When the “h-anger” starts to set in after a long day of trekking, you’ll want an effortless meal, fast. For this, you’ll need a backpacking canister stove. Efficient, convenient, and perfect for a quick hot meal, your backpacking canister stove will be your best friend at the end of the day. The problem is, how do you know which one is the best backpacking canister stove for you?
That’s where we come in. Here at The Adventure Junkies, we make it our mission to sift through all the options to present you with the best of the best. That way you can spend less time shopping and more time doing what you love. We’ll walk you through what you need to consider before buying your backpacking canister stove and help you out with our top recommendations.
For more of our top backpacking gear recommendations, check out the Best Backpacking Stoves.
Quick Answer - The Best Backpacking Canister Stoves
- MSR Pocket Rocket 2
- Snow Peak LiteMax
- Jetboil MiniMo
- MSR WindBurner
- Jetboil Flash
Comparison Table - Best Backpacking Canister Stove
|MSR Pocket Rocket 2||2.6 oz||3 min. 30 sec. (1L)||Yes||$||4.8|
|Snow Peak LiteMax||1.9 oz||4 min. 25 sec. (1L)||Yes||$||4.7|
|Jetboil MiniMo||14 oz||4 min. 30 sec. (1L)||Yes||$$$||4.6|
|MSR WindBurner||15.5 oz||4 min. 30 sec.||Yes||$$$||4.6|
|Jetboil Flash||13.1 oz||3 min. 20 sec. (1L)||No||$$||4.7|
MULTI-DAY HIKING PACKING LIST
Don't forget important gear at home!
Print out this free hiking packing list to prepare for your next adventure.
* You will get weekly emails with practical hiking advice that complement the information contained in the packing list. You can always opt out of these emails.
Reviews - The Best Canister Stoves for Backpacking
MSR Pocket Rocket 2
- Weight: 2.6 oz
- Boil Time: 3 min. 30 sec. (1L)
- Simmer: Yes
- Super Lightweight
- Fast Boil Time
BEST FOR: BUDGET
The MSR Pocket Rocket 2 may not look like much, but you’d be surprised at what this stove’s got cooking. With a boil time of less than 4 minutes, this canister stove is one of the faster cooking stoves on the market. The Pocket Rocket 2 is also one of the lightest, weighing in at a stunning 2.6 ounces.
As for performance, this canister stove has got a good grip – pot grip, that is. The foldable pot holders are serrated to prevent the pot from sliding off mid boil. The thin control valve lets you take that boil and turn it down to a simmer with a subtle adjustment. Compact and user-friendly, this canister stove is an exceptional option for backcountry cooking at an affordable price.
Snow Peak LiteMax
- Weight: 1.9 oz
- Boil Time: 4 min. 25 sec. (1L)
- Simmer: Yes
- Exceptionally Lightweight
- Stable Pot Support
- Easy Flame Control
BEST FOR: LIGHTWEIGHT BACKPACKERS
If the idea of breaking off the end of your toothbrush to shed pack weight entices you, then you’ll want to take a gander at the Snow Peak LiteMax. At 1.2 ounces, the weight of this stove was made with the ultralight backpacker in mind.
The Snow Peak LiteMax cuts out all the frills to deliver a streamlined design made purely for heating and eating. The thin flame control valve lets you easily adjust the stove temperature while the sturdy pot holders keep your pot in place. Packing down to the size of your palm, you’ll find this stove takes up virtually no pack space. When it boils down to it, this stove is made for the lightweight backpacker that simply wants to scarf and snooze at the end of a long day.
- Weight: 14 oz
- Boil Time: 4 min. 30 sec. (1L)
- Simmer: Yes
- Cooking Cup Included
- Push Button Ignitor (for quick and easy ignition)
BEST FOR: SHORT BACKPACKING TRIPS
Earning the Backpacker Magazine 2015 Editors’ Choice Award, the Jetboil MiniMo Cooking System is a popular choice for an integrated stove system (stove and cooking pot included).
Efficient and convenient, the 1-liter cooking cup is fitted with a sturdy handle, insulated lid, and user-friendly measuring lines. The cup attaches securely to the stove to enhance wind performance and fuel efficiency, meaning faster cooking times. As for the stove itself, it features Jetboil’s proprietary technology which enables consistent performance even when temperatures drop below 20-degrees F. Simmer or boil, with the piezo igniter you can light this up at the press of a button and get cooking.
- Weight: 15.5 oz
- Boil Time: 4 min. 30 sec.
- Simmer: Yes
- Integrated Cookware
- Performs Well Under Varying Weather Conditions
BEST FOR: WINDY CONDITIONS
A subtle breeze can easily turn from friend to foe when you’re cooking up dinner on the trail. For the MSR Windburner, this isn’t an issue. The combination of clever technology and an enclosed design turn this stove system into a wind blocking monster.
Getting your food piping hot, this canister stove has a built-in heat exchanger from stove to pot. This means you can boil water fast and increase fuel efficiency. When you’re all through eating, nest the canister, stove, and pack towel inside the cooking pot and try to get some rest. With the MSR Windburner you’ll at least be able to get a hot meal to warm you up inside when mother nature strikes.
- Weight: 13.1 oz
- Boil Time: 3 min. 20 sec. (1L)
- Simmer: No
- Great Fuel Efficiency
- Integrated Cookware
- Fast Boil Time
BEST FOR: FAST COOKING
The Jetboil Flash earned its name for a reason – this stove is fast. Pour in your water, ignite your stove, then count to 100 and you’ll have a roaring boil. In case you missed count, the logo on your integrated cooking cup will turn orange, telling you it’s boiling.
Streamlining the process, the Flash features a push-button igniter. Secure your cooking cup to the stove, push the button, and you’ll be eating in no time. The insulated cooking cup comes with a nifty lid to help keep your food hot. Fight the “h-anger” and pack the Flash on your next backpacking adventure.
THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING BACKPACKING CANISTER STOVES
You can get a quality, lightweight backpacking canister stove at an extremely affordable price. The difference between the inexpensive versus the expensive really boils down to a few features. If you want the lightest, fastest, and best performing stove on the market, you’ll pay top dollar. If a slower burn time and average performance is all you need, you may find the extra investment isn’t necessary.
Backpacking canister stoves typically weigh under a pound, which makes them a terrific lightweight cooking option. However, you need to remember that when you’re backpacking every single ounce you carry in your pack counts. From the first step to the last, you’ll be lugging around all your gear, so the lighter your stove is, the better.
When we say packability, we’re referring to how compact and portable a canister stove is. You only have so much room in your pack so you’ll want a canister stove that takes up minimal space.
Look for stoves that have folding pot rests or cookware the fuel canister can nest inside. The more compact you can make your stove, the more portable and easier it is to pack.
The fuel inside a canister usually contains some sort of combination of butane, propane, and isobutane. This makes canister stoves a great choice when it comes to being lightweight, convenient, and user-friendly.
However, when compared to liquid fuel stoves, canister stoves have been known to be more difficult to light in the cold. On the other hand, liquid fuel bottles are less convenient, not as user-friendly, and usually require spending more money on a backpacking stove.
When you’re backpacking, your stove will mostly be used to boil water or heat up freeze-dried meals. Choose a backpacking canister stove with a decent boil time (preferably five minutes or less). A faster boil time means you have more time to meet your daily mileage as well as get in some much-needed rest during down time.
If you plan on cooking meals that require simmering, you’ll need a backpacking stove that can do more than boil. In this case, look for a canister stove equipped with simmering capability.
Nothing is more annoying than trying to simply boil water, only to have the flame blown out by the wind. If you want a steady flame, find a stove that offers built-in wind protection. This will increase the efficiency of your stove and reduce the likelihood of having to ignite it over and over again.
INTEGRATED CANISTER STOVE
Unlike other camping stove options, integrated canister stoves are a full cooking system. They streamline the cooking (and purchasing) process by including a stove and a cooking cup/pot.
A piezo igniter is a common method for lighting camping stoves. It’s a type of ignition that’s usually operated by pushing a button.