Simple, affordable, durable: That’s what testers deemed the Essential Trail Stove after taking it on trips through Colorado’s Sawatch, Tenmile, and Gore Ranges. It fired up without any trouble at 12,000 feet and cranked out enough heat to boil one liter of water in under 4 minutes on a full canister. The stove head lacks a windscreen, so testers noticed some flickering in blustery conditions, but the flame never went out. The Essential Trail may not match the efficiency of more expensive stoves (there’s a bit of sputtering when fuel is low), and it doesn’t have bells and whistles like a piezo igniter, but it gets the job done: “Plus, the 3.5-inch-wide pot supports kept my 1-liter pot of boiling water stable, even when the kitchen counter was an uneven, rocky platform,” one tester notes. (Essential Trek Pot Set, pictured, sold separately; $60, 14.4 oz.) And at 4 ounces and $25, it’s light on both your back and your wallet.
$25; 4 oz.