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Coleman Classic Review

This is a simple and straightforward two-burner that provides everything you need for basic meals at a very nice price
Coleman Classic
Photo: Coleman
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $70 List | $53.35 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 Mary Witlacil and Penney Garrett  ⋅  May 10, 2021
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64
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 14
  • Time to Boil - 20% 5
  • Wind Resistance - 20% 7
  • Simmering Ability - 20% 6
  • Ease of Set Up - 15% 7
  • Ease of Care - 15% 6
  • Portability - 10% 8

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. It boils water fine, blocks the wind, and simmers sauces admirably. On top of that, it's simple to set up, lightweight, and packs down to a compact size. We also love the adjustable windscreens, which allow you to widen the cooking surface a bit to accommodate a larger pan. All in all, this is a great no-frills option for the budget shopper.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Coleman Classic
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Coleman Classic
Awards Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award Best Buy Award   
Price $53.35 at Amazon$170 List
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$77 List
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Pros Affordable, fuel adaptor threads on easier than other stoves, windscreens are adjustable, compact dimensionsLarge cook surface, powerful, burly, impressive wind resistance, built to lastGreat simmering, inexpensive, lightweight, auto-ignitionLightweight, compact, easy to use, easy to set up, highly portable, inexpensiveDecent wind resistance, auto-ignition, lightweight, affordable
Cons No auto-ignition, lower BTUs, small burners prone to hot spotsHeavy, bulky, spendyBoils water slowly, can be hard to find butane canisters, no wind screen, you burn through lots of fuel cans (lots of waste)Minimal wind protection, slow boil timeUnreliable auto-igniter, doesn't simmer as well as other models, cheap front latch
Bottom Line This is a simple and straightforward two-burner that provides everything you need for basic meals at a very nice priceA durable, wind-resistant stove that features powerful output but also impressive simmering abilities and easy maintenanceVersatile and low cost, this single-burner stove cooks well, cleans up easily, and weighs the least of all the models we testedThis lightweight single burner butane stove is decently inexpensive and easy to useThis isn't the fanciest or most powerful stove, but it's a decent option at a very approachable price
Rating Categories Coleman Classic Camp Chef Everest 2X Gas One GS-3000 Eureka SPRK+ Butane Camp Chef Teton Two...
Time To Boil (20%)
5.0
9.0
6.0
4.0
5.0
Wind Resistance (20%)
7.0
9.0
3.0
2.0
7.0
Simmering Ability (20%)
6.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
4.0
Ease Of Set Up (15%)
7.0
7.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
Ease Of Care (15%)
6.0
7.0
9.0
9.0
6.0
Portability (10%)
8.0
6.0
9.0
9.0
7.0
Specs Coleman Classic Camp Chef Everest 2X Gas One GS-3000 Eureka SPRK+ Butane Camp Chef Teton Two...
Weight (pounds) 9.8 lbs 13.97 lbs 4.1 lbs 4.94 lbs w/case, 3.49 lbs stove alone 9.6 lbs
Total BTU per burner (from manufacturer) 10,.000 20,000 9,000 11,500 10,000
Boil Time (1 quart of water, wind from a box fan) 6.25 min 3.5 min 13 min 14.5 min 6.25 min
Boil Time (1 quart of water, no wind) 4.75 min 3 min 4.5 min 5 min 4.75 min
Cooktop material Aluminized steel Nickel-coated steel Enamel Coated Steel Stainless steel Stainless steel
Packed Size (inches) 21" x 13" x 3.5" 27 x 15.5 x 8.25 14" x 12" x 3.5" 15.3 x 13 x 3.6 21.5" x 12.5" x 4"
Cooking surface dimensions (inches) 18.75" x 10.5" 21" x 9.5" 8.25" x 8.25" 9.5" x 9.5" 17.5" x 9.25"
Burner/flame diameter 3.5" 4.75" 2.875" 3' 3.25"
Distance between burners (center to center) 7.75" 12.25" N/A N/A 7.75"
Windscreen? Yes Yes No Yes Yes
Piezo Ignitor? No Yes Yes Rotary Yes
Number of burners 2 2 1 1 2
Type of Model Tabletop Tabletop Tabletop Tabletop Tabletop
Fuel Type Propane Propane Butane Butane Propane
Mfr. Model Number 2000020943NP MS2HP GS-3000 2572201 CCF0025

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.

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.
Photo: Penney Garrett

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.

We boiled water in all manner of vessels and conditions in order to...
We boiled water in all manner of vessels and conditions in order to determine the best models.
Photo: Penney Garrett

Wind Resistance


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.

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

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.

When cooking one pancake in the center of our skillet, everything...
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.
Photo: Penney Garrett

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.

For the most part, if you've set up one camping stove, you've set up...
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.
Photo: Penney Garrett

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.

Cook, make a mess, eat delicious food, clean (or not), repeat!
Cook, make a mess, eat delicious food, clean (or not), repeat!
Photo: Penney Garrett

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.


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.

Pack it up, grab the handle, off you go!
Pack it up, grab the handle, off you go!
Photo: Penney Garrett

Value


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.

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

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 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.

Yum! That was a good breakfast - thanks Coleman Classic!
Yum! That was a good breakfast - thanks Coleman Classic!
Photo: Penney Garrett

Mary Witlacil and Penney Garrett