The 10 Best Backpacking Stoves of 2021

1. MSR PocketRocket 2


2. Coleman Peak 1 Stove


3. Jetboil Zip Camping Stove

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The market may be full of camping stoves, but finding one that is truly portable and lives up to expectations can be troublesome. Most backpack-sized stoves are either too weak or break easily, leaving you without a reliable heat source to boil water or cook a bite. 

If you don’t want a poor quality stove to ruin your adventure, check out our selection below to find the best backpacking stove for you.

How We Rated Best Backpacking Stove?

  • Portability

    Is it easy to carry?

  • Time to Boil

    Is it quick to boil water?

  • Wind Resistance

    Is it efficient in windy conditions?

  • Cooking Power

    Is it powerful enough?

  • Cooking Surface

    Is it wide enough for your pan?

  • Usability

    Is it easy to use?

  • Lifespan

    Is it build for years to come?

  • Durability

    Is it sturdy enough?

How We Conducted Research?

  • 12

    Hours Researched

  • 20

    Products Evaluated

  • 3k

    Reviews Considered

  • 2

    Sources Researched

1. MSR PocketRocket 2 Stove


Technical Specs:

Why we picked the MSR PocketRocket 2 Stove:

Ultralight, powerful, and foldable, the MSR PocketRocket 2 satisfies backpackers and survivalists alike. It works with standard mixed fuel tanks, providing high heat output and outstanding efficiency. 

The stove can bring water to a boil in under 5 minutes, and is easy to light up without priming or preheating. We also like the serrated pot supports, that prevent your cookware from slipping. The stove can also be used with larger pots and pans, as long as you pair it with a wide base for added stability and balance.

What we like:

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2. Coleman Peak 1 Butane/Propane Stove


Technical Specs:

Why we picked the Coleman Peak 1 Butane/Propane Stove:

Backpackers looking for a multi-fuel stove might also like the Coleman Peak 1. This compact model impresses with high heat output and the ability to bring water to a boil in under 5 minutes. 

Made from tough steel, the unit is also durable and reliable. It works with both propane and butane canisters, so you can use it at all altitudes and regardless of the weather. We also like its oversized knob, that makes it very easy to adjust the level of the flame. Small enough to fit into a backpack, it suits both camping and survival situations.

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3. Jetboil Zip Camping Stove


Technical Specs:

Why we picked the Jetboil Zip Camping Stove:

Designed specifically for backpacking, the Jetboil Zip is your best bet if you want to travel light. This all-in-one cooking system comes with a stove and cup that work together to deliver boiled water in under three minutes as well as soups or coffee.

The cup is detachable, so you can easily use the stove with other cookware, too. It is compatible with Jetboil’s pots and skillet, but also with cookware from other brands. The cup features a neoprene sleeve with handle, so you won’t get burned while handling it. A drink-through lid also makes it perfect for having your coffee on the go. Powerful and versatile, this is backpacking stove will surely surprise you despite its higher price point.

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4. Ohuhu Stainless Steel Backpacking Stove


Technical Specs:

Why we picked the Ohuhu Stainless Steel Backpacking Stove:

Ohuhu proposes a backpacking stove designed for those who don’t want to carry fuel canisters with them. Compact yet highly versatile, this backpacking stove runs on dry sticks and twigs, and comes with both pot support and grill.

Assembling and lighting it is easy, and cooking on it gives the food that delicious smoky flavor you’d expect from a campfire. If you don’t want to burn any twigs, you can also use it with solidified alcohol. The stove breaks down to a small size for storage and transport and comes with a mesh carrying bag. All in all, outstanding value for money.

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5. Coleman Sportster II Backpacking Stove


Technical Specs:

Why we picked the Coleman Sportster II Backpacking Stove:

Coleman has long been known as one of the biggest brands in the outdoor industry, and its backpacking stove appeals to both hikers and car campers. The Sportster II is a reliable piece of equipment desinged to use in all kinds of weather.

It works with either mixed fuel tanks or unleaded gasoline, and outputs up to 10,000 BTU. The burner not only provides reliable cooking power, but it also allows you to adjust the flame intensity for boiling or simmering. It’s not very light, but overall, it’s a great choice for all-season hiking.

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6. REDCAMP Backpacking Stove


Technical Specs:

Why we picked the REDCAMP Backpacking Stove:

Ideal for couples who want to share a bit more food while hiking, the REDCAMP backpacking stove boasts a wider base and is compatible with pans up to 8-inch in diameter. It also boasts high BTU, making it easy to boil a quart of water in around 5 minutes.

We particularly like the matchless ignition system, as well as the fact that you can choose from three flame intensity settings. Indeed, you can use the stove to boil water, simmer, or keep food warm. It tends to create hot spots, but overall, this is one of your best bets at this price point.

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7. KING SUMMIT Ultralight Backpacking Stove


Technical Specs:

Why we picked the KING SUMMIT Ultralight Backpacking Stove:

Carrying a stove might sound incompatible with traveling ultralight, but the KING SUMMIT proves it wrong. This titanium stove weighs under one ounce and is very small, adding minimal burden to your luggage.

Despite its size, its performance is impressive. High heat output and adjustable flame levels make it suitable for anything, from boiling water to cooking food. Compatible with 6-inch cookware, it is a great choice for those who like camping alone or with a buddy, but it could be too tiny for larger groups. That said, we like that it’s easy to carry and that it comes with its own carrying pouch, all at an attractive price tag.

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8. Optimus Crux Lite Solo Cooking System


Technical Specs:

Why we picked the Optimus Crux Lite Solo Cooking System:

The Optimus Crux Lite Solo is similar to the Jetboil, in that it’s a complete cooking system for one. It’s relatively light and compact enough to carry in a backpack, containing all you need to brew coffee or cook breakfast.

The system consists of a pocket-sized propane stove, a propane tank, and two pots that double as carrying case. Thanks to the stowaway design, it’s easy to keep all components neat and organized as you’re hiking. Made from quality materials, this all-in-one system is perfect for your solo outdoor adventures.

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9. Keweis Mini Alcohol Stove


Technical Specs:

Why we picked the Keweis Mini Alcohol Stove:

If you’re looking for a cheap and unpretentious backpacking stove, the Keweis Mini might be it. Running on either methanol or denaturated alcohol, it boasts high heat output, being capable of bringing one quart of water to a boil in 5 minutes or less.

A foldable handle allows you to operate the flame regulator; you can use the stove to boil water, but also to simmer stews or heat up food. When you’re done, simply cover the flame to estinguish the fire and that’s it. No doubt, an easy-to-use stove to serve your hiking cooking needs.

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10. Fire-Maple Fixed-Star 2 Cooking System


Technical Specs:

Why we picked the Fire-Maple Fixed-Star 2 Cooking System:

Design-wise, the Fire-Maple is similar to the Jetboil. The two systems look very much alike, providing a compact outdoor cooking solution for backpackers. The Fixed-Star 2 works with mixed fuel canisters and outputs 7,500 BTU, boiling a quart of water in around 5 minutes.

Like the Jetboil, this system comes with its own cup and a detachable stove that can be used with other cookware. The components are stowable and easy to carry. This system might not be as durable as the Jetboil, but it’s a good alternative if you like the iconic design but would rather save a buck.

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Backpacking Stove Buying Guide


A warm meal after a day’s hike is something every backpacker is looking forward to. And there is nothing better than a hot cup of coffee to start the day’s hike. Backpacking stoves are one of our essential gear for our outdoor trips. 

We reviewed the ten best backpacking stoves to narrow down the choice for you. From there we prepared a buying guide for you to be able to make the informative decision in choosing your best backpacking stoves.

Backpacking Stove Types: Canister Stoves


It is best to know the different types of backpacking stoves to be able to Backpacking stoves are loosely categorized based on the type of fuel they use; canister stoves, liquid-fuel stoves, and alternative-fuel stoves.

Canister Stoves: They are the most common type of backpacking stove; generally used in camping and hiking. They are easy to use and are low-maintenance. Canister stoves run on propane or butane; using a single use threaded top and closed fuel canister. Furthermore, isobutane canisters are more efficient than Esbit and alcohol, plus they’re very easy to find in outdoor stores and online. 

Canister stoves are incredibly small, fold up compactly and weigh only a few ounces. Their design is typically upright: the fuel canister is attached directly to a single burner system with the cookware stacked above. This design is suitable for most outdoor use; however, the upright design makes the canister stoves more susceptible to wind which can then reduce fuel efficiency.

With canister stoves,  they’re quick to light. No priming is required before lighting a canister stove. Simply turn the valve and light with a match or lighter. The flame adjusts easily. Making the canister stove a go-to three-season backpacking stove of choice. However, it has to be noted that canister performance can be susceptible to cold temps and altitude.In cold weather, canisters can depressurize and produce a weak flame.

Some notable disadvantages of canister stove includes:

  • They are quite heavy and tricky to use in uneven terrain.
  • Cost of fuel is greater.
  • There is no way of knowing how much fuel is left inside the canister.
  • Canister bottles add to environment waste.

Our top pick for the canister stove type is the MSR PocketRocket2 Stove. It stood out because it has a decent BTU value of 8,2000 and has a serrated pot supports that can handle different pot sizes and prevents your pot from sliding. 

Backpacking Stove Types: Liquid Fuel Stoves

Liquid Fuel Stoves: These stoves offer more versatility on the fuel to be used; they can be used with white gas, kerosene and gasoline. Liquid fuel stove burns hot and clean and performs well in below-freezing temperature. This is why this type is preferred for international camping where propane or butane may be hard to find.

For big group meals in large pots, a liquid fuel stove could be a better fit because they have low-profile design and stable bases thus more cost effective fuel when compared to canister stoves that have reduced fuel efficiency due to its upright design.

Disadvantages of liquid fuel stoves are:

  • They require periodic maintenance such as cleaning the fuel hose. Also there are some detachable parts that need to be kept in mind.
  • Priming is definitely required. This involves igniting a few drops of fuel in a cup below the burner, creating a small flame that preheats the fuel line. The stove will convert the liquid fuel into vapor to create pressure. You are then required to pump the fuel bottle to help increase the pressure.
  • Heavier than canister stoves because they employ a remote system, that is there is a flexible hose that attaches from the fuel source to the stove. 
  • Fuel spills are possible. Posing safety hazards during and after use (while in transport).

We recommend checking out Coleman Sportster II Backpacking Stove, for camping options or if you are looking to cook for a larger group. This is not a lightweight stove at 2.35 lbs but it provides reliable cooking power with heat output of 10,000 BTU for larger groups.

Backpacking Stove Types: Alternative-fuel

Alternative-fuel Stoves:

There are many types of alternative-fuel stoves in the market but what we see commonly are; alcohol stoves, solid fuel stoves or Esbit and wood stoves.

Alcohol Stoves: This type of stove appeals more to backpackers and ultralight backpackers due to its weight; on an average they weigh an ounce or two at maximum. There are no special contraptions involved for alcohol stoves; just the stove and the alcohol as fuel. Check out Keweis Mini Alcohol Stove weighing only 5 oz best for ultralight backpackers.

Alcohol stoves are cheap to buy or make, and their fuel is easy to find. Heet (the one in the yellow bottle) is a gas-line antifreeze made for cars that is commonly used as fuel for alcohol stoves. You can also use methanol or denatured alcohol as fuel. 

One major pitfall with alcohol stoves are the slow cook times, poor performance in wind and cold, and less efficient fuel. 

Also, extra precaution should be used when using alcohol stoves because their fuel burns clean blue and can be very hard to see. This has been known to cause injuries and accidents. Always make sure your stove has fully burned out before handling it or attempting to re-fuel. 

Solid fuel stoves or Esbit: This type is also popular with backpackers and ultralight backpackers. Some models are so small they are the size of a coin purse and can fit in yur pocket. The more common model is the Esbit model that uses Esbit fuel tabs, which burn a low-medium flame for about twelve minutes. 

They are very easy to operate; what you need to do is open up a fuel tab, light it on fire, and place your pot on a stand over the flame and wait until your water boils. Solid fuel stoves are compact and easy to make.

Like the alcohol stoves or the canister stoves, solid fuel stoves are very susceptible to wind. A good windscreen is essential. Along with alcohol stoves, solid fuel stoves have much slower cooking times. Thus in the long run, solid fuel stoves might not be the economical choice as the fuel tabs are very pricey and not commonly available.

There is a sticky residue left in the pot when using solid fuels making it hard to clean and eventually the residue will pile up. The tabs also give off an unpleasant odor.


Those hiking or trekking will opt for a light option for their backpacking stove while those car camping can opt for a wide variety of choices.

Alternative fuel stoves will be your best option if you’re looking for a lightweight option. You can opt for an alcohol stove which is the common choice for ultralight backpackers for its weight, like the 5 oz Keweis Mini Alcohol Stove, that uses methanol or denatured alcohol. 

For camping options or if you are looking to cook for a larger group, you can check out Coleman Peak 1 Butane/Propane Stove. At a weight of 6.7 oz, it has a BTU value of 10,000 that can support stable fire and heat supply to cook for a large group.

Design and Functionality


Multi-purpose backpacking stoves are not a requirement but more of an accepted exception. We’ll be packing the weight, might as well throw in additional functions for use while outdoors. We were amazed with Jetboil Zip Camping Stove, that’s an all-in cooking system with the included cup. The cup is detachable thus the stove can still be used with other cooksets. The  Optimus Crux Lite Solo Cooking System is also a great choice for functionality. It comes with a stove, propane tank and two pots that double as a lid or carrying case. 

Fuel Efficiency or Stove Performance


A stove’s performance can be measured generally using a backpacking stove’s output rated in BTU/h (British Thermal Unit per hour). BTU is the amount of heat required to raise the temperature of 1 pound of water by 1 degree Fahrenheit.

The higher the BTU output the more powerful the stove. However, as with any heating outdoor gear, climate and altitude must be factored in. Backpacking and camping stoves range in output; typically falling anywhere between 3’000 to 12’000 BTU.

We were impressed by the 15,696 BTU value of the REDCAMP Backpacking Stove. It is powered by butane and has three fire power for control. Alternative fuel stove using wood like the Ohuhu Stainless Steel Backpacking Stove, though it does not have a standard BTU value, also has fire power strong enough to be used as a grill.

Backpacking Stove Accessories

Alcohol stoves are usually offered individually. Common accessories that would make use of alcohol stoves easier are: 

  • Alcohol bottle: Spill-proof liquid container for easier transport alcohol. Take a look at Vargo Alcohol Fuel Bottle .

  • MSR Fuel bottle: You can opt for this fuel bottles to transport your isobutane-propane specially design for your MSR PocketRocket 2 Stove
  • Windscreen: Used to protect the flame of the stove from sudden gust winds for efficient fuel consumption. Made of aluminum or stainless steel for portability. Check out our recommended windscreen, GasOne Aluminum 10 Plates Windscreen which can be used on any backpacking stove.


• What is the Best Backpacking Stove?

Addressing backpackers and survivalists alike, the MSR PocketRocket 2 is the best backpacking stove around. This is a super-compact, super-light piece of equipment designed to bring water to a boil fast. Simmer capabilities also make it perfect for cooking or brewing cowboy coffee.

• How do I Choose a Backpacking Stove?

The best way to choosing a backpacking stove is thinking about your needs. Do you like to travel ultralight or are you okay to carry something slightly heavier? In the first instance, a pocket stove is undeniably your best bet. If you want a more stable arrangement or a complete cooking system, you could pick a Jetboil or REDCAMP Mini.

• How Much Does it cost to Fuel a Backpacking Stove?

It depends on the fuel you’re using and the efficiency of the stove. In broad lines, a canister or mixed fuel costs between $10 and $30 in most outdoor gear stores, and depending on the fuel efficiency and cooking needs, it lasts for around 3 continuous hours – that could be several days of camping. For longer trips or a stove that is less fuel efficient, buying wholesale gas canisters could save you some money, as they usually work out at around $5 or less per canister. 

• Are Jetboil Worth it?

Yes. Despite the higher price tag, the solo Jetboil systems, such as the Jetboil Zip, are worth the investment. These cooking systems consist of a stove that can be used on its own as well as a detachable cup you can use for boiling water, making coffee, or cooking – a versatile solution that can serve you well in all circumstances.

• Do you Need a Stove for Backpacking?

A backpacking stove is desirable whenever you go hiking or backpacking. Such a stove takes up a little space in a backpack and you can use it either to make coffee quicker or sanitize water, or to make food in all weather conditions – even when harsh weather prevents you from lighting a campfire. If you’re more of a car camping guy or gal, you could opt for a full-size camping stove.