Best Multi-Fuel Stoves
In the vast world of stoves, there are many different types that you can select from. However, one of the best are undoubtedly multi-fuel stoves. As their name so eloquently indicates, these types of stoves possess the ability to run off of different fuel sources. This can come in handy in a multitude of ways including if you are limited to a certain fuel source and currently do not have any. But, multi-fuel stoves are also noteworthy for being highly portable. In fact, you can even take some of them with you on your backpacking trip. There is no doubt about it, they offer unparalleled convenience.
- Primus Omnifuel
- Tested and approved
- Not too expensive
- MSR Whisperlite
- Windscreen included
- Shaker Jet tech
- MSR XGK EX
- Easy priming
- Improved design
10 Best Multi-Fuel Stoves
Any kind of fuel, more or less, this stove can be used with. This includes, but is not limited to, gas, diesel, aviation fuel, kerosene, and petrol.
This updated design does not take away from its power but instead, is more compact than ever. Due to the new pot support grids that securely lock in the unfolded position, it is easier to carry around.
Not only is each jet separately marked for each type of fuel, but they are also attached to the pot support grids. As such, the fear of losing them is non-existent. Also, the control knob easily allows you to adjust from simmer to boil.
The maximum BTU of power that this can dish out, which will vary depending on the fuel source, is 10,500. If you are curious, using canister gas in inverted mode delivers the most power.
It does not matter what the altitude or temperature is outdoors, this rugged and robust design will work optimally. Even in the most demanding of situations, this stove will not let you down.
Though it has not been mentioned yet, you will need to get yourself a windscreen to go along with stove. While an included one would have been nice, it does not take away from the outstanding design as a whole.
- This stove has been tested for many years
- Each jet is clearly marked for each fuel type
- Can be used with gas, petrol, diesel, kerosene, aviation fuel, etc.
- A windscreen is not included with this model
- The noise is a bit excessive
You are sure to find a fuel source in your home that will run with the Whisperlite Stove. It can operate on unleaded gasoline, kerosene, white gasoline and even isobutane-propane canisters.
The stove, pump, and canister mount all clock in at just under 14 ounces (which is under a pound). As a whole, it is 6 inches by 6 inches by 4.75 inches.
MSR is known for their Shaker Jet technology and this model does, in fact, feature it. Because of this, cleaning the stove is as simple as shaking it. In addition, a heat reflector, instructions, and windscreen are included.
At its maximum, this can generate 10,000 BTUs of power. Of course, this may lessen based on your fuel source. However, as an example, in around three-in-a-half minutes using white gasoline, this can boil one liter of water.
For an improved performance in cold weather, there is a stand included for inverting isobutene-propane canisters. Additionally, the stainless steel legs provide optimal support.
As several users have indicated, you must be cautious when you are first using this stove and there is a bit of a learning curve. When you get the hang of it, though, you will be recommending it to all your friends.
- For the most part, simmering is highly achievable
- Includes a windscreen, storage sack, heat reflector and fuel pump
- Integrates Shaker Jet technology for simple cleaning
- It can be hard to use at first
MSR XGK EX
MSR did not hold back on the fuel sources that can be used in their XGK EX Stove that is for certain. The types of fuel you can use include auto fuel, aviation gas, naphtha, diesel, low-grade kerosene, white gas and Stoddard solvent.
Besides the fact that MSR includes a customized stuff sack with your purchase, their fuel line also allows the stove to safely fit inside their 1.5-liter MSR pot.
The aforementioned Shaker Jet technology is also integrated into the XGK EX Stove. In addition to this, the Fiberfax priming pad ensures that both priming and lighting this stove are quick and painless.
As a good example of what this stove can output, in terms of its heat, using kerosene fuel, you could boil a liter of water in just less than three minutes.
Due to the design of the retractable legs and the pot supports, the stability of this stove is remarkable. But, because of the large windscreen, this can handle cookware up to 10 inches in diameter.
With all the convenient features and the wide range of fuel sources to boot, this is truly a fantastic option. It just goes to show how efficient MSR is at making these types of stoves.
- Features an improved design with a more flexible fuel line
- The Fiberfax priming pad ensures easy priming and lighting
- Can burn diesel, kerosene, aviation gas, white gas, auto fuel, etc.
- Despite the photo, the fuel bottle is not included
- Very difficult to simmer with this stove
Now, this is less lenient on its fuel sources. With a kerosene generator, which is included with your purchase, you can utilize kerosene. But, without it, you are limited to either Coleman fuel or unleaded gasoline.
At 21.6 ounces, this is not the lightest multi-fuel stove in the world. However, as a whole, the stove is quite compact.
As no priming is required on the user’s end, turning on the stove is an easy process. In addition to this, it only takes about a minute for the yellow light to turn to blue.
At its peak, you could get 10,000 BTUs of power out of the Exponent Stove. However, this will not always be the output so be aware of that.
The legs, which provide excellent stability, and the burner bowl, to ensure the flame is protected against the wind, are not the issues. However, the few plastic portions of this construction can be as over time, they could succumb to melting.
Could the world have done without the plastic in this stove? Yes, but besides that, this design is one for the ages and amongst the elite.
- Has excellent fuel economy
- At its peak, it can reach 10,000 BTUs of power
- No priming is required by the user
- Some parts are made of plastic and could melt over time
Once again, MSR provides you with a strong variety of potential fuel sources. If need be, you could use kerosene, unleaded auto fuel, jet fuel, white gas, or even diesel.
When you are ready to transport this stove, it conveniently folds up into one-third of its total size. Because of this, the stove is ideal for backpacking adventures.
The threaded end of the control valve may be prone to clogging, a few users have noted. However, MSR’s staple, their Shaker Jet technology, makes its way into this stove.
Thanks to the dual-valve system implemented, you can control the simmer and can also reach zero to searing in no time. If using white gas, you could expect one liter of water to boil in 3.5 minutes.
Build quality is an essential component of any product and the Dragonfly has been built to last and can handle cookware up to 10 inches in diameter. But, as mentioned previously, its dual-valve design is fantastic for precision.
MSR has three of the top five multi-fuel stoves in the world if that says anything. Some minor tweaks here and there could have improved the design as a whole but for what it is, the Dragonfly Stove delivers.
- Integrated Shaker Jet technology eases the cleaning and maintenance
- Comes with a stuff sack, heat reflector and windscreen
- Due to the design of the suspended burner cup, less heat is lost to the ground
- Noise has been stated as an issue by various users
- A few have noted about the control valve’s threaded end becoming clogged
Everyone is sure to find a fuel source that suits their needs with options of white gas, kerosene, diesel, jet fuel and even arctic fuel.
Some users have griped about the weight of this machine but in terms of transport, it is as compact as it gets. This is thanks to its folding flame control and collapsible support system.
Appliances are easy to start in ideal weather conditions. But, the weather will not always be ideal. However, the self-purging pump and built-in magnetic cleaning needle ensure ease of use in any condition.
With a maximum heat output of 9725 BTUs, this stacks up well against the rest of the competition.
The all-weather performance has already been addressed but what is also impressive about the construction is the stability. Even with larger pots on top, the stability will never be compromised.
It is hard to argue against a stove that so adequately combines portability, performance and power. Simply put, if you are in the market for a multi-fuel stove this is one of the premier options.
- Can burn up to 150 minutes at its maximum capacity
- Accepts quite a few types of fuel
- Very compact and will collapse for storage
- A few users griped about the weight
- Not the quietest machine
Coleman Sportster II
Much like with their other multi-fuel stove, Coleman’s Sportster II is a bit limited when it comes to its fuel sources. If you do not want to buy Coleman Liquid Fuel, then you can opt for regular unleaded gasoline.
While it is not as if you will not feel this stove in your pack, it is suitable for backpacking adventures. The surface is condensed enough to easily fit inside of any backpack.
As one user noted, this stove can be a minor pain to start and get lit. This is enhanced in the cold weather as priming may be necessary.
If this list was all about pure power, this could have cracked the top three. With 10,000 BTUs of power, this will boil water about as quickly as any other multi-fuel tank on the market.
When the wind starts howling outdoors, this stove should not be affected by it. Because of its wind baffles, the system prevents the wind from blowing the burner out.
The Sportster II Stove brings along with it some limitations. Most noteworthy is the lack of variety in terms of fuel sources, with only two options available. Although, this stove does pack a powerful punch in times where you need heat the most.
- Only one gallon of Coleman Liquid Feel will last as long as 4.5 cylinders of propane
- Performs admirably under any weather condition
- Can max out at 10,000 BTUs of power
- Initially lighting the stove can be a hassle
- Once again, users have expressed their annoyance with the noise level
One of the benefits of this stove is you do not have to interchange the nozzles when you want to switch from butane gas to white gas, or vice versa. The only problem is, though, those are your only two fuel source options.
Within mere seconds, the pot supports and the legs can be folded and unfolded. As such, this ensures that less space is taken up on your trips.
To practically guarantee an easy ignition every single time, there is an ignition hole on the cup. Past this, the assembly process is quite simple and not much of a hassle.
On one end, with white gasoline, this can output an impressive BTU output of 9600. However, this drops down when using canister gas (all the way to 7400 BTUs).
For the flame spreader, Kovea decided to go with a heat-resistant and anti-corrosive stainless steel. Speaking of stainless steel, that also makes up the support stands.
When it comes down to it, there is not much that you can grip at here. Sure, some may want a stove with a bit more power or one with further fuel sources but for others, this will more than suffice.
- Using white gasoline results in good power
- There is an ignition hole that allows for an easier start-up
- Made from high-quality stainless steel
- Extremely limited in its fuel sources
Despite some design issues, Trangia got it right in regards to the fuel sources. Their stove can be powered by gasoline, white gasoline, kerosene, diesel, and butane cartridge fuel.
The stove itself is extremely compact and you would be surprised at how easily you can fit it inside of your backpack or another pack.
Upon arrival, you will notice that the lid to this stove is much more than that. While it still holds the function of a lid, it doubles as a frying pan. Think of it as an all-in-one package deal.
At an impressive BTU of 10,500, this stove can rival any other multi-fuel stove of its kind when it comes to raw power.
Clearly, the most noteworthy aspect of this design is the two-part windshield system. To increase the oxygen supply of the burner, the lower windshield has ventilation holes. However, if the wind becomes too strong, the stove will turn to maintain the flame.
To be honest, if it were not for various claims of lighting issues with this stove it could have climbed higher on this list. As it sits, however, you may be taking a slight risk with this model.
- The two-part windshield system is ingenious
- Accepts a wide range of fuel types
- It was designed in the mountains of Jamtland
- A few consumers have experience lighting issues
As just stated, this is a multi-fuel stove despite what you may initially think. It is noted that white gasoline will burn the most efficiently. However, other fuels can be used for operation.
No matter what your adventure entails, the portable design of the Svea Stove is sure to be beneficial for you. Overall, it is compact enough to fit inside most packs.
Convenience is definitely at the forefront here with a built-in cleaning needle, a lid that doubles as a cooking pot and also a handle that can be used as a maintenance tool.
To be honest, the heat produced from this stove is far from impressive. At just 4700 BTUs, it delivers around half of what the leading models do. However, on the flipside, this works terrifically for simmering.
Most impressive here is the solid brass construction. As the description points out, it is nearly bulletproof so you should not be concerned about it cracking.
Clearly, this stove is not going to be for everyone. If you want a machine with a diverse amount of fuel options and insane power, turn away now. But, if you can accept these limitations, you can enjoy this stove.
- The lid is also a cooking pot
- Constructed from solid brass that is nearly bulletproof
- It does not take long to achieve a fast boil
- The fuel options you have are limited
- Does not produce insane amounts of heating power
Criteria Used For The Evaluation
The Types of Fuel It Can Burn
In case the name of the product was not obvious enough, the main advantage of multi-fuel stoves is their ability to burn more than one fuel source. Now, from stove to stove the types of fuel that it can use will vary. In fact, some will possess the capability of burning several types of fuel, while others maybe two or three. At their core, they all provide you with this benefit. However, it is up to you to decide the types of fuel sources that benefit you the most. This can either be because you currently own the fuel source or because it has advantages that you prefer.
Let’s take two types of common fuel sources for example. Firstly, white gasoline. Despite what you may think, white gasoline is not unleaded gasoline. As opposed to a canister stove, using white gasoline ensures that your stove will burn exceptionally hot. In addition, the BTUs it will crank out will be enhanced. Then, we can look at kerosene. One key advantage of this fuel is its safety due to it not producing many fumes. On the flipside, these same fuel sources have their disadvantages; so, it really is personal preference.
Its Compactness and Portability
As was previously mentioned, multi-fuel stoves are also known for their exceptional portability. So much so that when you need a stove for your backpacking or camping adventure, these can fit the bill. You may have never imagined this to be possible but alas, multi-fuel stoves can provide just that. They accomplish this in two key areas with the first one being their compact nature. Most of the time, these types of stoves will be designed with collapsible legs and portions that can be folded for storage. However, the total weight is also a reason why they are, generally speaking, portable. The weight of multi-fuel stoves is generally kept around a pound and if you think about adding that little weight in your backpack, it should be more than feasible.
But, as portable as they are, you also need to keep in mind that this is not addressing the fuel source/sources that you tag along. The stove itself is one thing entirely, but the type of fuel you bring along is another and can add a ton of weight.
Its Convenience and Simplicity
The above two criteria are two of the reasons why multi-fuel stoves are convenient, to begin with. Yet, these stoves typically offer much more convenience than just their portability and multiple fuel sources. Take MSR for example and their Shaker Jet technology. Literally, to clean and maintain their stoves with this technology all you need to do is shake the stove; it is as simple as that. Or, ask yourself if the manufacturer includes a windscreen? While this is not a mandatory piece of equipment, it is very beneficial. A windscreen will greatly enhance the fuel efficiency of your stove and as such, you will save more money in the long run.
However, another huge point of emphasis of multi-fuel stoves is their simplicity. These devices were never meant to be loaded with advanced technology and complexity, but you can still look for specific design features. For example, the priming process to be either eliminated or made to be significantly easier would benefit you. In addition, it will also prove to be beneficial for you if the overall process of getting the stove to light is simple in any weather condition.
The Heat and Power It Produces
In this sense, heat and power are referring to the same aspect. At the end of the day, you need to ask yourself one question before deciding what multi-fuel stove you want to buy. What are you planning on using a multi-fuel stove for and how much heat do you need? Okay, that was two questions but they run together. The reason why these questions are vital is you may need to cater the stove based on your answers. But, another question for an average consumer is how do you determine the heat output of a stove? By addressing the BTUs that is how.
While it does depend on the fuel source that you use, manufacturers should provide you with the max BTUs of heat that their stove can dish out. In this guide, the highest output was around 10,000 to 10,500 BTUs. Of course, this may just be a number for you. To make it easier, you can also look at the rating of how long it would take the stove to boil one liter of water. This may give you a better representation of the heat output.
The Overall Construction
In terms of how a multi-fuel stove is constructed, there are a number of areas that you need to analyze. To start, you may want to invest in a model that works optimally under all weather conditions and altitudes. A design that prevents the wind from extinguishing the flame, for example, is important. In addition, the legs and pot supports need to be well-designed. If they do not provide you with the support and stability you desire, they will be meaningless to you.
Of course, the overall construction and the main alloys being used are also vitally important. For example, a solid brass construction that is virtually bulletproof or stainless steel throughout that is both anti-corrosive and heat-resistant. Clearly, you want your multi-fuel stove to last a long time and a solid build will go a long way in determining that.
Q: How Do You Simmer Without an Adjustable Flame?
For most people, one of the largest caveats of buying a multi-fuel stove is that it can be difficult to simmer your foods. When you are cooking specific meals, sometimes simmering them is necessary to enhance the flavor correctly. But, how is this physically possible if the flame is not adjustable and it is constantly at its highest output? Even though this makes the process immensely more difficult, it is still possible to do so. Unfortunately, it is going to require some effort on your part and you may not be willing to do this every time you cook.
In order to get a simmer, you will have to hold the pot away from the stove from a specific distance. As simmering foods signifies cooking them slowly, you may have to hold the pot for an extended period of time. Depending on the weight of the pan and the food, this could be a major nuisance.
Q: Where Can You Get Common Fuels?
Most fuel sources that multi-fuel stoves require will be readily accessible at a wide range of retailers and stores. Clearly, if you want unleaded gasoline then you can acquire that from any of your local gas stations. However, you may have to look a little harder for fuels such as white gasoline (which is what Coleman fuel essentially is). But, it is still not too difficult to find them. For instance, fuels such as white gasoline or even kerosene can be found at several retail stores. This includes Wal-Mart, The Home Depot, Lowes, Dick’s Sporting Goods, etc.
If you are ever uncertain of who carries the fuel that you need, always call beforehand to see if they carry it. But, for the most part, you should not have too much trouble finding the fuel source that you need.
Q: Is Any Kind of Unleaded Gasoline Okay?
Some, not all, multi-fuel stoves will allow you to use unleaded gasoline to power them. While it may not be the most ideal choice, given that unleaded gasoline goes bad faster than other fuel sources and can gum up the stove, it is one that some people will choose to go with. However, you know that when you go to a gas station and fill up your vehicle, there are multiple options at your disposal. Typically, you will see three octane levels (often 87, 89, and somewhere between 91 and 93) that you can choose from. When using it for your stove the question is, are all optimal?
The short answer is yes but know that the higher the octane, the more premium the gas is. Of course, the price also goes higher this way. To be honest, unleaded gasoline is not the most efficient fuel source, to begin with, so you could just opt for 87 octane fuel.
Q: Should You Pack Your Stove With Fuel Inside?
With some multi-fuel stoves, such as some of the stoves from Coleman, you need to physically fill them up with the fuel sources that they are compatible with. If this is the type of stove that you invest in, this question will pertain to you. If you decide to tag along with your multi-fuel stove with you on an adventure, whether in your backpack or even the trunk of your car, is it best to fill it with fuel before you transport it?
As several users on Amazon have reported, they have done so with little to no issue. What you need to ensure is that the stove is properly sealed and that there is no way of the gas leaking even if the stove tips over on its side. Of course, you could also just store it right side up; so, in the instance leaking does occur, the result will be a little cleaner.
Q: Can You Travel With Your Stove?
At some point, a situation could arise that requires you to transport your multi-fuel stove via an aircraft. Whether you are moving to another state or you are visiting a friend and need the stove, this issue could be presented to you. For anyone who has ever flown before, you know that airline regulations can be pretty strict. At the end of the day, the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is the beast that you must get through. Thankfully, they offer some insight on the regulations of camping stoves.
Per their website guidelines, camping stoves are allowed in both carry-on and checked bags. But, this is only true if the stoves are free from any fuel and that they are cleaned to ensure that no fuel vapors or residue remain. However, for precaution, as all airlines are different, give your specific airline a call beforehand to see if you are golden.
Q: Can You Leave the Fuel Pump Attached to the Bottle?
Some stoves, such as the three from MSR that were documented on this list, are designed to be used with a fuel bottle. With this type of a design, the fuel bottle connects to the stove via a fuel pump. As MSR has brought up themselves, though, is it safe to leave this fuel pump attached to the bottle when you are not using your stove? While they indicate that it is safe to leave the fuel pump attached, they do recommend that you release the pressure. To do this, slowly unscrew the pump away from any open flames.
Now that you have finally made it through this, congratulations to those who have made it this far, you should have a strong understanding of the type of stove that you want to invest in. In addition, you now know how useful they can be in times where you really wish you had a stove present. Probably the best aspect of them, though, which has not been addressed yet, is they are relatively cheap and will not break your bank.