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Hiking is only fun when you have all the things you need, including a hiking stove. Yet, choosing one can be challenging, given that there are many types and uses for each stove.
In this article, I have compiled a list of the best portable hiking stoves. You’ll also find a short buying guide to help you pick the right one for your needs.
The 4 Best Portable Hiking Stoves in 2020
1. Jetboil Flash – Best Integrated Stove
Jetboil Flash is one of the best-integrated stoves as it includes a stove, an insulated pot with lid, a plastic measuring cup, and a stove stand. Even though it is one of the expensive models on this list, it is considered cost-effective, given that it comes with all these parts included.
One of the distinguishing features of Jetboil Flash is how quickly it boils water even in windy weather, as it can boil a liter of water in about four minutes. So you can use it to rehydrate the backpacking and camping meals.
It is also safe given that you can ignite it using a push-button instead of needing to use a lighter. Plus, when the water gets hot, the color indicator on the pot insulation cover will let you know.
Sadly, it falls on the heavy side, weighing 13.1 ounces. Plus, it is pretty bulky and has no simmer control. Jetboil Flash is excellent for anyone who doesn’t want to buy a separate pot. Plus, it boils water in no time.
- Works well in windy weather
- Comes with its pot
- Has a color indicator
- Ignites by a push button
2. MSR WindBurner – Best for Winter
MSR WindBurner is an excellent all-in-one stove for winter-hiking lovers. Not only does it include an insulated cook pot, a stabilizer, a stove, and a plastic mug and bowl, it also works incredibly well in windy weather.
This radiant burner’s enclosed heating element and internal pressure regulator help it be utterly resistant to external conditions. As for its build quality, it is pretty strong. Plus, whenever you want to move, you can pack it in its cookpot.
It is different from Jetboil Flash since it takes more time to boil water (4 minutes and 30 seconds) but that’s not really an issue. Yet, like Jetboil Flash, it is considered heavy, coming at 15.5 ounces. Besides, it has no built-in igniter. MSR WindBurner is the perfect companion for winter hikers, thanks to its enclosed heating element.
- All-in-one stove
- Suitable for windy conditions
- Most expensive
3. MSR PocketRocket – Most Lightweight
If you’re looking for the lightest backpacking stove, go for MSR PocketRocket, which is only 2.6 ounces. It’s also the most affordable option on this list.
Some may regard the fact that it doesn’t come with its pot as a drawback, but I believe that it is an excellent option because it allows you to use various top-notch pots and pans and doesn’t limit you to a specific single pot.
This stand-alone stove is compatible with all screw-type isobutane canisters. Besides, you can adjust its flame while wearing gloves. And its simmer control enables you to change it from boiling to slow simmer.
It boils water pretty quickly (one liter in 3.5 minutes.) Given that it is a canister stove, it requires no priming. Besides, you can safely pack it in its small protective case after holding it down. MSR PocketRocket is a great option for minimalists, thanks to its compact size and lightness.
- Fast boiling
- Features a simmer control
- Lightweight and compact
- Comes with a protective case
- Not good for windy conditions
4. SOTO Amicus – Most Stable
SOTO Amicus comes with four locking support legs at a very affordable price, which provides high support and prevents the stove from falling on the ground.
Plus, it provides superior performance in windy conditions, thanks to its recessed burner head crown and concave burner surface.
Moreover, its build quality is pretty good, and its stealth igniter inside the burner improves the ignition and prevents breakage.
Some of its good points are its affordability, lightness (2.9 ounces), and ability to match various pots. SOTO Amicus is the stove to buy if you need a very stable one that won’t knock your food off.
- Very stable
- High quality
- Good in windy weather
- Not as efficient as other models
How to Pick a Hiking Stove
Before you buy a hiking stove, there are certain factors you should check. Because we know that you don’t have time to search for them, we have summarised the most critical factors down below.
There are several stoves where each uses a different kind of fuel, including white gas, canister, alcohol and wood. Each of these has certain uses. For example, white gas stoves are suitable for people hiking in groups. Plus, they work great in winter because they generate a huge amount of heat. However, they are bulky, and that’s why solo hikers don’t prefer them.
Individual hikers love using canister stoves because they are less bulky and some of them can be used for cooking and boiling. Alcohol stoves are also great for solo hikers for their small size. Moreover, you can resupply them easily since alcohol is sold almost everywhere.
If the location where you’ll go hiking doesn’t ban wood stoves and if natural fuel will be available, you can go for them. They are very light and use prepackaged fuel cubes. However, you may have a hard time resupplying them if you run out of fuel during the trip.
Some stoves require priming, which is basically a fancy word for preheating. This means that you must light a small amount of fuel and allow it to warm up the stove, which is time and fuel-consuming. If you don’t want this, go for canister stoves, as they don’t require priming.
Before buying a backpacking stove, make sure it is stable enough not to knock your food on the ground. I recommend you buy a stove with a broad base so it can sit securely on the floor.
Hopefully, you now know how to pick the best portable hiking stove. In case you’re confused, you need to narrow down your needs. Ask yourself: Do I need it for winter hiking? How portable do I need it to be? And what will I be using it for? This should help you make a better decision.