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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 these stoves can continue to work well in the cold. Liquid-fuel stoves are best for year-round use, and large group cooking

Top Picks

Top Liquid Fuel Stove / Multi-Fuel Stove


user rating: 4.5 of 5 (13 reviews)

Excellent stove for boiling water and fast cooking I have used this stove in the Beartooth Wilderness of Montana and the Porcupine Mountains in Michigan. I was able to turn the stove low enough that I could cook eggs and pancakes with it, but that is really pushing the stove on the low end. If you need to simmer a pot of gourmet gumbo, look into the MSR Dragonfly instead. I highly recommend this stove and have never been let down by any MSR product.

Reasons to Buy

  • Hot and fast
  • Burns anything
  • Primes easily

Reasons to Avoid

  • Weight
  • Can't simmer

Stove sets up easily. Just thread the pump into the bottle, connect the fuel line, and it is ready to light. It doesn't have a built-in lighter, but I have never had an issue lighting it with a match. The flame is slightly adjustable, but don't count on this stove to simmer. This is primarily a water boiling stove, but I have used it for pancakes, eggs, and bacon with desirable results. Boil time with white gas was about 9 minutes for 2.5 liters of water in a real world test. This is very close to the claimed times.

Read more: MSR XGK-EX reviews (13)

Optimus Svea 123

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (60 reviews)

The seva 123 is widely known as one of the most reliable stoves ever made and for good reason, they don’t break and most of them are still around in some form or another (parts, tarnished or new in box). The svea has been around for over half a century now and is still available new which can really attest for its quality and customer loyalty. Mine is an older Optimus model, and is missing the aluminum cup so I cannot speak as to the cup's performance. I still enjoy taking this stove on day hikes to cook some ramen noodles or Meso soup, plus it will get you some props from the older trail mates.

Reasons to Buy

  • Always works
  • Tuff as nails
  • Fuel efficent
  • Lightweight 15oz full

Reasons to Avoid

  • Sometimes difficult to prime
  • Brass tarnishes easily
  • Dosen't carry much fuel
  • Poor flame control
  • Rather unstable

Story I found this stove completely by accident when I was cleaning out the basement; I found a milk crate full of old hiking gear. So I drug it out into the sunlight and inspected the contents and was amazed. Inside there were 20 unused Gaz canisters with matching stove, a Whisperlite, fold up candle lantern and the svea 123. Evidently it had been sitting in that crate for 20 years with all the other gear so first thing I did was fill it up with Coleman fuel fill the priming cup and torch it off.

Read more: Optimus Svea 123 reviews (60)

Liquid Fuel Stove / Canister Stove / Multi-Fuel Stove

MSR WhisperLite Universal

user rating: 5 of 5 (12 reviews)

Finally here is a true multi-fuel (MSR calls it a hybrid) stove that burns both liquid fuels and canister gas (upright or inverted). Not only does it burn these fuels, but it does it well — plus it it really does! In just a couple minutes the stove can be configured to burn the various fuels (see below) by simply changing a couple parts using the supplied tool. This is a great option for anyone who wants a stove that can be used year round in multiple climates, with multiple fuels. For groups it allows flexibility through the use of multiple fuels — or for those who travel abroad to places where some fuels may be harder to get or if it's not clear what fuels will be available. The Universal will burn: White gas – Unleaded auto gas – Kerosene Canister gas – (upright or inverted)

Reasons to Buy

  • Multi-fuel (liquid and canister)
  • Everything is included
  • Changing fuel types is quick
  • Well built / sturdy
  • Will handle large pots
  • Good windscreen
  • Simmers well
  • Instructions easy to understand / follow

Reasons to Avoid

  • Price point
  • Weight
  • Small parts to keep up with
  • Will not support pots smaller than 4 ¼ in. or 11 cm. in diameter.
  • Fuel line is stiff

A review of the MSR Whisperlite Universal Hybrid fuel stove A backpacking stove made by Cascade Designs – Seattle WA, USA I received this stove from Cascade Designs for testing and used it on five separate outings as well as a lot of testing at home. Stove Description: The stove arrived in a nice looking cardboard package (see photos), it included the stove, all parts for changing fuel types, pressure pump for liquid fuel bottles, canister stand, wind screen and ground protector, a nice stuff sack, and full instructions in three languages (three separate booklets) plus a quick reference guide in two languages, along with warnings etc.

Read more: MSR WhisperLite Universal reviews (12)

Liquid Fuel Stove / Multi-Fuel Stove

MSR DragonFly

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (46 reviews)

After having my isobutane become unusable at temperatures below -30° C., I purchased this stove for winter trips. It is loud but there is a reason for that and that is it is creating huge amounts of heat.

Reasons to Buy

  • Excellent in cold weather
  • Can simmer, so it's great for the chefs
  • Multiple fuels can be used
  • Massive amounts of heat

Reasons to Avoid

  • Loud, literaly sounds like a jet
  • Big and heavy

The MSR Draonfly has been around for years. It is a tried and true expedition stove. It works on multiple different fuels from white gas, jet fuel, diesel, kerosene and gasoline. It will work in all temperatures and at all altitudes.  I bought the stove after struggling in colder temperatures to get my isobutane stove to work properly and this stove had no trouble in temperatures below -30° C. It is great at melting snow for water and can boil a liter in less than 4 minutes. The stove has a large pot stand that can easily accommodate large pots and pans with great stability.

Read more: MSR DragonFly reviews (46)

Liquid Fuel Stove / Canister Stove / Multi-Fuel Stove

Primus OmniFuel

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (21 reviews)

There is only one thing preventing this stove from being perfect and that is the fact that it is a roarer burner: the jet of fuel is spread out onto the pan's surface by hitting a metal concave cover on the way up. Other than that, there is very little to fault it. The pump shaft is metal, not plastic (I know several people who have broken MSR pumps and sometimes have had to buy the entire pump assembly again). I have stood on this stove a couple of times and each time the legs just bend back into place.

Read more: Primus OmniFuel reviews (21)

Liquid Fuel Stove / Multi-Fuel Stove

Primus OmniLite TI

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (3 reviews)

Lightweight but true expedition-grade stove for use on numerous types of fuel, regardless of the country where you are. In the meantime it’s well suitable for all people who often cook in cold weather and disregard the canister gas.

Reasons to Buy

  • Proven Omnifuel design (just scaled down)
  • Expedition-grade durability even for most challenging conditions
  • Very low tendency to clogging, easy to clean
  • Works well on most fuels you may encounter
  • Very small and lightweight for such a stove
  • Just 10% less powerful than Omnifuel

Reasons to Avoid

  • Awkward, heavy, and useless soft case
  • Roaring sound
  • Not very durable pump
  • No “automatic” cleaning needle
  • Fuel sprays when disconnecting the pump from the bottle

I’ve been using this stove since 2013 in all my outdoor adventures. The primary fuel is white gas in domestic trips and car petrol in international trips (for me finding the gas canisters or white gas in unfamiliar country is a waste of precious time). My primary stove in 2008-2013 was Primus Omnifuel, which I liked very much despite its weight and size.  There are two main reasons to use the multifuel stove instead of regular gas stove: Performance at low temperatures. If you cook at temperatures below +10 °C (50 °F) and ESPECIALLY below the freezing, the gas stoves are not a good choice for you.

Read more: Primus OmniLite TI reviews (3)

Liquid Fuel Stove / Multi-Fuel Stove

Coleman 533

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (5 reviews)

Rugged stove that works well under all conditions. Easy to use but can be finicky in adjusting the flame.

Reasons to Buy

  • Rugged
  • Easy lighting
  • Durable
  • Size

Reasons to Avoid

  • Cost (2024) is pricey over $100 - I paid $35.00 a while ago.
  • Replacement parts still available.
  • Large coffee pot can be unstable.

My Coleman 533 is about 30 years old.  Used frequently on camping trips to perk coffee and cook simple meals.  Lighting the stove is easy.  If the stove is full, frequent pumping is necessary until fuels burns off to maintain a larger air volume in the tank.  The flame control does not work all that well.  The low heat "sweet spot" is hard to find and if you don't monitor it, the flame will go yellow and the stove will go out. A full large coffee pot has a tendency to be unstable due to the small footprint over the burner.  If you are careful however, it heats water quickly and coffee is ready in no time.

Read more: Coleman 533 reviews (5)

Liquid Fuel Stove / Multi-Fuel Stove

MSR WhisperLite International

user rating: 4 of 5 (42 reviews)

The only reason this isn't a 5-star review is because of the weight of this item compared to other stoves. But, I've used this same stove for 16 years. It has seen countless nights in temps down to the teens. It has NEVER EVER failed me. This is a workhorse stove that gets the job done!

Reasons to Buy

  • Reliability
  • Self-cleaning

Reasons to Avoid

  • Weight

There is a reason that MSR continues to make this stove. It works. It's reliable. It's easy to use. And, on and on... I bought my stove for my 2000 AT thru hike. It has never failed. It works no matter how cold it gets. I carry the 11oz fuel bottle. I've never used more than half the fuel in 5 nights, including a couple hot breakfasts. Yes, I could save 6 to 8 oz in weight if I switched to another stove. But, then I'd have to buy fuel canisters at $4 each. I'd contribute to waste with those canisters.

Read more: MSR WhisperLite International reviews (42)

MSR WhisperLite

user rating: 4.5 of 5 (44 reviews)

So durable I inherited one.

Reasons to Buy

  • Durable
  • Lasts forever
  • Stable
  • Consistent and reliable

Reasons to Avoid

  • Takes longer to boil water than a Jetboil
  • Flames up a bit before settling in
  • Takes a little longer to light than newer designs, but you get the hang of it

Folded up and in hand for scale. My dad passed this stove down to me after many years of service. It looks like it is around 20 years old? Would that be an exaggeration? The yellowed instructions put the company at an old address with only a local Seattle phone number. The bottles were just plain aluminum with no logo or name and the pump was just yellowish plastic. It worked like this for many years for me before the hosing became brittle and cracked and the other rubber and leather parts deteriorated.

Read more: MSR WhisperLite reviews (44)

More Liquid Fuel Stoves

Trailspace reviewers have shared 504 reviews of 60 different liquid fuel stoves.

Browse & Filter All Liquid Fuel Stove Reviews »

How to Choose a Liquid Fuel Backpacking Stove

What should I consider when choosing a liquid stove?

What are the advantages of a liquid fuel stove?

Are there any downsides?

What specific fuels do these stoves burn?

Liquid-fuel stoves burn white gas. Not all liquid-fuels are recommended for or can be used in all stoves, even multi-fuel models:

What are the best liquid-fuel stoves?

Check out the top-rated liquid stoves above for Trailspace reviewers' recommendations. Then review your own stoves and add to that expertise.

Who invented the liquid-fuel stove?

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.

How do I stay safe? 

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.

Other Types of Backpacking and Camp Stoves

Find more backpacking and camp stoves reviewed in these related categories:

Alcohol Stoves

Compressed Fuel Canister Stoves

Multi-Fuel Stoves

+6 more types

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