Budget camping gas stove for the whole family

portable gas camping stoves

Camping stoves are great for cooking outside, and with the cost of living, they can help you save money. However, you must consider the cost of buying the stove and gas. Buying a stove is pointless if it will cost you more to run than buying.

You do not need to spend a fortune. Here are our top 5 single and double gas burners for under £40. Not only are they ideal if you are on a budget, but they are easy to use and maintain.

What are the best budget camping stoves?

When buying a gas stove, check the power, type of gas and if the stove is compatible with a canister, cartridge or cylinder. If you are unsure how long gas will last, the average boil time depends on the stove’s power. Read our article on the different size gas containers, how long they will last and how quickly you can burn 1 litre of water.

1 – Dynasty Compact Go System camping stoves

Key points:

  • Price Range: £14.99 – £22.95
  • Single burner
  • Power – 2300W
  • Gas consumption – 162g per hour
  • 3.45 minutes to boil 1 ltr of water
  • Canister size 2270g
  • Canister burn time 1hr 30 minutes
  • Lock in safety mechanism for gas release
  • Built-in ignition switch
Go System Single Burner Camping Stove

The Dynasty Compact Stove from Declathon is my faithful portable stove, so I am biased when testing other stoves. It is not as sleek looking as the Campingaz Bistro Elite. However, it is reliable and long-lasting. I have had mine for over 4 years with no issues.

The recommended canisters are G2220 Bayonet gas cartridges. However, you can use any bayonet cartridge, providing it is 220g. Giving you the flexibility to purchase the cheapest gas canisters at the time.

The top grill is removable like other single burner stoves and flips over to pack away in the carry case. The grill has a serrated pan holder, but you are restricted to the size of pan you can use. It should not exceed 18cm in diameter, the average size for all single-burner portable stoves.

It is more powerful than the average stove, which is 2200W. This stove is 2300W. You notice the difference, but not massively. It will bring food to a boil quickly and boil 1 ltr of water at least 3 minutes quicker than lower-powered gas stoves. However, this does depend on how high you have the burner setting.

The colour-coding gas power dial is easy to see and quick to recognise if you are on a high, medium or low power. It is straightforward to clean. The cooking grid can be removed; soak it in warm water if necessary. The main body should not be submerged in water; wipe it clean with a warm cloth.

The price has increased from £9.99 to £19.99 over the past 4 years. It is worth the additional £5. Decathlon has the Dynasty Compact Stove for £19.99 plus postage of £2.99. However, they do have a click-and-collect from Asda for £2.49. Due to the popularity of the stove, they are often out of stock, so you may need to wait or add yourself to their restock email listing. Amazon sells the Dynasty Compact stove for £29.45. Winfield’s sell for £14.99 and £3.99 postage, although you can also click and collect near a local store.

2 – Campingaz Bistro 3 stove single-burner stove

Campingaz Bistro Elite Single Burner Stove

Key Points:

  • Price Range: £22 – £28.50
  • Single burner
  • Power – 2200W
  • Gas consumption – 160g per hour
  • Campingaz CP250 Canisters – 220g
  • Burn time per canister – 1 hrs 20 minutes
  • Lock in safety mechanism for gas release
  • Weight 1.6kg
  • Built-in ignition switch

Campingaz single burner gas stoves are sturdy and reliable. The gas consumption is similar to other single burner stoves, with a consumption of 160g per hour. However, it is restricted to Campingaz canisters only.

Although their stoves are reasonably priced, you can pay extra for the 220g canisters compared to other brands. However, the gas does have the same burn time. You need to shop for gas, and if you find a deal, stock up; otherwise, you will pay more, especially during the camping season.

Go Outdoors often have offers, whereas Amazon can be more cost-saving to purchase in bulk. Go Outdoors do a price match for like-for-like items. However, I am not sure if this would be for bulk buying. It will be worth asking when you visit the store.

The average boil time is 5.30 minutes for 1 litre of water. It will take longer if the water is freezing, not room temperature, which is often the case when camping during colder weather. It will push boil time to over 6 minutes.

The pan grid stands slightly higher than other portable gas stoves. You only notice if you place it against others. It does allow airflow underneath the saucepan, which affects how quickly you can cook. However, it is not a massive problem as it cooks evenly, providing you place a windshield around it for protection.

Like all single-burner gas stoves, you are restricted to the size of saucepans you can use. Because it is usually just my son and myself camping, we use smaller saucepans. The Campingaz pan grill holders are longer, which allows you to use smaller saucepans.

Overall it is a good camping stove; the only negative is the restriction of gas supply. It is compact and suits the purpose. It is available from Amazon, Decathlon and Go Outdoors. Prices range between £22 to £28.50. However, Decathlon is the Plus model, and you will need to pay a fee for Click and Collect or delivery.

3 – Kemper Xtra Smart camping stove

Key Points

  • Price Range: £29 – £47
  • Single burner
  • Power – 2200W
  • Canisters – 220g
  • Burn time per canister – 1 hrs 15 minutes
  • Lock in safety mechanism for gas release
  • Weight 2.1kg
  • Built-in ignition switch
Kemper Extra Smart camping stove

If you want a stove that looks sleek and expensive, the Kemper Xtra Smart is the stove for you. It has stainless steel outer casing, easy to clean, but it is a nightmare to remove smears. I did find this frustrating.

However, it meets its purpose and has a good burn ring area with saucepan grips. Be careful if you use small saucepans; they can tilt easily.

The power is 2200W, and it does take over 5 minutes to boil 1 ltr of water, which can be frustrating, especially in the morning when you want your first cup of coffee. However, you can reduce this time by only boiling the needed water.

It has a lock mechanism to keep the gas canister in place, although the canister lid cover opens. A canister enclosure usually locks or clips securely in place. You cannot remove the canister once locked into place, but if you knock the stove off the table, the cover flips open and could break or buckle.

The canister cover opens from the base instead of the top. It did throw me at first as it is unusual; thankfully, I did not break it. Even though it does not lock into place, it does feel solid when you open it.

I have to be honest and wonder why it is called the smart stove, as I did expect more, especially as it is one of the expensive stoves at £29.99 – £47 (prices may vary). It does have a pressure monitor, and the gas will automatically shut off if detected. This is a safety feature in all portable gas stoves.

The Kemper Xtra Smart camping stove is available from Amazon and Decathlon.

Gas canisters – Green Haven Premium Butane Gas Canisters from Amazon

Because of its sleek look, this camping stove would have been my number one choice. However, I have listed it as my 3rd best budget camping stove because of the price. I would not spend this amount on a single portable gas stove. For an extra, you can purchase a double Campingaz Elite Chef stove. With this in mind, I would consider how many people you are cooking for and whether having a double stove would be more beneficial. Or purchase two Dynasty Go System stoves from Amazon..

4 – Campingaz 2 Stove kit and regulator

Campingaz double burner camping stove

Key Points

  • Price Range: £39.99 – £54
  • Special offer includes hose and regulator
  • Gas supply CV470
  • 2 burners 1500w each
  • Weight 1.5kg
  • No built-in windshield
  • Boil time 7.45 minutes per 1 ltr of water
  • Material carry case supplied

For the price, the Campingaz double stove kit is ideal. The only additional cost is the gas cartridge CV470 which costs on average £9. It is the same carry weight as a single portable gas stove, although it is bulkier for transporting.

The main positive about the Campingaz double burner is you do not need to worry about buying a regulator and host. It is all supplied with the unit.

You will need an additional windshield, as there is no lid. So you do not get any protection from the wind whilst cooking. The stove fits snuggly if you have a storage unit with a connected windshield. It only has a bag supplied, which is netting. On the outside where you can store two cartridges. However, cartridges should always stand flat, not on their side. But it is great for transporting, as you will not forget your gas.

The hose is short, and I was concerned about how far I could place the cartridge away from the stove. However, it is at a safe distance of 23 cm. You should never place it next to the stove itself, as the stove does become hot whilst used. You will need to leave the stove to cool before handling it.

It does not have an automatic ignition switch, like other gas stoves. You need to ensure that you have matches or a stove lighter to hand.

The overall power is only 3000W divided between both burners, 1500W each, which means it takes longer to cook. On average, allow 7.30 minutes to boil 1 ltr of water. It depends on the conditions. Depending on the cooking power level, gas cartridges will last for 3 hours. If you cook continuously on high, it will not last 3 hours. Plus, if you use both burners simultaneously, you can reduce the cartridge to 1.5 hrs.

An older model is available at a reduced cost, but a more up-to-date model is available. However, the difference in cost is minimal, and the newer model has a solid base. The feet on the older model are rubber in each corner, whereas the newer model has the feet built into the body. Offering more stability.

The older version has a grid across the whole unit, which cannot be removed. It does discolour with usage. Mainly because of the open flame, so this is expected. I prefer the cooking grids as they keep pans more secure whilst cooking. Plus, although you are restricted with how big a saucepan (20 cm diameter) you use, it is easier to cook using small saucepans.

The other difference is the dials. Both are simple to use, turn to increase and decrease, and display a level on each. The newer model feels more solid and sturdy. They are wider and flatter and look visually more sturdy. The older model weighs 1.5kg, and the new 1.9kg.

This older model of Campingaz double gas stove kit is available from Decathlon at a discounted rate. A new model is available as a kit at Amazon and Go Outdoors. The newer models have removable individual pan grills, which makes it challenging to use smaller pans, but easier to clean. It is heavier at 1.9Kg, and more powerful at 3600W, 1800w per burner. 1 litre of water can boil in 1 minute less than the earlier model at 6.45 minutes.

Campingaz CV470 Plus Cartridge – Pack 4 £34.44 – £8.61 each – Average cooking time per Cartridge 3 hrs

5 – Campingaz Chef Elite double stove

Key points

  • Price range: £40 – £70
  • Double stove with case
  • Grill – not very good
  • Campingas cylinders – R907/R904
  • It needs a regulator
  • Gas cylinders are expensive
  • Overall 4500W
  • Weight 4Kg
  • Carry case
  • Automatic ignition
Campingaz Chef double camping stove

The Campingaz Elite double stove is a budget camping stove. Overall it does cook well, although not fast. The power of each burner and grill is 1500W. So boiling 1 ltr of water will take over 7 minutes. However, reducing the amount of water will reduce the boil time. This is ideal if you want a limited amount of water for coffee or to boil pasta.

The dials do feel flimsy. At first, I thought they would break easily. However, I have used the stove for over a year, and it has lasted. It has an automatic ignition switch, which is easy to use. You turn the gas on and push the button, which ignites the gas. The middle dial is a down burner for the grill.

If it is essential to have a built-in grill, this stove is not for you. The grill is redundant as it does not work sufficiently. To cook toast, raise the under-grill closer to the burner. You can use the grill section to keep food warm.

For me, the grill is a waste of time. I prefer to use my independent flat grill, which sits on the top of the burners. This can be used with any stove, so there is no restriction. The handle flips forward and lays flat on the top for storage or transport. You cannot clean easily, and getting the breadcrumbs out is difficult. However, I purchased it for £6 three years ago and am still using the same one. The cheapest place to buy the toaster is Amazon. It does discolour over time.

The carry case is metal and locks into place quickly when open. You cannot remove the stove from the casing. But it condenses down easily and quickly. However, it would be best if you disconnected the fuel cylinder. The case offers protection against the wind but not from the sides.

The main negative about the Campingaz Chef Elite double stove is the fuel supply and regulator. Regulators, including hose. This is an extra cost compared to the Campingaz 2 Stove kit.

The gas cylinders are larger, and you are restricted to Campingaz, which can sometimes be challenging to buy. It uses cylinders  R904 or R907 type gas canister. You need to buy an empty cylinder with a handle and refill it. If you do not have a handle, you must buy one; they are available from Amazon. The refills are reasonably priced, but the initial cost of buying an empty cylinder can be expensive, and you need to shop around to find the best price.

The Campingaz Elite Chef is available from Amazon and Go Outdoors; You must check the prices out for the Elite Chef as prices vary. At the moment, Amazon is the cheapest place to buy. Before you buy, you must consider the cost of the gas. Although the cylinders, depending on the type, can last between 12 and 18 hours, it is important if you want a budget stove. It can be an expensive initial cost.

  • Premier Camping or Gas Bottles Direct – The most cost-effective place to buy R904 or R907
  • Sparkle Toaster – Toaster for portable gas stove
  • Regular and hose – Camping gas Type 30Mbar Gas Regulator With 2M Hose + 2 Clips Fits 907 904 901
  • Handle for gas canister – One Size – This is essential for refilling bottles

Key takeaway:

Camping stoves are for outside use, not for cooking inside a tent or a home. Camping gas stoves need plenty of ventilation and can be used underneath a shelter. However, you will need a windshield. If you are unsure of the type of fuel stove to buy, our article will help you to decide. We have provided a breakdown of the different cooking stoves for families.

Here are some key points you should consider before buying a stove.

  • Portability of the stove and gas
  • Consider the cost of gas before buying
  • Can you buy gas easily?
  • Is the power sufficient for your needs?
  • How long will the gas last?
  • Is it more cost-effective to purchase two single stoves than a double?

If you prefer electrical stoves, read out article on the top electrical camping stoves. They range from multi-cookers, induction hobs and air fryers. As well as the standard hotplate stoves. Have you ever used an induction hob? They are ideal for camping as they heat instantly and cool once a pan is removed from the hob. They also have an alarm to warm your when a pan is removed. Induction hobs are one of the safety electrical stoves to use inside a tent and if you have small children.

Related questions

Exploring alternative camping stoves: Beyond gas for outdoor cooking

While gas camping stoves have long been the go-to for outdoor cooking, alternative options provide exciting possibilities for family camping trips. Electric camping stoves offer convenience, versatility, and ease of use, making them worth considering. Whether you opt for a portable induction cooktop, an electric hot plate, an electric griddle, or an electric slow cooker, these alternatives can enhance your camping experience while reducing reliance on gas.

An alternative to gas camping stoves is electric cooking appliances. Electric camping stoves have gained traction among outdoor enthusiasts, offering a range of benefits for family camping trips and adventures. These stoves operate on electricity, removing the need for gas canisters or propane tanks, and they come in various forms to suit different cooking needs.

  • Portable induction hobs – One popular choice is the portable induction cooktop, which utilizes electromagnetic fields to heat the cookware directly. This energy-efficient option requires compatible cookware with a magnetic base and offers precise temperature control, quick heating, and enhanced safety features.
  • Electric hot plates – Another option is the electric hot plate, available in single or multiple hot plates. These are compact and affordable stoves which are plugged into a power source. They are a versatile choice for family camping trips.
  • Electric griddles – Electric griddles are an excellent alternative if you enjoy a hearty breakfast or grilling sandwiches while camping. A large cooking surface and a non-stick coating allow you to cook multiple items simultaneously, making them ideal for family meals.
  • Electric slow cookers -If you prefer a set-it-and-forget-it approach, electric slow cookers are an attractive option. Simply add the ingredients, set the desired temperature, and let the slow cooker work its magic. This method is perfect for preparing flavorful and tender meals while you enjoy outdoor activities.

The safety of butane and propane gas for camping stoves

Camping stoves powered by butane or propane gas are popular among outdoor enthusiasts, providing a convenient and efficient way to cook in the wilderness. However, it’s essential to understand the safety considerations associated with using these gases.

  • Gas canister handling – Proper handling of gas canisters is crucial for safety. Always store canisters in a well-ventilated area, away from heat sources and open flames. When connecting or disconnecting canisters, ensure the stove is turned off and the valve tightly sealed. Regularly inspect canisters for any signs of damage or leaks and replace them if necessary.
  • Ventilation and carbon monoxide – When using gas stoves in enclosed spaces, such as tents or camper vans, ventilation is paramount. The gas can produce carbon monoxide, a colourless and odourless gas that can be harmful or even fatal if inhaled in high concentrations.
  • Fire safety – Gas stoves pose a fire hazard if not used carefully. Always set up stoves on a stable and non-flammable surface, away from flammable materials. Never leave a lit stove unattended; keep a fire extinguisher or water source nearby in emergencies. Practice safe cooking techniques, such as avoiding overcrowding the stove and using appropriate cookware to prevent spills and flare-ups.
  • Transportation and storage – Transporting and storing gas canisters should be done cautiously. Ensure that canisters are secured and upright during transportation to prevent leaks or damage. Store canisters in a cool, well-ventilated area, away from direct sunlight and ignition sources. I always place my gas canister for transporting in my car last. As I pack, I leave space to slot them in and avoid laying items on top.


I'm a single parent who loves pitching a tent and exploring the countryside at any opportunity. I am working with a glamping pod company and helping them to set up a family campsite in East Riding Yorkshire.

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