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Every camper needs to eat while they are on a camping trip. Unless you plan to camp within walking distance of a McDonald's or KFC, you’ll need to take a camping stove with you.
There is certainly plenty to choose from, and the one you select should be the camping stove that meets all your needs in terms of heat output, cooking capacity, size, and weight, to name but four.
If you are struggling to choose, let us try and help, especially if you have decided that you want a propane camping stove. Two models warrant your attention: the Camp Chef Everest Propane Camping Stove and the Coleman Classic Propane Camping Stove.
These camping stoves not only are two of the bestselling stoves on the market, but they also receive high review ratings from customers.
Rather than us saying pick one or the other, we will take you through a detailed review and comparison of the Camp Chef Everest and the Coleman Classic. Hopefully, when we have covered everything, you will know exactly which propane camping stove you want to buy.
In this post, we’re going to discuss the following:
- Comparing Camp Chef and Coleman Brands
- Camp Chef Everest Propane Camping Oven Review
- Coleman Classic Propane Camping Oven Review
- Final Thoughts
Comparing the Brands
First, we thought we'd look at each of the brands that manufacture the two camping stoves in question, namely Camp Chef and Coleman.
Camp Chef is a company that was formed in the 1990s by Ty Measom. He grew frustrated at not finding suitable outdoor cooking equipment, so he decided to start making his own.
Today, Camp Chef manufactures a vast range of outdoor grills, barbecues, smokers, camp stoves, and the accessories to go with them.
Coleman has been around a lot longer; their history goes back to 1900 W.C. Coleman designed a gas-powered lantern. Whereas Camp Chef's focus is on outdoor cooking equipment, Coleman produces a broader range of products such as tents, canopies, lanterns, camp furniture, sleeping bags, coolers, camping cookware, and camping stoves.
Whether a brand is something that influences your decision, we do not know. While Coleman does not specialize specifically in camping stoves, it does have a long and illustrious history of producing high-quality camping equipment.
On the other hand, Camp Chef is a company with less history than Coleman, whose specialty is manufacturing top quality outdoor cooking equipment.
These are both fine brands, so perhaps the choice might be made easier if we call it a draw, and instead look at the camping stoves in more detail, starting with the Camp Chef Everest.
The Camp Chef Everest is a propane camping stove that genuinely lives up to its branding. This stove is very easy to use. After opening the lid, if you want to use the two side flaps, attach them to the lid to create a windshield. If the flaps are not used, the top cover will lay flat.
Next, ensure that all settings are in the OFF position. Then attach the regulator (included with the stove) to the stove and then screw the canister into the adapter. It’s a good idea to check for leaks before lighting the stove.
If there are no leaks, open the gas valve and press the ignition button and adjust the gas valve to your desired flame setting.
The amount of cooking capacity you have is closer to a BBQ grill that you might use at home, rather than a camping stove. Its dimensions are 13.5 inches x 23.5 inches x 4 inches (LWH). There is a large enough cooking area in which to work when you are preparing meals for camp. The steel cooking grate is nickel coated and strong.
A 10” skillet and a 10” pot can be used side by side on this grill. Pots and pans of this size expand the number of meal types and dishes you can cook, allowing you and your campmates to have a wide variety of food each mealtime.
With two independent burners, you can have two individual dishes cooking, and even if one needs high heat, and the other is merely being warmed up, you can accommodate both. Each burner has a controller, so they can be set at whichever heat level you need and adjusted up or down as necessary. One useful design feature is the ring around each burner that directs the heat upward. This design should make the food cook quicker.
Sticking with the cooking aspect of this stove, we need to consider the heat output, as this impacts the length of time it takes to cook food and boil water, for example.
With the Camp Chef Everest, you have 20,000 BTUs on each burner, which is very high for a camp stove, especially when you compare 40,000 total BTUs versus less than 8,000 BTUs that you get on some single burner camping stoves. The adjustability of the flame ranges from medium-low (not a low simmer) to very high.
We've mentioned the burner control dials that make controlling the heat easy. Another feature that makes this stove easy to use is the automatic ignition, especially when windy.
The burner flames are protected from the wind by the two-side panels and the cover hinged to the back of the stove. This will help stop the burners' flames being blown out when the wind is strong.
Finally, since it weighs around 12 pounds, it is too heavy for a backpack but not so if you are car camping. However, the handle is poorly designed in that you can’t fit your hand under it, so you can’t get a good grip.
The automatic ignition, flame adjustability, and a ring around the burner are its most significant attributes along with it being easy to set up and use. Camp Everest provides a one-year warranty.
Coleman Classic Propane Camping Stove
While Coleman may not specialize only on camp cooking equipment, they still produce a broad and impressive range of camping stoves. Their Classic is undoubtedly that in terms of its popularity.
A regulator that screws into the small propane canisters is included. If you want to hook the stove to a large external propane tank, you will need to buy a hose and adapter as these are not included.
One reason campers love the Coleman Classic Propane Stove, 2 Burner is its ease of use. First, open the lid and attach the wind flaps if you want a windscreen. Otherwise, the cover and flaps can lay flat.
Next, screw the regulator to the stove and the propane canister into the adapter’s other end. A 5-foot hose with an adapter can be connected to a large propane tank.
As with the Camp Chef Everest stove, you’ll want to check for gas leaks before lighting the burner. Last, turn the propane knobs on and use a lighter or match to self-ignite each burner. A long-handled clicker type lighter is helpful to light the stove safely. It is not necessary to use the Coleman brand of propane.
The dimensions of the stove when closed are 21. x 12 x 3.5 inches. Coleman claims a 12” skillet and 12” pot can be used side by side. However, we think it is more realistic for the maximum size of the pots or pans to be 10” each when used simultaneously. If you leave the flaps flat, this gives a little bit more cooking area. Either way, a large selection of dishes can be prepared.
The cooking grate is chrome-plated. It would be better if the bars were closer together as it is a bit difficult to balance a small pot on the grate. Since the burner and grate are close together, your food will heat quicker as there will be more heat under cookware.
Sticking with the cooking aspect, the burners each provide 10,000 BTUs for a total of 20,000 overall — maybe not as much as the Everest, but still more than enough to cook just about anything you desire. The heat output from each of its two burners can be adjusted independently using the front’s large control dials.
For more consistent performance and to keep the heat levels as steady as possible, Coleman utilizes their 'PerfectFlow' system. This technology ensures fuel flow is efficient, and works well, regardless of outside weather or temperature levels.
When mealtimes are over, and you want to store the stove after it has been cleaned, close the lid, and the clasp will keep it closed. This not only protects the stove, but you can now use the handle to carry it to wherever it is going to be stored until next usage.
Note the Coleman Classic’s weight is around 10 pounds, which is significantly lower than many other propane camping stoves of a similar size and specification.
The Coleman Classic Propane Stove, 2 Burner is a no-frill, reasonably priced, and easily carried and stored two-burner unit. Coleman provides a three-year limited warranty.
However, this stove does not have an automatic ignition like the Camp Chef Everest. Also, it is limited on heat control – off, hot, or very hot.
The Final Reckoning
Ok, it is match-up time where we see which stove has the upper hand based on some of the essential features that campers will be most keen to compare.
Cooking Area: There is very little difference between the two.
Heat Output: The Everest has double the heat output of the Classic (40,000 vs. 20,000 BTUs).
Ignition: Everest, since it has electronic ignition, and the Classic does not.
Wind Shielding: The Classic's larger side panels make its wind shielding the better of the two.
Heat Control: The flame control is better on the Camp Chef Everest.
Cook Grate: The Everest cooking grate is slightly raised and designed better for holding pots steady.
Ease of Cleaning: The drip tray in the Everest seems easier to keep clean.
Weight: The Classic is lighter, so it wins on this one.
Price: The Classic is less expensive than the Everest.