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 January 6, 2022. 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
IMPORTANT: "Unleaded Gasoline" means the type without alcohol (gasohol, methanol or ethanol) added. If you use any alcohol augmented fuels, the stove will not work properly and can create dangerous sputtering, spraying of fuel beyond the burner and flaming out. Be sure the unleaded gasoline is not alcohol augmented or just use Coleman stove fuel if you cannot be sure. The added cost will pay back in safe operation and fewer hospital visits! If you get alcohol augmented fuel into the stove, drain… Full review
Well built. Needs an additional silencer cap to achieve its potential. I bought this recently as an alternative to my Coleman 442 and to replace a Primus Omnilite. I tested it with its normal flame spreader boiling half a litre of water with canister gas, white gas, and kerosene. Apart from being very loud, which I expected, I found the performance on canister gas disappointing. It took a full minute longer than the other fuels to boil half a litre, and simmer control was poor, having a tendency… Full review
Great company, excellent aftermarket service! After many years of service and much use my stove broke, right where the fuel flex hose joins the hard piping. It was the old red cloth type flex hose.I called up MSR to get a replacement part. They said just send us in the entire stove along with half the cost for the new stove. Then they said if you want a new pump send that in too! We will just charge you for half the cost of the entire unit. Result... New stove kit... half price! Full review
If you are only going to have one stove... I'm sure most of us have several stoves. I do. The WhisperLite was the first true backpacking stove I purchased...decades ago. It has proven 100% reliable over the years. It works high and low, wet and dry, and in snow and ice. I had one issue many years ago that involved changing the o-ring in the field. I was carrying the little repair kit. It took a few minutes to fix and haven't looked back. I have replaced the pump since the older one could have issues. Full review
I bought my 123 in 1970. Went on many trips until it was put away about 1976. Resurrected about 1990 with fuel still in it. Started right up and has since been on many more trips. Had to replace the fill cap washer once after a spectacular fireball due to its failure while cooking. I concur with all the other folks who have heaped high praise on these little beauties. Despite its occasional little quirks it is the best stove I’ve ever used. I just wish it weighed a little less. Approaching my… Full review
Svea 123 (since 1968). Never fails. White Gas (naptha). If you travel two weeks from people...you will survive. Also have Sigg stand/pot. Light. Hot. No plastic. Repairable. Brass! No mess, no smoke, no residual smell. 100% confident (Survival!). Still nothing better. Old acquaintance not forgot! Mine has lasted for 50 years. What more needs to be said? I have not met anyone with an older stove (anyone that is actually mobile). No nonsense! Used on 90-day bicycle tours. Worst drawback I have found… Full review
Simplicity and brilliantly designed. I use this stove with the Optimus Terra HE cook set. It reduces boiling time considerably. Bought new in 1973, it continues to work with no problems at all. I now use it now on shorter excursions because of my age but still enjoy the jet-engine burner roar. I do want to mention you do not have to put your fuel tank in your sleeping bag in extreme cold or altitudes. This device will fire up every time. All I can say is you will not regret owning a reliably designed… Full review
Peak 1 is a great value, works great hot cold and up to 10,000 feet. Never have had a problem. I have used mine throughout the West in the high country and it is a great product you can buy at WalMart for around $20. I did last year pick up a BSA 3000, which is much lighter but not as well made as the Peak 1. Like everything in life there are tradeoffs. Full review
Tough and reliable—but perhaps not for the weight-conscious backpacker. I bought a Peak 1 because of its reputation for reliability and the flame control it offered. Most issues folks have had seemed to happen when they couldn't find white gasoline and used stuff from the pump. The Peak is easy to ignite and burns hot for melting snow rapidly—but can easily simmer, or gently fry eggs. I have a Coleman funnel, with filter, which makes refilling the stove a little easier. It lights easily, with… Full review