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2 August 2021

Best camping stoves

We've tested camping stoves from the likes of Campingaz, Coleman, Halfords and Vango to help you breeze through al fresco cooking
Joel Bates
Cooking on a camping stove

The best camping stoves will allow you to enjoy the great outdoors without losing the convenience of cooking at home. That's why our tests focused on finding the easiest to use, the quickest to heat and the most versatile camping stoves you can buy.

Camping stoves that are awkward to use and take a long time to heat can really put a dampener on your camping trip - and that's before the rain starts.

In May 2021, we tested seven popular camping stoves from Campingaz, Halfords, Vango and more, to see which ones you should take on your next camping trip.

Our tests covered a variety of camping stoves - from dual burners with toasting grills to tiny foldaway stoves for backpacking.

See our full test results below to discover which we would recommend.

Pricing and availability last checked: 2 August 2021.

Best camping stoves

Only logged-in Which? members can view the camping stove test results below. 

If you're not yet a member, you'll see an alphabetically ordered list of the camping stoves we tested. Join Which? now to get instant access to our recommendation below.

Campingaz Camp Bistro 2

Cheapest price: £13 at Blacks and Millets, also available at Amazon, Argos, Decathlon, Go Outdoors

Number of burners: 1

Dimensions: 12cm x 34cm x 28cm (H x W x D)

Carry weight: 2.3kg

Recommended fuel(s): Isobutane/butane/propane gas cartridges

Other key features: Piezo ignition, carry case included

Simplicity is what Campingaz has gone for with its single-burner Camp Bistro 2. Rather than fiddling with gas regulators and canisters, you just plug a small gas cartridge into a compartment in the side. 

Our tests judged how much of a benefit this makes in terms of ease of use.

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Campingaz Party Grill 400 CV

Cheapest price: £94.99 at Amazon. Also available at Blacks (out of stock), Decathlon, Go Outdoors (out of stock)

Number of burners: 1

Dimensions: 42cm x 39cm x 34cm (H x W x D) assembled; 25cm x 39cm x 34cm (H x W x d) packed

Carry weight: 4.66kg

Recommended fuel(s): Butane/propane mini gas canisters

Other key features: Piezo ignition, carry bag included, barbecue, pan, griddle, grill and wok cooking accessories included

The Campingaz Party Grill 400 CV is the most versatile of the camping stoves we tested. It comes with several accessories you can put on top of the flame to suit all kinds of cooking, and the lid can even be flipped over and used as a wok.

We timed how long it took us to boil a kettle and heat a pan to see if it's the complete package when it comes to convenience.

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Coleman FyreStorm PCS

Cheapest price: £69 at Blacks and Millets, also available at Amazon, Go Outdoors

Number of burners: 1

Dimensions: 22.6cm x 14cm x 14cm (H x W x D) assembled; 16.2cm x 14cm x 14cm (H x W x D) packed

Carry weight: 0.63kg

Recommended fuel(s): Butane/propane mini gas canisters

Other key features: Piezo ignition, cooking pot with sleeve/carry handle and wind shield included, hose and gas regulator included

Designed for backpackers, the Coleman FyreStorm PCS is a lightweight foldaway camping stove that can pack into the small cooking pot it comes with. 

Could its smaller size make it less convenient to cook with?

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Halfords Double Stove with Grill

Cheapest price: £35 at Halfords

Number of burners: 2

Dimensions: 34cm x 57.5cm x 39.5cm (H x W x D) assembled; 8cm x 57.5cm x 32cm (H x W x D) packed

Carry weight: 4kg

Recommended fuel(s): 37mbar butane/propane gas canisters

Other key features: Piezo ignition, grill tray included

With two burners and a grill tray for making toast, the Halfords Double Stove with Grill could be a good-value camping stove if it's up to scratch.

Find out how it fared in our tough tests and how we rated it for stability and portability.

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Kemper Camping Stove Xtra Smart

Cheapest price: £29.99 at Decathlon

Number of burners: 1

Dimensions: 11.1cm x 34cm x 28cm (H x W x D)

Carry weight: 1.99kg

Recommended fuel(s): Isobutane/butane/propane gas cartridges

Other key features: Piezo ignition, carry case included

Like the Campingaz Camp Bistro 2, the Kemper Camping Stove Xtra Smart uses small gas cartridges instead of a gas regulator and canister. 

But how do they compare in terms of heat-up speed?

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Vango Combi IR Grill Cooker

Cheapest price: £67.50 at Blacks and Millets, also available at Amazon, Go Outdoors (out of stock).

Number of burners: 2

Dimensions: 38cm x 56cm x 32.5cm (H x W x D) assembled; 13cm x 56cm x 32.5cm (H x W x D) packed

Carry weight: 4.83kg

Recommended fuel(s): 37mbar butane/propane gas canisters

Other key features: Piezo ignition, grill tray included

Vango's Combi IR Grill Cooker is the heaviest camping stove we tested, but that's not necessarily a bad thing if it's convenient to carry. 

We put it through our portability tests to see if you'll have trouble carrying it from your car to your pitch.

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Vango Folding Gas Stove

Cheapest price: £22.50 at Amazon, Blacks and Millets, also available at Go Outdoors

Number of burners: 1

Dimensions: 6.2cm x 12cm x 12cm (H x W x D) assembled; 11cm x 9.3cm x 6.3cm (H x W x D) packed

Carry weight: 0.23kg

Recommended fuel(s): Butane/propane mini gas canisters

Other key features: Carry box included, gas hose and regulator included

The Vango Folding Gas Stove is the only camping stove we tested that doesn't have piezo ignition, so you'll have to remember to bring matches with you. 

Did we nonetheless find it a convenient portable camping stove overall?

Log in now or join Which? to unlock our test results.

Eggs and sausages cooked on a camping stove

How we tested camping stoves

We selected seven of the UK's most popular camping stoves, available from major retailers such as Amazon, Blacks, Decathlon and Halfords. We also took online search into consideration when picking which ones to test.

We bought each stove for testing and don't take free gifts, so you can be confident in the independence of our reviews.

Portability and stability

When you're camping, it's likely you'll have at least a short walk from your car to your pitch, so it's important that your stove has been made with ease of transportation in mind.

We carried each camping stove around our test site, taking into account the weight, the comfort of any handles and any way to make the stove more compact.

As you're dealing with open flames, it's also important for your stove to be stable and not run the risk of toppling over. We set each stove up on a table and on the grass and looked for any wobbly legs or feet that slide easily.

Cooking experience

If you don't go camping often, you can feel a little out of your comfort zone using a stove outside, but the best ones make outdoor cooking a convenient and intuitive task nonetheless.

We cooked up some eggs and sausages using the same pan on every stove we tested, scoring each one on how user-friendly and comfortable it was to use.

Heat-up speed

Nothing beats a hot drink on a camping trip, but if the kettle takes forever to boil you might not want your cuppa by the time it's ready.

We timed how long it took each stove to boil 500ml of water in a camping kettle to find out which one will give you your brew the fastest.

We also timed how long it took each stove to heat a pan to 200°C, to see which one will have you ready to cook the quickest.

Get a convenient tent to match your stove with our picks of the best pop-up tents.

Camping stove types: which is best for you?

Camping stoves come in all shapes and sizes and can have a variety of features, so it can seem tricky to decide which one you should buy.

They mostly fall into two types: the lightweight and compact stoves with single burners, and the larger, heavier ones with several burners and a more similar design to your home cooker.

There are exceptions, however. Those such as the Campingaz Camp Bistro 2 and the Kemper Camping Stove Xtra Smart are a medium size but still have a single burner, and act as a compromise between the portability of the compact stoves and the familiar cooking experience of the larger stoves.

To help you whittle down the selection, we've listed some key questions below that you should consider when buying:

  • How many people will I be cooking for? If you're a large party and you'll only have one cooker, it's likely you'll need more than one burner and possibly more than one cooker. Not many compact stoves have more than one burner and you might struggle to cook with really large pots.
  • Will my meals require more than one burner? Even if you're camping solo, you should think through the meals you want to cook and how many burners you normally use on your cooker at home. If you aren't keen on one-pot meals, you'll probably need a stove with at least two burners.
  • What type of outdoor trips am I taking? Backpackers and those who like to camp with minimal gear will be drawn to the single-burner stoves that pack away small and weigh very little. However, if you'll only be taking camping trips with your car and have plenty of room, you could go for a larger stove instead.
  • Do I have room for a gas canister? It can be easy to only focus on the camping stove itself and forget the fuel you'll need to burn with it. If you've got a larger stove, you'll probably need a large canister to go with it, which means even more bulk and weight in your vehicle.

Need somewhere to keep your food and drink cool? Check out the best cool boxes and the best cooler bags.

Five things you need to know before buying a camping stove

1) There are different types of flame to choose from

Although you can get standard gas hob-style flames, there are camping stoves available that have welding-style flames with intense heat and an audible roar.

The stoves we tested with this type of flame burned the hottest and were great at heating up pans, and they proved much more resistant to wind interference than the standard burners.

However, they also concentrate their heat on a much smaller point, so if you've got a wide pan you might find the food in the centre of the pan cooks more quickly.

2) Smaller stoves are trickier to control

The smaller stoves we tested packed plenty of punch in the heat they gave out, which is useful for boiling the kettle but might be problematic for more precise cooking.

The gas regulators on these stoves were small and didn't take much turning to adjust the power of the stove significantly. A slight touch made the flame go from powerful to very powerful.

This makes it difficult to cook on a low heat with stoves of this size, and being precise with the heat settings is particularly tricky.

3) Piezo ignition can be temperamental

In our tests, we lit each stove several times and found plenty of variation in how quickly they ignited.

On some tries the stoves lit with the first click of the piezo ignition; in others it took quite a few goes before the flames appeared.

In case there's a lot of wind on your camping trip, or if the piezo ignition simply won't play ball, it's worth having some matches on standby so you can light your stove manually.

4) Heating speeds are pretty similar

Although it's convenient to have a speedy stove, you'll likely find most camping stoves heat at a similar pace once the flames are going.

When we put 500ml of water in our camping kettle and timed how long it took each camping stove to boil it, we found that there wasn't much difference in most of the times we recorded.

There were one or two slow models, but most of the stoves got the kettle whistling after around five minutes.

There was also a trend in how long it took the stoves to heat our pan to 200°C. Although there were a couple of rapid outliers that heated the pan in a minute or less, most took around two minutes to heat.

5) Burner size still matters

On your cooker at home you'll usually have a selection of different-sized burners, and you'll select the one best suited to the size of your cooking pot.

Choosing a small burner for a large pot runs the risk of your heat being concentrated in the centre of the pot, leaving the edges of your food undercooked.

This applies to camping stoves too, although you're unlikely to find many stoves that have different-sized burners.

To cook food in a larger pot evenly you may have to exercise some patience and gradually build up the heat of your stove. If you blast too much heat too quickly, you're likely to find well-done food in the middle and raw food around the edges.

Pick the perfect pan for your camping trip with our picks of the best non-stick frying pans.