Waking up to a sea of clouds slowly being drowned by the majestic rays of the rising sun is one of the few experiences that make camping fun. And what better way to experience such a wonderful sight than having a hot mug of coffee and some french toast? To have such a ritual, one must have the best backpacking canister stove at hand.
Canister stoves, together with a camping cook set, is the main cooking implement that any adventurous backpacker should have. Most stoves will be lightweight yet made of durable materials, almost all of which use gas canisters as fuel.
These stoves are not only great for breakfast, but they also serve well for lunch and dinner, almost any mealtime that requires something hot. Its technology has even advanced to the point where you can cook inside a closed tent without having to worry about burning down the tent or suffocating in gas.
Camping stoves come in all sorts of shapes and sizes, but they are all meant to be folded down into almost nothing and weight as much. This does not include the fuel source, of course, since it would almost always be in the form of a butane canister.
The Best Backpacking Canister Stove
Not all canister stoves are made the same as shown in the following examples of camping stoves on the market.
Solo Stove & Pot 900 Combo
The Solo Stove is a backpacking stove that burns wood and even twigs instead of fuel which means you don’t have to lug around the extra weight of fuel canisters and such. Here are some of its other features:
- Less Smoke – the patented design of the Solo Stove includes a double wall that provides a place for secondary combustion which leads to ultra-clean gasification. This means that it burns fuel more efficiently than other wood-fired stoves.
- Fast Boil Time – the Solo Stove Ultralight Stove can boil about a liter of water in eight to ten minutes under normal conditions.
- Lightweight – together with the included pot, the overall folded kit weighs a mere 250 grams, that’s lighter than the steak you will have tonight.
- Compact Size – the stove itself is stored inside the included pot which lessens its bulk and the space inside the stove can still be used to accommodate matches or lighters.
- The Solo Stove heats up fast, and the fuel lasts longer than expected. Thinner pots and pans are more recommended for use as thicker ones would take time to heat up and cook food.
- This camping stove is lightweight and easy to use. It is also easy to clean since it is made of stainless material.
- The principle behind the Solo Stove requires it to use wood pellets and chips and not twigs, this means that to cook effectively, you need to bring along a sizeable amount of wood pellets and carry it as you go.
- Camping cook sets will always come out with soot marks after every use, no matter how many precautionary measures you do. While it takes less than a minute to wipe away suit after every use, the fact that you have to do it takes away from the amount of time that you can use doing other things.
- Ash and other fire-related debris build up quickly, especially if you are cooking longer than expected.
- Although the base is wide, the single stove can only handle cookware that is almost the same size as its mouth, and larger ones need to supported by a cooking tripod or by your hands to ensure stability while cooking.
DragonPad Ultralight Backpacking Canister Camp Stove
The DragonPad Canister Stove is a classically designed stove with a patented ignition system and an adapter that enables it to use any fuel that is fed through a canister. Here are some of its features:
- Lightweight – the DragonPad Ultralight weighs a mere 110 grams, which considerably lessen the bulk and weight of your backpack.
- High Rated BTU – this stove can fire up to 3500w of flame power, making cooking fast and the flames reliable, even in colder climates.
- Piezo Ignition – this canister stove never fails to ignite using the patented Piezo Ignition system that uses electrical pulses to light up fuel and sustain it.
- Foldable Pot Support – the Dragon Pag Ultralight Canister Stove has three swiveling and folding pot support that lets you cook food in a variety of pot sizes.
- The DragonPad comes in a compact size which matches its very lightweight. Even inside it’s carrying box, it does not become bulky and does not interfere while placing things inside the backpack.
- The fuel canister needed to fire up this stove can be found and bought from almost anywhere, so you don’t have to worry about not being able to take your fuel in planes and trains.
- This canister stove can boil a cup of water in less than five minutes, and the flames are fully adjustable to suit your cooking needs.
- The pot supports are small and can make the entire set-up wobble, especially if the food inside is already boiling.
Wild-Wind Star X3 Outdoor Cooking System Portable Camping Stove with Piezo Ignition
The Wild-Wind Star X3 camping stove comes in an all-in-one system with the stove, cooking pot and stabilizer all in one package. The cooking pot even clips onto the burner which prevents spills and gives the whole assemblage more stability. Here are some of its other features:
- Compact – the Star X3 stove is compact and can fit into the included pot which can save you some space and lets you lose some weight from the pack.
- Fast Boiling Point – this canister stove can boil two cups of water in less than five minutes and can cook a freeze-dried meal at the same time.
- Piezo Ignition System – the patented Piezo Ignition system makes igniting the stove easy, even under extreme conditions.
- High Burn Efficiency – the Star X3 adopts the heat exchanger technology, improving heat transfer by at least 30%. This is achieved through base metal butt welding technology and additional insulation which reduces heat loss and allows for better fuel efficiency.
- Pot Support and Stabilizer – this stove comes with pot support that is affixed on top of the stove and a stabilizer that is attached to the bottom of the gas canister.
- This canister stove can heat water fast despite the abnormal or extreme conditions of where it is being used.
- This stove is not limited to the pot that it comes with. It comes with a pot adapter that lets you cook using other camping cookware, no matter the size.
- The sturdy lock handle lets you transfer hot food items onto the waiting plates without having to look for a glove or cloth to shield your hand from the heat.
- The Wild-Wind stove can be hard to light up even with the Piezo Ignition system. It is recommended that you bring along a butane lighter or some matches to serve as backup ignition for the stove.
Each of the three backpacking stoves that were reviewed is unique in their own way, and they all use fuel of varied kinds. However, with its features and the stability that it offers, the DragonPad Wild-Wind Star X3 Outdoor Cooking System is the best backpacking canister stove right now.
Even with its accessories and pot, the whole system weighs less than a kilo, and it folds down into a size that does not obstruct or does not become bulky inside a bag. It is compact enough to fit inside one of the more spacious pockets that a camping backpack might have.
Care should always be taken whenever you are using a possible source of fire inside a forested area. No matter how badly you want to see that sea of clouds, it would end in waste if you light everything else up by your lack of care. Ensure that all flames that you’ve used are properly put out, and no embers remain that may cause a wildfire you cannot control.