Also works with propane. Has dual 8,000-BTU burners. Safety features include a gas-leak protection device and a gas-pressure safety device. Comes with a carrying case. Stainless steel construction. Burn time on maximum heat is around 2 to 2.5 hours. Easy to clean. Built-in piezoelectric ignition. Rugged design.
On the expensive side and not meant for backpacking.
Total heat output of 9,925 BTUs. Has an adjustable heat range, a piezoelectric ignition system, and an inline regulator with pressure-sensing shutoff for safety. Lightweight at under 2 pounds. Certified for indoor use. Comes with a carrying case.
The case works, but is on the cheap side. Some buyers say it arrived broken or stopped working within 6 months.
Its carefully engineered design sports an advanced burner protected by vented, wind-blocking walls. Very few competing models can keep up with its 15,000-BTU peak output. Its durable metallic finish is also easy to clean.
Extremely high cost for a single-burner model.
Construction includes a porcelain-coated grate and an aluminum burner. Total of 7,650 BTUs. Base can fit up to a 10-inch pan. Has an adjustable burner, Instastart ignition, and wind baffles. Weighs 4.7 lbs. Can boil 4 cups of water in 5 minutes. Comes with a carrying case. Stove is easy to fuel and use.
Quality issues include ignition breaks and dents or cracks that easily form. Remove canister when not in use to avoid leaks.
Dual fuel stove works with both butane and propane (comes with an adapter for the latter). Has a heavy-duty wind-block design. Weighs 4.12 lbs. Produces a good, even flame, and is capable of 15,000 BTUs. Safety features include a pressure-sensor cartridge ejection system and a gas-flow cutoff mechanism.
Reports of quality issues that include uneven burners, canister covers that don't close, and chipped paint.
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A simple design and ease of use make butane stoves a popular choice with campers and backpackers alike. These stoves can quickly boil water or heat a meal, and butane canisters are generally smaller than propane canisters, which is a consideration if you’re backpacking.
Butane camping stoves have one or two burners and are designed for tabletop use. While using one of these is similar to cooking on a range, camping stoves are too bulky to fit in a backpack. Butane backpacking stoves consist of a single burner that can be set up on any level surface. While less efficient than tabletop models, they’re lightweight for carrying and compact for easy storage. Butane stoves vary in burn time, heat output, and ignition method, and many are quite inexpensive.
Choosing the right butane stove can make a big difference in your camping or backpacking experience.
Butane stoves use canisters of compressed flammable gas (butane) to generate heat in the form of a flame. These canisters typically hold eight ounces of fuel, but there are larger canisters for use with two-burner stoves. Butane is less common than propane, which can make it harder to find. In addition, butane does not perform well in cold weather.
There are some significant differences between stoves you use for backpacking and stoves you use for camping.
Backpacking stoves: These consist of a single burner and may simply rest on top of the butane canister or have legs that help the stove remain stable on a variety of surfaces. The emphasis is on portability and weight, so most backpacking stoves are highly compact in design in order to be easily carried. Controlling the intensity of the flame and cooking can be challenging on a backpacking stove, If you just want to boil water for coffee or other purposes, these stoves work well.
The heat output of a butane stove (and other types of stoves) is measured in British thermal units. The higher the BTU rating, the faster a butane stove should heat, in theory. However, this also depends on the design of the stove and isn’t always precise. In general, a backpacking stove offers around 8,000 BTU, while a camping stove offers from 10,000 to 20,000 BTU.
The longer the burn time the better, right? Of course, you want a stove that provides heat for your whole trip, but you also need to consider the size and weight of the stove. If you’re camping out of the back of your car, you might be able to opt for a bulkier stove with excellent burn time. If you’re backpacking, however, you’ll likely want a smaller stove with a shorter burn time. Finding a balance between design, burn time, and BTU rating is the key to choosing the right butane stove for your needs.
Like other camping stoves, butane stoves vary in ignition method, additional fuel sources, and other features.
Most butane stoves use an automatic ignition method known as piezo ignition, which means an electric spark ignites the fuel. There may be an ignition button, or you may simply have to turn the flame adjustment knob to the ignition setting. Some less-expensive butane stoves may have manual ignition, requiring you to use a match or lighter to ignite the gas.
Some butane camping stoves have a windscreen, which helps to protect the flame and keep your food cooking at a steady temperature. Due to the risk of explosion, single-burner backpacking stoves do not usually have a windscreen.
Some butane stoves also accept other types of fuel, such as propane.
While you want to consider the size and weight of a butane stove, you should also consider how easily it can be packed in your gear and carried. Many backpacking stoves simply have legs that fold up, while tabletop stoves may fold down and be carried like a briefcase.
Inexpensive: Butane stoves that cost $10 to $20 are almost exclusively single-burner backpacking stoves. The price doesn’t mean they’re cheaply made. These stoves are good at what they do — providing a lightweight and compact heat source for boiling water or cooking small meals.
Midrange: In the $20 to $50 category are backpacking and camping stoves that generally have one burner. The burn times and BTU ratings vary greatly in this price range.
Expensive: High-end butane stoves that cost $50 to $100 are usually camping stoves with one or two burners. These typically have high BTU ratings that allow you to quickly cook larger meals, and some may accept alternate fuel sources.
Test your butane stove at home. Using a butane stove in the woods is a very different cooking experience than preparing a meal in your kitchen. Familiarize yourself with igniting the stove and adjusting the flame. Make a few practice meals, too.
Don’t cook on a butane stove indoors. Most butane stoves are not safe to use indoors due to the risk of carbon monoxide poisoning. This includes cooking inside a tent, which is a fire hazard as well.
Q. Are butane stoves dangerous?
A. Any stove can be dangerous. With butane stoves, the biggest risk is the fuel canister overheating and exploding. This may sound alarming, and it is. To avoid this risk, look for a model with an automatic shutoff valve that can sense if the canister is overheating.
Q. How can you tell how much gas is left in a butane canister?
A. Since butane canisters contain compressed gas, it can be difficult to tell how much gas is left by feeling the weight. You really can’t judge the amount of fuel with any accuracy. As a result, your best bet is to bring extra canisters on the trip.
Q. How should you store a butane canister?
A. Butane canisters should be stored away from sunlight and heat in a well-ventilated area.