Best Backpacking Stoves for the Money

Lightweight camping stoves (or backpacking stoves) are great to have if you are plan on doing some multi-day hiking trips. If you are unable to start a fire, a stove can allow you to cook food or boil water for drinking purposes. Below are some things you want to look for if you plan on purchasing a backpacking stove. I’ve also included a few of the best backpacking stoves available right now.

What to Look For When Buying a Backpacking Stove


If you are backpacking, you are going to obviously want a stove that is lightweight. By definition, a backpacking stove is going to be lightweight, but there is some variation. What is more important is how compact the stove is. The MSR Pocket Rocket, for example, folds into a rectangular shape and includes a carrying case that literally can fit into your pocket.


There are different types of fuel for backpacking stoves. Make sure you read the specifications for your particular stove and know which type of fuel your stove requires, because using a different type of fuel could ruin the stove’s components. When buying fuel, try to get a canister that is both lightweight but also has enough fuel for your purposes. Your fuel will take up a little more space than the actual stove.


Check the structure of the stove before you buy it. Most stoves (but not all) come with three prongs that fold out to make a burner. These types of stoves are pretty sturdy, which will be important when you are trying to boil a pot of water. My suggestion here would be to carefully inspect the stove’s components and make sure all the parts are secure.

Best Backpacking Stoves for the Money

Below are three of the best backpacking stoves for the money out there. These stoves are all durable, efficient, and reasonably priced.

MSR Pocket RocketMSR Pocket Rocket

The Pocket Rocket is one of the most popular backpacking stoves out there, and for good reason too. At about 3 oz., the Pocket Rocket is incredibly light weight, and it comes with a protective case that literally fits into your pocket.  I’ve used this stove on countless backpacking trips, and it has performed well every time. It is incredibly simple to use too: you just attach the canister and turn it on. You don’t’ have to prime or preheat anything. The flame control is fully adjustable, allowing you to simmer a warm meal or bring a pot of water to a boil (which, by the way, can be accomplished in very little time). The Pocket Rocket also works with most self-sealing fuels, so it is a great choice if you are traveling. I usually just pick up a few of the MSR canisters (about 4 bucks a piece) when I go on backpacking trips. I’ve tried several different stoves, and I think this one, overall, is the best buy out there.

Coleman Peak1Coleman Max Peak1

The Coleman Max Peak1 is a great, economical buy. I picked this one up at my local Wal-Mart for $24, and it works great. It is a little bit heavier than the Pocket Rocket and other backpacking stoves, but it is incredibly durable. I dropped the stove from about 20 ft. down to a rocky shore on a nearby lake, and it has still worked fine ever since. I’ve read lots of other reviews on this stove, and it seems like everyone is saying the same thing about its great durability. The Coleman Max Peak 1 does not come with any type of case, so you might want to consider getting one if you plan on getting this stove. It does not cook as fast (in my experience) as the Pocket Rocket, but it is by no means slow. As for fuel, I use the Coleman 3250 butane/propane mix canisters. You can usually get these at your local Wal-Mart as well.

Snow Peak LiteMaxSnow Peak LiteMax

The Snow Peak LiteMax is another great backpacking stove. It is a bit more expensive than the Pocket Rocket and some other backpacking stoves, but it performs incredibly well. As the name suggests, the best thing about this stove is its weight: at 2 oz., it is the perfect size for backpacking trips. However, it does not come with any type of case, so you will want to make sure you get one so you can keep the stove from being damaged. You can get Snow Peak GigaPower canisters pretty cheap for this stove, and like the other stoves mentioned above, you don’t have to preheat or prime anything. This stove also has a pretty big pot support, so you can cook with a variety of cookware on this thing. Overall, this stove might be a bit more expensive, but it is a great, light-weight choice.

There are plenty of other backpacking stoves out there, but from research and, more importantly, personal experience, I have found these three to be the best. Another thing you might want to consider if you are buying a backpacking stove is nice set of light-weight, cookware. I’d recommend this Coleman set. It comes with a mesh bag to carry the pots, and the whole set is incredibly lightweight, durable, and efficient.