When you’ve been out on the trail for hours, or if you are camping overnight, it is nice to be able to have a hot brew or something warm to eat.
No matter where you are, having a lightweight camping stove means that a welcome rest and refuel is never far away.
One of the biggest problems with carrying a stove when hiking is the weight it adds to your backpack, as well as the space it takes up.
However, there are many super lightweight options available that make perfect stoves for hikers.
With a variety of designs and functions, lightweight camping stoves have come a long way.
Some are so efficient that they can boil a pan of water using just a few twigs, saving you the need to carry fuel such as gas, others can burn for many hours just using a little alcohol, and there are some that can also charge your phone!
Thanks to clever and efficient designs, bulk and weight are no longer an issue for having a stove with you out on the trail.
Being able to heat water or food is something that allows you to go on longer multi-day hikes, boosts morale when the going gets tough, or something that is fun to do!
Here is a guide to some of the best-selling lightweight camping stoves.
Top 3 Best-Sellers
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- BEST FOR: Best stove and pot combo
- OVERVIEW: Fast, efficient burn using twigs and other biomass
- WEIGHT: Stove 255g, Pot 221g
The Solo stove and Solo pot combo provides you with all you need to heat water or food on the go.
One of the main benefits of this stove is that it uses biomass such as twigs and pine cones, saving the need to carry stove fuel. It also makes it convenient and sustainable option for cooking in the wild.
Easy to carry, the stove nests inside the pot to reduce bulk, and the combined weight is barely noticeable, making this stove ideal for any sort of hike.
While you may have to find dry tinder to feed the stove, once it is burning it performs well even if slightly damper wood is used. It also burns clean and produces very little soot.
Speaking of performance, it takes just 8-10 minutes for the Solo stove to boil 32 fl oz of water.
One disadvantage with this stove is that with the pot on top it can become ‘top heavy’, so care and level ground is needed. This is easily remedied by placing the stove on a level rock before using. You can also buy the Solo stove separately if you prefer to use your own pot.
Made from quality stainless steel, the Solo stove is durable and will be your companion on many hiking trips.
- BEST FOR: Best budget stove
- OVERVIEW: Lightweight stove using biomass (twigs/wood) or alcohol fuels
- WEIGHT: 379g
This tough, yet lightweight, Lixada camping stove is ideal for any sort of hiking, from day hikes where you just fancy a cup of tea along the way, to multi-day hikes where you want to cook several meals.
This sturdy stove can be fuelled using biomass, such as twigs. Solid alcohol fuel can also be used, giving you a back-up option if there are no dry twigs around.
When packed, the Lixada stove takes minimal space, and at just 379g you won’t notice any added weight to your pack.
It comes with a mesh bag which is great for keeping all the parts together and separate from your other kit, but sooty residues do get through the holes in the bag.
If you clean the stove after each use, it is not a problem, but that is not always a convenient option. Another way around it is to source, or make, another bag made from a denser fabric.
Another sticking point with the Lixada stove is that the fire is fed from the top, so if you are using wood for fuel, you need to move your cooking pot to add more. But, this is not unusual for these types of stoves, and once the stove is filed with material it provides a long enough burn to easily boil water and cook with.
- BEST FOR: A fast solo brew on the go
- OVERVIEW: A stove that’s designed to last
- WEIGHT: 200g
Esbit is a brand that knows a thing or two about outdoor hiking and camping gadgets, and have been making quality gear since 1936.
Made from a choice of hard, anodised aluminium or stainless steel, you can be confident in this stove for durability over time
One of the lightest stoves for hiking, the Esbit weighs just 200g and packs away neatly.
This stove cookset uses solid fuel tablets, which is a fast and convenient source of heat when you want to get the stove going quickly. The only negative is that you must carry fuel with you, as it is not suitable for twigs and wood.
While this stove does boil water quickly, the fuel blocks works best if it is just one cup at a time. This may be in part due to the flame not being shielded enough from wind, so creating some sort of wind break may help.
Although not recommended by the manufacturer, other buyers have reported being able to use other types of alcohol fuel to improve the power of the stove.
While this is ideal for solo hikers, if there are two of you it might be better to opt for the larger version if you want to enjoy a brew together.
- BEST FOR: Cooking a variety of foods
- OVERVIEW: A great all round camping stove that’s light, compact and brings more choice to meals.
- WEIGHT: 470g
The Tomshoo stove is a winner in terms of weight, durability and convenience. It packs down into just three parts and is neatly stored it its own bag.
Using twigs and wood for fuel, there is no need to carry any in your backpack. It can also be used with solid alcohol fuel, which offers a fast and convenient alternative in wet conditions.
This stove performs well, and the double wall and air vent offer protection from wind and efficient heat that lasts. Great for boiling a decent pot of water quickly, it also comes with a stainless steel mesh grill so you can barbecue foods. This means you are not limited in what you can cook.
The Tomshoo stove is ideal for any sort of hiking and camping, and will easily cook meals and boil water enough for two.
- BEST FOR: Using solo or with a partner
- OVERVIEW: A compact stove with built in kettle for fast boil time.
- WEIGHT: 544g
The Kelly Kettle ‘Trekker’ is a kettle with a fire base that fit together as one. You simply build the fire using biomass, and you can have 0.6 litres of water to a rolling boil in just three minutes. Once the water is boiling, you lift the kettle off the base and pour, using the chain to tilt it.
The Trekker is the smallest of the Kelly Kettle range, and is perfect for solo hiking or with a partner. For larger groups, a bigger one from the range would work better.
One of the advantages of the Kelly Kettle is that it just two parts that fit together, so minimal setting up or packing down is required. However, carrying the kettle by attaching to the outside of a backpack is best, rather than it taking up space inside.
The base is sturdy, and it performs well even in windy conditions.
While the Kelly Kettle is great for heating water for drinking, rehydrating food, or even warming soups, it is not suitable for other types of cooking, such as frying. But, if you are looking for is a quick way to get a hot drink, or purify drinking water, this is one of the best lightweight stoves.
- BEST FOR: Heat and electricity
- OVERVIEW: With this stove, you can boil water, cook food and charge your phone and other devices.
- WEIGHT: 934g
The BioLite is more than a simple stove, it is a portable charging device too! It also comes with a rechargeable light.
When you are out hiking, having a means of communication is important for an emergency situation. But, when going off-grid, once your phone runs out of battery you are alone unless you have the means to recharge.
When the Biolight Stove is fired up, some of the heat is converted into electricity through the thermoelectric generator. This is then sent to a USB charging port, while the excess is stored in a battery. This means that as long as energy is stored in the battery, the fire does not even need to be lit to recharge devices.
The top of the stove accommodates cooking pots and pans, and the burn is extremely efficient due to the internal fan design. Despite using biomass for fuel, the fire produces very little smoke.
If you like the idea of having your phone fully charged and the ability to use electronic GPS, then you will love the gadgetry of this stove. However, for those who just like to ‘get away from it all’ a simple stove may be better.
What to look for in a Lightweight Camping Stove
Size and Weight
When you are going hiking and want to take a stove with you, one of the most important factors is size and weight. To hike longer distances in comfort, the lighter the stove, the better.
If you prefer to take the bare minimum, you could opt for a small alcohol burner.
But, you would need something sturdy to use on top to place a kettle.
If the stove has its own bag, it may be possible to attach it to the outside of your backpack so there are no space issues. Another advantage of this is that no soot or smell of smoke will be transferred to your other kit.
The size of your stove, as well as its efficiency, determines how much water can be boiled at one time. Smaller stoves are good for solo hikers, but might not be able to boil enough water or heat enough food for a small group.
What sort of fuels powers the stove?
If it is gas, then you will need to carry canisters which add weight and bulk. That is why most hikers prefer stoves that use biomass or alcohol as fuel.
Solid alcohol fuel comes in small tablets, is lightweight and easy to add to your fire kit.
It also comes in a gel, or there are small burners that burn liquid such as ethanol or mentholated spirit.
Biomass fuels are twigs, larger pieces of wood, pinecones, dried leaves, bark, animal dung and more.
The advantage of using biomass is that you never have to carry fuel, but when you gather fuel it does need to be dry.
If you are hiking for long distances, opt for stoves that use biomass or solid fuel. Some stoves are suited for both, giving you another option if you don’t have dry tinder to hand.
Ease of Use
When the wind is whipping around you, the clouds are gathering, and you are taking shelter amongst some rocks and scrubby trees, you don’t want to be struggling to get a fire going.
Once it is going, it should be easy to maintain.
Most lightweight camping stoves are fed from the top only, and while this is fine for a quick brew, for lengthier cooking it will mean having to remove your cooking pot to add to the fire.
Stoves that can be fed from the bottom or through a gap in the side mean uninterrupted cooking, although this is more common for larger stoves that are for two or more people.
While smaller cooking stoves are usually lighter and more portable, they can be fiddlier to use. Getting the balance right between size and ease of use will make using your stove a pleasure on any hiking trip.
Lightweight Camping Stoves – Amazon BEST Sellers
Last update on 2020-10-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API