The best camping stoves 2017 for outdoor adventures

Camping trips with family and friends, extreme solo treks, or barbecues with the neighbours: whatever you want your camping stove for, we’ve rounded up the best options

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After a tough day hiking, cycling, climbing, or whatever it is you do when you’re on the road, there’s nothing better than putting your blistered feet up and getting dinner on the go. 

But, unless you’re more of the glamping persuasion, choices are sadly limited when it comes to preparing a feast worthy of an adventurer. What to do? If you’re committed to the outdoors, you can always make like Bear Grylls and go in search of edible roots, but if you’d rather something more substantial, look no further than a camping stove.

Our best camping stove at the moment is the Primus Kinjia Camping Stove

How to choose the best camping stove for you

The best camping stove for you will all depend on your needs: the size of your group, what you’ll be making in it, what time of year you’ll be going camping and at what altitude, and whether or not you need something that can face up to wind. So it's always best to decide what you will use your camping stove for more frequently before you begin.

When it comes to weight, think about how much walking you’ll be doing: if it needs to go in a pack, think lightweight and collapsable; if you’re taking a car, go as heavy as you can for added power. Camping stoves range from small, compact styles that fit snugly into the smallest of backpacks right through to large kitchen style hobs that attach to gas canisters and are fit to prepare a family feast. 

On a related note, alongside style, there’s stability, because as anyone who’s had the misfortune of experiencing it will know, knocking a full dinner on the floor can be devastating. Be careful to consider how stable you need your camping stove to be; if you've got little ones running around your camp, you may want to avoid lighter travel camping stoves and opt for a stronger tabletop alternative instead.

If you’re taking dehydrated food along with you, or you’ll be melting snow for drinking water on winter trips, you might only need a stove with boiling capabilities, while for more complicated fare, a stove that cooks is in order. When looking for fuel types, the big trade-off is the time spent priming: priming is essentially pre-heating, and while it’s not a requirement for canister stoves, most liquid fuel and alcohol stoves need it to get going. Integrated canister stoves are the best all-rounders for high altitude, for the fact alone that they deal well with wind, which stops most other stoves in their tracks.

Our pick of the best camping stoves to buy today

1. Primus Kinjia Camping Stove

Capable, packable, and powerful: this Primus stove is our best all-rounder

Specifications
Best for: Good-looking large option
Design: Tabletop
Matchless: No
Weight: 4.4kg
Reasons to buy
+ Well-made but lightweight + Good capacity 
Reasons to avoid
- Quite pricey 

This 3-season camping stove from Primus is our best all-rounder, and strikes exactly the right balance between capacity and compactness, solidity and lightness. It’s well-made from high-quality materials and able to accommodate medium to large pans, but is incredibly easy to pack and carry, as are its small canisters. It’s simple to set up, the flame stays consistent to the end of the container while cooking, and when you’re done, the drip tray and grids remove for easy cleaning.

2. Snow Peak GigaPower LI

Offers peak performance on snowy camping trips

Specifications
Best for: Great output
Design: Stove only
Matchless: No
Weight: 1.8kg
Reasons to buy
+ Very powerful + Wind-resistant 
Reasons to avoid
- Hugely expensive 

Designed specifically for snow expeditions, the Snow Peak GigaPower stove is peerless at high altitudes and in low temperatures. It has a really powerful output which is ideal for very frequent use, especially when melting snow for drinking water, and a large wind screen to defend against extinguishing gusts, while its expandable trivet gives it the ability to host different pan sizes for maximum versatility. The downside: as you’d expect for the specialist-level performance, it’s phenomenally expensive, definitely one for extreme adventurers. 

3. SunnGas Platinum Single Burner & Griddle Stove

Boils and grills for a feast worthy of a prince — even on the road

Specifications
Best for: Value
Design: Stove and grill
Matchless: Yes
Weight: 3kg
Price: RRP £45.99
Reasons to buy
+ Multi-tasking + Great value 
Reasons to avoid
- Not much space between burners 

This suitcase-style portable stove looks great, and packs an impressive amount of performance into a budget price. Its removable grill tray adds versatility, so whether you’re in the mood for grilling or boiling, it can deliver — it’s easy to clean, too. It also has a side wind shelter, for keeping out pesky breezes that might threaten your flames. In short, it’s an excellent value griddle-meets-stove, to handle a range of tasks on the road or in the garden. 

4. Esbit Titanium Stove

Light as a feather, and packs up small for easy transportation

Specifications
Best for: Packing light
Design: Stove only
Matchless: No
Weight: 11.5g
Price: RRP £10.99
Reasons to buy
+ Light and compact + Adjustable 
Reasons to avoid
- Not much heat output 

This Esbit offering is a handsome retro-style stove for minimalist travellers who like to pack light. The titanium construction makes it incredibly light to carry, and its foldable legs make it compact and easy to pack, ideal for stowing in a pack during climbs or hikes. It’s customisable, to be used with a range of pot sizes, and smaller cups can rest on its edges. Unfortunately it doesn’t have a windbreak, so it’s not great for windy days — if this is more of an issue than portability, look to the SunnGas Platinum as an alternative. 

5. Bio Lite Camping Campstove Stove

Brains and beauty unite in this beautifully designed wood-burning stove

Specifications
Best for: Doing it all
Design: Wood-fired stove
Matchless: No
Weight: 10kg
Reasons to buy
+ Cook, grill or boil + USB capabilities 
Reasons to avoid
- Expensive 

We could all be forgiven for thinking that camping stoves aren’t the most future-facing bits of kit around — but in the case of the Bio Lite stove, you might be surprised. Not only can it grill, cook and boil, offering unparalleled flexibility, it includes its own USB-powered FlexLight for after-dark dinners, and another USB output for charging your devices. It’s also light and compact to carry, with the added bonus of running off wood, meaning you don’t have to allow space for fuel, either. 

6. MSR Windburner

An efficient burner that fights valiantly against wind

Specifications
Best for: Windproof
Design: Stove only
Matchless: No
Weight: 1.5kg
Reasons to buy
+ Windproof + Loct pot with cosy and handle 
Reasons to avoid
- Expensive for size 

As you might have guessed from the name, the MSR Windburner’s biggest selling point is that it stays lit even in windy conditions, so it’s perfect for climbers, hikers, and those brave souls who like to go camping nearer the end of the year. The ‘loct pot’ design is great for retaining heat when it’s chilly outside, and the insulated cosy with handle means you can carry it around without accidental burns. The burner’s very efficient, too. If you’re looking for a camping burner for your next extreme trip, but balk at the expensive Snow Peak GigaPower, this is the one for you.
 

7. Base Camp Kelly Kettle

A stove and kettle in one, with impressively quick performance

Specifications
Best for: Kettle on the go
Design: Kettle
Matchless: No
Weight: 1.43kg
Reasons to buy
+ Stove and kettle in one+ Quick boil time 
Reasons to avoid
- Wood stove can be tricky 

The second wood-fuelled stove on our list, the Base Camp Kelly Kettle might be basic, but it’s highly effective. A stove and kettle in one, it’s a godsend for those who can’t squeeze any more into their packs, and means you can cook and boil at the same time, getting you going with speed once you set up camp. That said, when it comes to food, the petite wood-fired base means it’s only really useful for small items, so for walkers who like to work up an appetite, the BioLite stove is a good alternative. 

8. Campingaz Bistro 300

Affordable and simple to use, but not the most long-wearing

Specifications
Best for: Festivals
Design: Tabletop
Matchless: No
Weight: 2kg
Reasons to buy
+ Easy to use + Cheap 
Reasons to avoid
- Not for prolonged use 

The Campingaz Bistro 300 is the ideal stove for festival-goers and fair-weather campers, with its user-friendly design, low price, and easy set-up. Ludicrously simple to use, it’ll be familiar to anyone who’s used a gas hob at home, so it’s a good buy for teenagers heading off to their first Glastonbury. The single burner requires some planning around, and it doesn’t feel terribly sturdy, but that’s understandable for the price. It’s not, however, recommended for prolonged use, so for a longer-lasting burn, consider the SunnGas Platinum instead.

9. Campingaz Party Grill 400

This Campingaz stove’s party trick is its ability to transform from a stove, to a grill, to a wok

Specifications
Best for: Complete cooking system
Design: Stove, grill and wok
Matchless: Yes
Weight: 4.92kg
Reasons to buy
+ Lots of cooking methods + Sturdy for use on rough terrain 
Reasons to avoid
- Small cooking area 

Our second recommendation in as many paragraphs from Campingaz is a good ‘un — a portable all-in-one camping grill that handles a range of tasks with ease. With pan support, a grilling grid, reversible griddle, and lid that doubles as a wok, it’s definitely the most versatile camping stove on our list. Even so, it has a smallish cooking surface, so not recommended if you need to cook for a big crowd in a small stretch of time. 

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