The smell of simmering pad Thai with the sun setting over Colorado’s Sawatch Range made that meal, shared with my best childhood friend, one I’ll never forget. We put 7 of the best camping stoves to the test, cooking up a storm during camping trips and backyard cookouts and subjecting each stove to a series of rigorous tests. With remarkably powerful burners and a fine-tuned temperature control, the Camp Chef Everest was our Top Pick. As with most camping equipment, weight and packed size aren’t necessarily specs to be overly concerned about. Compared with backpacking gear, it’s all heavy and large, but you still need to store and transport the stuff.
The auto ignition button is easy to use and worked every time. More campers use this fuel than any other, probably because of convenience and ease of use. Just attach the fuel cylinder to the appliance and you’re in business.
It wasn’t a major long-term issue, but it was definitely an unpleasant surprise the first couple times we fired up the stove. We decided to perform our tests with this stove outside, rather than in the semi-controlled shed where we did the other tests, and we found that the low flame was easily extinguished by a light breeze. We suspect that in perfectly still air it would have a fantastic low setting, but we had a hard time getting coleman camp stove it to work in practice. While we loved the ability to cook over extremely high heat and fine tune the heat settings, this stove has a hard time maintaining a good simmer. The amount of control that you have with the temperature knobs is incredible. Plus, you can open or shut the air vents to control the heat and quality of the flame, dialing it back to a concentrated and hot blue flame or up to a more dispersed yellow flame.
It’s a very minor detail, but the stove isn’t moving with a rotary ignitor. Free-Standing – Free-standing stoves are a great option if tabletop space is limited. They also tend to be better suited for large groups than smaller tabletop stoves. Free-standing stoves typically use large propane tanks, so be prepared for these to take up a lot of space. The wind screens are virtually identical to the Classic, so we think its poor performance in wind is due to its slim design, which leaves the burners sitting higher and more exposed to the wind. The poor wind resistance also negated its faster boil time and exceptional simmer function, unless we were cooking in extremely calm weather.
Browse Coleman’s top-rated backpacking and camp stoves and more. Trailspace’s community of gear reviewers has field-tested and rated the top liquid fuel stoves. The newer models burn dual fuel, but I’ve only owned the model that takes only white gas. Choosing the best camping stove for you starts with considering how big of a group you usually camp with, how intricate of meals you usually make, and your budget. If you’re looking for one do-it-all, high-end stove for the whole family, I’d definitely recommend the Coleman Eventemp 3-Burner. But, if you just want something cheap, versatile, and reliable, you can’t go wrong with the Coleman Classic.
The two-burner, propane-burning Coleman Classic won our Best Value award for being more versatile. But if all you need is a simple, compact, and inexpensive single burner coleman camp stove for heating water and basic meals, the Gas One is a solid choice and an excellent value. Without any kind of windscreen, the Gas One struggled with our wind test.
For obvious reasons, though, the single-burner options are much lighter and more comfortable to carry, and the freestanding stoves are a bear to haul around. To measure boil times, we head to our windless “lab,” aka our garage, at 5,000 feet (1524 meters) and do two boil tests. For the first test, we boil 1 liter of 58°F water in the presence of 2-4 mph of “wind” (as measured by a pocket anemometer) generated by a box fan. For the second test, we boil 1 liter of water in the absence of wind. For the windy test, the Classic boiled water in 6 minutes 15 seconds, and in the wind-less test, it boiled water in 4 minutes 45 seconds.
People have been camping with this classic stove for years, and I expect it’ll be cooking up camp meals for years to come. It’s a simple, reliable design from one of the best camp stove manufacturers that’ll never go out of style. Get the best of the basics with Coleman ovens and Coleman grills. Cook up breakfast, lunch and dinner on the go or heat up your favorite camp coffees with portable Coleman stove parts.
(Don’t forget to treat your cast iron!) If you know you’ll use this stove and the cast iron grill and griddles, then it’s still a great buy. We tested one model with a built-in griddle, the Camp Chef Rainier, and it left us underwhelmed. Its dedicated burner took longer than 20 minutes to boil 6 cups of water on full, and its griddle pan was lethargic. When you’re using larger pots and pans, a neat feature of this stove is that the lid can lie completely flat, which creates more stovetop room (unlike on the Coleman FyreCadet). And although this arrangement removes wind protection, it lends a little more flexibility when you’re cooking for a crowd in a sheltered spot.