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Best Camping and Backpacking Stoves – 2020

Campers and backpackers have a lot of options for cooking food and heating water for coffee on camping or backpacking trips. There is no one stove for all purposes, so there are options that work best in different situations. Some options are better for campers and others are better for backpackers. What is the best camping stove for backpacking? Let’s look at the options available.

Camping vs. Backpacking Stoves

If you’re trying to decide between a camping stove or a backpacking stove, there are some benefits and drawbacks for each one. Camping stoves offer flexibility and a wider cooking surface. They usually have two burners so you can boil water and fry eggs at the same time. They are mostly fueled by propane which is easy to find in most stores in portable, 1 pound containers.

Camping stoves like the Coleman Classic weigh about 10 pounds. These are great for versatility and if you will be setting up a base camp, this type of stove would work well. These stoves are great for camping, but if you will be packing everything in and out on foot, you may want something lighter like a backpacking stove.


Backpacking stoves offer less flexibility, but are lightweight and easy to carry. If you will be carrying your pack with you, you will want something that doesn’t have a dozen accessories and won’t weigh you down. These stoves hold one pot, which is good for those who like to travel light and cook one-dish meals.

So, what is the best stove for backpacking? That will depend largely on your needs and personal preferences. Is it worth it to carry an extra 10 pounds to be able to cook more food? Will you have a base camp where you can store your gear while hiking or have to carry everything with you? Here are some things to consider when purchasing a backpacking stove:

  • The weight of the stove
  • Fuel cost and availability
  • Food capacity
  • Will it work in cold/hot temperatures

Different Types of Backpacking/Camp Stoves:

  • Canister stoves – are good for boiling water, and heating up/simmering foods quickly. They are compact, don’t take up much room, and are very lightweight.
  • Liquid-fuel stoves – boil water fast, even when it’s cold outside (higher altitudes). The performance will vary by model. Runs on butane/propane/alcohol or a combination of fuels.
  • Alternate-fuel stoves – also good for boiling water, simmering soups or stew. Use small bits of wood and don’t require carrying fuel canisters.

Top 5 Camping Stoves

B00005OU9D -- Coleman Gas Camping Stove
  1. Coleman Classic Propane Stove. Coleman is a well-known name in camping gear. The Coleman Classic stove has two burners, 20,000 BTUs of heating power, and can fit two 10 – 12-inch cooking pans, side by side, and two side fins block the wind so your flame won’t go out, even in windy conditions. It has a steady heat and is conservative on fuel. It takes a 1-pound canister of propane to use. The heat is adjustable and cooks food evenly and quickly. The retail price is $59, and it weighs 12 pounds.
B00AU6GG2U - Coleman Gas Camping Stove Triton+ Propane Stove, 2 Burner

2. Coleman Triton Series 2 Burner Stove. This propane stove has a large cooking surface, two burners, adjustable heat, and can fit two large cooking pans at the same time. Wind-blocking ability from the two side panels keeps the flame going. Has a total of 22,000 BTUs of heating power. Cooks twice as much food in a lot less time. It is similar in size to the Coleman Classic propane stove.  This stoves retails for $79.95 and weighs 10 pounds 2 oz.

B00BS4RP7S - Gas ONE GS-3000 Portable Gas Stove

3. Gas One GS-3000 Portable Gas Stove. This is a smaller, single burner butane stove perfect for backpacking or camping. It is tiny  – but mighty – with 9,000 BTUs of heating power. It is lightweight, easy to carry, and has an automatic shut off feature that prevents low-flow problems. The stove runs on 8oz canisters of butane, which is very inexpensive but may be hard to find in some locations. The price for this camping stove is $30 and it weighs 3.3 pounds. Fuel type: butane canisters.

B078KQSSMG - MSR WindBurner Stove and Cookware System Combo

4. MSR WindBurner Stove Combo System. This portable stove system is similar to the Jetboil Flash, because it has a burner and includes a large cooking pot. It is a very lightweight system weighing in at 1 pound 13 oz. It boils water quickly and efficiently and packs down small for easy carrying. Easily fits in a backpack or duffle bag

B019GPHR64 - Jetboil Genesis Basecamp Cooking System

5. Jetboil Basecamp Stove System. The Jetboil Camp Stove is a little different from the previous two burner stoves. It is small and efficient and comes with a carrying bag. It has temperature control, a push-button ignitor, and can boil water in under 3 minutes. Each burner has an output of 10,000 BTUs and fits two average size pans. This is a great stove to take anywhere, whether it’s backpacking, camping, or on day trips to the mountains or sunsets on the beach.

What is the best backpacking stove for you?

Top 5 Backpacking Stoves

B078Y5LXLX - MSR PocketRocket 2 Mini Stove Kit

1. The MSR PocketRocket 2 is a lightweight canister style stove that will fit any budget. It is compact and durable. It is an upgraded version of the popular Pocket Rocket stove. This has been a long time favorite of backpackers everywhere. It comes apart for easy carrying and heats up quickly to satisfy hungry hikers. Retails at $44.95 and weighs 2.6 pounds.

B00NNMF70U - BRS Outdoor BRS-3000T Ultra-Light Titanium Alloy Gas Cooking Stove

2.  BRS Ultralight Stove. If you’re looking for a budget-friendly ultralight stove, the BRS Ultralight Stove is one of the lower-priced stoves perfect for feeding 1 – 2 people.It may not look like much out of the package, but it is a solid option for backpackers and all-day hikers. There are no controls with this one, but if you just want a basic stove that will heat up quickly and get the job done, this is it. Retails for around $20 and weighs 1 0z (super lightweight). Fuel type: isobutane/propane canister.

B007VLFI6W - Snow Peak LiteMax Titanium Stove

3. The Snow Peak LiteMax is a compact backpacking can stove that heats up fast and packs down small for easy carrying. This canister stove is made with titanium and is super light. Due to its size, it is easy to fold down inside of a large cooking pot or tote. It also boils water fast, has temperature controls, and works in windy conditions. It retails for $59.95 and weighs 1.09 oz. Fuel type: isobutane/propane.

B07MX6RLRY - MSR Whisperlite International Cooking System

4.  The MSR WhisperLite is small and lightweight. It is considered one of the smallest and least expensive backpacking stoves on the market. It is quick to assemble and easy to use. There are no temperature controls and it is a little bulky to pack around. It is very quiet and efficient to use. The retail price is $99.95 and it weighs 11.5 oz. Fuel type: white gas.

B019GPK24I - Jetboil MiniMo Stove Cooking System

5. The Jetboil MiniMo is a complete cooking system in a slightly smaller size than the original Jetboil Flash. It is a little smaller, but with a wider top opening, has temperature control, and is all-around easier to use than the larger version. It is a bit heavy and slightly higher in cost, but it is an excellent ultralight stove for backpacking. The Jetboil Flash is less expensive, but it doesn’t have temperature control. Retail price is $149.95 and it weighs 14 oz (stove and cooking pot). Fuel type: isobutane-propane canister.

Safety Tips for Using Camping/Backpacking Stoves:

  • Do not cook inside your tent – carbon monoxide builds up quickly indoors.
  • Make sure to put your stove on a level surface when using – a flat rock or board can serve as a tabletop.
  • Always inspect the stove prior to each use – make sure everything is in good working order before lighting.
  • Make sure to remove and store the propane cylinder when the stove is not being used.
  • Never leave the stove unattended while in use – accidents happen when you least expect it.
  • Always let your stove cool down before packing up – you can get a burn or ruin your pack by trying to put it away before it has cooled down.


When it comes to determining the best cooking stove for backpacking, it depends on you and how you like to camp. If you like having the ability to cook larger meals and don’t mind packing in a bit of extra weight, a camp stove like the Coleman Classic or Jetboil Basecamp Stove would be perfect. However, should you prefer to travel light and don’t pack a lot of food, a lighter backpacking stove would meet your needs just fine. In the event you mostly carry pre-packed ready to eat meals then a smaller, lighter stove would be perfect.

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