Best Portable Gas Stove – Our Top 5 Picks (2021)

Gear Stoves

If you want to cook in the great outdoors, you might be considering a portable gas stove. Gas stoves are a great choice – they’re small, easy to transport, and gas canisters are usually pretty easy to get wherever you are.

But what is a portable gas stove? How can you pick the best portable gas stove? Do you need 1 burner, or 2? Propane or butane? And what about safety features? We’ll talk you through all this, so you can find the best, safest portable gas stove for your next trip.

The bottom line up front: we like the Coleman Camp Propane Grill/Stove. It gives you flexibility, allowing you to cook different types of meals for more than 1 person, without being too heavy or bulky to carry.

We also like:

We’ll be looking at:

  • The best portable gas stoves compared
  • What a portable gas stove is
  • How to find the best one for you, and which features to look out for
  • Our top picks, including their key features, pros and cons
  • Frequently asked questions
  • Our favorite today, and why we think it’s the best

Keep reading to find out more!

Best Portable Gas Stoves Compared

ASIN FeatureModelNumber of BurnersPower SourceSafety Features
B000W4VD8CMost VersatileColeman Camp Propane Grill/Stove1, plus grillPropaneElectric ignition, wind guard, pressure detection system
B0009PUR5EMost PortableColeman Bottletop Camping Stove1PropaneWind guard, automatic pressure detection
B0863R43R5Best Large StoveCamplux Propane Camping Stove/Grill2, plus grillPropaneElectric ignition, wind guard, automatic safety switch
B00PVIYZ1GGood All-RounderChef-Master 902351ButaneElectric ignition, wind guard, automatic pressure detection system
B01MYGMO6MBest ValueGas One GS-100 1ButaneElectric ignition, wind guard, pressure detection, cartridge lever

What is a Portable Gas Stove?

Portable tourist gas stove with a gray kettle on a background of nature in the mountains.

A portable gas stove is an essential item to bring camping. It is a small stove that can be taken apart or carried in a case. Smaller stoves are ideal for backpackers, but you can get larger ones too, which are perfect for family meals.

Gas stoves use either butane or propane gas canisters as their power source – more about the differences between these shortly.

What to Look for in a Portable Gas Stove

What should you look for in a portable gas stove? Let’s take a look:

Power Source

Portable tourist gas stove and a balloon with a hose

You can use either propane or butane gas canisters, which come in cans of different sizes. They’re fairly similar, but butane has some advantages – it heats up quickly, meaning you’ll burn through less of it while you wait for your stove to heat up, plus it works really well in warmer weather. Propane, however, may flow a little better in colder temperatures and is more effective in below-freezing conditions.

BTU

Portable gas stove and a frying pan in the camp

BTU stands for British Thermal Unit, and it measures how quickly your stove can reach maximum temperatures. Some stoves can go up to 20,000 BTU and higher, meaning it won’t take long to reach super-hot temperatures. 

You should be able to control the temperature using a dial.

Cooking Area

Close up fire flame on foldable portable gas stove for camping. Selective focus

Some stoves have just 1 burner – this makes them small, easy to carry around, and ideal for solo campers (or one-pot dishes!). You can also buy stoves with more than 1 burner, or with a burner / grill combo, which opens up possibilities in terms of the food you’ll be able to cook.

Size and Weight

Gas stove pot of boiling water with compass in the forest in National Park

Some stoves are easier to transport than others. Some fold up into a more compact shape, and others are small in size generally. Most stoves come with a carrying case, which is important to keep them safe during transit.

It’s worth looking at the weight of your chosen stove, especially if you’re backpacking – even smaller models can be heavy, and you’ll have to factor in carrying gas canisters too. Check out the REI Co-op’s guide on How to Pack a Backpack the Right Way for more ideas.

Safety Features

Closeup of foldable camping gas fire system with gas and a pot for fast heating

Most stoves have similar features to help keep you safe:

  • Automatic pressure detection – this will automatically detect surges in pressure and will either switch off the stove or eject the cartridge completely if unusually high levels of pressure are detected.
  • Wind guard – this stops the flames from being blown out in windy conditions, which is essential for camping stoves, as you’ll be cooking outdoors!
  • Stable legs  /non-slip feet – important to keep your stove stable during use
  • Cartridge levers – these are small levers that stop you from being able to click an incorrectly-sized cartridge into place

It’s worth checking out Eureka’s guide to Safe Cooking While Camping for some essential safety tips.

Extra Features

Goture Camping Stove, Portable Wood Burning Stove with Heat-Resistant Glass, Side Racks & 5 Chimney Pipes for Tent, Shelter, Heating and Cooking

Some stoves come with a few extra features. You may find stoves with removable drip trays, baking trays included, and attachable legs so you can use them like you would a grill at home.

Top 5 Portable Gas Stoves

Now let’s look at our top 5 portable gas stoves! We’ve covered a range of styles, so hopefully, you’ll find the best fit for your needs.

Coleman Camp Propane Grill/Stove – Most Versatile

Coleman Gas Camping Grill/Stove | Tabletop Propane 2 in 1 Grill/Stove, 2 Burner

Key Features

  • Color: Black and Silver
  • Dimensions: 24 x 12 x 8 Inches (61 x 31 x 20 Centimeters)
  • Materials: Steel
  • Power Source: Butane
  • Max BTU: 22,000
  • Number of Burners: 1, plus grill
  • Weight: 7.5 Pounds (3.40 Kilograms)

The Coleman Camp Propane Grill/Stove gives you a little more versatility when it comes to cooking – it has a grill and a stove, which opens up your meal options compared to a 1 burner stove. It has a max BTU of 22,000, making it pretty fuel-efficient.

In terms of features, it has a windshield to keep the flames going outdoors, a pressure control system (this allows you to use the stove at different altitudes), and a heavy-duty clasp to keep everything firmly closed. It also has a removable drip tray which makes it easier to clean.

When packed down into the carry case, it’s a little on the larger side compared to others on this list. It’s also a little heavy to carry, so this might be an issue if you’re backpacking.

Pros

  • Good safety features included
  • Versatile
  • High BTU at 22,000
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • On the larger / heavier side
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Coleman Bottletop Propane Gas Stove – Most Portable

Coleman Gas Stove | Portable Bottletop Propane Camp Stove with Adjustable Burner

Key Features

  • Color: Green
  • Dimensions: 7.75 x 7.75 x 6.5 Inches (19.68 x 19.68 x 16.51 Centimeters)
  • Materials: Steel
  • Power Source: Propane
  • Max BTU: 10,000
  • Number of Burners: 1
  • Weight: 2 Pounds (0.90 Kilograms)

The Coleman Bottletop Propane Gas Stove is a very compact, basic stove, which makes it very easy to transport. It has a 1 burner fitting an 8 inch (20 centimeter) pan – but you won’t be able to go larger than this, as it may become too top-heavy and tip over. The BTU goes up to 10,000, and for the size, it’s fairly fuel-efficient.

It has an adjustable burner, a windshield, and a pressure regulator – this helps to keep the pressure consistent in different conditions. The base is very sturdy, and it’s durable, too.

It’s very compact. The burner and base separate from the gas canister, allowing you to squeeze it into a backpack with no problems.

Pros

  • Compact
  • Durable
  • Good safety features

Cons

  • May top over if you use a larger saucepan
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Camplux Propane Camping Stove – Best Large Stove

Camplux Propane Camping Stove 2 Burners & 1 Grill, Portable Outdoor Gas Stove, Auto-Ignition Camping Stove with Regulator, Total Power at 15,000 BTU

Key Features

  • Color: Silver and Blue
  • Dimensions: 21.65 x 14.17 x 7.48 Inches (12.11 x 36 x 18 Centimeters)
  • Materials: Iron, metal
  • Power Source: Butane
  • Max BTU: 20,000
  • Number of Burners: 2, plus grill
  • Weight: 15.43 Pounds (6.99 Kilograms)

The Camplux Propane Camping Stove is worth looking at if you’re cooking for a crowd. It has 2 burners and a grill, allowing you to cook larger / more complex meals. Max BTU ranges from 14,000 through to 20,000.

It has adjustable burners for all 3 cooking areas, a windshield for breezy days, electric ignition, and an automatic safety switch, too. It’s a sturdy stove, with strong attachable legs. It also has a baking tray / grill included, which is a great bonus.

It comes with a carrying case, for the stove and the detachable legs. It’s heavy though, meaning it probably won’t be the stove you’re looking for if you’re backpacking or you’re very tight on space.

Pros

  • Great safety features
  • 3 cooking areas
  • Detachable legs
  • Baking tray/grill included

Cons

  • Heavy to carry
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Chef-Master 90235 – Good All-Rounder

Chef-Master 90235 Butane Countertop Range / Stove – 12,000 BTU, Professional Quality, Portable, with Carry Case, High Performance, Electronic Ignition, Brass Burner, Double Wind Guard, 1 Burner

Key Features

  • Color: Grey
  • Dimensions: 13 x 11 x 4 Inches (33 x 28 x 10 Centimeters)
  • Materials: Brass
  • Power Source: Butane
  • Max BTU: 15,000
  • Number of Burners: 1
  • Weight: 25.9 Pounds (11.74 Kilograms)

The Chef-Master 90235 is a good little stove, with a variety of max BTU options, from 7,650 all the way through to 15,000 BTU. It has 1 burner, so it’s ideal if you’re tight on space.

It has a heat dial, a pressure sensor (this shuts off the stove if the pressure reaches a high level), a wind guard, and an electric ignition. It’s a sturdy, stable stove, so you won’t have to worry about it wobbling over.

It packs down into a compact carry case, but while it’s small, it is heavy to carry, meaning it may not be suitable for backpackers.

Pros

  • Compact
  • Good safety features
  • Fuel-efficient

Cons

  • Heavy to carry
  • Lacks extra features
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Gas ONE GS-100 – Best Value

GasOne GS-1000 7,650 BTU Portable Butane Gas Stove Automatic Ignition with Carrying Case, CSA Listed

Key Features

  • Color: Black
  • Dimensions: 13.5 x 11.2 x 4.4 Inches (36 x 28 x 10 Centimeters)
  • Materials: Metal, enamel
  • Power Source: Butane
  • Max BTU: 7,650
  • Number of Burners: 1
  • Weight: 3.1 Pounds (1.4 Kilograms)

The Gas ONE GS-100 is a great value, simple-to-use stove that is perfect if you don’t want anything too fussy or complicated to use. It has a fairly low BTU up to 7,650, so it may take a little while to reach high temperatures. However, if you want something super easy to set up, this is a good choice. It has 1 burner.

It comes with a heat dial, an automatic pressure detection system (which shuts down the stove if unusual pressure levels are detected), a safety lever (this stops canisters from clicking in if the stove is switched on, and a wind guard.

It’s pretty easy to carry around, given the compact size and lightweight, making it ideal to throw into your backpack. It comes with a carry case.

Pros

  • Great value
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • Great safety features

Cons

  • Not the most fuel-efficient
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Frequently Asked Questions

Before you go, here are the most frequently asked questions about portable gas stoves:

Can I take my portable gas stove on a plane?

The plane is preparing for airplane service

According to the TSA, you can take your portable gas stove on a plane if it is empty of fuel and if it has been completely cleaned to remove any fuel residue.

What’s the best-sized portable gas stove for a family of 4?

portable gas stove isolated on white background

It depends on the kind of cooking you want to do. If you’re good at one-pot meals, you can get away with 1 burner, which will save you a lot of space for the other gear you’ll have to bring. If you want more options, it may be good to go for 2 burners, or a burner-and-grill combo – this will allow you to make more complex meals quickly.

How can I safely use a gas stove while camping?

The pan with the porridge stands on the gas burner (Camping Stove)

You will have to make sure you have excellent ventilation in your tent – this is because using it in an enclosed space can put you in danger of carbon monoxide poisoning. This is really important. Make sure that you cook out in the open, not too close to the opening of your tent, or open all the windows and consider buying a small carbon monoxide alarm just to make sure (we like the Kidde KN Carbon Monoxide Battery-Powered Alarm as it’s so small you can just throw it into your bag).

If you want to find out more, read Anevay Stoves guide on How to Stay Safe When Using a Stove in a Tent.)

You can also stay safe by:

  • Only using your stove on a flat, stable surface
  • Buying the right kind of gas for your stove
  • Keeping children away from the stove, even after cooking until it cools down
  • Packing it down into the carry case after use

What should I take with me to cook meals in a tent?

Man is cooking food using small gas burner in camping on nature, hands closeup

Cooking outdoors can be satisfying, but it does involve bringing some home comforts. We’d recommend taking:

Our Final Thoughts – Which is the Best Portable Gas Stove?

Coleman Gas Camping Grill/Stove | Tabletop Propane 2 in 1 Grill/Stove, 2 Burner

If we had to pick one favorite, we’d go for the Coleman Camp Propane Grill/Stove as it opens up more options for cooking. With a burner and a grill, you can cook meals for a small family easily, and it has great safety features too.

If you’re a solo backpacker, you may find that the Coleman is a little too big for your needs. In that case, we’d recommend the Coleman Bottletop Propane Gas Stove. It’s really easy to throw into your backpack, and it has some good safety features.

If you want to go for a real home-away-from-home camping setup, check out the Camplux Propane Camping Stove. With 2 burners, a grill, and collapsible legs, it will give you everything you need to comfortably cook for a crowd.

If this has helped you, feel free to share it online to help us to reach more campers. Leave us a comment below if you’ve used any of these stoves – what do you like about it? What could be improved? We’d like to hear your thoughts!