Propane camp stove 

(Running on Propane, Butane or other liquid gas mix) 



My recommendations at the bootom of the page...

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Propane camp stove is my default. This is the one I use most frequently. It’s so simple to operate. No assembly, no preheat, no maintenance. Just get it out and you are ready to go. As long as I don’t travel to some remote place or in some extreme weather, I usually go with my gas stove.

One cool feature I really like about sag stoves is that you can take more than one burner. Since you can disconnect the burner even if the can is half full, you can toggle between two burners. For instance, one for high heat and one for perfect simmer.

Propane stove (or butane stove, for that matter) got some pros and cons (see below).However, It's the best in class in one thing…
…its simplicity.

How does a liquid stove works?

In a propane camp stove, like in all liquid gas stoves, the gas is held pressurized in a can. This forces it to be a liquid. Once you open the knob, the gas gets out due to the pressure difference between the can and the air outside. Once outside, in its gas form, it is inflammable.

Here are the pros and cons I see in canister stoves:

Pros

  • Simple to use
  • Clean burn, no odor
  • Full simmer control
  • No maintenance required
  • Many brands

Cons

  • Not dealing wind very good. Windscreen is problematic.
  • Tend to fail in cold temperatures
  • Fuel somewhat expensive
  • Fuel canister not always available outside North America and Europe



Propane Vs Butane

  • The gas used can be Butane, Propane, isobutane or some mixture.
  • Butane canisters are typically lighter but Butane stays a liquid under freezing temperature and therefore, won't work in cold weather.
  • Propane, on the other hand, will work in cold weather, even as low as -40F (-40C) but it uses heavy duty canisters.
  • All the mixtures try to combine the good from each gas type.


Propane camp stoves types

The classic shape

The classic shape: Stove is above the can.

This is actually the majority of propane stoves. In this option, the burner is attached on the top of the fuel can.


Burner and canister are connected using a small pipe

This is done in order to improve pot stability. You simply lower the center of gravity. It also enables the usage of a wind screen without worrying about getting the can too hot.

Stoves with heat exchanger welded to a dedicated pot

In this method, the stove got a dedicated pot with a heat exchanger in the bottom. It also comes with some minor built-in windscreen. The big idea is to get more of the stove's heat to warm the content of the pot by absorbing the heat by the heat exchanger and the windscreen.

Few words on windscreens

Using a windscreen with backpacking stove makes a great difference. It can really improve the stove's performance. BUT, you have to be careful not to heat up the canister.

In case you use a simple, classic stove, where the burner is right on the can, you must use the windscreen in a way it will just break the wind. Don't surround the stove in a tight manner. The heat from the fire might heat up the gas canister. It's too dangerous.

If you use a stove where the burner is separated from the can (there is a tube that connects the can to the burner), you can block the wind much closer to the fire.


Stoves, Stoves, Stoves

Few examples, sorted by the different brands in the market.  This doesn't cover, of course, ALL the stoves... :

M S R

msr-PocketRocket
Pocket Rocket

MSR PocketRocket


  • I love this one!
  • Very Small and lightweight.
  • Burner weight: 3Oz

More on the lightest MSR stove...





image placeholder
MSR superfly
MSR SuperFly
  • Fits most self-sealing canisters
  • Flame is pretty wide
  • Got a version with a built in ignition (seen in the picture)
  • Burner weight: 5.1Oz







msr-Windpro
MSR Windpro
MSR Windpro
  • It separates the burner from the canister (which enables using windscreen)
  • Efficient due to wind shield.
  • Burner weight: 6.8Oz
More on this unique propane camp stove...





msr-reactor
MSR Reactor
MSR Reactor
(Heat exchanger welded to a dedicated pot)

  • The pot is an integral part of the stove.
  • Got a unique wind shield and heat exchanger to increase performance
  • Extremely efficient.
  • Works great in bad weather
  • Empty weight: 19Oz

More on MSR's most efficient stove...

C o l e m a n


coleman-propane-stove-F1-PowerBoost
Coleman F1 PowerBoost™ Propane Stove
Coleman F1 PowerBoost™ Propane Stove
  • Extremely powerful (23,900 BTU)
  • Weigh 4.5Oz
  • Fold quite nicely for its size











Coleman-propane-stove-F1-ultralight-Stove
Coleman F1 ultralight Gas Stove
Coleman F1 ultralight Gas Stove
  • Only 2.7Oz
  • Takes a minute to figure out how to assemble the pot holders. Not a big deal after you get used to it.
  • Can use both propane and butane

More on Coleman F1 ultralight, the lightest Coleman propane camp stove...






O p t i m u s



optimus-crux-stove
Optimus Crux
Optimus Crux
  • Weight: 2.92OZ (83gr)
  • Folds so nicely, you can store it in the bottom of the gas canister.
  • They also got the crux lite. The few grams missing is the lack of the folding mechanism.
  • More on my favorite Optimus stove...




P r i m u s


primus-Express-Stove
Primus Express
Primus Express Stove
  • With or without an igniter.
  • Weight: 82 g / 2.90z | 96 g / 3.3 oz
  • Etaexpress is using this as its burner.









primus-Micron-Ti-2.5-Stove
Primus Micron Ti 2.5 Stove
Primus Micron Ti 2.5 Stove
  • Weight: 2.9Oz with igniter. 2.5oz without it.
  • If I got it right, the lightest propane camp stove in the industry.









primus-Gravity-EF
Primus Gravity EF
Primus Gravity EF Stove
  • You can get it with or without an igniter.
  • Weight: 264 g / 9.3 oz
  • Burner is separated from the can to keep the center of gravity low and to enable using windscreen.









primus-EtaExpress-stove
Primus EtaExpress Stove
Primus EtaExpress Stove
  • Weight: 14.6Oz
  • 1 liter pot.
  • Diameter: 4.5inch (11.5cm).
  • It is planned so that everything can be packed inside the pot (including the canister!). 
  • I'd go for this one out of the later three...
More on Etaexpress (AKA Etapower express)...




S n o w P e a k


snow-peak-giga-gower-li-stove GigaPower LI Stove
  • Weight: 10.4 oz










snow-peak-giga-gower-propane-stove
Snow peak Giga power
Giga power
  • Weight: 2.5 to 3.75 oz
  • The "heavy" version is made of Stainless Steel, Aluminum and Brass and got an igniter.
  • They got this stove in a titanium version. Without the igniter the weight drops to 2.5 Oz.
More on this stove...





J e t b o i l

jetboil-personal-cooking-system
Jetboil personal cooking system
Jetboil personal cooking system (AKA Jetboil PCS)
  • Their first stove. They introduced it around 2004. It sells quite well until this day.
  • 1 liter pot
  • Weight:15 oz (425 g)
  • Got a rubber lid you can drink through
More on the first Jetboil stove...






And many more ...

  • Snow peak Giga power

  • Snow Peak LiteMax Stove

  • Primus Yellowstone Classic

  • Primus ClassicTrail Stove

  • Soto Micro Regulator Stove

  • Brunton raptor

...and numerous others...

Conclusion

Gas stove is the natural choice if you look for simplicity and reliability. It's also great if you don’t intend on using it in extreme conditions. There are many brands to pick from. Canister stoves are available in a great price range (ranging from 25$ to almost 200$)

I recommend...

If you want to keep it simple... go either for the Optimus Crux or the Coleman exponent F1 ultralight.

If you want something a bit more than that, I'd go for the Primus EtaExpress. It gives the efficiency and great power for a solo traveler and the flexibility for any other usage.



What's YOUR favorite gas stove?

Do you know of another stove? Wanna tell about your favorite stove? It would be great to hear what you think!

Enter the Title (ex, "Kovea Gas Stove")

What Other Visitors Have Said

Click on the links below to read about some great stoves. They were all recommended by other visitors to this page.

MSR Pocket Rocket Rules! 
I have my pocket rocket forever. I got it many years back and I haven't looked back since. It got all you can ask of a ultralight backpacking canister …

Jetboil Helios 
I bought my Helios because I looked for something to use in our family camping weekends. I wanted something to cook with that, on the one hand, will enable …

Snow peak Giga Power GS100A Not rated yet
This stove has been around since 1998. A solid proven design. It has four legs for supporting your pans unlike most small stoves that only have three. …

Snow Peak Giga Power Not rated yet
Works great. Light. Inexpensive. Bought mine for $30 several years ago. I don't have the igniter, just the stove. It has never failed me but I live and …

Trusty Coleman Not rated yet
Many years ago, when I was 12, my family sold our farm,and bought a bigger one. The problem was, the new house wasn't ready to move into for a couple of …

My Coleman Ultralight Stove Not rated yet
I'm using a Coleman ultralight gas stove. I go mostly to day hikes and I use it just for having tea along the walk. I once calculated that I probably used …

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