Liquid Fuel Stoves

The main benefit of liquid stoves is that many of them can burn several different types of fuel; gasoline, jet fuel, and kerosene can be used as well as the preferred standard cleaner burning white fuel. Especially in cold weather, when butane canisters have difficulty maintaining the pressure they need to burn, the ability to use multiple highly combustible fuels allows for greater performance in winter conditions.

There are two basic liquid fuel stove types; pump-to-prime stoves require the physical act of pumping a small piston to achieve enough pressure to ignite. Stoves with a fuel line connection need a small amount of fuel to be poured under the burner and lit to preheat the hose and prime the stove. Both stove types require maintenance, such as replacing O-rings and regular cleaning.

 Here are some liquid fuel stoves I’ve used and liked (or not):

 

Coleman Guide Series Sportster II Dual Fuel Stove – $69.99

Weight: 32 ounces
Dimensions: 7.38 x 7.8 x 6.55 inches
Burn time (white gas / gasoline), 17.6 oz (one tank full): 2 hours on high
Fuel Type: White Gas / Unleaded Gasoline

 

Pretty heavy at 2 lbs when empty. The Coleman Sportster II has high claimed BTU’s (10,500) and the ability to use white gas or unleaded gasoline as fuel. Too large and clunky to take any long distance. However, if you are on a solo camping trip and staying in the same camp for multiple days, this could be a good option. If you don’t want to use a canister stove and bring multiple canisters for extended use, this liquid fuel stove would work.

 


Coleman Exponent Multi-Fuel Stove – $199.99

Weight: 21.6 ounces
Dimensions: 7.5 x 5.2 x 5.2 inches
Burn time (white gas), 10.3 oz (one tank full): 7 hr on simmer /1 hr 25 mins on high
Fuel Type: White Gas / Unleaded Gasoline / Kerosene

Fill the tank once with your choice of fuel, and you should be able to make it through a weekend without refilling it. Pretty amazing fuel economy translates to long burn times, meaning you need to bring less fuel. You do need to pump the stove every now and then to maintain pressure, which can get tedious. Has good adjustable flame control. Stove design is somewhat bulky and weighs over a pound when empty.

If you want simplicity in not having to worry about bringing extra fuel and piece of mind from a trusted brand, bring the Coleman Expedition on your next group backpacking trip. This stove is overkill for solo trips.


MSR Whisperlite Liquid-Fuel Stove – $89.95

Weight: 15.2 oz (431 g)
Dimensions: 4 x 6 x 9 inches
Boil time (white gas), 1 liter: 3.9 minutes
Burn time (white gas) per 20oz / 600ml of fuel: 136 minutes
Fuel Type: White Gas Only

 

The MSR Whisperlite is pretty much the standard go to liquid fuel stove. I see this stove the most of all liquid fuel stoves on the trail and see it mentioned on trip reports all the time.

This “regular” Whisperlite stove only burns white gas, unlike many of the other liquid stoves. This means it will be easier to maintain and keep clean, but is less versatile.

MSR employs their “Shaker Jet technology” which makes cleaning in the field as simple as shaking the stove.

The standard Whisperlite stove is a great entry level stove to get used to using liquid fuel with. However, if you have the extra money, I would opt for the International or Universal models, as they weigh less, are more compact, and offer better performance in a variety of situations with their varying fuel compatibility.

If you are going on a domestic trip, above the tree line where cold and altitude are a factor, this is a great option on a budget.

 

 


 

 

 

MSR WhisperLite “International” MULTI-FUEL Stove – $99.50


Weight: 14.9 oz (423 g)
Dimensions: 8 x 8 x 6 inches
Boil time (white gas), 1 liter: 3.5 minutes
Burn time (white gas) per 20oz / 600ml of fuel: 110 minutes
Fuel Type: White Gas / Unleaded Auto Gas / Kerosene
Includes: Fuel pump, windscreen, heat reflector, small-parts kit, instructions, and stuff sack

Lighter, smaller, and with the ability to burn white gas, kerosene and unleaded gasoline, the Whisperlite International outperforms the standard Whisperlite stove. Its sturdy lightweight stainless steel legs offer excellent durability. It is also compact enough to fit inside most pots and easy to maintain in the field using self-cleaning Shaker Jet technology and new, one-piece leg assembly.

If you are traveling out of the country, at high altitude, or both, this is a great option.

 

 

 


 

 

 

MSR WhisperLite “Universal” MULTI-MULTI -FUEL Stove – $139.95

Weight: 14.9 oz (423 g)
Dimensions: 8 x 8 x 6 inches
Boil time (white gas), 1 liter: 3.5 minutes
Burn time (white gas) per 20oz / 600ml of fuel: 155 minutes
Fuel Type: White Gas / Unleaded Auto Gas / Kerosene / Isobutane Canisters
Includes: Fuel pump, windscreen, heat reflector, small-parts kit, instructions, and stuff sack. 

 The same as the MSR WhisperLite International Stove, but with an attachment to be able to use canister fuel as well! The kit comes with every accessory and burns with almost every type of fuel, making it one of the most versatile stoves out there.

The Whisperlite Universal uses Hybrid-Fuel Performance: Patent pending AirControl™ technology creates the optimal fuel/air mix for top-notch performance with canister fuel, white gas, kerosene and unleaded gasoline. Even with all of the equipment, it is relatively lightweight; using an aluminum mixer tube, extra-stable stainless steel legs and refined design keep weight to a minimum.

By inverting the fuel canister, the butane behaves more like a liquid fuel, delivering better cold weather and low-fuel performance with a more consistent output over the life of each canister. The nifty canister stand is included. 

Self-cleaning Shaker Jet technology and redesigned leg assembly facilitate fast cleaning and even easier maintenance in the field.

If you are traveling any where in the universe, this is a great option.

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

MSR WhisperLite and Whisper Lite International Expedition Stove Service Kit – $29.90

Weight: 1.4oz

I would consider this a must have item if you own any of MSR’s Whisperlite stoves, though you can source the individual items as needed and not invest in an entire kit if you want to save a little money up front.

I would leave the bulky kit in the car/home/base camp and just take a couple of completely necessary pieces on the trail. Comes with everything you need to service any of the WhisperLite stoves in a neat little kit. Includes a Lifetime warranty

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

Jetboil Genesis 2 Burner Stove – $239.95

Weight: 6.2 lbs
Dimensions: 9.8 x 4.6 inches (Packed)
Boil Time: 3 minutes, 15 seconds per 32 oz (1 Liter in 5L Flux Pot)
Fuel Type: Propane Only

An awesome, relatively compact double burner option for car camping or holding down base camp. Two burners give you more options for meal prep, hopefully encouraging more creativity and quality from your resident outdoor chef. Like all the Jetboil stoves, the flame is easily adjustable and accurate, allowing you to simmer, saute, or roll a boil with the twist of a knob. I did find that the flame was a little bit uneven when on the lowest setting, making for uneven cooking at that temperature.

The Jetboil Genesis uses their “Jetlink” expansion system to attach satellite burners to create more cook top space. You can also attach other Jetlink kitchen accessories to the Genesis and use its fuel supply to power the other pieces of your camp kitchen. There is also the option to purchase a Jetboil Genesis Base Camp “System” that comes with a 5 liter Fluxpot, 10″ ceramic fry pan, and a carry case for it all.

If you are car camping, glamping, tailgaiting, or maintaining a basecamp with a large group of people, this system offers power and many options.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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