Are you looking for the perfect camping kettle?
I was too.
I made the mistake of buying my husband a huge mug recently.
Then I needed a bigger camping kettle!
There are so many to choose from that it can be overwhelming.
So I thought I would put together a review of the 5 best kettles I found.
Hope it helps.
A quick comparison for you: 5 camping kettles
|Vango stainless steel kettle
|Ecent camping kettle
|0.8 L or 1.2L
|Grizzly guardian camping kettle
|Gas or wood stove
|Outwell collapsible kettle
|Base camp Kelly kettle
|Wood fire stove in base
What do you want from your camping kettle?
The obvious answer is a quick cuppa.
But there are things to consider when camping.
How big a camping kettle do you need?
The number of people in your party will affect how big your kettle needs to be.
As a guide for hot drinks, a regular mug holds 350ml of water.
When you boil a kettle on a camping stove you can’t fill it up to the brim or the hot water spurts out of the spout. In a 900ml kettle you can boil enough water for two normal sized mugs of tea.
Are you going to use a camping kettle to heat water for cooking or washing up?
As a guide, to do the washing up for two people, you will need 1 litre of boiling water to mix with the cold.
What stove are you going to use?
Are you going to be using a regular size gas camping stove? If so, you will have no restrictions on the type or size of kettle you use. One with a whistle will let you know when it’s boiling.
For smaller stoves you need to be a bit more careful. A large kettle may make the stove unstable. Try to buy one that does not hang over the edge of the burner very far. Or is designed for small stoves.
You can use a camping kettle with an open fire if you are careful. Make sure you don’t have one with plastic bits that will melt at the first sign of direct flame. An all stainless one is your best bet. Hanging it over the fire with a purpose built tripod works. As does putting it on top of the embers.
Weight may be something you want to consider. Lighter options such as anodised aluminium or titanium are a good option for taking with you on a walk.
I will admit here that we currently have two kettles. A small lightweight titanium mug for walking and a big kettle for the campsite.
Some safety tips to consider
Having a camping kettle that is not too big for your stove is important, as it needs to stable to be safe.
Even the most heat resistant handles can get hot. My kettle has a heat resistant handle that sometimes gets hot and sometimes not.
So I have a pot grab to hand.
Don’t use your kettle with the handle folded down. It will get a lot hotter like this.
If you need somewhere to put a hot kettle down, a silicone trivet works well. Much better than scorching the grass or your table.
If your camping kettle has a plastic whistle over the spout, be careful not to get it directly over the flame. They have a tendancy to melt.
Don’t fill your kettle all the way. If you fill it to just below the bottom of the spout you will avoid a scalding waterfall when the kettle boils.
What types of kettle are there?
Normal stove top kettle
There is a huge variety of these kettles.
Many of them seem to suffer from very hot handles.
The full sized ones work on normal sized gas camping stoves. Be wary of plastic bits that may melt. Many have a cheery whistle to let you know your water is boiling.
These often have sensible features like silicone handles for heat resistance. Some come in different sizes so you can have one for taking on your walk and a larger one for the campsite. They tend to be lightweight and compact.
Designed for packing away small, these kettles have a metal base and silicone sides. You can use them on camping stoves but be aware that gas flames may come up the sides. People have had problems with the silicone sides catching fire. One where the metal goes up the sides should stop this happening.
Titanium mugs and billy cans
Great for use on walks or one night stops. My husband and I often take a 750ml titanium mug on our walks. We can fit a 100g gas canister, a ‘Pocket rocket’ stove and two tea bags inside it. It will give us 2 small cups of tea or we can share a large one.
Self-boiling-‘Kelly kettle’ type
This kettle is its own stove too. A clever design which uses small twigs/pine cones to create a fire in the base. This then heats a double walled chimney above, which holds the water.
Definitely one for the campsite as it is bulky and not quite as convenient as a kettle on your gas stove. But a fun and eco-friendly alternative.
A kelly kettle in the wild…
5 camping kettles reviewed for you.
Capacity: 1.6 Litres
Dimensions: Diameter 16.5cm
This stainless steel kettle works well on gas camping stoves such as the ‘gas canister’ type.
It has a handle which you can fold down for storage.
People do report the handle getting hot under normal use, despite it being ‘Heat resistant’.
There is a whistle to let you know when the water is boiling. It is quiet though, so you won’t hear it from the other side of the campsite.
Some people have had trouble with the spout lid getting so hot that it melts.
Whilst the capacity is 1.6 litre it only holds 1.4 litres safely. Any more and water will surge out of the spout at boiling point.
- Stainless steel construction – shouldn’t rust.
- Folding handle for storage.
- “Heat resistant’ handle gets hot.
- Possibility of spout lid melting.
- Cannot be filled to capacity safely.
- Whistle very quiet.
Capacities: 0.8L or 1.2L
Dimensions: H14cm x Diameter 8cm / H15.8cm x Diameter 9cm
Weight: 220g / 315g
These are good camping kettles for 1 or 2 people.
They are made of anodised aluminium, so should be corrosion resistant.
Both of these kettles are lightweight and compact so are good for taking with you if you are walking.
The 0.8 size is just big enough for two cups of tea.
The handle folds down for easy storage and has a silicone coating to stop it getting too hot.
Both sizes come with a net bag for storage, which means you don’t lose the lid in the bottom of your packing.
This camping kettle has a flat bottom so will safely sit on most camping stoves, even the smallest.
The angle and position of the spout mean that you can fill the kettle almost to the top.
When pouring please be aware that the lid is not tight fitting.
- Made of anodised aluminium – rust resistant.
- Silicone covered handle – heat resistant.
- High spout – can be filled almost to capacity.
- Comes in two sizes.
- Lid is not tight fitting – needs holding on when emptying kettle completely.
- No whistle.
Grizzly Guardian camping kettle
Dimensions: 15.3cm x13.1cm
This good quality camping kettle is perfect for up to 4 people.
Made of anodised aluminium, this it is super-lightweight for its size.
It has an innovative bottom, designed to help with a faster boiling time. The manufacturers claim it speeds up boil time by 30%.
Shaped like a ring doughnut, the actual base has a diameter 8.6cm wide within a hole 1.2cm deep. The remaining base consists of a “ring” of metal around the hole, 3.2 cm wide.
This affects the stoves that are suitable. If you have one with supports less than 8.5cm wide, your stove can sit safely in the hole. If your stove supports are more than 11cm wide then the kettle sits on the “ring”.
Just check how wide your stove supports are before going for this one.
With its large capacity this is a great camping kettle for the campsite but may be a bit bulky for taking on a walk.
The spout on is very high up and quite vertical. This means you can fill the kettle to capacity but this may cause the lid to fall off.
The manufacturers say they have recently re-designed the lid to be a tighter fit; to help with this problem.
Both handles on this camping kettle have a heat resistant coating.
People have used these kettles on the embers of an open fire. They do say that the handle should be kept upright to stop it getting too hot.
It comes with a net bag for storage.
- Large capacity for camping kettle.
- Designed for a faster boil so efficient on gas.
- Suitable for gas stoves and wood stoves.
- Good quality.
- Spout high up on kettle so can be used to nearly full capacity.
- Holes in lid – be careful of steam when pouring.
- Spout very vertical – lid may come off when poured.
Dimensions: H14.5cm (4.5cm collapsed) x diameter16.5 cm
This looks like a normal stove top kettle. With the obvious advantage of being collapsible for storage.
You can only use this one on a gas or electric stove.
It is made of a combination of silicone and stainless steel, with a good heat-proof handle.
With its metal sides near the bottom this one should be safe from flames melting the sides.
People say the water tastes fine, with no plastic tang.
The spout is nice and high on this so it can be filled quite full. Just keep the water level below the base of the spout.
The manufacturers say the kettle is BPA free.
(BPA is an industrial chemical which has been used in certain plastics since the 1960’s. It has caused recent health concerns.)
There is also a 2.5 litre version of this kettle.
- Collapsible – folds down to just 4.5 high.
- Spout high on kettle – can be filled quite full.
- No smell or taste of plastic.
- No whistle.
- Can not be used over an open fire.
Capacity: 1.6L. Dimensions: H33cm x dia. 18.5cm. Weight:1.16kg(stainless) 800g(aluminium).
Designed to be a camping kettle and stove in one, this kettle is for those who like the eco-friendly cuppa.
This model is the largest, perfect for 4 people.
It consists of a fire base and a double walled chimney.
The basic principle is that you build a fire in the base, using little sticks or pine cones.
Then you place the chimney on top.
You fill the outer wall of the chimney with water to just below the spout, then light the fire.
Then you pop little sticks into the inner wall of the chimney, onto the fire below. Do this until the water is boiling.
There is a cheery green whistle to let you know when the water is boiling.
This kettle comes in a choice of stainless steel or anodised aluminium which is lighter.
You can buy extra equipment that turns this kettle into a basic stove.
If you have dry wood and can get the fire going quickly, then this is a fast stove for boiling water. If not, then it is can be a bit of a slow smoky mess.
This camping kettle is a bit bulky for popping in your rucksack but is great for the campsite.
- No gas or extra stove required.
- Eco-friendly fuel.
- Fast boiling, if you have dry wood.
- Add-on extras turn this kettle into a simple stove.
- Bulky and heavy to carry.
- Relies on dry fuel being available.
- Not as easy as gas to use.
Which camping kettle?
To find a good camping kettle for you, consider the capacity you need for your camping party. Think about the size of your stove. Also whether you want to take it on a walk.
Don’t forget you can have different ones for different occasions.
In my opinion, there is one camping kettle that stands out for use in the campsite.
The larger Ecent aluminium kettle is lightweight, good quality and fast to boil. Plus it has a big enough capacity at 1.2L for cups of tea or washing up.
I may have to buy my husband a Kelly kettle though. I am sure he will enjoy feeding it pine cones!
Hope you enjoy your next cup of tea in the wild.