Best Rocket Stoves for Camping & Hiking Trips

Best Rocket Stoves
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Whether you love hiking, camping, fishing or solo adventures in the wilderness, getting yourself one of the best rocket stoves will enhance your outdoor cooking experience. It may even help you to survive in an emergency!

Rocket stoves are compact, highly-portable and require no fossil fuels to use. With a rocket stove, you won’t have to rely on propane canisters, pellets or charcoal to warm up or cook a hot meal. Instead, you can simply gather dry twigs, pine cones or other available biomass to get your fire going. Rocket stoves are highly efficient and clean burning, so they produce little smoke and are better for the environment.

If you’d like to get a rocket stove but don’t know where to begin, you’re in the right place. In this article, we’ve reviewed the top rocket stoves on the market, and included an in-depth buying guide to help you make the right choice.

What is a Rocket Stove?

Rocket stoves are highly efficient, compact burners that use natural materials to produce high heat fires with little smoke.

Usually L-shaped, rocket stoves feature a vertical, compact fuel chute at the base, that wood and other dry biomass is fed into. Air is then drawn up from a grate beneath the fuel and up through a combustion chamber and out the chimney.

The top of the chimney usually has contoured edges, so you can rest pots and pans over the fire to boil water and cook food. Some models have cast iron stove tops for increased heat distribution.

Rocket stoves are popular in developing countries where fuel is scarce, but their efficiency and portability is perfect for hikers, campers, survivalists and adventurers the world over.

Best Rocket Stoves

Rocket stoves are a fantastic tool for all outdoor cooking enthusiasts. To help you find the best rocket stove for your lifestyle, we have reviewed seven of the leading models on the market below.

Bruntmor Camping Rocket Stove with Handle

Bruntmor Camping Rocket Stove

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First on our list we have the Bruntmor Camping Rocket Stove with Handle. This heavy-duty rocket stove is compact and highly-efficient, making it a great choice for campers, backpackers, hikers and fishing trips.

This rocket stove has a tough powder–coated carbon steel body that resists rust, so it’s perfect for outdoor use in all weathers. The stovetop and legs are crafted from cast iron for premium strength, yet it weighs just 14 pounds for easy transport.

Simple to assemble and disassemble, this rocket stove is ready to use in just 5 minutes. All the pieces nest snugly together, so it won’t take up much space in your trunk, tent or hiking pack, and the attached handle is comfortable to hold.

This rocket stove may be compact, but it puts out a lot of heat. You don’t need to bring any gas with you, just add some dry twigs, sticks, pinecones or other dry biomatter, light it up and you’re ready to cook. When fully loaded, this stove can kick out around 10,000 BTU, so it gets plenty hot enough to quickly boil water and cook all your favorite meals. It creates very little smoke, too, so you can breathe easy while you prepare dinner.

We like that the cooking grate dimensions are wide enough to hold large pots, frying pans and woks without any instability – which is great if you like to cook a variety of meals. The only drawback to this model is that it’s almost too efficient and burns through fuel very fast, so you’ll need to have a pile of dry biomass material on hand to keep it going.

Lixada Camping Collapsible Rocket Stove

Lixada Collapsible Rocket Stove

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Another excellent choice is the Lixada Camping Collapsible Rocket Stove. This model is even more compact and weighs just 11 pounds, so it’s ideal if you like to travel light.

The Lixada Camping Collapsible Rocket Stove is crafted from top-quality stainless steel that meets food-grade standards. It’s very strong and corrosion-resistant, so you won’t need to worry about it getting dented or rusted after a few trips.

The stove comes in several pieces out of the box, but it takes just a few minutes to put together. It can be folded flat when not in use for easy portability, and has its own handy storage bag, so you won’t lose any parts during your adventure.

Once set up, this rocket stove is powerful and simple to use. The cross stand ensures you have a stable platform for setting down your pots and pans, and you can quickly create a clean-burning, hot fire with just twigs, sticks and other dry biomass from the environment around you.

This backpack friendly rocket stove is the perfect size to cook for one to two people without taking up unnecessary space in your bag. You won’t need to carry any heavy propane canisters or charcoal with you, and the almost smokeless burn is great for the environment.

Just keep in mind that some of the edges of this stove are quite sharp, so you’ll need to take care not to cut yourself when assembling and disassembling it.

Spitfire Rocket Stove

Spitfire Portable Rocket Stove

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Great for lightweight camping and hiking, the Spitfire Rocket Stove is another lightweight option that takes up very little packing space and comes with its own storage case.

This stainless steel model weighs just 3 pounds, making it one of the lightest options on our list. It folds up to a very compact size, and since you won’t need to carry additional fuel, you’ll have plenty of room in your pack for all your other essentials.

As this stove is so compact, it’s not the best choice if you have a group of people to cook for, but it’s perfect for individual adventurers or couples. The design is simple, easy to use and is ready to light as soon as you unfold it.

The sturdy legs hold the stove at a safe distance above the ground, so you won’t need to worry about setting fire to your campsite. The stove top is sturdy for holding pans and pots, so you can boil water for a morning coffee or fry some scrambled eggs and steak for a hearty dinner.

The spitfire rocket stove can reach high temperatures with a clean, low smoke burn in just minutes. All you need to do is feed dry sticks and other biomass into the feeding tube, light it up and keep it well fuelled until you’ve finished cooking. The included operating handle is great for dismantling the stove if it’s still warm, as well as removing the nutrient-rich ash back into the environment.

Hot Ash Mini Wood Burning Rocket Stove

Hot Ash Mini Titanium Rocket Stove

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The Hot Ash Mini Wood Burning Rocket Stove is a super compact model that’s great for solo campers and intrepid adventurers. This small stove weighs less than 1 pound and measures just 7″ x 2.3″ when nested to be packed away.

It’s incredibly light design is thanks to its aircraft-grade titanium construction, which is known for its strength without being heavy. This stove has aluminium legs for stability while cooking and is capable of supporting pans and pots up to 12 inches in diameter. This means that, despite its small dimensions, you can still cook up a satisfying meal on the trail.

The Hot Ash Mini Wood Burning Rocket Stove is easy to set up in a minute or two, and doesn’t require any propane or pellets to create a hot fire. All you need is a handful of twigs, sticks and other dry natural materials from your surroundings, so it’s perfect for emergencies or back-to-basics camping. The body of the stove cools down quickly after use, too, so you can pack up and get back to exploring in next to no time.

As this stove is so small, it’s not suitable for family camping trips or hiking excursions with friends. The aluminum feet are good and sturdy, but they’re not as durable as the titanium body, so you’ll need to take a bit more care with them.

All in all, this model is perfect if you like to hit the trail and wild camp on your own. It’s super light, quick to set up, and invaluable in an emergency.

Vire Stove – Wood Burning Rocket Stove Kit

Vire Hiking Rocket Stove Kit

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Next up we have the Vire Rocket Stove. This model is another excellent pick for lightweight, eco-friendly cooking in the great outdoors.

The Vire Rocket Stove comes in one piece, that can be folded and unfolded in seconds for optimum portability. The folded dimensions are similar to that of a tablet device, and it comes with its own handy storage pouch so it can slip easily into your backpack.

Crafted from stainless steel, this rocket stove is durable and lightweight – exactly what you need when heading out into the wilderness. The 45-degree feeding chute can take fairly long twigs, small branches and plenty of other dry biomatter from your immediate surroundings, so you can create a hot, low smoke fire in little time, without needing to carry polluting fuels with you.

The stove top is 3.3 inches in diameter, which while narrower than others on our list, is still wide enough to support small pots and pans. The splayed legs at the base of this stove keep it good and stable even on slightly uneven ground, so you can cook without worrying that it’ll topple over.

Overall, this model is a convenient choice for solo adventurers and survivalists. We like that it folds and unfolds in seconds, yet is sturdy enough to handle whatever the outdoors throws at it.

EcoZoom Zoom Versa Rocket Stove

EcoZoom Portable Camp Rocket Stove

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The EcoZoom Zoom Versa Rocket Stove features a different design to the other rocket stoves we have seen so far. This model is fairly compact, but it’s still a little bulky for wilderness hiking and backpacking. It’s best suited for use as an emergency stove at home, or as a powerful, natural-fuelled stove for camping trips.

With a highly durable design, the EcoZoom Versa Rocket Stove is hard-wearing and very stable for use on bumpy ground. You can use a variety of fuel, from dry wood and pine cones collected from around your campsite, to charcoal and pellets.

It offers a very energy efficient burn with up to 60% less fuel than other stoves. This is thanks to its fully insulated combustion chamber and included damper door in the base that helps you to control the fire. It’s capable of producing a heat output of around 23,000 BTU for high-heat cooking, and you can quickly extinguish the fire by simply closing the doors.

Like all rocket stoves, this model gives out very little smoke compared to an open fire, so it’s great for use anywhere. It weighs 12 pounds and has a wide base which keeps it from wobbling as you cook. The cast iron stove top is well designed and will easily support pots and pans of all sizes, so you can cook all your favorite meals.

We also like that this stove is easy to clean after use. Just close the doors and wait a minute or two for the fire to completely extinguish, and then tip or brush the ash out. The side handles don’t get too hot to the touch while cooking, so you don’t have to wait long before you can clean up and get on with your day.

SilverFire Survivor Rocket Stove

SilverFire Survivor Rocket Stove

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The SilverFire Survivor Rocket Stove is another worthy pick. This super durable, stainless steel model has a similar design to the EcoZoom, with long side handles and a wide base for stability.

Lightweight and easy to carry, the SilverFire Survivor Rocket Stove is a good choice for family camping trips, fishing or emergency power cuts. The thick, cast iron stove top supports large pots and pans, so you can boil up some water or cook a substantial, warming meal.

Like other rocket stoves, this model doesn’t require fossil fuels to produce a reliable, hot fire. You can fuel it with dry scrub from the yard, twigs and sticks from around your campsite, or any other dry, flammable biomass. Not only does this save you money and packing space, but it’s also perfect for emergency situations.

The SilverFire Survivor Rocket Stove features ‘clean combustion technology’. It has two combustion chambers, so it’s almost completely smokeless. It also has a built-in heat baffle plate to limit the risk of setting fire to the ground beneath. The clever door design helps you to control the fire, and keep it contained as required in many National Park regulations.

Even though this model is light and has long handles, we think it’s still a little too bulky for hikers. However, it’s a good option if you want a clean burning stove for outdoor cooking or as a backup in case of an emergency.

Buyer’s Guide to Buying a Best Rocket Stoves

Still unsure which is the best rocket stove for your needs? Our in-depth buying guide has the answers to all your questions.

Price

Rocket stoves are available in a range of sizes and designs, but there’s something for every budget. Small, basic models can be found for as little as $30, while feature-packed options made from highly durable materials are around $100 and above.

The right option for you will depend on your intended use. If you’re planning on using your rocket stove to toast marshmallows at the campsite, then a cheaper model will suit you just fine.

However, if you’re heading out into the wilderness or prepping for a disaster, it’s best to pay more for a highly durable and reliable option.

Building Material

When choosing a rocket stove, you should pay close attention to the quality of the construction material. Substandard materials will compromise overall durability, and may leave you out in the cold if your stove breaks down in the wilderness.

We recommend looking for a rocket stove that is made from tough, yet lightweight materials such as carbon-coated steel, stainless steel or titanium. These materials are highly durable and offer good heat and rust resistance for longevity.

Cast iron stove tops are the best choice as they offer great heat distribution for even cooking. However, they will add to the overall weight, so you’ll have to keep this in mind.

Size & Weight – Portability

The larger your rocket stove, the more people you’ll be able to cook for.

If you’re a solo adventurer, a small rocket stove will be your best bet. There’s no sense in carrying a bulky stove around with you if you don’t need it. Small, lightweight options are often collapsible too, so they’ll take up minimal space in your pack.

On the other hand, if you’re looking for a rocket stove for family camping trips, you can go for a slightly larger rocket stove than collapsible models.

Bigger rocket stoves are also good as emergency backup cooking stoves at home, in the event of a power cut or natural disaster. They often have built-in handles for easier transportation and thanks to their larger dimensions, wider bases for better stability when cooking with large pots and pans.

Thermal Efficiency & Performance

Thermal efficiency is an important feature. The more efficient your rocket stove is, the less fuel you’ll need to gather to cook dinner.

In general terms, the larger the stove, the more heat it will be able to produce. Thick construction materials also aid insulation and prevent heat loss.

That said, no matter the size, rocket stoves are well known for their efficiency, being able to quickly produce a hot, low emission fire from dry biomass. Smaller stoves will simply require you to top them up with more fuel regularly, while bigger models can be more heavily loaded for a more long-lasting burn.

Why Buy a Rocket Stove

There are many reasons to choose a rocket stove over a gas-fired stove for your outdoor adventures. Let’s take a look at some of the main benefits below.

Highly Efficient

Rocket stoves produce an astonishing amount of heat, very quickly, using just the dry biomass available to you in your surroundings.

You can easily cook a meal by collecting twigs, pine cones, small branches, pine needles and other natural materials that are close to hand. The fuel in the feeder tube helps to regulate airflow so the combustion chamber creates a steady burn.

This makes rocket stoves an excellent choice for hiking, wilderness camping or emergencies, as you don’t need to have commercial fuel on hand to use them.

Great for Emergencies

Thanks to their ability to run on naturally available biomass, rocket stoves are perfect for emergency situations.

If you find yourself lost in the wilderness or if your home is hit by a blackout or natural disaster, a rocket stove will ensure you’re still able to stay warm, boil water and cook food for yourself and your loved ones.

Clean Burning

Thanks to their efficient design, rocket stoves create little to no smoke during the combustion process.

Not only does this make rocket stoves more comfortable and convenient to use (no one likes smoke in their face) but it also makes them a more environmentally friendly choice due to their low emissions.

Safer than Open Fires

Cooking over an open fire is a special experience, but it comes with many risks.

Open fires frequently get out of control and they are banned in most national parks for this very reason. They also require a significant amount of fuel to keep them burning at an appropriate temperature to stay warm and cook a meal.

Rocket stoves allow you to enjoy outdoor cooking over a natural fuelled fire, while keeping the flames safely contained and elevated above the ground.

Portable Sizes

Small rocket stoves are great for hiking, wild camping or any other outdoor adventure.

Many models feature a lightweight, collapsible design, so you can easily stash them in your pack without weighing yourself down. And unlike gas or charcoal stoves, you won’t need to carry extra fuel with you.

Final Thoughts

Any of the rocket stoves we have reviewed would make excellent choices, but the best rocket stove for you depends on your intended use.

If you’re a lightweight wilderness hiker or wild camper, then we recommend either the Bruntmor Camping Rocket Stove or the Lixada Camping Collapsible Rocket Stove. Both of these models are lightweight, durable and easy to carry, so you can enjoy your adventures without getting weighed down.

If you like to take solo adventures into remote environments, then we think the Hot Ash Mini Wood Burning Rocket Stove is your best bet. This ultra-compact model can be nested for space-saving storage, and weighs less than a pound. Despite this, the Hot Ash Mini Rocket Stove is super durable, thanks to its aircraft-grade titanium construction, so it will easily withstand tough conditions.

Alternatively, if you’re looking for a rocket stove to cook at the campsite with family and friends, then the larger EcoZoom Versa Rocket Stove or SilverFire Survivor Rocket Stove are worth a look. These models are a little more bulky, but they’re still portable, highly efficient and easy to use. They’re also good as a home backup stove in case of a power cut or natural disaster.

Whatever kind of rocket stove you’re looking for, we’re confident you’ll find your perfect match in our selection.

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