In case you’re running late, the best tent stove is Camp Chef’s Alpine model.
Camping is great! Until…the sun goes down, and you’re suddenly freezing your butt off. Your teeth start to chatter, and soon enough, your lips are chapped.
Thankfully, there’s a tool to fight off winter’s attacks – a tent stove. Tent stoves will help you stay warm, cook delicious meals, and even dry off your clothes. If you frequently camp during the winter, I highly recommend you get one.
Best Tent Stoves: Our Top 5 Picks
There’s a lot more to choosing the right tent stove than you might think. Fortunately, I happen to have extensive experience when it comes to this matter. I’ve decided to condense all that information into one comprehensive guide that you can read before picking one for yourself.
In this guide, you’re going to learn about everything that you need to know when comparing one stove to another. Additionally, I’ll show you five of my top picks and objectively go through the pros & cons of each.
Without further adieu, let’s get right into it.
Camp Chef – Alpine Heavy Duty Cylinder Stove
When it comes to tent stoves, Camp Chef has always been one of the top manufacturers out there. I’m more than familiar with the robust build quality that their models provide, and think you’ll enjoy this stove for sure.
This particular model not only met my expectations but exceeded them by quite a significant margin.
One of my favorite things about this stove is the fact that it has adjustable legs. You might be wondering why that’s such a key feature.
Well, if you’ve been on as many camping trips as me, then you’re more than aware that some areas tend to have pretty uneven ground. The ability to adjust the legs makes it easy to balance this stove regardless of the terrain.
- Adjustable legs make it easy to cook on any terrain.
- Water tank brackets allow for stress-free attachment of a tank (which you’ll purchase separately).
- A wide and tall chimney keeps the smoke out of your campsite.
- You can store every last part of the stove within it, which makes transporting everything a whole lot easier.
- The drying rack is extensive, allowing more room for clothes or food.
- Not the cheapest tent stove you’ll find, but the quality makes it worth the price.
- Heavy due to the size, so not suitable for backpacking.
Best for: campers who want a heavy-duty stove that works well on any terrain and will last for years.
Guide Gear – Outdoor Wood Stove
If the Camp Chef is a bit outside your price range, then you might want to check out this wood stove from Guide Gear. While it’s not as versatile as the Camp Chef, it still performs well without costing as much.
Thankfully, the Guide Gear has some features that make it shine above the Camp Chef. For example, its coiled handle makes it feel cool to the touch, no matter how hot it is.
Much like the Camp Chef, the chimney is quite tall, which will help keep your campsite free of any smoke.
- Top bang-for-the-buck – price and quality definitely match.
- The coiled handle allows you to open the stove no matter how hot it is.
- It fits inside itself and doesn’t have many add-ons, so it’s easy to transport.
- Tall chimney pokes out of any tent or cabin.
- It has a flat top platform that allows you to keep water, coffee, or food warm.
- Superior construction that’s so good, this stove might outlive you.
- Lacks adjustable legs, so it won’t be the best for uneven terrain.
- It doesn’t have a drying rack or additional cooking space.
Best for: minimalist campers who want a reliable stove that burns long with easy setup.
TMS – Portable Military Camping Wood Stove
If the previous model was still too pricey for your budget, then fear not. TMS is here with one of the most affordable (yet surprisingly high-performance) wood stoves that you’ll ever find for camping.
The chimney isn’t quite as high as the others (and the stove isn’t as large), but you’ll find that the other traits of this model more than make up for that.
One of my favorite things about this stove is the fact that you can use it with canvas tents that feature a vent. This makes indoor cooking a breeze. You’ll come to appreciate this stove if things get too cold outside, but you still want to prepare a delicious meal.
You can even fold out the grates and use it as a drying rack for any wet gear that you might need to take care of. Overall, this model by TMS is a solid choice for anyone looking to camp out on a budget.
- About as affordable as it gets when looking at tent stoves of this quality.
- Easily usable with any tent that features a stove pipe vent.
- It comes with stove tools, removable legs, and 4 expandable pipe sections.
- Drying racks fold out so you can cook or prepare food on the side.
- The compact design makes for a low-stress haul.
- Smaller stove.
- Great for the price, but not as durable as other stoves.
Best for: people who want a compact and affordable chimney that will let them cook rejuvenating meals without leaving their tent.
Winnerwell – Woodlander
If stainless steel is your thing, then you’ll love the Woodlander (manufactured by Winnerwell). It’s one of the larger models that I’ve included on this list, but you’ll find that its grand size is actually more of a pro than a con.
I’ve had mine for quite some time and took it out in the harshest of weather conditions on multiple occasions. Rain, snow, you name it. After all that heavy use and roughing up, I can say without a doubt that it still looks brand new.
Furthermore, there are no signs of rusting anywhere on the stove, so it definitely lives up to the stainless steel name.
The size of this stove allows it to heat up larger tents while you cook your next meal. I’ve actually brought it along on most of my long winter trips for that very reason.
I’m the type of person to take along a large tent when I know that I’ll be camping out for an extended period. Some other stoves struggle to heat up these bigger tents, but the Woodlander does it without breaking a sweat.
- Stainless steel that will never corrode or rust regardless of the weather conditions that you use this stove in.
- The larger size makes it easy to heat up big tents.
- A breeze to transport since the tripod legs fold up flat under the stove itself.
- Its chic design brings a mix of 1950s appliances with futuristic sci-fi technology.
- Not very affordable due to its larger size and stainless steel construction.
Best for: campers with high budgets, long trips, and large tents that need to be heated up.
EcoZoom – Versa
It’s not the cheapest model out there, but it does definitely provide a solid bang for your buck. Despite its size, it’s still more affordable than the Winnerwell Woodlander. The chamber is fully insulated, which makes it more efficient since the flames are forced to mix with the gases.
The fact that it cooks food more efficiently means you won’t have to use as many pieces of wood and thus reduces your negative impact on the environment. If you’re trying to go green, then the Versa is likely the wood stove for you.
This also means you can cook and heat for longer with less wood, which is always lovely.
Beyond camping, it’s also useful to have around the house so that you can still cook meals in case of an emergency. With a little firewood, you can get cooking no matter what’s going on.
Many preppers actually keep this stove, since it’s so efficient and you can use pretty much anything to fuel it.
Lastly, I found that both the interior and the exterior of this wood stove are straightforward to clean. You won’t be spending hours removing stains after you get home from your latest camping trip.
- Very efficient due to the complete insulation of the interior chamber.
- Can use wood, charcoal, and even biomass to cook your meals.
- Extremely easy to clean after use.
- Top-tier insulation means you can get more heat with less wood.
- The Toyota Prius of tent stoves.
- Not as affordable as the TMS model listed above.
Best for: preppers, campers, environmentalists, or anyone else who wants efficient cooking.
Choosing a Tent Stove
Picking a tent stove can be deceptively hard due to the variety of options available. It doesn’t help that manufacturers try to convince you that their oven is the end-all-be-all.
That being the case, we’re going to go over some of the critical things that you should consider before making your choice.
While propane stoves have been the norm in the camping industry for decades, I personally prefer wood-burning stoves. There are a few different factors that define my position on this matter.
Even if you exclude the environmental effects of propane, you’ll still find that using a wood stove is more practical even on a personal level. First of all, you won’t have to lug a massive tank of propane across the forest until you reach your campsite.
This benefit is even more noticeable when you’re camping at high altitudes. The lower air density makes everything feel twice as exhausting. No one wants to carry a giant propane tank when it’s hard to breathe.
Speaking of weight, you should pay close attention to the mass of the stove itself. A particular model may look new and shiny, but that won’t do you any good if it weighs more than your son.
This is especially true if you’re using propane stoves rather than wood variants since you’ll have to account for the weight of the fuel tanks as well.
I’ve found that wood-burning stoves are generally lighter than those using propane. So if you’re trying to cut down on weight, then you might want to go for the eco-friendly and renewable energy route.
Another thing that you should factor in when making your choice on which camping stove to buy is where you’ll actually be camping. If you’re headed towards a snowy region, then you should pick a model that can handle low temperatures and still operate effectively.
Beyond temperature, you should also take a look at fuel sources when deciding which stove to bring along.
If you are camping in the desert, then a propane stove may actually be more appropriate than a wood stove. The Sahara isn’t exactly known for its lush forests and lumber industry.
Furthermore, if you camp in breezy spots, then make sure your stove can operate in high-wind conditions without putting your tent at risk. After all, nothing spoils a trip more than a forest fire.
You should also think about how long your camping trip is going to last. For instance, if you bring along a full tank of propane on a weekend adventure, then you won’t run into any issues.
However, if you want to spend weeks in nature, then wood stoves are clearly the better choice. You can always gather wood from the environment whenever you run out of fuel.
As a rule of thumb, always bring twice the amount of fuel than you think you’ll need. Mother nature is unpredictable. Harsh weather may force you to extend the trip if it means making your return hike under safer conditions.
There was this one time when my boys and I were camping out for the weekend. On the last day as we were about to pack up and head home, the clouds absolutely battered us with rain.
Fortunately, we had enough resources to wait out the weather for another day. We made it back peacefully the following afternoon.
Now that you’ve read this guide, you’re equipped with the skills needed to choose a tent stove for your next camping trip.
I genuinely hope that my time spent researching and writing this article helps you pick the right stove for your needs.
If you ask me which of the five top picks I’d call the best, it’d have to be Alpine by Camp Chef. Beyond the fact that it performs well, I love the features. The tank brackets and adjustable legs really make it stand (pun intended) out for me.
That’s all for now and be sure to share this article with your friends if you found it to be helpful. Get that burn on!