Top 7 Stoves for Car Camping

With plenty of power, and features like automatic ignition and extra accessories, today’s camp stoves make it a total pleasure to cook under the stars

Elaine Johnson
1 / 7

Starter Stove

  • ; 2 x 11,000 BTUs; 10.2 lbs.; 23 in. L x 13.9 in. W x 5.75 in. H; $79

If you’re buying your first stove or looking to replace that old Coleman you grew up with, the two-burner propane Coleman Triton is reasonably priced and easy to use. The cooking area is big enough to accommodate both a 10-inch and a 12-inch pan; at cleanup time, the grate lifts off easily.

2 / 7

Power Performer

  • ; 2 x 20,000 BTUs; 12 lbs.; 25 in. L x 14.5 in. wide x 5.75 in. H; $130

Aptly named, the Camp Chef Summit is mighty, with twice the BTUs per burner as some camp stoves, and extra features such as leg levelers and matchless rotary ignition. The cooking grate will hold a 10-inch frying pan and cooking pot side-by-side. For carrying, the sturdy lid closes up suitcase-style.

3 / 7

Staff Favorite

  • , 2 x 12,000 BTUs; 13.5 lbs.; 19.9 in. L x 15 in. W x 4.9 in. H; $175

At Sunset we’ve tested many a camping recipe on the Primus Firehole 200. Sturdy and easy to carry, it’s big enough to accommodate a large frying pan and pasta pot side by side. The ignition is twist-and-click, and the fuel line is integrated, so you don’t risk leaving it at home. Adjustable feet accommodate uneven surfaces. The fold-down windscreens can double as spoon rests.

4 / 7

Light and Compact

  • ; 2 x 10,000 BTUs; 9.5 lbs.; 10.3 in. x 7.2 in. (packed); $350

Though pricey, the Jetboil system may be worth it if you’re limited on space and weight. The stove, which has excellent simmer control, folds in half for storage, nesting compactly into its carrying bag with the 10-in. nonstick frying pan and 5-liter pot (included). You can also buy the stove separately.

5 / 7

Function Meets Form

  • ; 2 x 10,000 BTUs; 6.6 lbs.; 17 in. L x 5.5 in. W x 11.4 in. H; $140

Modern Scandinavian design meets portable, two-burner efficiency in Primus’s Onja stove. For travel, the lightweight unit packs up compactly into a carrying case with a shoulder strap. At camp, the two legs unfold so the stove sits up high. While the stove has no windscreens, the cooking surface is open to accommodate bigger pots. Each burner runs on a separate fuel canister, which sits underneath. The oak lid doubles as a cutting board.

6 / 7

Best for a Crowd

  • ; 2 x 30,000 BTUs; 22.5 lbs.; 16.25 in. long x 9.5 in. W x 34 in. H; $140

It’s got legs! A freestanding stove is a big advantage when you’re camping with a large group and everyone is vying for the picnic table. In addition to freeing up space, the puts out a whopping 30,000 BTUs per burner, using the same kind of propane tank that powers a backyard gas grill. Legs are removable for travel and can be adjusted for setup on uneven ground. Carry bag, griddles, and other accessories are available separately.

7 / 7


  • ; 18 lbs.; $200

Anywhere you can have a wood fire you can use the . As small pieces of fuel such as wood or pinecones burn, a fan kicks in for efficiency and minimum smoke, and the stove creates and stores electricity. You can harness the electricity via a USB cable to power your smart devices. The CampStove bundle includes a KettlePot, grill with folding legs, USB cable, and gooseneck light. Components nest together to fit into the included stuff sack.