We went hunting for the best portable stoves available. We had a few of our own preferences going in, but we evaluated as many options as possible to identify the best portable stoves on the market. Starting out the list was huge, but through testing and research we were able to narrow it down to just 4 portable stoves that stood above the competitors. We evaluated them based upon three criteria: Cooking Capacity, Pack Weight, and Reliability.
This one was easy. We wanted to make sure that we had options to support anyone from the single minimalist backpacker trekking up into the mountains to the average family on a weekend camping trip. When making your stove selection it is essential to determine how many people you will be camping with in order to determine what you will need to pack. Generally speaking, single burner stoves, even small backpackers are sufficient for one or even two people; but if you have more than that, you may want to consider something bigger, perhaps a two-burner option.
Weight is the second consideration and its importance will vary a lot depending on what you plan to be doing. Are you planning to do a lot of trekking with all of your equipment, or will you have a basecamp that you return to during the day? Do you plan to walk your gear straight from car to camp-site or do you plan to carry your gear with you a long ways to your final destination? Both pack weight and volume can make a big difference if you plan to be hiking any distance, and you will want to consider taking the minimum possible amount that will be sufficient for you to have a successful trip.
The single-burner backpacker options will generally be your stove of choice if you plan to travel any distance with gear. Even if you have a small group hiking together it could make more sense to bring multiple single burner stoves rather than a single two-burner.
This is the last and probably most critical consideration. We found all of the portable stoves that made it to our list to be incredibly reliable and well-made under normal conditions, but some were able to hold up even under extreme conditions such as high altitudes and freezing cold temperatures. When you decide on your stove be sure to consider what conditions you will need it to hold up under.
Now that we’ve let you know our criteria. Here is our list of the best portable stoves:
1. SOTO Micro Regulator Stove – Unparalleled Reliability, Ultra Compact
- Consistent output....
- Stealth igniter installed...
- Dimensions when in use:...
- Consistent output. Compact and burns efficiently. Easy to operate and shock resistant.
- Stealth igniter installed inside burner post for shock resistance and improved ignition. Large concave burner head contains many fire holes. Unique design distributes the flame evenly, making it ideal for cooking.
- Dimensions when in use: 3.8 x 3.7 x 3.4 in.. Dimensions when stowed: 2 x 2 x 3.2 in.
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
- Max BTU: 11,000
The Soto rises above the rest in reliability, especially in the cold and at altitude. If you want a stove that you can rely on to start at 10,000+ feet and in the snow, then this is the one for you.
People have reported using the Soto in the snow at 11,000 feet with absolutely no issues. It fires up instantly with the stock ignitor, and it performs as if it’s at sea level. Beyond that, the Soto is very small and might be the lightest stove available with a built-in piezo ignitor. In the end, most of the stoves will work most of the time, but if you want to be able to count on having a warm meal when you’re knee deep in snow, then the Soto is the stove for you.
2. Jetboil Zip Personal Cooking System – For Speed and Ease of Use
- 0.8 Liter FluxRing®...
- Adjustable burner,Match...
- Bottom cover doubles as a...
- 0.8 Liter FluxRing® cooking cup with insulating cozy
- Adjustable burner, match ignition.
- Drink-through lid with pour spout & strainer
- Bottom cover doubles as a measuring cup and bowl
- Compatible with all Jetboil accessories. Able to store a 100g Jetpower fuel can
- Included Fuel Canister Stabilizer.
- Weight: 12 ounces
Compact, self storing, and super freaking fast. Jetboils are the portable stove to get if you tend to boil a lot of water or want a stove that can get your food cooked fast. The Zip’s default container is big enough to boil 2 cups at a time, but the stove is compatible with other larger cups and pots, although you may need to purchase Jetboil’s pot-support attachment if you want to go bigger than 2 liters. I’ve walked into shelters and seen veteran hikers preparing their alcohol and solid fuel stoves. With the Jetboil I can unpack, settle, cook my meal, and still end up eating before them. It’s that fast.
3. Stansport 2 Burner Propane Stove – Outstanding Reliability for Group Trips
- 50,000-BTU output (25,000...
- Oversized steel frame;...
- Two-burner, stainless-steel propane camp stove with Piezo igniter for match-free lighting
- 25,000 BTUs per burner; control valves for heat regulation; high altitude pressure regulator
- Oversized steel frame; stainless top and windscreens; stainless steel drip pan
- Extra heavy-duty cooking grate supports heavy pots; operates with a 16.4-ounce propane gas cylinder
- Weight: 10 pounds
This stainless-steel propane camp stove is one of the toughest portable stoves on the market, and with the built-in Piezo igniter, you can rely on it for a consistent match-free ignition every time. The 25,000 BTU burners, heavy-duty cooking grates, and high-altitude pressure regulator, make this stove perfect for cooking food for a group, even at high altitudes.
4. Camp Chef Mountain Series 2 Burner/High Pressure Stove – Great Cooking Control on the Trail
No products for "B004S3HDBO" found.
- Camp Chef stoves combine the versatility and cook quality of a patio grill with portability of traditional camp stove
- 20,000 BTU burners
- Stainless steel drip tray
- Three-sided wind barrier
- Fully adjustable heat-control dials
- Matchless ignition
- Weight: 12 pounds
The Camp Chef Mountain Series 2 Burner will make you feel right at home with its familiar controls and ease of use. This thing truly is a pleasure to use. It gives you all of the control of a home-gas stove, but it only weighs 12 pounds. This is a good choice if you want a little more control. Like the Stansport and other 2 burners stoves, this is a good choice if you are traveling with a group or if you don’t plan to do a lot of hiking with it. Another big positive we found about this stove is that it has a real latch. Many of the other stoves we’ve used in the past had plastic button-latches that started to lose strength after a few months of wear. The way this thing is built, it will stand the test of time.
As we looked through the huge number of stoves out there, we found a lot of good and a lot of bad. Honestly, you can get by with a cheap $10 stove or a Fancy Feast Stove if you don’t plan to use it in rough conditions or if you don’t care about it lasting; but ultimately we’ve found that the peace of mind of having durable equipment that we can rely on in rough conditions is well worth the money spent.