Best Camping Stoves For 2021 - Outdoors Magic

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Best Camping Stoves For 2021

We've cooked up a list of the best camping stoves to carry in your backpack on any hiking adventures

Sifting through trying to find the best camping stoves that’ll suit your type of trip can be quite a tricky process. There are dozens of different types to choose from – some fully integrated and some smaller than a pocket knife – and several types of fuel. Each has their advantages and disadvantages, so we’re here to unravel the secrets.

For backpacking, 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.

What Is The Best Type Of Stove For Backpacking?

We’ve got the basics covered in this section but if you’re after more details on what you should be looking for, head over to the in-depth camping stoves buyer’s guide that we’ve compiled.

Most of the portable stoves here are gas ones, because in the British weather and for trips no longer than a week we’ve found it to be the best all-around type of fuel. Petrol and paraffin stoves tend to be used on very long journeys in very cold conditions where you’re only likely to find a snowmobile refilling station rather than a outdoor store.

Related: Best Hiking Backpacks
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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, and it won’t be as powerful – 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.

“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.

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.

Camping Stoves on Test

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. Here are our favourites.

  • Primus Lite+ – Best Camping Stove Tested
  • MSR Pocket Rocket 2
  • Jetboil Stash
  • MSR Reactor Stove
  • Primus MicronTrail
  • Savotta Happy and Grumpy Stoves
  • Primus Firestick
  • Coleman Fyrestorm PCS
  • Jetboil MiniMo
  • Jetboil MightyMo

 

BEST BUY: 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 for 2021 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.

MORE INFO:
PRIMUS.EU

 

MSR Pocket Rocket 2

Price: £30
Weight: 72g
Best for: Wild camping, backpacking, mountaineering
Key attributes: Compact, lightweight, great value

This tiny, low-cost stove is a great option for quick jaunts into the hills. 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.

Full Specifications

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

Read our full MSR Pocket Rocket 2 review

MORE INFO:
MSRGEAR.COM

 

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 (new for 2021) 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. 

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.

MORE INFO:
JETBOIL.JOHNSONOUTDOORS.COM

 

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

SHOP NOW

 

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

SHOP NOW

 

 

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

MORE INFO:
COLEMAN.EU

 

Primus MicronTrail

Price: £60
Weight: 94g
Best for: Wild camping, backpacking, mountaineering
Key attributes: Compact, lightweight, built-in pressure regulator

Primus has been making stoves for 125 years now –  Norwegian explorer Roald Amundsen carried one to the South Pole, and Edmund Hillary and Tenzing Norway carried one on Everest. So are they still relevant in 2018? It’s an emphatic yes. The MicronTrail is designed as one of their lightest and most compact models. Although tiny, it is very powerful, and a regulator keeps the gas flowing even when the canister is running out.

Full Specifications

Separate Piezo lighter / valve with regulator enhanced performance / storage bag included

Read our full Primus Microntrail review

MORE INFO:
PRIMUS.EU

 

Jetboil MiniMo

Price: £145
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

MORE INFO:
JETBOIL.JOHNSONOUTDOORS.COM

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

MORE INFO:
PRIMUS.EU

 

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

MORE INFO:
SAVOTTA.FI

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