In our article on the best canister stoves, we saw that Isobutane (or its variants) based canister stoves have become quite popular among hikers and backpackers because of their performance and clean, simple operation.
The success of the traditional, top-mounted canister stoves has led to the introduction of a new type of canister stoves in the market – the remote canister stoves. The remote canister stoves, though slightly heavier, offer improved cold-weather and low-fuel performance, along with better stability and cooking versatility.
So, which are the best remote canister stoves in the market?
In this article, we will focus on answering exactly the same question and list some of the best remote canister stoves for hiking and backpacking. We will also summarize how these stoves are different from traditional canister stoves and the factors you should keep in mind before picking the best remote canister stove for your next outdoor adventure.
If you are looking for the traditional liquid multi-fuel stoves as well as backpacking stoves that support remote, you can check out our article on the best liquid fuel stoves for camping and backpacking.
Furthermore, for a compiled view of the different types of camping and backpacking stoves, check out our article on the best stoves for camping and backpacking, which discusses about the different types of backpacking stoves and the situations in which they are useful.
Best remote canister stoves listSome of the best remote canister stoves available in the market are listed below:
|MSR WindPro II Remote Canister Stove||6.6 oz.|
|Kovea Spider Stove||5.9 oz.|
|MSR WhisperLite Universal Stove||11.5 oz. min.|
|RedCamp Camping Gas Stove||8.5 oz.|
|Primus ETA Express Spider Stove||21.1 oz. with screen|
|Snow Peak BiPod Remote Canister Stove||7.8 oz.|
|Optimus Vega Remote Canister Stove||6.3 oz.|
|GSI Pinnacle 4-Season Spider Stove||5.7 oz.|
|OUTAD Remote Canister Stove||9.7 oz.|
|Lixada Camping Remote Canister Stove||9.9 oz.|
What are remote canister stoves?
A remote canister stove is a special type of low-profile canister stove that has a free-standing burner which is “remotely” connected to the fuel canister through a fuel hose or pipe.
Remote canister stoves are also sometimes referred to as spider stoves (a name made famous by the popular Kovea Spider Stove), stand-alone canister stoves or inverted canister stoves (because of a design feature in some remote canister stoves that allows the canisters to be inverted).
Unlike the traditional, top-mounted canister stoves, the remote canister stoves have a lower height and hence provide better stability while cooking and hence can support larger pots and pans (8+ inch diameter). Remote canister stoves also tend to have better cold weather and low-fuel performance. This is because an inverted canister allows the flow of liquefied Isobutane fuel directly into the stove and prevent heat loss and fuel evaporation due to vaporization.
Remote canister stoves are, however, generally costlier than the standard top-mounted canister stoves. Furthermore, though collapsible and compact, they are heavier than traditional canister stoves because of the fuel hose.
To summarize, the major pros and cons of remote canister stoves are summarized below:
From the above discussion, it is clear that remote canister stoves offer some distinct advantages over traditional canister stoves and other types of backpacking stoves. And since they support larger pots and pans, they can be used to cook food for a larger 3-4 people group as well.
In the next sections, we will list our picks for the best remote canister stove for hiking and backpacking and also list out the factors to consider before picking the best option for your needs.
Which are the best remote canister stoves for hiking and backpacking?
Material: Stainless steel and aluminum alloy with brass connectors
Size: 6.5 x 5″ x 4″
Weight: 6.6 oz. stove ; 10.3 oz. with windscreen, stand and sack
Thermal Output: 7,500 BTU in efficient mode ; 10,200 BTU (3200 W) max. in high-perf. mode
- Versatile, made in the US remote canister stove with stainless-steel burner, aluminum support materials and brass connectors.
- High-quality, reliable construction that combines the convenience of a canister stove with the stability and wind protection of a remote-burner design.
- Features an 11″ flexible braided fuel line with a glove-friendly flame control twist knob.
- Supports inverted canister mode. A canister stand is also included for elevated inverting.
- Features three collapsible support arms that provide low-profile stability to large pots and pans up to 10″ in diameter.
- Comes with a windscreen, heat reflector, canister stand and a nylon stuff sack. Packs to a small size to fit in a one-liter pot.
- Backed by a 3-year limited warranty by the manufacturer.
When it comes to the remote canister stoves, the MSR WindPro II is probably the one of the most versatile niche stove that combines the convenience and ease-of-use of a canister stove with the stability, wind protection and performance of a remote-burner stove. Therefore, it is undoubtedly our favorite remote canister stove for 4-season backpacking and other outdoor adventures.
The MSR WindPro II is made in the US with American and imported materials (most imported materials are sourced from Korean company Kovea). It features a high-quality, hardened stainless-steel burner with aluminum alloy support materials. All the connectors and valves are made of brass, adding years of durability to the product. At 6.6 oz. stove weight, it is fairly light, though not as ultralight as the Kovea Spider, Optimus Vega or GSI Pinnacle stoves.
The MSR WindPro II has a flexible 11-inch fuel line which has the standard Lindal canister valve and an oversized simmer control knob attached to it. The three support arms with frictioned base provide stable cooking surface even to the largest 2-3-person pots and pans and the stove can easily support 10″ diameter cookware.
The feature where the WindPro II really excels is its in-the-field performance. A smaller gap between the burner head and pot base ensures better thermal performance than most other remote canister stoves. Furthermore, the stove comes with a wind-screen and heat reflector for superior cooking performance even in windy conditions.
To add to the standard thermal output, the MSR WindPro II supports inverted canister operation that allows you to invert the canister to deliver liquefied gas directly to the burner. An inverted canister stove stand/support is also included for improved cold-weather and low-fuel performance. The stove can deliver up to 10,200 BTU/hour thermal output (3200 W) in high-performance mode and a maximum of 7,500 BTU/hour thermal output in the regular efficient cooking mode.
The MSR WindPro II comes with a windscreen, heat reflector, canister stand and a nylon stuff sack. It is quite packable and packs to a small size to fit in a one-liter pot.
The only drawback of the WindPro is that it does not come with a Piezoelectric Igniter and you have to purchase one separately or use a lighter or matches.
Like other MSR products, the MSR WindPro II is a reliable, durable cooking system. It is backed by a 3-year manufacturer warranty and a lifetime support service. So, you can use it your primary backpacking stove for years.
Material: Stainless-steel body with brass connectors
Size: 4.2″ x 3.7″ x 1.8″
Weight: 5.9 oz. ; 6.7 oz. with igniter and bag
Thermal Output: 6,000 – 7,500 BTU max. in standard mode ; 9,500 BTU in high-perf mode.
- Award-winning, ultralight remote canister stove with a low-profile stainless-steel body and brass connectors. Made in Korea.
- Very efficient in performance with long 12+ inch flexible fuel line supported by an excellent glove-friendly simmer control. Supports inverted canister operation.
- Wide, integrated support arms can hold larger pots and pans.
- Compact and packable in a 1L pot with canister.
- Comes with a carry bag and separate piezoelectric igniter.
- Backed by a limited lifetime warranty and satisfaction guaranteed commitment from the manufacturer.
- Kovea LPG adapter and Kovea Dual Stove Adapter are sold separately to support other fuel types.
The award-winning, best-selling Kovea Spider Stove is probably the most popular 4-season remote canister stove around the world and there is a good reason for that.
Manufactured in Korea by Kovea, a company with a long tradition of high-quality camping and backpacking cooking systems, this stove features a simple and sturdy stainless-steel construction with high-quality brass connectors. (Evidently, Kovea manufactures the stove parts for MSR and many other popular backpacking stoves). The stove has three integrated support arms which when expanded (typically expand to about 3″ from the center) can easily support the widest 2-3-person pots and pans. The low-profile and wide support base provides additional stability while cooking. At around 6.7 oz. packed weight, it is considerably lighter than many other remote canister stoves.
When it comes to in-the-field performance, the Kovea Spider Stove is designed to perform above its class. Multiple reviewers and experts have seen it having a comparable performance to the MSR WindPro II and Optimus Vega in terms of cold weather and low-fuel performance.
The Kovea Spider stove has a flexible, anti-flare fuel hose supported by a reliable Isobutane/Isopropane fuel canister valve. The stove has an excellent simmer control and the stove boasts of one of the lowest carbon monoxide emissions among canister stoves.
One of the biggest reason for the popularity of this stove is its performance in cold weather. Many thru-hikers and outdoor enthusiasts have successfully used this stove in temperatures as low as -15-degree Fahrenheit, making it a reliable cooking stove for all four seasons. The only complaint you might have with this stove is that it does not come with a windscreen and a suitable windscreen must be purchased separately for use in windy conditions.
The Kovea Spider stove comes with a separate piezoelectric igniter and a carry bag. Though the stove uses an Isobutane adapter, the manufacturer also sells LPG Adapter (for propane) and Dual Burner (for butane) adapters that allow the stove to be used with Propane canisters and Liquid fuel bottles. In our opinion, however, the Spider performs best with the Isobutane canisters.
Like other Kovea cooking systems, the Kovea Spider Stove is backed by a limited lifetime warranty and a satisfaction guaranteed commitment by the manufacturer. Just make sure you buy the product directly from an authorized US-only reseller to get the full support benefit.
Material: Stainless-steel and aluminum alloy.
Size: 6.0″ x 6.0″ x 4.75″.
Weight: 11.5 oz. stove ; 19.4 oz. with packing
Thermal Output: Varies by type of fuel. 12,000 BTU (3500 W) max.
Material: Stainless-steel and aluminum alloy
Size: 5.9″ x 2.9″ x 2.9″ x ; 4.5″ x 3.3″ x 2.8″ x packed
Weight: 8.5 oz. stove ; 10.1 oz. with packing
Thermal Output: 12,000 BTU (3500 W) max.
- Budget remote canister stove with a stainless-steel burner and aluminum alloy body. Competitively priced.
- Features a three-leg collapsible support system that provides stability to cookware with a low center of gravity. Supports pans up to 8″ in diameter.
- Comes with a 12″ flexible fuel line with a flame adjuster that attaches securely to an Isobutane canister. The gas valve can be replaced to support propane tanks.
- Features a built-in piezo ignition switch for easy operation.
- Comes with a hard-shell plastic storage case for easy transportation. Backed by a one-year warranty.
Material: Stainless steel stove with aluminum alloy parts and integrated titanium pot and windscreen.
Size: 6.7″ x 4.9″ open ; 5.9″ x 3.9″ packed
Weight: 21.1 oz. including the integrated screen ; 25+ oz. packed weight with all the accessories.
Thermal Output: 7,150 BTU (2000 W) max.
- High-end integrated remote canister stove with a stainless-steel burner, aluminum support parts and brass connectors. Made in Estonia.
- Features an efficient simmer control and flexible, braided stainless-steel fuel hose that can be attached to the canister. Replacement valves for other fuel types are also available.
- Comes with the spider burner stove, 1L ceramic coated pot with lid, plastic bowl, integrated windscreen and piezo-electric igniter.
- The windscreen provides excellent heat reflection and more efficient cooking even at low thermal outputs.
- An insulated, heat-resistant bag is also included for post-cookout warming and easy transportation. Compactly packs in its own pot.
- Backed by a one-year manufacturer warranty.
Material: Stainless-steel and aluminum with brass connectors
Size: 7″ x 12″ x 5.75″ open ; 4.9″ x 2.7″ x 2.3″ packed
Weight: 7.8 oz.
Thermal Output: 11,600 BTU max.
- Korean-made bi-pod canister stove with an oversized stainless-steel burner and aluminum body with brass connectors.
- Features a two-leg support with additional support provided by the fuel canister.
- Comes with a stiff (non-flexible) fuel hose that attaches securely to an Isobutane canister. Stiff fuel line and stove design do not support an inverted canister operation.
- Comes with a piezoelectric igniter for easy ignition.
- Designed to support large sized pots and pans with four support arms.
- Backed by a limited lifetime warranty against manufacturing defects.
Material: Stainless steel stove and aluminum alloy parts
Size: 5.1″ x 2.8″ x 2.6″ open
Weight: 6.3 oz. ; 7.0 oz. with carry bag ; 8.3 oz. with bag and windscreen
Thermal Output: 12,580 BTU (3700 W) max ; 4,760 BTU (1400 W) in efficiency mode
- Lightweight, high-power remote canister stove with a sturdy stainless-steel and aluminum alloy construction.
- Features a 12-inch flexible fuel line with a low cooking profile. Three support arms create a 6-7-inch stable cookware base for pots and pans up to 8.5 inches in diameter and 8.5 lbs. in weight.
- The fuel connector supports a 4-season upright or inverted operation with full simmer control.
- Packable to a small size and comes with a drawstring nylon carry bag and an aluminum wind-screen.
- Does not come with a built-in igniter.
- Backed by a two-year manufacturer (Katadyn) warranty.
Material: Stainless steel and brass connectors
Size: 2.0″ x 1.8″ x 3.2″ packed
Weight: 5.7 oz. ; 5.9 oz. packing weight
Thermal Output: 7,800 BTU to 9,820 BTU max.
- Compact, ultralight remote canister stove with a sturdy hardened stainless-steel burner, body and fuel line with brass connectors
- 12-inch fuel line with a low cooking profile. Three support arms create a 5.4-inch stable cookware base.
- Smooth simmer control that works well even with the inverted canister.
- Extremely packable with a unique nForm Cookware design. Comes with a drawstring storage bag for easy transportation.
- Does not come with an ignition system.
- Backed by a limited lifetime warranty and repair support by the manufacturer.
Material: Stainless-steel stove and aluminum alloy
Size: 4.1″ x 2.0″ x 2.9″ open ; 3.1″ x 2.0″ x 2.0″ packed
Weight: 9.7 oz. ; 11.9 oz. packing weight with box
Thermal Output: 10,000 to 10,200 BTU (3000 W) max.
- A standard remote canister stove with a stainless-steel construction and gold-anodized aluminum alloy valves and attachments.
- Features a long 13.8-inch flexible gas line with standard 7/16″ Lindal valve for the canister. Supports inverting of canister and has a Piezoelectric Ceramic Igniter for easy operation.
- Also features an integrated 360-degree wind deflector for superior performance in windy conditions.
- Comes with three cookware support arms that can hold an 11-inch pot/pan.
- A hard-shell plastic carrying case is also included for easy transportation.
- Backed by a satisfaction guaranteed commitment from the manufacturer.
Material: Stainless steel and copper
Size: 3.7″ x 3.7″ x 6.7″ ; 3.5″ x 3.5″ x 3.9″ packed
Weight: 9.9 oz. ; 11.9 oz. packing weight with box
Thermal Output: 10,200 BTU (3000 W) or 11,000 BTU (3200 W) max.
- Budget remote canister stove featuring a hardened stainless-steel body with copper valves and connectors.
- Has an 11″ flexible fuel hose that separates the canister from the stove.
- Comes with an adjustable control valve that fits all standard Isobutane/Isopropane canisters.
- Features a piezo-electric ceramic ignition for easy ignition.
- Collapses to a small 3.9-inch size. Comes with a plastic carrying case for secure storage and transportation.
- Available in 3000W or 3200 W variants with or without an aluminum windshield.
- Backed by a 6-month manufacturer warranty extendable to another 6 months upon registration.
Remote Canister Stove Fuel
Like other canister stoves, remote canister stoves run on Isobutane (or related variants) canisters. While most manufacturers offer their own canisters, almost all canister stove models listed above have standard Lindal valves and hence you can pick any canister as fuel for these stoves.
Some of the best 4-season canister blends for a remote canister stove are listed below:
- Jetboil Jetpower 4-Season Fuel Blend
- MSR Isopro Canister Fuel
- Primos Primus Canister Fuel
- Optimus Fuel Canister
You can also purchase these fuel canisters (both 3.5 oz. and 8 oz.) from the local outdoor gear retailer.
Remote Canister Stove Cookware and Accessories
A commonly sought out accessory for the remote canister stove is the cooking pot and pan set. While remote canister stoves can support larger size pots and pans, it is advisable to use only recommended cookware for cooking on a canister stove. If you are looking for generic cookware, you can consider the following options:
- Lixada Titanium Cookware Set
- Snow Peak Titanium Trek 900 Cook Set
- Stanley Camp 24oz. Cook Set
- Winterial Camping Cookware and Pot Set
Furthermore, because of its design, a remote canister stove can be used with a windshield or windscreen to provide better performance in windy conditions. Some of the best lightweight options for windscreens are:
Disposing fuel canisters
One of the major challenges associated with using canister stoves is how to dispose-off used canisters. Frankly speaking, recycling a used fuel canister is not an easy task, but it is not impossible either. You can follow the steps mentioned below. For more information and options, you can reach out to the fuel canister manufacturer.
- Determine how much fuel is left in the canister: The first step is to determine if the canister is empty. The post on Eastern Mountain Sports blog covers this process quite well. If your canister still has some fuel, you can connect it the stove and open the valve to empty it. You can even transfer the remaining gas from one canister to another by using a female-female Lindal valve connector like the Gas Saver Plus. Just remember that it is better to burn the hydrocarbons than to release them in the atmosphere.
- Puncture the fuel canister: Once the canister is empty, you can use a screw driver or a fuel canister recycling tool like JetBoil CrunchIt to puncture the fuel canister, making it suitable for recycling by a mixed metal recycling unit. You do not need to remove the valve or anything else from the canister.
- Find the local recycler and drop the canisters: Find a local mixed metal recycling unit or a hazardous metal recycler and drop the canisters for further processing. You can also contact your nearby REI Store on the different options you may have.
How to pick the best remote canister stove for backpacking or other outdoor activities?
Though remote canister stoves have been a relatively new type of backpacking stoves, you can find a lot of options in the market. But not all such stoves are reliable, and you should avoid picking a cheap, low-quality remote canister stove as your primary camping or backpacking stove.
Once you have decided on the broad budget that you have, you need to look at a few important factors before picking the best remote canister stove for backpacking or other outdoor adventures. These major considerations are summarized below:
- Building material of the stove
- Design of the stove
- Thermal efficiency and performance
- Size, weight and portability
- Additional Factors and Considerations
Building material of the stove
The manufacturing material of the burner, supporting parts and connectors is an important factor as it governs the durability and reliability of the stove. Why else do you think there is so much variation in the price of these remote canister stoves?
The best remote canister stoves have a high-quality, hardened stainless-steel burner with aluminum or aluminum alloy supporting parts. This allows the stoves to withstand the heat and normal wear and tear for a long time. The connectors and valves are generally made of brass, though some budget canister stoves even have gold-anodized aluminum connectors as well. The valves have rubber O-ring gaskets for secure attachment. The stoves feature a braided, flexible stainless-steel fuel hose, except for the Snow Peak BiPod Remote Canister Stove which has a hard, inflexible, steel fuel line.
Most canister stoves are made from stainless steel with brass regulators and aluminum supporting arms. The integrated canister stoves have anodized aluminum cooking cup or pot to go by. This design helps in keeping the stoves lightweight at under 4 ounces and thermally resistant and durable.
Check out the building material of the burner and other supporting parts before picking the best remote canister stove for your needs. If in doubt, pick one of our top choices, as we have listed only the most well-built and durable remote canister stoves in the market.
Design of the stove
The design of the stove is probably the most important criterion as it governs all other important factors – cooking efficiency, weather performance and portability.
The major design features to check out are the design of the burner and support arms/base, the design and length of the fuel hose and the design of fuel valve and simmer control.
Pick a stove that has wide, integrated support arms that can spread to create a low-profile, stable support for cooking pots and pans. Most of the options that we listed have three or more teethed support arms to provide a stable cooking base for pots and pans of different sizes.
Another important design feature to check out is the twist valve. Remote canister stoves are popular because of their cold weather and low-fuel performance and they can accomplish it by allowing for inverted canister stoves (that is why such stoves are also often called inverted canister stoves). Almost all the models that we listed, except the Snow Peak BiPod Stove, support this type of operation. In case of inverted canister stoves, the MSR WindPro II and Optimus Vega probably have the best design features and hence superior cooking performance.
A flexible 10+ inch fuel hose is another design feature that helps in keeping the canister safely away from the burner flame. An oversized simmer control valve that can be operated even with gloves on is also something to check out.
Check out the aforementioned design features before picking the most suitable option for your needs.
Thermal Efficiency and Performance
Closely related with the design features of the stove are its thermal cooking efficiency and in-the-field performance. The more efficient a stove is, the lesser fuel it would need and the lesser weight you would need to carry.
We have been especially careful in listing out only the most efficient remote canister stoves. Our top pick – the MSR WindPro II, has probably the best-in-class thermal performance (10,000+ BTU max) even in inclement weather conditions, closely followed by the Kovea Spider Stove and Optimus Vega which also have a comparable thermal output.
Of course, the thermal efficiency of the stoves can be further improved by getting a windscreen. The ability of the stoves to support a standard windscreen is another reason why remote canister stoves have become so popular in recent times.
Check out the thermal ratings and performance analysis of the stoves before picking the best remote canister stove for your next outdoor adventure. You can generally get this information from the product specifications, feedback or comparative reviews of the stove.
Size, Weight and portability
The size, weight and packability of the stove is also something to factor in before zeroing in on the best remote canister stove, especially if you are hiking or backpacking and carrying your own load.
Remote canister stoves are not the lightest backpacking stoves to carry but they can support larger pots and pans with their wide-spread support arms and long fuel hoses. These arms are collapsible, and the stove can be packed into a small size – generally small enough to fit in a 1L cook pot.
Most of the options that we have listed are reasonably lightweight, though some are especially ultralight, making them suitable for multi-day hiking and backpacking trips. Kovea Spider Stove is one such stove which weighs only around 6 ounces.
Check out the overall size (both open and packed), weight and packability of the stove before picking the most suitable option for your needs. Always remember that you would need to carry the canisters of fuel, cookware and optional windscreen as well, so every ounce saved would be precious.
Additional factors and miscellaneous considerations
In addition to the major factors discussed above, there are some other miscellaneous considerations that can make a particular remote canister stove a preferable option over other backpacking stoves.
One such consideration is the accessories that come with the stove (or are available for purchase in the market). Most of the options that we listed come at least with a hard-case plastic box or nylon stuff sack for easy portability. In addition, some canister stoves such as the MSR WindPro II and Primus ETA Express Spider Stove even come with a windscreen and other useful accessories. Some other options include a built-in or separate piezo-electric igniter as well, which makes them an attractive choice.
Another additional factor is the availability of optional valves and attachments that allow the stove to be used with standard Propane tanks or liquid fuel bottles. Kovea Stoves score big in this category as there are quite a few such valve options available in the market by the same manufacturer.
Finally, one of the most important additional consideration is the warranty offered on the stove by the manufacturer. The general rule of thumb is that longer the warranty period, the more reliable and durable the stove would be. Most of the options that we listed are backed by some excellent multi-year warranties, so you can use such stoves for a long time without worrying about their durability.
You can look at all these features to determine if they make a specific remote canister stove a better choice over others.
Final thoughts on the best remote canister stoves for hiking and backpacking
Canister stoves offer a clean and convenient mechanism for cooking the meal or boiling water during an outdoor trip and hence are quite popular among hikers and backpackers.
In this article, we looked at some of the best remote canister stoves available in the market for hiking, backpacking and other outdoor adventures. These remote canister stoves address some of the major limitations of the traditional top-mounted canister stoves and offer better cold weather performance.
Though there are cheaper models available in the market, the options that we listed in our article offer great quality, reliability, performance, and durability and hence are great items to add to your backpacking list. We also discussed the major pros and cons of remote canister stoves and factors to keep in mind before purchasing such stoves.
We hope that you found this article useful and it would help you in picking the best remote canister stove for your next outdoor adventure. Do let us know your feedback by commenting below. Until next time, happy outdoor exploration!