fuel: Butane

Campingaz Camping Kitchen

Campingaz Camping Kitchen

Campingaz Camping Kitchen

PRO’s: Large powerful burners, can be used with regular sized pans

CON’s: Prone to draughts from the side

VERDICT: if you’re going camping and expect to get several years use out of it buy this

OUR RATING ★★★★½ 

It seems to us like the Campingaz Camping Kitchen has been around for ever but if you look closely you can see that the edges have been softened in order to make it more contemporary.  But has anything else changed ?

Well, no.  You still get two burners: the larger one is rated at 2300 Watts and the small one is rated at 1700 Watts.  Both rings are large so proper sized pans can be used on them which means that you can bring pans from home if you wish – particularly if you’re working to a budget and don’t want to invest in camping specific cookware.

The burners can be independently adjusted via push to twist knobs which are located well away from the burners.  In use they give excellent control of the flames and allow you turn the flames down to a really gentle simmer.  The time taken to boil a litre of water is a little over 5 minutes.  This is a slower than we expected given the power of the burners but this is due to the fact that there is no wind protection built-in.

Campingaz claim that the lid offers some wind protection and whilst this is true (up to a point) protection from the wind is needed at the sides as well as the back of this stove. Without built-in windscreens you’ll need to use something to deflect the wind.

Surprisingly, though,  there’s no built-in ignition system so you’ll need to pack a box of matches or a lighter in order to get your cooking underway.

A potential gotcha when you buy this is that it doesn’t come with a regulator or hose although some retailers will throw them in at the time you buy.

What is also doesn’t come with is a gas cylinder (it requires the Campingaz R904 refillable gas cylinder or the larger Campingaz R907 refillable gas cylinder) but that’s not really surprising.  Many people are astonished at the price of these (a large one costs more than this stove) so here’s a tip: cylinders are expensive to buy because the bulk of the cost is the cylinder itself.  See if you can find an empty one by advertising on Gumtree or Freecycle, then take it along to a local supplier and get it refilled.

The Campingaz Camping Kitchen is designed to be used on a table but legs are available as an optional extra as is a carrying bag. The box ours arrived in is what we used to store it in but it soon got tatty. The proper Campingaz carry bag is highly recommended.

So should you buy one?

If you’re a family and planning on going camping for a few summers then the answer is a resounding YES? Although the Campingaz Camping Kitchen seems inexpensive, don’t forget that you’ll need to buy a regulator and hose too – many retailers will bundle these in.

Even if they don’t include them, don’t forget that a stove, hose, regulator and a gas bottle will work out cheaper in the long run than buying something like a Coleman Perfectflow two burner stove especially if you plan on using it for a few summers.

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Campingaz Bistro 300 Stove

Campingaz Bistro 300

Campingaz Bistro 300

PRO’s: Updated version of Campingaz Camp Bistro but better looking

CON’s: None that we can think of

VERDICT: Cute design, fast boil time, good adjustability. What’s not to like?

OUR RATING ★★★★☆ 

Campingaz stoves have always looked a bit plain but their latest offerings are far more stylish. The Campingaz Bistro 300 is no exception but how does it stack up against its predecessor (the Campingaz Camp Bistro) as well as the competition ?

For 2012 Campingaz have been busy redesigning some of their most successful models. We’ve already looked at the Campingaz Camping Chef Vario which replaces the Campingaz Camping Chef Stove and Grill but in this review we turn our attentions to the Campingaz Bistro 300 which replaces the older Campingaz Camp Bistro which spawned many budget copies such as the Go Systems Dynasty Compact Stove.

Like its predecessor the Campingaz Bistro 300 is a table-top, single burner unit but, unlike its predecessor, it’s a good looking bit of kit. The single burner is located to one side whilst a small raised tower holds the gas canister. Sitting between them, but located well away from the burner, is the flame adjustment knob. No matches are required for this camping stove as it’s got built-in piezo electric ignition.

The Campingaz Bistro 300 takes the Campingaz CV300 Plus butane gas canisters and uses the Easy Clic system so that a canister can be removed safely even when only part used. Although the CV300 Plus is a new canister and thanks to Campingaz‘s share of the market they are already widely available.

However, for the moment at least, you’ll need to stick with the manufacturers own canisters as there are no third party copies yet. That said, they are pretty inexpensive although the runtime isn’t great. We managed to get around 1 1/4 hours out of ours which is slightly less than the Campingaz Camp Bistro but this is due to the slightly higher output (2600 W compared to 2300 W)  and correspondingly faster boil time. We got a litre of water to boil in just over three minutes compared to the five minutes of the old model.

Overall we like the Campingaz Bistro 300: it’s well designed, extremely easy to use and stows away in its own hard storage case when not in use. It’s ideally suited for festival use or just cooking side dishes at a BBQ. We’d even consider keeping on in the house to use during power cuts.

As you would expect, it’s more expensive than the model that it replaces whilst suppliers still have stock of the old model but we compared to the budget clones of the Campingaz Camp Bistro made by other manufacturers we’d definitely go with this model.

Recommended !

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Campingaz Camping Chef Vario Stove and Grill

Campingaz Camping Chef Vario Stove and Grill

Campingaz Camping Chef Vario Stove and Grill

PRO’s: Updated version of Campingaz Camp Chef but better looking

CON’s: Grill is still very puny

VERDICT: If you need a dual burner stove you can put on legs buy this one but there are better options

OUR RATING ★★★½☆ 

New for 2012 is the Campingaz Camping Chef Vario which looks destined to replace the trusty Campingaz Camping Chef.  Is the new model worth it or should you buy the older one ?  Read on to find out.

Just like the Campingaz Camping Chef the idea behind the Campingaz Chef Vario is that you shouldn’t compromise on what you can cook just because you’re away on holiday so to help rustle those culinary delights you get two burners and a small grill situated below.

Whilst you may think that one burner will be sufficient, if you’re away for more than a few days and you can fit in the extra bulk then a two burner unit like this one makes a lot of sense.  After all, with two burners you can stumble out of your tent and get your morning cuppa AND your fried breaskfast underway at the same time !

Just like the original Camping Chef you get piezo-electric ignition on both burners and the grill so there’s no need to take matches with you.  All the burners are independently adjustable and feature child-proof switches which should prevent inquisitive little ones from playing with the cooker.

And just like the original it too uses the timelss blue Campingaz gas cylinders, the high capacity R907 refillable gas cylinder for which you’ll also need a hose and regulator.

Like its predecessor, the Campingaz Chef Vario sports a grill and, like it’s predecessor, it’s undersized.  Publicity shots for the old model showed two slices of toast under the grill which was just daft – you could barely fit one under it and it was so far away from the elements that it barely toasted.

We’re pleased to say that on the 2012 version Campingaz have reduced the distance  between the grill and toast but only by a small amount.  However, it does mean that your toast will actually toast, albeit slowly.  At least it won’t burn !

The stove packs up into a compact, easily transported suitcase style case complete with carrying handle.  The case is robust (try as we might we couldn’t twist it) and has fold down flaps at the sides of the hob which act as wind breaks.

In theory these should help to direct heat from the burners into the pots rather than allowing it to be blown away by the wind but, in practice, we found that they made little difference.  This is borne out by the time taken to boil a litre of water – just under 7 minutes – which is about the same as the Campingaz Camping Chef Stove and Grill that it replaces.

The styling of the old version was very agricultural but we still liked it.  The styling of the new version is much improved and reminds us of the Go Systems Dynasty Trio.  That’s no bad thing – we think that it’s a brilliant stove.

So would we buy one ?

Maybe.  It’s good at what it does but it currently costs more than the older model (the Campingaz Camping Chef) that it replaces.  At the moment, we’d still go with the older model simply because it’s being reduced as retailers clear out remaining stocks and the £20 price difference between the two can be put towards a regulator and bottle of Butane gas.

However, once stocks of the old model are gone then it becomes a toss up between this and the Go Systems Dynasty Trio.  If you want the option to add legs and a storage tray beneath your Campingaz Vario then go for that one.  You can buy the Deluxe version or buy the legs and tray seperately.  Otherwise we’d still be inclined to go for the Go Sytems Dynastry Trio which is rebadged and sold by Mountain Warehouse as the MountainLife Double Burner with Grill via their online store.

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Campingaz Camping Chef Stove and Grill

Campingaz Camping Chef Stove and Grill

Campingaz Camping Chef Stove and Grill

VERDICT: A puny grill but worth buying if you’re on a budget & find it discounted

PRO’s: Compact, runs on Propane and Butane. Often heavily discounted.

CON’s: puny grill which lacks power. Grill difficult to clean. Prone to gusts of wind

OUR RATING ★★★☆☆ 

On the face of it the Campingaz Camping Chef Stove and Grill is perfect for family camping as it sports two powerful burners and a radiant grill. And if you buy the version which comes with a regulator and storage bag then all you need to add is a gas cylinder. But is it any good ?

There no way around it – it’s simply not possible to cook for four people on a single burner stove. Two burners is what you really need whilst the inclusion of a grill widens the range of meals that can be prepared. The two burners on the Campingaz Camping Chef are widely spaced which means that two large pots or pans can be used at the same time.

Sitting immediately below the two burners is a grill. In theory this is a plus but in the case of this stove it’s been poorly executed and lets the stove down. The main problem is that the grill is actually smaller (6 inches x 2.5 inches) than two slices of bread placed side by side. This means that you’ll need to constantly rotate the slices. A further problem is that the grill is located too far below the element which means that a lot of the heat is simply wasted. Whilst this means that your toast is extremely unlikely to burn, you’ll probably end up holding the toast nearer the element to speed things up and this probably will result in it burning.

The lower section of the stove which holds the grill is designed to collapse. Whilst this means that it packs away into a smaller size than it otherwise would do, setting up and packing it away does involve take a little longer especially if the grill has been used as this is fiddly to get at to clean. In order to keep the grill clean we’d just use it for doing toast. Sausages would be better of fried rather than grilled.

Frustratingly the sides of the stove are fixed and offer very little protection from the wind for either the two burners or the grill. The metal lid does act as a windbreak but only protects the back of the unit. When in use it’s a little too far back for our liking. Because the sides don’t extend up above the level the burners (unlike the Coleman Perfectflow 2 burner stove) as soon as the wind changes direction you’ll have to re-align the stove.

All of this contributes to the relatively long boil time of seven minutes and the poor performance of the grill already noted above. The burners and the grill each have individual control knobs all with good adjustability although none of them have piezeo-electric ignition. To light any of them you’ll need to use matches.

At the bottom of the stove a pair of thin but relatively sturdy metal legs fold out to raise the stove a little. Unfortunately these don’t have a rubberised feet on them so on metal camping tables there’s a chance that the camping cooker could slide around. Campingaz actual produce an enhanced version of this stove called the Campingaz Camping Chef Plus which includes a collapsable stand although this can also be bought seperately.

A plus point of this stove is that runs not only on Campingaz Butane cylinders (specifically the Campingaz R904 refillable cylinder or the Campingaz R907 refillable cylinder) but also will run on Propane too which means that a fuel supply should be easy to find wherever you are.

So, would we buy one ?

Possibly, but not at the recommended retail price as we feel, given the various shortcomings of the design that it offers poor value for money at the full price. That said, by mid-June this stove is often heavily discounted by outdoor retailers and that’s when we would buy one.  Bear in mind also that Campingaz have launched the Campingaz Camping Chef Vario stove and grill which has led to further discounting of the older Campingaz Camping Chef.

There are undoubtably better stoves out there but at the discounted price that you can pick this up for (often with the regulator and carry case thrown in) then it does offer good value as long as you’re aware of the flaws.

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Go Systems Dynasty Trio

Go Systems Dynasty Trio

Go Systems Dynasty Trio

VERDICT: The perfect camping cooker for a small family. Powerful, easy to clean & store, it’s highly recommended. Not that easy to find though.

PRO’s: Double burner and grill combination, folds in to own slim travel case, can operate from a variety of gas cylinders

CON’s: Can be tricky find in store & online

OUR RATING ★★★★★ 

The Go Systems Dynasty Trio is, if it’s possible, the sexiest looking family camping cooker on the market today.  Boasting a double hob that floats above the base which acts as an easily accessible drip tray it still folds down into a compact package.  In fact, we reckon that this is the slimmest family camping stove that money can buy.

Now with the name ‘Dynasty Trio’ you’re probably expecting a third design feature and you won’t be  disappointed to learn that it’s one of the best grills and toaster that we’ve seen on a camping cooker.  That’s right: it’s the super sim yet it manages to squeeze in two burners and a grill!  Both the grill and each of the hobs have independent ignition and a full range of adjustment from a low flame to a satisfying roar.

Like many other Go Systems camping cookers, this one uses their own Butane cylinders such as the Go Systems Powersource 220 gas canister or the Go Systems Powersource 445 gas canister but it also has the ability to connect to other, larger cylinders via a regulator.  This added flexibility, coupled with a three year warranty (most of their competitors offer only one year), make this an excellent choice in our opinion.  It’s worth noting that it will also work with the smallest Go Systems Powersource 125 gas canister but the runtime will be so short that we don’t recommend this.

Whereas the Coleman Perfectflow Stove and Grill is ideally suited to small families (two adults plus a child) due to it’s single ring, the Go Systems Dynasty Trio is better suited to larger families with more children.

The only thing against this cooker is that it’s not that easy to find online although whilst browsing through our local Mountain Warehouse shop recently that they sell a rebranded version of this stove called the MountainLife Double Burner with Grill.

Whether you can find one online or not, this camping cooker is highly recommended!

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Go Systems Dynasty Compact Stove

Go Systems Dynasty Compact Stove

Go Systems Dynasty Compact Stove

VERDICT: Compact & self-contained.  A good alternative to the Campingaz version although, being more widely available, the Campingaz version is cheaper.

PRO’s: Compact, self-contained unit. Includes carry case.  Three year warranty

CON’s: Short runtime, need to carry a spare cylinder. Pricier than the Campingaz equivalent

OUR RATING ★★★★☆ 

The Go Systems Dynasty Compact stove is Go Systems take on the single burner ‘suitcase’ format camping stove made popular by the Campingaz Camp Bistro.  And if it looks familiar then that’s because it is – the chassis is exactly the same as the Gelert Portable Gas Cooker and the Hi Gear Portable Gas Cooker as well as other non-branded versions so if your budget can’t stretch to the (slightly) more expensive Campingaz version then this could be a good alternative.

So what do you get for your money ?

The stove consists of a steel body which houses a click-in bayonet fitting gas cylinder containing a mix of mostly butane with a small amount of propane as well.  Each Go Systems 220 bayonet gas cartridge contains 220 grammes which is enough fuel for a constant run time of around 1.5 hours – enough for a weekends camping but not much more so ensure that you have a spare cylinder with you.

In use, the stove is simple to light thanks to it’s built-in piezeo-electric ignition system with a powerful flame that’s easy to control from a gentle simmer to a full boil.  The pan supports are serrated for grip and are of a good size.

Like the Campingaz version, this one also comes with a protective carry case but offers a three-year warranty whilst the Campingaz Camp Bistro only offers one year.

In our opinion there’s very little to choose between the two stoves but if you really had to push us, we’d say that despite the extra warranty the Campingaz Camp Bistro is still the better choice.  But if you can’t find one, this is a worthy alternative and offers the advantage of a longer warranty.

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Primus Njord Twin Stove

Primus Njord Twin Stove

Primus Njord Twin Stove

VERDICT: A highly portable twin burner stove that doesn’t need a large gas bottle. Highly recommended

PRO’s: Two powerful burners, big enough for large pots

CON’s: Doesn’t come with gas canisters

OUR RATING ★★★★½ 

Now imagine that you’re a successful manufacturer of gas stoves and you want to make a double burner model.  You could go back to the drawing board and design something from scratch.  Or you could simply devise a way of holding two of your existing burner units side by side . . .

Well that’s what Primus appear to have done with the Primus Njord Twin Stove and a rather good job of it they’ve done.

They’ve devised a large, stable but lightweight frame which sits on top of two foldout legs.  Although these look flimsy they most certainly aren’t – the stove is perfectly capable of taking two 5 litre pots with ease.  And because of it’s length you can get two larger diameter pots on to it at the same: a frying pan and a saucepan for example.

The support incorporates the two burners and their surrounding pot supports/wind shields.  Beneath these go two small gas canisters, one for each burner.  Each burner can be individually controlled by the front mounted controls and they are powerful, very powerful being capable of heating a litre of water in around 3 minutes.

If you’ve been looking for a highly portable dual burner stove but have been put off by the need to lug around a large gas bottle to power it then the Primus Njord Twin Stove is the stove for you.

It can  accept a variety of Primus butane gas cylinders ranging in size from the smallest 100 to the large 500 sizes and because these cylinders are resealable the stove can be easily packed and moved.

In our eyes this makes it one of the best stoves either for family or festival use.  Highly recommended.

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Campingaz Camp Bistro Stove

Campingaz Bistro Camping Cooker

Campingaz Bistro Camping Cooker

VERDICT: The Campingaz Camp Bistro Camping stove is a superb budget stove for the price concious camper suitable for use at a festival or a weekend getaway.

PRO’s: Compact, has own carry case

CON’s: Can be expensive to run, suited only to occasional use

OUR RATING ★★★★☆ 

If you’re working to a real budget you’ll really can’t go wrong with the Campingaz Camp Bistro from Campingaz.  For the price of four disposable BBQ’s you get a sturdy enamelled gas cooker complete with its own sturdy plastic carry case which, unlike some other designs of camping cooker, makes it easy to store when not in use.

These so-called suitcase stoves are becoming extremely popular with many clones on the market.  The Campingaz Camp Bistro falls at the top end in terms of build quality, as you would expect carrying the name Campingaz, with most parts made of metal.

Ease of use is good too with Piezo ignition means there’s no need for matches, a high output (2300 Watts) and a flame adjuster which actually does vary the size of the flame (unlike some of the clone stoves).  Our only criticism of the Campingaz Camp Bistro is that we’d like the flame on the lowest setting to go just that little bit lower.

With such a high output it’s no surprise that it boils a litre of water just over five minutes and will run around an hour and a half on a single butane gas cartidge.

Talking of cartridges the Campingaz Camp Bistro uses Campingaz’s CP250 gas cartridges which simply clip into place.  Other non-branded cartridges will work although don’t be fooled by the lower price of some of these.  They don’t always contain the same amount of gas – for reference, the CP250 contains 250 grammes of Butane.

The stove doesn’t usually come with a gas canister but many merchants offer discounted bundles when bought with the cooker.  Our advice is to take a look at the merchants below and see what offers they may have.

Overall an excellent little stove which is perfect for the occasional camper.

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Campingaz Bleuet 206 Stove

Campingaz Bleuet 206

Campingaz Bleuet 206

VERDICT: Best suited to lightweight camper on a tight budget who can afford anything else

PRO’s: Lightweight, gas canisters available everywhere

CON’s: Surprisingly low power, long boil time

OUR RATING ★★½☆☆ 

The Campingaz Bleuet 206 stove from Campingaz offers no frills camp cooking but then it comes at a no-frills price.  Packing into a box barely larger than a can this tiny stove offers excellent value for money.

If you only camp a couple of times a year this lightweight 260 gramme stove will probably be all you need although you may be frustrated by the relatively low power (1250 Watt) output from the Butane burner demonstrated by the long 7 minutes needed to boil a litre of water. Windy conditions can make this even more of a problem although a basic shield to shelter the stove from strong gusts will help massively.

The inexpensive and widely available Campingaz C206 butane gas cartridge (not supplied) clips into the base of the unit and includes enough gas for a weeks use cooking two meals a day plus miscellaneous cups of tea.  It’s worth noting that should you not be able to find a C206 cartridge then the Go Systems 190 Pierceable gas cartridge will also fit.

Although it’s tall and slim the stove proved to be stable in use helped by the four stainless steel pan supports.

Best  suited to the lightweight camper on an extremely tight budget this is an excellent little stove but if your budget can stretch further there are more powerful  camping cookers.

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Go Systems Sirocco Stove

Go System Sirocco Stove

Go System Sirocco Stove

VERDICT: No-nonsense basic low-profile remote-style stove that puts many of its’ more expensive competitors to shame

PRO’s: Piezo-electric lighter built in, powerfoil, short boil time

CON’s: Stable but extra large pans can tip it over

OUR RATING ★★★★½ 

The Sirocco Stove from Go Systems is a traditional low-profile stove with a remote reservoir.  The Butane Go Systems Powersource 125 gas cartridge connects to the burner via a substantial looking steel hose and screw-on regulator.  Like many other Go Systems stoves this will accept the larger Go Systems Butane/Propane gas canister such as the mid-sized Go Systems Powersource 220 gas cartridge and the larger Go Systems Powersource 445 gas cartridge

Wide feet help to make this a stable stove although large pots with fixed handles will need to be balanced carefully to ensure that they don’t tip over due to the weight of the handle.  Both the feet and the serrated pan supports fold to save space.

Unlike some of it’s competitors there’s no need to carry a lighter or matches with this stove because it has a built-in piezo ignition system which worked flawlessly during testing.  Pressing the ignition button also starts the flow of gas so lighting it is a one handed job.

This is a powerful stove, boiling a litre of water in just under four minutes.

This is a no-nonsense basic low-profile remote-style stove that puts many of its’ more expensive competitors to shame.  However, if your budget can stretch another ten pounds or so and you are considering perhaps winter camping at some point then we’d recommend taking a look at the Primus Express Spider Remote Stove which has will operate at much lower temperatures.  The design is very similar with the exception of a pre-heater coil which allows it to run when it’s too cold for the gas in the canister to vapourise.

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Rutland Outdoor Not in stock earlier today N/A Check Now
SimplyHike Not in stock earlier today N/A Check Now
Snow and Rock Not in stock earlier today N/A Check Now
Tooled Up Not in stock earlier today N/A Check Now