1. Car camping or backpacking?
If you’ll be packing your stove into the backcountry, consider the size and weight of not just the stove, but of the fuel canister. If you’ll only be car camping, for ease and efficiency, consider a two burner table top stove like the Coleman Perfectflow 2. It can handle full size pots and pans, and it’s easy to use. It’s propane powered, which means heavy fuel canisters–not an issue if you’re only carrying them from your car to your picnic table. Backpackable stoves fold up to take up less space in your pack, like the Markill Peak Ignition Titanium Stove. The stove folds into a tiny carrying case
2. How many people are in your party? If you tent to travel solo, a personal cooking system like Jetboil’s Zip might be your best choice. But if your family of four is standard on all backpacking trips, consider a stove like the Primus ETA Power EF Stove that comes with a two liter pot, or one of the MSR stoves that can support a larger pot and that boils water fast.
3. Are you cooking fancy meals or just boiling water? For fancy meals, bring a stove that can simmers, like MSR Simmerlite and you won’t burn the backcountry Bernaise. For boiling water to rehydrate your bagged meal, MSR’s Reactor is one of the fastest.
4. Will you be camping n the cold? When temps are below freezing, in general, canister gas stoves don’t work as well as liquid fuel stoves. For four season camping, pick one of the MSR stoves with the refillable red fuel bottle, or the new Jetboil Sol stoves, which through they are canister gas stoves, have a new burner designed for low temperature cooking.
5. Planning to take your stove abroad? If yes, make sure that the country you’re visiting has the fuel you need for your stove. In some places canister gas is easy to find, while in others, white gas is the only option. Some stoves, like MSR’s Whisperlite International can burn not just white gas, but kerosene and unleaded. If you do take a white gas stove abroad, be sure to bring a brand new fuel canister with you. TSA will confiscate a used one.
See all the stoves we sell here, some up to 25% off.