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Backpacking has always been celebrated as an unmistakable part of any culture, some would even consider it to be a rite of passage from adolescence to adulthood. For the past few decades, the best backpacking canister stove has seen several developments when it comes to features and functionalities.
But what is a canister stove?
Camping stoves, in general, can be described as being compact and light, with the ability to burn compressed fuel. What makes canister stoves different from the rest is that they also double as pot stands since they are usually screwed on top of a wide bottomed fuel canister and the height considerably places the food above ground level.
The best backpacking canister stove is easy to set-up and does not require any complicated instruction or specialized tool. You just need to screw it on top of a compressed fuel canister, make sure its tight and ignite the burners to start cooking up a feast, or at least a lighter version of a feast.
Canister stoves use compressed fuel to maintain a steady flame and the most commonly used fuel source is blended fuel. No, gasoline is not mixed with another fuel inside a blender. Blended fuels mean that the compressed gas is a mix of propane and butane.
You may be thinking, “Why not use just propane instead? We use that for our homes right?” Propane is usually the fuel of choice for home cooking but it is not as stable as butane at ambient temperatures. This inherent stability of butane allows it to be stored in a lightweight container, like a canister, while propane must be stored in a heavier steel tank.
Another benefit of using blended fuel is that it lets you adapt to the weather better. At cold temperatures, butane will stop vaporizing which means that it will stop the stove from cooking and providing you heat. Propane does not stop vaporizing even at a below-zero temperature which makes the combination of this two kinds of fuel to be ideal for backpacking and mountaineering as you never really know what kind of temperatures you would be dealing with.
The makers of several canister stoves often use the same screw valve which would fit most screw-threaded canister, making canister stoves highly flexible and adaptable.
Here are three of the best canister stoves on the market:
The Icetek Sports Camp Stove weighs in at 3.9oz and comes with its own carrying case that is made of hard plastic. This canister stove is equipped with the Piezo Ignition system that lets you control the flames through an adjustment knob.
The Icetek stove works with any screw top canisters from any brand. This unit is made up of a mix of copper alloy and stainless steel that gives it the high durability of steel and better thermal conductivity of copper.
The TopOne Rocket Camp Stove weighs in at less than four ounces and comes with a screw valve that matches with almost any screw top canister. This canister stove also comes with a serrated non-slip support that can fit small- to medium-sized cookware.
The Petforu Canister Stove weighs less than a pound and is designed to fold into a compact bracket design. This stove also comes with a ceramic ignition system and a screw valve that fits most screw top canisters.
This canister stove is made of a combination of high-grade aluminum alloy and stainless steel which lends flexibility and strength to the entire unit. The folded Petforu stove can be stored in the drawstring bag that it comes with.
The Icetek Sports Ultralight Canister Camp Stove is the best canister stove among the three as it is one of the lightest of its kind right now. The ignition system is flawless and the flame adjustment knob helps a lot when it comes to cooking at the campsite. This knob also saves on fuel and acts as an emergency extinguisher as needed.
The only disadvantage of this model is its stability, but it is easily solved by using canisters with a wider base, as well as using it on a flat and balanced surface. This is a common flaw among canister stoves but it is also the easiest to get around with. And much like anything else, make sure that you practice caution when using any product and always have a secondary plan prepared for worst case scenarios.