GearTrend Reviews the Best Camping Stoves 2018

GearTrend Reviews the Best Camping Stoves 2018

I know that cooking over an open campfire sounds nostalgic, but let’s be honest, it sucks. You are limited to whatever you can cook in tinfoil. Anyone who spends more than a day at a time camping is going to want a controlled flame heat source to cook over. We say it all the time at GearTrend, there is no “perfect gear.” It all comes down to where you camp, when you camp, and how long camp. Someone doing a 2-week backpacking trip is going to need a different stove than someone who does a week-long camping trip and is feeding 3 families each meal. Since everyone needs a different stove, we ranked our favorite camping stoves for each purpose as opposed to a top 5 list.

Quick Summary of Our Favorite Camping Stoves of 2018

  • Lightweight Backpacking: MSR Pocket Rocket
  • Wood Powered: BioLite CampStove 2
  • Cheap Tabletop: Coleman Classic 2 Burner
  • Quality Tabletop: Stansport 2 Burner
  • Well Rounded Cook Station: Camp Chef Explorer 2 Burner

Lightweight Backpacking Stove: MSR PocketRocket

Quick Stats:

  • Weight: 3 oz. (really)
  • Collapsed size: 4 x 2 x 2 inches
  • Burners: 1
  • BTU’s: 8200
  • GT’s quality rating: 9
  • GT’s value rating: 8
  • Price: $39.95 on Amazon

What We Like About the MSR Pocket Rocket

This one’s pretty simple, when you’re are looking for a backpacking stove, weight and size are the most important factors. The MSR Pocket Rocket literally fits in your pocket, granted you will still need to buy a can of IsoPro fuel from MSR. The good news is the cans work a lot better than those typical green propane canisters and are pretty easy to find online or in your local camping store. The Pocket Rocket doesn’t have many tricks but it does boil a liter of water in about 3.5 minutes. It’s fairly wind resistant with what MSR calls a “Tri-sectional Windclip”, which sits over the flame.

Buy the PocketRocket

Wood Powered Stove + Battery Pack: BioLite CampStove 2

Quick stats:

  • Weight: 2LB
  • Collapsed size: 8.27 x 5 x 5 inches
  • Burners: 1
  • BTU’s: 10,000 BTU (depends on what wood you are burning)
  • GT’s quality rating: 8
  • GT’s value rating: 6
  • Price: $120 on Amazon

What We Like About the BioLite CampStove 2

This stove kills three camping birds with one stone. It’s a wood burning stove, a wood powered electricity generator, plus a 2600mAh USB battery pack. This thing runs on twigs, grass, wood pellets, or whatever you have laying around, which means you never need to pack around fuel canisters and you will never run out of fuel. The fact that you can charge anything that takes a USB port means you have a headlamp charger or phone charger with you in the wilderness. This is really great for emergency situations is what we love about this stove. They are a little pricey but remember you never need to buy a fuel for them (the MSR above needs $17 canisters). I actually leave my BioLite in the trunk of my car, just in case.

Buy the CampStove 2

Cheapest Tabletop Camp Stove: Coleman Classic

Quick Stats:

  • Weight: 10 Lbs
  • Collapsed size: 4.1 x 21.9 x 13.7 inches
  • Burners: 2
  • BTU’s: 20,000
  • GT’s quality rating: 6
  • GT’s value rating: 9
  • Price: $42.65 on Amazon

What We Like About the Coleman Classic Camp Stove

Who hasn’t owned one of these stoves in their lives? They are cheap, versatile, easy to find fuel for, and fold up pretty small. The GearTrend crew uses one of these grills every Saturday in the parking lot of Brighton Ski Resort (come say hi if you see us, we have more than just tailgating food ;). These grills aren’t the highest quality, the nobs tend to fall off and fine tuning the flame size can be a pain, but for the price, you really shouldn’t expect much more. Just remember to bring matches, since this doesn’t have a built-in igniter like the next stove on this list.

Some of the GearTrend crew tailgating at Brighton

Buy the Coleman Classic

Quality Tabletop Camp Stove: Stansport 2 Burner Propane Stove

Quick Stats:

  • Weight: 10 Lbs
  • Collapsed size: 6 x 13.2 x 24 inches
  • Burners: 2
  • BTU’s: 50,000
  • GT’s quality rating: 10
  • GT’s Value rating: 8
  • Price: $69.99 on Amazon

What We Like About the Stansport 2 Burner Propane Stove

Take everything you know and love about the Coleman Classic camping stove and imagine if someone made a version of that with quality in mind, that’s the Stansport 2 Bruner. Just about everyone in the camp stove game makes their own version of a 2 burner table top stove, but Stansport’s version is our favorite as it comes in at the perfect intersection of quality and price. Everything about this stove is heavy duty, from the burners to the wind panels and knobs. This stove can take a beating and keep on cookin’. The big feature upgrade over the Coleman Classic is the electric igniter, which is super convenient when your matches get rained on.

Buy the Stansport 2

Well Rounded Camping Cook Station: Camp Chef Explorer 2 Burner

Quick Stats:

  • Weight: 22.5 Lbs
  • Collapsed size: 34 x 16 x 9 inches
  • Burners: 2
  • BTU’s: 30,000 X 2
  • GT’s quality rating: 9
  • GT’s value rating: 7
  • Price: $103.89 on Amazon

What We Like About the Camp Chef Explorer 2

My buddy, Kris, uses this grill for 2-week long hunting trips, so I asked him for his opinion of this camp stove and the accessories he has for it. “My dad’s had pretty much the same set up for over a decade now, that’s what convinced me to go that way. We’ve used the products anywhere from 2500ft to 10,000+ ft and temps from negatives to approaching triple digits and the only issue I’ve had is running out of propane or someone leaving it on! They are extremely durable in my experience. As far as the accessories go, The grill boxdoes just about anything you can imagine. The griddle is fairly basic but sturdy. The side shelves are a must have IMO, they protect when it’s rainy and have a bunch of room for all your utensils, extra food and drinks while you’re cooking. The carrying bags wear considerably when exposed to my bed liner and dirt roads so I have to pack the bed of my truck accordingly or buy new carry bags every 10 trips. But they are super nice and convenient for packing everything and not exposing the actual products to the wear and tear.”

Buy the Explorer 2

Wrap Up of Our Favorite Camping Stoves of 2017

There are a few sizes out there, backpack, tabletop, and freestanding camp stoves. Depending on what you are looking for we should have given you an option that fits your needs. If there is a camp stove or grill you think we missed, drop us a comment or ask us on social media, we are happy to get our hands on one and review it.

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    I really liked the biolite first gen. Plenty of reasons to use it
    http://thesurvivaljournal.com/biolite-campstove-review/
    I’d imagine the 2nd model to be quite better though, going to have to give it a try!