Pressed for time? After careful examination, we’ve concluded that the Solo Stove Titan is the best wood burning stove on the market today.
I’ll admit – after a hard day of hiking and setting up the campsite, I enjoy a fresh, hot meal as much as anyone.
But, building a campfire can take a lot of time and effort.
That’s where your trusty stove comes in. Camping stoves are lightweight, easy to pack, and will have you cooking dinner in mere minutes.
They are truly a must-have item in any serious backpackers’ inventory and today we’ll discuss how to choose the best one for your specific situation.
The Best Wood Burning Stoves: Our Top 5 Choices
There are generally two types of backpacking stoves:
- Wood burning stoves
- Gas stoves
Wood burning stoves have several advantages over gas stoves, such as:
- You don’t have to bring fuel
- They are considerably lighter
- They can act as a small campfire
- They are better for the environment
- Nostalgia factor of cooking meals on the campfire
They do leave a lot of ash though, but if you’re camping in open spaces that shouldn’t be a problem. For most people, wood-burning stoves would be a better choice – AND they’ll get more bang for their buck.
With that out of the way, let’s dig in and find the best wood burning backpacking stove to fit your needs.
Solo Stove Titan
Winner of the “Gear of the Year” award, this magnificent little stove is recommended by all kinds of experienced outdoorsmen, from Backpacker magazine to Matt Graham from the Discovery channel.
And there are plenty of reasons for that. To start off, it’s really well made – with stainless steel and nichrome wire, you can be sure that this product will last you for years and years.
Its unique design features air intake holes that allow for more complete burning of wood, so you’ll get longer fires with less smoke. It also ensures really fast boil time – only a couple of minutes to boil even 32 ounces of water.
Alas, all good things come at a price. That’s why this model is slightly pricier than others mentioned here – but in my humble opinion, those few bucks are well worth it.
- Really fast boil time – 4-6 minutes to boil 32 fl oz. of water
- Intelligent design allows for far less smoke than other stoves
- Simple & convenient setup
- Compact size allows for more room in your backpack
- At only 16.5 oz., it’s remarkably lightweight
- It’s a bit pricey
Best for: campers looking for overall the best wood burning backpacking stove on the market.
überleben Stoker Flatpack Stove
Don’t fret, überleben has you covered.
Weighing a measly 14.5 oz., this stove is a joy for anyone who struggles to fit all of their gear into their backpack.
But the good news doesn’t stop there – it’s also foldable. That means that within minutes, you can pack this 5-panel device into a package that’s 6” x 6” and only 0.25” thick. Now that’s smart packing!
The fact that you can easily put it together and apart also means cleaning is a lot easier than with other stoves. Just wash each side separately, wipe it off, and voila – you’re done!
- Weighs only 14.5 oz, which makes it ideal for ultra-light backpackers
- Folds into a package measuring 6” x 6” x 0.25”, so it’ll fit almost anywhere
- Comes with a canvas sleeve for easy storage
- Since it can be disassembled, cleaning it is a breeze
- Needs extra cooling time before packing it back up
- Edges are really sharp so be careful not to cut yourself when putting it together
Best for: ultra-light backpackers who are really mindful of their weight and inventory.
Ohuhu Camping Stove
That’s where Ohuhu’s Camping Stove shines. With its 3-arm support system, it offers excellent stability – so you can use your large pots without worry. It also helps redistribute heat more evenly, so your meals will be better cooked.
Like other stoves mentioned here, it is made out of stainless steel, so it’s pretty lightweight and portable. It can also fold into a package measuring 5.3″ x 5.3″ x 3″ and weighing 14.2 oz, so you’ll be able to easily carry it around.
On the downside, this stove isn’t as heat efficient as the other stoves I’ve reviewed, so the boiling time will be slightly longer.
- Pretty affordable for a wood burning stove of this quality
- The 3-arm support system offers great stability (and it distributes heat evenly)
- Easy to pack with a folded size of 5.3″ x 5.3″ x 3″ and weight of 14.2 oz
- Comes with its own little net for easy storage and transportation
- Very lightweight
- The 3-arm system is fragile and could break if you’re not careful
- The boiling time is not as fast as with other stoves mentioned here
- Thicker than the other lightweight stoves, but still small
Best for: campers who use large pots and need extra stability this stove offers.
Lixada Camping Stove
Maybe you’re looking at the prices of these stoves and shaking your head in dismay. Maybe you’re not a frequent camper, thinking, “why would I spend this much money on a stove I’ll only use twice a year?”
Fear not, as I’ve got just the solution for you.
Enter Lixada’s Camping Stove. Not only is it super affordable (seriously, I paid more for coffee at Starbucks than this), but it is also really small – ideal for backpackers. Not only that, but it can also be folded up so small that you can even fit it in your back pants pocket (if that’s what floats your boat).
Unlike most stoves, it comes in two flavors: titanium and stainless steel. The titanium version is slightly more expensive, but it’s also a bit bigger and more durable.
- Affordable – it’s a dream come true for hikers and campers on a budget
- You can choose between titanium and stainless steel options
- Super portable – 3.1’’ x 3.3 ‘’ x 4.2 ‘’ dimensions make it easy to pack
- It can also be folded into an even smaller package
- Not as reliable as other options mentioned here
- The small size might not be sufficient for some people
Best for: price-conscious hikers and campers who still want a quality stove.
On the other hand…there’s nothing low tech about BioLite Campstove.
Ever wanted a stove that could not only warm you up and cook your food, but also charge your phone at the same time?
You got it.
Using the heat from the wood, this stove converts energy into electricity via a thermoelectric generator. That in turn is used to charge any device you want via a USB cable. Do be warned – that the conversion is not great, so don’t expect to charge your laptop from 0 – 100% in 5 minutes. But for any smaller devices, like LED lights, or even your phone it should work fine.
Unfortunately, as with most hi-tech gadgets, this one is definitely pricey, so you might want to save up before deciding to take a plunge and purchase this one.
- A hi-tech stove that can charge your devices as you burn wood
- Ingenius fan design allows for a more efficient burn
- 4-speed fan settings allow for greater heat efficiency
- It can boil 1 L of water in 4.5 minutes
- It’s definitely on the high end of the price range
- The stove is not terribly energy efficient
Best for: campers who want a hi-tech stove that can charge your devices as you cook food.
Choosing A Wood Burning Stove: A Buying Guide
Now, with all that out of the way, let’s talk about how you should go about choosing a good wood burning stove.
While there are many important factors to consider, the crucial ones are:
- Portability & Convenience
- Heat efficiency
That might seem like it’s a lot to consider, but it’s really not.
Size (And Weight)
Size (and by that extension, weight too) is probably the first thing most people consider when buying any camping or hiking gear. After all, your space is limited, and you want to get the most out of your gear at the lowest weight possible.
Luckily, most wood burning backpacking stoves are pretty light already. That’s because you’re not packing any fuel, which can take up a lot of your carry weight.
Logically, the sturdier the stove is, the heavier it’s going to be. The one notable exception is stoves made out of titanium since they are both lighter and more durable than steel stoves. However they’re also a lot more expensive, but you get what you pay for.
Additionally, some of the stoves can be folded down, which nicely brings us to our next point.
Portability & Convenience
If you’re a car camper with a huge SUV or a pickup truck, portability is not something you normally fret too much about. At the end of the day, unless it’s something huge, you can pack pretty much everything you need and still have some space left over.
However, if you have a smaller car, bigger family, or you’re an ultra-light backpacker, then things look a bit different. Then every ounce matters and you have to approach packing a bit more scientifically.
I wrote this article with that in mind, so all of the stoves mentioned here are small, lightweight, and convenient to pack. Some of them can even be folded, freeing up additional space for other gear.
Heat efficiency is important since most people want to get the most out of their gear. When it comes to wood burning stoves, how much heat and fire you’re going to get depends mostly on the design of the stove.
Look for products with air holes near the bottom of the stove. They allow the fire to burn more completely which means less smoke. You’ll also use much less firewood than with an open campfire, which is an added bonus as well.
Now, most wood burning stoves are made out of two materials:
- Stainless steel
They both come with their own sets of advantages and disadvantages.
Titanium stoves are lighter than their steel counterparts, but they cost significantly more. They are better suited for ultra-light hikers and people who go camping frequently.
On the other hand, if you just go camping a few times a year, you can safely stick to stainless steel stoves – they’ll serve you just fine for that purpose.
Finally, we have any and all additional accessories than a stove might have.
This includes add-ons such as:
- Carry bags
- Fuel tablets
- And many others
These are nice to have but are by no means necessary and shouldn’t be your driving factor when deciding what stove to buy. Think of them as the cherry on top – a nice bonus to an otherwise great product.
Choosing a great wood burning stove for camping is no easy task. Hopefully, this article has made things clearer and helped you become better informed.
Even with tons of amazing options out there, the clear winner is the Solo Stove Titan. With its patented design that guarantees less smoke, fast boil time, and compact size, it’s the clear winner in the wood burning stove race.
Combine that with the fact that it’s recommended by everyone from Backpacker magazine to the Discovery channel, and you have a product that you can safely choose to take away on all your outdoor adventures.