Advertisement

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Advertisement

Best camping stove: The top camping stoves for outdoor adventures

Jacob Little
25 Jun 2021
Advertisement

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.  

READ NEXT: Best family tents

The best camping stoves to buy

1. Campingaz Party Grill 200 Stove: The best for cooking for your mates (4-6 people)

Price: £62 | Buy now from 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: The best camping stove for backpacking

Price: £139 | Buy now from 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: The best camping stove for fry-ups

Price: £115 | Buy now from 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: The best for family camping (4 people)

Price: £64 | Buy now from 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: The best for camping on a budget (1-3 people)

Price: £12 | Buy now from 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 £15. 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: The best for posh nosh (4 people)

Price: £115 | Buy now from 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: 3 mins 40 secs; Burners: 2; Weight: 3.2kg

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

Price: £72 | Buy now from 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: The best all-in-one camping stove (2-5 people)

Price: £172 | Buy now 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: 4min; Burners: 1; Weight: 870kg

Read more

Best Buys