Reviews You Can Rely On

The 6 Best Camping Stoves of 2022

We fried, simmered, and boiled with camping stoves from Camp Chef, Stansport, Coleman, Jetboil, and more to help you find the ideal outdoor kitchen staple
Best Camping Stoves of 2022
Testing the top camping stoves to compare and rate their performance
Credit: Jared Ross
By Mary Witlacil ⋅ Review Editor
Thursday November 10, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more

Over the last 10 years, we have hand-picked, purchased, and rigorously tested 40 unique camping stoves. For this update, the top 15 have been analyzed and ranked to determine the best of the best. From one-pot-magic and sauce-simmering marathons to wind-resistance trials and boil tests, we put each stove through a ton of cookoffs in the great outdoors. When testing, we assess each model for efficiency, performance, and function, noting how easy each one is to set up, use, clean, and transport. We have rated each to help you determine the best option for all your culinary camping needs.

Do you have an upcoming camping trip with all of your friends? The wide world of camping kitchen equipment can be challenging to navigate on your own. Thankfully we've poured tons of energy into rigorously testing camping gear over the past 10+ years, so you don't have to go it alone. Check out our comprehensive and in-depth reviews on the best camping cookware, top-notch camping tables, and even portable grills. From ultralight backpacking stoves to top-rated coolers, we're here to help you build the most efficient and delicious camp kitchen to go with the best tents.

Editor's Note: We updated our review on November 10, 2022, to reflect boil test, fuel efficiency, and ease of use data after revisiting some of our top models.

Top 15 Product Ratings

Displaying 1 - 5 of 15
< Previous | Compare | Next >
 
Awards Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award  
Price $390 List$160.99 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$210 List$140 List$202.46 at Backcountry
Compare at 2 sellers
Overall Score Sort Icon
80
74
72
71
71
Star Rating
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
Pros Durable, powerful, wind resistant, fuel efficient, piezo-igniter, simmers wellLarge cook surface, powerful, burly, impressive wind resistancePowerful, fuel efficient, outstanding boil time, freestanding, removable legsAffordable, straightforward, compact, great wind resistance, good simmering abilityLow profile, lightweight, auto-ignition levers are easy to use, easy portability with carrying case and handles
Cons Very expensive, heavy, largeHeavy, bulky, on the pricier side, closures not durableHeavy, awkward, pricey, requires a large propane tank, no auto-ignitorCannot store regulator inside stove, average boil timeExpensive, below average wind resistance
Bottom Line A top-shelf stove that is built to last, featuring powerful but fuel efficient burners and great wind resistanceA wind-resistant stove that features powerful output but also impressive simmering abilities and easy maintenanceA powerful but fuel efficient freestanding stove with removable legs, ideal for field kitchens, outdoor education, or water bath canningA compact and reasonably priced stove that simmers well and provides great wind protectionExcellent performance meets compact design with this impressive folding two-burner that is fun to use
Rating Categories Camp Chef Mountaine... Camp Chef Everest 2X Camp Chef Outdoorsman Kovea Slim Twin Jetboil Genesis Bas...
Boil Time (25%)
8.0
9.0
10.0
7.0
5.0
Fuel Efficiency (25%)
10.0
5.0
9.0
6.0
7.0
Simmering Ability (20%)
7.0
9.0
6.0
8.0
9.0
Ease of Use (15%)
9.0
8.0
5.0
7.0
5.0
Portability (15%)
5.0
6.0
3.0
8.0
10.0
Specs Camp Chef Mountaine... Camp Chef Everest 2X Camp Chef Outdoorsman Kovea Slim Twin Jetboil Genesis Bas...
Weight 14.63 lbs 13.97 lbs 31.01 lbs 9.94 lbs 7.4 lbs w/bag, 6.4 lbs stove alone
BTU per Burner (from manufacturer) 20,000 20,000 60,000 10,500 10,000
Average Boil Time (1 liter of water, wind & no wind) 4 min 25 sec 3 min 21 sec 2 min 22 sec 4 min 58 sec 6 min
Boil Time (1 liter of water, wind from a box fan) 4 min 46 sec 3 min 25 sec 2 min 34 sec 5 min 20 sec 7 min 30 sec
Boil Time (1 liter of water, no wind) 4 min 04 sec 3 min 17 sec 2 min 30 sec 4 min 36 sec 4 min 30 sec
Cooktop Material Aluminum Nickel-coated steel Awaiting answer from Camp Chef Nickel-plated steel Nickel-plated steel
Packed Size 25.25" x 14.25" x 5.5" 27" x 15.5" x 8.25" 32.75" x 14.25" x 7.5" 23.4" x 14.7" x 3.3" 9.75" x 4.5" (11" x 6" in carrying bag)
Cooking Surface Dimensions 25.25" x 12.5" 21" x 9.5" 32.75" x 14.25" 20.5" x 12.5" 8" x 8.5" (each burner)
Burner/Flame Diameter 3.5" 4.75" 10.5" 3.25" 3.5"
Distance Between Burners (center to center) 11.75" 12.25" 18.5" 10.5" 10.5"
Windscreen? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Piezo Ignitor? Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Number of Burners 2 2 2 2 2
Type of Model Tabletop Tabletop Freestanding Tabletop Tabletop, foldable
Fuel Type Propane - large 20# tank Propane Propane - large 20# tank Propane Propane
Model Number MS40AX MS2HP EX280LW 168,970 GNST


Best Overall Camping Stove


Camp Chef Everest 2X


74
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Boil Time 9.0
  • Fuel Efficiency 5.0
  • Simmering Ability 9.0
  • Ease of Use 8.0
  • Portability 6.0
BTUs (per burner): 20,000 | Average Boil Time: 3 min 21 sec
REASONS TO BUY
Large cook surface
Powerful and durable
Great simmer
Impressive wind resistance
Fast boil time
REASONS TO AVOID
Average fuel efficiency
Heavy
Bulky
A bit spendy

The Camp Chef Everest 2x is a fresh take on Camp Chef's classic, award-winning stove. This time around, Camp Chef upped the ante, making a beefier cousin to the original model. It has a larger cook surface, a nearly seamless windscreen, and excellent simmer ability, despite having an impressive 20,000 BTUs per burner. They even improved upon the previously flimsy latches. With a fast boil time and functional Piezo auto-igniter, this stove is sure to impress even the most discerning camp chefs.

The drawbacks with this stove are fairly negligible unless space, weight, fuel efficiency, or price are a concern. The revamped Everest 2x is among the bulkier and heavier tabletop propane stoves we tested. It is also fairly expensive; however, it is comparable in price to the other top performers in our review, so we think it is worth it — especially for premium durability and wind resistance. If your car camping rig can accommodate a slightly bulkier stove, and you're looking for a powerful stove that will simmer like a boss, this might be the one for you.

Read more: Camp Chef Everest 2X review

best overall camping stove
The Everest 2X is equally great at sauteeing a quick meal, boiling a kettle of water, or making a small feast for you and your whole crew.
Credit: Jared Ross

Great Value for a Two-Burner


Coleman Classic


63
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Boil Time 6.0
  • Fuel Efficiency 6.0
  • Simmering Ability 6.0
  • Ease of Use 6.0
  • Portability 8.0
BTUs (per burner): 10,000 | Average Boil Time: 5 min 30 sec
REASONS TO BUY
Affordable
Adjustable windscreens
Enough performance to satisfy most needs
Convenient packed size
Fairly fuel efficient for a tabletop stove
REASONS TO AVOID
No auto-ignition
Front latch is cheap
Average boil time
Handle is a bit sharp

There's nothing special about the simple and straightforward Coleman Classic. It performs well across all metrics and does so at a thrifty price. You can often find it for sale at online retailers for almost half its full retail price. We love the adjustable windscreens, substantial wind resistance, unexpectedly good fuel efficiency, and convenient packed size. Even with the smaller dimensions, this camping stove boasts one of the largest available cooking areas of the compact two-burners we tested.

The Classic lacks an auto-ignition system, and getting a perfect simmer is slightly trickier than on some of the other models we tested. The small burners are prone to creating hot spots in the center of larger pans, which is a common trend in small-diameter heating elements. It certainly isn't winning awards for the fastest boil times. While we enjoy many features of this model, it is not the best we tested. However, it does provide everything you might want out of a camping stove without breaking the bank.

Read more: Coleman Classic review

camping stove - great value for a two-burner
The Coleman Classic did a great job with every test we threw at it.
Credit: Penney Garrett

Best Bang for the Buck


Gas One GS-3000


51
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Boil Time 3.0
  • Fuel Efficiency 2.0
  • Simmering Ability 7.0
  • Ease of Use 7.0
  • Portability 9.0
BTUs: 9,000 | Average Boil Time: 8 min 45 sec
REASONS TO BUY
Great flame control
Price is right
Lightweight yet sturdy
Piezo auto-ignition
REASONS TO AVOID
Low fuel efficiency
Single burner
Lacks a windscreen
Butane has poor performance in freezing conditions

The Gas One GS-3000 is capable of slaying any single-pot meal you're craving, so don't let its slim price tag fool you. This competent single-burner has excellent simmer control, is easy to care for, and is ultra-portable. It's also the lightest model we tested. This stove has just one single burner, but you could buy three of them for almost the same cost as the cheapest dual-burner we tested. In a competitive field, this stove holds its own, scoring at the top of the pack for portability, ease of care, and ease of setup.

The Gas One lacks wind protection and requires butane as its fuel source. Butane may prove more difficult to find than propane, which is widely available. It is among the least fuel-efficient stoves in our review. The Gas One is also not as practical as a two-burner stove when cooking for large groups, but using it with another two-burner stove is an affordable way to have three flames at once. This stove is cheap but worthy and would be a great backup stove for a van-lifer or a stand-alone single-burner for the rest of us.

Read more: Gas One GS-3000 review

camping stove - best bang for the buck
If you're ok with one dish at a time, or simple one-pot meals, you can save space and a lot of money by opting for a single-burner like the Gas One.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Best Designed Stove


Camp Chef Mountaineer 2X


80
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Boil Time 8.0
  • Fuel Efficiency 10.0
  • Simmering Ability 7.0
  • Ease of Use 9.0
  • Portability 5.0
BTUs (per burner): 10,000 | Average Boil Time: 6 min 25 sec
REASONS TO BUY
Durable
Powerful
Wind resistant
Highly fuel efficient
Piezoelectric auto-igniter
REASONS TO AVOID
Expensive
Relatively heavy
Large for a tabletop stove
Incompatible with 1 lb propane canisters

If you prefer gear built to last, then the Camp Chef Mountaineer 2X certainly checks that box. It is durable and fuel-efficient, two features that lend to a lower environmental footprint. It boils quickly without wind and, owing to a solid windscreen and recessed burners, our wind test barely phased it. With auto-igniters and good control on the low end for excellent simmering, this stove impressed even the most discerning on our review team. We found it carried well, despite its weight, and with its rectangular shape, it stowed away easily with our camping kitchen gear.

In terms of functionality, there was very little to complain about with the Mountaineer. It is a premium stove that is designed exceptionally well. However, with a premium stove comes a premium price. Beyond being the most expensive stove in our review, the Mountaineer is also among the heftier and least compact of the tabletop models. Additionally, it may be a drawback that this stove won't work with small 1-pound propane canisters. Our reviewers actually see this as a perk because it reduces waste. If you are looking for a well-designed camping stove that will keep up with your car camping or river adventures for years to come, this is our strong recommendation.

Read more: Camp Chef Mountaineer 2X review

camping stove - best designed stove
The bombproof Mountaineer made camp cooking as easy as cooking in our home kitchen.
Credit: Jared Ross

Best Freestanding Stove


Camp Chef Outdoorsman


72
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Boil Time 10.0
  • Fuel Efficiency 9.0
  • Simmering Ability 6.0
  • Ease of Use 5.0
  • Portability 3.0
BTUs (per burner): 60,000 | Average Boil Time: 2 min 32 sec
REASONS TO BUY
Powerful burners
Fuel efficient
Outstanding boil time
Freestanding but has removable legs
REASONS TO AVOID
Heavy
Expensive
No auto-igniter
Requires a large propane tank

Camp Chef has outdone themselves with their new Outdoorsman. This stove features 60,000 BTUs per burner, which is more power output than many commercial ranges. It boils water so fast that you'll want to keep an eye on the stove to ensure you don't scorch your food in the process. The high-octane burners are so powerful they were unphased by our wind tests. Beyond this, the stove has removable legs, so it can be used freestanding or on a table. Surprisingly, even with two high-octane burners, the Outdoorsman has good low-end control for simmering and proved to be fairly fuel-efficient (especially when it wasn't on full blast).

Like other freestanding stoves, the Outdoorsman is heavy and somewhat awkward to carry. It will command more space in your vehicle, so you'll want to make sure you have the space to accommodate a bigger stove. We were disappointed that a premium stove with great features and a high price did not have an auto-igniter, a feature we think should be standard on all stoves. Finally, it is incompatible with small propane canisters. Our review team doesn't see this as a drawback, but we include this here because you will need to buy a 5 or 10-pound refillable tank for use with this stove. For backcountry chefs that love cooking for big crews, kitchen equipment for fieldwork or outdoor education, or folks looking for an outdoor stove for water-bath canning or brewing, this stove boasts the power and durability to meet your needs.

Read more: Camp Chef Outdoorsman review

camping stove - best freestanding stove
The Outdoorsman is a burly freestanding stove with powerful burners, removable legs, and impressive wind-resistance despite the absence of a drip pan.
Credit: Jared Ross

Best Low-Profile Two Burner


Kovea Slim Twin


71
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Boil Time 7.0
  • Fuel Efficiency 6.0
  • Simmering Ability 8.0
  • Ease of Use 7.0
  • Portability 8.0
BTUs (per burner): 10,500 | Average Boil Time: 4 min 58 sec
REASONS TO BUY
Compact
Affordable
Great wind resistance
Good simmering ability
Reasonably high fuel efficiency
REASONS TO AVOID
Cannot store regulator inside stove
Average boil time

The Kovea Slim Twin is a fantastic option if space is at a premium and you need a well-performing stove that doesn't break the bank. It is straightforward, easy to clean, compact, fuel-efficient, and affordable. The windscreens provide excellent wind protection, and the control knobs offer great flame control for simmering or efficient boiling. The auto Piezo-ignition worked effectively throughout the duration of our review, igniting both burners every time and without hesitation.

There really aren't too many drawbacks with the Slim Twin, though the compact design means there isn't enough space to store the regulator inside the stove when it is not in use. If you decide to go with this stove, we recommend keeping the regulator with your camp kitchen tools to avoid misplacing the regulator. This stove performed in the middle of the pack in our water boiling test, likely due to having less BTUs than the top scorers. Despite this, the burners sit close to the cooktop, making efficient heat use while cooking. Minor drawbacks aside, this trim stove is an ideal option for car campers, overlanders, and van-dwellers who need a well-performing, easy-to-use camping stove that commands minimal storage space.

Read more: Kovea Slim Twin review

camping stove - we love the kovea slim for the affordable price tag, great wind...
We love the Kovea Slim for the affordable price tag, great wind resistance, and compact design - and we think you will too!
Credit: Mary Witlacil

Compare Products

select up to 5 products to compare
Score Product Price
80
Camp Chef Mountaineer 2X
camp chef mountaineer 2x camping stove review
$390
Top Pick Award
74
Camp Chef Everest 2X
camp chef everest 2x camping stove review
$190
Editors' Choice Award
72
Camp Chef Outdoorsman
camp chef outdoorsman camping stove review
$210
Top Pick Award
71
Kovea Slim Twin
kovea slim twin camping stove review
$140
Top Pick Award
71
Jetboil Genesis Basecamp
jetboil genesis basecamp camping stove review
$270
66
Coleman Cascade Classic
coleman cascade classic camping stove review
$100
64
Eureka Ignite Plus
eureka ignite plus camping stove review
$155
63
Coleman Classic
coleman classic camping stove review
$60
Best Buy Award
62
Camp Chef Pro 60X
camp chef pro 60x camping stove review
$320
58
Primus Kinjia
primus kinjia camping stove review
$210
56
GSI Outdoors Selkirk 540
gsi outdoors selkirk 540 camping stove review
$140
54
Stansport Outfitter Series 3-Burner
stansport outfitter series 3-burner camping stove review
$160
51
Gas One GS-3000
gas one gs-3000 camping stove review
$30
Best Buy Award
48
Eureka SPRK+ Butane
eureka sprk+ butane camping stove review
$60
47
GSI Pinnacle Pro 2
gsi pinnacle pro 2 camping stove review
$250

camping stove - testing which of the best camping stoves works well in large group...
Testing which of the best camping stoves works well in large group situations
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Why You Should Trust Us


Our team of accomplished campers and van-lifers isn't just reheating canned soup. These adventurous eaters bring all sorts of fresh food to campsites and trailhead parking lots, making everything from boxed mac and cheese to elaborate multi-course feasts. They went to high altitudes, cooked in lousy weather, and lived out of cars and tents for months to analyze the best camping stoves available. They also performed hundreds of boil and fuel efficiency tests, honing in on which models really are the best designed and highest value.

Our rigorous testing process is divided into five metrics:
  • Boil Time (25% of overall score weighting)
  • Fuel Efficiency (25% weighting)
  • Simmering Ability (20% weighting)
  • Ease of Use (15% weighting)
  • Portability (15% weighting)

Our camping stove testing team is a solid crew of experienced car campers, foodies, and folks who love to play camp chef. This review is headed up by Mary Witlacil, an avid outdoorswoman who would always choose a dish seasoned with a little bit of trail-spice (aka dirt) over a Michelin five-star meal, especially if it means falling asleep under a blanket of stars. After spending years bike-touring and traveling, Mary traded in her bike cleats and passport for climbing gear and a pair of climbing shoes. She has spent years dialing in her backcountry cooking scene, from deluxe multi-course car-camping meals to prepping expedition meals for multi-week backpacking trips. This gal loves playing outside almost as much as she loves cooking outside. You'll find her romping around the Western US, climbing cracks, and perfecting her backcountry culinary skills.

The minimal windscreen on this stove, meant that it did not perform...
The minimal windscreen on this stove, meant that it did not perform well - on average - during our boil test.
The side-tables in action. They are spacious enough to make it feel...
The side-tables in action. They are spacious enough to make it feel like you have a backcountry kitchen counter whenever you use this stove.
Testing camping stove portability. Side handles can make it...
Testing camping stove portability. Side handles can make it reasonably easy to carry this beast of a stove short distances.

Analysis and Test Results


We tested the stoves in this review head-to-head over months to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. To determine the overall score, we prioritize some metrics over others. For instance, our rankings emphasize boiling time — in windy and wind-less tests — because this speaks to a stove's power, reliability, and ability to perform well in outdoor settings. Our review team values fuel efficiency equally to boil times because this demonstrates how effectively or wastefully each stove uses fuel. More fuel-efficient stoves are better for the environment and for your pocketbook. By contrast, our review team maintains that portability is somewhat less critical than stove performance, which is why we weighted this metric less. However, even though we view portability as less critical, we still evaluated this aspect because it might be the determining factor guiding your buying decision. We also considered each stove's simmering ability and ease of use to determine an overall rating. We distinguish between different testing criteria so you can make an informed decision based on the pros and cons of each model.


Value


The world of camping stoves includes an incredible amount of options across a wide price range. For this reason, it's essential to consider the value of the product you are purchasing. Attributes and features that are essential for one person may not matter to someone else. If all you care to eat while camping is canned soup or freeze-dried meals, then a lightweight single-burner is perfect. But if camping season means a big group of friends and multi-course gourmet meals, then a larger freestanding two- or three-burner stove makes sense if the cost works within your budget. Value is an important environmental metric as well. Unfortunately, that old adage "buy cheap, buy twice" rings especially true with camping stoves. Less expensive stoves are often less fuel efficient, less durable, and will need to be replaced sooner than their more expensive counterparts. This isn't always the case — some folks have been able to keep their old Coleman Classic functioning well for decades. But typically, less expensive stoves aren't built to last. We know that price is a major determining factor when choosing what model to buy, so finding something that strikes the essential balance between stellar performance, fuel efficiency, durability, and a fair price is key.

camping stove - with adjustable windscreens, the coleman cascade can accommodate...
With adjustable windscreens, the Coleman Cascade can accommodate larger pots or provide better wind protection. Lucky them, our testers have been doing side-by-side comparisons for years, and have cooked a lot of excellent food in the process.
Credit: Jared Ross

While the Coleman Classic did not earn the top marks in our tests, it is sufficient for most car campers, and the price tag makes it an alluring option. The Classic is also a tried, tested, and true option whose longevity regularly belies its low price. The Coleman Cascade Classic — the updated version of the Classic — is another stove that won't break the bank, and it performs well enough to be a good value. The Eureka Ignite Plus and the Kovea Slim Twin are also great stoves that strike a decent balance between affordability and performance. We are especially impressed by how the Ignite Plus appears to be built to last. If you are in the market for a freestanding stove with premium power and a design that could withstand an apocalypse, the Camp Chef Outdoorsman does it all for a fairly reasonable price. However, if you just want a single-burner for one-pot meals or boiling water and don't mind slower boiling speeds, the Gas One GS-3000 is an inexpensive butane stove at a fraction of the cost of other stoves in our review. Between performance and cost, only you can decide which aspects to prioritize.

camping stove - the compact kovea slim twin offers excellent wind resistance and is...
The compact Kovea Slim Twin offers excellent wind resistance and is affordable to boot.
Credit: Mary Witlacil

Boil Time


Time to boil and fuel efficiency are our most heavily weighted metrics. Theoretically, the more power a stove has, the better it boils and the more efficient you can be when you slay your camp feast. The burners in your home kitchen likely have 12,000-18,000 BTUs on the high end (but can dial down as low as 4,000 BTUs). The stoves in our review range from 9,000 BTUs to a shocking 60,000 BTUs per burner. What became apparent during our boil tests, however, is that BTU ratings aren't everything.


To assess boil time, we test each stove in our windless garage "lab" at 5,000 feet. We then conduct two boil tests, one windy and one windless, to measure how long each stove takes to boil 1 liter of 58° Fahrenheit tap water in an enclosed 1.7-liter tea kettle. To rank each stove, we then take the average between each test. For the windy test, we turned a box fan to the lowest setting and used a pocket anemometer to ensure that we subjected the stoves to 2-4 mph of constant "wind." From there, we measured how long it took for each stove to boil one liter of 58°F water in a tea kettle. While this test cannot directly replicate the variability, intermittence, and multi-directionality of wind gusts in the real world, it does give us insight into how each model performs in the presence of constantly moving air.

camping stove - to evaluate wind resistance, we use a box fan to simulate wind, and...
To evaluate wind resistance, we use a box fan to simulate wind, and measure how long it takes for each stove to boil 1 liter of water in our trusty kettle.
Credit: Mary Witlacil

It should be no surprise that the Camp Chef Outdoorsman — with two beastly 60,000 BTU burners — absolutely crushed this test, taking an average of 2 minutes 22 seconds to boil one liter. It was absolutely unphased by the windy test, taking just 4 seconds longer to boil water than without wind. The next fastest stove is the Camp Chef Everest 2x, with an average boil time of 3 minutes and 21 seconds. This was another stove that had a negligible difference in performance between both tests. It boiled one liter of water in 3 minutes and 17 seconds in the windless test but only took 3 minutes and 25 seconds in the windy test. What is impressive about this is that the Everest 2x has one-third the power (with two 20,000 BTU burners) of the Outdoorsman.

camping stove - the immense btu power on the outdoorsman was no match for our box...
The immense BTU power on the Outdoorsman was no match for our box fan test.
Credit: Mary Witlacil

With an average boil time of 4 minutes 25 seconds, the Camp Chef Mountaineer also boasted noteworthy performance for a stove with 20,000 BTU burners. In the windy test, it took 4 minutes 46 seconds, and in the windless test, it took 4 minutes 4 seconds. Camp Chef truly dominates in this category, with their Pro 60X coming in fourth place with an average score of 4 minutes 46 seconds, with two 30,000 BTU burners. One thing to note is that the Pro 60X boiled water significantly slower in the windy test — taking 5 minutes 40 seconds — whereas it took 3 minutes 53 seconds in the windless test. This owes, in part, to the stove having fairly minimal windscreens and a wide gap between the cooking grate and the burners.

camping stove - the wind screens snap into place on the mountaineer with the same...
The wind screens snap into place on the Mountaineer with the same latches you use to close the stove. This, coupled with recessed burners, is likely why this stove offered such great wind resistance.
Credit: Jared Ross

As you can see, while there is some correlation between boil time and BTUs, this doesn't tell the whole story. The large 5" burners on the Camp Chef Pro 60X and the Camp Chef Outdoorsman are surrounded by so much open space that they are more affected by variable wind speeds, especially when the flames are low. Freestanding stoves almost require high-power burners to compensate for all this open space and the distance between the burners and the cooktop. The impermeable burner design of the Everest 2x and the Mountaineer made a clear difference with wind protection, allowing for fast boil times with lower output burners, regardless of the circumstances.

camping stove - with tight windscreens and slightly recessed burners, the everest 2x...
With tight windscreens and slightly recessed burners, the Everest 2x delivered unbeatable performance in the wind.
Credit: Jared Ross

What is clear is that high BTUs don't always correlate with faster boil times when it is windy. By contrast, stoves with lower BTUs that feature tight, well-sealed windscreens and burners situated close to the cooking grates did much better in both our wind resistance and boil tests. However, the combination of less power and poor wind resistance or lack of a windscreen did reduce ratings in this category. Slower boil times may not matter to you if you tend to boil water in a separate device like a Jetboil or if you prefer to simmer your dinners and don't care about a raging flame. We heavily weighted the metric for boiling time because a faster boil in windy and windless conditions generally means quicker meals, faster coffee, broader versatility, and more efficient fuel use. However, the importance of this metric depends on your cooking style and preferences.


Unsurprisingly, models that don't come equipped with a windscreen or that have L-shaped windscreens had considerable trouble in this category. We also noticed that the powerful freestanding models did great with the constant "wind" simulated in our box-fan test, but when used at windy campsites, these stoves sometimes struggled to resist breezes that could circulate from every angle and direction. Unless they were equipped with rocket power, real wind challenged these stoves because they have an open, airy design around the burners, which means wind can swoop in and extinguish the flames, requiring (potentially constant) relighting.

camping stove - while the l-shaped wind screens on the pinnable pro 2 create more...
While the L-shaped wind screens on the Pinnable Pro 2 create more space for cookware handles, they fail to provide sufficient wind resistance.
Credit: Mary Witlacil

When a stove design lacks wind resistance, there is little you can do aside from using your vehicle as a wind shelter or building up a wind barrier with rocks. However, in certain cases, you can make a windscreen from an aluminum bake dish or purchase a basic aluminum windscreen like the kind that comes with a backpacking stove. This is a great way to increase the efficiency of the single burner butane stoves in our review, like the Gas One GS-3000 or the Eureka SPRK+. These windscreens are inexpensive, lightweight, flexible, and are a great way to improve your stove's performance on windy days. If you use a DIY windscreen, just make sure not to fully enclose your fuel canister, as this could dangerously overheat it.

camping stove - with a diy windscreen, the sprk+ would have been much better...
With a DIY windscreen, the SPRK+ would have been much better equipped to handle a windy day on the lake.
Credit: Jared Ross

In our windless test, all of the stoves in our review boiled water in less than 7 minutes, but there was a significant difference between boiling times with and without the fan. The Outdoorsman and Everest 2x had impressively negligible variability between the two tests, taking an additional 4 seconds and 8 seconds, respectively. The Mountaineer 2X and the Kovea Slim both had minimal variability between the tests taking only 40-45 additional seconds to boil a liter in the wind than without it. The Everest 2x, Mountaineer, and Kovea Slim all feature lower-powered burners with excellent wind protection. By contrast, even though the Outdoorsman has godlike power, it is still affected by wind in the real world. When we would use this stove on low, the wind would extinguish the flame multiple times in a single cooking session. By contrast, the Mountaineer, Kovea Slim, and Everest 2x cooked food efficiently even in the wind.

camping stove - the windscreens on the slim twin provide a tight seal, ensuring...
The windscreens on the Slim Twin provide a tight seal, ensuring consistent flame output and impressive wind resistance.
Credit: Mary Witlacil

Fuel Efficiency


It should come as no surprise that our review team cares about the environment. How can you spend most of your time recreating outside and not care about nature? This is why we decided to prioritize fuel efficiency as one of the most important metrics in our review. Propane and butane — the most common fuel sources for camping stoves — are fossil fuels that are by-products of the natural gas production process. While the CO2 and methane emitted by propane and butane from camping stoves is less significant than fossil fuel emissions from other sources, minimizing the amount we produce while cooking in the backcountry is probably a good thing. Besides, the cost of propane and/or butane fuel canisters adds up. If you can save money, reduce your fossil fuel emissions, and reduce the number of propane or butane canisters going into a landfill, this seems like a win-win-win to us.


To measure fuel efficiency, we begin each round of stove testing with a fresh fuel canister. We weighed the fuel canister before and after our wind test, then weighed it again following the windless test. We always conduct the windy test first because stoves burn more fuel for longer in the presence of wind, and as the fuel canister empties, it becomes less efficient. For the windy test, we wanted to give each stove as much of an advantage as possible. After we have the pre-test, mid-test, and post-test fuel canister weights, we subtract the mid-test weight from the pre-test weight to determine the amount of fuel used in the windy test. Then we calculate the difference between the mid-test and post-test weights to determine fuel usage during the windless test. To round out our analysis, we determine the percentage of fuel used in the windy and windless tests. We then rank stoves based on the average of the two scores.

camping stove - the mountaineer performed well in both our windy and wind-free...
The Mountaineer performed well in both our windy and wind-free tests, with minimal difference in boil times between the two.
Credit: Mary Witlacil

The most fuel-efficient stoves in our review were the stoves that require the usage of a large propane tank. With these stoves, we used a full 11-pound tank and weighed it in between uses. However, the tank was too heavy to use with our smaller, more sensitive scale, so it is possible that our larger scale missed some amount of fuel consumed. This aside, our most fuel-efficient stove was the Camp Chef Mountaineer, which consumed an average of 0.64 ounces of fuel or 0.16% of the fuel in our tank. It used the least amount of fuel overall, burning 1.28 ounces of fuel in the windy test — which was a fairly average score — and then it consumed so little fuel in the windless test that it didn't even register. The other two stoves that require using a refillable propane tank are Camp Chef's freestanding stoves, the Camp Chef Pro 60X and the Camp Chef Outdoorsman, and both performed well in this metric as well. The Pro 60X burned an average of 1.12 ounces or 0.28% of fuel, and the Outdoorsman used an average of 2.24 ounces or 1 % of fuel over the two tests.

camping stove - the windscreens, recessed burners, and full-size drip pan coalesce...
The windscreens, recessed burners, and full-size drip pan coalesce to make the Pro 60x more wind resistant than other freestanding stoves.
Credit: Mary Witlacil

Interestingly, the stoves with the best fuel efficiency ratings in our windy test were all tabletop stoves with relatively low BTUs. The Jetboil Genesis Basecamp may have had an average boil time of 7 minutes 30 seconds, but it only burned 0.5 ounces in our wind test. It was followed closely by the Coleman Cascade Classic with 0.81 ounces, the Kovea Slim Twin with 0.91 ounces, and the Eureka Ignite Plus, also with 0.91 ounces. Aside from doing well in terms of fuel efficiency in the presence of wind, these stoves have another thing in common, they all have 10,000 BTU burners (except the Kovea, which has 10,500 BTU burners). One reason these stoves performed better than the higher octane stoves is that they have to work less hard and subsequently burn less fuel to produce heat in windy conditions. This is wonderful news if you were hoping to find a fuel-efficient stove without breaking the bank. With a hefty price tag, the Basecamp is an outlier, among a group of relatively affordable stoves.

camping stove - the eureka ignite boasts only 10,000 btus while having relatively...
The Eureka Ignite boasts only 10,000 BTUs while having relatively fast boil times, which is why it is among the more fuel efficient table-top stoves in our review.
Credit: Mary Witlacil

Unfortunately, the affordable single-burner butane stoves did not prove as fuel efficient nor as wind resistant as other models. If you want to save money in the long run, the inexpensive Coleman Classic performed almost as well as other tabletop models, and it is much less expensive than many of the other stoves in our review.

camping stove - adjustable windscreens mean that even though the coleman classic...
Adjustable windscreens mean that even though the Coleman Classic lacks the power of other stoves, it performed decently well across our windy and wind-less boil tests.
Credit: Mary Witlacil

Simmering Ability


People often overlook a stove's simmering ability in favor of BTU power, but this metric is a critical aspect of a camping stove's functionality. The models that performed the best in the simmering category are the Everest 2x, the Stansport 3-Burner, and the Jetboil Genesis Basecamp. These stoves had better simmer control than some gas ranges in home kitchens.


Even if you don't plan to cook fancy detail-oriented meals, simmering is a crucial metric to consider. A stove's proficiency at low heat also means better fuel efficiency, which equates to more long-term bang for your buck. If you need a lower flame and your stove can't simmer, you'll rage more quickly through your fuel canisters or propane tank. You'll also have fewer scorched pans and more flexibility in timing if you can achieve a good simmer. Maybe you have a curry that's way ahead of your rice — a low simmer allows you to keep a dish warm without overcooking while you wait for other things to finish cooking or for your campmate to finish pitching their tent. Other noteworthy mentions include the Mountaineer and the Outdoorsman where the flame power is impressive (clocking in at 30,000 and 60,000 BTUs per burner, respectively), but the stoves are still nimble enough to deliver a consistently low flame for simmering rice, sauces, or delicately cooked scrambled eggs. While the GSI Pinnacle Pro 2, Kovea Slim, and Eureka SPRK+ Butane may have slightly less power, each of these stoves had great simmering ability for cooking delicate meals with finesse. The capacity to simmer is not necessarily a make-or-break category for most people. If you decide to go with a stove based on other metrics and still need to simmer, you can always use a heat diffuser to create distance between the flame and your cookware.

camping stove - despite massive power output, the camp chef everest 2x can sustain a...
Despite massive power output, the Camp Chef Everest 2x can sustain a low enough flame to slow cook an egg scramble to perfection.
Credit: Jared Ross

Ease of Use


While this is among our more subjective metrics, we think it is helpful to have a virtual "friend" who can tell you what is great vs. annoying about every stove. To determine the rank of each stove in this category, we consider a number of factors, from setting each up and taking them apart to cleaning. While car camping stoves are easier to set up than their old-school liquid fuel backpacking counterparts, some are more intuitive than others. The easier the product is to use, the more likely you will be to use it.


The Mountaineer grabbed top marks in this category because it has an auto-igniter and a straightforward process to move from stowed away to cooking a meal. What makes this stove a league above the rest is that the regulator port is external to the stove, making it much easier to avoid smashing the delicate brass threads. Instead of blindly threading the adapter into the port, the two attach visibly, which reduces the likelihood of cross-threading. The Genesis Basecamp has many of the same features with a great external regulator port, but it earned lower marks because the windscreen is difficult to attach. However, both stoves are straightforward and simple to clean, and with time even the Basecamp is easy to use.

camping stove - the regulator port is external to the stove, which makes it much...
The regulator port is external to the stove, which makes it much easier to install the regulator. If you plan to be anywhere sandy, we suggest using the corner of a plastic bag and a rubber band to protect the threads of the port.
Credit: Jared Ross

The Camp Chef Everest 2X is easy to use, set up, and clean. It is exemplary of how simple every tabletop stove should strive to be. The windscreens snap into place easily, the cooking grate lifts out for easy cleaning, it is simple enough to pair the regulator with its port (though we would prefer an external connector), and the auto-igniter worked consistently throughout our testing. Many of the other tabletop stoves earned similar ratings in our review, but the Everest 2X was among our favorites — easy to use out of the box, and it delivered high performance every time.

camping stove - the everest 2x is a top-notch stove that&#039;s easy to use and care for...
The Everest 2X is a top-notch stove that's easy to use and care for - a true champion in the camping stove world.
Credit: Jared Ross

The Primus Kinjia also garnered top marks in this category because this is the only compact 2-burner we tested with a pre-attached fuel hose, so no fussing with screwing a metal adapter in place. It also comes with a unique stand to prop the fuel bottle up at the correct angle after you screw it into the hose. A benefit of this system is you can then set the fuel bottle in a different location as long as it's in range of the hose. A potential issue is that it's a separate piece that can get lost. One reason the Kinjia didn't earn a perfect score is that the wooden handle, which doubles as the opening lever, is not the most intuitive. That said, there are directions printed on the stove to help out the dimwitted among us.

camping stove - this stove has a unique fuel setup with a flexible hose and a...
This stove has a unique fuel setup with a flexible hose and a separate fuel canister stand to keep it at the correct angle.
Credit: Penney Garrett

If you're in the market for a low-fuss freestanding stove, the Outdoorsman is worth checking out. While not nearly as easy as a small compact model, the legs are optional on this stove, so if you have a table or tailgate, setup requires nothing more than attaching your large propane tank to the hose and lighting the giant burners. We recommend using a wand lighter to fire up the burners on this stove, as the flames can singe off all your hair if you're not careful. This stove also requires the least maintenance because it has fewer parts to contend with and is black (the most filth-friendly color), making care and cleaning super straightforward. Secondly, the burners are the only obstacle between food and the ground. The freestanding bottomless design ensures food or grease buildup is a thing of the past. However, when using this stove, you have to be extra vigilant in picking up any food that falls on the ground to ensure you aren't leaving a food trail to attract critters, bugs, or bears.

camping stove - with removable legs that only take a minute to screw into position...
With removable legs that only take a minute to screw into position, the Outdoorsman can easily transform between a freestanding and a tabletop stove.
Credit: Jared Ross

Most of the tabletop stoves are easy to clean and care for because they are built to meet similar maintenance goals. Cleaning is often as easy as lifting off the cooking grate to wipe underneath. However, on most models, the drip tray is not removable, or there are holes in the drip tray where food and grease can fall beneath. The SPRK+, Kinjia, and Gas One GS-3000 are slightly easier to maintain because you can fully remove the drip pan to clean every internal component.

The single-burner butane stoves — the SPRK+ and the GS-3000 — are also noteworthy because the directions for use are printed right on the stoves. Such easy access to directions makes it incredibly straightforward for a new user to jump in and help out if needed.

camping stove - a removable drip pan makes it easier to clean the surface and...
A removable drip pan makes it easier to clean the surface and internal parts of the stove as necessary.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Both the GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Pro and the Mountaineer are also noteworthy regarding their drip pans because you can easily scrub every aspect of the stove once you move the cooking grate out of the way. The Pinnacle is slightly more challenging to unhook and fold out the grate, but once disconnected, it is easy to clean. We love the simplicity of the Mountaineer because this stove doesn't have a false bottom under which food scraps can get lost. To clean it, you easily lift the cooking grate and scrub underneath.

camping stove - to clean the drip pan on the pinnacle pro, unhook the cooking grate...
To clean the drip pan on the Pinnacle Pro, unhook the cooking grate, fold it forward, and scrub away. Keep in mind: it takes a little effort to unhook the grate and could steal your skin if you're not careful.
Credit: Mary Witlacil

Portability


A key function of a car camping stove is portability. However, not all camping stoves are equally portable. They come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and weights. Portability won't matter for some, but for folks with smaller cars or space constraints in a built-out van or truck, this is a critical element to consider. Storage space is an important factor, but you also want to keep in mind usable burner space, which will ensure you have enough space to use your favorite pots, skillets, or other accessories.


Both the Gas One GS-3000 and the SPRK+ scored favorably in this category due to their compact, lightweight design and because they both come with a plastic carrying case. The GS-3000 weighs just 4.1 lbs and is 14" x 12" x 3.5", while the SPRK+ weighs slightly more at 4.94 lbs with its plastic carrying case or 3.49 lbs for just the stove, and it is only slightly less compact than the GS-3000 at 15.3" x 13" x 3.6".

camping stove - the sprk+ is among the lightest and most portable stoves in our...
The SPRK+ is among the lightest and most portable stoves in our review, and it even comes with a handy plastic carrying case.
Credit: Mary Witlacil

A review team favorite is the Basecamp, which measures just 9.7" in diameter and 4.5" high by itself, or 11" x 6" in its handy carrying bag. The storage bag includes a pocket for stashing the fuel adapter, and the flexible plastic windscreen wraps around the interior perimeter of the bag. Bag or no bag, transportation with the Basecamp is a breeze; after folding the stove, there is a handle on the bottom that tucks away when not in use. The cherry on top is that it weighs a mere 7.4 pounds, bag and all, making it a ridiculously lightweight option for a two-burner car-camping setup.

camping stove - the basecamp is a highly portable stove - it&#039;s lightweight...
The Basecamp is a highly portable stove - it's lightweight, low-profile, and comes with a handy carrying bag.
Credit: Penney Garrett

Another great option for portability is the Kovea Slim. At 23.4" x 14.7" x 3.3", this trim stove is among the most compact two burners in our review and has an external plastic handle that makes transport a breeze. Not only is it "slim" but it is also wide enough to accommodate larger cookware - a bonus for those multiple cast iron meals.

camping stove - with a wider cooking area and a trim design, the kovea is easy to...
With a wider cooking area and a trim design, the Kovea is easy to transport without sacrificing cook space.
Credit: Mary Witlacil

The Pinnacle Pro earned high marks in this category as well, owing to it being the slimmest two-burner camping stove on the market. With dimensions of 20" x 12.4" x 1.4," it will stow away in much tighter spaces than other stoves in our review. The Pinnacle Pro and the Kovea Slim did not earn higher marks in this category because they are too compact to store their regulators inside the stove body. Additionally, the Pinnacle Pro does not come equipped with a carrying handle, but you can purchase a separate canvas storage bag made for storing everything.

camping stove - the pinnacle pro had one of the trimmest profiles of any stove we...
The Pinnacle Pro had one of the trimmest profiles of any stove we tested, so trim that there is no space to store the regulator.
Credit: Mary Witlacil

While they did not earn top marks in this category, the Eureka Ignite Plus and the Stansport 3 Burner are worth mentioning here. These stoves are both wider than many of the other compact two-burners in our review by at least two inches. You probably won't notice you have sacrificed a couple of extra inches of storage space in the back of your rig.

camping stove - the square-shape of the windscreen on the ignite plus provides a bit...
The square-shape of the windscreen on the Ignite Plus provides a bit of extra width to help accommodate larger cookware.
Credit: Penney Garrett

However, you will probably notice the extra cook space on these ranges when you want to use your largest cookware to whip together a multi-course meal. The windscreens on the Ignite Plus and the Pinnacle Pro are also shaped to provide some extra cooking width, a detail we appreciated.

camping stove - our rigorous camping stove testing involves many head-to-head...
Our rigorous camping stove testing involves many head-to-head battles and cook-offs. Good thing we have hearty appetites!
Credit: Penney Garrett

Conclusion


With a prolific array of car camping stoves to choose from, picking a model to buy is no easy task. First, you need to decide how many burners you want. Then, whether you prefer a freestanding or tabletop design, and what camping cookware or accessories you need to perfect your camp kitchen. Each of these decisions depends on available space, the cookware you plan to use, and how many people are cooking. Hopefully, our rigorous testing and thorough review will help you sort through the options to find the stove best for you, your budget, and your appetite.

Mary Witlacil


You Might Also Like

Ad-free. Influence-free. Powered by Testing.

GearLab is founded on the principle of honest, objective, reviews. Our experts test thousands of products each year using thoughtful test plans that bring out key performance differences between competing products. And, to assure complete independence, we buy all the products we test ourselves. No cherry-picked units sent by manufacturers. No sponsored content. No ads. Just real, honest, side-by-side testing and comparison.

Learn More