Coleman Classic Review
Cons: No auto-ignition, lower BTUs, small burners prone to hot spots
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|Pros||Affordable, fuel adaptor threads on easier than other stoves, windscreens are adjustable, compact dimensions||Large cook surface, powerful, burly, impressive wind resistance||Three burners, fast boil time, easy setup, powerful burners||Lightweight and compact, easy to use and set up, inexpensive||Great simmering, inexpensive, lightweight, auto-ignition|
|Cons||No auto-ignition, lower BTUs, small burners prone to hot spots||Heavy, bulky, on the pricier side, closures not durable||Awkward and sharp carrying handle, below average wind resistance||Minimal wind protection, slow boil time||Boils water slowly, can be hard to find butane canisters, no wind screen, you burn through lots of fuel cans (lots of waste)|
|Bottom Line||This is a simple and straightforward two-burner that provides everything you need for basic meals at a very nice price||A wind-resistant stove that features powerful output but also impressive simmering abilities and easy maintenance||A well-designed and powerful 3-burner stove, with easy setup and a relatively trim design||This lightweight single burner butane stove is reasonably priced, portable, and easy to use||Versatile and low cost, this single-burner stove cooks well, cleans up easily, and weighs the least of all the models we tested|
|Rating Categories||Coleman Classic||Camp Chef Everest 2X||Stansport Outfitter...||Eureka SPRK+ Butane||Gas One GS-3000|
|Time to Boil (20%)|
|Wind Resistance (20%)|
|Simmering Ability (20%)|
|Ease of Set Up (15%)|
|Ease of Care (15%)|
|Specs||Coleman Classic||Camp Chef Everest 2X||Stansport Outfitter...||Eureka SPRK+ Butane||Gas One GS-3000|
|Weight||9.8 lbs||13.97 lbs||13.32 lbs||4.94 lbs w/case, 3.49 lbs stove alone||4.1 lbs|
|BTU per Burner (from manufacturer)||10,.000||20,000||Outer 2 burners are 25,000 each, inner burner is 10,000||11,500||9,000|
|Boil Time (1 quart of water, wind from a box fan)||6 min 25 sec||3 min 25 sec||7 min 55 sec||13 min 10 sec||13 min|
|Boil Time (1 quart of water, no wind)||4 min 45 sec||3 min 17 sec||3 min 39 sec||4 min 36 sec||4 min 30 sec|
|Cooktop Material||Aluminized steel||Nickel-coated steel||Stainless steel||Stainless steel||Enamel Coated Steel|
|Packed Size||21" x 13" x 3.5"||27" x 15.5" x 8.25"||23" x 12.75" x 4.3"||15.3" x 13" x 3.6"||14" x 12" x 3.5"|
|Cooking Surface Dimensions||18.75" x 10.5"||21" x 9.5"||19.5" x 9.5"||9.5" x 9.5"||8.25" x 8.25"|
|Burner/Flame Diameter||3.5"||4.75"||4.75" (outer burners), 3.25" (middle burner)||3'||2.875"|
|Distance Between Burners (center to center)||7.75"||12.25"||7" (outer to middle), 14" (outer to outer)||N/A||N/A|
|Number of Burners||2||2||3||1||1|
|Type of Model||Tabletop||Tabletop||Tabletop||Tabletop||Tabletop|
Our Analysis and Test Results
While the Coleman Classic isn't fancy or feature-rich, it does everything you need a stove to do in a timely and proficient manner. It doesn't have the highest BTUs or boiling times, but for the price, this little gem can satisfy a lot of campers.
Time to Boil
This stove had one of the slower times for straight-up boiling, finishing a quart of water in 4.75 minutes. This shouldn't deter you, though. There are plenty of other reasons why the Classic shines. Furthermore, as discussed in the next section, when compared with other models, the design of the windscreens and the design of the burners enables this stove to excel in terms of wind resistance.
Good choices were made in the design of this stove, allowing it to remain relatively consistent through all manner of weather variations. Despite just 10,000 BTUs per burner, its compactness helps to pack a little punch. If speed is a priority for your boiling needs, however, one option is to pair the Classic with a rapid-boiling backpacking model like the JetBoil MiniMo. Not only will this mean you get your morning coffee faster, but it frees up a burner to make extra pancakes.
Given the design of the windscreens and the compactness of this stove, the Classic performed admirably in this category. It did well in our box fan test as well as resisting wind outside in the real world, though a breeze does make simmering a bit more challenging.
Many stoves in our review have a vast difference in time between boiling water on a calm day versus a windy day, but not so with the Classic. This model impressed us with its ability to still function in the wind. We gave each model a box fan test, setting a running fan 24 inches to the side while boiling water. This contender finished the test in 6.25 minutes — just 75 seconds more than without the fan. This isn't stellar, but it's decent. One reason for this is that the windscreen creates a tighter seal around the stove body when in the narrowest setting.
Simmering with this stove is pretty great, though getting down super low presents a bit of a challenge, especially on windy days.
When cooking one pancake at a time, this stove is fabulous — two or more reveals a hot spot in the center of the pan, a pretty typical issue for stoves with small burners. While compact stoves such as this one can fit larger pans, they generally aren't able to heat them evenly. And while making scrambled eggs is fine if you babysit them, if you try to walk away, you'll find that even the low setting on the Classic is a bit high. There also isn't a graphic on the dial to represent flame settings (low to high), but in our experience, these graphics are rarely very accurate on camp stoves. All in all, this model is decent, but not the best.
Ease of Set Up
Just like the other compact two-burners in our review, setting up this stove is simple and straightforward.
While the Classic is pretty much the same as any other stove of this type, the fuel adaptor is noticeably easier to attach to the stove body than many of our other tested models. We also like the windscreen setup, which involves slotting bobby pin-shaped connectors into the stove body. This allows the use of slightly larger pans because you can widen the flaps, and it creates a more perfect wind seal when you have it in the narrowest setting.
Ease of Care
Once again, this is as simple a stove to care for as any other one like it.
The top cooking grate is removable to allow full access to the drip tray underneath. There's a hole to nest the fuel adaptor when storing, creating a recess that may collect food bits over time, but nothing major. Wiping down this model after use is fast, and due to its simple design, there isn't much attention necessary beyond keeping it clean.
Weighing 9.8 pounds with dimensions of 21 x 13 x 3.5 inches, this is a compact stove that can easily fit in all kinds of vehicles.
While we appreciate the low profile of this stove, none of the compact two-burner models are obscene in their weight or packed size. Portability probably won't be a make-or-break issue for most car campers. For obvious reasons, though, the single-burner options are much lighter and more comfortable to carry, and the freestanding stoves are a bear to haul around. The Classic hits a sweet spot right smack in the middle.
The Classic is cheap at full retail price, and online retailers often have it for even cheaper. While it wasn't the best in any of our tested categories, it holds its own and performs consistently. If your camp cheffing needs are simple, or you are searching for a car camping stove that won't break the bank, then this is a good model to explore.
One thing of note, however: our model did arrive slightly damaged, with a bent burner and drip tray. It did not seem to affect performance in any way, but it does make us wonder about Coleman's level of quality control for these inexpensive models.
Some people need their camp stove to have large dimensions and high BTUs. If that's you, there are many impressive options to read about throughout our review. However, a lot of us just need something simple to scramble eggs, heat soup, saute veggies, and boil water for coffee, tea, hot cocoa, or ramen. If this sounds like you, this budget stove is a great option and should serve you well.
— Mary Witlacil and Penney Garrett
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