HuffPost receives a share from purchases made via links on this page. Every item is independently selected by the HuffPost Shopping team. Prices and availability are subject to change.
Many moons ago, I was on a camping trip with a now ex-partner who wouldn’t let me touch their camping stove. Mind you, it wasn’t a “be careful, you’ll burn yourself” situation, it was a “this stove is a precious heirloom” situation. They said the portable burner was, and I quote, “vintage.”
Though I wanted to roll my eyes, I politely collected myself and inquired a bit about the stove I wasn’t allowed to touch. It was their dad’s childhood camping burner from the ’60s, and because it’s a Coleman, it was still in great working condition more than 40 years later.
Flash to last summer when, on a solo camping trip in rural Pennsylvania, I stopped at a Walmart for groceries and camouflage clothing. There, in the camp section, were modern versions of my ex’s dad’s childhood camping grill for less than $50. I picked one out for myself, excited to have a camp burner I was actually allowed to use. Here’s what I bought:
The Coleman classic two-burner propane stove with over 16,000 five-star reviews
Loved by avid campers and nature newbies alike, the Coleman two-burner stove is easy to use and great to pack on a road trip. It doesn’t demand any wires, cords or charging — only 16-ounce propane canisters. It runs hot, meaning you’ll boil water and cook meat fast, but you’ll want to keep an eye on any more delicate foods or sauces.
A two-pack of propane fuel
To use your new Coleman camp grill, you’re going to need a 16-ounce propane canister that fits right into the grill. The cylindrical shape makes these easy to pack, and the twist top prevents spillage and leaks.
Straight from the box, it worked great. It’s already assembled, but you do have to attach the little propane canister you purchase separately, which takes about a minute. After connecting to the propane, you’re ready to rumble. You’ll likely need to light the stove, but it’s easy to do and never smells like fumes. It also cooks food super evenly — a feat for camp cooking. The wind protectors on the side let you make food even when it’s blustery, and it folds up nicely and has a little buckle to everything secure when you pack it away in the car (it would be cumbersome to backpack with). Its stovetop area is surprisingly spacious, allowing you to fit both a pot and frying pan on the burners at the same time. And because it’s fueled with propane, there isn’t any ashy mess to clean up.
I’ve used my stove for garden and backyard dinner parties and cooking during power outages. It’s great for beach barbecues and poolside picnics if you can’t set up a whole fire or simply don’t want to deal with all the mess and preparation of getting a whole grill.
When looking at my beloved stove online, it’s clear that others love it, too. Boasting tens of thousands of positive reviews, it’s a popular, timeless item that doesn’t cost a fortune and could last you forever. Who knows, in 40 more years, my kids may be calling it vintage.
“Unlike a grill which does not burn clean, and the grill gets charred and dirty, these stoves burn very clean, and the stove top grill does not get dirty. There is no need to put food directly onto the stove, as this stoves burner system, heats so efficiently and evenly, that all food inside a pot or pan, will get cooked well. From my experience, a small flame is perfect for frying eggs, bacon, sausage. While the higher burner flame is good for getting water boiling.” — Arthur Senior
“Let me preface this by saying that I am female and I often camp alone. For years, I have taken out my small charcoal grill and used that to cook. But it’s a pain. After a day kayaking, it takes at least half an hour to get hot coals, then you have to cook everything. Because of all the effort, I would only cook one meal a day and just eat bars otherwise. This Coleman grill is a game changer. Even as I’m sitting at my campsite with 18 mph winds, it heats up my cast iron like a champ. Because it’s so quick and easy to use, I can have more hot meals when I camp now! I even use it to roast marshmallows.” — ReviewsFromTexas
“Bought to replace the same one I’ve had for probably over 20 years. Use it for camping and has never let me down.” — Locked and loaded
“Overall, and I don’t think I am overstating this. I am nearly 50 years old at this time, and I fully expect this stove will outlast me, and likely be handed down in my estate. It’s just that well-made. If you are a beginning camper, this is the perfect stove for you, if you are an experienced camper that wants the simplicity of operation of propane, without the reliability problems of the fancier models, this is the stove for you.” — David Hostetler
“This one worked perfectly right out of the box. Well packed btw. It came double-boxed. Great size for my motorcycle pop up camper. Great value for the money.” — Jeffrey D. Morrison