CAMPING & HIKING

White Gas Stove: Top Features and Products to Consider

Cooking during camping
Dennis Owens
Written by Dennis Owens

When you’re out camping and you need a stove that’s low-profile, but offers improved stability and works well in different conditions, you might consider a white gas stove. Since choosing between the different models available isn’t an easy task, we’d thought we’d help you with that.

Warming my camp meal

We’ll tell you our basic criteria for choosing such a stove, as well as review some great products on the market. Plus, we’ve slipped in a couple of controversial ones that received a low rating, though they’re amazing for their purpose. So if that made you curious, read along.

Criteria we always follow

There are two categories of factors we like to consider when choosing such a stove. Firstly, we get the:

General characteristics

These are really common features that can be applied to most of your camping or survival equipment, like:

  • Quality: make sure your stove is made from quality materials, and that it has a top design that makes it resistant to damages and the weather.
  • Portability: look for small, compact stoves, with foldable legs.
  • Versatility: check that your stove can work on other types of gasses too, not just white gas. Make sure it can accommodate plenty of pots and pans.
  • Lifespan: you should check the burn time, and pick one that accommodates your needs.
  • Extras: check for included tools, carry sacks, warranties, etc.

But we want to be even more precise when factoring in the characteristics of such a stove, which is why we love the products that have:

Awesome characteristics most liquid gas stoves don’t have

When reading more about liquid gas stoves, you find there are some cons generally associated with them, like:

  • High maintenance.
  • Fuel spills.
  • High retail price.

So look for the brands that have improved their stoves, according to the needs of their customers, trying to minimize the negative features.

Pizza made outdoors

That’s why we like stoves that:

  • Don’t need much priming.
  • Have included cleaning tools.
  • Can easily be cleaned on the field.
  • Have safe ignitions and pressure release systems.
  • Provide soot traps.
  • Are in the affordable range.
  • Have wind baffles.
  • Have an adjustable flame option.

The market is your oyster

After taking all these factors into account, we introduce to you 7 amazing stoves we’ve found on the market:

MSR Dragonfly Stove

MSR Dragonfly StoveWEIGHT: 17.8 ounces

DIMENSIONS: 6.3 x 5 x 3.5 inches

SPECIFICATIONS: foldable; CoolFuel Valve; works with white gas, kerosene, auto fuel; 3 wide pot supports; self-cleaning; 126 minutes burn time; lifetime warranty included; no white gas included

BEST USE: large groups

DESCRIPTION: This 4.4 stars and $132.77 stove is the perfect thing to consider for various camping trips when versatility and utility are your top priorities. In regard to these two characteristics, we love the CoolFuel Valve. This is a sort of dual-valve that can control the flame really well, so you can cook a variety of meals, and in a variety of ways. Since you can adjust the flame anywhere in between simmering and boiling, we think that’s a real feat.

Another thing that substantiates these two characteristics is the fact that it can function on three types of gas. Although it works great with white gas, it can also use kerosene or even auto fuel from your car, provided that’s unleaded. So if you’ve run out of white gas during your trip, you can simply replace it with other options available.

The other feature of the MSR Dragonfly Stove which can be related to versatility and utility is the fact that it can support multiple pots and pans, so you can even do some gourmet cooking in the great outdoors. Its three pot supports are very large, meaning you’re not limited to using only small containers. And when you’re done cooking, this easy-to-use stove can even jet clean itself, getting rid of all the accumulated debris.

Apart from that, we like other characteristics too, starting with portability. Since it’s foldable and weighs just a little over a pound, this stove can easily be packed and carried during your camping trip. And since it has a burn time of 126 minutes for 20 ounces, and a boil time of 3.5 minutes for 1 liter of water, you can get why it’s so efficient. Plus, there’s a lifetime warranty included in the mix, so don’t lose that opportunity.

RELATED: MSR offers four other white gas stove models, with different weights: MSR XGK EX Stove; MSR WhisperLite Stove; MSR WhisperLite International Stove; MSR WhisperLite Universal.

KOVEA Booster Dual Max Gas Stove

KOVEA Booster Dual Max StoveWEIGHT: 12 ounces

DIMENSIONS: 3.5 x 2.7 x 4.7 inches

SPECIFICATIONS: foldable; air shutter; direct flame holes; fluorine hose; unleaded + white gas; stainless steel; manual ignition; 4 minutes boil time

BEST USE: medium groups

DESCRIPTION: This $229.95 stove is a great piece of camping gear, thanks to its reduced weight and compact size. But you can make it even more compact courtesy of its foldable legs. That will save you more than enough space both when you’re carrying it in your backpack, and when you store it at home. Plus, the foldable legs prove a great support for the pot, since they’re secure enough so the pot won’t fall while you’re cooking.

The air shutter of KOVEA Booster Dual Max Stove is another good feature. This device actually controls the rate at which the oxygen is released, so you can adjust the flame intensity. Therefore, your meals will come out just right, not over or undercooked. Of course, this oxygen rate is also dependant on the type of fuel you’re using. And the good news is this particular type of stove lets you use unleaded gas too from your car.

The direct flame holes are another plus, seeing as you can cook with more efficiency and at a better heat. It also reflects on the overall boil time, which reaches just 4 minutes for 1 liter of water when you’re using white gas. So your meals will be ready in no time.

The stainless steel material is a strong one, that explains its reduced weight and its resistance to damages on the field. It also explains why this stove is very calm when you’re using it, and why it’s such low maintenance, even on the field. We also like the manual ignition system, which renders it all the more safe, although an auto igniter feature would have been nice too.

Coleman Sportster II

Coleman Sportster IIWEIGHT: 2 pounds

DIMENSIONS: 7.38 x 7.38 x 6.55 inches

SPECIFICATIONS: All Season Strong; Band-a-Blu burner; 10,000 BTUs total; 2 hours working time; uses Coleman Liquid Fuel and propane; wind baffles; 6 inches pan; built-in pot support; 5-year warranty

BEST USE: small groups

DESCRIPTION: This 4.4 stars and $65.25 stove is perfect in different circumstances, starting with camping and hiking to emergencies and survival. That’s first because it’s very easy to use it in all weather and terrain conditions. That’s especially important because no one can guarantee you perfect sunny weather in the great outdoors, and you need a reliable piece of equipment. The trademarked Coleman technology called All Season Strong can guarantee you this stove will work no matter the weather.

Another trademarked feature of the Coleman Sportster II is its burner, called Band-a-Blu. This adds to the reliability of the Coleman stove, accounting for its cooking power. As such, you’ll get 10,000 BTUs total, which is a lot to cook for two hours straight. That’s how long this stove lasts, provided you’re working with a 1.1 pint of gas. Speaking of which, we like that this stove is quite versatile when it comes to fuel. It works both with propane and the Coleman Liquid Fuel.

Unfortunately, none of these options is included in the package, but they’re readily available to get online. And if you’re looking for efficiency, the Coleman fuel lasts almost 5 times as much as the ordinary unleaded gasoline. But it’s good to know you have options in the wilderness if your white gas runs out.

We like the fact that even though it’s quite affordable, this stove has some uniquely advantageous features, like its wind baffles. These offer wind protection which is great because you’ll achieve maximum heat at all times. Granted, it can only use a 6 inches pan and it has a built-in pot support, so it’s not extremely versatile, but it’s the basics you need in a survival situation. Plus, you can rest assured it’s not going to get damaged or anything, thanks to the included 5-year warranty.

Primus Omnilite TI Stove

Primus Omnilite TI StoveWEIGHT: 12 ounces

DIMENSIONS: 8 x 9 x 6 inches

SPECIFICATIONS: foldable; 2600 W output; 2.5 minutes boil time; 100 minutes burn time; simmer control option; metal construction; soot trap; safe pressure release system

BEST USE: backcountry trips

DESCRIPTION: This 4.6 stars and $143.95 stove is great when it comes to its efficiency. Seeing as it has a cooking power of 8900 BTU/h, or 2600 W, you can easily cook a number of great meals in the least amount of time possible.

Besides, it has a 100 minute burn time if you’re using an 8.1 ounces gas cartridge, and it can boil water in about 2.5 minutes. This is practically the most fuel efficient stove you’ll get, and the 100 minute burn time can easily be prolonged if you’re just simmering. Plus, the simmer control option is a definite advantage, since you can adjust it with increased precision.

We also like how small and compact the Primus Omnilite TI Stove is, considering it only weighs 12 ounces. You can carry it in your backcountry trips easily also because it’s a foldable piece of gear. That’s great for portability and storage reasons too seeing as campers generally tend to avoid equipment that takes a lot of space.

The construction and design are likewise great features. It’s made from metal parts mostly, including the fuel line and the air pump. The titanium build for the heat shield and pot support renders it light and resistant, but on the downside, it makes this stove a bit noisy too.  The pump design is extremely reliable, seeing as it’s innovative and allows you to set up and remove the pump much easier.

Plus, this stove is safe. It has a soot trap that doesn’t allow soot to get on your equipment and clothes, making it also fairly low maintenance because of its easy cleaning. And the pressure release system is great for safety reasons too, seeing as you can remove the pump without gas spraying on you.

Edelrid Hexon Multifuel Stove

Edelrid Hexon Multifuel StoveWEIGHT: 7.8 ounces

DIMENSIONS: 3.5 inches (height) x 2.5 inches(width)

SPECIFICATIONS: detachable foldable legs; works on various types of fuel; windscreen; small fuel bottle included; metal pump; toolset; carry sack

BEST USE: 1-2 people

DESCRIPTION: This 2.5 stars and $170.83 stove has a lower score than we’ve accustomed you with, but that can easily be explained. Firstly, you should know that this stove has been designed to be used by one or two people, and it’s not for extensive cooking.

When you try to use it for more time, you’ll notice that the pot stand tends to soften and warp the stove, so it ends up being useless on the long run. The good news is that you can still detach this pot stand and replace it with Titanium legs, for instance, which don’t have this problem. So our advice is to use this product with care, and only for the purpose it has been designed.

The first thing we love about the Edelrid Hexon Multifuel Stove stove is that it can use various types of fuel, not just white has. It also works on unleaded car gas, kerosene, and LP gas. And you can use it for a multitude of purposes and intensities, from simmering to boiling water. Therefore, this product passes our versatility test with flying colors.

We like that it doesn’t weigh much either and that it has reduced dimensions. Even the legs are good for portability reasons, seeing as they’re foldable and can also be detached. As such, you can fit the stove inside the cook set you’re bringing along on your camping trip so you’re saving a lot of space with this feature.

The windscreen is another perk since it provides great wind protection. Other included items that are actually useful are the 0.4 liters bottle of fuel, a metal pump, a tool set and a carry sack. We always like to see that the brand pays attention to what its customers need on the field, so this extra stuff just about covers you.

Optimus Svea Stove

Optimus Svea StoveWEIGHT: 19.4 ounces

DIMENSIONS: 5.11 x 3.93 inches

SPECIFICATIONS: lid turns into pot; no need for pump priming; works on different fuels; flame control option; aluminum pump; maintenance tool included; built-in cleaning needles

BEST USE: 1 person; high altitude

DESCRIPTION: This 4.5 stars stove has a price range of $99.99 – $433.81, depending on the package you choose. But no matter your choice, you should know it’s the best option for you if you’re planning a solo hike at a high altitude, where the temperatures drop considerably. That’s because it has a design that enables the gas to maintain the flame, regardless of the lower oxygen conditions. Basically, the Optimus Svea Stove is the most efficient stove we’ve found on the market.

The efficiency and versatility of this particular stove can easily be inferred from the fact that its lid can also double as a small cooking pot. That makes it really useful seeing as you don’t have to carry a lot of equipment with you, so it’s good for portability reasons too. Besides, there’s no need for pump priming, so you’re good to go in that regard.

We love that it works on different fuels, not just white gas and that it has a flame control option. This allows you to adjust the rate at which the oxygen burns, helping you prolong its lifespan. And we’re really impressed that adjusting the flame precisely according to your needs is furthermore safe, unlike some lower-grade models you can find out there.

The construction is an additional perk. The pump is manufactured from aluminum, a strong, resistant material, and there aren’t any loose parts either, therefore you can’t lose or break anything. The maintenance tool found in the handle is another advantage for you, and it’s great that it doesn’t take up extra space. The cleaning needles are a strong suit of this stove’s construction too, seeing as they’re built-in and you can even use them while cooking your food.

RELATED: Optimus offers this model in two sizes: One size and 2-Pack.

SOTO MUKA Stove SOD-371

SOTO MUKA Stove SOD-371WEIGHT:

DIMENSIONS:

SPECIFICATIONS: foldable legs; quiet; white gas and unleaded car gas; extremely powerful

BEST USE: 1 person; high altitude

DESCRIPTION: This 3.3 stars and $162.38 stove is yet another controversial item, but we’ll tell you exactly why we think it’s a worthwhile purchase. Firstly, it’s very light, compact, and it has foldable legs, which makes it great for portability reasons. It’s also fairly quiet, so you won’t have to be concerned about catching the attention of wild animals around. And it doesn’t work on white gas alone either, it can use unleaded car gas too.

Plus, it’s very powerful, but this is where things get complicated. The upside is that you can easily get your job done and cook your meal fast, even in extreme, high-altitude conditions when the freezing temperature might mess with other, lower-quality stoves that don’t seem to burn anymore.

The downside of being an extremely powerful stove is that you can’t use it for a prolonged time, nor can you use a pot that’s heavier than 4.5 pounds total. That’s because the added weight and the lengthy exposure to the open flame might damage the legs of the SOTO MUKA Stove SOD-371.

Another downside of its increased power is that it needs more pump strokes to get it working too, and it can’t be adjusted to perfection, especially when it comes to simmering. Plus, you’ll burn a lot of fuel, extremely fast. So don’t think about getting this stove unless you need it for high altitudes and very low temperatures, where other camping stoves don’t work at all.

The stove for you

After reading our product reviews, you can understand that there’s no perfect camping stove on the market, just the perfect stove for you. So read the product descriptions carefully, you don’t want to end up with a product that doesn’t fit your needs.

Ready for outdoor meal

Even the lower-rated items are good choices for some people. Just consider how the Edelrid Hexon stove was negatively rated by people who’ve bought it for bigger groups, although it’s meant for just one person. Same with the SOTO MUKA stove that’s clearly meant for high power in extreme weather and terrain conditions, not for efficiency.

That being said, where are you planning to use your stove? How many people are there usually in your group? Which model caught your eyes? Is there a product reviewed here you’ve already tried? We’re interested in learning more from you, so leave us a comment below.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Dennis Owens
Dennis Owens

Dennis Owens is a graduate of National Camping School and REI Outdoor School. He knows everything about what gear to take with you, how to plan your trip to stay safe and what to do if you get lost in the mountains. We are lucky to have Dennis with us as he is a ‘walking encyclopedia’ when it comes to the wilderness.

  • Alexander Russell

    Dragonfly stove is my first and only camping stove. It’s fantastic for longer trips when it’s cold and windy. On a few occasions I thought it won’t fire up because the wind was too strong, but everything worked normally. Sometimes I use a windshield but generally it’s not necessary. I cook almost everything with it, like I’m in my kitchen. This thing saved me a lot of money because I don’t buy cooked food any more. What is also good about it is that food prepared outdoors tastes much better.

    • Dennis Owens

      The Dragonfly stove is tough and, as you’ve said, can withstand strong winds and help you cook your hearty meals at campsite. Nothing tastes better than freshly-prepared meals right where you are.

  • George Lewis

    From all the stoves you mentioned in this article I’ve owned only Primus stove. It really is a top of the range stove. It’s lightweight, has a massive heat output and it’s very stable. A good thing was that I was experienced with different types of stoves, so when I bought this one I had no problems using it. For someone who never used any white-gas stove, it might be a bit complicated.

    • Dennis Owens

      This is also my initial gripe about the Primus stove because it can be a little overwhelming for first-time users, unlike other models that got a simpler mechanism. However, if this is your second stove, or you don’t mind spending some time learning how to properly operate it, then this is a great choice for a white gas stove.

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