Hot tenting is a really awesome and efficient way to stay warm in a tent, especially while camping in temperatures that require more than just regular cold weather gear. A down sleeping bag can only get you so far, so sometimes it’s worth bringing in reinforcements. A wood stove can be a great addition to your winter camping setup, and can make your outdoor adventure much more enjoyable.
A tent stove is a small, portable unit that burns wood to produce heat. They can be made of a variety of different metals, each of which has their own pros and cons. While some are lightweight and could be used for backpacking, others are heavier and better for setups that don’t require much walking. They radiate heat quickly and efficiently, and essentially have a never-ending (and natural) fuel supply that you can collect yourself. While it can take some time to become a pro, tent stoves are overall easy to use and can be safer than other methods of heating a tent.
Whether you’re backpacking, camping, glamping, or just hanging out in a tent, we’ve selected a range of tent stoves that will work well in different situations. They vary greatly in price, weight, and materials, so you can discover all the best tent stoves on the market and which one is best for you.
6 Best Tent Stoves
These are our picks for the best tent stove of 2023:
- Winnerwell Nomad – Editor’s Choice & Most Affordable
- Pomoly T1 Perspective – Best Titanium Tent Stove
- Camp Chef Alpine – Best Permanent Tent Stove
- Pomoly T1 Mini – Best Miniature Tent Stove
- Fire Hiking Titanium Wood Stove – Best Ultralight Tent Stove
- Pomoly T-Brick Atlay – Coolest Design
Winnerwell Nomad – Editor’s Choice & Most Affordable
Winnerwell is one of the best names when it comes to the best tent stoves and they are true professionals on the subject. This Winnerwell Nomad (in size medium) made our top pick for best tent stove because it perfectly balances high quality construction with functionality. It’s also compatible will some really cool add-ons that we will cover. When you see the Nomad in person, you can tell the the quality of the weld is superb and the attention to detail really stands out.
This medium sized Nomad portable wood stove is one of their best-sellers, and we love how it’s light enough to be mobile but heavy duty enough to be built to last a lifetime. It’s built with precision-made 304 Stainless steel, which is a high quality steel that will not rust or corrode. This is a huge advantage in the harsh outdoor environments that it’s intended to withstand. Also, because it’s able to withstand higher temperatures, the body of the tent stove can be made of a lighter material, which then cuts down on weight.
Winnerwell also makes a couple cool tent stove accessories for use with this model, namely their water heater and pipe oven. The water heater is a 3-liter tank that’s built specifically for Winnerwell’s medium size tent stoves, which makes it compatible with this Nomad. It’s built out of the same metal as the stove itself, and is great for boiling water or melting snow/ice. Just use the integrated spigot to fill your cup, pan, or wash basin.
The compatible pipe oven is a super cool accessory that has a 6×6″ baking chamber with two shelves. While the baking chamber is fully sealed, it connects as an extra piece of the 2.5″ chimney pipe. The smoke bypasses the oven to travel up the chimney, but the heat warms the oven to allow for cooking anything from biscuits and potatoes to cookies and brownies. It has an integrated thermometer to monitor temperature and a glass viewing window so you can monitor your baking foods.
Back to the wood stove, which is a rectangular fire box that has a 4 leg design. The legs fold up flat and nest into each other, all the flue sections fit into the box, and the shelves fold upward to double as a carry handle. This camping stove is easily portable, and is built to fit into small spaces like a hot tent, tiny home, or RV. It’s one of the most highly rated tent stoves for hot tenting on Amazon, and it would be a great addition to your winter camping gear.
- Material: 304 Stainless Steel
- Weight: 20 lbs. total
- Cubic Inches: 800
- Flue Pipe: 2.5 inches
- Unit Dimensions: 15 x 20 x 90 inches (90″ is total height of stove plus chimney)
- Packed Dimensions: 15 x 8 x 8 inches
- Highlight: This stove perfectly balances weight with durability and functionality
Pomoly T1 Perspective – Best Titanium Stove
Pomoly is easily one of the top manufacturers of wood burning tent stoves and they make some of the best ones available on the market. Their T1 series is very popular for hot tenting, so this T1 Perspective would be a great addition to your camping gear. It’s a traditional rectangle shape but it’s called the Perspective because it has a fire-proof glass panel on one side. This allows you to see the fire better, but it also spreads heat more than a titanium panel, so anything on that side of the tent stove will be warmer.
The titanium on this wood stove is 1mm thick, which is thicker than the more common 0.6mm titanium used on other wood burning stoves. One of the best features of the T1 series is that they fold down into a very small unit by taking off the top, collapsing the side and back walls, then putting the top back on. Collapse the legs as well, and the stove pipe rolls up to be less than 10 inches tall.
Pomoly has put their tent wood stoves to the test, and they continually add more features to improve the design. Now the T1 has a thickened titanium plate and additional welded titanium bars at the bottom and top of the tent stove for extra stability.
It’s worth noting that several users report that the titanium stove pipe is quite difficult to roll the first couple of times, which makes setting up a little longer. Because the titanium has a thermal memory, it gets easier each time to set it on subsequent camping trips. Also the titanium is thinner, which makes it lighter and more portable. This thinner material can result in some warping or deformation, but this shouldn’t affect the functionality of the wood stove.
- Material: 1mm thick titanium
- Weight: 8.6 lbs. (9.2 lbs. total)
- Firebox Volume: 15L
- Unit Dimensions: 14.96 x 8.66 x 11.6 inches
- Flue Pipe Diameter: 2.4 inches
- Flue Pipe Height: 9.84 ft.
- Packed Dimensions: 14.9 x 8.7 x 3.5 inches
Camp Chef Alpine – Best Permanent Stove
Camp Chef was started back in 1990 and is based on the idea that there had to be a better way to cook outdoors. Since then, they’ve been building and testing a wide variety of outdoor cooking gear that ranges from simple wood burning stoves to pizza ovens and flattop griddles. Having a wood stove was a more recent addition to their products that doesn’t date back quite as far, but we’re glad they’ve added it to their collection.
It’s called the Alpine Heavy Duty Cylinder Stove, and it’s made of alloy steel. We can really appreciate the thickness and quality of the materials used, and they really add to the warmth of the stove. With the thicker steel, it will hold heat longer and better, which will radiant the warmth more effectively, even after the last log burns through.
The legs are removable and adjustable, so you can store them away and change the length for uneven ground. There’s an included fire grate in the bottom to keep the base from overheating, and there’s a wire spark arrestor on the flue pipe. This stove also has an included wide form shelf for drying and cooking.
A cool add on for this stove is the compatible hot water tank from Camp Chef. It’s made of 20 gage stainless steel and has a capacity of 3 gallons. Attach it to your stove and use the spigot to dispense hot water on demand.
Because of this heavy duty composition and thicker materials, the stove is the heaviest on our list by a longshot, coming in at 74 pounds. That’s why we’ve selected it for the best permanent wood stove, as that weight makes it hard to transport. It’s great for setups that don’t change much, like tiny homes, permanent or semi-permanent camps, glamping setups, and more.
- Material: Alloy Steel
- Weight: 74 lbs.
- Flue Pipe Measurements: 5″ x 10 ft.
- Unit Dimensions: 24 x 20 x 22.5 inches
- Total Height with Flue Pipe: over 10ft.
Pomoly T1 Mini 3 – Best Miniature Stove
If you frequently camp in smaller tents, such as 1 person tents or 1-2 person teepees, you’ll need to look at purchasing a smaller wood burning tent stove like this T-Brick Mini. It’s built for smaller spaces, and the three glass panels let it radiate heat more than titanium panels would. The glass also lets you watch the fire and monitor it since you will need to load wood more often in such a small firebox.
It’s made of 1mm titanium, which is slightly thicker than several different brands who also make titanium camping stoves. The thicker metal also reduces deformation after high-temperature burning and is an overall stronger build. At only 7 pounds, it’s a great option for backpacking as well. It packs down into a compact unit that can be packed and carried easily.
The name comes from the build: T stands for titanium and the number one refers to the thickness of the titanium, which is 1mm thick. ‘Mini’ refers to the size of the unit, since there is a regular sized option (one of the larger options is the T1 Perspective above^). And the three refers to the three side glass panels, as there is a version that is solid titanium instead of glass.
This is another great build from Pomoly, which is a super well-known brand when it comes to the best tent stoves. The T1 Mini is perfect for small tents built for only 1-2 people.
- Material: 1mm Titanium
- Weight: 7 lbs.
- Flue Pipe Measurements: 9.5 inches rolled, 6.56 ft. tall, 2.36 inches diameter
- Firebox Dimensions: 12 x 7.7 x 6.3 inches
- Folded Size: 12 x 7.7 x 2 inches
Fire Hiking Titanium – Best Lightweight Tent Stove
Fire Hiking has a neat hot tent that made our list for best tent with stove jack (link in introduction above), but they also have a ultralight camping stove that is the best backpacking tent stove this list. Coming in at only 4 pounds (or 6.26 pounds with everything else included), it’s the lightest and most packable stove on our list. It packs down quite small and flat, as seen in the product image to the right.
Even though it packs down so small, it has everything you could need in a wood burning tent stove, including a spark arrestor, tall flue pipe, and a glass window on one side so you can observe the fire and it will radiate even more warmth.
Just like the Pomoly wood stove above, this one cuts weight and size by using a rollable flue pipe. While this can take a couple tries to master, it does get easier with time because of the thermal memory properties of titanium. This camping stove is great for someone looking for a product they can easily carry backpacking or for long distances. If you aren’t going to backpack, or would consider a tad more weight, the Pomoly T1 Perspective may be a better option for you.
- Material: Titanium
- Weight: 4 lbs. (6.26 lbs. total)
- Unit Dimensions: 7.16 x 11.5 x 17.5 inches
- Flue Pipe Dimensions: 8.5 ft. tall
- Packed Dimensions:
Pomoly T-Brick Atlay – Coolest Design
This additional Pomoly wood stove has made our list simply because of the super awesome woodland design laser cut from titanium. It’s located on both sides of the stove, in front of a unique octagonal glass side panel. Not only does this let you observe the fire from three sides of the stove, but the flames illuminate the design, giving it a really cool effect.
This tent stove is part of the T-Brick series from Pomoly, which is a different line of products from the T1 stove from above. It’s new for 2022 and is a limited edition design that’s worth the added cost.
For the tent stove itself, it’s made of the same great quality we expect from all Pomoly brand camping stoves. It’s a lightweight design that weighs only 9 pounds but it’s still built to last with it’s reinforced top cover, 1mm thickness pure titanium, three-dimensional strengthening, and the included titanium spark arrestor.
The quality of a Pomoly stove with the cool design makes this stove a great addition to almost anyone’s hot tenting gear.
- Material: 0.6-1mm Titanium
- Weight: 9 lbs.
- Firebox Volume: 14L
- Unit Dimensions: 15.4 x 7.9 x 7.1 inches
- Flue Pipe Dimensions: 9.84 ft. tall, 2.36 inches diameter
- Packed Dimensions: 15.4 x 7.9 x 3.2 inches
Thing to Consider When Choosing a Wood Stove for a Tent
The main factors to take into consideration when shopping for a wood stove are the materials (including glass and metal differences), the size of the fire box, the size of your tent, weight, and the dynamics of how a stove heats a tent most effectively.
One of the biggest specifications to look at with wood stoves is the material, or the metal that it’s made of. The main ones are going to be stainless steel and titanium. Although there is an alloy steel stove on the list above, we are mainly going to focus on the differences between stainless steel and titanium.
The biggest difference that you’ll notice the most is the weight. Stainless steel is heavier than titanium, making it less portable. That’s why any lightweight or ultralight stove on our list above is going to be made from titanium. The second biggest difference is price, as titanium is a more expensive metal.
Stainless steel doesn’t rust or erode, and gets a great patina color after the first burn. It can functionally withstand higher temperatures than mild steel, which is why you’ll see it more often. One of the best pros about this material is that it’s a better cooking surface. It holds heat better and more evenly, meaning the cook top will be easier to use.
While you can still cook on titanium, it is more likely have hot/cold spots. This is especially seen directly in front of the chimney pipe, which will be significantly hotter than the rest of the stove top. Other than that, titanium is also a great material for tent stoves because of its higher melting point. It also does not rust or erode, and cools down rather quickly, especially in comparison to stainless steel.
While stainless steel is overall a cheaper material, it’s worth noting that because it weighs more, it may require more expensive shipping costs.
While all stoves should have a front glass panel, some of the stoves on our list have glass side panels as well, but some don’t. The front glass is intended for monitoring the fire, so you know how strong it’s burning and if you need more wood or not. While the side panels can still function in a similar way, they also have a different application.
Glass transfers heat through its surface much better than metal, meaning a glass panel (instead of a metal one) will be more effective at throwing heat in that direction. It’s basically a window of heat coming out at you. If you have a small tent, you may not need the glass panel, but larger tents may benefit from having one or two.
Fire Box Dimensions / Size
While the best tent stoves are generally small, there are different pros and cons to have a larger vs. smaller unit. This variable can be largely based on tent size, but not necessarily. A large stove can be beneficial in a small tent and vice versa.
Small stoves mean you’ll be cutting more wood because the size of a traditional split won’t fit in the firebox. The pieces will need to be shorter and thinner, especially if the small stove has a small opening in the front that won’t allow thick pieces through. In contrast, a larger camping stove will accept thicker and longer pieces of wood, which will ultimately run longer. You’ll find that you will need to add wood more often to a smaller stove. This may not be an inconvenience during the day, but it definitely could be at night when your tent gets cold and you’re constantly adding more wood.
A large stove will have a larger cooking surface on the top surface, but it also takes up more space inside your tent. If you use a small tent, then you will have to look at the dimensions in comparison to the length of the camping stove. Since you want at least 1-1.5 feet of distance between the stove and anything else, your tent will need to have the space to accommodate this gap.
Essentially, we recommend getting the largest size your tent can handle. We prefer adding wood less often and spending less time preparing wood, while also having a larger cook space. You could always run a smaller fire in the stove if you found your smaller space getting too hot.
Depending on your intended use, the weight of your stove could be make-it or break-it. For most hot tenting setups, the specific weight doesn’t matter as much, and as long as you can carry it to and from your vehicle, then you’re golden. The heaviest portable unit on this list is only 20 pounds for all the pieces, so that will be easy enough to carry if you’re parked nearby.
If you’re looking to backpack with your stove, then weight becomes one of the biggest priorities. Even the most lightweight stove on this list weighs a tad over 6 pounds, which is quite heavy for a piece of gear in backpacking terms. You’ll need to be prepared to carry more weight than you would on summer backpacking trips, but you can still keep the weight down by making sure the stove you pick is one of the lightest ones available.
If you’re purchasing a tent stove for a more permanent camping or glamping setup, then weight doesn’t matter at all. In fact, a heavier stove (like the Camp Chef above) might even be a more ideal option because the heavy duty materials will last longer and will hold on to heat more effectively than the smaller options. Even after the fire goes out, it will stay warm for longer.
It’s simple science that heat rises, so you’ll find that the heat from your stove moves upward, therefore heating the upper parts of your tent more than the lower parts. Only so much heat can rise until the heat will start to fill up the space, slowly moving downwards.
Looking at a wood stove, the heat mostly comes off the top, unless there’s side glass panels that shoot some heat sideways. The means that the heated area really begins near the top surface of the stove, and rises from there.
A shorter stove (like the T1 Mini 3 above) is lower to the ground, so the heat will begin rising at a lower height. This means that the lower parts of your tent will actually have more warmth, because there’s less space below the stove for the heat to rise up past.
A taller wood stove starts the heat rising at a higher level, leaving more space between the surface of the stove and the ground for the cold to settle into. This is why you’ll be warmer sleeping on a cot versus on the ground.
A factor that will change this even more is the diameter of your tent. The larger the diameter, the harder it will be for the stove to heat the farther portions of your tent. Glass panels can help throw heat sideways, but ultimately it will always be easier to heat a smaller tent than a larger one.
That being said, if you are using a wood stove and burning it hot, a smaller tent will be excessively warm, to the point where you might have to strip down to shorts and t-shirt. A slightly larger tent will be cooler, but will ultimately still be hot enough to keep you comfortable. It’s the really large tents that you would need a significantly larger stove or even multiple stoves in some situations.
What is the best tent stove?
The Winnerwell Nomad is the best tent stove because it perfectly balances weight, quality, and affordability. It’s made of high quality stainless steel, weighs about 20 lbs., and is one of the best priced stoves on our list.
How well do tent stoves work?
Tent stoves work extremely well at heating a tent, especially a smaller tent. You’ll find that even on a cold winter day, the inside of your tent will be warm and toasty with a wood stove inside.
What is the best portable small wood burning stove?
Most wood stoves for camping will be light enough that the average person could carry them a short distance, with the max weight being around 30 lbs. If you’re looking for a backpacking stove, the lightest one is the Fire Hiking stove and it is only 6.26 lbs. total.
Can you put a wood burning stove in a tent?
Wood stoves can be put into a tent if you have the proper gear to make it safe. Your tent will need to have a stove jack, which is the heat-resistant hole in the top of the tent where the chimney goes out. Your stove will need to be small enough to fit inside your tent safely while maintaining a distance of at least 1 foot from everything inside.
All these tent stoves are great options for your winter camping setup, and each have their own pros and cons of each style. They vary in weight, price, and material, but ultimately they still have the same functionality and design. Look at the dimensions of your tent, and then from there pick the stove that will best fit your situation.
Our favorite is the Winnerwell Nomad because of its quality and accessories, and it’s also the most affordable option on this list. It’s truly the best of the best if you’re not concerned about weight. If it’s not the right fit for you, then any of the other options on this list would be perfect. From a titanium stove or a heavy duty permanent one to an ultralight backpacking option or one with a really cool design, the list above has options that will fit everything you need in a stove.
About the Author
Ashley is an adventurous soul who loves all things nature, especially warm sunshine, hiking, wildflowers, and mushrooms. If she isn’t writing content for Know Nothing Nomads, she’s probably in a forest looking at big mountain views and tiny pieces of moss on the side of the trail.