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Coleman Classic Review

The Classic is a simple and straightforward two-burner that provides everything you need for basic meals at a very nice price.
Coleman Classic
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $80 List | $43.88 at Amazon
Pros:  Affordable, fuel adaptor threads on easier than other stoves, windscreens are adjustable, compact dimensions
Cons:  No auto-ignition, lower BTUs, small burners prone to hot spots
Manufacturer:   Coleman
By Penney Garrett ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 16, 2019
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66
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#4 of 14
  • Time to Boil - 30% 7
  • Wind Resistance - 25% 6
  • Simmering Ability - 15% 6
  • Ease of Set Up - 10% 7
  • Ease of Care - 10% 7
  • Portability - 10% 7

Our Verdict

The Coleman Classic is a simple, functional stove available at a very comfortable price. It didn't blow us away in any one category, but it did perform steadily and predictably — an essential trait for any piece of gear, but especially the thing that helps you get coffee and a hot meal. It boiled water fine, blocked the wind, and simmered our sauces admirably. On top of that, it's simple to set up, lightweight, and packs down to a compact size. We also loved the adjustable windscreens, which allowed us to widen the cooking surface a bit to accommodate a larger pan. All in all, we felt that this was a great no-frills option for the budget shopper which is why we awarded it one of our coveted Best Buy awards.

If you want to keep costs down even more, consider checking out our other Best Buy winner, the Gas One GS-3000. This single-burner option performed well across the board and retails for well under two Jacksons. And if one burner doesn't seem like it will be enough, grab two and you'll still have spent less than almost every two-burner with a darn.


Compare to Similar Products

 
Coleman Classic
This Product
Coleman Classic
Awards Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award   
Price $43.88 at AmazonCheck Price at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$239.95 at REI
Compare at 2 sellers
$150 List$165.45 at Amazon
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Pros Affordable, fuel adaptor threads on easier than other stoves, windscreens are adjustable, compact dimensionsDurable, wind-resistant, powerful, even cooking, auto-ignitionLow profile, lightweight, auto-ignition levers are easy to use, handy carrying caseGood wind resistance, easy to clean, ability to attach another stove or JetBoil, sturdyCompact, flexible fuel hose, easy to clean, excellent simmer
Cons No auto-ignition, lower BTUs, small burners prone to hot spotsNoneVery pricey, not the most wind resistant, rubber closure straps could breakExpensive, small burners, low BTUs, carry handle is shallow and uncomfortableNo windscreen, fuel stand is separate and could get lost, attachment for fuel hose is flimsy
Bottom Line The Classic is a simple and straightforward two-burner that provides everything you need for basic meals at a very nice price.This has been an Editors' Choice for more than five years.Excellent performance meets compact design with this impressive model, a folding two-burner that is hard not to love.A competent stove on its own, this contender will also allow you to connect a JetBoil or other Eureka stoves and run it all off the same fuel source.Slim and sleek, this stove is small but beautifully built and it simmers like a dream.
Rating Categories Coleman Classic Camp Chef Everest Jetboil Genesis Basecamp Eureka Spire LX Primus Kinjia
Time To Boil (30%)
10
0
7
10
0
9
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
7
Wind Resistance (25%)
10
0
6
10
0
9
10
0
6
10
0
7
10
0
4
Simmering Ability (15%)
10
0
6
10
0
8
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
7
Ease Of Set Up (10%)
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
8
Ease Of Care (10%)
10
0
7
10
0
7
10
0
8
10
0
7
10
0
8
Portability (10%)
10
0
7
10
0
6
10
0
10
10
0
6
10
0
8
Specs Coleman Classic Camp Chef Everest Jetboil Genesis... Eureka Spire LX Primus Kinjia
Weight (pounds) 9.8 lbs 12.3 lbs 7.4 lbs w/bag, 6.4 lbs stove alone 12.4 lbs 8.1 lbs
Total BTU (from manufacturer) 20,000 40,000 20,000 20,000 14,000
Number of burners 2 2 2 2 2
Type of Model Tabletop Tabletop Tabletop, foldable Tabletop Tabletop
Cooktop material Aluminized steel Nickel-coated steel Nickel-plated steel Chrome plated steel Painted steel
Mfr. Model Number 2000020943NP MS2HP GNST 20393 P-350111
Packed Size (inches) 21 x 13 x 3.5" 23.5 x 13.5 x 4" 9.75 x 4.5" (11 x 6" in carrying bag) 21.5 x 13.1 x 4.2" 18.5 x 11.75 x 3.5"
Cooking surface dimensions (inches) 18.75 x 10.5" 19 x 9.5" 8" x 8.5" (each burner) 18 x 9.5" 17.25 x 6"
Burner/flame diameter 3.5" 3.5" 3.5" 3" 2"
Distance between burners (center to center) 7.75" 12" 10.5" 11" 9"
Boil Time (1 quart of 60F water, no wind) 4.75 min 2.5 min 4.5 min 4 min 4.25 min
Boil Time (wind/box fan test) 6.25 min 3 min 7.5 min 5.25 min 8.5 min
Fuel Type Propane Propane Propane Propane Propane
Piezo Ignitor? No Yes Yes Yes No
Windscreen? Yes Yes Yes Yes No

Our Analysis and Test Results

While the Coleman Classic isn't fancy or feature-rich, it does everything you need it 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 satisfies a lot of campers.

Performance Comparison


This simple stove did a great job with every test we threw at it.
This simple stove did a great job with every test we threw at it.

Time to Boil


This stove had one of the slower times for straight up boiling, finishing a quart of 60-degree water in 4:50 and 50-degree water in 5:10. But, as discussed in the next section, compared to other models it was on the faster side when wind was present.


Good choices were made in the design process 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.

We boiled water in all manner of vessels and conditions in order to determine the best models. The affordable Coleman Classic performed quite decently but wasn't the winner.
We boiled water in all manner of vessels and conditions in order to determine the best models. The affordable Coleman Classic performed quite decently but wasn't the winner.

Wind Resistance


Wind resistance is admirable on this little trooper, 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 6:15 — just 75 seconds more than without the fan. This isn't stellar, but it's decent. For comparison, our Editors' Choice winner, the Camp Chef Everest, completed the challenge in 3 minutes flat.

The Classic has windscreens that can adjust wider to accommodate larger cookware - a small feature that is quite useful.
The Classic has windscreens that can adjust wider to accommodate larger cookware - a small feature that is quite useful.

Simmering Ability


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. If simmering like a pro is a high priority for you, take a look at the Everest or the powerful freestanding Camp Chef Explorer 2-Burner.

When cooking one pancake in the center of our skillet  everything was perfect. But using the edges of a larger pan showed that little burners struggle with heating larger cookware evenly.
When cooking one pancake in the center of our skillet, everything was perfect. But using the edges of a larger pan showed that little burners struggle with heating larger cookware evenly.

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 set up, 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. Both of these features are also seen on the Classic's cousin, the Triton Plus.

For the most part  if you've set up one camping stove  you've set up them all  but we appreciate that the fuel adaptor on this model is easier to screw in then many other contenders in our review.
For the most part, if you've set up one camping stove, you've set up them all, but we appreciate that the fuel adaptor on this model is easier to screw in then many other contenders in our review.

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 care necessary beyond keeping it clean.

Cook  make a mess  eat delicious food  clean (or not)  repeat!
Cook, make a mess, eat delicious food, clean (or not), repeat!

Portability


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 and bike trailers.


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 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.

Pack it up  grab the handle  off you go!
Pack it up, grab the handle, off you go!

Best Applications


This stove is best for small groups of 1-4 people and simple meals. It doesn't have the BTUs or dimensions to handle a whole lot more than that but, if your cooking needs are easy and your wallet is light, the Classic makes a lot of sense. For people who don't camp often, this might be all you ever need. Serious foodies might not be stoked on this model, but most campers will get good use out of it without complaint.

For straightforward camp meals and smaller groups  this stove is a great budget option.
For straightforward camp meals and smaller groups, this stove is a great budget option.

Value


The Classic is cheap at full retail price, and online retailers often have it for even cheaper (we've seen prices as low as $43). While it wasn't the best in any of our tested categories, it holds its own and performs consistently. Because of this, we awarded it our Best Buy for a Two-Burner Award. If your camp needs are simple, 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 does make us wonder about the level of quality control practices in place for these inexpensive Coleman models.

Conclusion


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 this review. However, a lot of us just need something to scramble eggs, heat up soup, saute veggies, and boil water for coffee, tea, or hot cocoa. If that sounds more your pace, this budget stove is a great option and should serve you well.

Yum! That was a good breakfast - thanks Coleman Classic!
Yum! That was a good breakfast - thanks Coleman Classic!


Penney Garrett