This is the Ultimate ‘Tent Stove Review’ and Buyer’s Guide for [current year].
In this TopNotch review, we’ll be finding out:
- What to look out for when you choose your new tent stove
- A detailed comparison of the best 10 different models
- Our picks for the best stoves on the market, and why we love them
- Your Ultimate Tent Stove Buyer’s Guide
- Lots More
Here at TopNotch we know that not all tent stoves were created equal.
After careful consideration amongst our team of testers, we decided on 5 metrics that really highlight the key features of the Best Tent Stoves.
- Value (of course)
- Heat Output
- Ease of Use
We’ll be looking in depth at these metrics later on in our Analysis, Comparisons and Ratings section – stay tuned for more.
- Overall Best Wall Tent Stove
- Best Titanium Tent Stove
- Best Military Tent Stove
- Best Small Tent Stove
- Best Tent Wood Stove
- Best Backpacking Tent Stove
- Best Lightweight Tent Stove
- Best Hot Tent Camping Stove
- Best Propane Tent Stove
- Best Camping Tent Stove
- Buyers Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
- Our Analysis, Comparisons & Test Results
- Our Final Verdict
- Conclusion: Best Tent Stoves
Winter Camping… Your Way
One of the most rewarding and challenging aspects of winter camping is figuring out how you’re going to stay warm.
There’s something particularly invigorating about spending a night in a warm tent, as the cold winter winds howl outside.
But camping in the winter is no joke, and you need to make sure you’re prepared to stay warm, no matter what weather may come your way.
If you, like so many campers, grow weary of crouching over a sputtering flame as the winds and rains batter you, it might be time to invest in a solid, reliable tent stove.
The good news…
…is that there are plenty of excellent choices on the market today.
The bad news…
…is that there are plenty of excellent choices on the market today (!) and you may struggle to pick the stove that best fits your idea of a good time in the woods.
Never fear; we’re here with yet another camping guide – this one aimed at helping you figure out exactly what you really want.
After all, we know how much difference a warm bed and a hot meal can make, whether you’re backpacking in the Alps or reuniting with friends for a winter night in an old stomping ground.
Here’s how it works.
We’ll be rating each stove based on the above metrics, and using a traditional out-of-10 score. Our crew have performed both field and home testing to see how each of these tent stoves holds up in different conditions and how it performs in different situations.
However, we’ve tested enough gear to know that performance can come at a cost, so we’re including the dimensions and weight of each product as well.
After all, you won’t be carrying your dad’s wood stove on the Appalachian Trail.
…we’ll look at some of the advantages and weaknesses of each product in a short pros and cons list at the end, along with our overall impression of the product, and a brief synopsis of our experience.
Let’s get started!
Overall Best Wall Tent Stove
1 – Winnerwell Woodlander Medium Tent Stove
- Very light and portable
- Very durable
- Excellent heat output
- Higher price point
Everything about these portable wood burning stoves screams efficiency, and we loved it.
We spent two nights in the Rockies, and Winnerwell’s Woodlander Medium Tent Stove didn’t fail to impress.
First of all…
The stove is made from stainless steel, meaning you won’t have to worry about rust and corrosion, which is a major long-term issue you’ll face with most stoves.
This comes with the added bonus of being lighter as well.
Which brings us to our second point: this stove is incredibly light, given the strength of its heat output and its size when unpacked.
It’s three legs keep the stove at a good height for heating most spaces, no matter how large or small your tent is. They fold in and the whole stove packs down into a very convenient carrying package.
At the end of the day, this canvas tent wood stove has it all.
… we had one gripe – the hefty price tag.
Expect to pay a bit more for one of these; you won’t regret it, though.
The superior craftsmanship of Winnerwell puts all of their stoves a little higher on price, all the way up to their luxury Winnerwell Fastfold Titanium Tent Stove.
But this truly is the best tent wood stove.
Best Titanium Tent Stove
2 – Bushbox XL
- Very light
- Very small and portable
- Limited cooking options
We were very pleasantly surprised by this little guy.
Given that the material of choice is titanium, you can expect incredible durability alongside the lightest frame imaginable.
Pair this with an efficient German design for a collapsible tent stove that breaks down into your backpack, and you have a winner for solo and duo adventuring!
On top of that
The stove is able to function on just about any fuel, though wood is recommended.
Still, the ability to forage for anything from pencil shavings to leaves means you can have a solid fire going no matter where you pitch your tent.
This really adds to the solo, DIY tent stove impression of this unit.
However, the miniscule size of Bushbox XL means you won’t have much space for cooking, and its heat output is lower than many standard stoves. If you’re solo camping or just with a friend or two, this camping wood heater should work well.
Best Military Tent Stove
3 – Cylinder Stoves Outfitter Wood Stove
- Extremely portable
- Great heat output
- Very durable
- Very heavy
- High price point
Tent stove manufacturers have always struggled finding a balance between portability and heat output.
Typically, stoves that break down efficiently will also include plenty of hinges, moving parts and other nooks and crannies which can kill your wood burning tent heater capabilities.
After a short trip to the Wasatch with Cylinder Stoves’ Outfitter Wood Stove, I’m convinced this company has made a significant breakthrough.
This tent stove provides all the heat you could ever need, regardless of the size of your tent. And yet, it pulls apart and packs down completely inside the stove’s body, reducing to a fraction of its original size.
The larger body means great wood heater capabilities, and also a great surface for cooking, made even better by an extended stovetop that comes with the package.
However, this stove is heavy. So while it won’t take up much room, it will require some serious elbow-grease to carry even a short distance.
You’ll also be looking at the largest price tag of any stoves on our list, but it will last from season to season.
Best Small Tent Stove
4 – Russian Bear Camping Stove
- Manufacturer: Russian Bear
- Material: Stainless Steel
- Dimensions: 15.75 x 26 x 24”
- Fuel: Wood
- Weight: 30.4 lbs
Bottom Line : An efficient, lightweight stove with great heat output
- Compact and light
- Durable stainless steel construction
- Effective spark arrestor prevents tent fires
- Full setup can be confusing
- Fairly expensive
This tent stove is marketed for its compact size, meager weight and great cooking options.
And indeed, we were impressed by every one of these aspects.
This stove is certainly small and compact, and its weight – right around 30 lbs – also makes it one of our lighter and more efficient stoves.
Even with its lightweight and efficient design, the small wood camp stove produces enough surface heat to handle some serious cooking.
And it comes with a solid set of cooking utensils.
Even at its size, the stove doesn’t fall short for overall heat output, which is the other most important part of any small camp wood stoves.
You won’t be freezing during chillier temperatures, but smaller surface area means a less even heat distribution.
Unfortunately, this stove does cost quite a bit more than any other models we reviewed, which does hurt its value ratings.
Read Full Review:
Best Tent Wood Stove
5 – Guide Gear Outdoor Wood Stove
- Very sturdy
- Good cooking surface
- Packs into convenient size
- Very heavy
- Thick walls mean slower heating
The strength of Guide Gear’s Outdoor Wood Stove is also its weakness.
These wood burning tent stoves are no joke: they’re built like a tank and will hold up through all sorts of punishment, from inclement weather to the roughness of backwoods camping. And through all that, this stove provides solid heat output and packs up into a relatively conveninet size.
However, all that durability comes at a cost: its weight.
You won’t be backpacking with this stove; at 42 lbs, you won’t even be walking very far from your car.
But if you have a motorcycle trip into the Canadian Rockies, or a hunting trip into the backwoods, where you can set up this wood tent stove before venturing in deeper, this is the one for you.
Best Backpacking Tent Stove
6 – Ignik 2-in-1 Heater-Stove
- Very light
- Very portable
- Easy to use
- Lower heat output
- Glass parts are easy to break
As a group of backpacking enthusiasts ourselves, we were very excited to try out Ignik’s 2-in-1 Heater-Stove.
After a few nights out in the wild, we all came to the same conclusion: this stove was designed with one thing in mind: personal heating.
And it does a great job of exactly that.
Keep in mind…
This is one of the smallest stoves – we were surprised by the amount of ambient heat that came off the heater portion. True, the unit runs on propane, which means it has a little extra firepower over traditional wood stoves.
However, the heat generated was easily enough for a 2-3 person tent.
Direct control over the heat was also a nice touch: this unit would even be helpful during late-fall or early spring camping, as well as during the dead of winter.
Size and weight means this will easily sneak inside anyone’s backpack, and it’s a worthy addition, especially in inclement weather and unreliable shelter.
However, trying to stay warm in a larger stove tent will push the envelope: its just too small.
Best Lightweight Tent Stove
7 – TMS Portable Military Camping Stove
- Sturdy construction
- Excellent for cooking
- Drying racks included
- Extremely good value for money
- Heavy for its size
Another great military tent stove, as well as a solid portable wood stove for camping, the TMS Portable Military Camping Stove is a great all-around choice for camping stoves, with an emphasis on solid design, reliable cooking, heating and drying, and a few helpful features that set it apart from other small wood stoves for camping.
For instance, this stove comes equipped with two heating racks, which are really helpful for anyone day hiking away from base camp.
Come back, peel off your soaking socks, and have them dry and toasty in an hour or two.
The stove does its job, with plenty of cooking space, reasonable heat output and decent portability.
However, it does weigh nearly 25 lbs, despite being in the category of ‘small wood stoves for tents’.
So you won’t be lugging this one around with you, especially since the body does not collapse down.
All that aside, this stove is a workhorse for heavy duty camping, hunting expeditions and any other outings that don’t include the need to carry the stove with you.
Best Hot Tent Camping Stove
8 – SHTFandGO Bullet Proof 50 BMG Rocket Stove
- Great heat output
- Very Sturdy
- Converts for cooking vs. heating
- Extremely heavy
This one was an oddity for several reasons, but we certainly had a couple good nights with SHTFandGo’s Bullet Proof 50BMG Rocket Stove.
The stove’s design, first and foremost, departs pretty drastically from the standard portable camping wood stove model.
First, the design of this sturdy stove concentrates the heat less in the body of the stove – which is small compared to other stoves – and more into the stovepipe.
All in all…
This creates a disproportionately strong heat, especially in smaller, more enclosed shelters. Top this off with the fact that this can function as both a wood and pellet tent stove, and that you can control that heat pretty easily, which is nice.
However, even though this model is advertised for its ability to convert from a tent warmer to a cook stove, the cooking aspect left something to be desired.
The lack of surface area really puts a dampener on your ability to handle more elaborate camping feasts.
For its size, this is a very heavy stove; not an issue, necessarily, but it does prevent you from taking it on certain expeditions.
Where you do use this model though, you’ll be glad you had it.
And you won’t need to worry about repairs anytime soon – it’s very robust.
Best Propane Tent Stove
9 – Nu-Way Propane Stove Model 3000
- Very good heat output
- Very light
- Extremely reliable
- Requires fuel source
- Requires venting hose
Though it’s a bit new to the field – as its name implies – the Nu-Way Propane Stove nonetheless blew us away with its incredible heat output and lightness. You really feel like you’re entering a new era of camping when you get this one turned on.
This propane tent stove really shines for winter hunting and ice-fishing expeditions: its weight means it can be carried a good distance to your blind or shanty, and its heat output will keep you warm during a long wait.
However, as with any advanced technology, this stove requires more effort and parts than a more traditional stove. You’ll need to bring propane with you, as well as a venting hose, which can be bought separately from the stove.
Its smaller stature also means less cooking space.
All in all, standard stoves can’t compete with the heat output and weight of these propane pack stoves.
Best Camping Tent Stove
10 – Uncompahgre Collapsible Pack Stove
- Collapses down very tightly
- Good weight-to-size ratio
- Comes with mesh screen
- Relatively expensive
- Less durability
As with any camping gear, versatility, durability and weight constantly battle one another when it comes to your tent stove.
Luckily, the Uncompahgre Collapsible Tent Stove has found some innovative compromises which work really well.
By designing a fully-collapsible stove, Uncompahgre has managed to keep a good cooking and heating surface area, without the weight and girth of more industrial wood stoves for wall tents.
You’ll get a similar heat output as its competitors from this tent stove, without the weight – and need for backpack space.
On the other hand…
Given the many moving parts, hinges and thinner metal, this wood stove isn’t as durable as some of its contemporaries.
The thin metal means it will heat up faster, but also won’t maintain heat for as long.
Finally, the price point for this stove is fairly high as well – a result of its innovative design and the fact that it’s an excellent portable wood burning stove.
If you have the cash, and you want a great stove for long backwoods expeditions, on horseback, bike or otherwise, this is the stove for you.
Why Trust Us?
So there you have it: ten of the best tent stoves on the market; analyzed, observed and recorded for your buying pleasure.
But what makes us so qualified to be talking about these products?
Why should you trust us?
For my part, I’ve spent hundreds of hours in the great outdoors of North America (as well as a bit in Canada and Europe) shivering my way through frozen winter nights as I wait for the sun to rise.
All joking aside…
I love winter camping almost as much as I love a warm meal on a cold evening or morning.
And whether I’m out on a week-long backpacking trip in the Utah parks, or I’m canoeing in the Adirondacks, staying warm and fed is always at the top of my priorities.
So who better to review tent stoves?
What is a tent stove?
A tent stove serves two purposes: keeping you warm and cooking your meals.
Whereas there are plenty of camping stoves which can be used for cooking, most of these have open flames and should only be used outside: never place open flames inside your tent.
Conversely, a tent stove is essentially a portable wood stove for camping (though some also use propane) which you can use for cooking and heating from the comfort of your tent.
When you set a fire in the body of the stove, the outside surface of the stove absorbs that heat and warms the inside of your tent.
This heated surface can be used for cooking.
Tent stoves also feature a chimney attachment (an exhaust hose in the case of propane-fueled stoves), which protrudes through an insulated hole in your tent and vents out the poisonous smoke and carbon monoxide released from the fire. Make sure you know how to set up your tent and stove before going camping.
A chimney should be included with every portable wood stove for sale.
What are the different types of tent stoves?
Though they’ve been used in serious camping expeditions for some time, commercial tent stoves are still in their infancy, with many companies trying out new and interesting designs.
The main difference between models of tent stove is the fuel source.
For most models on the market, wood fires – started in the stove’s central chamber – provide the heat for your cooking and warmth.
Other models use pressurized propane, which provides campers with more control over the internal heat of their tent and their cooking surfaces. However, this comes at the cost of carrying propane with you, and a more high-tech stove which can potentially malfunction.
Most stoves are built from steel, though some camping stoves for tents are made from aluminum or titanium.
In either case, the strong heat emitted from tent stoves requires a durable metal with a high melting point.
Features to look out for
Some stoves include additional features to improve your camping experience.
Other features are completely necessary, as your stove will not work, or can become dangerous without them.
Here are a few to consider:
- Stovepipe/ exhaust hose length: your stove pipe must exit your tent; otherwise, you risk breathing in toxic gases and smoke, or (in the case of propane stoves) exhaust fumes. Make sure your stove pipe or exhaust hose is long enough to exit your tent.
- Drying racks: these are included with some tent stoves, and can often be bought separately. Drying racks add a third function to your stove: quick drying of wet clothing. Simply hang your wet clothes on the rack, and the ambient heat of the stove will warm and dry your clothing. Super useful.
- Legs: some stoves have attached legs, while others include fold-out tripod-style or detached clip-on legs. In general, legs help elevate the stove, so its heat can reach all areas of the tent. Legs also prevent the cold ground from sucking the heat out of your stove.
How to choose your best tent stove for camping
Ultimately, you want to consider your optimal cold camping experience.
Tent stoves are generally best used during winter camping expeditions, as well as cold nights in the late fall or early spring.
Put another way…
Understanding your favorite camping experience should guide your buying decisions. If you enjoy overnight backpacking – bringing everything you need with you in a pack – a smaller tent stove should suit you best.
On the other hand…
If you have a larger group of friends you plan on hunting or camping with, you may want a larger, heavier stove with better heat output.
We decided on the five overall most important factors when deciding on your stove, and have ranked some of the best stoves on the market accordingly.
At the end of the day, you may value a lighter stove higher than a more durable model made from heavier metal.
The decision is yours to make, and this guide is intended to help you understand the best uses and attributes of individual stoves.
Product and specifications explained
Material: This refers to the metal your stove is made from. In most cases, your stove will be constructed of either rolled steel or stainless steel.
More lightweight stoves may be made from aluminum or titanium.
Dimensions: This is the length, width and height of your stove, in that order. We measure the dimensions in inches, converting over from metric where necessary. This measures the body of your stove and does not account for the chimney height or any additional height caused by legs, etc.
Fuel: This is the type of fuel your stove burns to create its heat. In most cases, a stove will burn wood; however, other stoves may use pressurized propane or even electric, depending on their design.
Weight: This is how much the tent stove weighs. We measure weight after the stove is unpacked and assembled, and do not account for any accessories, bags, etc. included with the package.
How to take care of your stove
Luckily, most stoves are fairly sturdy, and don’t require extensive maintenance. A few minutes of prep before camping should guarantee a good experience with your tent stove.
Make sure you clean the ash and cinders from your last fire. Most wood-burning stoves come with a vent for emptying the stove’s central chamber, which makes this process much easier.
In the case of propane stoves, make sure you completely turn off your stove and remove your propane tank.
Always check your chimney attachment and/ or exhaust hose before you leave. Make sure your flue opens and closes without issue, and that nothing is blocking the airway.
As for long term care, disassemble and clean the individual parts of your stove at least once a year, depending on its frequency of use. Follow any cleaning instructions included with your stove.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Q : Can You Put A Wood Stove In A Tent?
A :Yes, but only if you are using a tent stove. These are specifically designed to provide a heat source and cooking surface inside your tent. Do not ever use open flames inside your tent.
Q : What Is Hot Tenting?
A : Hot tenting is when you go winter camping in a tent that uses an internal heat source. Often, this comes in the form of an airtight wall tent stove, which allows you to stay warm and comfortable, regardless of the external temperature.
Q : What Is A Gstove?
A : A Gstove is a small wood burning stove, which is typically more compact and less heavy than other, more traditional tent stoves. It’s shaped similarly to a small generator.
So there you go: Everything you need to know in order to buy your tent stove.
Every one of these suckers has been field-tested, run through the wringer and rated for your buying pleasure!
All that’s left is for you to decide on which model you want!
The most important factor in deciding your tent stove is knowing what you’re using it for. Each of the areas we’ve measured tells you where the stove shines… and where it falls short.
We’ve included links to the Top 3 at both ends of the guide, which should help you decide on the best stove for you and yours!
Our Analysis, Comparisons & Test Results
Essentially, this is our measure of features and quality versus the price tag of each given product.
In some cases, we rank an excellent product with a higher price tag better than a mediocre product with a lower cost. Our goal is to rank the products based on what they offer versus what they cost.
To rank each product, we spent a few cold nights in the woods, assigning our values based on how comfortably we slept, how long the heat lasted, and how easily we could control its levels.
Since we’re used to cold nights, we also worked with our friends at the local scout troop to set up a campout, seeing which stoves the scouts preferred at the end of the weekend.
Heat Output Rating
For this measure, we wanted to test each stove’s ability to take intense heat, as well as the general rough habitat that comes with long camping trips.
For the wood stoves, we built internal fires out of hickory and black locust, which are very high-temperature woods; for the propane models, we simply turned up the stove to its maximum for a sustained period of time.
All that said:
We also tested each stove by physically dropping them on the ground and observing any important structural damage that occurred.
Ease of Use
Our friends the boy scouts also helped us out with this one. Given that we know our way around camp stoves, we thought it’d be best that someone with a little less experience give it a go.
We included any directions and/ or instructions that come with each model, and we asked them to specifically track how long it took to assemble and disassemble each product, and how long it took to get the fire/ propane started.
Ease of Use Rating
Versatility is a relatively undefined category, so we test for any parts of the camping experience we haven’t mentioned yet: primarily weight, size and how many different outings and environments this stove could be suited to.
In general, weight factors heavily (pun intended) into this metric. After all, the lighter a stove, the more places you can reasonably take it and use it.
Our Final Verdict
Here we are, at the end of our journey… it’s been quite a ride, hasn’t it?
You’ve already seen how each product ranks in individual areas, but now it’s time to rank them based on their accumulated score.
This final, all-inclusive ranking, alongside our TopNotch Buyer’s Guide will give you everything you need to stay fed and comfortable through the entire winter, no matter where you pitch your tent.
Conclusion: Best Tent Stoves
So there you go: everything you need to know about the best tent stoves for sale!
As you now know, tent stoves have two main purposes: keeping you warm and giving you a convenient place to cook your meals. And while some of these models excelled at one or the other, there are a couple that performed well at both.
See our three favorites here…
With that in mind…
We know that camping is a highly specialized activity – more than many others, I would argue.
What you’re looking for in your best tent stove might be completely different than the next guy or gal.
Which is why, with these tent stoves, we’ve compared everything from weight and portability to their heat output.
Now it’s up to you to decide which of these excellent models would work best for your idea of camping.
Because, at the end of the day, you know what you want from a winter camping trip.
So go ahead, stay warm and whip up a hearty camp meal, all from the comfort of your wood stove tent on a freezing winter night.
Sounds pretty cool eh?