Best Camping Stoves of 2022: Simplifying Your Search for the Perfect Cooktop

outdoor camp stove


Camping doesn't have to mean eating dehydrated meals and protein bars. In fact, cooking at camp can be one of the most memorable parts of your trip. There’s nothing quite like drinking a hot cup of coffee and watching the sun rise while your eggs sizzle on the griddle. For that reason, my dad's favorite thing to prepare for camping trips is the menu. The one piece of camping gear he will never go without is the trusty camp stove he's had for more than 15 years.

When it came time to buy my own, I was surprised to find so many options on the market. Through my research, I was able to narrow down the best camp stoves in a variety of categories, and I want to share my findings to help you save time.

The stove that’s best for me might not be best for you, so consider the meals you plan to make and how you plan to use your camp stove.

Why Trust Us?

ACTIVE.com's editorial team relies on the knowledge and experience of fitness and wellness experts including competitive athletes, coaches, physical therapists, nutritionists, and certified trainers. This helps us ensure the products we feature are of the highest standard. Collectively, the team has spent countless hours researching equipment, gear, and recovery tools in order to create the most accurate, authentic content for our readers. Customer satisfaction is also a key part of our review process, which is why we only feature products that are highly rated. More importantly, each member of our team is a fitness enthusiast. Fitness may be our job, but it is also our passion. Therefore, we strive to bring you products that we trust and would personally use.

The Best Camp Stove - Our Top Picks

By clicking on the product links in this article, we may receive a commission fee at no cost to you, the reader. Sponsorships and affiliate commissions help support our research so we can help you find the best products. Read our full affiliate disclosure here.

What to Look for in a Camp Stove

Weight

The weight of your camping gear can play a big part in your decision-making process, and you should evaluate camp stove weight carefully. If you're planning to thru-hike the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), you're going to need something lightweight and portable. If you're driving up to your campsite, a heavier stove with all the bells and whistles could help you make some truly unforgettable meals.

Fuel Type

Camp stoves are often categorized based on the kind of fuel they use and how it's stored. Some fuel types are more convenient and burn cleaner, while others are better for specific conditions. Here's a quick breakdown:

  • Canister: Most popular, small, lightweight, easy to light, self-sealing, consistent output
  • Liquid fuel/white gas: Burns clean, performs well in cold temps and high elevations
  • Wood burning: Environmentally friendly
  • Alcohol: Lightweight, inexpensive
  • Tablet: Small, lightweight, inexpensive

BTUs

BTU stands for British Thermal Unit, which is a measure of how much heat your stove can produce. The higher the BTUs, the hotter your stove can burn. Of course, there are other factors that influence how well your camp stove will perform: burner size, ambient temperature, and altitude, to name a few. However, BTUs are a standardized way for you to compare different models. For example, a single burner stove could be 10,000 BTUs and a great fit for a solo camper, while a 60,000 BTU stove would make more sense for a camper planning to cook for a large group.

Best Overall - Camp Chef Everest 2X High Pressure Stove

Best Overall - Camp Chef Everest 2X High Pressure Stove

SPECS

  • Size: 25.2" x 12.7" x 5.6"
  • Weight: 12 lbs.
  • Material: Alloy steel
  • Fuel type: Canister
  • BTUs: 20,000 per burner

Check Price

This high pressure, two-burner camp stove is big enough for kitchen-sized pots and pans but still easy to pack and store. Whether you're feeding yourself or a family of four, this camp stove will deliver. It can boil water in just a few minutes, ignite without a match, and will have you serving up a hot meal to your camp in no time.

When it comes time to clean up, the stainless steel drip tray can be wiped down with a sponge or steel wool, if needed. The cooking grate is also removable.

What We Like

  • Drip tray for easy clean up
  • Matchless ignition
  • Fast boiling
  • Easy to pack and store

What We Don't Like

  • Must be placed on flat surface
  • Side flaps are short
  • Adapter hose for larger propane tanks sold separately

BUY: Camp Chef Everest 2X High-Pressure Stove

Best Propane Camp Stove - Campchef Pro 60X Two Burner Camp Stove

Best Propane Camp Stove - Campchef Pro 60X Two Burner Camp Stove

SPECS

  • Size: 39.38" x 15" x 10.5"
  • Weight: 51 lbs.
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Fuel type: Bulk propane tank
  • BTUs: 30,000 per burner

Check Price

Great for camping, tailgating, or even a backyard cookout, this two-burner camp stove's adjustable legs make it easy to set up anywhere—no picnic table required. It’s simple to adjust on uneven ground, which is a bonus in our book. The two side shelves offer a convenient place to keep ingredients handy or set down your beverage of choice.

If you're planning to cook for a large group or you just don't like dealing with small gas canisters, the bulk tank option is a welcome feature.

What We Like

  • Matchless ignition
  • Foldable and adjustable legs
  • Side shelves to store items

What We Don't Like

  • No protection from wind
  • Bulk propane tank makes it bulkier to transport

BUY: Campchef Pro 60X Two Burner Camp Stove

Best backpacking camp stove - Jetboil Zip Cooking System

Best backpacking camp stove - Jetboil Zip Cooking System

SPECS

  • Size: 4.1" x 6.5"
  • Weight: 11.8 oz. (without canister)
  • Material: Stainless steel (burner), aluminum (cup), neoprene (cup cozy)
  • Fuel type: Propane (3.5 oz. canister)
  • BTUs: 4,500

Check Price

The Jetboil Zip Cooking System’s size, weight, and ability to boil water in just a few minutes makes it the portable companion you don’t want to leave behind on your backpacking adventure. It comes with a cup cozy to keep your water hot, and the bottom cover doubles as a measuring cup and a bowl, saving you space and keeping your pack light.

When it comes to backpacking trips, efficiency is everything, and this cooking system’s rapid boil speed will help you go from hungry to satiated in mere minutes.

What We Like

  • Compact
  • Lightweight
  • Boils water in less than three minutes
  • Includes bowl

What We Don't Like

  • 2 temp settings (lowest setting burns very hot)
  • Matches/lighter required

BUY: Jetboil Zip Cooking System

Best Portable Camp Stove - Jetboil Genesis Basecamp System Camp Stove

Best Portable Camp Stove - Jetboil Genesis Basecamp System Camp Stove

SPECS

  • Size: 9.8" x 4.6"
  • Weight: 9 lbs. 5 oz.
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Fuel type: Propane
  • BTUs: 10,000 per burner

Check Price

This compact system is a space saver and extremely convenient to transport. It comes with a five-liter pot and 10-inch frying pan, both of which nest together to make packing up swift. The regulator valve technology offers simmer control, which will prevent you from burning your dinner while also allowing you to boil water in just a few minutes.

What We Like

  • Matchless ignition
  • Compact; travel bag included
  • Fast boil time
  • Easy to clean
  • Jet link compatible

What We Don't Like

  • Expensive
  • Size and weight isn't ideal for backpacking

BUY: Jetboil Genesis Basecamp System Camp Stove

Best 2-Burner Camp Stove - Eureka Ignite 2-Burner Camp Stove

Best 2-Burner Camp Stove - Eureka Ignite 2-Burner Camp Stove

SPECS

  • Size: 18.5" x 12.8" x 4"
  • Weight: 10 lbs.
  • Material: Steel
  • Fuel type: Propane
  • BTUs: 10,000 per burner

Check Price

A great option for car camping, each burner on this stove offers a broad temperature range so you can cook with precision. It can handle just about any dish you throw at it, from fried eggs for breakfast to rich pastas for dinner.

This stove is also Jetlink compatible, which means it can be hooked up to other compatible stoves or attachments, allowing you to expand the camp kitchen if you're trying to impress.

What We Like

  • Matchless ignition
  • Convenient to store
  • Jet link compatible

What We Don't Like

  • Tight fit for two 10" pans
  • No handle or carrier bag included

BUY: Eureka Ignite 2-Burner Camp Stove

Best Single Burner Camp Stove - FORE WINDS Luxe Camp Stove

Best Single Burner Camp Stove - FORE WINDS Luxe Camp Stove

SPECS

  • Size: 15" x 13" x 4.3"
  • Weight: 6 lbs. 2.7 oz.
  • Material: N/A
  • Fuel type: Butane canister
  • BTUs: 12,000

Check Price

Easy to pack and store, the FORE WINDS Luxe Camp Stove is a great choice for car camping or a picnic. Since it’s a single burner stove, it takes up less space than other comparable models without skimping on the power needed to make a fantastic meal.

What We Like

  • Matchless ignition
  • Easy to pack up and transport
  • Several safety features

What We Don't Like

  • Expensive
  • Only recommended for use with Iwatani or FORE WINDS butane canisters

BUY: FORE WINDS Luxe Camp Stove

Best Wood Camp Stove - Biolite Campstove 2+

Best Wood Camp Stove - Biolite Campstove 2+

SPECS

  • Size: 5" x 7.9"
  • Weight: 2 lbs.
  • Material: Aluminum
  • Fuel type: Wood (pellets, twigs)
  • BTUs: N/A

Check Price

Not only can this camp stove cook your food without gas, it can charge your USB devices at the same time. The integrated battery is powered by the heat generated by burning the sticks and twigs you've collected at camp, which makes it a perfect companion if you're going off the grid.

While it is compact and relatively lightweight, it might weigh more than you'd like if you're trying to keep a light backpack. It's great for car campers and those who are looking for an environmentally conscious way to cook and charge up in the backcountry.

What We Like

  • Integrated device charger
  • Burns clean
  • Lightweight
  • Compact

What We Don't Like

  • Wet conditions could make finding kindling a challenge
  • Takes some getting used to
  • Too heavy for backpacking

BUY: Biolite Campstove 2+

Best Small Camp Stove - Jetboil Halfgen Base Camp Cooking System

Best Small Camp Stove - Jetboil Halfgen Base Camp Cooking System

SPECS

  • Size: 9.5" x 4"
  • Weight: 3 lbs. 8 oz.
  • Material: N/A
  • Fuel type: Propane canister
  • BTUs: 10,000

Check Price

If you're short on space or like to pack light, the Jetboil Halfgen Base Camp Cooking System could be just what you need. Even with the included pan, it packs up into a nice, small bundle making it easy to store and transport. The ceramic, non-stick pan also promises a painless clean up.

This cooking system is Jetlink compatible, so it'll connect to other appliances if you need to cook more than one item at a time. The bottle opener attached to one of its straps is a nice additional touch.

What We Like

  • Jetlink compatible
  • Matchless ignition
  • Includes pan, carrying case, windscreen

What We Don't Like

  • Expensive
  • While small and compact, the addition of a fuel canister makes it too much for backpacking

BUY: Jetboil Halfgen Base Camp Cooking System

Best Lightweight Camp Stove - Kovea Slim FLX Hose Propane Stove

Best Lightweight Camp Stove - Kovea Slim FLX Hose Propane Stove

SPECS

  • Size: 23.4" x 14.7" x 3.3"
  • Weight: 10 lbs.
  • Material: N/A
  • Fuel type: Propane canister
  • BTUs: 10,500 per burner

Check Price

The thin and lightweight design makes this a great choice for camping when you aren't able to pull up directly to the campsite. It’s easy to store and comes with a carrying handle for easy transport. The included windscreens offer sturdy flame protection on blustery days.

The hose that attaches the fuel canister to the stove sets it apart from other two-burner models. This gives you a little more flexibility when it comes to making efficient use of your table space.

What We Like

  • Matchless ignition
  • Lightweight
  • Simmer control
  • Hose fuel connector

What We Don't Like

  • Doesn't grip table very well
  • Expensive

BUY: Kovea Slim FLX Hose Propane Stove

Best Coleman Camp Stove - Coleman Cascade 328 3-Burner Camp Stove

Best Coleman Camp Stove - Coleman Cascade 328 3-Burner Camp Stove

SPECS

  • Size: 24" x 17.3" x 4.3"
  • Weight: 19 lbs.
  • Material: Alloy steel
  • Fuel type: Propane canister
  • BTUs: 9,333 per burner

Check Price

If you're looking for a camp stove, there is no doubt you've heard of the Coleman brand. It's tried, true, and trusted by campers of all ages and experience levels. While it's a similar size to other two-burner models, this stove boasts a third burner for camp chefs who aren’t afraid to multitask. If the camp isn’t windy, the windscreens can fold down to serve as a utensil tray.

What We Like

  • Matchless ignition
  • 3 burners
  • Easy to pack and carry
  • Windscreens could also be used as shelves

What We Don't Like

  • Heavier than comparable models
  • Less control over temperature than comparable models

BUY: Coleman Cascade 328 3-Burner Camp Stove

FAQs About Camping Stoves


Is a camping stove worth it?

The answer to this question depends on what kind of camping trip you're planning and what types of meals you will be making. Do you need a camping stove? Probably not. A fire can be used to heat water for coffee and dehydrated meals, though this can sometimes lead to inconsistent results. A camping stove can make cooking easier, more predictable, and a lot quicker. If you enjoy cooking at camp, controlling your temperature, and preparing meals for more than a few people, we think it's worth it to purchase a camping stove.

How much BTU do I need for a camp stove?

It depends on how you plan to use your camp stove. Most would be perfectly happy with a camp stove that has 10,000 BTUs per burner. If you're cooking for a large group of people, the higher BTUs will serve you well. Be careful, though. The higher BTUs could burn your meals or the bottoms of your pots and pans if you're not careful. Keep in mind that the higher the BTUs, the faster you'll burn through fuel.

Which gas is cheaper propane or butane?

While propane tends to be cheaper, the price difference between the two isn't that substantial. If you're on a strict budget, look for a propane stove. Propane is readily available, and you'll be able to find it at most camping stores or gas stations in the area where you're camping. However, if weight is your primary consideration, butane might be the better option for you.

Discuss This Article