If you’re in a rush and want to find out what the best camping kettle is, we recommend the Fire-Maple Antarcti kettle.
On the trail or at the local campground, few things are as important as food and drink. But without the convenience of modern amenities, cooking in the wild can become quite the challenge if you aren’t prepared with the proper toolkit.
Equipping yourself with the best camping kettle is one way to make sure you’re ready for mealtime. With it, you can boil water for freeze-dried food, or you can make a cup of coffee or tea to start the day off right. Whatever your preference, here are some of our favorite camping kettles on the market.
In this article, we’ll be reviewing the following best camping kettles:
- GSI Outdoors Halulite 1.8 Qt. Tea Kettle – 1.8 Liter – Editor’s Choice
- MSR Pika Teapot – 1 Liter – Best Bang for Your Buck
- Sea to Summit X-Pot Kettle – 1.3 Liters – Best Collapsible Kettle
- MSR Titan Kettle – Most Lightweight Kettle
- Fire-Maple Antarcti Camping Kettle – Best Overall
- Uberleben Kessel Pot – Best for Backpackers
- Bulin Camping Kettle – Best Budget Friendly Kettle
- Kelly Kettle Rocket Stove – Best All-in-One Kettle
Best Camping Kettles – Reviewed
The GSI Outdoors Halulite is my top choice for campers looking for a kettle that’s lightweight, has a large capacity, and brings water to a boil quickly.
One of the best aluminum camping kettles, the GSI Outdoors Halulite can hold a surprisingly large amount of water. It’s a little hard to tell, but the 1.8 liter capacity equates to about half a gallon (for those of us who live in the United States), which is fairly large for a kettle.
When it comes to the actual construction of the kettle, you can tell that a lot of thought was put into the design. The spout is perfectly positioned, allowing you to pour water into pretty much anything without spilling. I also like how the handle locks into place, which makes it really easy to store at home or in your pack when you’re not using it. The handle is also covered in plastic, which doesn’t melt or deform when hung over a fire, and it remains comfortable to touch when you’re ready to pick it up.
At half a pound, it’s fairly lightweight, and it’s something that many backpackers wouldn’t mind shoving in their packs. I’d say it’s about the perfect size to serve 2-3 people, whether you’re trying to make coffee or prepare a small meal. The lid doesn’t sit tightly on top of the kettle, so you’ll have to hold onto it, but there isn’t too much to complain about aside from that.
– Good size
– Amazing spout
– Lockable handle
– Comfortable to hold, even after it’s been over a fire
– Lid doesn’t sit tightly on the kettle
Best Bang for Your Buck
Small and effective, the MSR Pika is desirable for more than just its tiny stature. With a lid that actually stays on while pouring, campers and backpackers will feel their blood pressure lower the next time they need to make coffee.
A smaller kettle than the Halulite mentioned above, the MSR Pika is more ideal for solo campers. With a one liter capacity, you could make food or coffee for two, but I believe this size is better suited for a single camper. I especially recommend it for people who own (or plan to own) other MSR gear, since the Pika is compatible with the MSR Pocket Rocket stoves. The nesting ability makes it easier to transport your entire kitchen setup, which is always a bonus for backpackers and car campers alike.
The spout is great for pouring, and it doesn’t drip when you’re done tilting it. Considering how short it is, though, it’s worth mentioning that you shouldn’t fill the kettle too full, otherwise water will come out of the spout as it comes to a boil. That being the case, you could probably put enough water inside for 4-5 cups of coffee, depending on the size of your mug.
But let’s be honest… The real reason why I like the Pika so much isn’t because of how lightweight and durable it is. Those things are great, but where this kettle really shines is in the lid. It’s one of the few products that I’ve seen where the lid stays on tightly, allowing you to pour without worrying about the lid falling off in the process. It’s the little things that count, and this is definitely one of those places where I believe the Pika shines more than its competitors.
– Great spout
– Lid stays on tightly
– Can nest with other MSR gear
– Fairly durable
– A bit small, but doable for solo campers
Best Collapsible Kettle
One of the only kettles out there that makes use of an accordion design, the Sea to Summit X-Pot folds down into a tiny package that can slide into the tightest crevices of your pack.
You’ll probably never see another kettle like the Sea to Summit X-Pot. Typically, you’ll hear me say that camping kettles are only made out of stainless steel, aluminum, or titanium, and that’s going to be true 99% of the time. However, Sea to Summit likes to be innovative, which is why the X-Pot is constructed out of silicone and a little bit of aluminum on the base.
You can probably see it in the photo, but the X-Pot has an accordion shape that helps it compress to a really small size. In fact, it collapses to a little over an inch tall, which makes it super easy to shove into a really tight crevasse inside your backpack. The general lack of metal keeps the heft down as well, to the point where I don’t think many backpackers will be complaining about the 6.5 ounce weight.
Despite the compressibility and lightweight design, the X-Pot can still hold a solid 1.3 liters of water. Generally speaking, this is enough liquid to rehydrate two freeze dried meals, making it perfect for a two person team. Otherwise, just use it for yourself, splitting the water between dinner and a cup of tea or coffee.
It comes with two, glass supported nylon handles that are comfortable to hold and don’t get hot. But on the topic of heat, it’s worth noting that the silicone sides of the kettle should never be exposed to direct flame. That means it can’t be hung or put on a grate over an open fire, and should be limited to single propane burners or other camp stoves.
– Collapses really small
– Pours well
– Good capacity
– Comfortable handles
– Can’t be put over a campfire
Most Lightweight Kettle
A tiny Titan that’s perfect for solo campers and backpackers, this kettle is the lightest in our review due to its size and titanium frame.
Almost more pot than kettle, don’t get confused by the name “Titan.” This bad boy is about as tiny as they come, which means the name is referring purely to the fact that it’s made out of titanium.
The Titan is the lightest and smallest camping kettle in our review, making it the perfect option for backpackers to heat water for meals. Given the 0.85 liter capacity, there’s no denying the fact that this was designed for single person use. Considering that, I wouldn’t recommend going with the Titan if you’re not planning on using it for trekking. Car campers can get bigger kettles for half the price, so there’s no sense pigeonholing yourself so much when you don’t have to.
Looking at the finer details, I like how the lid stays on while pouring, but it comes off easily when you need to fill or clean the kettle. The inside is big enough to store a fuel canister, though you will need to put a little padding in there with it, to prevent any rattling noise. On the inner wall of the kettle, you’ll also notice three different weld marks, which equate to one, two, and three cups, making it easier to measure out your liquid.
Overall, it’s a solid option that gets the job done well for gram counters. However, given the minimalistic design and higher price tag, car campers will be better off purchasing a different product found in this review.
– Great lid
– Big enough to store a fuel canister
– Very tiny
Crafted from durable, food-grade stainless steel, the Fire-Maple Antarcti is the best overall because of its solid design that won’t produce chemicals that leach into your water.
The only stainless steel kettle in this review, the Fire-Maple Antracti already has a leg up when it comes to durability and safety. Specifically, the steel is food grade, which means nothing harmful is going to enter your food when you cook with this kettle. That alone makes this product one of my favorites, despite the hefty weight that comes with steel.
I say hefty, but in reality, the Antarcti only weighs a pound. This isn’t too much more than most of the other kettles in this review, though the one liter capacity is a bit on the small side. Still, for the quality and durability that comes with steel, it’s a worthy tradeoff for car campers to make.
Water inside the kettle seems to come to a boil faster than what you’d find in most kettles. This is probably due to the wider base, but whatever the reason, it’s really helpful for saving fuel. I also like how secure the lid is, and despite any negative reviews you might read, it really does stay secured on top of the kettle. It’s only when you’re tipping it 90 degrees that you might notice it start to slip off, but in that case, what do you expect? Overall, it’s a tank that’s built to last, and it’s pretty easy on the eyes to boot.
– Solidly built
– Heats up fast
– Secure lid
– Food grade materials
– A bit heavy
Best for Backpackers
Stylish and durable, the Uberleben Kessel is a great option for solo backpackers who need a kettle to heat up water for their freeze-dried meal or morning cup of coffee.
Anytime I find a piece of gear that’s lightweight, easy to use, and looks amazing, I’m instantly sold. That’s exactly what happened when I stumbled upon the Uberleben Kessel pot, which is a kettle that was technically designed for bushcraft. Molded from titanium, it is a bit on the expensive side, but it’s arguably the most aesthetic piece of gear in this review. Not to mention, you get all the benefits that come from using titanium, including corrosion resistance and durability.
On top of that, you also get the lightweight properties of titanium. Coming in at a very reasonable 7.4 ounces, the Kessel pot is perfect for backpackers on the go. The 1.1 liter capacity will be a little small for car campers, but it’s certainly doable if you’re only trying to feed yourself (and maybe a friend, if they have a small appetite).
The hanger handle arches over the top of the kettle, providing an easy place to hang onto the pot whether you’re trying to take it off the heat or fill it with water. The handle also locks in place, which is exactly what you want to find in any of the best camping kettles. It really helps with the security of your grip while you’re pouring, and helps the kettle pack down small when you’re ready to put it away.
I love the wooden lid grab, and the attention to detail that they put into it. When you pick up the Kessel pot, you can just tell that a lot of love was put into the design, making it a great option for backpackers and car campers alike.
– Aesthetic design
– Locking handle
– Corrosion resistant
– Easy to fill and pour
– A little small and expensive
Best Budget Friendly Kettle
If you don’t mind aluminum, the Bulin camping kettle is a solid option that heats up faster than most, providing an excellent value for the overall price of the kettle.
One of the more cost-effective kettles in our review, the Bulin camping kettle is perfect for folks on a budget. It is made out of aluminum, but it’s hard anodized inside and out, so it doesn’t have any of that nasty Teflon, non-stick coating that’s terrible to scrape off into your food or water. And since aluminum transfers heat well, you don’t have to waste gas when bringing the water to a boil. In a windless environment, you can expect it to take roughly 1.5 minutes to bring a liter of water to a boil. If you want to fill the Bulin to the brim, it’ll take another minute to get those 1.6 liters rolling.
Both the lid and the handle are durable and well made, though the handle does require a decent amount of pressure to disengage. Make sure you keep the handle in the upright position when heating the kettle, though, otherwise the plastic cover will start to melt off.
It’s a shame that there aren’t any marks inside the kettle to help with measuring, but I will say that the top of the inside ring comes to 12 ounces. When filled to the brim, you could easily make a cup of coffee along with a package of instant ramen, and you’d still have a little bit of liquid left over.
As a whole, it’s a solid kettle that can be used on a stove, over a campfire, or at home. Could a backpacker bring it with them? Probably, but only if they don’t identify as an ounce counter. The bulk of the kettle might be a little too much for some, so I’d mostly recommend it for car campers.
– Good capacity
– Boils water fast
– Secure handles
– Durable material
– Lid stays on while pouring
– Handles get a little warm for comfort
Best All-in-One Kettle
The Kelly Kettle Rocket is a kettle and stove all in one neat package, removing the need to pack anything more than the Rocket for your camp kitchen.
The ultimate, all-in-one camping cookset, the Kelly Kettle Rocket stove is one of the most unique products that you could add to your camp kitchen. It combines a stove with a kettle, merging the best of both worlds so you only need to bring the Rocket, instead of several separate pieces of gear.
In fact, you don’t even need to bring fuel, as the Rocket runs purely off what you can find in the landscape around you. Get it started with a few twigs and dried grass, then keep adding fuel through the opening in the top once you’ve got the fire burning. The water will come to a boil faster than you expect, and you can even put a stove set on top of the Rocket to cook a meal while you’re waiting for your coffee water.
It’s rather bulky for a 1.6 liter kettle, but that’s to be expected with something so multifunctional. However, the 13 inch height and 1.8 pound weight make it less than ideal for backpackers, even when it’s hung on the outside of the pack. On the other hand, car campers will love the versatility that the Rocket brings to the table. There’s no need to bring a kettle, fuel, and a stove to make tasty treats in the backcountry. With the Rocket, you can do it all.
– Runs off organic fuel (twigs, leaves, acorns, etc.)
– Good for groups of campers
– Convenient carry bag
– Very bulky and a bit heavy
Best Camping Kettle – Buyer’s Guide
Camping kettles come in all shapes, sizes, and weights, so you can’t just assume that they’ll all perform the same. So how do you know what to look for? Well, here are a few components to keep in mind:
You have a couple of different options when it comes to the material of your camping kettle. While you could use a cast iron dutch oven as a kettle in a pinch, we’re going to avoid talking about cast iron since it’s not very practical for this purpose. Instead, we’ll touch on the three most common materials: aluminum, stainless steel, and titanium.
Aluminum is probably the most common material found inside camping cookware. It’s cheap, lightweight, and conducts heat better than almost any other material, making it one of the most effective and accessible options on the market.
And while I love aluminum as much as the next person, it has some flaws that make me shy away from using it for cooking purposes. For starters, it has a lower melting point than metals like stainless steel and titanium. Generally speaking, gas burners don’t get hot enough to damage an aluminum kettle, but campfires do have the potential to melt the metal when properly built and maintained.
The other problem with aluminum is that it reacts with water to create oxides, which are dangerous to consume. It’s a material that’s attractive because of its weight and heat conductivity, but due to health concerns, I would avoid using it as much as possible.
Contrasted with aluminum, steel is generally considered one of the safest materials to drink water from. It’s also incredibly durable and resistant to all kinds of wear and tear that you might experience at the campsite.
Unfortunately, stainless steel is heavier, more expensive, and less heat conductive than aluminum, making it unsuitable for backpacking. Even so, I believe it’s the best material to use in a kettle designed for car campers. A few extra bucks is a small price to pay for a kettle that won’t poison you or fall apart after the first year of use, and weight is hardly a concern when you’re camping within a few dozen feet of your vehicle.
Finally, we have titanium, which is the lightest (and most expensive) option of them all. It’s a material that I would recommend for backpackers who want to stay as light as possible and don’t mind paying a premium for that weight reduction. Beyond that, though, I’d still recommend going with stainless steel, when you can.
While titanium conducts heat fairly well, and it has a good amount of durability to it, I find that these aspects don’t really live up to the price point of the material as a whole. Car campers shouldn’t bother with it, as there are plenty of better options out there that are more budget friendly.
We’ve briefly mentioned weight already, but it’s such an important topic that we’ll talk about it again. In order, the heaviest kettle material is going to be stainless steel, then aluminum, then titanium.
You might hear me say that stainless steel is heavier than titanium, but in reality, the difference only comes down to a handful of ounces. For a car camper, such a small variation won’t even be noticeable. Backpackers will be a little pickier, but even then, many won’t care too much about it. Considering the stainless steel kettle in our review is only about half a pound heavier than many of the aluminum models, it’s not going to be a dealbreaker for too many people.
There are two things to keep in mind when thinking about a kettle’s handle: foldability and heat resistance. Ideally, the handle of your kettle should be able to fold down to create a more compact unit. Even if you aren’t backpacking, it’s nice to have a kettle that gets nice and small for easy storage.
You also want a handle that isn’t going to burn your hand when you try to take it off the heat. The handle should sit far away from the main body of the kettle, and it should be wrapped in some sort of material that won’t be hot to the touch. Something like woven rope or silicone work best at keeping the handle safe to touch.
Do you want a big kettle or a small kettle? They come in all sizes, and there isn’t really a right or wrong answer. The answer comes down to how you plan to use it, and the number of people that you want to feed. Solo campers and couples will be fine with something small and portable, whereas a larger family or group of friends will want something to match the size of their party.
The best camping kettle will have a spout that is easy to pour out of without extending too far away from the body of the kettle. This helps prevent spilling without making the kettle cumbersome and difficult to store effectively.
Both the spout and the lid should have no trouble remaining fully sealed until you’re ready to pour, but they should also come with tiny holes to let steam escape. You don’t want the kettle exploding on you from all the pressure build up! Is that something you genuinely need to be concerned about? Probably not, but I still like to look for little openings anyway…
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What are the Best Camping Kettles for Backpacking?
The best camping kettles for backpacking are going to be lightweight, durable, and easy to pack. Weight and size are your biggest concerns on the trail, so finding a kettle that’s light and compact is crucial. Some popular options include the GSI Outdoors Halulite Tea Kettle and the Sea to Summit X-Pot Kettle.
Can You Use a Camping Kettle Over a Campfire?
Yes, you can use a camping kettle over a campfire. However, there are a couple of stipulations to be aware of before you try to use your kettle this way. First, make sure the kettle is made out of heat resistant materials (ideally stainless steel or titanium) so that it won’t start to melt. Then, you’ll also want to make sure that the handle remains cool enough to touch, even after the kettle has been suspended over the fire for a long period of time.
Are Electric Camping Kettles Available?
Yes, there are electric camping kettles available. However, they’re typically heavier and bulkier than traditional camping kettles, and they require access to an electrical outlet or generator to function.
Staying hydrated and well-fed on the trail can be a challenge, if you don’t have the proper equipment or skillset. Aside from a heat source, you also need a container to boil water in, especially if you plan on making tea, coffee, or freeze-dried food. Not to mention, boiling is a great way to purify water in the wild.
The best camping kettle will take care of your mealtime needs, whether you’re car camping or trekking deep into the backcountry. We believe the Fire-Maple Antarcti stainless steel kettle does it best in terms of durability, safety, and ease of use. At the same time, we recognize that it might not be a backpacker’s first choice, which is why we recommend the Uberleben Kessel pot for them.