The 10 Best Backpacking Stoves 2020 (Your Ultimate Guide)

Backpacking and hiking can be great fun but there are times when you need to set up camp and have something to eat or drink. This is when it’s necessary to have a portable stove with you. Such a stove provides a flexible option for cooking hot food and brewing cups of tea or coffee. It makes every camp or hike just a little easier.

Of course, you can’t carry just any stove around with you. For it to be practical for backpacking and camping, it needs to be lightweight, portable, and eminently usable even in windy conditions. So what is the best backpacking stove you can buy right now? Here are ten of the best on the market:

1. Ohuhu Camping Stove Stainless Steel Backpacking Stove

https://www.amazon.com/Ohuhu-Camping-Stainless-Backpacking-Potable/dp/B0125U36Q2

This stainless steel backpacking stove is ideal for when you’re expecting inclement weather and high winds. It’s heavier than some of the other options and being stainless steel means that it can take a beating on multiple trips to the great outdoors.

Furthermore, it features a three-armed base that will keep it stable and steady on uneven terrain or when the winds are blowing. This also means that you won’t have to worry about a grass fire starting because the stove isn’t stable enough.

Unlike many portable stoves, the Ohuhu is fueled by anything that you can find around your camp, such as twigs, bits of wood, leaves, and other things that make for a good fire. This is not necessarily going to be ideal for someone who needs a powerful burner but it is environmentally friendly and it also means that you don’t have to burden yourself with extra fuel canisters.

2. Etekcity Ultralight Portable Outdoor Backpacking Camping Stove

https://www.amazon.com/Etekcity-Ultralight-Backpacking-Emergency-Earthquake/dp/B00ZA39W6U

The inclusion of aluminum in the body of this portable stove keeps the weight down but other stainless steel parts make for a durable package. It’s small, easy to pack and carry, and easy to set up. These features alone make it worth serious consideration.

It also has a flame control option so that it’s possible to have a lot more flexibility when it comes to heating, cooking, and boiling. You can easily move from a simmer to a boil with one simple turn of the control knob. The portable design and included carry bag make this stove an attractive choice.

3. REDCAMP Windproof Portable Backpacking Stove with Piezo Ignition

https://www.amazon.com/REDCAMP-Windproof-Backpacking-Firepower-Lightweight/dp/B07MFD82NQ

If you’re truly interested in an ultralight portable stove option, this Redcamp offering should be on your list of considerations. It has been deliberately designed and engineered to take up less space. This means that it’s also ideal for packing into your hiking bag or backpack.

It also features a wind deflector shield so you can cook in light to moderate winds without having to worry about the propane fire going out all of a sudden. It’s also incredibly fuel efficient; if you want to pack light, you might be able to pack less fuel than you would for another stove.

A 365-day warranty from the manufacturer is just the icing on the cake for this excellent offering from Redcamp. This means that you can invest without fear.

4. Jetboil Flash Camping Stove Cooking System

https://www.amazon.com/Jetboil-Camping-Cooking-System-Carbon/dp/B0753NBMJ5

If you want speed, this is the backpacking stove to invest in. The Jetboil is called that for a good reason: it promises to boil water in only 100 seconds. For when you want to make your life in the great outdoors easier, the Jetboil may be your new best friend.

You can also ignite the Jetboil by pushing a single button. That means less messing around and much more ease and efficiency. Many people will really enjoy the simple and quiet efficiency of the Jetboil. And for those who don’t want to wait for their cups of tea or coffee, the 100-second boil is going to be a Godsend on those long nights out on the trail.

5. Terra Hiker 3500 W Camping Gas Stove

https://www.amazon.com/Terra-Hiker-Backpack-Convenient-Ignition/dp/B07ZJFN4YF

This Terra Hiker is compact, lightweight, and attractive. It is also incredibly fuel efficient and can deliver enough power to boil water in just over two minutes. That makes it ideal if your goal is to save on carrying fuel around.

The lower center of gravity also means that it will be more stable on uneven terrain and will be better for use in windy conditions. This stability provides extra safety when there are high winds in the sense that the stove is less likely to fall over and cause a fire.

With a one-push ignition button, a compact design, and excellent energy efficiency, the Terra Hiker is well worth your consideration.

6. Lixada Camping Stove Wood Burning Stove 

https://www.amazon.com/Lixada-Portable-Lightweight-Stainless-Backpacking/dp/B07D349BJ9

If you want the best durability and strength possible in a portable camping stove, look no further than this premium offering from Lixada. It’s made from titanium, which is not only stronger than stainless steel but is also lighter. This makes the Lixada portable stove ideal for someone who wants no compromises when it comes to durability and weight.

On top of all that. it looks absolutely stunning. Where other portable stoves look very utilitarian, Lixada has created something that will turn heads. It can also be folded up to be flat, which makes it ideal for carrying around all day in a backpack.

It won’t be for everyone since it uses natural fuel sources such as wood. However, this does make it the ideal choice for someone who is environmentally minded as it will not add any chemicals or byproducts to the food chain.

7. Coleman Gas Stove 

https://www.amazon.com/Coleman-Bottle-Propane-Stove-Green/dp/B0009PUR5E

The utilitarian-looking Coleman is a no-fuss performer. It features greater fuel efficiency than many other portable stoves and can output up to 10,000 BTUs of performance. Despite this power, it is also very fuel efficient.

If you don’t want to carry around too much extra propane, this Coleman is going to be worth a look. It will burn for over two hours on a single 16-ounce gas cylinder. This fuel efficiency and included wind deflectors make it an ideal choice for someone who just wants a no-fuss, fuel efficient propane solution for his or her portable cooking needs.

8. MSR WhisperLite Portable Camping and Backpacking Stove 

https://www.amazon.com/MSR-WhisperLite-Portable-Camping-Backpacking/dp/B000BBGQ88

MSR has produced a serious, classic, and no-fuss portable stove. It may not be the biggest or the boldest but this unit has a clean, compact traditional design that sets it apart from the likes of the Lixada above. Some people prefer the more traditional kind of portable stove and MSR delivers this without question in this particular model.

It is made of a combination of stainless steel and brass and because of the simple design, it is very easy to clean. This portable stove is the ideal companion for someone who doesn’t need a fancy solution. It just gets on with the job with no fuss and no problem.

9. AOTU Portable Camping Stoves Backpacking Stove with Piezo Ignition

https://www.amazon.com/AOTU-Portable-Backpacking-Ignition-Wind-Resistance/dp/B07NJYV3NP

The AOTU portable stove is a great choice for someone who needs some extra stability. A four-armed support system makes it relatively easy to stabilize on uneven terrain and makes it more stable during windy conditions.

Unlike some portable stoves, this model is made mostly of aluminum, which is known to be lightweight, strong, and resistant to rust. If you want to be able to use your portable stove for many years to come, having one made from a rust-proof alloy is always going to be a bonus.

It also has a nice adjustable valve so it’s possible to turn up the flame on high or turn it very low just for simmering a stew.

10. MSR PocketRocket 2 

https://www.amazon.com/MSR-PocketRocket-Ultralight-Backpacking-Camping/dp/B01N5O7551

Weighing in at a miserly 2.6 ounces in total, this MSR is one ultralight option for camping or hiking. It may not have the power of some stoves but it is so small and light that no person will have a problem carrying it around all day in a pack.

It will boil water in just over three minutes, which won’t be breaking any records; however, it is the no-fuss design and minimalist approach that is the real draw card. This also makes it a breeze to use as there are no unnecessary features and no extra bulk.

This portable stove would really suit someone who wants to add an ultralight stove to his or her arsenal of camping options. It’s ideal for a night or two away if you don’t want to carry an extra fuel load.

Advice on Choosing a Backpacking Stove for Your Next Adventure

When choosing the best backpacking stove, you really need to consider a few things:

  • How lightweight is the stove?
  • Is it easy to pack and carry?
  • How easy is it to set up?
  • How fuel efficient is it?
  • How powerful is it?

These are all big considerations when choosing a portable stove. Most people will, of course, think that being lightweight is all that matters but there are other factors that should weigh into your decision.

Yes, you will want the stove to be as light as possible so that you can carry it around all day. Hiking long distances is tiring and the last thing that you want is to be carrying around a stove that is too heavy. However, this must also be balanced against the fact that lightweight stoves may also be prone to tipping over in a wind. The great outdoors will not always produce hospitable weather!

If you’re expecting heavy winds, you should be carrying a heavier stove. In this scenario, the lighter stoves will simply blow over or the flame will go out quickly. A stove that has tipped over in the wind is also more likely to cause a fire and this is not what you want when you’re out camping.

General Advice on Using Your Portable Stove

There are certainly an embarrassment of riches when it comes to makes and models of backpacking stoves but is there a better way to use them when you’re in the great outdoors?

If you’re going out on your own or with just a small family, carrying one portable stove is probably going to be enough. However, if you are going with a large group of people, you must ensure that you have enough portable stoves for the entire group. Everyone will need food and hot drinks; having enough stoves will mean that time can be used more efficiently and no one will need to wait.

In terms of safety, you should never ever use your portable stove inside your tent or indoors anywhere else. It only takes one spark or stray flame to cause a devastating fire. Carbon monoxide is also a byproduct of burning fuel such as wood and this can build up very quickly inside.

Finally, you should always try to set up your stove and cook on a stable surface. While it is true that many of the products listed above have extra stability arms, being on unstable ground can cause any stove to tip over. 

Conclusion

Backpacking, hiking, and camping can be enormous fun but you need to be prepared. If you’re doing a lot of walking, the last thing that you want is a heavy portable stove. This is where modern lightweight options are best. Many of them are incredibly durable but it all depends on how complex your needs as a backpacker are.

Before investing in a backpacking stove, you need to bear in mind cost, weight, fuel efficiency, features, and stability. The best backpacking stove will be the one that meets most of your needs and ticks as many of the boxes as possible.

Some stoves offer greater portability than others but may lack in other areas. Others may have many features but be very expensive. When you’re looking to buy a portable stove, just bear in mind your needs and how it would be used in outdoor conditions.

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