If you are looking for a portable, basic cooker for your camping trips that is also affordable, take a look at the following review for the Campingaz Camp Bistro 2 stove.

We have tried and tested this cooker on numerous camping trips and will cover everything you need to know to help you make an informed purchase decision.

Our Rating: 

Pros
  • Budget-friendly
  • Convenient travel case
  • Self-igniting (no need for matches)
  • Heats food quickly
  • Simple set-up
  • Sturdy build
Cons
  • Only one burner
  • Small gas canisters run out quickly
  • Larger than other single burners
  • Need to be in a sheltered area
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Key Features

There are many important factors people look for in a stove depending on their style of camping. This particular stove is suited for recreational campers as opposed to backpackers and has excellent features that are ideal for campers travelling to their site by vehicle.

Let’s focus on these features in more detail:

Set-Up

We had no issues setting up the Campingaz Camp Bistro 2 stove and had it ready to go in less than a minute. With no electricity required, you simply open the hatch, insert the gas canister and the set-up is complete.

There is no need to worry about the canister inserting correctly; the stove is fitted with a safety locking system which can be found on the front of the stove next to the dial, clicking the canister into place.

This safety feature was a great advantage for us. With such a hassle-free start, this stove makes cooking outdoors quick, easy and feasible.

Ignition

Another benefit of the Camp Bistro 2 is the automatic ignition which eliminates the need for matches or a lighter to ignite the flame.

All it takes is a turn of the dial to ignite and the flame can then be increased or decreased depending on your needs.

The strongest flame at 2,200W (approx. 7500 BTU) heats food/water quickly, with a boil time of around 5 minutes 25 seconds.

Stability

When placed on flat ground, we found the stove to be strong and sturdy. Due to its rectangular size (length – 14, width – 12.3, height – 4.7 inches), the stove does not wobble or show any signs of unsteadiness, even when a pan is placed on top.

There is a support around the gas ring which is raised with grooves to provide extra stability, particularly if using a larger sized pan (maximum pan size 10 inches).

We regularly used a large pan to cook with and had no problems at all with stability.

Gas Cartridges


The Campingaz CP250 Gas Cartridges are sold separately and are available to purchase here.  Containing 220g of Isobutane, we noted that one canister will last for approximately 1 hour 30 minutes.

The CP250 cartridges produce a strong flame and we found that this heats food in a timely manner, cooking the food evenly in the pan. The canisters have a self-sealing valve which means we were able to remove them from the stove and store away when not in use. For best results, we recommend using outdoors in sheltered areas, as the wind can affect overall cooking time.

Versatility of Cooking

You can cook virtually anything on this burner in the same way you can on any stove (though it is probably best to avoid meals that require slow-cooking unless you are happy to pack extra canisters). Apart from that, the recipes are endless when it comes to using this stove – we successfully cooked pasta, rice, stir-fry, chilli, curry, soup, noodles plus more.

For meals that use pasta or rice for example, we suggest cooking that first and putting to one side, then re-adding to the pan with your other ingredients at the end to warm it back through.

It’s as simple as that!

Transport

The Camp Bistro 2 is packaged in a convenient, plastic travel case. The hard outer case provides a safe place for the stove to be stored when not in use.

The stove weighs 3.15lbs which we found easy to transport to and from the campsite.

Price

This stove is low-priced compared to many other outdoor camping stoves and is available to purchase through Amazon. Though the gas canisters are purchased separately, these are also low cost.

The price of the stove makes it ideal for recreational or small family campers who do not require more than one gas burner and can easily transport the stove from vehicle to campsite.

 

A Few Downsides

Like most products, the Campingaz Camp Bistro 2 does have a few negative points to take into consideration before purchasing. As mentioned, the gas cartridges are sold separately and are an additional weight to carry and store at camp.

They also run out fairly quickly which may be an issue if you are on a longer trip or cooking for a large number of people.

If you are happy to pack additional canisters and space is not an issue, this shouldn’t be a problem.

Another issue is there is only one burner which can be frustrating if you want to cook two things simultaneously. This stove is also larger than other single hobs, so you may decide to purchase a smaller, lightweight burner if weight is an issue.

The use of the stove can also be weather-dependent; as there is no screen to protect it from the wind, we found that the stove tends to provide the best results when used in sheltered areas.

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How Does it Compare to Other Stoves?

Bottle Top Propane Stove by Coleman

This stove by Coleman is a single burner like the Camp Bistro 2, however, it is much lighter in weight and more compact. It is, therefore, a good choice for backpackers who have weight and space limits.

This stove features PerfectFlow technology which means it functions well in most conditions (including wind, extreme weather and high altitude).

The overall cost is more expensive than the Camp Bistro 2 however it appears to be aimed more at backpackers or all-weather campers compared to car/family campers.

Classic Trail Stove by Primus

This stove is a lightweight single burner that is marked at a similar price to the Camp Bistro 2. It is an affordable option aimed at campers who don’t want the extra weight to carry.

It is similar to the Camp Bistro 2 in that it has a large burner, which spreads heat around the full base of the pan.

Though the gas lasts for a similar amount of time as the Camp Bistro 2 canisters, the fuel efficiency isn’t great, working best with larger pans to prevent heat loss.

The weight aims it more at hikers and backpackers looking for an inexpensive stove.

 

Everest Camping Stove by Camp Chef

Unlike the Camp Bistro 2, this stove has an extra burner and heat shields to protect the burners from elements such as wind. It is quite a lot heavier than the Camp Bistro 2 at 12lbs and is therefore not the most portable on the market.

It is a powerful stove though, with high pressure burners that give out 20,000 BTU’s each.

If you think you need the extra burner and power for your camping trip, this is a great choice.

However, it is on the higher end of the price scale compared to the Camp Bistro so may not be the best for those on a budget.

Tahoe Stove by Camp Chef

Now this is a stove for serious car campers cooking for a large group. Boasting three powerful burners (30,000 BTUs each) and a freestanding frame, this propane stove can accommodate all your cooking needs.

The biggest downside is the combined weight of the frame and propane tank which can be a pain to carry to the campsite.

It is also a higher priced option too.

But if you are a keen cook and have a large group of campers, it’s definitely worth considering.

Conclusion

Though marketed at the lower end of the price scale, this stove should not be underestimated. It is a reliable stove that heats food quickly and can be used time and time again.

The gas cartridges have plenty of power and lasted us for 5-6 days when cooking every evening and occasional mornings.

The set-up is simple, the base is sturdy, and it is easy to clean.

Though the stove is very minimalistic, it has everything you need for simple, straightforward cooking.

Hayley is from the UK and has a passion for the outdoors, taking regular hiking trips with her Australian fiancé. When she is not hiking, she is working as a freelance writer in Berlin or travelling Europe in Neil, her campervan.