Best Backpacking Stove in 2018 – Which One Should You Choose?
If there is a set of people who experience life in its true form, it's the outdoor lovers; not to mean that indoor aficionados got it all wrong. They've got the internet, which is also another magic. But with that debate put on halt, the real adventure is out there.
Camping, hiking, backpacking, hunting, mountaineering, you name it. The trick to the best and enjoyable outdoor experience lies in proper preparation and putting together all the right equipment. My team and I were asked to give an honest review of ten of the best backpacking stoves and create a comprehensive guide to the best backpacking stoves on the market today.
It wasn't meant to be easy to create this guide, but it was actually. I guess it's because we are outdoor enthusiasts ourselves, which makes us users of these stoves. We have used them in one way or the other. Read this guide closely between the lines to help you determine your favorite stove.
Table of Contents
- 10 Best Backpacking Stove Comparisons
- 10 Best Backpacking Stove Reviews
- 1. MSR Dragonfly Stove
- 2. JetboilMiniMo Personal Cooking System
- 3. MSR WindBurner Stove System
- 4. Flash Personal Cooking System
- 5. Solo Stove Lite - Compact Wood Burning
- 6. MSR PocketRocket Stove
- 7. Snow Peak Giga Power Stove
- 8. Gwild Camping Stove Ultralight Portable
- 9. Coleman Bottle Top Propane Stove
- 10. Camping Stove - THZY Ultralight Portable
- How To Choose The Best Backpacking Stove
- Final Verdict
10 Best Backpacking Stove Comparisons
10 Best Backpacking Stove Reviews
1. MSR Dragonfly Stove
I have come to terms with the fact that even big names in the stoves industry can still let you down on the simmering part. If there is a stove that excels in this area, it's the MSR Dragonfly. It has revolutionized how you can cook while camping in a great way.
It offers excellent control that any backpacker would appreciate it for, especially when you want to make a quick meal after a long walk or hiking with a heavy load on your back.
I have also noticed that this stove is designed to withstand breezes. It has a separate fuel tank so that the burner is completely and safely enclosed with the windscreen wrapped around it for effective performance even in windy conditions. One main reason why you will love the Dragonfly is its ability to sustain a wide variation of flame strength from a candle flame to full-bore.
For storage, the stove can fold up to a third of the setup size, and that makes it convenient for transportation too. It can slip into your backpack without much hassle. Besides, it is light in weight in such a way that it won't add weight to your backpack and weigh you don't while you are hiking up the mountain or wherever it is you are adventuring.
- Burner made of aluminum and steel
- Boils a liter of water in 3 minutes
- Folds easily for storage
- Burns just about any liquid-fuel
- Enjoys high standard of indestructibility
- Fuel bottle sold separately
2. JetboilMiniMo Personal Cooking System
The integrated stove-pot design of the JetboilMiniMo is a brainchild of the Jetboil. It is something that the company pioneered back in 2004.
It is also a representation of the high level of innovation put into the designing of this stove, which makes it pretty efficient for campers and other outdoor enthusiasts. We are talking about the first complete stove system that includes a duel miserly cook pot fitted with heat retention fins.
It also boasts integrated cap with a strainer and a sip lid. With this stove, your food will be ready in a matter of minutes, a lot faster than you'd expect. In it, you get a stove that can simmer.
You can even put your meal over low flame for a few minutes without the need to adjust the flame or scorch your meal, thanks to the larger regulator and its more finely tuneable fuel flow. This is how it allows for unprecedented control, at high elevations or not.
The JetboilMiniMo comes complete with an amazing pot that can carry the rest of the system components for storage or transportation. Even better, this stove is an excellent choice for a beginner backpacker. It sets up pretty fast because it is easy to set up and use.
- It summers, and that's why it cooks better-tasting meals
- Convenient short pot height
- Amazing pot lid
- Volume measurement calibrated inside pot
- Improved safety and usability
- Canisters 3.5 ounces or larger can't pack inside the pot
3. MSR WindBurner Stove System
Some stove makers act as pioneers for future improvements, and the MSR is one of them. The MSR WindBurner is a true representation of innovation with features such as Reactor technology and the likes.
I especially put it to the kind of backpacking stove system designed for backcountry adventures or weekend camping.
Radiant burners have no flame jets, and that makes them impervious to the wind and extreme weather conditions. I've noticed that they burn hotter and longer without a difference of canister fuel used. Also worth keeping note of is the rounded concave surface with a wire screen to help produce a better flame for more efficient cooking experience.
No need to worry about wind since the MSR WindBurner can withstand it anyway. It is a complete stove system, which means you can both cook with it and still eat out of it too. The pot is an anodized aluminum and is wrapped with insulated sleeve to prevent unnecessary heat loss and protect you from possible burn.
The heat exchange fins located at the bottom of the cook pot absorbs heat and keeps the cooking pot warm even after you shut the burner off.
- Handle that provide excellent support
- Pot serves as a bowl and mug to eat and drink from
- Canister stand is a vital safety feature
- Cleaning the pot is pretty easy
- Heats water fast
- Simmering is impossible
- No inbuilt igniter
4. Flash Personal Cooking System
You need more than just a stove to provide heat for your cooking needs on the isolated outdoors. This stove is extremely convenient especially when you want to reheat or cook food instantly.
With the Flash Personal Cooking System, you get more than just a stove. It sleek and elegant looking and that reflects on its general performance as a cooking system.
You need a stove that you can depend on when you in dire need of something to eat, fast. With this stove, you can boil up something to drink or cook your food as fast as within two minutes. That is almost twice as fast as most backpacking stoves out there.
The designing of this stove has gone a notch higher to create a stove that not only produces reliable flame but also prevent spilling of whatever food you are boiling. It is a lightweight package that makes water boiling fast. It all hooks up together nicely in such a way that you can even use it in your car without risking burning the seats and everything else in the car.
- Adjustable Stainless steel burner
- Drink through lid
- Bottom cover that doubles up as a measuring cup
- Fast boiling speed
- Lightweight and easy to hook up together
- Not a versatile option for backpackers
5. Solo Stove Lite - Compact Wood Burning
If you thought innovation would let you down when you are out hiking or camping, and you find yourself in need of a source of heat, think again. Take solo stove lite for example; this is a natural convection inverted down-gas gasifier stove.
It is an ultra-light stove capable of running on just a handful of dry twigs and still produces enough heat to warm up a room or cook anything. All this is made possible by its innovative designed that is encased in a double wall that does much more than just protecting the stove.
On the bottom, the stove contains air intake holes which channel air directly to the bottom of the fire. The holes also channel hot air up between the stove walls. The Solo Stove Lite is a convenient piece of innovation that grant you the ability to cook easily on longer trips in remote places. Its gas fire design burns wood and produces heat more efficiently.
The air flowing up between the two cans is heated and helps burn the smoke coming out from burning wood to form a strong fire that can cook fast. Besides, this amazing stove leaves much less environmental impact because it leaves less mark on the ground.
- Best pot and stove combination
- Efficient outdoor wood burning stove
- Uses much less wood to produce more heat
- Made of stainless steel
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- It doesn't provide enough protection against the wind
6. MSR PocketRocket Stove
Not only one of the most innovative backpack stove but also one of the best for the backpackers who would want to keep it light but still get the option to carry out real cooking.
With the MSR PocketRocket Stove, you get the chance to cook a real meal in the wild or somewhere far from places where you can access basic elements.
When you buy this stove, it comes with a shielding, custom-fit travel case that makes carrying it or traveling with it a lot easier and safer. It would fit into the smallest corner of a backpack yet it would boil a liter of water in just under four minutes.
Even more of a convenient feature is its fully adjustable flames which let you cook gourmet meals from a slow simmer to a rolling boil. You won't have any problem with operating it in that regard since the control valve is easy to turn even when you have your gloves on.
It's quite a product of extreme innovation in the camping stove industry. It is fitted with serrated port-supporters, which prevent the pot from falling off or just shifting. These supporters amazingly fold up pretty compactly for travel. That makes it a real convenience.
- Comes with custom fit travel case
- Fully adjustable flame
- Its compactness is an obvious gain
- Improved pot stability
- Highly portable design
- Fuel canister is sold separately
7. Snow Peak Giga Power Stove
This sis a mini canister stove that is available in 4 different configurations to serve most user preferences. Tininess and power in a stove is an excellent combination of features in a backpacking stove.
It is a highly functional piece of innovation designed to provide you with an efficient source of heat that you can depend on even in the wildest and the remotest of places.
It is a very compact stove with just the right size for carrying in a backpack while you are out hiking or camping far from home. Something unique about this stove is its four pot supports rather than the normal three. The supports fold out to provide a more stable grippy surface that holds the pot in place. Built-in Piezo igniter makes lighting it up a lot easier and improves its overall efficiency.
It is suitable for a hiker on a budget because it is low priced and easy to maintain. Stable stove base makes cooking on a varied surface possible. The Snow Peak GigaPower performs pretty well in cold weather.
- Comes with protective plastic case for storage and transportation
- Packs compact in the case thanks to its convenient size
- Works well in cold temperature
- Provide good flame spread
- Both the stove and the pot stand steadily while you cook
- Sensitive to wind
8. Gwild Camping Stove Ultralight Portable
This is one of my favorite camping stoves; same to many other users out there. From its design to its efficiency, you will like this stove from the word ‘go'.
It features a super windproof design that prevents flame extinguish in the most effective way possible. Imagine yourself out in the outdoors, somewhere in the wild.
Maybe you've been hiking for hours, or you are camping somewhere, and you find the need to cook something quickly. Only a stove that is easy to set up and use such as the Gwild Camping Stove can save you in such a situation.
It has an electric spark ignition system that makes lighting easier so that you don't need a lighter to fire. Regarding design, the Gwild Camping Stove is made up of sturdy stainless steel structure that is designed that way so that it can stand burning temperature and the weight of food and pot while cooking.
It feels very solid in the hands. And do you know that you can boil a liter of or slightly more water in just 2.5 minutes? You will like its portable nature. It is small to slip into your backpack.
- Energy saving functionality
- Prevent flame extinguishing by forces such as the wind
- Uses electric-spark ignition system
- Made of stainless steel parts
- Small portable size
- Not as durable as it looks
9. Coleman Bottle Top Propane Stove
There is no better way to put it than to show you how convenient and efficient this stove can be to the enthusiastic campers and hikers out there.
It is a powerful and portable stove designed to provide you with efficient fire and heat even in the most isolated of places. Coleman is a name synonymous with high quality in the camping stove industry.
Now, if there is a backpacking stove that is easy and small enough to carry around with you if you are a camper on just an outdoor enthusiast, it's the Coleman Bottle Top Propane Stove. For sure, it is a beautiful piece of technology that will make your work a lot easier. This is a stove that is super easy to set up. It stands on a large base that perfectly holds the weight in place so that the propane tank sits on the base.
Another amazing quality that is a great advancement in this stove is the Coleman's PerfectFlow pressure control system as well as PerfectHeat Technology, both of which makes this stove as reliable and fuel efficient as possible. This s also the reason why it operates just as good in cold or windy conditions. On high heat, it can burn for about three hours, while on low heat it can last you 9 hours.
- Boasts 10000 BTU cooking power
- Uses advanced technologies for consistent performance
- Large stable base provide decent support
- Cooks food quicker
- Pretty fuel efficient
- It is almost impossible to keep track of the amount of fuel left
10. Camping Stove - THZY Ultralight Portable
Some camping stoves are designed with more advanced features to meet the needs of today's outdoor enthusiasts, and this is just one of them.
The THZY Ultralight Portable is a true modern creation designed to serve you in the wild while you are out there camping, backpacking, mountaineering, or performing any other outdoor activity.
No matter how many people you are, you can share it if you have to. It boils water or cooks food fast, and that makes it convenient for such outdoor activities and in isolated areas where supplies are not readily available.
It's made of stainless steel and aluminum alloy, both of which are strong and can stand high temperatures and large weight. They are also low weight materials that help in giving the stove its portable characteristic. That's even made better by its compact and collapsible design, and it comes with a carrying case for better portability.
- Easy to set up
- Easy to pack
- Several innovative features
- Powerful flame
- Made of high-quality materials
- Not fast enough
How To Choose The Best Backpacking Stove
With products like camping or backpacking stoves, not so many people know how to pick the best especially since most of them look a lot alike. The first trick to picking the best stove is to know what you want to achieve with it.
One of the most common sources of confusion for users is the wide variety of types of backpacking stoves available. You can choose to buy a canister stove, solid fuel stove, liquid fuel stove, wood stove, or alcohol stove.
All these can be found on the market, and they vary in characteristics. Each type has its pros, cons, and unique characteristics that set it apart from the rest. Your choice of stove type can be influenced by a variety of factors, some of which include your style or activity you want to use it in.
Simmering Ability and Control
I love stoves with excellent simmer control because they allow me to cook more complex meals. Not all camping or backpacking stoves have this feature though some liquefied gas stoves and canister stoves have it.
Simmer control characteristic can be very handy not only for making complex meals but also for preparing simple backcountry meals. Simmered food is obviously better tasting, and that is an indisputable truth that you should keep note of.
Because of the purpose, they are meant to serve, backpacking stoves are better lightweight. Weight varies greatly among different types of stoves. A backpacking enthusiast will tell how enjoyable hiking can be if you are backpacking light.
That is why you need a lightweight stove model. Weight might sound like a minor factor to consider, but actually, it isn't. With all other factors considered, weight should be one of the first considerations.
Performance in Windy Condition
Because you will use your stove in the outdoor with all the wind and other extreme weather conditions lurking, you need a stove that can withstand it all, because you got to eat and drink no matter what.
With proper designing and protection against the wind, any breeze will blow away heat before it even gets to the pot, and that would make your stove far less efficient. Integrated canister stoves perform better in windy conditions. However, you can use wind screen even with stoves that perform poorly in windy conditions.
Never treat a backpacking stove as a second option to anything when setting off for camping or hiking spree. You will require it more than you think if you love eating freshly prepared food and drinks on activities on an enjoyable but challenging day.
Just make sure it is a stable stove that won't knock down your food to the ground after you've waited for it to cook up. Any of these stoves will serve your heating, boiling, or cooking needs on the outdoors just right.