Best camping stove for backpacking

I have been camping for 6 years, and during this period, I had a lot of first times. Some of them are worth cherishing, while some are just really cringe-worthy! I am not the type of person who likes to tell embarrassing stories about my camping experiences. However, I will make this one as an exemption.

Back in 2011, I did a solo trip at Little Molas Lake Campground in Colorado. Of course, I was excited, considering it was my first time there. Everything was all set and ready, except for one thing. I did not have my best camping stove for backpacking. The worst part of it, I only realized it when I was already on the campsite.

It was a terrible but funny experience. I had to borrow cooking stoves from the other campers. Take note: I am a very introverted person, so it was an ordeal for me!

​After that moment, I promised myself to always have a backpacking checklist. Among the things that I started to prioritize are camping stoves and other cooking utensils. After all, nobody wants to get hungry while doing an outdoor trip. If I were you, you should follow this simple regimen of mine!

The Best Camping Stove for Backpacking

Regardless of how many camping recipes you know, they would still be useless if you don't have a camping stove. Honestly, you can just pack pre made food for your trip. However, your tongue will still crave for something that is warm and fresh.

In these instances, a camping stove is highly essential. Since there is no way that you can bring your entire kitchen outdoors, a portable stove will be your best choice! With this gear, cooking would be much convenient for you.

  • CANISTER STOVES
  • LIQUID FUEL
  • Solid FUEL STOVE
  • WOOD STOVE

Picture

Product Name

Editor Rating

Price

Flash Personal Cooking System

Jetboil MiniMo Personal Cooking System

MSR WindBurner Personal Stove System

MSR Reactor Stove System

Primus Eta Lite High-Efficiency Stove

Critical Stove Considerations

Camping Stove or Backpacking Stove

When you go on a front country trip, you will need a camping stove. On the other hand, backcountry trips require a backpacking stove. Regardless of this general rule, each of these stoves can be used for either purpose. Your only main restriction here is the weight and space that you allow for your camping. Of course, your cooking preferences will also determine what kind of stove you carry along.

Types of Backpacking Stoves

Canister Stoves - These types of cooking stoves are easy to use. They also have a low-maintenance feature which makes them cost effective. The design of a canister stove usually involves self-sealing fuel canisters. These cartridges contain two-pressurized gases: propane and isobutene.

Liquid Fuel Stoves - This is the most versatile type of camping stove. It relies on a refillable fuel bottle as its primary fuel source. Aside from white gas, you can use other fuels in it such as kerosene.

Alternative-Fuel Stoves- This kind of camping stove uses wood or pellets as it is primary fuel. It is notable that this camping stove leaves no carbon footprint or harmful emissions.

Features

Weight Of The Stove

- If you are just doing a short excursion, then a small cooking stove is all you need. There is no need for you to pack a burly camping stove if you are just going to travel alone. However, if you are going in a large group, then it is essential for you to bring a large stove. In this way, you can be able to feed a lot of hungry tummies!

Burn Time

- The burn time is one of the most crucial factors for a cooking stove. If you make a recipe that is quite long to cook, you will need a stove that has a long burning time. Of course, you should know that the burn time is also dependent on the fuel that you have.

Boiling Time

- If you are camping on a cold environment, it is necessary that you can make hot water or coffee as fast as possible. The faster your stove can boil, the more it can serve you in frigid conditions.

Windshields

- Most of the camping stoves today rely on fire. When you are at outdoors, the wind is your natural enemy, especially when you are cooking. Therefore, your stove needs to have an integrated windshield to cover your fire from strong breezes!

Rocommended Best Camping Stove For Backpacking

CANISTER STOVES

Canister stoves are usually small cooking sets. They can be doubled as a pressurized fuel canister and pot stand, which you can attach to the stove through a screw-threaded valve. Stoves like these are easy to use and lightweight.

Just connect the canister to the stove, start the gas, and you can already trigger the burner. With this cooking mechanism, you can already cook your typical camping meal as quickly as possible!

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact design
  • Highly durable
  • Easy to use mechanism

Cons

  • Not ideal for cold weather (butane can't vaporize at frigid temperatures)
  • Canisters are not widely available to all camping stores

You will love the Flash Personal Cooking System because of its portable design. It is ideal for short camping excursions and light backpacking because of its compact design.

However, you should not underestimate the cooking capacity of this camping stove. Specifically, it has a cooking capacity of 1 cup liters, which is suitable for two persons already. Moreover, it comes with an ergonomic feature that lets you know the changes in temperature.

Its burner is adjustable, with the use of a simple push-button igniter! The lid of this cooking stove is translucent. Therefore, you can keep up with the entire cooking process.

Pros

  • Compact and portable design
  • Lid is drink-through
  • The bottom cover has insulation
  • Push-button igniter lets you adjust the burner
  • Made out of hand-anodize aluminum for durability

Cons

  • The water takes time to boil
  • Igniter has some issues in high altitude

​One of the ideal cooking stoves you can bring for camping trips. It has a redesigned regulator and valve to improve its simmering capacity.

Moreover, it comes with a pair of metal handles which gives you an allowance for using this tool safely.

The Jetboil MiniMo Personal Cooking System has an ergonomic sideway design. Through this, you can reduce the space it consumes on your storage.

Aside from these, it also has a push-button igniter for easy cooking. Drinking through this canister stove is not hard, thanks to its insulated lid. This product includes a MiniMo-sized coffee press and a pot support.

Pros

  • Compact and lightweight design
  • Spoon angle is lowered so that you can eat directly from the cup
  • Highly safe and durable
  • Has different accessories
  • Quick cooking time
  • Large cooking capacity

Cons

  • The cup sticks from the cold especially during cold weathers

​This unit is one of the best camping stove for backpacking. This camping stove uses special systems to make cooking a lot easier. First, it has an air combustion technology that secures the internal pressure regulator.

Because of this design, the MSR WindBurner can offer a windproof cooking. In fact, it can perform regardless of the external conditions. Moreover, the Radiant burner and heat exchanger of this tool can enhance the boiling speed of water.

Despite this, this cooking ware is still more fuel-efficient than its competitors. When you buy this product, it also comes with a folding canister stand and sets of full-sized bowls.

Pros

  • Windproof cooking performance
  • Impervious to external conditions
  • Durable and sturdy design
  • Lightweight and highly portable
  • Fast cooking time

Cons

  • It doesn't possess any igniter

We consider the MSR Reactor Stove System one of the best camping stove for backpacking because of its innovative performance. Specifically, it is among the stoves that cook very fast.

It also has the fuel efficiency that is present in the MSR WindBurner. Its Radiant burner is stored inside by a heat exchanger.

Therefore, it can still cook even in windy conditions.

Moreover, its advanced pressure regulator increases the heat output of this camping stove.

This unit also comes with a collapsible hand lock and see through lid. It is ideal for solo camping, but could also work in a group of three!

Pros

  • Highest fuel-efficiency in all MSR camping stores
  • Solid and compact design
  • Can cook despite windy conditions
  • Large cooking capacity
  • Has pressure regulator that amplifies heat output

Cons

  • It is hard to fit in a 1-liter pot

The performance of Primus Eta Lite Stove is superb for camping and outdoor activities. It has a compact and portable design that lets you transport it without any hassle.

Aside from that, it has a high cooking output, specifically 1,800 W. With this power, this camping stove can quickly boil water amidst cold conditions. Moreover, it also has a heat-resistant case in which you can use during high altitude climbs.

On the other hand, the lids of this camping stove are also usable as a mug. With these features, the Primus Eta Lite Stove is an ideal choice for short excursions in the wild!

Pros

  • Compact and easy to transport
  • Ideal for high-altitude climbs
  • High cooking output
  • Has a strap so that you can use the stove in a suspended position
  • Quick startup

Cons

  • It has an igniter, but it is not robust

LIQUID FUEL STOVES

For backcountry cooking, nothing can really beat the liquid gas stoves. They can adapt to any seasons, too, which make them highly versatile cooking sets. The mechanism of a liquid gas stove uses a fuel bottle and an integrated pump.

These two are attached to a freestanding stove through the utilization of a fuel line. However, you should take the time to practice with a liquid cooking stove. It is not as easy to set-up as the canister stoves. Moreover, you should conduct regular maintenance to ensure its optimal performance.

Pros

  • All-season cooking set
  • Have an exceptional cooking capability due the use of white gas as fuel
  • Sturdy and durable design

Cons

  • Require regular maintenance
  • Bulky construction

We put the MSR WhisperLite as one of the best camping stove for backpacking because of its cooking capabilities.

Specifically, it integrates liquid fuel and canister into its system for improved performance. With this combination, you can quickly cook with this stove regardless of the external condition.

This cooking stove also uses a WhisperLite chassis to enhance its stability and weight. You will also be impressed with the AirControl technology that this stove uses.

This innovation optimizes the performance of this product with whatever fuel you are using. If you use a 20-ounce canister gas, this stove can burn up to 110 minutes.

Pros

  • Highly stable and optimized cooking performance
  • Long burning time with white gas
  • Ideal for any weather conditions
  • Lightweight design, thanks to its Whisperlite chassis
  • AirControl technology amplifies it fuel usage

Cons

  • Tiny camp stoves

The MSR Dragonfly Stove is a good choice for a camping stove. It uses the CoolFuel Valve which improves the flame control of this tool. You can simmer or boil in this stove by just using the flame adjuster.

This product also has three extra-wide pot supports. With this feature, you can be confident that you can bring a pot in the outdoors!

Moreover, the MSR Dragonfly can also utilize different fuels, such as white gas, unleaded auto fuel, and kerosene. The self-cleaning shaker jet allows you to clean the entire stove by just the flick of a wrist. You will also love the fact that this product has a lifetime warranty!

Pros

  • High performance due to its flame control
  • Efficient burning
  • Has a set of wide pot supports
  • Compatible with different fuels
  • Lightweight and compact design

Cons

  • Noisy operation
  • The fuel hose is short and stiff

MSR XGK EX Stove is another camping stove that utilizes different fuels for extreme outdoor reliability. This stove uses the Shaker Jet technology. With this feature, you can clean the fuel jet by just shaking it a couple of times.

Therefore, you can say that this product is field-maintainable! It also comes with a new fuel line which allows this stove to fit in the standard 1.5-liter MSR pot.

You won't be disappointed with the cooking capacity of the MSR XGK EX Stove. Specifically, it can boil water in just 2.8 minutes if it uses a kerosene fuel. Its legs are retractable, too, which provides excellent stability to this product.

Pros

  • Rugged construction
  • Field maintainable
  • Legs and pot supports provide stability to this stove
  • Super fast cooking capacity
  • Simple cleaning feature

Cons

  • Insufficient wind protection
  • Flame control is quite troublesome
  • The assembly of the pump is made from plastic materials

SOLID FUEL STOVES

The first use of solid fuel stoves has begun around the 1930s. Soldiers use these cooking sets because they don't produce smoke. Moreover, the solid fuel has extremely high energy fuel for cooking large food rations.

A single 0.5-ounce tablet can burn up to 12 minutes. Within this capacity, it can already boil up to 16 ounces of water. Solid fuel stoves have a simple design. They usually have built-in wind protectors to improve the cooking efficiency.

Pros

  • High cooking capacity
  • Simple to use
  • Have windshields for uninterrupted cooking

Cons

  • Ideal for short camping trips only
  • Leaves oily residues at the bottom of your pot

One of the best camping stove for backpacking is the Esbit Ultralight Folding Pocket Stove. It has a robust design, but still retains its portability. Specifically, you can fold this product so that it can be stored anywhere.

The Esbit Ultralight also includes six 14-g solid fuel tablets for a non-stop performance. In fact, a single tablet can boil 500ml of water in just 8 minutes! On the other hand, you can also guarantee the durability of this stove.

It is made from a galvanized steel which can resist different elements. This stove can also give you two cooking positions, which is ideal for pots, pans, and cups.

Pros

  • Has two cooking positions
  • Compact; ideal for backpacking and camping
  • Compact; ideal for backpacking and camping
  • Compact; ideal for backpacking and camping
  • Quick boiling time

Cons

  • No sufficient wind protection

The Esbit 11.5g Ultralight Folding Titanium Stove is a piece of wonder. This camping stove has a foldable design which enables you to carry it anywhere. Since it is lightweight, you won't feel any fatigue when you are transporting it.

The entire body of Esbit 11.5 g is constructed from titanium. Therefore, you can guarantee that it can resist the external elements. Moreover, this product has three legs in which you can unfold on a small tray.

These legs have a unique function of accommodating different sizes of pots and cups. This camping stove also includes a 14-g solid fuel tablet.

Pros

  • Durable and compact construction
  • Foldable and ideal for lightweight travel
  • Has a soft pouch
  • Has a soft pouch
  • Can withstand extreme conditions

Cons

  • Cannot boil water that is beyond 10 oz

The Esbit CS585HA is a full cooking set. It is ideal for group camping because of its large cooking capacity. Aside from that, you will love the durability of this camping stove.

It is made from a hard-anodized aluminum, which ensures its rigidity wherever you go. This product can run on solid fuel and is ideal for cooking food while you are on the trail.

Its efficiency in boiling water is superb, too. With this, you can quickly make coffee, soup, or tea along the way!

Among all the Esbit products, the CS585HA is the only one that has a foolproof windshield. This feature is ideal in high-altitude climbs, where the weather is very unfavorable.

Pros

  • Ultralight and compact design
  • Durable aluminum construction
  • Has a windshield
  • Handles have silicone grip for heat protection
  • Has a mesh stuff sack for storage

Cons

  • Its lid is a bit sticky on the pot

WOOD STOVES

Using wood stoves are great if you are going to an area where wood fires are allowed. Moreover, it is best to use if your camping site has a lot of downed woods, too!

The anatomy of a wood stove consists of a firebox that has vents on it for oxygen to enter. Remember, you can only use a wooden stove if the weather is fairly dry!

Pros

  • No need to carry fuels
  • Lightweight and compact design
  • Can use other fuels aside from wood

Cons

  • Not for rainy or winter camps
  • Cooking process is quite slow

One of the best camping stove for backpacking is the Ohuhu Portable Wood Burning Camping Stove. This unit has a stainless steel body that can effectively reduce its internal heat temperature.

The stability of this stove is unparalleled, too, thanks to its three-arm support. Because of this feature, the heat distribution of this wood stove becomes even.

Therefore, you can expect a fast cooking when you use this product.

Kindling materials like twigs, pinecones, and wood can efficiently burn once you put them on this stove! Moreover, the Ohuhu Portable Wood Burning Camping Stove is very lightweight. Aside from that, it comes with a carrying case, too!

Pros

  • Durable stainless steel material construction
  • Durable stainless steel material construction
  • Can use solid alcohol for cooking
  • Highly stable cooking system
  • Does not release harmful emissions

Cons

  • The top part is slightly flimsy
  • Foldable wings are not stainless

If you need a large cooking system for your next camping trip, then you should use the WoodFlame Burning Stove.

Specifically, it can accommodate large pots, which makes it an ideal choice for large group camping!

Moreover, the air ventilation of this wood stove effectively aids in cooking in hot temperatures.

Despite its large size, this product is still easy to setup. Furthermore, the WoodFlame Burning Stove has a collapsible design, which makes it easy to transport. It also comes with a carry case so that you can safely store it. This stove can operate with wood, cedar pucks, stereo fuel, and charcoal.

Pros

  • Large cooking capacity
  • Has an ergonomic carry case
  • Foldable and collapsible design
  • Stainless steel construction
  • Compatible with different biomass materials

Cons

  • Quite big. Not ideal for a typical backpacking trip

Another option you can have for a wood stove is the Lixada Wood Stove. Its main selling point is its compact and lightweight design, which is perfect for solo camping trips. Albeit that, this product is sturdy thoroughly. The stainless steel used on this product are hardened.

Because of this feature, you can be able to bring this stove to any extreme outdoor adventures. It also includes a mesh bag so that you can transport it easily.

The fuel sources for the Lixada Wood Stove is virtually unlimited. The twigs you can see around your campsite are all usable. Moreover, it does not produce any chemical emissions!

Pros

  • Lightweight and compact design
  • Rugged construction (hardened steel)
  • Environment-friendly wood stove
  • Unlimited fuel sources
  • Have a mesh bag for easy transport

Cons

  • The pot holders are distant to each other
  • Opening of the stove is quite small

Final Verdict

The best camping stove for backpacking is essential for all hikers and hobbyists. No one can go on an outdoor adventure without a reliable cooking set. We all know how hard it is to cook outside. Therefore, a portable cooking stove is necessary to prevent you and your mates from getting hungry while camping.

Of course, you have a lot of choices for a camping stove. However, we are recommending that you should try our featured products first. They have been tested on several occasions to see their cooking performances. The fact that they are here is proof that their qualities are truly impressive!

Daniel Ryan
 

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