There is nothing as pleasurable as spending quality time with your friends or family in the wilderness. You don’t only get to bond but also create fond memories that you’ll surely remember a long time to come. However, your stay in the wilderness could be easily be ruined by a cold meal at the end of a tiresome day. Backpacking stoves can enhance your adventure in the wilderness by not only keeping your food or coffee warm but also providing the much-needed heat on a cold night in the backwoods.
In recent years, backpacking stoves have attained new designs making them lightweight, and dependable ideal for backpackers. Hiking stove enhances living conditions on the trail by enabling you to enjoy the hiking, trekking or climbing adventure even more. Today’s backpacking stoves are not only light but pack down quite easily thus are not a burden to carry on your back.
Depending on your diet (vegan or gourmet) or backpacking needs, you can easily find an ideal hiking stove thanks to the already saturated market. With so many brands and makes to choose from, it can be quite confusing to find a desirable backpacking stove. When choosing an ideal stove, there are several factors you ought to consider as discussed below.
Factors to Consider When Choosing an Ideal Hiking Stove
1. Stove Type- There are many different types of backpacking stoves including liquid fuel stoves, canister stoves, gas stoves,solid fuel stoves, alcohol stoves and wood stoves just to mention a few. Each stove has its own benefits and downsides. Canister stoves are quite convenient let alone easy to use. For high altitude adventures or regions with freezing temperatures, liquid fuel stoves are perfect. Wood stoves cannot function in regions without tree cover but are ideal if you don’t want to carry fuel. While solid fuel stove and alcohol stoves are ultralight and affordable, they have pretty long boil time with the flame not easily controlled-not great for the wind. Therefore,you can choose either that suits your adventure destination.
2. Price- Backpacking stoves have a wide price range.Most cheap makes aren’t quite durable and therefore you may want to go for expensive models costing over a hundred dollars but more durable and convenient.
3. Weight- You definitely wouldn’t want your hiking stove to burden your back. Heavy stoves can weigh close to a pound while ultralight stoves weigh under an ounce and pack down quite easily. For shorter trips especially in the winter, heavier and powerful stoves wouldn’t be a problem.But if you are traveling cross country with the adventure mostly involving hiking and mountain-climbing, you would want to go for a ultralight hiking stoves.
4. Simmer Control- If you intend to use the stove for making actual meals in the wilderness, simmer control is a crucial factor to consider. Most stoves don’t have this feature thus making it hard to regulate heat. For simmer control, stoves will either feature a dial or a vale to adjust the intensity of the flame. However, if you just need the stove to boil water,simmer control is not a crucial factor to consider.
5. Wind Resistance- Wind lowers the efficiency of backpacking stoves especially alcohol stoves and solid fuel stoves leading to longer burn time. If you considering buying these stoves, plan on getting a windscreen.
10 Best Backpacking Stoves 2020
From the many camp stoves review, here are the 10 best backpacking stoves in 2020.
MSR PocketRocket 2
Our top pick is the MSR PocketRocket 2-an upgrade of MSR’s popular PocketRocket stove, favorite among the backpacking community. This stove comes in a compact and ultralight (2.6ounces) design for minimalist adventures backpacking. The stove comes with a built-inn pot stand that’s compatible with a wide range of pots. The arms can be folded to fit into a small protective plastic case when not in use thus very convenient.
For the simmer control feature, MSR PocketRocket 2 attaches directly to the top of an isobutane canister allowing for easy flame control. Just wear gloves and steadily control the flame from a rolling boil to a slow simmer. The stove is compatible with all screw-type isobutane carriers therefore you need not to worry about compatibility or availability issues.
Setting up and operating the stove is very easy-no priming or pumping required. TheWindClip confers sufficient protection from the wind It’s fast at both boiling water and preparing meals. It’s versatile thus you can use different widely available pots and pans. Most importantly, its not only affordable but also quite durable.
· Fast boiling performance
· Simmer control
· Lightweight and compact
· Easy to set up and use
Jetboil Flash Cooking System
- Optimized for efficiency, the Jetboil Flash boils water in a lightning-quick 100 seconds, making it the fastest Jetboil ever.
- Jetboil's 1-liter FluxRing cooking cup with insulating cozy makes boiling water—and keeping it warm—a breeze.
The Jetboil Flash is the most affordable integrated hiking stove in the market today. Most backpackers are looking for stoves primarily for boiling water thanks to the increased availability of quality dehydrated meals. Jetboil Flash boils water in seconds thus suits most backpacker in need of hot water for coffee, soups,pasts, gourmet freeze-dried meals among other dehydrated food.
Weighting only13.1 ounces, Jetboil Flash is lightweight and compact all-in-one system and comes with an insulated pot w/lid, stove stand, and a plastic measuring cup/bowl. Heat efficiency has been improved with built-in windscreen captures which focuses heat efficiently. The stove also ensures safety of the user with the cooking cup locking securely onto the burner and fuel canister tripod which functions to keep the entire unit stable.
Jetboil Flash has largely been compared to the MSR PocketRocket 2 but falls behind as it lacks simmer control feature and doesn’t offer better performance in the wind. Nonetheless, Jetboil Flash still offers better boiling speed, its affordable and easy to use-the reason it comes second.
· Compact all in one system
· Easy and safe to use
· Short boiling time
· Lightweight,easily packable and highly portable.
Etekcity Ultralight Backpacking
- Durable material: made of aluminium alloy and stainless steel which can stand high temperature and weight
- Compact and collapsible: portable design (with small dimensions: 1. 81"X 2. 36" X 3. 15") is perfect for ultralight camping and backpacking. Fit for pots or pans with diameter up to 7". Come with...
Stove Etekcity is among the lightest and most portable backpack stoves in the market today. It’s quite affordable and comes with a lot of power generating up to 6, 600 Btu of heat. The flame can easily be adjusted depending on whether you’re boiling water of cooking in the wilderness. The simmer control feature is achieved via the valve connection. Hiking on a snow peak with temperature below freezing point or camping in high altitudes? No problem! Etekcity performs well in high altitudes even in below-freezing temperatures.
While it’s quite compact folding into a palm-size package, the stove offers unmatched stability thanks to the four-angle solid support which keeps the stove firm on the ground. The support can support both small and medium pots-up to 7” (18cm)diameter pot.
· Easy to set up and use
· Built-in electric-spark ignition
· Simmer control feature
· Ultralight,collapsible and easily portable
· Affordable yet durable
· Broad canister compatibility
- Powered by FluxRing technology, the MiniMo reaches a rolling boil in just over two minutes with half the fuel consumption of traditional systems.
- Jetboil's proprietary regulator technology offers incremental heat adjustments from light simmer to full boil, perfect for sautéing greens, simmering sauces, and more.
The Jetboil MiniMo is a fully integrated personal cook system that comes with a insulated pot w/lid, stand, and a plastic measuring cup/bowl. It’s an improvement ofJetboil Flash as it’s designed to simmer meals in addition to boiling water. It comes with plenty of outstanding features including: push-button igniter,sturdy handle, stout shape with excellent simmer control. While it’s quite pricey compared to ultralight integrated cooking system, it’s convenient, stable and efficient thus making it great for the backcountry.
· Powered by FluxRing technology
· Jetboil’s proprietary regulator technology
· Push-button igniter
MSR Wind Burner
- All-in-one stove. Secure locking pot and eat-and-drink mug with cozy. Radiant burner and heat exchanger boil faster and more efficiently than conventional stoves.
- 100% primary air combustion, enclosed design and internal pressure regulator. Easy to pack stove burner, folding canister stand and PackTowl® inside 1L pot. Extra full-sized bowl snaps onto outside.
The MSR Wind burner is yet another integrated stove system that comes with an insulated cook pot, stove, stabilizer, and plastic mug/bowl. This stove has excellent wind resistance capabilities attributed to the flame-less design featuring radiant burner. It employs a completely enclosed heating element with an internal pressure regulator that makes it invulnerable to outdoor conditions particularly strong winds.
Weighing only 15.5 ounces, the burner is lightweight and has a short boiling time (4minutes 30 seconds to boil a liter of water). It’s convenient as it can pack sup into a cook pot when it time to roll. It however lacks simmer control, internal ignition system plus robust handles.
· Integrated System
· Excellent Windproof performance
· Compact-design with maximum efficiency
MSR Whisper Lite Universal
- Hybrid-Fuel Performance: Patent pending AirControl technology creates the optimal fuel/air mix for top-notch performance with canister fuel, white gas, kerosene and unleaded gasoline
- Lightweight: Aluminum mixer tube, extra-stable stainless steel legs and refined design keep weight to a minimum.
When it comes to winter or extremely cold weather, nothing beats the MSR Whisper lite Universal. This stove is not only lightweight and compact but also much quieter than other extremely loud liquid fuel stoves. The canister liquid feed technology delivers better cold weather and low-fuel performance. In extremely cold weather,simply invert the canister and warm your food or boil water.
MSR Whisper Lite Universal stove burns a wide range of a variety of fuels including white gas,kerosene, unleaded gasoline as well as isobutane-propane canisters giving you lots of flexibility. Durability is enhanced by the Self-cleaning Shaker Jet technology plus the redesigned leg assembly allows for fast cleaning and easier maintenance even in the wild. It however lacks simmer control.
· Hybrid-Fuel Performance
· Canister Liquid Feed for better cold weather and low-fuel performance
· Self-cleaning Shaker Jet Technology
Soto Amicus Stove
The Soto Amicus Stove by reputable backpacking stoves manufacturer Soto is an outstanding stove that delivers high quality performance at affordable price. With a weight of only 2.7 oz, the Soto Amicus Stove is ultralight for enhanced portability.The support system is sturdy thanks to the four spring-loaded support legs which offers more pot support than the average stove system. The stove also has excellent wind performance achieved by raising ledge at the crown of burner head plus using a concave burner surface.
· Affordable with high-end performance
· Shock Resistant
· Lightweight and compact
· Excellent performance in windy conditions
· Sturdy support
MSR Dragonfly Backpacking Stove
- Durable, collapsible multi-fuel stove for camping, backpacking, and global travel provides precision flame control and stability for large cookware
- Boils one liter of water in just 3.5 minutes and dual-valve makes it easy to go from simmering to a rolling boil for gourmet cooking in the outdoors
The MSR Dragonfly Backpacking Stove stands out when it comes to versatile all-purpose stoves. It’s perfect for boiling water as well as preparing a wide range of meals in the outdoor conditions.
This stove is perfect for a wide range of trips including group backpacking, winter hiking, alpine hiking, extended backcountry trips as well as backpacking in remote compromising locations. The collapsible feature with enhanced durability makes this stove perfect for almost any backpacking as mentioned above.
MSRDragonfly hiking stove is versatile burning a wide range of fuel including white gas, unleaded auto fuel, kerosene unleaded auto fuel, jet fuel and even diesel. The stove features an excellent simmer control thus can be used to cook your favorite gourmet dish while out in the wild. Just twist the temperature knob to go from roaring to simmer and to full flame for boiling water or melting snow.
Unlike most liquid fuel stoves which are affected by cold weather, the MSR Dragonfly hiking stove isn’t susceptible to cold weather and will light up just fine even in below freezing conditions where propane/butane canister stoves are non-functional.
Stability is ensured with the extra wide pot supports thus you can use even larger and heavier pots. Performance under windy conditions is assured with the suspended burner cup.
· Durable and collapsible
· Versatile-burns variety of fuels
· Stable,extra-wide base to support even larger pots
· Precise flame control
· Fuel efficient
Snow Peak Lite Max
Snow Peak Lite Max is an extremely ultralight and compact canister stove that can occupy the least space among your camping essentials. The miniature weight (1.9 oz.)is achieved via the use of titanium combined with aluminum-it’s actually the lightest canister stoves available in the market today. The stove is highly collapsible with a unique folding design making it quite easy to pack away in any cook pot. While it’s quite pricey, it features excellent simmer control,fast boiling times and good performance in windy conditions. A major concern with Snow Peak Lite Max is compromised stability as a result of ultralight design.
• Extremely lightweight-under 2 oz
• Performs well in cold weather
• Comes with a storage bag for enhanced durability.
Solo Stove Lite
- GEAR OF THE YEAR WINNER
- PATENTED DESIGN - LESS SMOKE. The patented design features a unique double wall that creates ultra-clean gasification and a secondary combustion. This allows fuel to burn more completely and with less...
Don’t want to carry fuel? No problem. Th Solo Stove Lite is a double-wall natural convection inverted down gas gasifier stove that burns on wood and other biomass around the camp. Solo Stove Lite is essentially the best wood-burning backpacking stove available in the market today. The stove features a double-wall construction allowing the fire to eliminate both smoke and wood creating a focused and efficient flame. It also features a burn plate at the base which functions to prevent the flame from going underneath the stove. The air intake holes in the bottom of the stove feed allows sufficient air to ignite the fire from below and above minimizing smoke and making the stove incredibly efficient and effective.
The stove is simple and quite easy to maintain. The design ensures the stove performs well with minimal stoke even in windy conditions and also won’t scorch the ground. Weighing9 oz, this stove may be quite heavy but not having to carry fuel makes it worth.
· Fast boil time
· No need to carry fuel
· Compact and space saving
· Functional design for less smoke emission.
The Bottom Line
After a long day of hiking on rugged terrains and not so-good weather conditions, you will want to prepare a warm meal when you get to base camp. And to achieve that,you will definitely need an efficient, lightweight and functional stove. As discussed above, it’s evident that the choice of backpacking stoves types is many. From integrated stove system to wood stoves, there are plenty of stoves to choose from.
To choose an ideal stove for your adventure, you should first understand the region you planning to go on an adventure. Is it a high-altitude area, snowy cold weather, in the woods or simply an open windy plain? The next step is to go over the stove type understanding the specs and features as well as the usage tips. After doing so, you’ll be at a better position to choose a perfect backpacking stove for your long overdue adventure. Make sure you choose the right stove system to complement you camping experience/
- 1 Factors to Consider When Choosing an Ideal Hiking Stove
- 2 10 Best Backpacking Stoves 2020
- 2.1 MSR PocketRocket 2
- 2.2 Jetboil Flash Cooking System
- 2.3 Etekcity Ultralight Backpacking
- 2.4 Jetboil MiniMo
- 2.5 MSR Wind Burner
- 2.6 MSR Whisper Lite Universal
- 2.7 Soto Amicus Stove
- 2.8 MSR Dragonfly Backpacking Stove
- 2.9 Snow Peak Lite Max
- 2.10 Solo Stove Lite
- 3 The Bottom Line