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The best camping stoves reviewed (2023)

Jul 06, 2023

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.

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.

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

Rrp: £22.4

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

Rrp: £22.4

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

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

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

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

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

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.

The camping stove is a camping essential, even if you're going ultra-lightweight, as we shall now explain... - Best in Test - Best budget stove - Best for boiling water fast - Best for two people or group - Best Value - Best for alternative fuels - Excellent all-rounder Size and weight: Stability: Efficiency: Price: Fuel: