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After a long day of logging miles in the backcountry, there’s nothing better than sitting down for a warm meal when you reach basecamp. And to do that, you’ll need a functional and lightweight stove that won’t break the bank, but will last you for years. How to know what the best backpacking stoves for you are can be more challenging than planning your trip itinerary, which is why we’re here to help!

The Adventure Junkies scoured the web for you to tell you all about the different features backpacking stoves can offer, and at what cost. Read below to find the stove that fits you best.

 

 

Quick Answer - Best Stoves for Backpacking

  1. JetBoil Flash
  2. MSR Pocket Rocket 2
  3. MSR Windburner
  4. Solo Stove Lite
  5. MSR Whisperlite Universal
  6. Jetboil MightyMo
  7. Snow Peak LiteMax
  8. Esbit Solid
  9. MSR Reactor
  10. JetBoil Mini Mo

 

Comparison Table - Best Stoves

PictureNameFuel TypeBoil TimeCapacityWeightPriceRating
JetBoil FlashCanister3 Minutes 20 Seconds1 Liter13 oz$$5.0
MSR Pocket Rocket 2Canister3 Minutes 30 SecondsN/A2.6 oz$5.0
MSR WindburnerCanister4 Minutes 30 Seconds1 Liter15.5 oz$$$4.5
Solo Stove LiteWood8-10 MinutesN/A9 oz$$4.5
MSR Whisperlite UniversalLiquid3 Minutes 30 SecondsN/A10.9 oz$$4.5
Jetboil MightyMoCanister3 Minutes 15 SecondsN/A3.3 oz$4.5
Snow Peak LiteMaxCanister4 Minutes 25 SecondsN/A1.9 oz$4.5
Esbit SolidTablet4 Minutes 25 Seconds0.59 Liters7 oz$4.0
MSR ReactorCanister3 Minutes1.7 Liters1 lb 3 oz$$4.5
JetBoil Mini MoCanister4 Minutes 30 Seconds1 Liter14 oz$$4.7
PictureNameFuel TypeBoil TimeCapacityWeightPriceRating
Want to learn more about a technical term? Check out our Features Explained section below.

Need buying advice? Take a look at these Things to Consider.

Reviews - 10 Best Backpacking Stoves

JetBoil Flash

Specs
  • Capacity: 1 Liter
  • Type: Integrated Canister
  • Weight: 13 oz
  • Fuel Type: Canister
  • Boil Time: 3 Minutes 20 Seconds
Features
  • All-in-one Cooking System
  • Auto Ignition
  • Insulating Cozy
  • Color Change Heat Indicator
  • WindScreen

BEST FOR:  EVERY KIND OF HIKER

This is the go-to camping stove for every kind of adventure. 

JetBoil does an excellent job with it’s Flash Cooking System. The all-in-one design means you won’t lose any parts of your cooking set, and this system comes with a built in pot cozy to make sure your food stays warm. 

The quick boil time is one of the most popular features about the JetBoil cooking set. Having boiling water in under four minutes in the backcountry is amazing, and means you won’t have to wait too long for a hot dinner after a long day of adventuring. What’s more, you’ll know right away when your water/food is ready, because the exterior of the JetBoil Flash System has a color changing heat indicator. 

This stove comes with an auto ignition so you can light it with just the press of a button, making sure you won’t burn yourself when igniting your stove. All JetBoil products fit any standard backpacking fuel canister, and come with a lid and an integrated cooking cup, so you can cook and eat out of the same single container – how convenient!

MSR Pocket Rocket 2

Specs
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Type: Canister
  • Weight: 2.6 oz
  • Fuel Type: Canister
  • Boil Time: 3 Minutes 30 Seconds
Features
  • Stove Folds Up for Compact Travel
  • Adjustable Flame
  • Serrated Pot Support Prevents Shifting And Accidental Spills

BEST FOR: THE LIGHTWEIGHT BACKPACKER

MSRs Pocket Rocket 2 Stove has everything you could ever want in a pocket rocket.

The main difference between a pocket rocket stove and an all-in-one design is that you will have to buy a pot separate from your stove to use with the MSR Pocket Rocket. Both designs require separate purchase of a fuel canister or other type of fuel.

This pocket rocket stove is small and compact, but still heats up quickly. Cutting the weight of the JetBoil Flash System significantly, it still boils water in around the same time (3 minutes, 30 seconds compared to JetBoil’s 3 minute, 20 second boiling time). 

This pocket rocket stove is compatible with fuel canisters of all sizes, and has a serrated burner, to make sure your pot will stay in place. A standard backpacking fuel canister will last about 60 minutes at max flame with this stove. The MSR Pocket Rocket even comes with a carry case to protect the stove in your pack – what’s not to love?

MSR Windburner

Specs
  • Capacity: 1 Liter
  • Type: Integrated Canister
  • Weight: 15.5 oz
  • Fuel Type: Canister
  • Boil Time: 4 Minutes 30 Seconds
Features
  • All-in-one Cooking System
  • Windscreen
  • Secure Locking Pot
  • Insulating Cozy

BEST FOR: THE MOUNTAINEER

With a built in windscreen, insulating cozy, and radiant burner, this stove is made to perform in alpine conditions. 

The above combination helps this stove withstand even the coldest of temperatures and still delivers you a warm meal within minutes. With a 4 minute 30 second boil time, you won’t be waiting long.

This stove has an insulating cozy integrated into it’s all-in-one cooking system so your food will stay warm even after it’s done cooking. The pot portion of this stove has a secure locking feature to make sure your pot won’t go anywhere when it’s heating up. 

The MSR Windburner stove canister even has internal measurements on it, so you can properly measure the amount of water you need for your meal without packing out measuring cups. And it’s super easy to pack this bad boy away, as the stove nests snugly in the pot, protecting it from being damaged in your pack.

Solo Stove Lite

Specs
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Weight: 9 oz
  • Fuel Type: Wood
  • Boil Time: 8-10 Minutes
Features
  • Upper Ring Produces Heat and Functions as Windscreen
  • Ventilation Holes Allow Oxygen to Fuel Flame
  • Ash Patch Catches Loose Ash
  • Lightweight

BEST FOR: THE ECO-FRIENDLY BACKPACKER

You’ll be hard pressed to run out of fuel while you’re using the Solo Stove Lite on the trail, as it burns wood for cooking. To get this fire going, simply collect twigs and branches from around your campsite and ignite them with a lighter or a match in the lower portion of this innovative stove.

The craftsmanship of the Solo is maximized to ensure the oxygen coming into the stove from the wood heats the stove effectively, giving you the quickest boiling time possible for a wood burning stove. The double wall design of this stove helps keep heat in, while the internal wire grate allows oxygen to be fed from the embers below.

An ashtray located at the bottom of the stove gathers ash and doesn’t clog the airflow, making cleanup easy when you are done cooking your meal. This wood burning stove is also a great option for the ultralight backpacker, weighing only nine ounces and requiring no fuel canister to add weight to your pack.

MSR Whisperlite Universal

Specs
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Type: Multi-fuel
  • Weight: 10.9 oz
  • Fuel Type: Liquid
  • Boil Time: 3 Minutes 30 Seconds
Features
  • Compatible With a Variety of Fuels
  • Simple Cleaning Technology
  • Windscreen
  • Heat Protector

BEST FOR: THE INTERNATIONAL BACKPACKER

Looking for a stove to take with you for an overseas backpacking trip? MSR’s WhisperLite International Backpacking Stove should be your go-to.

This stove is compatible with kerosene, white fuel, white gas, and several other fuel options. No matter where you are traveling, you can find a fuel that is compatible with this stove. An easy to use shake system makes cleaning this stove a breeze – simply shake the stove up and down and voila, it’s clean!

This stove is also very quiet compared to stoves that run off of fuel canisters. The pump can usually be replaced around the five year mark, proving that this stove is a durable option and will last you for ages. So next time you’re planning a backpacking overseas, make sure to pick up the MSR WhisperLite International Backpacking Stove before you go!

Jetboil MightyMo

Specs
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Weight: 3.3 oz
  • Fuel Type: Canister
  • Boil Time: 3 Minutes 15 Seconds
Features
  • Push Button Igniter
  • Regulated Technology Guarantees Performance down to 30°F
  • Compatible With Any Flat Bottom Cookware
  • Wings Fold Down for Compact Packing

BEST FOR: THE INNOVATIVE HIKER

JetBoil’s take on a pocket rocket is functional and versatile. The MightyMo will heat water in about three minutes, making it the fastest average boil time of any pocket rocket featured in this article.

The stove is compatible with any flat bottom cookware, so you can boil, pan fry, or saute a feast even when you’re in the mountains. Similar to other JetBoil stoves, this product has a push button igniter, making it easy peasy to start, and assures you won’t burn yourself. 

JetBoil’s MightyMo has a flame control valve on the side, so you can easily control the level of flame produced, making simmering a possibility as well as fast and efficient boiling. And do you wanna know the best part about this JetBoil pocket rocket stove? It weighs less than a deck of cards!

Snow Peak LiteMax

Specs
  • Capacity: N/A
  • Weight: 1.9 oz
  • Fuel Type: Canister
  • Boil Time: 4 Minutes 25 Seconds
Features
  • Large Stable Arms Offer Compatibility With Cookware
  • Ultralight
  • Flame Control Valve
  • Wind Resistant Burner

BEST FOR: THE ULTRALIGHT HIKER

Snow Peak’s LiteMax Stove is a compact pocket rocket that boils water in under four and a half minutes. It’s also the lightest stove option this list – perfect for the ultralight backpacker.

This stove weighs less than two ounces, fuel canister not included. If you’re an ultralight backpacker who wants to enjoy hot meals in the backcountry, this is the stove for you. The wings of this stove fold down, making it extremely compact and lightweight.

This stove will also perform at high altitudes and can melt ice when you are hiking at over 10,000 ft, no problem. It is advised if you are hiking at this altitude to keep the fuel canister in your sleeping bag at night, to ensure the fuel canister stays warm.

Esbit Solid

Specs
  • Capacity: 0.59 Liters
  • Weight: 7 oz
  • Fuel Type: Tablet
  • Boil Time: 4 Minutes 25 Seconds
Features
  • All-in-one Cooking System
  • Windscreen
  • Pouring Spout/Internal Measurements
  • Silicone Handles Protect Hands From Heat

BEST FOR: THE AVID BACKPACKER

An extremely lightweight option for an all-in-one stove, the Esbit Solid Fuel Stove and Cookset is designed for ease of cooking in the backcountry.

Weighing only seven ounces, this stove burns by igniting an Esbit tablet. Tablets can be ignited by either a match or a lighter and are sold separately. Tablets burn for approximately 12 minutes each. To work the stove, ignite the tablet inside the lower portion of the stove, and let the tablet burn until your water boils. 

The Solid Fuel Stove and Cookset has a built in windshield, to keep the flame going during tough weather conditions. A pouring spout and internal measurements help with the ease of cooking with this stove. 

Silicone handles will make sure you don’t burn yourself when handling the pot of this cookware. This stove comes with a lid and a stuff sack, so you won’t spill your food or damage your stove when you pack it away.

MSR Reactor

Specs
  • Capacity: 1.7 Liters
  • Type: Integrated Canister
  • Weight: 1 lb 3 oz
  • Fuel Type: Canister
  • Boil Time: 3 Minutes
Features
  • All-in-one Cooking System
  • One Fuel Canister Produces 22 Liters of Boiled Water
  • Internal Regulation Creates Consistent Flame
  • Windscreen

BEST FOR:  THE PEAK BAGGER

A Backpacker Magazine 2019 Editor’s Choice Gold Award, the MSR Reactor Stove boils water quickly, is lightweight, reliable, and can withstand the harshest weather conditions. 

This all-in-one stove has a sleek design and is guaranteed to boil water in just three minutes while weighing just over a pound. This stove comes with a built in windscreen which will block out the wind and rain when the weather takes a turn for the worst. 

The speedy boil time also serves as a fuel efficient option. One fuel canister will produce 22 liters of boiled water, so you don’t have to buy as much fuel as you normally would for any other stove.

JetBoil Mini Mo

Specs
  • Capacity: 1 Liter
  • Type: Integrated Canister
  • Weight: 14 oz
  • Fuel Type: Canister
  • Boil Time: 4 Minutes 30 Seconds

BEST: INTEGRATED CANISTER STOVE

The JetBoil MiniMo integrated canister stove has a wider and shorter shape than the other JetBoil models. The new shape together with a redesigned burner, allows it to simmer slightly better. But at $135, we think it’s a bit expensive for the value it provides. If the extra cost is not an issue, it’s still a great option if you’d like to get some simmering capabilities in a canister stove.

 

 

TYPES OF STOVES

BEST BACKPACKING CANISTER STOVES

Canister stoves are among the most popular among hikers for many reasons. They’re lightweight, fast, compact and very easy to use. You just need to screw in your stove and light it up. No pumping, priming or maintenance is required. The following are some considerations to keep in mind when choosing a canister stove for backpacking.

COST: 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.

WEIGHT: 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.

PACKABILITY: 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.

FUEL TYPE: 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.

BOIL TIME: 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.

SIMMER CONTROL: 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.

WIND PERFORMANCE: 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.

 

MSR POCKET ROCKET 2

 

POCKET ROCKET 2 Stove

Best for People on a 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.

 

 

MSR WINDBURNER

 

MSR Windburner canister stove

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.

 

 

JETBOIL FLASH

 

Jetboil Flash Cooking Stove

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.

 

 

BEST LIQUID FUEL BACKPACKING STOVES

Liquid fuel stoves, sometimes referred as white gas camp stoves, are not as common as they used to be in the past. They require more maintenance and are much heavier and bulkier than other types of stoves. However, they perform better at freezing temperatures, can take different types of fuels and have a very stable base, which allows you to cook in bigger pots to feed a large group. If you feel a liquid stove might be your best option, keep the following considerations in mind when choosing a liquid fuel camp stove.

COST: In general, liquid fuel backpacking stoves tend to cost more than other backpacking stove options. However, this doesn’t mean you have to spend hundreds of dollars. There are quality stoves available at an affordable price. Keep in mind, if you plan on doing technical backpacking trips which require specific gear, you’ll need to invest more money.

STOVE WEIGHT: Liquid fuel backpacking stoves tend to be heavier than canister stoves. For someone looking to achieve the lightest pack weight possible, this can present a problem. If you’re more concerned with stove performance, then a few more ounces in weight won’t matter as much.

ALTITUDE AND TEMPERATURE: Although other types of backpacking stoves have their own advantages, liquid fuel backpacking stoves are the most equipped for handling high altitude and low temperatures. If you plan on encountering either of these in your backpacking adventures, you’ll appreciate how well a liquid fuel stove maintains optimum performance despite high altitude or colder temperatures.

REFILLING BOTTLES: The beauty of liquid fuel backpacking stoves is that you can reuse the liquid fuel bottles. The downside is, you need to refill your fuel bottles. Finding gas that is compatible with your stove can be difficult if you’re backpacking in another country or if you have limited access to refueling sources. On the other hand, the ability to refill a fuel bottle means less waste when compared to other fuel sources like stove canisters. To assess how much fuel you’ll need on your trip, take a look at this helpful guide from REI.

MAINTENANCE: Reliable and powerful, there are many benefits you’ll enjoy when using liquid fuel backpacking stoves. The drawback is, they will require maintenance at some point. Depending upon how much you use the stove, this could mean maintenance a couple times a year to every few years. If the thought of maintaining a backpacking stove sounds like too much of a hassle, then perhaps you’ll be better off with a low-maintenance option.

PRIMING: Priming is the term for preheating a stove, which is a necessary process with all liquid fuel stoves. This can be a tricky process and takes some practice. However, once learned, priming becomes like second nature. For a helpful demonstration, take a look at this priming tutorial from REI.

 

MSR WHISPERLITE INTERNATIONAL

 

MSR Whisperlite International White Gas Stove

Best for Long Backpacking Trips

The MSR WhisperLite International has been a long-standing favorite in the backpacking and mountaineering community since it came on the scene in the 1980s. Now clocking in at 10.9-ounces, MSR has revamped the WhisperLite International to be10-percent lighter than the original model, with the same coveted performance. 

Compact and durable, this reliable liquid fuel backpacking stove is designed for globetrotting trekkers. The WhisperLite International is compatible with multiple fuel types, which comes in handy when you’re trying to find fuel in different countries. Crank this small stove up on high and you will have almost 2 full hours of burn time. Be sure to utilize the windscreen included to increase cooking efficiency and prevent the wind from blowing out the flame.

 

 

MSR DRAGONFLY

 

MSR Dragonfly cooking stove

Best for Cooking Gourmet Meals

If your idea of a backcountry meal requires more than just boiling water, consider the MSR Dragonfly. The flame control on this liquid fuel backpacking stove is highly impressive when compared to the competition. The Dragonfly has two control valves so you can go from roaring boil to a precise simmer with a simple adjustment. 

Whether you’re flipping flapjacks or simmering a hearty chili, this backpacking stove offers excellent stability for larger pots and pans. This is due to the Dragonfly’s low-to-the-ground design which features a stable base and wide pot holders. Equipped with a self-cleaning jet, you can maintain this liquid fuel stove while hiking in the backcountry and not worry about the fuel hose getting clogged.

 

 

MSR XGK EX

 

MSR XGK EX high altitude winter stove

Best for Extreme Conditions

As you approach a snowy summit and find temperatures plummeting, you can still cozy up to a warm meal thanks to the MSR XGK EX. This is the liquid fuel backpacking stove designed to handle whatever extreme conditions you encounter during your backpacking expedition.

The bell-shaped construction of this backpacking stove kicks into full throttle when you’re faced with high altitude and low temperatures. This stove lights fast and burns hot with a trusty high-powered burner. Equipped with wide pot supports, you can use a pot or pan up to 10-inches in diameter and still feel confident in the stove’s stability. If you’re the adventurous type who likes to challenge yourself in harsh backpacking conditions, you’ll appreciate what this liquid fuel backpacking stove has to offer.

 

 

BEST WOOD BURNING BACKPACKING STOVES

Wood burning backpacking stoves allow you to use the sticks you find on the trail as fuel, so you never have to worry about running out of gas. However, if you’re backpacking in a wet climate, be aware that it is going to be much harder to start a fire in your stove with wet wood. Also, wood burning backpacking stoves might not be allowed in some areas with fire bans and higher elevations. 

The following are some considerations to keep in mind when choosing a wood burning stove for your next backpacking trip.

WEIGHT: One of the benefits of a wood burning backpacking stove is that you don’t have to carry the weight of fuel, since you’ll use what you find on the trail. If your stove itself is also lightweight, that makes it even easier to carry, especially on long trips. If you’re going on shorter backpacking trips, weight might be less of an issue, and you can get away with a slightly heavier stove.

PACKABILITY: Space is always at a premium when you’re backpacking, so you’ll want to choose a stove that collapses down to easily fit in your pack. Some stoves fold completely flat, so they can just slide in while other stoves nest parts inside each other to pack compactly. Take into consideration what will fit best with the rest of the gear in your backpack.

EFFICIENCY: When you’re hungry at the end of a long day of hiking (or desperately in need of coffee first thing in the morning), you don’t want to watch a pot that never boils. You want to choose a stove that can cook efficiently, ideally without you having to gather a lot of wood. Stoves with air intake holes for secondary combustion work well without a lot of tending from you.

 

SOLO STOVE LITE

 

Solo Stove Lite Wood Burning Stove

Best for All-Around Performance

The Solo Lite Stove is a small, lightweight stove that is a perfect cooking companion for backpacking. It has a double-walled design and creates an efficient flame thanks to air intake holes at the bottom which bring hot air up to the top for a secondary combustion. You can boil water with a small amount of wood in about 8-10 mins, and this system also makes for a low-smoke flame.

While it is not the very lightest wood burning backpacking stove, it is small enough to easily pack, and you get the weight savings of not having to bring fuel. It also can easily cook for one or two people.

 

 

TOAKS TITANIUM

 

Toaks Titanium Backpacking Stove

Best for Compact Storage

A light and compact wood burning backpacking stove, the Toaks Titanium is an excellent option when space and weight are at a premium in your pack on long trips. This stove is so lightweight because it’s constructed from titanium instead of stainless steel. It comes in three parts, which can easily be nested inside each other to take up just a small amount of space in your pack, and a storage sack is included to keep it all together.

Once put together, the Toaks Titanium is a tall stove which can hold a lot of wood at once. Air intake holes provide a second and third combustion reaction as they draw heated air up to the flame, so it burns extremely efficiently.

 

 

VARGO TITANIUM HEXAGON

 

VARGO TITANIUM HEXAGON stove

Best for Lightweight Cooking

If you’re going ultralight on your backpacking adventures, the Vargo Titanium Hexagon is a wise choice. The minimal titanium construction means it weighs just a few ounces, so you won’t notice the weight. It folds down flat to easily store in your pack, then quickly snaps together again when you’re ready to cook.

The hexagonal cone shape design forces heat up to efficiently cook, and the stove features a hinged door, which you can use to add wood, as well as adjust airflow to increase or decrease the flame. This stove does require some more tending than other options.

 

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

ALL-IN-ONE COOKING SYSTEM

An all-in-one cooking system means that the stove burner and the cooking pot are a package deal. You won’t have to buy a cooking pot when you have an all-in-one cooking system. The convenience of this means you’ll never lose your cooking pot from your stove, or have to search for the right cooking pot to be compatible with your stove.

CANISTER FUEL

Canister fuel refers to an external gas canister attached to your stove. It does not come with the stove when purchased. Canister stoves require you to purchase a gas canister before trekking, but afterwards, you can return it for a new one.

LIQUID FUEL

Liquid fuel refers to either gasoline or liquid alcohol. Some stoves can only burn one of the two, so make sure to research which fuel your stove is supposed to burn before investing. Liquid is more difficult to carry while hiking as it tends to slosh around in your backpack, but it does have a higher efficiency rate and is therefore better for longer adventures.

INSULATING COZY

A pot cozy is a piece of thick fabric that is layered around your cooking pot to stabilize the heat of the water or meal you are cooking. Pot cozies can be purchased separately. All of the JetBoil options in this article include integrated pot cozies, so you don’t have to find your own. Having a pot cozy is a huge blessing, and keeps your food warm for a long time. Trust us.

WINDSCREEN

Windscreens protect the flame of your stove from wind, rain, snow, and generally cold weather conditions. A windscreen is designed into several of the stoves featured in this article, and are also available for purchase through REI for stoves that don’t have a built-in windscreen.

HEAT REFLECTOR

An object that reflects heat to your pot to increase cooking efficiency. This often also doubles as a windscreen.

AUTO IGNITION

Some of the stoves featured in this article have auto ignition, meaning that the flame for your stove is simply the push of a button away. This is a huge benefit because it means you won’t burn your hands when trying to ignite your stove.

ADJUSTABLE FLAME

Almost all of the stoves featured in this article feature an adjustable flame valve. This valve is often located at the bottom of the stove, and look kind of like a bent-out-of-shape bobby pin.

The adjustable flame is vital for controlling the flame of your stove. You can create a rolling boil by having the valve all the way open, but can also simmer your food by turning the valve down. You’ll find that for rice and pasta dishes, you’ll want both of these options.

POCKET ROCKET

A pocket rocket is a lightweight option for a backpacking stove. Many of these stoves are compact, much smaller than the all-in-one versions, but can still boil water quickly.

Many of these stoves are so small they can fit in your pocket, hence the name.

SERRATED BURNER

A serrated burner means the wings of the stove that the flame comes through can have small bumps on them, creating friction and making it compatible with several cooking pots. A serrated burner also means that when the cooking pot is sitting on top of the stove, it won’t shift around much.

ASH PATCH

An ash patch catches most of the ash of a wood burning stove, making for easy clean up.

INTERNAL MEASUREMENTS

Several of the stoves featured in this article have internal measurements on the lid or cooking pot. This means that there are internal lines located inside the cooking pot that will tell you where the half cup and one cup marks are, so you pour the correct amount of water without having to pack out measuring cups.

AIR INTAKE HOLES

Holes that allow air in and draw heated air up to provide the fire with oxygen.

READ MORE

For more of our top backpacking gear recommendations, check out these popular articles:

About The Author

Alexandria is a journalist, hiker, backpacker, camper, runner, mountaineer and true west coast native. In 2017, she thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, which spans from Mexico to Canada. Since then, she has explored over a dozen National Parks in the western United States, including Yellowstone, the Grand Tetons, Yosemite, Arches and others. Today she is working and living in Rocky Mountain National Park and hopes to venture to Southeast Asia to advance her knowledge in mountaineering later this year.

2 Responses

  1. Cindy Hoffman

    Hi Antonio, nice guide and those recommendations are also perfect. I have seen you recommending MSR reactor, which is just awesome. I have been using this stove for quite sometime and I have no complains at all. I would recommend to anyone who is looking for something for a backpacking stove that is good for the money.
    Thanks for the share.

    Cindy

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