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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 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 September 24, 2020. Stores' prices and availability are updated daily.

user rating: 5 of 5 (12)
MSR WhisperLite Universal Liquid Fuel Stove / Canister Stove / Multi-Fuel Stove
$140
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (49)
Optimus Svea 123
$120
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (43)
MSR DragonFly Liquid Fuel Stove / Multi-Fuel Stove
$140
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (21)
Primus OmniFuel Liquid Fuel Stove / Canister Stove / Multi-Fuel Stove
$170
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (13)
MSR XGK-EX Liquid Fuel Stove / Multi-Fuel Stove
$160
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (5)
Coleman Peak 1 Stove
$25
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (3)
Primus OmniLite TI Liquid Fuel Stove / Multi-Fuel Stove
$180 - $199
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 (12)
Optimus Hiker+
$220
Primus Onja
$135
Primus PrimeTech 1.3L Stove Set
$117 - $179
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 (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)
Alpkit Koro
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: 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 (17)
Optimus 8R
discontinued
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (13)
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 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 (8)
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
user rating: 4 of 5 (2)
Brunton Bantam Liquid Fuel Stove
discontinued
user rating: 4 of 5 (1)
Primus EtaPower MF Liquid Fuel Stove / Canister Stove / Multi-Fuel Stove
$238 MSRP
discontinued
user rating: 3.5 of 5 (24)
Brunton Optimus Nova
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.

Recent Liquid Fuel Stove Reviews

rated 5 of 5 stars
Optimus Svea 123

Have 2 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 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 many other choices but can't go wrong with old school Svea if using white gas. Full review

rated 5 of 5 stars
MSR XGK-EX

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

rated 4 of 5 stars
Primus OmniLite TI

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

rated 4 of 5 stars
Primus OmniFuel

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

rated 5 of 5 stars
Optimus Hiker+

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

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 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