The best camping stoves reviewed (2023)

For camping and backpacking, the classic gas canister stove is hard to beat. But with so many options on offer, which should you go for? Here are our favourites to help you choose.

The best camping and backpacking stoves reviewed

by Live For The Outdoors |
Updated on

The camping stove is a camping essential, even if you're going ultra-lightweight, as we shall now explain...

Last summer, I went through an ultralight reinvention, minimising my multi-day backpack weight, and even decided to go 'stoveless' for my adventures along the Pembrokeshire Coast Path and Wainwright's Coast to Coast. This somewhat unhinged approach involved 'cold-soaking' – slowly rehydrating in cold water – instant noodles and camping meals. Cold chilli con carne or tepid tikka masala, anyone?

Personally, I didn't mind the approach, and I was always grateful for the weight-saving. But the taste of my meals was sub-optimal, to put it mildly. Everything could have been so different if I'd packed a simple, lightweight camping stove. I'd have been eating like a king, dining out on hot, hearty food every evening and supping on steaming hot coffee every morning.

Our shortlist

SOTO Windmaster - Best in Test

BRS-3000T - Best budget stove

Jetboil Flash 2.0 - Best for boiling water fast

Primus PrimeTech - Best for two people or group

Alpkit Kraku - Best Value

Optimus Polaris Optifuel - Best for alternative fuels

MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe - Excellent all-rounder

Sounds good, right? Well, in that case, do not follow my stoveless strategy and instead make sure you pack a reliable, high-quality camping stove. The hot sustenance it provides will replace calories, restore your energy and boost your spirits. And I'd argue that's definitely worth a few extra grams in your backpack.

The best camping stoves

Best in Test

Best in Test


In our comparative test of camping gas stoves, the SOTO Windmaster achieved a fast boil time of 3


  • Fast boiling
  • Stable
  • Clever design and features
  • Reasonable value


  • Others can boil even faster
  • You can go even lighter

Best budget stove

BRS-3000T camping stove

Rrp: £18.95

Price: £15.50


We first heard about the BRS-3000T in a Facebook group and were immediately intrigued to put this


  • Very affordable
  • Very lightweight
  • Reliable


  • Slower to boil than the others here

Best for boiling water fast


The Flash 2.0 is a fast and extremely popular stove that's ideal if you only need to boil water.


  • Very fast boiling
  • Easy to use
  • Great for drinks and add-water meals


  • Not ideal for ultra-light trips

Best for two people or groups


If you want the efficiency of a PCS (personal cooking system) but with the ability to do more with


  • Efficient
  • Great group kitchen
  • Stable


  • Too bulky for a solo hiker

Best Value

Alpkit Kraku
Price: £29.99


So incredibly small and lightweight that you're in danger of losing it, the 45g Kraku is the


  • Very light and compact
  • Ideal for minimalist trips


  • You can go even cheaper if you wish

Best for alternative fuels


There are occasions where being able to make use of alternative fuels is an advantage. Global


  • Can use multiple fuel types
  • Powerful output
  • No need to change nozzle with each fuel


  • Relatively heavy and bulky

Best all-rounder

MSR Pocket Rocket Deluxe camping stove
Price: £73.79


Lightweight and compact with a rapid boil time, there's little to dislike about the MSR Pocket


  • Lightweight and compact
  • Great features
  • Stable and reliable in the wind


  • Twice the price of Alpkit Kraku

What to look for in a camping stove

Size and weight: Match the stove to how you're packing. Going lightweight? Get an appropriately light camping stove. Otherwise, something like the Jetboil Flash 2.0 offers super performance for a bit more bulk.

Stability: If you're an avid trekker, you'll want a stove that is stable and still works well in windy conditions. Four, rather than three prongs aid stability. The best option, though, is when the burner is mounted off the canister.

Efficiency: Personal cooking systems (PCS) have the best efficiency due to their integrated design. But they tend to be more bulky than the 'classic' stove design.

Price: There is an enormous range of prices for camping stoves. If the stove is only going to be used occasionally, stick with something simple and reliable. For keen hikers, you might find investing in something with better performance worth your while.

Fuel: In most cases, standard butane/isobutane/propane gas canisters are suitable. But sometimes, sourcing petroleum or meth is easier in remote parts of the world. In these circumstances, alternative/multi-fuel stoves are a good option. Meths camping stoves tend to be pretty bombproof too.

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