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The best camping stoves, recommended by outdoors experts

A camping stove is an essential accessory for every camper, trekker and adventurer. But with hundreds to choose from, all suited to different applications, which should you choose? We spoke to outdoors experts to find out.

The best camping stoves (3)

Given the unpredictable nature of camping – particularly in the UK – a good quality camping stove ranks high on the list of essential kit. Whether you’re a solo camper eager for a cup of coffee after a cold night’s sleep or a parent faced with a family of hungry campers, owning a camping stove you can rely on when you need it most is essential.

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But with hundreds of stoves available to choose from, ranging from two-burner gas stoves and high-tech electric hobs to minimalist wood burners and lightweight foldaway options, it’s important to properly consider the style of camping stove best suited to your intended uses.

To help you narrow down your search, The Recommended spoke to two camping experts to get their take on what attributes you should look for when shopping for a camping stove, as well as some features you should steer clear of. In line with these recommendations, we’ve pulled together our list of the best camping stoves to buy online.

Jump to the best camping stoves:

Our outdoors experts

Outdoors experts
Richard Prideaux and David Scotland

Between them, our outdoors experts Richard Prideaux and David Scotland have decades of experience equipping their clients with the best camping gear.

Richard Prideaux is a wilderness skills instructor for Original Outdoors, a company specialising in outdoor skills training and consultancy. He trains UK outdoor professionals, such as the military and emergency services, as well as the general public. Richard is a specialist in modern bushcraft, foraging, ethnobotany and extended living in remote and wilderness areas. He is also the host of the Modern Outdoor Survival podcast.

David Scotland is the owner of family-run camping equipment and online Yorkshire-based retailer Outdoor World Direct. He has been in the business for the past 16 years and is highly experienced in all things camping. David enjoys sharing his knowledge with customers to ensure they have the best camping experience possible.

What should you look for when buying a camping stove?

According to Richard, the first thing you should consider when shopping for a camping stove is where you intend to use it. “If you’re going to be cooking elaborate meals at a campsite near your car, then you can choose something heavy with multiple burners, or even an enclosed wood burner that packs away.”

David agrees, adding, “if it’s for a campsite pitch you’re driving to, you can afford to go for a large, two-burner model, which will be much easier to cook for families and larger groups”.

If you prefer not to use gas, David suggests opting for an electric induction stove. Although he also points out that you will need an electric hook-up pitch to do this.

For more remote trips or wild camping, you’ll likely need something smaller and more lightweight. “If you’re heading into the high mountains and carrying it all on your back, then look for a self-contained cooking system that runs on resealable gas cartridges,” says Richard. “Simplicity is key when it comes to cooking in remote areas.”

David adds that this style of stove has “become increasingly popular with backpackers and wild campers as they are incredibly lightweight, efficient, easy to operate and even work in windy and freezing conditions”.

Another useful tip is to consider the accessories you might need. “Stoves don’t typically come with other utensils and crockery,” says David, “so remember you’ll need to buy pots, pans and the like. If you’re buying an induction hob, you’ll need to check pan/ kettle compatibility, as you won’t be able to use any old pan on those models.”

What should you avoid when looking for a camping stove?

While it can be easy to be swayed by fancy features, Richard advises looking for something simple. “The more functions a stove has, the more likely that it will fail when you really need it,” he says. “Stay away from the gas canisters that require puncturing to work – they are not worth the additional risk in a world where resealable gas cartridges are readily available.”

David reiterates the importance of buying a stove that’s well suited to your needs. “We often see people buying single burner stoves when they are cooking for more than one person, when, ideally, they need something larger.”

Another example is that “many wild campers opt for a screw-in stove which consists of a lightweight burner that screws onto the top of a gas canister,” he says. “One of the drawbacks of this type of stove though is that they aren’t as stable as other models, so be careful when using on uneven ground and only use in windy conditions if you have windbreak/shield. It’s worth noting that wind will also hinder its performance, and things will take longer to cook.”

If you’re heading abroad, you should also consider the gas your stove is designed to operate with is available in the region you are going. “Overseas have different types of canisters and different connections,” says David. “Large Calor gas bottles cannot be taken abroad, so if you are leaving the country, ensure you take a Campingaz 904 or 907, which are easier to get refills for abroad.”

The best camping stoves

Best two burner camping stove: Campingaz Chef Folding Camp Stove

Lightweight and compact

2. Campingaz Chef Folding Double Burner Stove and Grill

With two gas burners and a toaster function in the base, our expert David says this foldable camping stove is ideal for keen campers and adventure enthusiasts.

Housed in a lightweight folding case, this camping stove is compact and portable. It is also compatible with Campingaz 904 and 907 gas cylinders, a popular and readily available gas sold around the world, which makes it a great option for taking on holiday abroad.

Best electric camping stove: Vango Sizzle Double Induction Cooker

A high-tech option

3. Vango Sizzle Double Induction Hob

With automatic pan sensors, a heating lock to keep pans warm, and an integrated cooling fan, our expert David recommends this stove for anyone looking for a safe and high-tech alternative to gas.

This 800 watt electric induction hob with five heat settings can reach a maximum temperature of 200 degrees Celsius. One downside is that due to its induction technology, it is only compatible with steel bottom pans and kettles. It weighs 2.78kg and comes with a storage bag for portability.

Best for remote trips: Fire-Maple FMS-X1 Camping Stove Gas System

Small and lightweight

4. Fire-Maple FMS-X1 Camping Stove Gas System

Both our experts recommend self-contained cooking systems such as this for remote trips. This stove weighs just 511g and fits, along with a fuel canister, into the 1-litre cook pot included.

This stove features a high-efficiency design that promises to boil water up to 30% faster than a traditional backpacking stove. It also has a built-in piezo electric ignitor for easy ignition and a folding handle and fire control valve for easy cooking and pouring. The 1-litre cooking pot comes with a neoprene insulating cover for efficiency and to protect it from denting.

Best single burner stove: Campingaz Camp Bistro 2

Compact and portable

5. Campingaz Camp Bistro 2

Specifically optimised and designed for camping, this easy-to-use cordless, single burner camping stove features an insta-start piezo ignition and a cartridge safety locking system for safe gas cartridge insertion.

Weighing 2.5kg, this stove also features enamelled pan supports for easy cleaning and additional stability, and comes with a hard plastic carry case for ease of transport.

Best for windy conditions: MSR WindBurner Sauce Pot 2020 camping stove

A reliable companion

1. Msr WindBurner System

This camping stove from MSR is recommended by our expert Richard, who praises its stability, reliability and performance in windy conditions.

Featuring a radiant burner with boil-to-simmer control, Richard says you can boil water quickly or cook gently with this stove, and the weight is “impressively low” for the size of the pan. The stove also includes a 2.5-litre pot with a nonstick ceramic surface and heat-capturing ring. The system has a rattle-free design and internal pressure regulator to maintain performance in windy and cold conditions.

Best lightweight camping stove: Msr PocketRocket 2 Stove

As minimalist as it gets

6. Msr PocketRocket 2 Stove

Weighing just 73 grams, this is an ultra lightweight and minimal camping stove that hooks up to a liquefied petroleum gas canister (sold separately).

Designed to boil 1-litre of water in just 3 minutes and 30 seconds, this stainless steel stove requires no priming, preheating or pressurising to use, and its serrated pot supports are compatible with a range of sizes of pots. Our expert David recommends being careful when using this type of camping stove on even ground as they aren’t as stable as other designs.

Best stove for backpacking: Odoland Camping Cookware Kit with Stove

Handy range of accessories

7. Odoland Camping Cookware Kit with Stove

With a mini stove, two pots, tableware kit, tank bracket, cup, cup protector and two carry bags all included, this cookware kit from Odoland Store is great for anyone embarking on a remote adventure.

This ten piece camping cookware kit can all be packed into the largest of its pots, which is convenient if you are short of space. The tank bracket included in the kit is designed to sit underneath a gas canister, which promotes stability if used on uneven ground.

Best multi-functional stove: Campingaz Party Grill Gas Stove

Great for families and groups

8. Campingaz Party Grill Gas Stove

Ideal for cooking for a group of people, this 5-in-1 camping stove from Campingaz can support regular stove-top pans, be used for grilling as a griddle, and the lid can even be used as a wok.

This stove is powered by CV 470 Plus gas cartridges, which are available to buy across Europe. It also features piezo ignition for easy lighting, dishwasher-safe components, and packs down into a carry bag.

Best wood burning stove: REDCAMP Camping Wood Burning Stove

Collapsible design

9. REDCAMP Camping Wood Burning Stove

Made from stainless steel, this wood-burning camping stove from Redcamp Store is easily collapsible, folds down into a slim shape, and comes with a carry bag.

This stove also features a “grid backing plate” that provides a stable platform for cooking and is suitable for both barbecuing and stove-top pans.

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If you would like to read more expert-recommended round-ups, check out our Household page, where you’ll find more camping recommendations, including the best camping chairs and the best tents, as recommended by our camping experts.