Best Backpacking Stoves 2024 - Outdoors Magic

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Best Backpacking Stoves 2024

Lightweight and packable backpacking stoves that are ideal for multi-day hiking adventures

Backpacking stoves come in a number of different shapes and sizes with many different types to choose from. Some will be fully integrated systems capable of cooking food and boiling water for a couple of people while others can be simple burners made for just boiling water. Then there’s the variations in the fuel they run off too.

Each has their advantages and disadvantages, so we’re here to unravel the secrets and to show you which is the best backpacking stove following our tests.

How to Choose a Stove for Backpacking

For general use, for use at camp or for van life, a camping stove should ideally be stable, easy to carry and convenient to store away. When it comes to backpacking, however, what you specifically need to be looking for is something that is light to carry, that can boil water quickly and that’s fuel efficient. Another important thing to consider is the type of fuel the stove runs off and whether that will be easy to find in remote places.

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For trips no longer than a week we’ve found that gas camping stoves generally tend to be the best all-round type of fuel and that’s why the majority of options on this page are canister fed. Still, there are trips and scenarios where alternative fuels might be the better option. To understand the various advantages and disadvantages of various fuel and stove types, we’ve compiled this useful guide on how to choose a camping stove and there’s more info at the bottom of this article.

How We Tested Them

All of these products have been in our gear team’s hands and properly tested within the environments they were designed for, including the Scottish Highlands, Snowdonia, the Lake District and beyond. Some of these have even been tested on multi-week backpacking expeditions and on lightweight fastpacking challenges. The majority have been tested in three-season conditions and rated for their boil time, packed size, weight and functionality. We looked at how quickly they could boil a litre of water, their fuel efficiency and performance in colder temperatures. We also assessed how convenient and light they were to carry, how durable they were and also how easy they were to operate. All stoves reviewed here were tested in British summer conditions and in varying wind speeds.

The Best Backpacking Stoves of 2024

The stoves reviewed here were all included in either our Outdoor 100 or Green Gear Guide. There is a wide variety in terms of price, features and styles with a mix of stove burners and stove systems (including pots, lids, handles etc.) Here are our favourites.

  • Best Overall Backpacking Stove System: Primus Lite+
  • Best Lightweight Stove System: Jetboil Stash
  • Best Budget Stove System: Coleman FyreStorm PCS:
  • Best Backpacking Stove for Cooking and Frying: MSR Pocket Rocket 2
  • Best Alternative-fuel Stove: Optimus Svea


Best Overall Backpacking Stove

Primus Lite+

Price: €140
Weight: 402g
Best for: Wild camping and backpacking
Key attributes: eco-friendly updates, packable, smart design  

With its 0.5L volume, the new and improved Primus Lite Plus is perfect for one person use, but it’ll also do the job for a pair traveling together. It’s best suited to boiling water, either for a hot drink or for rehydrating a backpacking meal, with a reasonably fast boiling time of 3 minutes, but the burner does have simmer control too, so cooking things like pasta and rice is still possible. It even has little pins attached to the handle that, once twisted into the screw holes on the top of the burner, will make the stove frying pan friendly. 

We’ve long been big fans of the Lite+ here at Outdoors Magic and this new updated version is a definite improvement, carrying on many of the same awesome specs as the original model but with eco-friendlier materials used for the pot sleeve a new bioplastic material used for the pot lid and canister stand.  

Other updates include: a handy, integrated pocket for storing a long spork or spoon; six vibrant new colours; and a new gas valve with a large control knob. The latter makes it much easier to control the stove’s heat, even with cold hands or while wearing gloves. 

Full Specifications

0.5L volume / 1-2 people compatible / 402g / best suited to boiling water or rehydrating backpacking meals / 3-minute boiling time / burner simmer control / stove frying pan friendly / lid that doubles as mug or liquid strainer / Laminar Flow Burner / 1500W flame / low centre of gravity / piezo ignition / built-in heat exchanger.

Selected for the 2021/22 Outdoor 100 – Read our full Primus Lite+ review.



Best Backpacking Stove for Cooking

MSR Pocket Rocket 2

Price: £35
Weight: 72g
Best for: Wild camping, backpacking, mountaineering
Key attributes: Compact, lightweight, great value

The first PocketRocket was the definitive ultra-lightweight, canister-top camping stove and this second version is even lighter and more compact. Although small, the pan supports are sturdy, especially for a one-person pot, and the flame control is excellent.

This tiny, low-cost stove is a great option for those who like to travel light and who like to be able to create a stove system comprising their own pot instead of one that specifically needs to integrate with the burner. The boil time, we’ve found, is good – you can get a litre boiling within 5 minutes. There isn’t much in the way of wind protection, however, so in blustery conditions it’s wise to make sure you’ve created some kind of shelter or barrier to maximise your fuel efficiency.

One of the best things about the Pocket Rocket 2, aside from its light weight, is its simmer control. You can adjust this to get a nice low and slow flame that’ll allow you to gently cook stuff without turning it into a charred mess stuck to the base of your pan.

Full Specifications

WindClip windshield / folding pot supports / precision flame control / 73g

Read our full MSR Pocket Rocket 2 review



Best Lightweight Stove System

Jetboil Stash

Price: £140
Weight: 200g
Best for: Ultralight hiking, fastpacking and bikepacking
Key attributes: Super fast boil time, light and compact

Jetboil have labelled their Stash the ‘lightest stove system ever made’ and we haven’t found a reason to contest that yet. The set weighs just 200g, that’s the same as your average-sized hamster titanium burner. It includes a titanium burner, 0.8 litre aluminium pot with a built in heat exchanger and flip-out siliconised handle, a plastic lid with a pour spout and then a little sack to store the burner in. A 30g folding gas canister stand also comes with the set, though this isn’t accounted for in that 200g given weight. Best of all, this thing is designed as a ‘nesting’ system, meaning that it all packs up into one very compact bundle. Oh and there’s that 2.5 minute boil time as well. Super speedy. 

This was tested by us over a three-week fastpacking trip (it was specifically chosen for its lightweight convenience) and it performed excellently. A fast boil time, super light weight, fuel efficiency and well-designed – it’s a top notch backpacking stove for any one who moves fast and light.

Full Specifications

2.5 minute boil time / unregulated – best for boiling instead of cooking / 0.8-litre anodised aluminium pot with Flux Ring / requires own spark / 100g canister boils 12 litres.

Read our full Jetboil Stash review.



Best Budget Stove System

Coleman FyreStorm PCS Stove Set

Price: £65
Weight: 486g
Best for: Wild camping, backpacking
Key attributes: Built-in wind blocker, good boil time, compact

The Coleman FyreStorm is a low-profile stove that is attached by a hose to the gas canister. This means it is stable in the wind. The full set includes the stove, cooking pot, sleeve and lid, and it all fits together in one neat package.

The Coleman Windblock system is particularly useful, and a clip-on lid adds an extra level of security in case of spillages. The gas canister fits in the pot.

Full Specifications

Piezo ignition / braided steel hose / clip-on lid / neoprene sleeve / Coleman Wind Block system ./ HyperFlame down-step burner / 486g

Read our full Coleman Fyrestorm PCS review



Best Alternative-fuel Stove

Optimus Svea

Our team using the Svea in Scotland.

Price: £150
Weight: 550g
Best for: Bushcraft, remote expeditions
Key attributes: Runs off fuel that’s easy to find, very durable

This is a classic stove that’s been used by many a backpacker for decades now. In fact, the design it’s based on goes all the way back to the mid-nineteenth century – and it’s changed very little. 

It runs off white gas, one of the easiest fuels to find – barring wood, of course – and this makes this a very handy stove for anyone who’s venturing off the beaten track for long periods of time. 

During our tests, we found the Svea made for an experiential way of cooking. There’s a bit of a technique to lighting it and once it’s going it really roars with quite a wild flame. We’ve explained the process for lighting it and controlling it in our review, linked below. 

Overall, we found it hard to not be drawn into the nostalgia and retro charm of this stove and, given its incredible durability, its ability to run off widely available fuel and its overall reliability, there are certainly still times when this stove will come into its own. OK, ultralight hikers will want to look elsewhere, but if you’re cycling across Siberia or you’re just someone who likes going back to basics, this is worth considering.

Full Specifications

Runs off white gas / 50 min average burn time with 120 ml of fuel / 120 x 100 mm / Approx. 7 min/1L boil time / 1400W output.

Read our full Optimus Svea stove review.



Best of the Rest


Optimus Crux Lite Solo Cook System

Price: £70
Weight: 272g
Best for: solo hiking and bikepacking
Key attributes: small pack size, stove supports keep your pot extra stable, handy pouring spout

With the Optimus Crux Lite Solo, you get an elegantly-simple and lightweight system. It includes a small gas burner, as well as a cook pot and frying pan that doubles as a lid. The whole lot slots together and packs down easily. It also weighs in at just 272g.

The 600ml pot and lid are constructed from hard-anodised aluminium. This is cheaper than titanium whilst still remaining lightweight, tough and easy to clean. The fold out handles on the pot and frying pan lid are also both coated with a grippy rubber. The burner itself is made from stainless steel and aluminium, whilst the adjustable flame control has a large wire handle that is easy to operate with gloved hands.

Full Specifications

Gas burner, cook pot and frying pan (doubles as lid) / packs into itself / 600ml pot / pot and lid: hard-anodised aluminium / burner: stainless steel and aluminium / grippy rubber on handles / mesh storage bag and smaller storage sack / three fold out supports for burner / adjustable flame control.

Read our full Optimus Crux Lite review.



MSR Reactor Stove

Price: £185+
Weight: 434g
Best for: Wild camping, backpacking, mountaineering
Key attributes: Powerful burner and excellent efficiency, compact system

One of the normal downfalls of the gas cartridge stove is its inability to heat in frigid weather. This MSR gas stove, however, works brilliantly in chilly weather (it’s designed for alpine climbers after all). The burner is very efficient, the heat exchanger works well, so too does the built-in pressure regulator, and the whole stove fits together so well that you’ll be drinking coffee in no time. Different size pots can be attached too.

Full Specifications

Radiant burner / heat exchanger / available in 1 litre, 1.7 litre and 2.5 litre pots / System include Reactor Pot and Stove / BPA-free strainer lid / PackTowel pot protector / folding/locking handle / 434g

Read our full MSR Reactor Stove review



Jetboil MightyMo Cooking Stove

Price: £64.99
Weight: 95g
Best for: Wild camping, backpacking
Key attributes: Lightweight, packable, built-in spark ignition

Jetboil was one of the first manufacturers to offer a fully integrated system – everything about the stove was designed to boil water as quickly as possible from the windshield to the heat exchanger. This stove, however, is the first they’ve released as a stand-alone burner, and it’s good; very good. The excellent control and Piezo spark ignition are particularly useful.

Full Specifications

10,000 BTU burner / simmer control / push button igniter / 95g

Read our full Jetboil Mightymo Review


Savotta Happy and Grumpy Stoves

Price: £35
Weight: 250g
Best for: Bushcraft, summer wild camps
Key attributes: runs of renewables, very lightweight, good value

Simple, lightweight, and just a lot of fun to use, we love the Savotta’s Happy Stove and Grumpy stove here at Outdoors Magic. To use them, you simply slot all the pieces of metal together, pile sticks and leaves all inside, spark them up, let the air holes create some nice convection and then place your kettle or pot on top of the cross bars and wait. The beauty of it is that you can keep feeding the fire without having to remove your pot from the top, which is a pitfall of the Solo Stove which we’ve reviewed below.

Packed flat into the little storage sack that the stove comes with, the whole thing is small enough to slip into the side pocket of your backpack or even into the pocket of your trousers.

Full Specifications

0.5mm laser-cut stainless steel / height 14cm, width 14cm, depth 14cm / protective bag made from 1000D Cordura.

Read our full Savotta Happy and Grumpy Stove review



Jetboil MiniMo

Price: £150
Weight: 415g
Best for: Wild camping and backpacking
Key attributes: Compact, quick boil time

Jetboil leads the way in fast-burning stoves, in large part to the fully integrated system that eliminates fuel wastage at every point. The MiniMo, in contrast to the MightyMo, is a one-person, single-pot system. The heat exchanger on the pot clips directly on to the stove. The simmer control also allows you to boil pasta and the like rather than just boil water as quickly as possible. This impressive system also works well down to -6 Celsius. Jetboil’s products just keep getting better – an impressive system.

Full Specifications

Redesigned valve and regulator for advanced simmer control / metal handles / push-button igniter / lower spoon angle / insulating drink through lid / fuel canister stabiliser / additional accessories incline coffee press, hanging kit and pot support.

Read our full Jetboil MiniMo review



Primus Firestick

Price: £80
Weight: 105g
Best for: Wild camping and backpacking
Key attributes: Very compact and packable, lightweight

What we love about this stove from Primus is its packability.  It can be neatly folded up into a little stick that you can slip neatly into your trouser pocket, the side of a backpack or in a pannier, and without much risk of bits and bobs breaking off. The pot stands, which are designed to shield the burner from the wind, will support most pot sizes above 36mm in width and they can be clicked together when you’re stowing it away, turning the stove into a stick shape that’s about the size of a small pepper shaker. 

The Firestick also has a pressure regulator for maximum power/fuel efficiency and a large twist valve that lets you control the output. 

It’s available in the steel version pictured (105g) or a lighter titanium version 89g. Both options come with a handy little wool pouch, which doubles as a mini pot gripper, and also a piezo ignition stick.

Full Specifications

103mm height / 36mm width / 2500W output / 3.5 min boil time for 1 litre / comes with wool pouch and piezo spark / suitable for 1-2 people.

Read our full Primus Firestick review



Buyer’s Guide: How To Choose A Camping Stove

Aside from gas powered backpacking stoves, the other more common option are stoves that use methylated spirits or alcohol (the best ones also allow the use of solid fuel tablets and wood). Stoves of this kind are also very simple with few specialist parts. Some people even fashion their own out of an aluminium can. However, you can’t control the flame as well with these and they don’t tend to be as powerful as gas stoves – that pasta could be a long time coming. If meths stoves are something you are interested in, look at Trangia’s Triangle or Alpkit’s Bruler.

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Petrol (gasoline) for backpacking stoves offers a high energy density, cost-effectiveness, and widespread availability, but comes with safety concerns and an unpleasant odour. Paraffin (kerosene) is a safer and more stable option, but has lower energy density and can produce messy soot and odour during use. These options don’t tend to be too desirable for most backpackers – but they can be a logical choice when venturing into far off places where petrol and paraffin are the only likely fuel sources – at a gas station for instance.

“The stoves reviewed here were all included in our Outdoor 100 or Green Gear Guide.”

Gas stoves using butane/propane canisters are the easiest to use, they’re the most common, and they can in some instances be the lightest option for your type of trip. Gas stoves tend to fall into two categories: those that screw directly into the top of the canister and low-profile stoves that attach to the canister with a hose. The former are lighter and more compact and excellent for solo use but can be unstable. The latter tend to be steadier and would be recommended for bigger pans. Some hose linked stoves are useful for cold weather when gas doesn’t burn so well as they can be inverted to run off the liquid contents rather than gas.

A snapshot of some of the different stove types that are suitable for backpacking.

Another consideration is whether the system integrates the stove and the pot. Of the stoves tested here, the JetBoil MiniMo, Primus Firestick, Coleman FyreStorm and MSR Reactor are integrated. This means the pots, often with heat exchangers, can attach directly to the stove. This is more efficient for fuel usage and burning time, but they tend to be heavier, and only some can be used with other pots.

Final points to consider (phew) are the size of the burner – the wider the burner, the more the flame can spread just like the burner on your stove at home. Many stoves also come with a Piezo ignition that allows you to spark it up. However, always carry matches as these fail a fair bit in our experience. All these stoves have a flame control allowing you to simmer or boil water rapidly. Some also come with a windshield as well. It makes a significant difference, so if it doesn’t come with one, it’s worth picking up a cheap foil one.

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