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The Best Backpacking Stoves of 2023

The right stove makes life on the trail better. From ultralight canisters to four-season and multifuel options, we've found and tested the best backpacking stoves.

five different lightweight backpacking stoves with fuel canisters and a tent in the backgroundStove testing outdoors in Colorado; (photo/Eric Philips)
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Sure, you could just eat a handful of trail mix or a can of tuna, but it’s hard to beat a hot meal after a long day on the trail. On the other hand, you want to keep your pack weight low. Luckily, there are plenty of backpacking stoves on the market today that make quick work of heating up dinner without weighing you down.

We spend a lot of time camped out in the backcountry, so we understand how important it is to have a reliable, long-lasting stove. From full-blown thru-hikes on the PCT or AT to lightweight overnights in the Rocky Mountains and staff camp trips, we logged a lot of time preparing meals outside and testing stoves.

The primary factors we looked at were weight, packed size, boil time, and simmer abilities. Secondarily, we considered fuel efficiency, performance in wind and cold, and additional stove features.

While there isn’t a single backpacking stove that’s best for everyone out there, we’ve organized this guide into categories to help you find the best stove for you. The majority of stoves we tested were canister stoves. While these stoves aren’t the only option on the market, they do have lots of perks, which we’ll explain in detail below.

Be sure to check out our handy comparison chart, buyer’s guide, and FAQ sections for more help in narrowing in on the best stove for you. Below you’ll find our best picks for budget, wind performance, and more, as well as the best options in the following categories.

The Best Backpacking Stoves of 2023


Best Overall Backpacking Stove

MSR PocketRocket Deluxe

Specs

  • Weight 2.9 oz.
  • Fuel type Canister
  • Burn time 60 min. per 8 oz. of IsoPro fuel
  • Time to reach boil 3 min., 23 sec. (all boil times listed in this article are for 1 L of water)
The Best Backpacking Stoves of 2023

Pros

  • Very fast boil time
  • Effective simmer capabilities

Cons

  • Reports of Piezo igniter failure
Best Budget Backpacking Stove

GSI Outdoors Glacier Stove

Specs

  • Weight 5.8 oz.
  • Fuel type Canister
  • Burn time N/A
  • Time to reach boil 5 minutes, 30 seconds
The Best Backpacking Stoves of 2023

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Large, powerful burner
  • Good simmer abilities

Cons

  • Not the fastest boil time
  • On the heavier side
Best Liquid Fuel Backpacking Stove

MSR WhisperLite Universal

Specs

  • Weight 13.7 oz.
  • Fuel type Liquid or Canister
  • Burn time 1 hr. 50 min. (20 oz. white gas)/ 1 hr. 15 min. (8 oz. isobutane)
  • Time to reach boil 3.5 minutes per half-liter (white gas)
The Best Backpacking Stoves of 2023

Pros

  • Can use a variety of fuel types
  • Great for cold weather
  • Performs well at high altitudes

Cons

  • Not the most packable
  • Pretty heavy
  • Need to prime the stove and do maintenance in the field
Best Backpacking Stove for Cold/Wind

MSR WindPro II

Specs

  • Weight 6.6 oz.
  • Fuel type Canister
  • Burn time 1 hr. 10 sec. per 8 oz. of IsoPro fuel
  • Time to reach boil 3 minutes, 45 seconds
The Best Backpacking Stoves of 2023

Pros

  • Great for cooking in cold temps
  • Easy to operate

Cons

  • Not the most fuel-efficient stove
Most Compact Backpacking Stove System

Jetboil Flash

Specs

  • Weight 13.1 oz.
  • Fuel type Canister
  • Burn time N/A
  • Time to reach boil 2 minutes, 58 seconds
The Best Backpacking Stoves of 2023

Pros

  • Quick boil time
  • Heat-indicating sleeve shows when boiling

Cons

  • On the heavy side
  • Limited to what can fit in the included pot
Best Wood Backpacking Stove

Solo Stove Lite

Specs

  • Weight 9 oz.
  • Fuel type Wood
  • Burn time Endless depending on wood supply
  • Time to reach boil 8-10 minutes
The Best Backpacking Stoves of 2023

Pros

  • Uses naturally available fuel
  • Saves weight by not having to carry fuel
  • Thoughtful, effective design

Cons

  • Pot gets quite hot
  • Requires more upfront work to start up
Best Alcohol Backpacking Stove

Solo Stove Alcohol Burner

Specs

  • Weight 3.5 oz.
  • Fuel type Liquid/Alcohol
  • Burn time N/A
  • Time to reach boil 5-7 minutes
The Best Backpacking Stoves of 2023

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Compact
  • Uses denatured alcohol which is easy to find, use, and transport

Cons

  • No pot support
Best of the Rest

MSR PocketRocket 2 Stove

Specs

  • Weight 2.6 oz.
  • Fuel type Canister
  • Burn time Roughly 60 min. per 8 oz. of IsoPro fuel
  • Time to reach boil 3.5-4.5 minutes, depending on wind
The Best Backpacking Stoves of 2023

Pros

  • Lightweight but durable
  • Affordable
  • Solid simmer control

Cons

  • No piezo lighter
  • Somewhat unstable

BRS-3000T Ultralight Stove

Specs

  • Weight 26 g. (0.92 oz.)
  • Fuel type Canister
  • Burn time N/A
  • Time to reach boil 4 minutes
The Best Backpacking Stoves of 2023

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Super compact
  • Ultralight

Cons

  • Small burner head
  • Not the most fuel-efficient stove

Primus Essential Trail Stove

Specs

  • Weight 4 oz.
  • Fuel type Canister
  • Burn time 75 min. per 8 oz. of IsoPro fuel
  • Time to reach boil 3.5 minutes
The Best Backpacking Stoves of 2023

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Wide pot supports
  • Great heat distribution

Cons

  • Not super packable
  • Tricky to balance some pots on it

BioLite CampStove 2+

Specs

  • Weight 2 lbs. 1 oz.
  • Fuel type Wood
  • Burn time Endless depending on wood supply
  • Time to reach boil 4 minutes, 40 seconds
The Best Backpacking Stoves of 2023

Pros

  • Easy to control flame size
  • Produces electricity while burning wood
  • Compact, packable design

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Heavy

MSR Reactor 1.7L

Specs

  • Weight 1 lb. 3 oz.
  • Fuel type Canister
  • Burn time 1 hr. 20 min. per 8 oz. of IsoPro fuel
  • Time to reach boil 3 minutes
The Best Backpacking Stoves of 2023

Pros

  • Incredible wind-resistance
  • Super fast boil time
  • Minimal operation noise
  • Radiant and convective heat transfer

Cons

  • Heavy and bulky
  • Difficult to simmer
  • Expensive

GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Stove

Specs

  • Weight 2.4 oz.
  • Fuel type Canister
  • Burn time N/A
  • Time to reach boil 5 minutes, 40 seconds
The Best Backpacking Stoves of 2023

Pros

  • Compact design
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Somewhat slow boil time

Jetboil MiniMo

Specs

  • Weight 14 oz.
  • Fuel type Canister
  • Burn time 60 minutes per 100g canister
  • Time to reach boil 3 minutes 25 seconds
The Best Backpacking Stoves of 2023

Pros

  • Easy to cook and eat from
  • Solid heat distribution
  • Packable

Cons

  • Not as windproof as similar designs
  • Handle rivets inside the pot complicate cleaning a bit

SOTO Amicus

Specs

  • Weight 2.9 oz.
  • Fuel type Canister
  • Burn time 1.5 hours per 8 oz. of IsoPro fuel
  • Time to reach boil N/A
The Best Backpacking Stoves of 2023

Pros

  • Great burn time and capability in cold and wind
  • Deeper lip around crown of burner
  • Better pot support (4 legs instead of 3)
  • Great packed size

Cons

  • On the loud side

Camp Chef Stryker Multifuel Stove

Specs

  • Weight 27 oz.
  • Fuel type Canister
  • Burn time N/A
  • Time to reach boil 5 minutes
The Best Backpacking Stoves of 2023

Pros

  • Can use propane or butane
  • Wider 1.5L pot is great for group camping

Cons

  • Slower boil time than others
  • Bulky
  • Overkill for solo backpackers

Esbit Titanium Solid Fuel Stove

Specs

  • Weight 11 g. (0.39 oz.)
  • Fuel type Fuel cubes
  • Burn time Approx. 12 min. per 14 g. fuel cube
  • Time to reach boil 8-12 minutes (10 minutes in testing with a 14g fuel cube)
The Best Backpacking Stoves of 2023

Pros

  • Ultralight
  • Compact and simple design
  • Uses clean fuel

Cons

  • Need to carry fuel cubes
  • Difficult to light with matches

Vargo Titanium Hexagon

Specs

  • Weight 4.1 oz.
  • Fuel type Wood
  • Burn time Endless depending on wood supply
  • Time to reach boil 8-10 minutes
The Best Backpacking Stoves of 2023

Pros

  • Light and packable
  • Titanium cools quickly after use
  • Simple to set up

Cons

  • Soot buildup on pots
  • Takes work to get going and keep lit

MSR WindBurner Stove

Specs

  • Weight 15.3 oz.
  • Fuel type Canister
  • Burn time 95 minutes per 227g canister
  • Time to reach boil 4.5 minutes
The Best Backpacking Stoves of 2023

Pros

  • Solid wind-resistance
  • Great fuel efficiency

Cons

  • On the expensive side
  • Heavy

Backpacking Stoves Comparison Chart

Backpacking StovePriceWeightFuel TypeBurn TimeBoil Time (1L)
MSR PocketRocket
Deluxe
$852.9 oz.Canister60 min. per 8 oz. of IsoPro fuel3 min., 23 sec.
GSI Outdoors Glacier$305.8 oz.CanisterN/A5 min. 30 sec.
MSR WhisperLite
Universal
$20013.7 oz.Liquid or Canister1 hr. 50 min. (20 oz. white gas)/ 1 hr. 15 min. (8 oz. isobutane)3.5 min. per
½ L
MSR WindPro II$1356.6 oz.Canister1 hr. 10 sec. per 8 oz. of IsoPro fuel3 min., 45 sec.
Jetboil Flash$12513.1 oz.CanisterN/A2 min., 58 sec.
Solo Stove Lite$909 oz.WoodEndless depending on wood supply8-10 min.
Solo Stove Alcohol Burner $253.5 oz.Liquid/AlcoholN/A5-7 min.
MSR PocketRocket 2$602.6 oz.CanisterRoughly 60 min. per 8 oz. of IsoPro fuel3.5-4.5 min.
BRS-3000T$1826 g. (0.92 oz.)CanisterN/A4 min.
Primus Essential
Trail Stove
$304 oz.Canister75 min. per 8 oz. of IsoPro fuel3.5 min.
BioLite CampStove 2+$1502 lbs., 1 oz.WoodEndless depending on wood supply4 min., 40 sec.
MSR Reactor 1.7L$2901 lb., 3 oz.Canister1 hr. 20 min. per 8 oz. of IsoPro fuel3 min.
GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Stove$502.4 oz.CanisterN/A5 min., 40 sec.
Jetboil MiniMo$16514 oz.Canister60 minutes per 100g canister3 min., 25 sec.
SOTO Amicus$502.9 oz.Canister1.5 hours per 8 oz. of IsoPro fuelN/A
Camp Chef Stryker
Multifuel Stove
$15027 oz.CanisterN/A5 min.
Esbit Titanium Solid
Fuel Stove
$3011 g (0.39 oz.)Fuel cubesApprox. 12 min. per 14g fuel cube8-12 min.
Vargo Titanium Hexagon$604.1 oz.WoodEndless depending on wood supply8-10 min.
MSR WindBurner$19015.3 oz.Canister95 min. per 227g canister4.5 min.
backpacking stoves group photo
A lineup of canister backpacking stoves we tested; (photo/Mary Murphy)

Why You Should Trust Us

Our entire staff contributed to testing and using a variety of backpacking stoves over the years. But every year, we test new and updated models. In addition to testing in group settings, we dedicate a lot of time on personal trips packing in and using these stoves.

We put extra-close attention on each stove’s burner performance in wind and colder conditions, as well as its general usability. Mary Murphy, one of our authors, has spent over 250 days in the backcountry, on solo backpacking, camping, and pack-paddleboarding trips, and has also section-hiked the Appalachian Trail and Colorado Trail.

Chris Carter, another author of this guide, has significant experience putting various backpacking stoves through torture and torment, having thru-hiked the Triple Crown of long trails in the United States: the Pacific Crest Trail, the Continental Divide Trail, and the Appalachian Trail. He knows the importance of a reliable stove for nutrition and sustenance on trail, and is quite picky about the models he depends on in the wild.

Buyers Guide: How to Choose a Backpacking Stove

Backpacking Stoves
Backpacking stoves are essential elements of a well-rounded backpacking kit; (photo/Chris Carter)

The right stove depends on a variety of factors. What works for one person might not suit your particular adventures. Read on for tips on choosing the best backpacking stove.

It’s also worth noting that this article focuses solely on backpacking stoves. If you’re looking for a larger two-burner camp stove, check out the best camping stoves of 2023.

Types of Backpacking Stoves

There are a variety of different types of backpacking stoves, and which one you decide to go with boils down to personal preference and the type of adventure you plan to use it on.

Backpacking Stoves
The MSR PocketRocket 2, a lightweight canister stove, is a popular model among thru-hikers going the distance; (photo/Chris Carter)

Canister Stoves

These stoves typically screw directly onto a fuel canister filled with a blend of isobutane-propane. Benefits include ease of use and low maintenance.

On the flipside, canisters can’t be refilled, causing additional waste (they can be recycled, but you’ll need to take them to a recycling facility). And they’re prone to freezing up or providing a weak flame in cold winter conditions.

Top examples of canister stoves include the MSR PocketRocket Deluxe and GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Stove.

MSR Pocket Deluxe camp stove
The MSR PocketRocket Deluxe is our top pick for canister stoves; (photo/Seiji Ishii)

Liquid Fuel Stoves

These stoves connect to refillable fuel bottles. They are generally filled with white gas, but you can also use other fuels, including kerosene and gasoline. This is ideal if traveling overseas. This stove type can be slightly more complicated to use (in other words, it requires maintenance), but it performs well in cold conditions.

Our top pick for liquid fuel stoves would be the MSR WhisperLite Universal.

Wood-burning stoves, like the Solo Stove Lite, allow you to use readily available fuel to cook your meals; (photo/David Young)

Wood-Burning Stoves

The traditionalists out there will appreciate a wood stove. You get the pleasure of cooking over a fire packed into a smaller space. The upside is you don’t need to carry fuel. The downsides include susceptibility to wind, unpredictable cook times, and fire restrictions.

These are fantastic options for those looking to harken back to the roots of the backcountry culinary art. But, these aren’t the most reliable stoves for long journeys. Trudge through the rain all day and there may not be any dry tinder to warm up that freeze-dried spaghetti you so meticulously prepared beforehand. If you do decide to go this route, either bring a backup fuel source or embrace occasional cold-soaking.

The Solo Stove Lite and Vargo Titanium Hexagon are some of the better wood-burning backpacking stoves on the market.

Stove Use: Cooking vs. Boiling

If you plan to eat mainly dehydrated backpacking meals (just add water), you’ll want a simple stove with a fast boiling time. If, on the other hand, you’d like to cook more elaborate meals, it will be more important to find a stove with better simmer control, and maybe a wider burner.

Think about how often and for what type of cooking you’ll be using your backpacking stove before buying.

MSR Pocket Deluxe camp stove
The MSR PocketRocket Deluxe stove affords good simmer control for cooking; (photo/Seiji Ishii)

Stove Packed Size and Weight

The stoves on this list weigh anywhere from an ounce to 2 pounds (but most are within the 3- to 9-ounce range). Some can fit in the palm of your hand, and some take up a bit more room.

Not everyone needs the tiniest stove on the market. Especially if you camp year-round, you’ll want to choose a four-season stove, or one better rated for cold performance.

There are also a few differences to consider between size and packed size. For example, the Jetboil stove itself is larger and slightly heavier than other canister stoves on our list. However, it integrates with all the other components and packs down super small (including the pot, lid, stove, and fuel).

BRS3000T backpacking stove close up
The ultralight, tiny BRS3000T perched on a camp table during stove testing in Colorado; (photo/Eric Philips)

Weight is another consideration. If you are going on a 2-day overnight, weight won’t matter as much as, say, a 30-day wilderness trek.

Also, think about what other gear you’ll be carrying. Do you have a lightweight backpacking tent that doesn’t take up much space? Or will you be carrying lots of equipment, like a camera or climbing gear?

If you frequent forests or parks that allow folks to collect firewood, or if you are going to an area where fuel is harder to come by, maybe a wood stove would be the best option. If you’re an ounce counter, an ultralight canister stove may be what you’re after.

esbit titanium stove with solid fuel cube
The mega-packable Esbit Titanium Folding Stove is by far the lightest option on our list; (photo/Mary Murphy)

Price

Will you be using this stove every weekend? Twice a month? Twice a year on big trips?

It makes sense to invest more if you’ll be relying on it to feed yourself regularly. If you’ll use it only fairly often or if it’s for emergencies, consider purchasing a less expensive model.

That being said, if you need a backpacking stove, there are stoves in every price range: $10-40, $40-70, and over $100.

Winter and Cold Performance

Not all stoves are created equal, and nowhere is this more evident than in the frigid temps of winter camping conditions. If you camp in the warmer months only, this isn’t a concern.

a jetboil stove system on a table at a campsite
Stoves like the JetBoil Flash offer solid wind and weather resistance for cold winter camping; (photo/Mary Murphy)

But if you head out in the winter, you’ll probably use your stove to melt snow and boil a lot of water. You need to be able to rely on it when the mercury drops. The MSR Reactor is a great stove for this purpose.

For this, you’ll want a liquid fuel or four-season stove. We’ve found liquid fuel stoves to be the most reliable choice in winter.

Other Considerations

Group size: If you regularly backpack and plan meals with a group (families, college students), consider dispersing the weight and investing in a larger group cookset and stove. Or, a wider burner that can accommodate a variety of pots and pans. The Camp Chef Stryker Multifuel Stove is a great choice for group camping.

If you’re a solo adventurer, a smaller canister stove like the popular MSR PocketRocket 2, is a fine choice.

Solo stove lite
Make sure you are comfortable using whatever stove you decide to buy before depending on it in the backcountry; (photo/David Young)

Tips for Using a Backpacking Stove

  • When you buy your first backpacking stove, invest in a few extra fuel canisters too. This lets you have a stockpile for spur-of-the-moment trips and early-morning endeavors — you won’t have to run to a store to track down fuel.
  • Always read the instructions. (Yes, even if you are familiar with camp stoves.) The instructions will tell you how to prime your stove, and might even have tips on cleaning and repair.
  • Avoid spills by setting up on the flattest spot possible. Flat rocks make great cooking surfaces.
  • Always bring matches to light your stove in case of emergency. Yes, even if your stove has a piezo igniter. Igniters can fail, lighters can break, and there’s nothing sadder than a cold meal because you couldn’t get a flame.
  • Never cook inside your tent or vehicle. On top of being a fire hazard, this can cause carbon monoxide poisoning and death. If you camp frequently in rainy climates, invest in a tarp and some guy line for a safe overhead kitchen shelter.
Backpacking Stoves
A hot meal at the end of a brutal day is key for keeping morale up while on a long backpacking journey; (photo/Chris Carter)

FAQ

What is the difference between a camping stove and a backpacking stove?

Camp stoves and backpacking stoves are both built for use in the outdoors, but they vary wildly in features. Camping stoves weigh anywhere from 6 to 15 pounds, and they’re designed for use on a camp table or picnic table in more front-country settings (you won’t want to carry one far).

On the other hand, backpacking stoves are designed to hike with. They weigh 1-12 ounces, and they’re designed to pack small to fit in a pocket or pack.

Backpacking stoves tend to have a single burner, with some sort of fuel connector, regulator/simmer dial, and pot support platform. That’s it!

What is the best backpacking stove?

The best backpacking stove that won us over in testing was the MSR PocketRocket Deluxe (the PocketRocket 2, the previous model, is also a solid stove).

However, we recognize that this isobutane canister stove might not fit everyone’s needs, or maybe budget. Which is why we’ve compiled our list of best backpacking stoves by fuel type, and also differentiated by price and size.

What is the smallest/lightest backpacking stove?

The lightest backpacking stove — of any fuel type — on our list was the Esbit Titanium at only 11 g (less than half an ounce)! The smallest canister stove we tested was the BRS-3000T at 0.9 ounces, with the GSI Pinnacle coming in second at 2.4 ounces.

For just a few more ounces, and with a few more features (piezo igniter), you can consider our top choice, the MSR PocketRocket Deluxe, which rings in at 2.9 ounces.

What are BTUs?

BTU stands for British Thermal Unit — essentially, it’s a measurement unit of heat. In stove speak, BTUs refer to the energy required to raise the temperature of boiling water. Higher BTUs mean a stove will have a more powerful output of energy and/or heat (not necessarily hotter).

Lower BTUs have a weaker output, but are often better for simmering and providing a more controlled regulation of your stove’s flame.

How much should I spend?

As you can see, stoves range widely in price! But expect to pay at least $25-50 for a durable backpacking stove.

If you are on a tight budget, consider waiting until your favorite stove is on sale. (Pro tip: Bookmark this article and check back on prices throughout the season.)

The Best Camping Stoves of 2023
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