Gear Institute Expert Test Menu

Stoves

GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Canister Stove

76

2016

GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Canister Stove

The GSI Pinnacle Canister stove is very efficient, compact backpacking stove.

GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Four Season Stove

78

2016

GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Four Season Stove

The GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Four Season Stove is a very good four-season canister stove.

MSR WindBurner

92

2015

MSR WindBurner

The MSR WindBurner (renamed from WindBoiler) is a compact, heat exchanger stove with a fuel regulator and windproof radiant heat burner that is well suited for one to two people on the trail. 

Snow Peak GeoShield

81

2015

Snow Peak GeoShield

The GeoShield from SnowPeak is a remote canister group-cooking stove that runs on isobutane/propane gas mixes. 

Optimus Nova+

81

2015

Optimus Nova+

The Optimus Nova + is a reliable liquid fuel backcountry expedition stove that burns white gas, kerosene, jet fuel and diesel. 

MSR XGK EX

82

2015

MSR XGK EX

The XGK EX is MSR’s workhorse. Regardless of how burly the conditions or how deep the frustration stemming from another failed summit bid, with this stove in tow, at least you’ll have a hot meal over which to commiserate.

Primus Eta Spider

87

2015

Primus Eta Spider

The Primus Eta Spider is a remote canister stove with heat exchanger pot and windscreen meant for rapid boils and gentle simmering for up to two backpackers.

Jetboil MiniMo

89

2015

Jetboil MiniMo

Thanks to the new regulator technology, the Jetboil MiniMo stands as the brands best all-around cook system.

Kovea Spider

84

2015

Kovea Spider

The Kovea Spider is a remote canister backcountry stove that runs on standard gas mixes of propane and butane/isobutane.

Kovea Booster +1

88

2015

Kovea Booster +1

The Kovea Booster +1 is the most practical and well-constructed universal-fuel stove on the market. It’s efficient, durable, easy to maintain in the field and because of its fuel versatility, it can travel the world.

MSR WindPro II

84

2015

MSR WindPro II

The MSR WindPro II is a remote canister backcountry stove that runs on standard gas mixes of propane and butane/isobutane.

Olicamp Ion Micro Titanium

83

2014

Olicamp Ion Micro Titanium

The titanium and stainless steel Olicamp Ion Micro seemed absurdly small but proved to be a remarkable performer. For ounce counters, it’s a winner. 

MSR SuperFly

81

2014

MSR SuperFly

Despite MSR’s backcountry stove pedigree, I found the SuperFly a milquetoast product. It’s practical, simple and will probably run until the apocalypse. 

Soto WindMaster

89

2014

Soto WindMaster

Given its weight, efficiency, performance in wind and average boil time, the Soto WindMaster is the superior stove in this category.

Kovea Power Nano

84

2014

Kovea Power Nano

For the price, the Kovea Power Nano is excellent stove that will muscle shelf space from some better-known brands. 

Primus Eta Lite

90

2014

Primus Eta Lite

The feature-rich Primus Eta Lite is outstanding for 1-liter all-in-one stove systems. 

MSR Reactor

86

2014

MSR Reactor

The MSR Reactor remains the most technically advanced stove in the market and its wind resistance makes it the best stove for use in adverse conditions. Period. 

Jetboil Flash

85

2014

Jetboil Flash

The Jetboil Flash 's average boil time, fuel conservancy and price make it a more than suitable option.

Olicamp Kinetic Ultra Titanium

87

2013

Olicamp Kinetic Ultra Titanium

The lightest stove tested. Only the folks who sleep under cuben fiber tarps and hike in toe-socks could find fault with a stove this small.

Optimus Vega

86

2013

Optimus Vega

The Optimus Vega can replace most compact upright canister stoves in your gear bin.

MSR MicroRocket

85

2013

MSR MicroRocket

The MSR MicroRocket is very well built, and has the fastest average boil time and best wind performance among stoves tested in this category.

MSR Whisperlite Universal

84

2013

MSR Whisperlite Universal

The MSR Whisperlite Universal should be at the top of any mountaineer or backpacker’s gear list.

Snow Peak LiteMax Titanium

80

2013

Snow Peak LiteMax Titanium

The Snow Peak LiteMax Titanium stove is a fine product that will hold up to the rigors of the trail, although there’s nothing overly innovative about its design or performance.

Primus EtaExpress

83

2013

Primus EtaExpress

The Primus EtaExpress is a great value at under $100 but sacrifices are made in wind performance and boil times when compared to the MSR Reactor and JetBoil SOL TI.

MSR Reactor

85

2013

MSR Reactor

This is the best all-around backcountry canister stove on the market. It’s expensive, but you’re paying for a fast boil, simplicity and consistent performance, even in nasty conditions.

Jetboil SOL Titanium Premium Cooking System

82

2013

Jetboil SOL Titanium Premium Cooking System

The Jetboil SOL TI is compact, lightweight and consistently faster to boil than the Primus Eta Express. It’s more fuel-efficient than the EtaExpress and MSR Reactor and better in wind than the Primus, and lighter than both—although it’s very pricey, quickly melts itself when tipped over, and has odd quirks (like a lack of a functional handle when pot is hot). Overall, the MSR Reactor is a better and more durable stove with fewer quirks.