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Best camping stove 2023: The top camping stoves for outdoor adventures

Fancy a cuppa and a bite to eat? A decent camping stove makes all the difference on camping trips

After a waterproof tent and a warm sleeping bag, a decent camping stove is probably the most trip-enhancing bit of kit you can take camping. With a stove, you can cook up a proper meal when night falls and start the next day with a comforting cup of hot coffee. Put simply, a camping stove is just a portable hob, so anything you can cook on your hob at home you can also cook outdoors.

However, there are so many shapes and sizes (and prices) of stove on the market that picking just one can be confusing. Luckily, we’ve got a high performer for every occasion and budget in our picks.

Best camping stove: At a glance

How to choose the best camping stove for you

What size do I need?

Stoves vary in size from tiny ultra-light burners to big multi-hob numbers complete with grills that allow you to cook pretty much anything you do at home. If you’re camping alone or with a partner over a weekend, a small, simple camping stove will usually be more than adequate.

However, if you’re wild camping or heading on a longer expedition, a lightweight backpacking stove designed to work even in terrible weather is worth the extra dosh. If you’re heading off for a week-long family camping trip in the car we’d recommend investing in the biggest camping stove you can as choosing one with multiple hobs will let you whip up a veritable feast in any field.

What burn time should I look out for?

Many stoves advertise their burn time (how long it takes to burn a given amount of fuel) and boil time (a quick boil time aids fuel efficiency), which are both worth keeping in mind, especially if you’re camping far from civilization. Another factor to consider is weight – particularly if you’re backpacking. A stove that neatly packs away in a carry case or into its own pots is useful for storage and transportation, too.

What fuel do I need?

Most stoves use either canisters of gas (propane, butane or a mix of the two) or liquid fuel (such as kerosene or paraffin). Gas canisters usually clip or screw onto the stove. They’re small, lightweight and don’t leak. Often, stoves are only compatible with one kind of fuel or brand, so always ensure you buy the right fuel canister for your particular stove.

Propane is easy to get hold of and burns well but liquid fuel performs better at low temperatures. Liquid fuel canisters are usually connected via a hose to the stove and are refillable. We like stoves that feature a Piezo-igniter (a push-button starter) as it’s useful if you forget to bring matches along. Once lit, some stoves burn with a blue light while others make a roaring noise.

Buy more fuel refills than you think you’ll need, and if you’re heading abroad on a car camping trip it’s worth taking as much as you’ll use for the entire camping trip, as it might not be available at your destination. You can also buy hose adaptors that let you connect gas stoves to big, refillable propane tanks, which is a more eco-friendly and economical way to cook than regularly replacing smaller canisters.

It’s a good idea to have a go at setting up your camping stove in the back garden, which is less frustrating than realising you don’t know how to work it when you’re miles up a hill and desperate for a hot dinner. And never light stoves inside your tent to avoid carbon monoxide poisoning.

How we test camping stoves

To ensure we’ve chosen the best camping stoves, we re-heated, fried, boiled, and barbecued a lot of food and water. Due to the time of year we carried out the testing, many were used in the back garden between rain showers, but those designed specifically for backpacking were either taken on overnight camping trips or carried on hikes, where a hot cup of tea is always a special treat.

We compared the brands’ published boil times with our own experiences and generally, as we suspected, the cheaper the design, the longer it took to reach temperature. The testing of stoves also happened to coincide nicely with our testing of the best camping food – we ate thousands of calories so that you don’t have to.

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The best camping stoves you can buy in 2023

1. Campingaz Party Grill 200 Stove: Best for larger groups (4-6 people)

Price when reviewed: £54 | Check price at Amazon

The perfect marriage of barbeque and portable stove. If you’ve got a gang of mates camping together, the surprisingly compact Party Grill will live up to its name, allowing you to grill, griddle or pop a pot on top to cook up a stew or boil water. The Piezo lighter makes it a doddle to ignite, and we especially like how easy it is to erect, disassemble and store – all the components pack away neatly inside each other for transportation. There’s also a 400 model that has a nifty wok as a lid and a larger 600, which is ideal for bigger groups.

Key specs – Fuel: Campingaz CV Plus valve cartridge (propane/butane); Time to boil water: 4mins 18secs; Burners: 1; Weight: 2.84kg

2. MSR WindBurner Stove System: Best camping stove for backpacking

Price when reviewed: £160 | Check price at Amazon

A bit of a cult favourite in the backpacking community, MSR’s efficient WindBurner means business – even in terrible weather. The enclosed design protects the flame, even in rain and wind, boiling water so quickly that MSR claims no other stove can match it in 12mph wind. Fast boiling means efficient fuel consumption, which is a win-win when out in the wilderness. Its components are beautifully designed to pop inside each other like Russian dolls, so they take up minimum space in a backpack. The WindBurner is small, though, so only suited for cooking up basic food for one or two people. It’s one for multiple-day trips into the wilderness.

Key specs – Fuel: MSR IsoPro (propane/butane); Time to boil water: 2mins 45secs; Burners: 1; Weight: 432g

3. Cadac 2 Cook 2 Pro Deluxe QR: Best camping stove for fry-ups

Price when reviewed: £127 | Check price at Amazon

Dutch camping experts Cadac may not be well known over here (yet), but, but this dual burner stove is one of the most versatile we’ve seen. The Cadac 2 Cook 2 Pro Deluxe QR might be a mouthful to say, but this tabletop design has two Piezo ignition-controlled gas burners, and despite the relatively compact 57 x 32 x 10cm (LWD) dimensions has plenty of space for two large pots.

The stove comes with two ceramic coated, easy-clean, non-stick hot plates for griddle and BBQ cooking as well as two enamelled pot stands for traditional boiling and simmering. The combination means you can get more creative with your campsite cooking without having to pack any more pans.

It works with standard screw-in camping gas bottles and comes with a handy carry case and lid that also doubles as a windbreak.

Key specs – Fuel: Gas; Time to boil water: N/A; Burners: 2; Weight: 5kg

4. Outwell Olida Camping Stove: Best for family camping (4 people)

Price when reviewed: £75 | Check price at Amazon

A versatile two-burner for a very decent price. Outwell’s Olida is brilliant for family camping trips, as having two individually controlled burners gives you a lot more scope for cooking up more interesting meals than one-pot wonders. The lid doubles up as an effective windshield, while the whole stove is easy to clean and, at 4.4kg, lightweight enough to transport and pack away simply. It’s a no-fuss option that’s perfect for a week of camping with kids if you’re on a budget, although you’ll need to take plenty of spare EN417 gas cartridges.

Key specs – Fuel: EN417 gas cartridges (butane); Time to boil water: N/A; Burners: 2; Weight: 4.4kg

5. Campingaz Camp Bistro 2 Portable Stove: Best for camping on a budget (1-3 people)

Price when reviewed: £34 | Check price at Amazon

Campingaz’s Portable stove isn’t the fastest to boil water (a rather lengthy 5mins 25secs) or the lightest or smallest stove we tested. It is, however, an absolute steal at under £35. This good quality, well-performing stove at a very pocket-friendly price is a great choice for camping newbies, low-key weekends spent outdoors or just for making a cup of tea when out gardening. There’s a Piezo ignition, a handy carry case and the whole thing is sturdy enough to take bigger pans with no wobbles.

Key specs – Fuel: Isobutane mix; Time to boil water: 5mins 25secs; Burners: 1; Weight: 1.4kg

6. Primus Onja Duo Stove: Best for posh nosh (4 people)

Price when reviewed: £147 | Check price at Amazon

Who knew camping stoves could be this pretty? The slick Primus Onja is a joy to use, as well as to behold. The two burners, which hide under a wooden lid that doubles as a chopping board, can be fired up with most gas canisters, making it easy to grab more fuel on the go. The burners are sturdy and a pleasure to use, although it did take us a few goes to find the sweet spot for avoiding a burnt dinner when your back is turned. The Onja packs up into a bag you can sling over your shoulder, which makes it perfect for a family feast on the beach.

Key specs – Fuel: Duo valve – fits most valve gas canisters; Time to boil water: 3mins 40secs; Burners: 2; Weight: 3.2kg

7. Robens Woodsman Stove and Charger: Best stove for off-grid camping

Price when reviewed: £79 | Check price at Amazon

Constructed from plate stainless steel, this super compact (12.5 x 12.5 x 19.5cm) wood stove slots together easily and packs down very small for easy carrying.

At 746g the Robens Woodsman Stove isn’t featherlight, but the beauty of this design is that you don’t need to carry any fuel, and you can even leave your phone charger at home, too. This stove is fuelled by kindling and twigs and gets very hot quickly thanks to the focused heat from dry sticks. Great for wild camping trips away from traditional campsites.

It takes plenty of twigs and you need to add more twigs every few minutes but keep the fire roaring and, if you fill the red pouch on the side with water, as it heats the built-in thermoelectric generator with USB connector can turn the heat into electricity and top up your phone as you boil your supper.

Key specs – Fuel: Wood; Time to boil water: N/A; Burners: 1; Weight: 746kg

8. Primus PrimeTech Stove Set 2.3l: Best all-in-one camping stove (2-5 people)

Price when reviewed: From £137 | Check price at Amazon

An update to the traditional alcohol burner style all-in-one camping stove, this stylish, super light design from Primus comes with a small but mighty 2000W piezo controlled gas burner that can boil a litre of water in just four minutes.

The beauty of this design is the fact it comes with two clever pans that have a heat-exchange built into the base, improving efficiency by up to 50% and saving fuel. The pan lid can also be used as a colander for draining, the base is an excellent windbreak, everything is non-stick for easy cleaning, and it all nests neatly inside each other and stores neatly in a heat-insulated storage bag.

Ideal for festivals and best suited for one-pot cooking recipes, you can take everything in a very compact, surprisingly light case without compromising on cooking performance.

Key specs – Fuel: Gas; Time to boil water: 4mins; Burners: 1; Weight: 870kg

9. Primus Lite Plus: The most versatile compact cooking stove

Price when reviewed: £90 | Check price at Outdoorgear

This easily packable anodized aluminium stove system is brilliantly efficient, and ideal for quick hot drinks and rehydrating camping food like instant noodles. Impressively, the Laminar Flow Burner manages a 4,500BTU (1,500W) flame and brings half a litre of water to boil in under three minutes.

The 500ml pot has an insulated sleeve to avoid burns, and it features a spork holder and hanging system. The burner’s design is equally ingenious: three pot support pegs allow you to adapt the burner to support any standard pots or pans for cooking.

It’s a brilliant and compact system which means you can enjoy a bacon and egg sandwich as well as a cuppa without having to carry a cumbersome stove.

Key specs – Fuel: Gas; Time to boil water: 2mins 36secs; Burners: 1; Weight: 0.4kg

Check price at Outdoorgear

10. Vango Blaze Double: Best value double burner camping stove

Price when reviewed: £35 | Check price at Amazon

This is a simple, affordable and highly effective double burner solution from Vango that will keep the whole family fed without taking up much space in the boot of the car.

The compact, low profile design and stainless steel burners offer good support with minimal risk of tipping, and the anti-slip feet keep it securely in place on a table. It’s quick to connect to a gas supply, requiring easy-to-find EN417 canisters, and the controls are easy to use and give good variation in heat. The supports can be removed for easy cleaning, too.

In windy conditions you may need to create a windbreak to maintain burner efficiency, but we had no issues during our testing: the burners ably boiled water and fried sausages without incident.

Key specs – Fuel: Gas; Time to boil water: 4mins; Burners: 2; Weight: 1.35kg

11. Alpkit Kraku Ultralight Stove: Best stove for solo adventures

Price when reviewed: £25 | Check price at Alpkit

If you need to pack as light as possible but still want a hot drink and a meal at the end of the day, the tiny, 46 gram Alpkit Kraku is ideal. Once folded up, it’s small enough to fit in your mug, yet provides a surprisingly powerful burner.

It’s best suited to boiling water for dehydrated camping meals and making drinks – at 88mm wide, the pan support isn’t huge so a flat surface and constant monitoring is prudent – but you can’t really complain given just how tiny this stove is.

Don’t forget to pack a lighter, though, as there’s no ignition. Still, that’s not surprising given the bargain price.

Key specs – Fuel: Gas; Time to boil water: 2mins 30secs; Burners: 1; Weight: 45g

Check price at Alpkit