Liquid Fuel Stoves
Liquid fuel stoves burn white gas, which is stored in a refillable fuel bottle and connects to the stove burner via a hose. You pump up the bottle to pressurize the fuel, which means they still work well in the cold.
Liquid-fuel stoves are best for: year-round use and large group cooking
The best liquid fuel stoves, reviewed and curated by the Trailspace community. The latest review was added on November 21, 2020. Stores' prices and availability are updated daily.
What to consider when choosing a liquid stove:
- Fuel Efficiency: How much water can you boil or food can you cook, for a given volume of fuel?
- Ignition: How easy is to prime or light? Does any built-in igniter work well consistently?
- Setup: How easy is the stove to setup and fuel?
- Flame Control: Is the burner adjustable? If so, how well?
- Cooking: How well does the stove let you boil, simmer, fry, bake, etc.?
- Boil Time: How long does it take to boil water in sheltered conditions?
- Wind: Does the stove stay lit in wind? How does wind affect boiling time? Is there a windscreen?
- Stability: Is it stable and secure with a pot, or a potential "noodle-dumper"?
- Packability: How well does the stove pack away and store?
- Ease of Use: Do parts and features work as expected? Consistently?
- Field Maintanable?
Liquid Fuel Options
Liquid-fuel stoves burn white gas. Not all liquid-fuels are recommended for or can be used in all stoves, even multi-fuel models:
- White gas/petroleum Naphtha: the standard and most recommended choice, white gas burns cleanest; it is also available under brand names, for example MSR SuperFuel, Coleman Fuel, Primus Gas
- Coleman Fuel: a petroleum naphtha product marketed by the Coleman Company
- Kerosene: aka paraffin oil, is available around the world, it's also dirty and stinky, and the quality can be unknown
- Diesel: it's dirty and stinky, and not all multi-fuel stoves that run white gas and kerosene can use diesel; check your instructions.
- Avgas/aviation gasoline: Jet fuel:
- Unleaded Automotive Gasoline: aka, petrol; the additives in car gas can muck up your stove, and any ethanol/alcohol in the gas can corrode your fuel bottle; if in need, use unleaded
Best Liquid-Fuel Stoves
Check out the top-rated alcohol stoves above for our members' recommendations. Then review your own stoves and add to that expertise.
Moments in Liquid-Fuel Stove History
In the 1890s, Carl Richard Nyberg inventor of the blowtorch, began manufacturing Primus gas stoves. The first model, was called the Viktoria and was not very successful, but the later Svea did better. Frans W Lindqvist is also credited for designing gas stoves at the same time.
Note: To prevent injury, always consult and follow your stove manufacturer’s fuel recommendation and stove instructions. Always use stoves in a safe, well ventilated, outdoor area. Be aware of any fire bans and rules. Practice Leave No Trace.
Recent Liquid Fuel Stove Reviews
Could be better, I'll give it 5 stars if MSR fulfilled the frequently asked requests. I will not rephrase all of the greatness of this stove like all those above reviews. I will saves time by reviewing the uncovered review. I have finally read all the reviews and comments about MSR Dragonfly in Trailspace and voted up all those reviews. I bought the MSR Dragonfly in used, mint condition like new. I've modified the fuel line connector to be able to use Lindal type adapter. And I chose to use the… Full review
Very well made and does what it says it will do! Have had an MSR WhisperLite for years as well as a Trangia and a canister Furno 360. Is it as easy to set up and go as a Trangia or a canister stove? No. Does it put out a lot of heat and will it simmer and hold heavy pots? Yes! Here we have a case of you get what you pay for. Unlike many liquid fuel stoves this will simmer as readily as it will boil. It will happily consume virtually any fuel with no need to change jets and it appears bulletproof. Full review
Great stove. It always works! I bought mine in about 1972 at a flea market. It saw a lot of use and always worked fine. For some reason it was abandoned for newer designs of white gas and butane stoves. Then more recently I have been using pop can alcohol stoves. I recently dug out the old SVEA and can't figure out why I stopped using it. It is a great little stove. I think I cited weight, but my Whisperlite weighs almost the same, has a bunch of plastic parts, is less reliable, and more fiddly. Full review
Have two of the original Sveas (1970 and 76) with the complimentary Sigg Tourister, which is a great pots/pan/dish and holding base for the stove. All still work fine in 2020 and are a wonderful piece of backpacking history. Never had a problem with mine but did retire them and don't use them as much since purchasing a Jetboil this summer. See above comments. It is 2020 and there are many other choices, but can't go wrong with old school Svea if using white gas. A nice oldie but goodie, even with… Full review
I've had mine for many, many years. Used it for trips all over the world. I can make it simmer (it's an acquired skill). I've burned almost every flammable liquid in it. Easy to use, maintain, and rebuild in the field. I bought it at REI many, many years ago and It's been with me on bicycle trips all over the world for durations of a few days to 11 months. I've rebuilt it multiple times and it keeps on working. It has burned almost every flammable liquid that I found along the way (white gas,… Full review
As an expedition stove for backpacking where every gram counts, this is hard to beat. The titanium construction makes it feel sturdy despite the low weight. Used mainly for motorcycle camping this weight saving is not as critical. Boil times and consumption are good typical of this kind of stove. The pump being of metal construction feels solid and effective, though mine is still relatively new. Time will tell. Maintenance is easy using the tool provided and this includes a pricker for clearing… Full review
I bought a new Primus Omnifuel 2 and after the second use the burner bell deformed severely. It's two months old and I can't get Primus warranty to even return my emails or phone calls. I would even be willing to pay for a new burner assembly, but Primus is the only place I know that has them and I get zero response. Update: Primus is sending me a new stove. It's a solid stove but I recommend disconnecting that spring. It contracts when super hot. That's what I will do and it should be fine. I bought… Full review
Sturdy. Can be used lightly in a tent without burning the floor. Always work. I have used the 111T since the '80ies. The last year the Hiker plus with the DAWG conversion. I can not emphasise enough: The first thing you do when you get the thing, is to clean the tank. If you do not do this, you probably will experience a stove failure, and if you then do not carry a new filter, you're going to eat cold food. With good care, not the old, nor the new Hiker, will fail. I always use indoor kerosene,… Full review
Not ultralight, but bombproof. Easy to set up. Easy to light in normal temps. Takes more effort in winter. Highly adjustable flame. Boils a litre in about 3 minutes (summer). Frying takes a bit of work due to small flame footprint...requires that you constantly move frying pan around. Requires the windscreen for sure. Have to be careful with stability. It is noisy and somewhat heavy compared to others, but it’s indestructable. The only issue I experienced is when somebody overtightened the pump… Full review