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Best Camp Stove For Car camping

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best camp stove for car camping

If you’re in hurry then these are my best recommendations:

Models Stansport Outfitter Series Camp Chef Explorer Double Burner Stove Hike Crew 2 in 1 Dual Burner Stove
Remarks Overall Best Tabletop Stove Overall Best Freestanding Stove for Heavy Duty Uses Best Stove with Built-in Oven
BTU 25,000 30,000 16,000 (Burner)
and 3,800 (Oven)
Auto Ignition Yes No Yes
Weight (LBS) 0.66 30.5 31.1
Price Check on Amazon Check on Amazon Check on Amazon

Features Of Camp Stove For Car Camping

Which to choose: Freestanding or Tabletop Stoves

The list contains two types of stoves: Freestanding and tabletop stoves. Each type of stove has its own value so please see which type of stove do you really need. Tabletop stoves take less space than freestanding stoves. Some freestanding stoves can also be used as tabletop stoves so before buying any free-standing stove please check that the stove can be a tabletop or not.

How many burners?

Most car camping stoves come with at least 2 burners which is a good number because it allows us to speed up the cooking process. The stoves I have reviewed have 2 to 3 burners where 2 burners are enough for a small group and 3 burners are good for a large group of campers.

Burner power: BTUs

BTUs refers to British Thermal Units. The higher the amount of BTUs the higher the heat capacity your stove’s burner will have. Generally, high BTUs boil the water faster than low BTUs but it does not mean that high BTUs will have better cooking performance because other factors like the efficiency of heat transfer determine the cooking performance of any stove. The stoves you’ll see here have the BTUs between 10,000 to 30,000 and have good heat transfer efficiency. However, the high BTUs use more fuel so please check the amount of food you’re going to cook and your fuel budget before considering a high power stove.


Portability is one of the main factors that influence our decision of buying any stove or any other outdoor gear. The portability of any stove will be determined by the 3 factors: Dimension, weight, and packability of the stove. Tabletop stoves seem to be more portable than freestanding stoves because of the 3 factors that we have just discussed.

Windy weather performance

All the stoves in this list come with a windscreen to protect the flame from winds.

Type of Ignition

All camping stoves will come either with auto-ignition support or with a match or lighter support only. All the camping stove of this list supports auto-ignition excluding the camp chef explorer double burner stove which supports both freestanding and tabletop cooking.

Best camping stoves for car camping

Stansport Outfitter Series – Overall Best Tabletop Stove

  • Fuel Type: Propane
  • Auto Ignition: Yes
  • Heat Output: 25,000 BTU
  • No. of burners: 3 options available (2 burners, 2 burners + griddle, and 3 burners)
  • Average Boil Time:3 minutes/ quart of water
  • Dimensions: 15 x 3.5 x 24.25 inches (of 3 burner version)
  • Weight: 0.66 lbs

Here we are reviewing the 3 burner stoves model because the other 2 versions are also alike. Stansport Outfitter 3 burner camp stove is not only for car camping but due to its compact, portable, and lightweight design the same stove can be used in hiking, backpacking, and other outdoor activities too where you need a stove that works great for cooking for large groups. The frame of the stove is constructed of durable steel and features 3 windscreens for easier, faster, and safer cooking in windy areas.

As you know this model of stove has 3 burners where 2 burners are 25,000 BTU each and the third small burner that is in middle has 10,00 BTU heat capacity.

The griddle version of this series has a 500 BTU power of one griddle in the center of two burners of 25,000 BTU each and the third model is more lightweight and for small groups that have 2 burners of 25,000 BTU each.

Instead of these differences in BTU and functionality all three models alike where all model features Piezo electronic Ignition that requires no matches to light the stove.

>> Read real reviews about Stansport Outfitter Series on Amazon <<


  • Lightweight
  • Durable
  • Portable
  • You can also use it as a tabletop stove
  • Good Simmering ability
  • Good wind resistance
  • Auto Ignition
  • Value for money
  • Good boiling time


  • No carry bag included

Camp Chef Explorer Double Burner Stove – Overall Best Freestanding Stove for Heavy Duty Uses

  • Fuel Type: Propane
  • Auto Ignition: No
  • Heat Output: 30,000 BTUs/Hr per burner
  • No. of burners: 2
  • Average Boil Time: 3 minutes/about 4 liters of water
  • Dimensions: 14 in. x 32 in
  • Cooking height: 32 inches
  • Weight: 30.5 lbs

Camp Chef Explorer Double Burner Stove can put a full stop in your journey of finding the best car camping stove. The reasons are many so let us discuss them one by one. One of the top features that everyone (including me) wants is that their stove provides all fields of work from pan to oven to grill. So for all your multipurpose uses, you can customize this stove the way you want it to be (Just remember that your cooking system can fit on this).

The stove comes with 4 adjustable legs to fit the stove on uneven grounds and all the legs are removable which makes the camp chef explorer portable for transportation. While this stove has a 3 sided windscreen that only protects the top of the stove and not where the burners are located so when the winds start to creep in the low flame may blow out And you need to move the stove in another direction.

Talking about its boiling efficiency. Each burner of a stove has 30,000 BTUs of heat output which can boil the 6-8 quarts of water in less than 10 minutes.

Overall this stove is good for large groups and heavy-duty uses where you can also use it on the surface like a tabletop stove.

>> Read real reviews about Camp Chef Explorer Double Burner Stove on Amazon <<


  • Made for car camping
  • Durable
  • 4 adjustable and removable legs
  • Portable
  • High heat output
  • Value for money


  • Wind resistance is Ok but not best
  • No Auto Ignition

Hike Crew 2 in 1 Stove – Best Stove with Built-in Oven

  • Fuel Type: Propane
  • Auto Ignition: Yes
  • Heat Output: 3,800 BTU oven and 16,000 BTU dual burner range
  • No. of burners: 2
  • Average Boil Time: 4 minutes/per liter of water
  • Dimensions: 19.29 x 15.98 x 11.97 inches
  • Weight: 31.1 lbs

Hike Crew gas camping oven provides 2 modes of cooking in a single pack. Yes, you can attach the oven with camp chef explorer but some features of this stove make it stand out from all other camping stoves because here you don’t need to buy a separate oven for your camping trip. This stove comes with several good features like auto-ignition, Overheat safety shutoff, built-in thermometer (It is cloudy, not clear), and hose regulator which makes the cooking on this stove a flawless experience.

However, hike crew gas camping stove does not have high heat output (dual burner range is 16,000 BTUs) which will slow the cooking on burner and boiling process reasonably slow in comparison to the Camp chef explorer.

>> Read real reviews about Hike Crew 2 in 1 Stove on Amazon <<


  • Durable
  • Portable
  • Compact
  • 2 in 1 stove
  • Auto Ignition
  • Nice design


  • Heat output is low
  • Built-in thermometer is not clear

Jetboil Genesis 2 Burner Stove – The Most Portable Stove Of The List

  • Fuel Type: Propane
  • Auto Ignition: Yes
  • Heat Output: 10,000 BTU
  • No. of burners: 2
  • Average Boil Time: 4.5 minutes/ quart of water
  • Dimensions: 9.8 x 4.6 inches
  • Weight: 6 lbs

Jetboil Genesis 2 Burner Stove is good for those who want a stove that is portable and does not take much space to fit in a small car. So this stove is known for its portable design which allows you to take it far from your car to cook. But heartily speaking this stove kind of disappoints me and the only reason for my disappointment is the price of this stove. All top stoves in our review give high BTU and better windscreen at a very less price as compared to this stove.

But due to its clever and handy design, no other stove can compete with its portability and packability. So if you can figure out to protect the flame from high winds (as it provides much more protection) and you don’t want high BTUs and its high price tag don’t bother you then this stove will not regret it.

>> Read real reviews about Jetboil Genesis 2 Burner Stove on Amazon <<


  • Most portable and packable stove on the list
  • Durable
  • Auto ignition


  • Expensive
  • Low BTUs
  • Wind resistance is Ok but not the best.


Stansport Outfitter Stove is the best tabletop stove for car camping and Camp chef explorer is the best freestanding heavy duty stove for car camping.