We go camping to enjoy nature; to swim and hike and breathe fresh air; to unplug and converse with family and friends.
We do not go to spend hours fighting for a cup of coffee. We do not go to spent time endlessly pumping to create pressure for that stove. We do not retreat to the peace of nature to be thwarted by the complexities and idiosyncrasies of an uncooperative camp stove!
One of the most challenging aspects of camping is meal preparation. We’ve all experienced those disappointing stoves the sputter and strain to boil enough water for a single cup of coffee or give up half way through a grilled cheese sandwich.
Many of us have experimented with all manner of camp food just to avoid dealing with another underperforming camp stove.
Though willing to sacrifice a great deal of personal comfort to get closer to nature, the truth is that most of us still want hot, tasty food. Astronaut food is not the answer; Meals Ready to Eat are not the answer. The answer is a reliable, easy-to-use stove.
Just say “NO” to inferior camp stoves in 2017. We have reviewed and selected the top ten best portable camping stoves in 2017 from the myriad of options out there so that on your next camping trip you spend less time fighting the meal preparation battle and more time enjoying nature and the company of your companions.
Table of Contents
- 10. Etekcity E-gear Portable Collapsible Outdoor Windproof Camping Stove
- 9. Primus Classic Trail Stove
- 8. Coleman Sportster II Dual Fuel 1-Burner Stove
- 7. Stansport Single Burner Propane Stove
- 6. Etekcity Ultralight Portable Outdoor Camping Stove
- 5. Flash Personal Cooking System
- 4. Coleman Bottle Top Propane Stove
- 3. MSR PocketRocket Stove
- 2. Etekcity E-gear Portable Collapsible Camping Stove
- 1. Chenbo Portable Collapsible Camping Stove
- Which Portable Camping Stove Should You Buy?
10. Etekcity E-gear Portable Collapsible Outdoor Windproof Camping Stove
Constructed of water-resistant materials, this stove was designed for the outdoors. Take it camping and hiking because this lightweight stove is easy to add to your pack as it weighs just a little over a pound.
The really attractive attribute of the Etekcity E-gear stove is the windshield that protects the flame as it heats your food for optimal heat protection and efficiency – no wasted time and effort with this cooker.
Compatible with both thread and lock connectors, this stove includes a built-in electric spark ignition system. Both the legs and wings of the windshield fold for easy, small storage. Large burner – big enough for a large pot or saucepan.
- Boils a liter of water in 3 mins.
- Simple set-up/break-down
- Does not work with white fuel.
- Some campers report irregular lighting pattern.
9. Primus Classic Trail Stove
Because the stove sits on the canister of gas, wrap-around windshields are counter-recommended. However, Primus devised a clever placement of the support structure that provides wind protection and functions as the base that holds your pots as you cook. This efficient engineering innovation protects the flame and the heat going to your food without adding any bulk.
This mighty giant is only about 5 x 5 x 2.5 inches and weighs approximately half a pound so it will not take up much room in your back pack. The output of this stove is about 10,000 BTU/hr and will boil a liter of water in about three minutes.
- Weighs only 8 oz.
- Works for over an hour on 230 g gas cartridge
- Will overheat if you use with a supplemental windscreen.
- Some campers report quality issues.
8. Coleman Sportster II Dual Fuel 1-Burner Stove
The Grandfather of Camping Equipment, Coleman, takes the number 8 slot on our list with the Sportster II Dual Fuel stove. This single burner stove is designed for ideal functionality in all seasons and comfortably accommodates a 6 inch pan. Coleman also addresses the wind issue in this model by creatively placing wind deflectors that are light and effective.
Another impressive convenience of this stove is that it has Dual Fuel™ system enabling it to burn liquid fuel or unleaded gasoline. 1.1 pints of liquid fuel or unleaded gasoline can supply 2 hours of stove functioning on the high setting. Feel confident purchasing this unit as Coleman backs it up with a five-year limited warranty.
- Dual Fuel™ system enabling it to burn liquid fuel or unleaded gasoline.
- Wind panels
- Five-year limited warranty.
- Flame is not adjustable.
- Some campers report quality issues related to the pump.
7. Stansport Single Burner Propane Stove
This tidy stove takes an extra step to ensure your safety by including a base that stabilizes the stove by fitting onto the gas canister. The Stansport Single Burner base slips onto the canister to create a firm foundation for your outdoor cooking adventures.
When done, simply wait for the stove to cool and remove the base, carefully tucking the legs back into their closed position to save space in your pack.
The stove easily affixes to a one-pound canister with the provided screw-on connector. Use any safe lighter to ignite the flame and you can adjust the flame as needed, from boil to simmer. Easily holds a variety of pot and pan sizes.
- Easy set-up and break-down.
- Flame adjusts in increments.
- Anti-clog burner.
- The base on which the pots rest does not provide any grip.
- Some campers report stability issues.
6. Etekcity Ultralight Portable Outdoor Camping Stove
If you like a small stove, the Etekcity Ultralight Portable is for you. This stove is so small that you can carry it in a small pocket – without the gas canister, of course.
The Ultralight screws into the gas canister for efficient and direct energy to the stove – no hoses to worry about with this tiny stove! It’s compatible with an 7/16 thread single butane/butane-propane mix fuel canister and includes fuel adjuster for flame/heat control – boil an egg or make an omelet – the heat adjustment makes both possible.
This stove conforms to the “Leave No Trace” concepts of the US Forest Service; it burns clean and does not leave debris or soot in its wake. The stove includes a carrying case for easy transportation. At under one third of a pound, you can take this anywhere you go as an emergency stove.
- Weights less than one third of a pound.
- Flame adjusts in increments.
- Conforms to “Leave no Trace” guidelines of US Forest Service.
- Can only support small pots.
- Some campers report that the igniter did not work reliably.
5. Flash Personal Cooking System
This is the perfect solution for many minimalist campers. Certainly boiling water is the “cooked” item in highest demand on any camping or hiking trip and this Flash system provides that on the double.
Just add water to the included canister (up to two cups) and in two minutes you have boiling water for coffee, tea, hot cocoa, soup or any other application.
The Flash design protects the flame to concentrate it under the included Flash canister for super quick heating. This feature also protects the flame from wind while you work. Use the included electric igniter for quick lighting and have that much-needed beverage in minutes.
You can store the complete Flash system inside the cooking cup. Available in seven fun colors – match your back pack or tent!
- Weights about a pound.
- Color change indicator informs you when the water is boiled.
- Conforms to “Leave no Trace” guidelines of US Forest Service.
- Only boils water.
- If you want a pot support, you have to purchase it separately.
4. Coleman Bottle Top Propane Stove
The Coleman Bottle Top Stove includes a trademarked system called “PerfectFlow” to ensure even performance even under extreme conditions. An additional engineering feature makes the most of the energy you expend by cooking efficiently thereby using less fuel. The base of the system slips easily over the base of the fuel tank to stabilize the cooking surface.
Sold in traditional Coleman green, this stove can fit up to and 8-inch pan. You control the cooking temperature through the included burner control valve and the wind baffles, which do double duty as pan supports, help deflect the wind. Three-year limited warranty included.
- Compact, reliable stove with the Coleman name to support it.
- Efficiency design to save fuel.
- ProtectFlow feature for consistent heating.
- Not tiny.
- Some campers feel the support legs should be larger.
3. MSR PocketRocket Stove
This lightweight (3 oz.) stove really packs a punch on the trail. Measuring 4x4x2, you may not notice you’re even carrying it, until the time comes to make a meal, then you will remember and in minutes be serving up hot drinks or meals. This system includes a three-sided windshield and hard pack in which to store your PockerRocket.
A feature four-season campers and hikers will enjoy is the “glove-friendly” heat regulator. No need to take your gloves off to turn the heat up or adjust it down – keep ‘em on so your hands don’t freeze and make any adjustments you need.
No priming needed with this mighty mini – just light it up and cook.
- Won’t over tax your backpack.
- Manufactured by MSR, a fine name in outdoor adventures.
- Glove-friendly flame adjustments.
- Need to prime as fuel burns down.
- Some campers report premature wear of legs.
2. Etekcity E-gear Portable Collapsible Camping Stove
Warm up the stew for the entire gang with this Etekcity E-gear Stove. It fits pans and pots up to 10.2 inches in diameter, so you have room for real cooking, not just boiling water or warming a can of beans. The Etekcity folds small so you have room for it in any small pocket of your gear, but it performs big when you open it on the trail.
It works with nearly all single butane or butane-propane mixed fuel canisters – and no hoses to get in the way or replace.
At 17 oz. this is still a small system and considering how much food you can cook at a time, its well worth the space consumption.
- Excellent for preparing food for more than two people.
- Easily attaches to fuel source – no hoses.
- Includes a carrying pouch for easy transport.
- Some campers found compatible canisters difficult to find.
- Some campers feel the igniter is too sensitive.
1. Chenbo Portable Collapsible Camping Stove
For less money that most people spend on coffee in a day, you can own the Chenbo Portable Collapsible Stove. Featuring an unusually large burner, this stove is equal to providing a broad heating environment for larger cooking efforts, such as pancakes in a frying pan.
The Chenbo includes its own little storage back for easy travel and is very easy to set up.
Though small and economical, this stove provides features that many more expensive stoves do not, such as a fully adjustable flame control.
- Reliable stove at bargain price.
- Manages boiling and cooking.
- Compatible with most fuel canisters.
- Doesn’t work with one-pound disposable cylinders.
- Some campers feel the support legs were uneven.
Which Portable Camping Stove Should You Buy?
None of us expect gourmet food out on the trail, but with these tiny stoves, you can be sure that everyone in your party had a hot cop of Joe minutes after they long for one. The key to selecting a camping stove is in knowing your needs and circumstances.
Before taking out your credit card, review your camping conditions and needs, then take a minute to review the attributes of the listed stoves to ensure you get what you need. Happy Trails!