Best Backpacking Stoves of 2023

You’re out on a backpacking trip, tired and hungry after a long day of hiking. What could be better than a hot, delicious meal to refuel and recharge? But to make that happen, you need the right stove. With so many options on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the best one for your needs. Should you go for a canister stove or a liquid gas one? What about an alcohol or wood-burning stove? Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. In this article, we’ve rounded up the best backpacking stoves, with options for every budget and preference. We’ll guide you through the key features to consider, so you can make an informed decision and enjoy a satisfying meal on your next adventure.

First things first, we didn’t just pull names out of a hat. All the stoves we were considering for the top spots, we bought, loaned, or already had sitting in our warehouse. Nate, our Campsite Chef, is the brain behind our stove testing. He oversaw tests in a controlled environment, measuring stuff like how fast these stoves boiled water and how efficient they were with fuel. We didn’t stop there. Our team, along with the Campsite Chef, spent a lot of time in the field, we got dirty and cooked up delicious meals. All the stoves went through more than just boiling water and if they didn’t make the cut, Campsite Chef was the first to tell us. So, when you read our top backpacking stove picks, know that we’ve been there, tested that, and made sure they’re worth your hard-earned bucks.

Best Camping Stoves: Quick Overview

Check out our quick overview below, where we’ve highlighted the six best camping stoves for different needs and budgets. Each stove is covered in more detail later in the article.

Time-tested crowd favourite

MSR PocketRocket 2

MSRP: $59.95 USD
Weight: 2.6 oz (73 grams)
Heat output: 8200 BTU
Boil time: 3 min 30 sec
Fuel type: Isobutane/propane canister

What we like About it

MSR is known for their trusty and well-made backpacking stoves, and the Pocket Rocket 2 lives up to that reputation. We’ve had it in our backpack for years, and it’s proven itself as a reliable workhorse. It’s sturdy, compact, and won’t take up much space in your backpack. It’s not too heavy, so it won’t drag you down while you hike.. Plus, the price won’t break the bank, it’s in the mid-range for similar backpacking stoves. What’s super cool is its enduring popularity among backpackers. It’s been a go-to choice for years, proving its reliability on the trail.

What We Don’t Like

Now, let’s talk about the not-so-great stuff with the MSR Pocket Rocket 2. First off, it’s a bit of a jack-of-all-trades but master of none. It doesn’t really shine in any particular area. While it’s lighter than pricier stoves, its efficiency is on par with some cheaper options, and it falls short in terms of efficiency when compared to similarly priced stoves like the Soto Windmaster. Another thing to watch out for is that some users have reported screws coming loose during use, so you’ll want to keep an eye on them and tighten them up to make sure your cooking experience stays safe. Lastly, the Pocket Rocket 2 is pretty sensitive to the wind. If you’re in windy conditions, you’ll likely need to invest in a windscreen to cook effectively.

Our Final Take

In a nutshell, the MSR Pocket Rocket 2 is a decent canister stove that’s been around the block. It’s a reliable classic and has a good history, making it a safe bet for those who want something tried and true. But here’s the deal, it’s not the superstar it once was. In today’s crowded market, its design and performance don’t really make it stand out. While it’s not a bad choice, keep in mind that there are newer alternatives available that might offer more bang for your buck.

Read our full PocketRocket 2 review

Best value canister stove system

Jetboil Flash Cooking System

MSRP: $125 USD
Weight: 13 oz (370 grams, includes pot)
Heat output: 9000 BTU
Boil time: 3 min 20 sec (liter of water)
Fuel type: Isobutane/propane canister

What we like About it

Convenience is the name of the game, and it delivers in spades. Easy to setup and ignite with the piezo igniter. No more waiting around thanks to its lightning-fast boil time, and you don’t need to purchase a separate pot – it’s all bundled into one compact system. What’s more, it’s a compact powerhouse that excels even in windy conditions, thanks to its efficient flux-ring design that acts as a built-in windscreen. The pot’s insulation keeps you safe from burns and even allows you to eat or pour directly from it. Plus, it has a handy visual sensor to let you know when the water is hot. Easy setup, breakdown, and cleanup sums up its user-friendly design.

What We Don’t Like

There are some downsides to consider. First and foremost, its price tag can be a bit steep, although it does include both the stove and pot, which can soften the blow. It’s a one-trick pony, primarily boiling water, which could be a drawback if you want to prepare more elaborate meals on the trail. In terms of portability, the system’s weight and bulkiness make it less ideal for ultralight backpacking. We did overheat the stove and the pot cover started melting a little bit, so you have to be attentive. It doesn’t have a micro regulator, so the performance is worse in the colder temperatures. We didn’t have this issue, but lot’s of users have complained about the failing piezo igniter, whether it works inconsistently or gets broken entirely.

Our Final Take

On the bright side, it’s super convenient with its all-in-one design, lightning-fast boiling, and user-friendly push-button ignition. It performs remarkably well, even when the wind is howling. The drawbacks, especially in terms of weight and versatility, might not make it the best fit for every backpacking adventure. If all you need is boiled water for dehydrated meals or ramen noodles, then it get the job done. But if you wish to cook something more elaborate, your best bet would be to get a stove with better heat control.

Read our full Jeboil Flash review

Best budget-friendly ultralight stove

BRS 3000T

MSRP: $16.95 USD
Weight: 0.9 oz (27 grams)
Heat output: 9200 BTU
Boil time: 3 minutes for a liter of water
Fuel type: Isobutane/propane canister

What we like About it

The BRS 3000T is incredibly lightweight, tipping the scales at just 25 grams, one of the lightest canister stoves available and it’s also ultra-compact, making it a breeze to carry in your backpack. When it comes to boiling water, this little stove packs a punch with high output, gets the job done quickly and efficiently in calm conditions. You can also control the heat output quite well. It is incredibly affordable, at less than $20 USD, making it a budget-friendly option.

What We Don’t Like

BRS 3000T is designed to be ultralight, so we understand it won’t have all the features of heavier canister stoves. We were constantly having problems when facing windy conditions, as it lacks built-in wind resistance. Stronger gusts blew out the flame, and fuel efficiency was awful even in slight wind. To mitigate this, you’ll have to fabricate your own windscreen or shield for better wind resistance. Furthermore, the stove has short pot support legs, so we mainly used smaller pots because larger ones were too unstable. It’s also quite noisy when cranked up to full power.

Our Final Take

It’s a great stove if you’re on a budget or you’re looking for a ultra lightweight stove. The heat output is on par with more expensive stoves. It boils water quickly, perfect for a speedy cup of coffee or rehydrating a meal on the trail. But remember that you’ll be limited to smaller pots and you’ll have to set up a windscreen or build a wind shelter every time you use it. We were still thoroughly impressed with the power it packs for such a low price.

Read our full BRS 3000T review

MSR Whisperlite

Best liquid fuel stove

MSR WhisperLite

MSRP: $134.95 USD
Weight: 10.9 oz (310 grams)
Heat output: 11,000 BTU
Boil time: 3 min 30 sec (liter of water)
Fuel type: White gas, kerosene, and unleaded auto fuel

What we like About it

MSR Whisperlite was designed in 1984 for mountaineers and this legendary stove remains a bestseller. The foremost advantage is its incredible durability, it’s built to last and can withstand the test of time. We’ve used it on our winter backpacking trips and it performs very well in cold temperatures and high altitudes. Plus, Whisperlite comes with a windscreen and heat reflector. Its cleanable and repairable nature, along with the included maintenance kit, ensures that it lasts forever, and spare fuel bottles can be used for extended journeys.

What We Don’t Like

It takes longer to boil water compared to newer, more efficient designs like the Jetboil. You have to prime the fuel before you can start using the stove, it may flame up a bit before settling into a stable burn. Lighting it may take a bit longer to master, and its flame control requires practice to achieve optimal results. Stability can be an issue, as it tended to tip on rough or uneven surfaces.
Regular maintenance is necessary, especially during extended trips, which can be a hassle. There are numerous small parts to keep track of

Our Final Take

It’s clear that this stove is a good companion for the experienced adventurer. Our team members have used this stove a lot when they are up in the mountains or when the temperatures are near freezing or even colder. It’s a very reliable stove, but it will need some love and maintenance to keep it going. Setting the stove up, priming and maintenance has a learning curve. For casual weekend backpacking trip, we usually opt for some more user-friendly stoves but this is our go-to if we’re expecting extreme weather and need a stove that won’t fail us under any conditions.

Read our full Jeboil Flash review

Best budget-friendly starter stove and cook set

Soto Amicus Stove + Cook set

MSRP: $49.95 USD
Weight: 2.9 oz (82 grams)
Heat output: 10,210 BTU
Boil time: 3 min 50 sec for a liter of water
Fuel type: Isobutane/propane canister

What we like About it

We’ve had the Amicus in our arsenal for couple of years and we absolutely love exceptional value for the quality it offers. It’s top-notch quality but still affordable, wind-resistant even without the windscreen, efficient with a good boil time and fuel economy. You can cook some more delicate meals thanks to a good flame control, wide pot support legs for larger pots and pans, and a piezo igniter to get the flame going. Support legs fold in and it takes very little space in your backpack. It’s incredibly easy to set up and fire up.

What We Don’t Like

It’s difficult to find any huge cons with this stove. It’s not a superstar in any of the qualities we tested, but its above average on all of them. It’s wind-resistant, but not wind-proof like some integrated systems. Also not as efficient as integrated canister stoves. The pot doesn’t have volume markers and the carrying bag is not that impressive. Not as strong in cold temperatures or high altitudes.

Our Final Take

I use this stove all the time when going for a casual weekend trip. Whipping it out to make pancakes or cook some mac and cheese with the kids. It’s just so easy to set up, get the flame going and pack it up again. I would recommend this as a first stove to everyone just for the ease-of-use factor. It’s affordable and high quality, lightweight and compact. Checks all the boxes for me. When it comes to extreme weather, cold temperatures and high mountains, then I’ll opt for the MSR Whisperlite.

Read our full Soto Amicus review

Solo Lite in action

Best alternative fuel stove

Solo Stove Lite

Weight: 9 oz (255 grams)
Heat output: Depends on fuel you use or find
Boil time: Depends on fuel use use or find
Fuel type: Small twigs, leaves, and other natural materials

What we like About it

Solo Stove is known for its large smokeless fire pits and the Lite is miniature version of that. No need to lug around fuel canisters or bottles, we just gathered some branches and timber nearby the campsite and used it as fuel for the fire. It burns quietly as natural fire would, crackles and illuminates your surroundings and creates a nice campfire feeling. It’s well designed to reduce smoke and burn timber way more efficiently than regular campfire, so small amount of branches can go a long way. Stove itself is robust with no moving parts. It doesn’t get hot on the bottom and will not leave a burn mark. You can also drop alcohol burner stoves into the Lite and use alcohol as fuel.

What We Don’t Like

What if there’s no trees nearby? Potential absence of fuel is the most obvious downside if you’re in an area with high rate of rain, above tree line, or desert-like area. It takes some experience to know how much timber to use for boiling and cooking. You can’t really control the flame size so cooking delicate dishes will take some patience and lifting pan on-and-off the stove. We measured that the boil time was 3 times as long as some of our canister stoves. We also noticed, that the natural fire doesn’t emit nearly as much heat as other fuels. The wood burns very quickly so you’ll need to feed fire constantly. The Lite doesn’t fold up in anyway, so it does take quite a lot of room in the backpack, it’s best if you can fit it into your pot.

Our Final Take

It’s significantly more difficult to use than other types of stoves. If it happens to heavily rain, good luck finding dry firewood. But there’s certain serenity factor going for the wood-burning stoves. You can cook your meals over an open fire, feeling the snap, crackle, and pop of a wood-burning fire. I have been using it when going on little hikes with my kids, letting them gather the branches for fire and then sitting around the cozy fire, making dinner or warming up marshmallows. I wouldn’t personally use it as my main backpacking stove, but rather something I can dig out whenever I wish for a nice and cozy natural fire and nice ambient atmosphere.

Read our full Solo Stove Lite review


In conclusion, having a reliable and efficient camping stove is essential for any outdoor adventure. From lightweight and affordable options to versatile and high-performance models, there are plenty of stoves to choose from in 2023. The six stoves we’ve highlighted in this article offer a range of features and benefits to suit different needs and budgets, whether you’re a backpacker, car camper, or alternative-fuel enthusiast. So, before you hit the trails or the campground, take a closer look at these top-rated camping stoves and choose the one that’s right for you. Happy cooking and happy camping!

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