Reviews You Can Rely On

Best Camping Stoves of 2022

We fried, simmered, and boiled with camping stoves from Camp Chef, Stansport, Kovea, Jetboil, and more to help you find the ideal outdoor kitchen staple
Best Camping Stoves of 2022
Testing the top camping stoves to compare and rate their performance
Credit: Jared Ross
By Mary Witlacil ⋅ Review Editor
Thursday May 12, 2022
Our Editors independently research, test, and rate the best products. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and we never accept free products from manufacturers. Learn more

Over the last 10 years, we have hand-picked, purchased, and rigorously tested close to 40 unique camping stoves. For this update, the top 15 have been analyzed and ranked to determine the best of the best. From one-pot-magic and sauce-simmering marathons to wind-resistance trials and boil tests, we put each stove through a ton of cookoffs in the great outdoors. When testing, we assess each model for efficiency, performance, and function — taking note of how easy each one is to set up, use, clean, and transport. We have rated each to help you determine the best option for all your culinary camping needs.

Do you have an upcoming camping trip with all of your friends? The wide world of camping kitchen equipment can be challenging to navigate on your own. Thankfully we've poured tons of energy into rigorously testing camping gear over the past 10+ years so you don't have to go it alone. Check out our comprehensive and in-depth reviews on camping cookware, camping tables, and even portable grills. From backpacking stoves to coolers, we're here to help you build the most efficient and delicious camp kitchen around.

Editor's Note: We updated our review on May 12, 2022, to reflect our new wind and boil test data, as well as our updated fuel efficiency data. We also included new reviews on the Camp Chef Outdoorsman, Coleman Cascade Classic, and Camp Chef Mountaineer.

Top 15 Product Ratings

Displaying 1 - 5 of 15
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Awards Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award Top Pick Award  
Price $169.99 at Amazon
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Overall Score Sort Icon
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74
72
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69
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Pros Large cook surface, powerful, burly, impressive wind resistanceDurable, powerful, wind resistant, fuel efficient, piezo-igniter, simmers wellThree burners, fast boil time, easy setup, powerful burnersPowerful, fuel efficient, outstanding boil time, freestanding, removable legsLow profile, lightweight, auto-ignition levers are easy to use, easy portability with carrying case and handles
Cons Heavy, bulky, on the pricier side, closures not durableVery expensive, heavy, largeAwkward and sharp carrying handle, below average wind resistanceHeavy, awkward, pricey, requires a large propane tank, no auto-ignitorExpensive, below average wind resistance
Bottom Line A wind-resistant stove that features powerful output but also impressive simmering abilities and easy maintenanceA top-shelf stove that is built to last, featuring powerful but fuel efficient burners and great wind resistanceA well-designed and powerful 3-burner stove, with easy setup and a relatively trim designA powerful but fuel efficient freestanding stove with removable legs, ideal for field kitchens, outdoor education, or water bath canningExcellent performance meets compact design with this impressive folding two-burner that is fun to use
Rating Categories Camp Chef Everest 2X Camp Chef Mountaine... Stansport Outfitter... Camp Chef Outdoorsman Jetboil Genesis Bas...
Time to Boil (20%)
9.0
6.0
8.0
10.0
5.0
Wind Resistance (20%)
8.0
8.0
4.0
8.0
4.0
Simmering Ability (20%)
9.0
7.0
9.0
6.0
9.0
Ease of Set Up (15%)
7.0
9.0
7.0
5.0
8.0
Ease of Care (15%)
7.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
7.0
Portability (10%)
6.0
5.0
7.0
3.0
10.0
Specs Camp Chef Everest 2X Camp Chef Mountaine... Stansport Outfitter... Camp Chef Outdoorsman Jetboil Genesis Bas...
Weight 13.97 lbs 14.63 lbs 13.32 lbs 31.01 lbs 7.4 lbs w/bag, 6.4 lbs stove alone
BTU per Burner (from manufacturer) 20,000 20,000 Outer 2 burners are 25,000 each, inner burner is 10,000 60,000 10,000
Boil Time (1 quart of water, wind from a box fan) 3 min 25 sec 4 min 46 sec 7 min 55 sec 2 min 34 sec 7 min 30 sec
Boil Time (1 quart of water, no wind) 3 min 17 sec 4 min 04 sec 3 min 39 sec 2 min 30 sec 4 min 30 sec
Cooktop Material Nickel-coated steel Aluminum Stainless steel Awaiting answer from Camp Chef Nickel-plated steel
Packed Size 27" x 15.5" x 8.25" 25.25" x 14.25" x 5.5" 23" x 12.75" x 4.3" 32.75" x 14.25" x 7.5" 9.75" x 4.5" (11" x 6" in carrying bag)
Cooking Surface Dimensions 21" x 9.5" 25.25" x 12.5" 19.5" x 9.5" 32.75" x 14.25" 8" x 8.5" (each burner)
Burner/Flame Diameter 4.75" 3.5" 4.75" (outer burners), 3.25" (middle burner) 10.5" 3.5"
Distance Between Burners (center to center) 12.25" 11.75" 7" (outer to middle), 14" (outer to outer) 18.5" 10.5"
Windscreen? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Piezo Ignitor? Yes Yes Yes No Yes
Number of Burners 2 2 3 2 2
Type of Model Tabletop Tabletop Tabletop Freestanding Tabletop, foldable
Fuel Type Propane Propane - large 20# tank Propane Propane - large 20# tank Propane
Model Number MS2HP 212-300-50 GNST


Best Overall Camping Stove


Camp Chef Everest 2X


79
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Time to Boil 9.0
  • Wind Resistance 8.0
  • Simmering Ability 9.0
  • Ease of Set Up 7.0
  • Ease of Care 7.0
  • Portability 6.0
BTUs (per burner): 20,000 | Windy Boil Time: 3 min 25 sec
Large cook surface
Powerful and durable
Great simmer
Impressive wind resistance
Fast boil time
Heavy
Bulky
A bit spendy

The Camp Chef Everest 2x is a fresh take on Camp Chef's classic, award-winning stove. This time around, Camp Chef upped the ante, making a beefier cousin to the original model. It has a larger cook surface, a nearly seamless windscreen, and excellent simmer ability, despite having an impressive 20,000 BTUs per burner. They even improved upon the previously flimsy latches. With a fast boil time and functional Piezo auto-igniter, this stove is sure to impress even the most discerning camp chefs.

The drawbacks with this stove are fairly negligible unless space, weight, or price are a concern. The revamped Everest 2x is among the bulkier and heavier tabletop propane stoves we tested. It is also fairly expensive; however, it is comparable in price to the other top performers in our review, so we think it is worth it — especially for premium durability and wind resistance. If your car camping rig can accommodate a slightly bulkier stove, and you're looking for a powerful stove that will simmer like a boss, this might be the one for you.

Read review: Camp Chef Everest 2X

camping stove - best overall camping stove
The Everest 2X is equally great at sauteeing a quick meal, boiling a kettle of water, or making a small feast for you and your whole crew.
Credit: Jared Ross

Best Bang for the Buck


Gas One GS-3000


64
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Time to Boil 5.0
  • Wind Resistance 2.0
  • Simmering Ability 7.0
  • Ease of Set Up 10.0
  • Ease of Care 8.0
  • Portability 9.0
BTUs: 9,000 | Windy Boil Time: 13 min
Great flame control
Price is right
Lightweight yet sturdy
Piezo auto-ignition
Single burner
Lacks a windscreen
Butane has poor performance in freezing conditions

The Gas One GS-3000 is capable of slaying any single-pot meal you're craving, so don't let its slim price tag fool you. This competent single-burner has excellent simmer control, is easy to care for, and is ultra-portable. It's also the lightest model we tested. This stove has just one single burner, but you could buy three of them for almost the same cost as the cheapest dual-burner we tested. In a competitive field, this stove holds its own, scoring at the top of the pack for portability, ease of care, and ease of setup.

The Gas One lacks wind protection and requires butane as its fuel source. Butane may prove more difficult to find than propane, which is widely available. The Gas One is also not as practical as a two-burner stove when cooking for large groups, but using it with another two-burner stove is an affordable way to have three flames at once. This stove is cheap but worthy and would be a great backup stove for a van-lifer or a stand-alone single-burner for the rest of us.

Read review: Gas One GS-3000

camping stove - best bang for the buck
If you're ok with one dish at a time, or simple one-pot meals, you can save space and a lot of money by opting for a single-burner like the Gas One.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Great Value for a Two-Burner


Coleman Classic


58
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Time to Boil 4.0
  • Wind Resistance 5.0
  • Simmering Ability 6.0
  • Ease of Set Up 7.0
  • Ease of Care 6.0
  • Portability 8.0
BTUs (per burner): 10,000 | Windy Boil Time: 6 min 25 sec
Affordable
Adjustable windscreens
Enough performance to satisfy most needs
Convenient packed size
No auto-ignition
Front latch is cheap
Handle is a bit sharp

There's nothing special about the simple and straightforward Coleman Classic. It performs well across all metrics and does so at a thrifty price. You can often find it for sale at online retailers for almost half its full retail price. We love the adjustable windscreens, substantial wind resistance, and its convenient packed size. Even with the smaller dimensions, this camping stove boasts one of the largest available cooking areas of the compact two-burners we tested.

The Classic lacks an auto-ignition system, and getting a perfect simmer is slightly trickier than on some of the other models we tested. The small burners are prone to creating hot spots in the center of larger pans, which is a common trend in small-diameter heating elements. While we enjoy many features of this model, it is not the best we tested. However, it does provide everything you might want out of a camping stove without breaking the bank.

Read review: Coleman Classic

camping stove - great value for a two-burner
The Coleman Classic did a great job with every test we threw at it.
Credit: Penney Garrett

Best Designed Stove


Camp Chef Mountaineer 2X


74
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Time to Boil 6.0
  • Wind Resistance 8.0
  • Simmering Ability 7.0
  • Ease of Set Up 9.0
  • Ease of Care 9.0
  • Portability 5.0
BTUs (per burner): 10,000 | Windy Boil Time: 6 min 25 sec
Durable
Powerful
Wind resistant
Fuel efficient
Piezoelectric auto-igniter
Expensive
Relatively heavy
Large for a tabletop stove
Incompatible with 1 lb propane canisters

If you prefer gear built to last, then the Camp Chef Mountaineer 2X certainly checks that box. It is durable and fuel-efficient, two features that lend to a lower environmental footprint. It boils quickly without wind, and owing to a solid windscreen and recessed burners, our wind test barely phased it. With auto-igniters and good control on the low-end for excellent simmering, this stove impressed even the most discerning on our review team. We found it carried well, despite its weight, and with its rectangular shape, it stowed away easily with our camping kitchen gear.

In terms of functionality, there was very little to complain about with the Mountaineer. It is a premium stove that is designed exceptionally well. However, with a premium stove comes a premium price. Beyond being the most expensive stove in our review, the Mountaineer is also among the heftier and least compact of the tabletop models. Additionally, it may be a drawback that this stove won't work with small 1-pound propane canisters. Our reviewers actually see this as a perk because it reduces waste. If you are looking for a well-designed camping stove that will keep up with your car camping or river adventures for years to come, this is our strong recommendation.

Read review: Camp Chef Mountaineer 2X

camping stove - best designed stove
The bombproof Mountaineer made camp cooking as easy as cooking in our home kitchen.
Credit: Jared Ross

Best 3-Burner Stove


Stansport Outfitter Series 3-Burner


72
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Time to Boil 8.0
  • Wind Resistance 4.0
  • Simmering Ability 9.0
  • Ease of Set Up 7.0
  • Ease of Care 8.0
  • Portability 7.0
BTUs (per burner): 25,000 and 10,000 | Windy Boil Time: 7 min 55 sec
Three burners
Snug windscreen
Fast boil time
Easy setup
Powerful burners with auto-igniter
Awkward and sharp carrying handle
Average performance in wind resistance test

Even without three burners, the Stansport Outfitter Series 3-Burner would be a review team favorite. The snug windscreen improves on a design that has proved somewhat fickle with other stoves. It sets up easily, boils water fast, and has two 25,000 BTU burners and a third burner with 10,000 BTUs in the middle. All three burners simmered well, and this stove was among the fastest in our water boiling test. Couple all of this with a Piezo auto-igniter, and you have a powerhouse of a stove, with or without the bonus third burner.

The carrying handle on the underside of the Stansport 3-Burner requires you to carry it vertically rather than horizontally like other stoves — a design innovation that made the stove more awkward to carry. The handle is also rather sharp and digs into your hand while carrying. Despite the snug fit of the windscreen, this stove also performed fairly average in our box fan test. If you look past these fairly minor flaws, it is an impressive all-arounder that can keep up with complex dinner plans or even the fairly average desire to make coffee at the same time as you cook a scramble and make roasted potatoes or bacon.

Read review: Stansport Outfitter Series 3-Burner

camping stove - best 3-burner stove
The Stansport features a broad cook surface, 3 burners, rapid boiling time, above average wind protection, and a durable design - what's not to love?
Credit: Jared Ross

Best Freestanding Stove


Camp Chef Outdoorsman


69
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Time to Boil 10.0
  • Wind Resistance 8.0
  • Simmering Ability 6.0
  • Ease of Set Up 5.0
  • Ease of Care 7.0
  • Portability 3.0
BTUs (per burner): 60,000 | Windy Boil Time: 2 min 34 sec
Powerful burners
Fuel efficient
Outstanding boil time
Freestanding but has removable legs
Heavy
Expensive
No auto-igniter
Requires a large propane tank

Camp Chef has outdone themselves with their new Outdoorsman. This stove features 60,000 BTUs per burner, which is more power output than many commercial ranges. It boils water so fast that you'll want to keep an eye on the stove to ensure you don't scorch your food in the process. The high octane burners are so powerful they were unphased by our wind tests. Beyond this, the stove has removable legs, so it can be used freestanding or on a table. Surprisingly, even with two high octane burners, the Outdoorsman has good low-end control for simmering and proved to be fairly fuel-efficient (especially when it wasn't on full blast).

Like other freestanding stoves, the Outdoorsman is heavy and somewhat awkward to carry. It will command more space in your vehicle, so you'll want to make sure you have the space to accommodate a bigger stove. We were disappointed that a premium stove with great features and a high price did not have an auto-igniter, a feature we think should be standard on all stoves. Finally, it is incompatible with small propane canisters. Our review team doesn't see this as a drawback, but we include this here because you will need to buy a 5 or 10-pound refillable tank for use with this stove. For backcountry chefs that love cooking for big crews, kitchen equipment for fieldwork or outdoor education, or folks looking for an outdoor stove for water-bath canning or brewing, this stove boasts the power and durability to meet your needs.

Read review: Camp Chef Outdoorsman

camping stove - best freestanding stove
The Outdoorsman is a burly freestanding stove with powerful burners, removable legs, and impressive wind-resistance despite the absence of a drip pan.
Credit: Jared Ross

Best Low-Profile Two Burner


Kovea Slim Twin


64
OVERALL
SCORE
  • Time to Boil 5.0
  • Wind Resistance 6.0
  • Simmering Ability 8.0
  • Ease of Set Up 4.0
  • Ease of Care 8.0
  • Portability 8.0
BTUs (per burner): 10,500 | Windy Boil Time: 4 min 36 sec
Compact
Affordable
Great wind resistance
Good simmering ability
Cannot store regulator inside stove
Average boil time

The Kovea Slim Twin is a fantastic option if space is at a premium and you need a well-performing stove that doesn't break the bank. It is straightforward, easy to clean, compact, and affordable. The windscreens provide excellent wind protection, and the control knobs offer great flame control for simmering or efficient boiling. The auto Piezo-ignition worked effectively throughout the duration of our review, igniting both burners every time and without hesitation.

There really aren't too many drawbacks with the Slim Twin, though the compact design means there isn't enough space to store the regulator inside the stove when it is not in use. If you decide to go with this stove, we recommend keeping the regulator with your camp kitchen tools to avoid misplacing the regulator. This stove performed in the middle of the pack in our water boiling test, likely due to having less BTUs than the top scorers. Despite this, the burners sit close to the cooktop, making efficient heat use while cooking. Minor drawbacks aside, this trim stove is an ideal option for car-campers, overlanders, and van-dwellers who need a well-performing, easy-to-use camping stove that commands minimal storage space.

Read review: Kovea Slim Twin

camping stove - we love the kovea slim for the affordable price tag, great wind...
We love the Kovea Slim for the affordable price tag, great wind resistance, and compact design - and we think you will too!
Credit: Mary Witlacil

Compare Products

select up to 5 products to compare
Score Product Price Our Take
79
$170
Editors' Choice Award
A high-performing stove that boils fast, resists wind, simmers well, and is easy to clean
74
$350
Top Pick Award
A durable, powerful, and fuel efficient stove with excellent features and wind resistance at a premium price
72
$151
Top Pick Award
A durable, feature rich and high octane 3-burner stove that is easy to set up and stow away
69
$200
Top Pick Award
A high-octane freestanding stove that is fuel efficient, boils quickly, and has removable legs to use on a tailgate or table
69
$270
If you're looking for a compact and foldable two-burner, this stove takes the cake on almost every front
68
$210
Great for simmering in style, this quality, small stove is built for simple meals, not for heavy-duty group cooking
66
$60
A very portable, easy to use, single burner butane stove
64
$30
Best Buy Award
An absolute bargain, this versatile little stove cooks any single-pan or pot meal you task it with
64
$140
Top Pick Award
This sleek and low-profile stove provides stellar wind resistance, an affordable price, and great simmering ability
61
$100
A decent entry-level stove featuring a piezo igniter and a compact design, but with slow boiling and moderate wind resistance
61
$140
The stove works decently, looks good, and comes at a reasonable price
59
$155
Durable and generously sized, this stove is straightforward and has adjustable feet for uneven surfaces
58
$60
Best Buy Award
If you just need something basic and don't want to strain your wallet, this is our favorite option
58
$300
A beastly freestanding stove with high-end features, fast boil times, above average wind resistance, and high-output burners
53
$250
This attractive stove missed the mark in functionality across the board

camping stove - testing which of the best camping stoves works well in large group...
Testing which of the best camping stoves works well in large group situations
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Why You Should Trust Us


Our camping stove testing team is a solid crew of experienced car campers, foodies, and folks who love to play camp chef. This review is headed up by Mary Witlacil, an avid outdoorswoman who would always choose a dish seasoned with a little bit of trail-spice (aka dirt) over a Michelin five-star meal, especially if it means falling asleep under a blanket of stars. After spending years bike-touring and traveling, Mary traded in her bike cleats and passport for a trad-rack and a pair of climbing shoes. She has spent years dialing in her backcountry cooking scene, from deluxe multi-course car-camping meals to prepping expedition meals for multi-week backpacking trips. This gal loves playing outside almost as much as she loves cooking outside. You'll find her romping around the Western US, climbing cracks and perfecting her backcountry culinary skills.

Our team of accomplished campers and van-lifers isn't just reheating canned soup. These adventurous eaters bring all sorts of fresh food to campsites and trailhead parking lots, making everything from boxed mac and cheese to elaborate multi-course feasts. They went to high altitudes, cooked in lousy weather, and lived out of cars and tents for months to analyze the best camping stoves available.

Comparing Ease of Set-up is a key camping stove rating metric. Here...
Comparing Ease of Set-up is a key camping stove rating metric. Here our lead reviewer is demonstrating how easy it is to latch and stow-away the Stansport 3-Burner stove.
Heating up some soup is pretty easy with the SPRK+, as long as there...
Heating up some soup is pretty easy with the SPRK+, as long as there isn't any wind.
Testing camping stove portability. Side handles can make it...
Testing camping stove portability. Side handles can make it reasonably easy to carry the stove short distances.

Related: How We Tested Camping Stoves

Analysis and Test Results


We tested the stoves in this review head-to-head over months to evaluate their strengths and weaknesses. To determine the overall score, we prioritize some metrics over others. For instance, our rankings emphasize boiling time and wind resistance because these functions speak to a stove's ability to perform well in outdoor settings. By contrast, our review team maintains that portability is somewhat less critical than stove performance, which is why we weighted this metric less. However, even though we view portability as less critical, we still evaluated this aspect because this might be the determining factor guiding your buying decision. We also considered each stove's simmering ability, ease of setup, and ease of care or clean-up to determine an overall rating. We distinguish between different testing criteria so you can make an informed decision based on the pros and cons of each model.

Related: Buying Advice for Camping Stoves

Value


The world of camping stoves includes an incredible amount of options across a wide price range. For this reason, it's essential to consider the value of the product you are purchasing. Attributes and features that are essential for one person may not matter to someone else. If all you care to eat while camping is canned soup or freeze-dried meals, then an efficient and lightweight single-burner is perfect. But if camping season means a big group of friends and multi-course gourmet meals, then a larger freestanding two- or three-burner stove makes sense if the cost works within your budget. We know that price is a major determining factor when choosing what model to buy, so finding something that strikes the essential balance between stellar performance and a fair price is key.


While the Coleman Classic did not earn the top marks in our tests, it is sufficient for most car campers, and the price tag makes it an alluring option. The Coleman Cascade Classic is another stove that won't break the bank, and it performs well enough to be a good value. The GSI Selkirk 540 and the Kovea Slim Twin are also great stoves that strike a decent balance between affordability and performance. If you are in the market for a freestanding stove with premium power, the Camp Chef Outdoorsman offers both for a fairly reasonable price. However, if you just want a single-burner for one pot-meals or boiling water and don't mind slower boiling speeds, the Gas One GS-3000 is a great butane stove at a fraction of the cost of other stoves in our review. Between performance and cost, only you can decide which aspects to prioritize.

camping stove - the compact kovea slim twin offers excellent wind resistance and is...
The compact Kovea Slim Twin offers excellent wind resistance and is affordable to boot.
Credit: Mary Witlacil

Time to Boil


Time to boil and wind resistance are our most heavily weighted metrics. Theoretically, the more power a stove has, the better it boils and the more efficient you can be when you slay your camp feast. The burners in your home kitchen likely have 12,000-18,000 BTUs on the high end (but can dial down as low as 4,000 BTUs). The stoves in our review range from 9,000 BTUs to a shocking 60,000 BTUs per burner. What became apparent during our boil tests, however, is that BTU ratings aren't everything.


To assess boil time, we test each stove in our windless garage "lab" at 5,000 feet. We then measure how long it takes for each stove to boil 1 liter of 58° Fahrenheit tap water in an enclosed 1.7-liter tea kettle. It should be no surprise that the Camp Chef Outdoorsman — with two beastly 60,000 BTU burners — absolutely crushed this test, boiling one liter of water in 2 minutes 30 seconds. The next fastest stove is the Camp Chef Everest 2x, which boiled one liter of water in 3 minutes and 17 seconds. What is impressive about this is that the Everest 2x has one-third the power (with two 20,000 BTU burners) of the top performer in this metric. The Stansport 3-Burner with two 25,000 BTU burners and a third 10,000 BTU burner had a boil time of 3 minutes 39 seconds (we tested its boil time on one of the 25,000-BTU burners), followed by the 30,000 BTU burners on the Camp Chef Pro 60x with 3 minutes 53 seconds.

camping stove - the windscreens, recessed burners, and full-size drip pan coalesce...
The windscreens, recessed burners, and full-size drip pan coalesce to make the Pro 60x more wind resistant than other freestanding stoves.
Credit: Mary Witlacil

As you can see, while there is some correlation between boil time and BTUs, this doesn't tell the whole story. The large 5" burners on the Camp Chef Pro 60X and the Camp Chef Outdoorsman are surrounded by so much open space that they are more affected by variable wind speeds, especially when the flames are low. Freestanding stoves like these have to have high-power burners to compensate for all this open space and the distance between the burners and the cooktop. The impermeable burner design of the Everest 2x made a clear difference with wind protection, allowing for fast boil times with lower output burners, regardless of the circumstances.

camping stove - with tight windscreens and slightly recessed burners, the everest 2x...
With tight windscreens and slightly recessed burners, the Everest 2x delivered unbeatable performance in the wind.
Credit: Jared Ross

As noted above, lower BTUs doesn't necessarily result in slower boil times if a stove boasts well-crafted wind resistance and the burner sits close to your cookware. However, the combination of less power and poor wind resistance or lack of a windscreen did reduce ratings in this category. Slower boil times may not matter to you if you tend to boil water in a separate device like a Jetboil or if you prefer to simmer your dinners and don't care about a raging flame. We heavily weighted the metric for boiling time because a faster boil generally means quicker meals, faster coffee, broader versatility, and more efficient fuel use. However, the importance of this metric depends on your cooking style and preferences.


While we show a boil time for both windy (our box-fan test) and non-windy conditions, be sure to consider the wind test. Boiling with no wind may be a good indicator of sheer power, but the wind test reveals much more about the competence of a stove's design for use in the real world. Besides, the chances are high that if you're camping, it's at least a little breezy.

camping stove - the immense btu power on the outdoorsman was no match for our box...
The immense BTU power on the Outdoorsman was no match for our box fan test.
Credit: Mary Witlacil

Wind Resistance


Wind resistance is tricky to test, as you can't call on the weather gods to deliver the same rate of wind for every cooking scenario. Despite this, we consider this a critical performance metric, alongside boil time, because it can greatly impact the stove's performance. If a stove doesn't have sufficient wind protection, even the smallest breeze can affect output. This change in output can take an otherwise pleasant cookout and turn it into a frustrating and inefficient disaster.


To test this metric in a controlled manner, we boiled water in the same garage, but this time we positioned a box fan 20-30" away from each stove. We then turned our box fan to low and used a pocket anemometer to ensure that we subjected the stoves to 2-4 mph of "wind." From there, we measured how long it took for each stove to boil one liter of 58°F water in a tea kettle. While this test cannot directly replicate the variability, intermittence, and multi-directionality of wind gusts in the real world, it does give us insight into how each model performs in the presence of constant wind. When scoring this category, we also considered our real-world experiences cooking on windy days at camp. What is clear is that high BTUs don't always correlate with faster boil times when it is windy. By contrast, stoves with lower BTUs that feature tight, well-sealed windscreens and burners situated close to the cooking grates did much better in both our wind resistance and boil tests.

camping stove - to evaluate wind resistance, we use a box fan to simulate wind, and...
To evaluate wind resistance, we use a box fan to simulate wind, and measure how long it takes for each stove to boil 1 liter of water in our trusty kettle.
Credit: Mary Witlacil

The powerful 60,000 BTU burners on the Outdoorsman again stole the show in this test, taking just 4 extra seconds (for a boil time of 2 minutes 34 seconds) to boil one liter of water in the "wind." With nearly seamless windscreens and 20,000 BTUs per burner, the Everest 2x was next in line at 3 minutes 25 seconds. It performed impressively well in both the box fan test and when cooking at windy campsites, which is why it has become a review-team favorite. Next up was the Camp Chef Mountaineer 2x with a windy boil time of 4 minutes 46 seconds. This stove features somewhat scant windscreens, but the two 20,000 BTU burners are sufficiently recessed in the stove housing to provide excellent wind resistance both in the field and in our "lab." The Kovea Slim performed well in this category — despite an output of just 10,500 BTUs per burner — owing to tight windscreens and burners situated close to the cooktop.

camping stove - the everest 2x has an excellent windscreen coupled with powerful...
The Everest 2X has an excellent windscreen coupled with powerful burners - a great combo.
Credit: Jared Ross

Unsurprisingly, models that don't come equipped with a windscreen or that have L-shaped windscreens had considerable trouble in this category. We also noticed that the powerful freestanding models did great with the constant "wind" simulated in our box-fan test, but when used at windy campsites, these stoves sometimes struggled to resist breezes that could circulate from every angle and direction. Unless they were equipped with rocket power, real wind challenged these stoves because they have an open, airy design around the burners, which means wind can swoop in and extinguish the flames, requiring (potentially constant) relighting.

camping stove - while the l-shaped wind screens on the pinnable pro 2 create more...
While the L-shaped wind screens on the Pinnable Pro 2 create more space for cookware handles, they fail to provide sufficient wind resistance.
Credit: Mary Witlacil

When a stove design lacks wind resistance, there is little you can do aside from using your vehicle as a wind shelter or building up a wind barrier with rocks. However, in certain cases, you can make a windscreen from an aluminum bake dish or purchase a basic aluminum windscreen like the kind that comes with a backpacking stove. This is a great way to increase the efficiency of the single burner butane stoves in our review, like the Gas One GS-3000 or the Eureka SPRK+. These windscreens are inexpensive, lightweight, flexible, and are a great way to improve your stove's performance on windy days. If you use a DIY windscreen, just make sure not to fully enclose your fuel canister, as this could dangerously overheat it.

camping stove - with a diy windscreen, the sprk+ would have been much better...
With a DIY windscreen, the SPRK+ would have been much better equipped to handle a windy day on the lake.
Credit: Jared Ross

In our windless test, all of the stoves in our review boiled water in less than 7 minutes, but there was a significant difference between boiling times with and without the fan. The Outdoorsman and Everest 2x had impressively negligible variability between the two tests, taking an additional 4 seconds and 8 seconds, respectively. The Mountaineer 2X and the Kovea Slim both had minimal variability between the tests taking only 40-45 additional seconds to boil a liter in the wind than without it. The Everest 2x, Mountaineer, and Kovea Slim all feature lower-powered burners with excellent wind protection. By contrast, even though the Outdoorsman has godlike power, it is still affected by wind in the real world. When we would use this stove on low, the wind would extinguish the flame multiple times in a single cooking session. By contrast, the Mountaineer, Kovea Slim, and Everest 2x cooked food efficiently even in the wind.

camping stove - the windscreens on the slim twin provide a tight seal, ensuring...
The windscreens on the Slim Twin provide a tight seal, ensuring consistent flame output and impressive wind resistance.
Credit: Mary Witlacil

Simmering Ability


People often overlook a stove's simmering ability in favor of BTU power, but this metric is a critical aspect of a camping stove's functionality. The models that performed the best in the simmering category are the Everest 2x, the Stansport 3-Burner, and the Jetboil Genesis Basecamp. These stoves had better simmer control than some gas ranges in home kitchens.


Even if you don't plan to cook fancy detail-oriented meals, simmering is a crucial metric to consider. A stove's proficiency at low heat also means better fuel efficiency, which equates to more long-term bang for your buck. If you need a lower flame and your stove can't simmer, you'll rage more quickly through your fuel canisters or propane tank. You'll also have fewer scorched pans and more flexibility in timing if you can achieve a good simmer. Maybe you have a curry that's way ahead of your rice — a low simmer allows you to keep a dish warm without overcooking while you wait for other things to finish cooking or for your campmate to finish pitching their tent. Other noteworthy mentions include the Mountaineer and the Outdoorsman where the flame power is impressive (clocking in at 30,000 and 60,000 BTUs per burner, respectively), but the stoves are still nimble enough to deliver a consistently low flame for simmering rice, sauces, or delicately cooked scrambled eggs. While the GSI Pinnacle Pro, Kovea Slim, and Eureka SPRK+ Butane may have slightly less power, each of these stoves had great simmer ability for cooking delicate meals with finesse. The capacity to simmer is not necessarily a make-or-break category for most people. If you decide to go with a stove based on other metrics and still need to simmer, you can always use a heat diffuser to create distance between the flame and your cookware.

camping stove - despite massive power output, the camp chef everest 2x can sustain a...
Despite massive power output, the Camp Chef Everest 2x can sustain a low enough flame to slow cook an egg scramble to perfection.
Credit: Jared Ross

Ease of Set Up


While car camping stoves are easier to set up than their old-school liquid fuel backpacking counterparts, some are more intuitive than others. The easier the product is to use, the more likely you will be to use it. The clear champions in this category are the single-burner butane stoves — the SPRK+ and the GS-3000 — because the directions for use are literally printed right on the stoves. Such easy access to directions makes it super easy for a new user to jump in and help out if needed. For setup, place your butane canister in the fuel compartment, flip a switch to lock it into place, and then turn the knob to self-ignite. Super fast. Super easy.


The Primus Kinjia also garnered top marks in this category because this is the only compact 2-burner we tested with a pre-attached fuel hose, so no fussing with screwing a metal adapter in place. It also comes with a unique stand to prop the fuel bottle up at the correct angle after you screw it into the hose. A benefit of the system is you can then set the fuel bottle in a different location as long as it's in range of the hose. A potential issue is that it's a separate piece that can get lost.

camping stove - this stove has a unique fuel setup with a flexible hose and a...
This stove has a unique fuel setup with a flexible hose and a separate fuel canister stand to keep it at the correct angle.
Credit: Penney Garrett

Despite vastly different designs, the Mountaineer and the Genesis Basecamp grabbed top marks in this category for similar reasons. Both stoves have auto-ignition and a straightforward process to move from stowed away to cooking a meal. What makes these stoves a league above the rest is that the regulator port is external to the stove, making it much easier to avoid smashing the delicate brass threads on your regulator.

camping stove - the regulator port is external to the stove, which makes it much...
The regulator port is external to the stove, which makes it much easier to install the regulator. If you plan to be anywhere sandy, we suggest using the corner of a plastic bag and a rubber band to protect the threads of the port.
Credit: Jared Ross

This design is a vast improvement on stoves with a recessed adapter port where the fuel adapter pairs with hidden threads. Instead of blindly threading the adapter into the port, the two attach visibly, which reduces the likelihood of cross-threading. The only reason the Genesis Basecamp didn't score higher for ease of setup is that the windscreen attachment is somewhat unwieldy.

camping stove - having the threads for the fuel line exposed and visible made for an...
Having the threads for the fuel line exposed and visible made for an easier time getting set up and ready to go.
Credit: Penney Garrett

If you're in the market for a low-fuss freestanding stove, the Outdoorsman is worth checking out. While not as easy as a small compact model, the legs are optional on this stove, so if you have a table or tailgate, setup requires nothing more than attaching your large propane tank to the hose and lighting the giant burners. We recommend using a wand lighter to fire up the burners on this stove, as the flames can singe off all your hair if you're not careful.

camping stove - with removable legs that only take a minute to screw into position...
With removable legs that only take a minute to screw into position, the Outdoorsman can easily transform between a freestanding and a tabletop stove.
Credit: Jared Ross

Ease of Care


Most manufacturers of car camping stoves recognize the stoves will get filthy and that most campers will not want to do anything about it while in the field. For this reason, almost all of the stoves in our review are pretty low maintenance and easy to clean. That said, there are some noteworthy differences between the various models.


Of the stoves in our review, the Outdoorsman requires the least maintenance because it has fewer parts to contend with and is black (the most filth-friendly color), making care and cleaning super easy and straightforward. Secondly, the burners are the only obstacle between food and the ground. The freestanding bottomless design ensures food or grease buildup is a thing of the past. However, when using this stove, you have to be extra-vigilant to pick up any food that falls on the ground to ensure you aren't leaving a food trail to attract critters, bugs, or bears.

camping stove - without a drip pan to scrub, it is easy to keep the outdoorsman...
Without a drip pan to scrub, it is easy to keep the Outdoorsman clean - just remove the wind screen and scrub it down. But remember to keep an eye on food scraps that fall on the ground, or you'll turn your camp site into a haven for trash pandas and bears.
Credit: Jared Ross

If you prefer a freestanding stove with a drip pan, the Pro 60X could be an option. That said, it is one of the trickier models to clean. There is a thin metal sheet beneath the cooking grate and burners to prevent food spills from landing on the ground. Food bits accumulate here until you unscrew a special hook to remove the grate, an extra step beyond simply lifting the cooktop like most compact two-burner stoves. Once you've done this, everything is accessible and easy to clean, but it's a pesky step. However, if you want a big camping stove and prefer to clean a drip tray over picking things up off the ground, this is a fair tradeoff.

camping stove - the cleaning of this stove is quite a bit more involved than most of...
The cleaning of this stove is quite a bit more involved than most of the other stoves we tested.
Credit: Penney Garrett

Many of the other compact models in our review scored well in this category. Most of them are built to meet similar maintenance goals, and cleaning is as easy as lifting off the cooking grate to wipe underneath. However, on most models, the drip tray is not removable, or there are holes in the drip tray where food and grease can fall beneath. The SPRK+, Kinja, and Gas One GS-3000 are easy to maintain because you can fully remove the drip pan to clean every internal component.

camping stove - a removable drip pan makes it easier to clean the surface and...
A removable drip pan makes it easier to clean the surface and internal parts of the stove as necessary.
Credit: Jenna Ammerman

Both the Pinnacle Pro and the Mountaineer ranked high in this metric because you can easily scrub every aspect once you move the cooking grate out of the way. The Pinnacle is slightly more challenging to unhook and fold out the grate, but once disconnected, it is easy to clean. We love the simplicity of the Mountaineer*because this stove doesn't have a false bottom under which food scraps can get lost. To clean it, you easily lift the cooking grate and scrub underneath.

camping stove - to clean the drip pan on the pinnacle pro, unhook the cooking grate...
To clean the drip pan on the Pinnacle Pro, unhook the cooking grate, fold it forward, and scrub away. Keep in mind: it takes a little effort to unhook the grate and could steal your skin if you're not careful.
Credit: Mary Witlacil

Both the Kovea Slim and the Selkirk 540 rank high for having sealed drip trays with removable cooking grates. This makes it easy to clean and easy to avoid having food fall into the unreachable zone beneath your burner.

camping stove - with a fully sealed drip pan and an easy to remove grate, the...
With a fully sealed drip pan and an easy to remove grate, the Selkirk 540 is easy to clean.
Credit: Mary Witlacil

Portability


A key function of a car camping stove is portability. However, not all camping stoves are equally portable. They come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and weights. Portability won't matter for some, but for folks with smaller cars or space constraints in a built-out van or truck, this is a critical element to consider. Storage space is an important factor, but you also want to keep in mind usable burner space, which will ensure you have enough space to use your favorite pots, skillets, or other accessories.


Both the Gas One GS-3000 and the SPRK+ scored favorably in this category due to their compact, lightweight design and because they both come with a plastic carrying case. The GS-3000 weighs just 4.1 lbs and is 14" x 12" x 3.5", while the SPRK+ weighs slightly more at 4.94 lbs with its plastic carrying case or 3.49 lbs for just the stove, and it is only slightly less compact than the GS-3000 at 15.3" x 13" x 3.6".

camping stove - the sprk+ is among the lightest and most portable stoves in our...
The SPRK+ is among the lightest and most portable stoves in our review, and it even comes with a handy plastic carrying case.
Credit: Mary Witlacil

A review team favorite is the Basecamp, which measures just 9.7" in diameter and 4.5" high by itself, or 11" x 6" in its handy carrying bag. The storage bag includes a pocket for stashing the fuel adapter, and the flexible plastic windscreen wraps around the interior perimeter of the bag. Bag or no bag, transportation with the Basecamp is a breeze; after folding the stove, there is a handle on the bottom that tucks away when not in use. The cherry on top is that it weighs a mere 7.4 pounds, bag and all, making it a ridiculously lightweight option for a two-burner car-camping setup.

camping stove - the basecamp is a highly portable stove - it&#039;s lightweight...
The Basecamp is a highly portable stove - it's lightweight, low-profile, and comes with a handy carrying bag.
Credit: Penney Garrett

Another great option for portability is the Kovea Slim. At 23.4" x 14.7" x 3.3", this trim stove is among the most compact two burners in our review and has an external plastic handle that makes transport a breeze. Not only is it "slim" but it is also wide enough to accommodate larger cookware - a bonus for those multiple cast iron meals.

camping stove - with a wider cooking area and a trim design, the kovea is easy to...
With a wider cooking area and a trim design, the Kovea is easy to transport without sacrificing cook space.
Credit: Mary Witlacil

The Pinnacle Pro earned high marks in this category as well, owing to it being the slimmest two-burner camping stove on the market. With dimensions of 20" x 12.4" x 1.4," it will stow away in much tighter spaces than other stoves in our review. The Pinnacle Pro and the Kovea Slim did not earn higher marks in this category because they are too compact to store their regulators inside the stove body. Additionally, the Pinnacle Pro does not come equipped with a carrying handle, but you can purchase a separate canvas storage bag made for storing everything.

camping stove - the pinnacle pro had one of the trimmest profiles of any stove we...
The Pinnacle Pro had one of the trimmest profiles of any stove we tested, so trim that there is no space to store the regulator.
Credit: Mary Witlacil

While they did not earn top marks in this category, the Eureka Ignite Plus and the Stansport 3 Burner are worth mentioning here. These stoves are both wider than many of the other compact two-burners in our review by at least two inches. You probably won't notice you have sacrificed a couple extra inches of storage space in the back of your rig. However, you will probably notice the extra cook space on these ranges when you want to use your largest cookware to whip together a multi-course meal. The windscreens on the Ignite Plus and the Pinnacle Pro are also haped to provide some extra cooking width, a detail we appreciated.

camping stove - the square-shape of the windscreen on the ignite plus provides a bit...
The square-shape of the windscreen on the Ignite Plus provides a bit of extra width to help accommodate larger cookware.
Credit: Penney Garrett

Conclusion


With a prolific array of car camping stoves to choose from, picking a model to buy is no easy task. First, you need to decide how many burners you want. Then, whether you prefer a freestanding or tabletop design, and what camping cookware or accessories you need to perfect your camp kitchen. Each of these decisions depends on available space, the cookware you plan to use, and how many people are cooking. Hopefully, our rigorous testing and thorough review will help you sort through the options to find the stove best for you, your budget, and your appetite.

camping stove - we had a great time testing and rating the top camping stoves!...
We had a great time testing and rating the top camping stoves! Camping and cooking in the great outdoors - what could be better?
Credit: Penney Garrett

Mary Witlacil


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