The Best Gas Canister Backpacking Stoves

Wilderness is beautifully unpredictable, which is why no controlled test can fully emulate the actual conditions one might encounter when using a gas canister stove in the wilderness. Tests done over time, however, increase the odds of experiencing an array of conditions. We fill in gaps by testing in frontcountry, non-camping scenarios.

Kovea, Olicamp, and GSI are creating stiff competition for stalwarts Jetboil and MSR. SnowPeak, Primus and Optimus have long been favorites of European adventurers, but mysteriously lack cache among domestic buyers. Our tests can (and should) change that.

We test for a stove’s capability to cook food, how fast it boils, how it handles typical wear and tear, how it performs in wind, and fuel efficiency. We overlap subjective factors such as construction quality and functionality during testing. We ask, did a design engineer create a novelty or a practical product? Are pot supports too weak for big pots? Is the fuel line too stiff?

Canister stoves can be subdivided into upright stoves, remote canister stoves and heat exchanger systems. Examples of each, respectively, would be the MSR Pocket Rocket, the GSI Pinnacle Four Season and the Jetboil Flash.

Each backpacking stove type has its purpose among backpackers and campers, depending on trip type, number of people, travel conditions, trip goals and menu choices. The stoves in this test vary greatly on weight, features, overall design, and of course, price.

Review Year
Best in Class
Overall Rating
Price
Name Overall Rating Ratings The Good The Bad Price
MSR WindBurner
92
Best in Class
2017
Boil Time 10
Efficiency 8
Wind Performance 10
Cooking 7
Weight 7

Highly wind resistant

Very fast boil

Highly efficient

Simmers very well

High profile, risks spill

Expensive

Lid difficult to remove

MSRP
$129.99
BEST DEAL
Primus Eta Lite
90
Weight 7
Efficiency 9
Wind Performance 8
Boil Time 9
Cooking 7
Value 10

Highly efficient

Lightweight

Fast average boil

Low profile burner great against wind

Pot “coozie” and webbing handle very effective

Integrated hanging kit is the best in the category, very simple

Smallest pot volume in class

Piezo igniter is ineffective in cold with low fuel pressure

Included pot adaptors are not stable

MSRP
$100.00
BEST DEAL
Jetboil MiniMo
89
Weight 7
Fuel Efficiency 8
Wind Performance 7
Boil Time 9
Cooking 10
Reliability 8

Fast & efficent

Superb simmering

Glove-friendly

Pot/stove seperation can be difficult

Foam pot cozy is inadequate

MSRP
$130.00
BEST DEAL
GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Four Season Stove
88
Boil Time 8
Wind Performance 8
Efficiency 7
Cooking 8
Weight 7

Inverted canister design

Boils fast

Wind resistant

Compact

Windscreen attachment process

Stove/pot support deployment

Long-term durability questionable

MSRP
$79.95
BEST DEAL
Olicamp Kinetic Ultra Titanium
87
Weight 9
Efficiency 7
Wind Performance 7
Boil Time 7
Packing 9
Value 8

Lightweight: 1.7 oz alone, 3.2 oz. with included plastic case

Wide burner head disburses flame well

Size: smaller than the Snow Peak LiteMax and MSR MicroRocket

As efficient as MSR MicroRocket, boiling 8 liters from 4 oz. of fuel

Price: almost $20 less than competitors tested

Pot supports most narrow among stoves tested at 3.75’’

Small flame control valve is too close to flame

Plastic carry case awkward to pack

MSRP
$43.40
BEST DEAL
Primus Eta Spider
87
Weight 6
Fuel Efficiency 8
Wind Performance 7
Boil Time 8
Cooking 10
Reliability 8

Fast average boil: 2:53 for two cups of water

Highly efficient: boiled 20 two-cup pots on 100g of fuel

Simmering is exceptional

Easy to grab strainer lid

Flexible fuel line

Extra-long insulated pot handles

Heavy; included carry bag adds significant bulk

Magnetized stove mounts on windscreen lost effectiveness

MSRP
$120.00
BEST DEAL
MSR Reactor
86
Weight 7
Efficiency 7
Wind Performance 10
Boil Time 10
Cooking 5
Value 7

Fuel-efficient – 9 liters boiled from 4 oz. of fuel

Wind resistant – under 3:00 boil time in steady wind

Boil times - Consistently sub-3:00 boil time, faster than Primus EtaExpress and Jetboil SOL TI

Sturdy, foldable packing handle

Regulator maintains canister pressure

Cost - only the Jetboil Sumo TI is more expensive

Can only be used with other Reactor pots

Bulky – 1.7-liter pot is largest among similar systems

MSRP
$190.00
BEST DEAL
Optimus Vega
86
Weight 8
Ease of Use 8
Wind Performance 7
Boil Time 6
Versatility 8
Value 9

Lightweight: 6.3 oz by itself, 8.5 oz. with stuff sack and windscreen

Highly efficient, boiling 18 liters of tap water from 7.76 oz of Optimus Gas

Small: can be nested with mugs, bowls, pots, etc.

Simple transition to liquid fuel feed

Foldable, sturdy pot supports ideal for group cookware

Wind resistant because of low stance and windscreen

Weak flame control on low simmer

No built-in igniter

MSRP
$94.95
BEST DEAL
GSI Outdoors Pinnacle Canister Stove
86
Boil Time 9
Wind Performance 8
Efficiency 7
Cooking 7
Weight 5

Lightweight

Cooks well

Wind resistant

Windscreen attachment process

Lacks features compared to competition

Third-party pot compatibility

MSRP
$49.95
BEST DEAL
MSR MicroRocket
85
Weight 7
Efficiency 7
Wind Performance 8
Boil Time 8
Packing 8
Value 7

Lightweight: 2.6 oz alone, 4.3 with case and igniter

Boil time: faster on average than Snow Peak LiteMax and Oilcamp Kinetic Ultra

High-quality build, very durable

Efficient; boiled 8 liters from 4 oz. of fuel

Large fuel valve makes flame control easy

Igniter failed after only a few uses

Most expensive, along with Snow Peak LiteMax

MSRP
$59.95
BEST DEAL
N/A
Jetboil Flash
85
Weight 7
Efficiency 9
Wind Performance 6
Boil Time 7
Cooking 8
Value 8

Most efficient stove in test

Lightweight

Fast average boil

Large fuel control valve easy to use with gloves

Stable when in use

Price

Slower than competitors in cold and wind

Piezo igniter is ineffective in cold with low fuel pressure

Pot must cool before safely detaching from stove

Bottom cup weak, can be tedious to remove

MSRP
$100.00
BEST DEAL
Kovea Power Nano
84
Weight 6
Efficiency 6
Wind Performance 8
Boil Time 8
Durability 8
Value 8

Average boil time of 2:28.

Large valve adjustment handle is precise and easy to use with gloves

Wind performance.

Durable

Price

Less efficient than Soto WindMaster and OliCamp Ion Micro

Heavier than competitors

Flame spread quickly heats pot handles

MSRP
$35.00
BEST DEAL
MSR WindPro II
84
Weight 6
Efficiency 8
Wind Performance 8
Boil Time 7
Durability 8
Value 7

Fast average boil, faster than Kovea Spider and Optimus Vega

Efficiency; boiled 16 liters on 8.9 oz. canister

Wind performance; wind screen, low burner/pot clearance maximize capability

Stable under all pot and pan sizes

Ease of use of flame adjustor with gloves

Included windscreen and inverted canister support

Price. At almost $100, it’s expensive for a canister stove

Heavier than most in its class

Bulky, not as easy to pack

MSRP
$100.00
BEST DEAL
Kovea Spider
84
Boil Time 6
Weight 8
Efficiency 8
Wind Performance 6
Durability 8
Value 8

Lightweight. Lightest in category at 6 oz.

Very efficient, tied with MSR WindPro II for with 1

16 liters boiled on 8.9 oz. canister

Long, flexible fuel line aids in packing and backcountry kitchen set up

Wide stance accommodates multiple pot sizes

Glove-friendly fuel control

Slow average boil

Not as efficient in windy conditions

Windscreen not included

MSRP
$65.00
BEST DEAL
Primus EtaExpress
83
Weight 8
Efficiency 7
Wind Performance 4
Boil Time 7
Durability 7
Value 10

As fuel-efficient as MSR Reactor – 9 liters boiled from 4 oz. of fuel

Boil time: averaged 3:19 over ten boils

Compact & Versatile: can be used with alternative brand pots

Price: great performance for well under cost of competitive systems

Field-repairable: jet can be cleaned if needed

Windscreen makes for clunky piezo ignition

Not as fuel-efficient as JetBoil SOL TI

Slower average boil than MSR Reactor

Wind performance less efficient as MSR Reactor, Jetboil SOL TI

Lid too small to function as practical plate or pan; requires stuff sack to stay in place when packed

MSRP
$97.00
BEST DEAL
Jetboil SOL Titanium Premium Cooking System
82
Weight 8
Efficiency 9
Wind Performance 7
Boil Time 7
Durability 6
Value 5

Fuel efficient – boiled 12 liters of water on 4 oz. of fuel

Lightweight – titanium’s best benefit

Quick boil time – averaged 3:12 boiling .75 liters of water

Compact – smaller than MSR Reactor and EtaExpress

Pressure regulator - maintains consistent boil times

Pricey – higher end of the market, expensive for heating less than a liter of water

Neoprene wrap virtually pointless – pot is to hot to handle for pouring

Destroys itself quickly when tipped over.

MSRP
$150.00
BEST DEAL
N/A
Olicamp Ion Micro Titanium
82
Weight 9
Efficiency 9
Wind Performance 5
Boil Time 7
Durability 7
Value 5

Size & weight; smallest canister stove on the market at 1.5 ounces

Highly efficient; boiled 17 pots of water on 4 ounces of gas

Average boil time of 3:13

Size of stove and flame adjustor makes control difficult

Miniscule pot supports provides stability for only smallest of pots

Poor wind performance

Cost; priced similarly to much more versatile competitors

MSRP
$50.00
BEST DEAL
MSR SuperFly
81
Weight 7
Efficiency 6
Wind Performance 7
Boil Time 6
Durability 9
Value 6

Pot supports offer variety and stability with cookware

Wind performance

Flame control; best in category for camp cooking

Durability; strong, very well-built

Least efficient among four screw-on canister stoves tested

Boil time; slowest in test

MSRP
$65.00
BEST DEAL
Snow Peak GeoShield
81
Boil Time 6
Efficiency 8
Wind Performance 7
Cooking 8
Weight 6
Reliability 6

Large pot stability

Standard or inverted canister use

Good for simmering, long-term cooking

Efficient

Good wind performance

Cumbersome setup

Wire locking system for windscreen

Base plate attachment clips bend

No included stand for inverted canister stability

MSRP
$99.95
BEST DEAL
Snow Peak LiteMax Titanium
79
Weight 8
Efficiency 7
Wind Performance 6
Boil Time 7
Packing 6
Value 5

Lightweight: 1.9 oz alone, 2.2 oz. with included stuff sack

Large, rubber-coated fuel control valve

Folding pot supports adjust to pot size

Pot support width of over 4’’

Slowest boil among competitors OliCamp Kinetic Ultra Titanium and MSR MicroRocket

Poor performance in wind

MSRP
$59.95
BEST DEAL
Jetboil Sumo Group Cooking System w/ Companion Bowl Set
77
Weight 4
Cooking Capacity 10
Packability 5
Versatility 7
Durability 6
Value 5

Durable pot.

Strainer lid.

Nests all bowls, stove and 230g fuel canister.

Sol stove.

Bulky.

Complex to nest properly.

Flimsy measuring cup.

Many separate parts and accessories.

Pricey.

MSRP
$149.90
BEST DEAL
MSR WindBurner

MSR may have very well outsmarted itself with the WindBurner. While using much of the same tech as the Reactor, the WindBurner has enough built-in features to muscle its wider, fatter siblings out of shelf space. It’s the fastest and most weather-resistant backcountry boiler tested. 

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Soto WindMaster

Given its weight, efficiency, performance in wind and average boil time, the Soto WindMaster is the superior stove in this category. It is pricey, but you do get what you are paying for.  The micro-regulator is an impressive inclusion on a stove of this size and it performs as advertised, maintaining boil time consistency and performance in temperatures most canister stoves can't handle.

Read the Full Review Shop Now at CampSaver.com

Primus Eta Spider

The Primus Eta Spider simmers as well as the Jetboil MiniMo and is equally fuel efficient, but it’s a pound heavier when packed as purchased. You can’t go wrong buying it if weight isn’t a top concern.

Read the Full Review Shop Now at GearTrade.com

Kovea Spider

The Kovea Spider is an excellent backpacking stove. The packability, simplicity and efficiency should outweigh its less than stellar wind performance. The Spider isn’t super fast, but when you’re using a stove to cook actual meals, typically a rapid boil isn’t a priority. The Kovea Spider has a wide base, is stable under group-size cook pots and offers precise flame control.

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See All Gas Canister Backpacking Stoves Reviews

Canister backpacking stove Review Results

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This test blanketed a spectrum of products that all have at least a couple of justifiable reasons for being in your gear bin. However, when placed head-to-head, it becomes easier to see how a standout feature on one stove gets shadowed by something more useful on another. This is why there’s value in testing, as it allows consumers to compare the apples with the apples, it then simply comes down to which type of apple you prefer.

Weight

The lightest stove in this test is the Olicamp Ion Micro Titanium at 1.5 ounces. While not the best performing stove as result of its packability, it’s a stove we recommend highly for light-and-fast hikers, or bikepackers, just behind the Soto Windmaster.

In fact, it was clear that Olicamp made this stove to impress the growing crowds of people who prefer the trail more than camp. It’s also a durable little cooker as a direct result of its diminutive stature. It can fit into a mug, pot, pocket, or wherever you have an extra few cubic inches. The stove is a scant 1.5 inches wide when packed, and it’s only two inches tall. Obviously its titanium body and stainless steel pot supports contribute to its status as the flyweight class champ.

For comparison’s sake, the new, smaller Pocket Rocket 2 (now being tested) weighs 2.5 ounces. In this test, the second and third lightest gas canister stoves were SnowPeak’s LiteMax Titanium at 1.9 ounces and the GSI Outdoors Pinnacle stove at 2.5 ounces, respectively.  

All of its components make the Primus Eta Spider the heaviest stove in this test. These are the toughest assignments to give because of the pejorative reaction “heavy” connotes in this product category. The Eta Spider is a super-practical stove that cooks well and beats wind. In short, don’t let weight factor “too much” in your decision to buy a canister stove.

Boil Time

The gas canister stove that boiled water the fastest in this test is the Jetboil MiniMo. The average time is gathered from boiling two cups of water ten times under the same conditions, and it did so in 1:51.

The Primus Eta Lite averaged 2:23 and the Primus Eta Spider and MSR Windburner each averaged 2:53.

The MiniMo’s fuel regulator, low wide pot design, and ubiquitous heat exchanger all helped all helped it win this category. The stove is also benefited by its short stance.

Even though a number of stove brands have come to lament the popularity of this metric and the race to 2:00 it has created, there is some justification for wanting a stove to heat water sooner than later.

Backcountry cold injuries could be prevented or reduced in severity by re-warming body parts in warm water. (Always evacuate serious cold injuries.) The sooner you have the warm water, the better. The same goes for trying to beat the onset of bad weather. It’s never smart to cook inside a tent and sometimes vestibules are packed with wet gear, so you have no choice but to wet out and wait for the water to boil. In those cases, I want my meal rehydrated as quickly as possible.

Oh, and lest we forget the pain of an alpine start. If there’s no time for coffee, even a cup of hot water helps get up and get after the summit.

I don’t believe there’s any merit to the idea that a fast boil contributes to an easier trip or more miles, or that it makes one stove worth buying more than another unless the above situations apply. In fact, the real benefit to the heat-exchanger revolution is the wind resistance and subsequent fuel efficiency.

The majority of tests used two cups of water, or 16 ounces. The test for the MSR Reactor, probably most folks’ expected winner, used 25 ounces of water, resulting in an average boil time of 2:53. The testing discrepancy was due to the timeframe between tests, as we set the the two-cup benchmark across all tests well after the Reactor was tested.

Wind Resistance

There are few things more frustrating than waiting for your meal to cook, and wind is often the reason why we sit around staring at a slow-heating pot of food.

The stove that will frustrate you the least then, is the MSR Reactor. The convex, radiant-heat burner head rests snugly within the concave base of the double-walled pot, preventing any of its heat from escaping outside the pot walls. The stove also runs entirely on primary air, meaning it doesn’t to expose its burner to surrounding air currents to keep the flame alive, which is required of all other canister stoves.

The Jetboil MiniMo was the next best performer in wind, followed by the Primus Eta Lite. The latter’s burner head is enveloped by a depression in the heat-exchanger pot base, creating a highly wind-protected environment for the flame. It’s a sharp design.

There is real value to protecting a flame from the breezes wafting through camp. For example, wind reduces conductive heat by cooling the pot. It also cools the exterior of the canister, affecting internal pressure and thus, the flow of fuel. Wind also weakens the flame itself. As a result of all of the above, you use more fuel to reach appropriate cooking and serving temperatures.

Wind resistance was tested in natural situations out in windy deserts, on Sierra Nevada peaks, in developed campgrounds and during windy days in the frontcountry. In some cases a small fan was pitched in front of a stove. The same fan was used in each test and placed the same distance from the flame.

Cooking

The buying market has become so enamored with lighter and faster that it seems a stove’s primary purpose — to make us food — has become secondary. We don’t think that should be so, and test our stoves accordingly.

The Jetboil MiniMo and Primus Eta Spider rule this roost because of their highly controllable flames, practical native pot sizes and wind protection. Both stoves are also very stable with heavy pots and pans, essential for small or compromised camp kitchens.

The GSI Outdoors Pinnacle 4-Season stove, a remote burner, is also a solid cooker, performing almost as well without a fuel regulator thanks to super-precise valve control. GSI also innovated a very cool windscreen setup that keeps heat away from the canister while fully protecting the burner. The MSR WindPro II, Kovea Spider and SnowPeak GeoShield all scored an 8 out of 10 in our Cooking ratings.

Efficiency

The Primus Eta Lite boiled 23 two-cup pots of water on a single 100-gram canister of MSR IsoPro isobutane, making it the most miserly of the bunch. Jetboil’s Flash was a close second, boiling 21 two-cup pots.

Testing for efficiency helps stove shoppers understand how much fuel (roughly) they need to carry on a specific trip. Air temperature, wind, altitude, menu options, and a number of other factors influence how well a stove performs throughout the length of a trip, and those factors are different and unpredictable every time we venture out. Our tests are designed to give readers a benchmark of performance in as realistic a setting as possible.

Efficiency is typically measured alongside the boil test. How much fuel did a stove require to boil 10 pots of water?

Fuel efficiency is also determined by stove design, and is what drives the heat exchanger sub-category of gas canister stoves. Windscreens and burner design also influence fuel efficiency, and therefore there’s an array of engineering methods deployed to remedy wind’s impact on how much fuel is needed to boil a cup of water.

The engineer pedigrees behind Jetboil, MSR and Primus stoves will keep their products at the top of this list. However, GSI Outdoors, an upstart in the stove market, has approached the efficiency mission with different tactics. They offer a separate aluminum windscreen that rests on small prongs cut from the base of the pot supports on both the Pinnacle and the Pinnacle 4-season remote canister stove. The prototype windscreens tested were a bit clunky to install, but changes have been made since testing to streamline the concept for market. It’s a very cool approach worth consideration from budget-minded stove shopper.

The Primus Eta Spider, MSR WindPro II, Kovea Spider and yes — the OliCamp Ion Micro Titanium — also scored high marks for preserving fuel.

Other Factors

Testing parameters changed over time. We once ranked “durability,” but realized that it’s a characteristic too difficult to judge, and one that can be summarized in the overall impressions and description of features. Engineers or manufacturing reps will be contacted when a stove component is notably weak or if a clear malfunction arises. In the essence of sound journalism, we need to know if the flaw has been discovered already or if we received a prototype not yet ready for the retail shelf.

That said, if a stove won’t hold up to hard use, we’ll share that with you; the SnowPeak GeoShield, for example. The concept is pretty slick. However, it’s ultimately over-designed, stressing gimmick over practicality.

On the contrary, the GSI Outdoors family of gas canister stoves were a good example of how communicating with a stove’s designer can pay off. My concerns about the windscreen attachment designs were acknowledged by the company honestly and a fix was already in the works. They’re nice stoves, too. 

Jetboil acknowledged design flaws in the prototypes of its gas canister upright, the MightyMo. The rivets chosen to fasten and rotate the pot supports made them very difficult to open and close without unusual force. I warped the supports on two prototypes in early testing after minimal use. The issues have since been resolved.

Reliability was an early synonym for durability and has since been eliminated from testing standards, as has Value, which we determined was a ratio of price against overall quality.

Review Conclusions

The difficult truth learned during testing so many gas canister stove products is that not one company tested is making a “bad” product. Some stoves are better at one thing than another, and some stoves may win over a buyer on brand name alone. When the dust settles, we’re not looking at any losers, just products that didn’t win.

That conclusion isn’t a participation-trophy cop-out or wink to curry favor with reps and respected brands, it’s merely a case of the industry evolution.

Manufacturers work one-on-one with professionals in the field to invent, develop and test products. The line between experienced user feedback and the factory is short and straight. Materials are better, research is better and consumer trends are more accurately measured.

That said, manufacturers are cranking out designs faster than stove buyers can invent a reason to use them. This is resulting in redundancy, and it’s burdening buyers and retailers with an abundance of choices. Jetboil is a prominent example, and I’m not surprised they need a Buying Guide on their website. MSR is moving quickly to proliferate its WindBurner tech across a number of cooking products. I hope a similar challenge doesn’t emerge for their customers.

Overall, we’re in a golden age of cooking technology, and frankly, major credit has to given to the aforementioned Jetboil for advancing and encouraging backcountry cooking innovation. The original PCS changed the game a little over 10 years ago, or at least demonstrated a new to way to look at stove design. The rise of heat exchangers and rapid boiling pushed Mountain Safety Research to new levels of invention and lured giant camping OEMs like Kovea into the American mass-retail spotlight.

The category-leading stoves in our test are not easily chosen, and admittedly, there’s always slight tinge of subjectivity involved. On occasion, a stove just “feels better” to use. We’ll continue to work to ensure those feelings are kept at a minimum, or altogether eliminated.

Test Methods

Testing is done under actual wilderness conditions at every opportunity. In instances where conditions don’t allow for prolonged exposure or are in some way not ideal for testing, every effort is made to emulate backcountry environments.

Boil time is tested using the same volume of water for each stove from the same source, in the same pot. Every effort is made to use the same type of fuel, as well, provided manufacturer recommendations aren’t overly dire about the risks of not doing so. An electronic timer is started when a pot is placed on an ignited burner and turned off upon a rolling boil. This is done 10 times, with usually 3:00 of rest between boils and the results are averaged.

Fuel efficiency is tested by measuring gas canister volume before and after the boil test.

A separate five-boil cycle is used to test wind tolerance. This will be done in actual wind when conditions permit or replicated using a small fan placed a few inches from the stove.

Cooking ratings are measured over time using a number of common backcountry foods, such as soups, pastas, powdered eggs, vegetables and occasionally fish. This test is naturally somewhat subjective but is monitored for how well a stove maintains a consistent simmer, controls its flame, and avoids burning. If a stove is packaged with a pot, only that product will be used. When that is not the case, every attempt is made to use the same pot to compare stoves.

Lastly, weight is pitted against factory advertised weights using a digital postage scale. The stove is weighed with all components required for it to function at its peak. Thus, a stuff sack is not considered a factor for weight, nor are included stand-alone ignitors, as a multitude of alternatives can be used to ignite a stove.

What Is A Gas Canister Stove?

Gas canister stoves are typically designed for multi-day travel in the wilderness. They come in array of form factors with different takes on common features. What they all have in common is their source of fuel: canisters of isobutane or isobutane/propane gas mixes.

The most traditional design is the screw-on, upright canister stove. A few typical examples of this include the MSR Pocket Rocket, SnowPeak GigaMax and Soto WindMaster. These are common among solo backpackers and first-timers because of their shortage of components, ease of use and wide availability.

Canister stoves also exist as remote systems. These are handy inventions that use a fuel line to connect the gas to the burner. As a result, the stove is commonly housed in a separate base that allows it sit low to the ground and maintain stability when cooking with larger pots and pans. You can also use windscreens with remote canister stoves.

Many remote canister stoves come with a rotating valve housing that enables users to flip the canister so that direct liquid fuel feeds the flame. This is handy in situations where the canister pressure is low or you need to cook quickly.

Heat exchanger systems, or “all-in-ones,” are those gas canister stoves that come with their own pot designed specifically to work in unison with the burner to achieve top performance. The Jetboil brought this design to the masses and is considered the benchmark from a consumer standpoint. The brand is the “Kleenex” or “Xerox machine” of backpacking stoves. The Primus Eta Lite, MSR Windburner and Kovea Alpine Pot are other such examples.

Know that despite every tactic deployed, gas canister stoves are still not ideal for consistently cold conditions. Keeping them physically warm in a sleeping bag or wrapped in a sock is a must when temps get uncomfortably low. Four-season canister fuels with an extra boost of propane help remedy this risk, but do not suitably alleviate it.

Expect to spend anywhere from $25 to $150 for stoves in this category. The most affordable will be the upright screw-on options while the multi-component systems will run at the high end. The Primus Eta Spider, MSR Reactor and Jetboil MiniMo are some of the pricier models available.

Stove buyers can expect the category leaders Jetboil and MSR to continue to focus on different iterations of their current burner tech. Given current model options, a pure liquid fuel stove wouldn’t be out of the question for Jetboil soon. Small and light will continue to be important to buyers, and I hope the divide between products for those buyers and traditional backcountry chefs becomes more evident to alleviate flooding the market with redundant products.