From left to right: MSR PocketRocket 2, Snow Peak LiteMax, Soto Amicus, MSR PocketRocket Deluxe, Soto WindMaster
All blog posts

We Tested 5 of the Most Popular Backpacking Stoves

We tested five of the most popular lightweight backpacking stoves to see which performed the best and which is the most affordable.

Paul Bodnar      Educational      9/18/2020
Paul Bodnar
Educational
9/18/2020

We tested five of the most popular lightweight backpacking stoves that weigh 3 ounces or less. All five of the stoves would work well in the outdoors, but some stoves performed better in our tests. We evaluated stoves based on cost, ease of lighting, weight, packed dimensions, burner pot support, simmer performance, maximum gas flow rate, 2-cup 72°F water boil time, average wind boil time at 1, 2, and 4 mph wind speeds and fuel efficiency.

The Results:


A chart comparing five different backpacking stoves.
* Soto WindMaster – weight with 3-support arm stove stand

** Pinch to zoom

Soto WindMaster was the overall best performing stove.

The best overall stove tested was the Soto WindMaster with the MSR PocketRocket Deluxe coming in a close second. The Soto WindMaster outperformed the MSR PocketRocket Deluxe in overall fuel efficiency and burner pot support function. The Soto WindMaster tested had a removable 4-prong pot support. An optional 3-prong support can be purchased reducing the total stove weight to just 67 grams. The ability to convert from a 4 to 3-prong pot stand, great boil times, and best overall fuel efficiency makes the Soto WindMaster the clear winner.

Soto WindMaster stove attached to a fuel canister

Soto Amicus was the best affordable stove.

The best affordable stove based on the test results was the Soto Amicus. The Soto Amicus stove retails for $39.95, weighs only 72 grams, packs nicely, had quick boil times and was fuel efficient even in the wind. This made the Soto Amicus a clear winner for the best affordable stove.

Five backpacking stoves laying next to each other by a ruler
Left to right: Soto Amicus, MSR PocketRocket 2, Snow Peak LiteMax, MSR PocketRocket Deluxe, Soto WindMaster
Five backpacking stoves laying next to each other by a ruler
Left to right: Soto Amicus, MSR PocketRocket 2, Snow Peak LiteMax, MSR PocketRocket Deluxe, Soto WindMaster

Read more!

Check out some related blog posts!

A lake reflects a nearby wildflower meadow and trees.
Download our popular hiking and biking guides!

Trail guides that get you to places you’ve dreamed of.

As the makers of Guthook Guides, Bikepacking Guides, and Cyclewayz, we help you navigate the most popular trails around the world on your smartphone. Our hiking guides and biking guides work completely offline. Let Guthook guide your next adventure!

Showers Lake Vista, Tahoe Rim Trail
Photo courtesy of the Tahoe Rim Trail Association
A lake reflects a nearby wildflower meadow and trees.
Showers Lake Vista, Tahoe Rim Trail
Photo courtesy of the Tahoe Rim Trail Association

Trail guides that get you to places you’ve dreamed of.

As the makers of Guthook Guides, Bikepacking Guides, and Cyclewayz, we help you navigate the most popular trails around the world on your smartphone. Our hiking guides and biking guides work completely offline. Let Guthook guide your next adventure!

Download our popular hiking and biking guides!
About the Author
A man wearing an Arizona Trail baseball cap stands in a field in front of a mountain.

Paul Bodnar

Paul has always liked hiking and thru-hiked the Pacific Crest Trail in 1997 after college. After years of working in chemistry, he wanted to create a career involving the outdoors, so he hiked the PCT again in 2010 to do research for his guide book, Pocket PCT. He realized that creating a smartphone app for navigating the outdoors would make it easier to keep the data current and provide a better way to navigate. While hiking with Ryan (aka Guthook) in 2010, they decided to work together to create the first comprehensive smartphone guide for the PCT.