only 3 ounces and you can barely notice the weight in your backpack. Since it has a full cooking function and flame control, you can boil water in just under 3.5 minutes. Plus, it’s small, compact and has a solid performance.
The OUTAD Alcohol Stove weighs approximately 4.59 ounces. This stove is equipped with foldable handle and simmer ring on the regulator for flame control. It is safe to use and prevents the alcohol from evaporating and leaking. This stove comes with a windscreen to help keep it stable.
Just Enjoy the Outdoors
Now that you have an idea on how to choose the best ultralight backpacking stove for you, the only thing left for you to do is plan your next adventure. It’s really up to you to decide which one you think will work best for you. Just remember to take into consideration the type of stove, features, and functions.
These tips should be able to help you pick the best ultralight backpacking stove for your outdoor adventure. If you have any questions about this article, please feel free to comment. We’d love to hear your feedback and stories.