Last updated: June 18, 2018 at 13:56 pm

Top Rated Backpacking Stoves in 2018

Many hikers may argue that adrenaline is their primary need, but we are pretty sure that food ranks somewhere close. If you haven’t invested in a camping stove already, then you should definitely consider adding them to your backpacking essentials when going on a trip. Just because you are in nature, doesn’t mean that you can’t enjoy a hot meal.

The great news is that this item has gotten increasingly convenient and light over the past few years. In other words, your pack will stay light, and you will spend a lot less time cooking. And every backpacker wants a dependable stove that will get the job done quickly after a long day on the road.

Thankfully, there are many time-tested and more innovative, newer models on the market. To help you find the best backpacking stove that will match your needs, we put together a list of different versions. We have some excellent recommendations for you, whether you want “fancy” canister, the one that will fit your budget or you are looking for overall performance.

If you want to learn more about these fantastic products, all you have to do is read on.

If you’re in a hurry, check out the MSR WindBurner. It is lightweight, performs great in windy conditions, and it will last for years. This model won’t leave you hungry.

Product Image
Name
Main Feature
PriceRating
 
MSR WindBurner product imageMSR WindBurner• Easily stored and transported
• Great wind performance

$$$9.8/10Check Price
MSR PocketRocket 2 product imageMSR PocketRocket 2• Sturdy and durable
• Strong burner


$$9.7/10Check Price
Jetboi MiniMo product imageJetboi MiniMo• Fuel efficient
• Good simmer control
$$$9.5/10Check Price
MSR WhisperLite product imageMSR WhisperLite• Quiet for a gas stove
• Excellent stability
$$9.4/10Check Price
Snow Peak Giga Power product imageSnow Peak Giga Power• Includes potent heat output
• Extremely portable
$9.2/10Check Price
Esbit Ultralight product imageEsbit Ultralight• Compact
• Easy to use
$9.1/10Check Price
Trangia Spirit Burner product imageTrangia Spirit Burner• Controllable flame
• Proven reliability
$9.0/10Check Price

Top-Rated Backpacking Stoves Reviewed

MSR WindBurner product image
Design
Quality
Price

MSR WindBurner – Editor’s Choice

MRS WinderBurner comes with a pot and a stove.  Because of the integrated system, it is slightly heavier and more expensive than other models but offers faster cooking time, have better wind performance, and it is more fuel efficient and convenient.

As for the weight, it is a bit heavier than we would prefer for our trips, but for most backpackers, it will work well. It scores very high marks in the durability and quality department. The material is long-lasting and, and you will notice that its system feels secured.

It will surely last you for years, but just in case you should know that MSR provides repair services for their models and offer a great warranty. Other amazing advantages that this stove offers are the wind performance, secure connection and burner. Altogether, these benefits lead to the very efficient cooking system.

It ensures that strong winds would not affect your food preparation and uses the minimum amount of fuel when boiling a pot of water. When we have tested it, it took about 3 and a half minutes to boil 1 liter of liquid. Every hiker will appreciate this boiling speed, especially after a long day on the trail. Also, we need to admit that this is the best stove that we have ever used in harsh conditions.

The only drawback about this product is it doesn’t include push button igniter. But, nothing that cannot be fixed by a small lighter. So bear in mind to always pack it when using this stove system.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Convenient and efficient
  • Complete cook system
  • Versatile cooking experience
  • Easily stored and transported
  • Fast boil time
  • Great wind performance
  • Good simmer control
  • Durable

Cons:

  • Doesn’t include a built-in ignition source
  • It is a bit heavier than claimed weight
  • The handle is not very sturdy
MSR PocketRocket 2 product image
Design
Quality
Price

MSR PocketRocket 2

The MSR Pocket Rocket 2 is a design combination of the original Pocket Rocket and MSR MicroRocket. In terms of price, simplicity, and weight, it is hard to beat this stove. You just can’t go wrong with it, because it is one of the best time-tested products. It is small and very lightweight which makes it a supremely packable.

The simmering capabilities are incredible, allowing you to prepare and enjoy more delicate meals after a long day on the trail. With a highly efficient pot, this stove can reach its boiling performance of 3 and a half minutes per one liter. It will be a pleasure for any camper to dial in with heat maintenance. Bear in mind that it doesn’t include a windscreen or an igniter, so you will have to carry your own.

MSR stove is also designed by Cascade Designs which is well-known for fantastic quality and customer service. And thanks to its sturdy and durable material this model will last you for years. But, you must be careful when you are using it in the cold weather because its performance might be decreased.

There are also some things we didn’t like about this model. We have noticed that its narrow base is not as stable as we would prefer to be. Also, gas canisters are a bit heavier and bulkier than on some other products. But, in our opinion, if you are looking for an economical and dependable stove you won’t have to worry about, this model is an ideal choice for you.

Pros:

  • Perfect for first-time stove buyers
  • Simple to use design
  • Lightweight
  • Sturdy and durable
  • Very compact
  • Strong burner
  • Fast boiling performance
  • Low maintenance
  • Affordable price

Cons:

  • Doesn’t include built-in igniter
  • Gas canisters are heavy and bulky
  • Hard to gauge gas canister fuel level
  • Doesn’t work well in cold weather
Jetboi MiniMo product image
Design
Quality
Price

Jetboi MiniMo

As you may know, many stove systems sell a pot and a stove separately, but Jetboi MiniMo comes with both of them. So, it is only fair that it will cost more than some other models. And yes, it is a more expensive option, but it is also a high-quality product who can withstand years of use.

Because of the integrated stove system, its weight is a bit heavier than we would prefer to be, but most hikers will appreciate all the advantages that come with it. The great thing about this stove is that it scores fantastic marks in durability and quality department. Its materials are very strong, and the system feels secure.

Thanks to the unique MiniMo system, it performs well in windy conditions. You can be sure that this model will outstand any other non-integrate stove when it comes to cooking in the harsh weather. It provides the best fuel efficiency and boiling time. It took 1 minute and 53 seconds to prepare 0, 5 liters of liquid.

Another great benefit of this product is the stability which is very important for a piece of equipment that cooks hot meals. To help increase stability, this stove comes with a three-pronged plastic stand. It also includes push-button ignitor which will help you to light the unit quickly. And for added security, the pot has two sturdy metal handles.

Our complaints about this model are that we would prefer it was a bit more affordable and a bit lighter. But, in our opinion, its advantages outweigh its disadvantages.

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Very fast boiling performance
  • Excellent wind performance
  • Fuel efficient
  • Push button ignitor
  • Good simmer control
  • Good pour spots and top lid
  • Includes sturdy metal handles

Cons:

  • A little bit expensive
  • It is a bit heavier than some other models
MSR WhisperLite product image
Design
Quality
Price

MSR WhisperLite

There are many significant advantages to traveling with a liquid fuel burning stove. The most obvious one is that you can find fuel such as alcohol, diesel or petrol almost everywhere in the world. It is the best choice for you if you are heading off into remote areas.

First of all, it is much cheaper than canister when it comes to the price of the fuel. Secondly, this stove is lighter and less bulky. And you must admit, it is not efficient for any hiker to travel with lots of canisters, especially because you would have to carry them until you get out of the woods since they are not easily disposable.

We strongly recommend it to anyone who plans to cook a lot on their trip. It is an amazing model, but make sure to read the instructions first before you start using it. It can be a little challenging to figure out how it operates if you haven’t read the manual.

MSR WhisperLite maybe is not as lightweight and compact as canister models, but they produce hotter flame, easier to source fuel for, and they are cheaper than them. In other words, for a great price, you can get a fantastic piece of equipment that you can use to prepare more advanced meals.

So, if you want to cook a lot on your next trip or you are going on a real adventure, then this stove is the excellent choice for you. But, as every product this stove too has its disadvantage. There seems to be a problem when you want to light it because it can flame up a little before settling in. So, be extra careful with that.

Pros:

  • Durable and long lasting
  • Excellent stability
  • Quiet for a gas stove
  • Easy to clean
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Flames up a little before settling in
  • Takes longer to boil water
Snow Peak Giga Power product image
Design
Quality
Price

Snow Peak Giga Power

Snow Peak Giga Power is an excellent choice for every backpacker thanks to its compact size, potent heat output, and lightweight. When we’ve tested it, we have noticed that it brings a considerable amount of heat to bear on your pot and operates flawlessly. But, it is very sensitive to windy conditions, even when you are using a windscreen.

It runs on a Snow Peak isobutene, which is a mixture of butane and propane. That means that it can operate in cold temperatures without some difficulties. Despite its compact size, this model provides fantastic stability thanks to its support legs.

The unit uses a piezoelectric igniter, which means when you want to fire up, you just need to push the button. The long wing flame controller will keep your hands safely away from the burner. The good thing is that the flame will spread out and curve upwards to provide even cooking process.

You can also purchase a windscreen which can help you in harsh weather. But, as we said, this model can hardly operate in windy conditions. It can make the stove unable to boil liquid at all, or increase the required time to do that. Meaning, that it varies from barely useful to worse.

So, if you are traveling in some windy areas, it is better to choose some other models from our review that will suit your needs. But, when the weather is great, this unit is powerful and reliable performer which will also bring you the fuel efficiency. In other words, it is a convenient and very affordable stove to throw in your backpack.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Includes potent heat output
  • Affordable price
  • The pot support is very stable
  • Extremely portable

Cons:

  • Less efficient in windy conditions
  • The piezoelectric igniter can fail in cold weather
Esbit Ultralight product image
Design
Quality
Price

Esbit Ultralight

When heating water and food in the wilderness is concerned, the Esbit Ultralight Pocket Stove was the best choice for most of the hikers and campers, since its invention more than 80 years ago. It is made from electrolytic galvanized steel and small enough to fit in your pocket when folded. But, despite on its size, it can boil 0,5 liter of water in just 8 minutes.

For a small unit that is great, but if you want a model that has a faster boiling performance, you should check out other units in our review and find the right one that will suit your needs.

The six 14g fuel tablets are included with the product. Although it doesn’t include heat maintenance, you can still have a little control, thanks to the two cooking positions. You can use the hinge and allow the walls of the stove to lock at 45 degrees or you can fix them to be at 90 degrees. But, you will decide what angle is better for your cooking process.

If you are planning to go on an outdoor adventure, for the weekend or for the long run, the Esbit Ultralight is a fantastic stove to have around with you. It is lightweight, easy to pack and easy to use. And what is great for the most backpackers who have a limited budget is that it is affordable.

The only downside when it comes to the price is that the fuel tablets can be expensive. And before you purchase it, bear in mind that it is not suited for the rough terrain.

Pros:

  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Easy to use
  • Few moving parts
  • Low initial cost
  • Works quickly
  • Simple

Cons:

  • Fuel tablets are a bit pricey
  • Fuel smells bad
  • Not suited for rough terrain
  • Non-adjustable flame
  • Takes longer to boil the liquid
Trangia Spirit Burner product image
Design
Quality
Price

Trangia Spirit Burner

The alcohol burning stoves are fantastic for most backpacking trips because of the durability and weight savings. The Trangia Spirit Burner is very efficient as it requires lighting a match and filling the reservoir with alcohol to get it cooking. The easy-to-use feature beats up other available models.

It burns various types of alcohol such as isopropanol, methanol, denatured alcohol, and ethanol among many others. Make sure always check the instructions, so there is no toxic chemical mixed into the blend you want. You can leave the fuel in the stove while on the road because it has a good seal. That will allow you to save some alcohol since you don’t have to throw it every time you use the product.

The stove doesn’t include a windscreen or pot stand. But, you can always buy it separately on the market. Although it is not as efficient as other models in this review, it still can boil one liter of water for 8 minutes. It might not be the fastest burner, but as we have mentioned earlier, you will be able to save some fuel.

Another great thing about this unit is that it has a simmer ring that provides more intricate simmer ability. It is a reliable stove that has been around for a long time, and it can be used in various environments.

Because it is made out of brass, there is very little maintenance required with this product. The downsides of this models are that it doesn’t come with a windscreen or a pot stand which you will have to purchase separately, and it is a little heavier.

Pros:

  • Controllable flame
  • Durable brass design
  • Proven reliability
  • Easy setup and minimal preparation time

Cons:

  • Doesn’t include windscreen or pot stand
  • Slow cooking process
  • Heavier than aluminum units
image of Backpacking Stove in practice

Things to Consider When Buying Backpacking Stove

When you are on the hill all day, you are drinking water and eating snacks as you go. But, when you reach your destination, you will want a hot drink and meal. That is when you should have a reliable backpacking stove. It doesn’t matter if you are whipping up a gourmet delight or boiling water for a cup of coffee, you need to have a proper model to suit your needs.

There are a number of things you should pay attention to when buying the right one, such as fuel source, size, types, and other benefits or features. All these products are generally lightweight and compact, but still, you must research all the factors to find out which one is perfect for you.

Keep reading to know more about the things you should consider when buying backpacking stove.

1. Purpose

First you need to determine the purpose of using this unit, which will reveal the essential points required before buying one. It can be for international travel, large groups, lightweight backpacking, gourmet cam cooking, boiling water purpose, high elevation use, winter use, or summer backpacking. Then you can search for a specific size and type of stove to suit your needs.

2. Size

The convenience of the stove and the size are associated. It will be easier for you to carry the product if it is smaller. You should know that one unit can be enough for a few people. But if there is more than three hikers or campers than you should bring more than just one. Some of the models in our reviews are very compact and lightweight, so make sure to read all about them and find out which is perfect for your convenience.

3. Fuel Type

There are different types of fuels that you can use for your unit, such as solid, liquefied, or petroleum fuel, alcohol and wood. Before you purchase any model, you need to see which fuel type would be suitable for the weather and environment conditions where you will be staying. And then you should check which fuel type is compatible with the product you want to buy.

 4. Fuel Capacity

As you may already know, the stoves have very limited capacity because of their sizes. So, you need to be careful when you are choosing the right one. Bear in mind that the fuel you will need to carry will add to your luggage weight.

image of Usage of Backpacking Stove

5. Weight You can Carry

The backpacking stoves are lightweight, but they use a fuel which can be heavy. That is why you need to determine how much luggage you can carry while on the trail. Great solution is a fuel efficient system that will allow you to bring as less weight as possible.

6. Area

Before you purchase any stove, you need to think about the area you are visiting. Nothing can beat the quality of liquid fuel units, if you are planning to cook at higher elevation. They will give good performance and are easier to burn. The canisters stoves and those with wood fuel are also great for a summer trip in forest area, thanks to their performance and affordability.

7. Weather Conditions

There is nothing better for cold temperatures than petroleum-fueled models. In certain harsh condition, propane stoves can also be of great help. As for the canister types, it is best to use them for warm and mild temperatures.

8. Durability

If you are planning on using the stove in all sorts of weather conditions, then you need a unit with excellent durability. Check for the quality and design of the model you are purchasing and make sure that it can withstand any harsh conditions over an extended period.

Conclusion

Whether you are a weekend backpacker or a thru-hiker, our reviews will help you choose the best backpacking stove. This article is not about advocating one unit’s type over another. It is about finding an ideal model that fits within your budget and complements your style.
And having the right one can make all the difference at the end of the day. It means hot coffee in the morning for a happy start or a hot meal in the evening after a long day on the trail. So, make sure to follow our guide and make an informed decision before you purchase the right model.

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