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Any seasoned bikepacker knows this truth: nothing beats a hot meal at the end of a long day of conquering flats, hills, and wide open roadways. If you want to have a hot meal (or a whole bunch of ‘em) on your bikepacking journey, you have two options: you can stop at restaurants, or you can cook for yourself. Well, being the Adventure Junkies we are, we prefer the latter. And that’s why we’ve compiled a list of the best stoves for bikepacking.

WBelieve it or not, bikepacking stoves come in a wide range of shapes, sizes, and functionality. But not to fear – we’ve broken it all down for you in this article. From fuel type to boil times, we’ve got all of your burning questions answered!

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Quick Answer - The Best Stoves for Bikepacking

  1. MSR PocketRocket 2
  2. MSR WhisperLite
  3. Solo Stove Lite
  4. Optimus Crux Lite
  5. GSI Outdoors Glacier

 

Comparison Table - Best Stove for Bikepacking

PictureNameFuel TypeBoil TimeBurn TimePriceRating
MSR PocketRocket 2Canister3 min. 30 sec. (1 L)60 min$4.6
MSR WhisperLiteLiquid110 min3 min. 30 sec. (1 L)$$$4.7
Solo Stove LiteWood8-10 min. (1 L)N/A$$4.5
Optimus Crux LiteCanister3 min. (1 L)90 min$$4.9
GSI Outdoors GlacierPropane4 min. (1 L)N/A$4.7
PictureNameFuel TypeBoil TimeBurn TimePriceRating
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 - The Best Bikepacking Stove

MSR PocketRocket 2

Specs
  • Dimensions: 7.25 x 5 x 4
  • Weight: 2.6 oz.
  • Fuel Type: Canister
  • Boil Time: 3 min. 30 sec. (1 L)
  • Fuel: Propane
  • Burn Time: 60 min
Features
  • Control Valve Gives You Complete Control Of Flame Size
  • Pot Can Be Folded Up For Compact Travel
  • Super Light Hard Shell Carrying Case Included

BEST PROPANE STOVE

Propane stoves are probably the most common backpacking/bikepacking stove, and this one is our favorite! Checking out at a great price, the MSR PocketRocket 2 has been updated from its original version, and though it is now smaller and lighter, it also holds a wider range of pot sizes.

This stove boasts a speedy average boil time and special pot supports that prevent slipping and spills. Its precision control valve lets you easily adjust the flame, even when you’re wearing gloves. Plus, there is no stove easier to light than this one! There is no priming, preheating, or pressurizing needed. Instead, you just turn it on, light it, and cook! Because of its simple start up, this stove is also a great pick for first time bikepacking stove users.

MSR WhisperLite

Specs
  • Dimensions: 6.5 x 5 x 4
  • Weight: 10.9 oz.
  • Fuel Type: Liquid
  • Boil Time: 110 min
  • Fuel: Auto, White Gas, Kerosene
  • Burn Time: 3 min. 30 sec. (1 L)
Features
  • Updated Design Is Durable, Yet Light
  • Works With A Variety Of Universally Available Fuels
  • Cleaning This Stove Is Easy As Can Be With Shaker Jet Technology

BEST LIQUID FUEL STOVE

From MSR comes another gem of a bikepacking stove: The WhisperLite. The WhisperLite is super durable, low in weight, and easy to use. Plus, its ability to run on three different types of gas make it ideal for the world traveler, who may find fuel options variable or limited depending on where they are.

Though it is a bit pricier than some of our other best stoves for bikepacking picks, this stove is well worth its cost. That’s because when you make this purchase, you don’t just get a quality stove. You also get the fuel pump, windscreen, heat reflector (which maximizes fuel efficiency), and a protective storage bag. What’s more, the WhisperLite is equipped with a unique cleaning system called Shaker Jet Technology. This makes cleaning your stove as easy as giving it a little shake.

Solo Stove Lite

Specs
  • Dimensions: 3.8 x 4.25
  • Weight: 9 oz.
  • Fuel Type: Wood
  • Boil Time: 8-10 min. (1 L)
  • Fuel: Wood
  • Burn Time: N/A
Features
  • Dual Wall Design Promotes Airflow To Burn Efficiently While Reducing Smoke
  • Thin Upper Ring Shields Stove From Wind
  • Ash Pan Collects Ash And Protects The Ground Below

BEST WOOD BURNING STOVE

Not a fan of gas or liquid stoves? Would you rather have one that lets you burn fuel available to you in the great outdoors? Well, we’ve got your solution, and it comes in the form of the Solo Stove Lite. This little guy is our top pick for the best wood burning stove.

Superior for its kind, the Solo Stove Lite is equipped with a windshield and an airflow-promoting wall design. Plus, vents located at the top of the stove keep your fire burning hot while reducing the amount of smoke. Buyer beware: there is one downside to a wood burning stove in comparison to other bikepacking stoves: your cooktimes will double and in some cases triple. If you don’t mind a leisurely cooking experience though, this is a great pick!

Optimus Crux Lite

Specs
  • Dimensions: 4.2 x 4.2 x 5
  • Weight: 7.1 oz.
  • Fuel Type: Canister
  • Boil Time: 3 min. (1 L)
  • Fuel: Propane
  • Burn Time: 90 min
Features
  • Large Burner Head Disperses Heat To Prevent Burn Spots On Cookware
  • Powerful Burner Speeds Up Boil Time
  • Storage Canister Doubles As Cookset

BEST POTS-INCLUDED STOVE

This Crux Lite package from Optimus includes more than just a stove! The hard-shell carrying case actually doubles as two pots, so you don’t have to take up extra space in your pack by carrying them separately, and you’ll also save some cash because you don’t have to buy cookware.

This stove features a large burner head, which allows heat to disperse more and works to prevent burn spots on your cookware. The Optimus Crux Lite is equipped with a powerful 3,000 watt burner that makes cooking fast and simple. Plus, its super efficient fuel use design means an 8-ounce can of fuel will last you up to 90 minutes.

GSI Outdoors Glacier

Specs
  • Dimensions: 5 x 3.2
  • Weight: 5.9 oz.
  • Fuel Type: Propane
  • Boil Time: 4 min. (1 L)
  • Fuel: Canister
  • Burn Time: N/A
Features
  • Easy-To-Turn Control Valve Allows For Precision Flame Control
  • Powerful Burner Design Evenly And Efficiently Distributes Heat Even On Large Pots and Pans
  • Durable Materials And Sturdy Design Mean This Stove Is Built To Last

BEST BUDGET STOVE

When it comes to most outdoor gear and equipment, as you lower your budget, you sometimes sacrifice quality. Not with this small but mighty stove! With the ability to support larger sized pots, a precision flame control dial, and a sturdy design that is sure to hold up against lots of use, the Glacier Camp Stove from GSI Outdoors is a fantastic value.

Its other features include serrated pot arms that hold your cookware in place, a powerful burner that heats even larger pots and pans, and an average boil time of about four minutes. It also comes with a handy bag for safe storage and transport. It’s nothing fancy, but for its cost, this stove packs a mighty punch!

 

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING STOVES FOR BIKEPACKING

COST

You can get really fancy with your bikepacking stove if you want to, but you definitely don’t have to. A simple gas burning stove can go for as little as $20, and it will get the job done! When it comes to the cost of stoves, though, there are some other factors to consider. Take fuel, for example. If you have a gas burning stove, you’ll need to buy gas, but if you have a wood burning stove, you can probably get most of your fuel for free. One other cost consideration is cookware. Some stoves come with a small cookset, and others don’t. Don’t forget to factor in the long term costs of your stove selection.

 

FUEL TYPE

There are three main fuel types when it comes to backpacking stoves: gas, liquid, and wood.

Gas or Canister stoves run on a canister of gas that attaches to the stove and feeds fuel into the burner.

Pros:

  • Small and lightweight
  • Easy to start
  • Easy to adjust flame size

Cons:

  • Expensive Fuel
  • Windscreen cannot be used
  • Flame may be weak in cold weather

Liquid stoves run on burning liquid that runs from a reservoir and then through a tube to the stove.

Pros:

  • Less expensive fuel
  • Performs exceptionally well in cold weather and high altitudes
  • Easily assess how much fuel is remaining

Cons:

  • Occasional maintenance required
  • Fuel spills can happen
  • Weighs slightly more than canister stoves

Wood stoves run on… you guessed it! Wood!

Pros:

  • Super lightweight and takes up minimal pack space
  • Some models are compatible with small grills
  • Some can generate enough electricity to charge a mobile device

Cons:

  • Starting this stoves requires more work than other stoves
  • Average boil time tends to be longer compared to other stoves
  • Potential for fire bans mean there could be times these are not allowed

 

SIZE AND WEIGHT

When you are thinking about buying any bikepacking accessory or gadget that gets stored in your pack, you should be thinking about the item’s size and weight. When you’re bikepacking, you only get to bring what is absolutely necessary, and you have to maximize the space in your load! Small, simple stoves tend to be good for this reason, like some wood burning stoves that actually fold right down to be flat.

 

BURN AND BOIL TIME

Burn time equates to the amount of time the stove will run on one basic unit of fuel, and boil time is the average amount of time it takes the stove to bring water to a boil. You’ll find a great range for both out there, and this consideration is one that truly comes down to personal preference.

With a short burn time, you may need to carry more fuel in your pack, but maybe that’s something you don’t mind doing. Similarly, a wood burning stove might take twice as long to boil water in comparison to a gas burning stove, but hey! Maybe you like a leisurely mountain-side chef session anyway.

Be aware that boil times vary in varying conditions, like altitude. For more on the science behind boiling water and how it affects us outdoorsmen and women, check out Why Does Water Boil Faster at Higher Altitude.

 

MORE INFORMATION

Looking for a more in-depth guide? No sweat. REI Experts break all this stove mumbo-jumbo down even further in their article, Backpacking Stoves: How to Choose.

 

 

FEATURES EXPLAINED

FUEL TYPE VS. FUEL

Fuel type is a broader term that is used to describe the general category of fuel that is used (for example: canister). Fuel is more specific and refers to the exact substance the stove needs to run (for example: propane).

CONTROL VALVE

A large dial on the side of the stove that allows you to adjust the flame size.

POT SUPPORTS/ARMS

Long, extending pieces of metal that serve to hold pots and pans in place while cooking. Longer arms add extra weight and size, but in turn support larger cookware.

BURNER/BURNER HEAD

The spot on the stove where fire comes out.

READ MORE

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About The Author

Growing up on her family’s Massachusetts tree farm sparked Liza’s love for the great outdoors. An avid hiker, biker, and skier, she is always looking for the next adventure! Her greatest pursuit was a 3,600 mile bike ride across America, which she completed in 2016. She spends her winters in the mountains and her summers as a guide in Grand Tetons and Yellowstone national parks. You can find her health, happiness, and adventure blog at https://www.flower-force.com or https://www.facebook.com/flowerpowerblog. She is also on instagram as @lizab__.

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