More and more, owning a camp stove is a requirement rather than an option for campers. States and counties have tighter restrictions than ever before on where you can and can’t burn, and often for good reasons–no one wants to be the reason a wildfire starts.
This summer, I started using a Coleman portable camp stove to make my camp meals. Using this camp stove has changed how my family eats camp food, and I want to share our experience.
Keep reading to learn all about the Coleman Classic 1-Burner Butane stove, how I’ve used it, and my thoughts on buying one for you and your adventures!
Why Use a Camp Stove
A burn ban may require that you use an alternative camp cooking method, such as a camp stove. However, it’s certainly not the only reason to use a camp stove.
Even if there isn’t a burn ban in the area, many campers prefer to cook their meals on a camp stove rather than over an open fire. A camp stove heats up much faster than it takes to start a fire. Starting a fire is a process, and sometimes your stomach is impatient.
A camp stove like the Coleman portable camp stove allows you to spend more time doing what you enjoy outside. It’s also a suitable option to use under an open shelter during the rain. (Never use a camp stove in a tent or RV!)
The Coleman portable camp stove is transportable and easy to take with you to the beach, park, or wherever you want to make your meal! No need to go back to your campsite to make lunch or dinner with this amazing piece of camp equipment.
Coleman Portable Camp Stove Specs
Number of Burners: One
Heat Output: 7.650 BTUs (which is on the low end in terms of stove heat, but suitable for backpacking and camping in groups of four and under)
Weight: 5 pounds
Power Source: Butane fuel
Cook Top Size: 15 x 10 x 6.5 inches
Fits Pan Size: 10 inches
Burn Time: Up to 1.25 hours on high
Materials: Rust-proof aluminum burner; porcelain-coated removable grate
Lighting: Matchless, Instastart
Wind Protection: Wind baffle shield to help shield flame from the wind
Summary of Pros and Cons
- Safety lock system for ensuring fuel is installed correctly
- Lightweight and easy to transport anywhere–even a child can carry it
- Fits most cookware
- Plenty of burn time to cook a meal on one fuel canister
- Temperature control for cooking a variety of meals
- Gains and loses heat quickly
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Safer than cooking over a campfire
- Cook on any flat, stable, heat-safe surface
- Not ideal for large groups
- Loses heat almost too quickly, even on low heat
- Can’t be used inside a tent or RV
- Challenging to put it back in its carrier
Overall rating: 4.5/5
Coleman Portable Camp Stove Requirements
There’s not much required to use the Coleman portable camp stove. You just need:
My Experience Using the Coleman Portable Camp Stove
The Coleman portable stove comes in a hard carry case. You open it up by pulling both of the levers to opposite sides, and the case will pop open (which can be a little tricky at first, but it’s simple once you get the hang of it).
Before you can do anything, you need to insert the Butane fuel. Remove the cap from the fuel and open the stove’s fuel slot. There’s a tiny lever inside that you lift, and then you can insert your fuel.
There’s a tiny hole inside that you will need to line the fuel with. If it’s not lined up properly, the fuel door will not lock. Once everything is aligned, lock the door, and you’re ready to cook.
Turn the burner nozzle to the bottom until you hear a click. This means the stove is on (and on high heat). From here, your camp stove functions much like your home stove.
After your meal is cooked, remove your fuel and put the lid back in. Store the fuel in an upright position out of direct sunlight.
What I Found Amazing
This stove is so easy to use. I was worried the fuel would be hard to put in, but it’s not at all. I like that the stove won’t lock if it’s not in correctly, so that prevents fuel from leaking all over the stove and causing a hazardous mess.
What attracted me to this stove is its portability. It’s easy to take with me anywhere. This is the perfect stove for small family outings to the campground or park. This stove is easy to set up. It comes already assembled, and you don’t have to mess with legs or anything fancy to support it. All you need is a picnic table, and you’re good to go.
It comes with Instastart, and I love not having to use a match to start the stove. All you have to do is turn to the bottom and wait for the click.
Each meal I’ve cooked has taken around 40 minutes. One meal was cooked on high heat the whole time, and that used around 70% of the canister.
The second meal was simmered on a lower heat setting, and that used about half of the canister. Based on this information, I would agree that the manufacturer’s suggested 1.25-hour burn time on high is accurate. So, you don’t have to worry about bringing more than one canister with you on a day trip if you will only be preparing one meal.
Everything I’ve tried so far on the Coleman portable stove tastes amazing. Food tastes better, in my opinion, than when it’s cooked over a campfire (Campfire food sometimes has a smoky aftertaste I’m not keen on, and camp stove meals don’t have that.)
I was also impressed by how quickly this camp stove loses heat. After I finished cooking, I was worried it would need cooldown time (like my electric home stove top), but it was fully cooled down in just a minute or two.
It feels safer cooking on this camp stove than cooking over a campfire. As the mom of a toddler (who’s very busy), it’s nerve-wracking cooking over an open fire. When I’m done cooking, this stove cools down almost instantly, and I don’t have to worry about little hands getting burnt.
Challenges I Encountered
I haven’t had many issues with the Coleman portable camp stove. The biggest challenge I had was when cooking stir fry and attempting to simmer. As I mentioned above, the stove loses heat very quickly, even when on a lower heat setting.
The stove seems to work best when kept at a high heat, so I frequently found myself altering between a lower heat setting and a higher heat setting (to avoid burning my vegetables).
Something else to note about this stove is it doesn’t give clear indicators that it’s heating other than the click sound you hear. By this, I mean the burners don’t turn bright red like I expected them to. The only way I could tell my food was cooking was it started boiling or sizzling.
Another struggle I encountered was when putting the stove away. It is a learning curve to figure out how to put it back in its container (unless you’re naturally good at puzzles, which I am not–thankfully, my husband is better at them than I am).
The last challenge–and this was one I was prepared for when selecting this camp stove–is it only has one burner.
This poses several issues. For example, I like eating rice with my stir fry–I can’t cook rice and stir fry at the same time on the Coleman portable camp stove, so I had to improvise by cooking the rice ahead of time.
I was able to make one burner work, but it could pose challenges for larger families (I wouldn’t recommend this camp stove for groups greater than four).
Where to Buy
You can find the Coleman Classic 1-Burner Butane stove and accessories on Amazon.
Other Camp Stove Reviews to Check Out
- MSR Windburner Camping Stove Review
- Coleman Eventemp 3 Burner Propane Stove Review
- Camp Chef – Explorer Two-Burner
Final Thoughts on the Coleman Portable Stove
The Coleman Classic 1-Burner Butane stove is a great selection for anyone looking to put together a quick camp meal. Its budget-friendliness, fast heating, and portability make it an attractive piece of camp gear.
Overall, this camp stove is an excellent value for single campers and small families. I would go as far as to say that you don’t need another camp stove if you’re a family of four or less–unless you want a second burner.
Looking for more camping gear reviews? Check out our Camp Gear section.
- About the Author
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Nicole Kinkade grew up in campgrounds in the Midwest with her family in their RV and has many fond memories around the campfire. She and her husband took many tent camping trips at the beginning of their relationship, and she looks forward to sharing the outdoors with her young son as he gets older.
She loves discovering new camping techniques and sharing them with the world. With a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and Media Communication, she is a passionate writer who loves sharing her knowledge online.
Nicole can be reached at email@example.com