Best Camping Stoves 2020 | Top 10 - Outdoors Magic

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Best Camping Stoves 2020 | Top 10

We've cooked up a list of the best camping stoves to carry in your backpack on any trail-based 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?

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 Cotswold Outdoor.

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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 either our Winter Outdoor 100 or our Summer Outdoor 100.”

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 PrimeTech, 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 Winter Outdoor 100 or our Summer Outdoor 100. There is a wide variety in terms of price, features and styles. Here are 10 of our favourites.

  • MSR Reactor Stove – Best Camping Stove
  • Primus MicronTrail – Best Lightweight Stove
  • MSR Pocketrocket 2 – Best Value Stove
  • Primus PrimeTech 2.3L Stove – Best Group Stove
  • Savotta Happy and Grumpy Stoves – Best Mini Wood Burning Stove
  • Primus Omni Lite Ti
  • Coleman Fyrestorm PCS
  • Jetboil MiniMo
  • Jetboil MightyMo
  • BioLite Campstove 2 Bundle


BEST BUY: MSR Reactor Stove

Price: £170
Weight: 434g

One of the downfalls of the gas cartridge stove is its ability to heat in frigid weather – liquid burning stoves are just better. However, this MSR stove works brilliantly in chilly weather (it’s designed for alpine climbers). The burner is very efficient, the heat exchanger works well, 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

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Jetboil MightyMo Cooking Stove

Price: £60
Weight: 95g

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

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Coleman FyreStorm PCS Stove Set

Price: £65
Weight: 486g

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

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Primus MicronTrail

Price: £60
Weight: 94g

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

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MSR PocketRocket 2

Price: £30
Weight: 72g

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

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Primus PrimeTech 2.3L Stove

Price: £130
Weight: 870g

The PrimeTech is a complete cooking system for two to five people that cleverly packs together in a neat little sack. Once out, the regulator screws into the canister and through a hose links to the wind-protected stove. There are two pans, a gas regulator, pan handle that can be used as tongs, a foldable sheet of aluminium to protect what you are cooking on, and a Piezo lighter. The lid also has a pasta strainer. One pot has an integrated heat exchanger. A clever design that is highly efficient with fuel.

Full Specifications

Two pots one with heat exchanger / detachable pan handle/tongs / gas regulator / piezo lighter / strainer lid / built-in wind guard / Storage bag / 870g

Read our full Primus Primetech Stove Set review

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Jetboil MiniMo

Price: £145
Weight: 415g

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

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Primus Omni Lite Ti

Price: €250
Weight: 230g

Stoves tend to sit within three fuel-based categories: liquid fuel, cartridges, and alternative-fuel stoves that run on hard fuel like wood or pellets. Most options out there fall into the first two categories, but this, the Primus OmniLite Ti goes right across the two and is designed to not only work with gas, but also with gasoline/petrol, diesel, kerosene/paraffin, and even aviation fuel (!). This versatility makes it an ideal option for any off-the-beaten-track adventures where standard camping fuel isn’t easy to come by. It’s also useful for trips to high altitude where only certain fuel-types will function.

Included with the Omni Lite stove is a 0.35-litre fuel bottle with a built-in pump for the user to manually add pressure to the bottle, forcing the fuel to move through and feed the burner. The set also includes a windshield to help maximise fuel efficiency, a mini spark igniter and storage sack.

Full Specifications

Multi-fuel: gas, petrol, diesel, kerosene/paraffin, aviation fuel / 35cl bottle with pump provided plus durable storage sack piezzo spark igniter and titanium windscreen and pot supports / 3 min boiling time for 1L / 90mm height / 114mm depth / 55mm diameter / 2600 W output / suitable for 1-2 person use.

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Savotta Happy and Grumpy Stoves

Price: £35
Weight: 250g

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

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BioLite Campstove 2 Bundle

Price: £220
Weight: Campstove 935g, KettlePot 465g, Grill 850g

What we have here is a biomass stove that will not only sizzle your sausages but juice up your phone as well. That’s right, this thing has a rechargeable battery that’s powered up by whatever you burn. There’s even a fan that helps to boost the thermal efficiency while reducing smoke, plus a USB FlexLight for added illumination while you’re cooking (or charging) should you need it.

The ways of cooking are numerous here. You can sit a pot or pan on top of the stove, or you can boil water using the kettle that’s supplied. Then there’s the surprisingly large grill for barbecue-style food.

We’ve used this a bunch of times now and it’s a lot of fun, though it has to be said, there are definitely more practical ways of cooking food outdoors.

Full Specifications

Fuel: renewable biomass / 4.5 minutes stated boil time for 1 litre / on-board 2600 mAh battery / LED light for fire strength and power output indication / stainless steel build / comes with stuff sack, USB cord, stove, FlexLight, firelighter, kettle portable grill with cover.

Read our full BioLite Campstove 2 Bundle review.

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