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.

 

Pros

Cons

  • works consistently in cold or hot temperatures
  • fuel is less expensive than canisters
  • fuel is easy to obtain around the world
  • fuel bottle is refillable for less waste
  • you know how much fuel is in the bottle
  • can be heavy and bulky
  • have to pump up
  • need to prime
  • need to maintain
  • can be dangerous

 

Liquid-fuel stoves are best for: year-round use and large group cooking

Learn more about choosing liquid fuel stoves below »

The best liquid fuel stoves, reviewed and curated by the Trailspace community. The latest review was added on July 6, 2019. Stores' prices and availability are updated daily.

Recent Liquid Fuel Stove Reviews

rated 4 of 5 stars
MSR DragonFly

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

rated 5 of 5 stars
Coleman Feather 442 Dual Fuel Stove

This stove is a no-nonsense, easy to use product. It is long lasting, tough, and reliable. I have used it at least 100 times since 1994. I use only unleaded 91 fuel, nothing else. I have used this stove in varying weather conditions. Being run on Unleaded it is easily started. It cooks in windy conditions and it cooks in freezing conditions when my mates gas cookers won't even start. I won't go camping without it. It is also conveniently stored in a Tupperware container when not in use.  Full review

rated 3.5 of 5 stars
Alpkit Kraku

According to Alpkit, designed with the ultralight solo adventurer in mind, this high powered camping stove has a tiny pack size but can still deliver the power output of a gas stove twice its size. I have used this on a few short trips to boil water and cook simple pasta meals. It was much better at the former. Made from titanium, it weighs just 45g. That's almost half the weight of an MSR PocketRocket and at £25 it is also half the price. It is tiny and fits easily inside a small mug. When I first… Full review

rated 4 of 5 stars
Edelrid Hexon

Edelrid's answer to the classic MSR Dragonfly that does not disappoint. Lighter, more compact, and compatible with a Trangia pot stand, this multi-fuel stove truly is one of the most versatile on the market. Described by Edelrid as a new-generation, ultra-light, multi-fuel stove. Weighing just 220 grams, it’s one of the lightest stoves in its class. I have been impressed by other Edelrid products for their quality and innovation (particularly the gas canister converter which has saved m a great… Full review

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Alpkit Koro

Those clever people at Alpkit have done it again. This is an excellent value-for-money gas canister burner that performs flawlessly. At just 124g and with a pre-heating tube for colder conditions and atlitude, this little stove packsa lot of punch for its size. Alpkit describe this as a serious mountaineering stove, but I am increasingly using it on the trail because it is so lightweight and compact. Used in combination with my MSR titanium cook set, this is a versatile and easy to use setup for… Full review

rated 5 of 5 stars
Optimus Svea 123

Old school stove from the last century, great for modern camping. This stove is very simple to operate, you basically pour a little white gas on it and "light it on fire." This causes the fuel in the tank to expand and turn the liquid to gas. I bought this stove on the used market about a decade ago for $30. It has saved us on more than a few winter campouts in our scout troop. When our normal Coleman stoves would not operate due to the pump seal shrinking in the cold, the "Old Seva 123" always… Full review

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Fire Maple FMS-118

Pretty nice gas stove with pre-heating tube. Works stable with cold gas balloon and seem reliable enough. Suits for boiling water and food preparation. I can recommend it for hikers and tourist for food preparations even at winter. It is quite heavy and big (non-compact) compare to other stoves. (on right side Primus Express and BRS-3000T stoves) This stove is easy to set up. It stays firmly. Flame control is pretty good and gas regulation happens with delay, it should be taken into account. Spin… Full review

rated 5 of 5 stars
MSR DragonFly

It's easy to use, has amazing flame control, and get stuff hot super fast. It's as fast as a Jetboil when we tested side by side, and definitely more versatile. I use it all the time and it's held up so well. This is the best little cook stove around for versatile options. I picked one up used for like 15 bucks and it's been amazing. Haven't even had to service it in about six years. It's easy to use, has amazing flame control, and get stuff hot super fast. It's as fast as a Jetboil when we tested… Full review

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Optimus Svea 123

Older technology but dependable. My first Svea 123 I purchased in the 1970s when I started backpacking. The old girl never let me down and provided enough heat to cook any trail food that was on the menu. This is so durable that if one would go on eBay you could find many antique 123's that work as good as they did when new. I say my first because the original suffered a broken stem valve back in the '90s and due to no internet I had no idea where to get a new one.  I recently purchased a new version… Full review

user rating: 5 of 5 (12)
MSR WhisperLite Universal Liquid Fuel Stove / Canister Stove / Multi-Fuel Stove
$140
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (48)
Optimus Svea 123
$107 - $119
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (43)
MSR DragonFly Liquid Fuel Stove / Multi-Fuel Stove
$140
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (20)
Primus OmniFuel Liquid Fuel Stove / Canister Stove / Multi-Fuel Stove
$153 - $169
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (12)
MSR XGK-EX Liquid Fuel Stove / Multi-Fuel Stove
$160
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
Primus OmniLite TI Liquid Fuel Stove / Multi-Fuel Stove
$180
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (2)
Primus Onja
$112 - $134
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Primus PrimeTech 1.3L Stove Set
$117 - $159
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Trangia Gas Burner
$63
user rating: 4 of 5 (42)
MSR WhisperLite
$90 - $101
user rating: 4 of 5 (42)
MSR WhisperLite International Liquid Fuel Stove / Multi-Fuel Stove
$100
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1)
GSI Outdoors Glacier Camp Stove
$21 - $27
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1)
Optimus Polaris Optifuel Liquid Fuel Stove / Canister Stove / Multi-Fuel Stove
$180
user rating: 3.5 of 5 (16)
Optimus Nova
$140 - $149
user rating: 3.5 of 5 (9)
Optimus Nova+
$150
user rating: 3 of 5 (11)
Optimus Hiker+
$220
user rating: 5 of 5 (4)
Optimus 111B
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
Woodland Power Stove
$140 MSRP
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (5)
Coleman Peak 1 Stove
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (4)
Coleman Peak 1 Feather 400
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Chinese Canister Stove Knockoff
user rating: 4 of 5 (17)
Coleman Sportster Dual Fuel II
$70 MSRP
user rating: 4 of 5 (5)
Primus MultiFuel Compressed Fuel Canister Stove / Liquid Fuel Stove / Multi-Fuel Stove
$168 MSRP
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1)
Fire Maple FMS-118
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1)
No Limits Compact Butane Stove
 
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1)
Coleman Dual Fuel 533 Stove
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1)
Alpkit Koro
user rating: 4 of 5 (1)
Century Single Burner Stove
user rating: 4 of 5 (1)
Edelrid Hexon Liquid Fuel Stove / Multi-Fuel Stove
user rating: 3.5 of 5 (11)
Soto Muka
user rating: 3.5 of 5 (1)
Alpkit Kraku
$27 MSRP
user rating: 3 of 5 (1)
Edelrid Opilio
user rating: 3 of 5 (1)
Mini Outdoor Portable Camping Picnic Stove
user rating: 2 of 5 (2)
Coleman Fyrestorm SS Stove Liquid Fuel Stove / Canister Stove / Multi-Fuel Stove
$175 MSRP
user rating: 2 of 5 (7)
Coleman Fyrestorm Ti Stove Liquid Fuel Stove / Canister Stove / Multi-Fuel Stove
$220 MSRP
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (15)
Optimus 8R
discontinued
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (11)
Coleman Feather 442 Dual Fuel Stove
discontinued
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
Primus Gravity II MF Compressed Fuel Canister Stove / Liquid Fuel Stove / Multi-Fuel Stove
$144 MSRP
discontinued
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
MSR Multi Fuel Stove Liquid Fuel Stove / Multi-Fuel Stove
discontinued
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (3)
Brunton Lander Stove Liquid Fuel Stove / Canister Stove / Multi-Fuel Stove
discontinued
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (2)
MSR XGK II Shaker Liquid Fuel Stove / Multi-Fuel Stove
discontinued
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (2)
Primus Himalaya
discontinued
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Optimus No. 00
discontinued
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Coleman Peak 1 Apex
discontinued
 
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Coleman 533 Liquid Fuel Stove / Multi-Fuel Stove
discontinued
user rating: 4 of 5 (19)
MSR SimmerLite
discontinued
user rating: 4 of 5 (9)
Coleman Exponent Apex II
discontinued
user rating: 4 of 5 (7)
Coleman 550B Multi-Fuel Stove Liquid Fuel Stove / Multi-Fuel Stove
discontinued
 
user rating: 4 of 5 (4)
Brunton Optimus Svea
discontinued
user rating: 4 of 5 (4)
Brunton Vapor AF Liquid Fuel Stove / Canister Stove / Multi-Fuel Stove
discontinued

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.