When you’re camping, it is different than kicked back at home grilling in your backyard.
When you’re out in nature, at one with the elements and kicking it old school with your crew, you need a grill that can hang.
For me, that means something easy to transport (I’m not about to lug a big, cumbersome grill around), something sturdy, and above all reliable. I need a grill that can handle a little wind, reliably ignite when my family is starving after a day of hiking and will cook my food as consistently as the grill I use at home.
Some campers will need a grill that can handle a horde of family and friends, others will need something ultra-light and portable mean to feed a family of 3.
This list is a compilation of our favorites with a complete spec breakdown to help narrow the field so you can become the camping king.
This Coleman is a classic option designed specifically with campers in mind to provide a smooth, reliable grilling experience on the go.
The name Coleman is practically synonymous with camping in the great outdoors and their RoadTrip performs as well as their other equipment and won’t deplete your beer and rib budget.
Where the Coleman really shines is when it comes to reliability and durability. Getting toted around to all your favorite camp sites and National Parks, this little guy is going to take a beating, but that’s ok, that’s exactly what it was intended to withstand. The RoadTrip is designed to be collapsible to fit neatly in the trunk of most cars (well, maybe not if you have a smart car), and the stainless steel casing keeps the important inner parts protected and ready to roll.
It also feels sturdy when set up. It’s not going to collapse like a cheap ironing board. The RoadTrip is intelligently designed to plant securely on even rough terrain and hold it’s own so you can focus on what you’re cooking.
The overall cook size is a generous 285 square inches, which is larger than you would expect given the slim profile. It is pumping 20,000 BTUs of power over 3 burners with a temp range of 350-700 degrees. It includes porcelain-coated cooking grates which get top marks for ease of clean up and maintenance.
It includes a built-in thermometer, so you’re not guessing at when the grill is ready to go like in the old days when you were a kid.
New to the RoadTrip is the instastart ignition, no matches required, just instant heat at the push off a button. A removable grease tray makes clean up fast and mess-free, which is a serious bonus when you’re on the move and want to enjoy your day instead of spending it maintaining your grill.
Our favorite feature on this grill that makes it a best value pick are the swappable griddle, grill and stovetop plates that can be used interchangeably to customize your cooking experience. This is super useful when you’re on a camping trip and want to cook up a stack of pancakes and sausage for breakfast, but need to be able to grill a pile of hot dogs or kebabs for lunch or dinner.
When you’re camping, space is at a premium and the pop up side tables on the RoadTrip make prep convenient for any meal.
Assembly is quick and fans especially love how easy it is to collapse and then roll behind them on the heavy-duty, built-in casters before loading and unloading. This is a great pick for a small and potable grill that is mid-range for budget and top level for durability and ease of use.
Now, if you’re looking for a grill that can feed a big group of campers, the Petit Gourmet just isn’t going to cut it. BUT, if saving space and keeping your gear lightweight is your top concern, this is an excellent two-three person camp grill.
As I mentioned at the start of this article, not everyone needs to feed a big crew. If you’re more of a solo camper, the size and weight of this grill are ideal for a hassle-free, but really tasty experience. It cooks consistently and reliably and the whole unit folds up briefcase style to easily fit in a handled grocery bag – it’s that compact.
The CGG-180T is not a full size grill shrunk down. If you’re looking for a more traditional experience, then you need the Coleman or the Weber in our next spot, but what we do love about this grill is that it is the ultimate space saver, performs reliably and fits pretty much everyone’s budget.
Total grilling area is 145 square inches (it’s a little guy!), with a single 5,500 BTU stainless steel burner. I know that reads pretty small, but let’s break it down to terms we all understand: that’s the equivalent of 8 burgers, 8 steaks, 6-10 chicken breasts or 4 lbs of fish. Respectable, right?
Like the Coleman, it offers porcelain-coated cooking grates for consistent heat distribution, and an aluminum body to keep it light and easy to carry. No thermometer, but it does have an easy, twist-start ignition so you don’t need to remember matches or a lighter and it will heat from 0 to 600 in under 10 minutes.
For set-up the Petit Gourmet can either sit on a picnic tabletop, right on the ground or you can purchase the optional telescoping legs to raise it up to a comfortable, standalone grilling height.
I like this grill best for quick, no frills trips in the outdoors. If you’re a luxury camper, this isn’t going to impress you, but if you prefer to travel with just the basics, this is a great must-have to include with your gear.
If you’ve spent any time on this site, you’ll know that we’re fans of the Weber brand. They are an industry favorite for quality components and reliable ease of use. The good news is that extends to their smaller range of grills, like the camping-ready Q2200.
If you’re going to invest in a solid camping grill and want to buy once and once only, then this is your grill. You’re not going to need to replace it season after season and the grill experience is so good, this one can even double as your regular backyard grill hub if you’re cooking for a smaller group.
Similar to the Coleman, the cooking area on the Q2200 is a solid 280 square inches with the stainless steel burner output at 12,000 BTUs – among the most powerful for this size. The cooking grates are the same as on Weber’s bigger Spirit grills: porcelain-coated cast iron for even heating and a long cook life.
Ignition is electronic push-button for a quick and easy start and the lid features a built-in thermometer.
Weber gets that grilling is an experience, so the Q2200 has two folding work tables, one on each side for prep and to hold a pile of hot dogs fresh off the grate while you finish off some burgers.
The overall construction is cast aluminum, which keeps it light and portable for easy transport from the car to your campsite.
I also appreciate that you have the option to purchase and switch in a griddle attachment, which is a great add-on if you’re a regular camper and want to use the Weber to bust out some pancakes and eggs to start the day.
If you plan to use this grill off a tabletop, you can also purchase the optional cart base for a little added flexibility. Unfortunately, this doesn’t come standard like it does on the Coleman RoadTrip. It also needs to be carried and doesn’t have the easy rolling feature that we love in the Coleman.
This is a solid grill that performs like it’s bigger Weber counterparts and is a reliable, no regrets pick if ‘re seeking something you can depend on for a consistent, easy cook.
Napoleon ranks up there for me with Weber when it comes to high-quality, luxury grilling. Not everyone is looking for a premium experience while camping, but if that’s your style, this is an exceptional option.
Napoleon generally makes shiny backyard showpieces and I love seeing this compact, vacation ready model from them with some of the finishings I love on their bigger grills.
The TravelQ Pro is backyard grilling shrunk down so it’s travel size. You’ll find two stainless steel burners providing precision temperature control at a total of 12,000 BTUs. Dimensions are the same as the Coleman at 285 square inches, which is the equivalent of about 20 burgers.
You’ll also find super fast jet fire ignition and porcelain-coated cast-iron cooking grids that use the classic Napoleon wave shape found on the bigger models. You can swap the grids out for a cast-iron griddle plate to cook a wider range of food, including your favorite breakfast options. The overall design is wind proof so you have protection for your meal even in inclement conditions.
Another fun feature I love is that you can even use this little beast as a smoker if you purchase the portable smoker accessory so it really can do everything on the go that you can do at home.
Transport is pretty seamless with easy-carry side handles and a scissor leg style cart that you can use as a personal dolly to tote the grill behind you to your camp site. This is also a really sweet set-up for tailgating and super versatile.
The 225 from Coleman is the little brother to the 285 RoadTrip in our top spot. If offers the same great functionality and overall quality with a few changes that bring the price tag down for those with smaller camp grill budgets.
Overall cook size is a respectable 225 square inches (about 60 less than the 285), which is larger than you would expect from it’s slim profile. It is pumping 11,000 BTUs of power over 2 burners (the 285 has three) and includes porcelain-coated cooking grates which get top marks for ease of clean up and maintenance.
It also includes the instastart ignition, removable grease tray, and the swappable grill/griddle plates for cooking versatility.
Like the larger RoadTrip, you still get the sturdy base that makes transport easy but you will notice only one side prep table is included, so you’ll have a little less space for storage.
Blackstone is killing it in the flat top grill game and this smaller, 17’’ model finds a place on this list for overall value and quality of experience.
This grill is light – and comes in two size choices: 17 inches or 22 inches. It offers a sizable 260 square inches of cooking space on the 17 incher, which is just about perfect for the average family. If you’re cooking for a bigger group, then you’ll want to look at the options in our top 2 spots instead.
This little Blackstone is a roomy, solid performer and its single H burners is designed to conduct heat evenly for a really consistent cook.
This grill is designed to function griddle-style, but I have found the advantages of this style of grilling mean there’s less risk of flare-ups and flavor leaks. If you’re cooking up a lot of meat, you’re less likely to overcook your meal and end up with a charred mess. The versatility is also a huge bonus when you’re camping and plan to sue it for every meal.
This model comes outfitted with a rear grease management system, that will draw the grease away from your food with easy clean up afterward.
Consider this little powerhouse the carry-on version of Blackstone’s 36 inch 4 burner with a price tag that is is super reasonable. It’s a great pick if you’re looking for a compact griddle style set-up for your camping excursions.
Another options for those looking to maximize on space and easy of transport over grill size, this little Grillster is a great alternative to the Petit Gourmet in the #2 spot.
One of the more compact grills on this list at 146 square inches, it offers a single burner at 8,000 BTUs with enameled stainless steel cooking grates, ideal for quick clean up and no hassle maintenance.
Weighing in at less than 10 lbs it is easy to pack up for quick trips or even longer treks and makes a great companion for low maintenance excursions. The grill hood provides protection from the elements and no assembly is required on site. You pretty much arrive and are ready to roll.
This is a solid contender if you’re looking for a micro-grill for no frills camping trips.
While many of the grills on this list have features comparable to the big boys, this old school, classic Weber is pure simplicity and perfect for no budget camping where only the basics are really needed.
An extreme budget option, the Go Anywhere is designed to be convenient, portable and cheap. There’s no babying needed of this little bruiser- it is rugged and bare bones and is a staple for camping, boating and other outdoor adventures.
Features include: push-button ignition, a porcelain-enameled, steel cooking grate, a porcelain-enameled base and lid, plater steel legs that turn to lock into place and fold when being carried. This is a propane model and not designed to grill with charcoal, though there is a different grill option for that if you’re feeling like kicking it old school.
This is the perfect knock-around grill when you just need something simple while away from home.
The styling on this grill from Char-Broil reminds me of some kind of heavy-duty military storage container but miniaturized.
It stands out and is built to take a beating, a better choice than some of the aluminum and stainless steel options on this list if it’s going to see some serious road time.
The total size is 200 square inches of cooking space with a single 9,500 BTU burner and stainless steel cooking grate. That’s larger than both the Petit Gourmet and the Grillster but not quite as roomy as the Colemans.
It features a no flare-up TRU-Infrared cooking system to improve heat distribution and comes with push-button ignition and top-mounted temp gauge. Overall construction is die cast aluminum with a locking lid and side handles. It’s easy to throw in a trunk and totally road-worthy so you don’t have to worry about it getting knocked around.
The Grill2Go is a great grill if you want something that can live in the back of your truck to provide a quick meal at a moment’s notice.
Like the Cuisinart in our #2 spot, the Chef’s Style CGG-306 is another solid tabletop option with a slightly higher price tag and a bigger profile if you’re looking to cook for a larger crowd.
This little guy packs a lot of stainless steel which isn’t my favorite for rough and rugged camping trips, but if you’re an RV camper or just like to keep things a little more buttoned up when in the outdoors, then it should suit you just right.
The CGG-306 offers 2 stainless burners boasting a pretty impressive 20,000 BTUs (significantly higher than the Petit Gourmet) and an overall cooking space of 276 square inches.
You’ll also find that all stainless steel construction, twist start ignition, foldaway legs, adjustable burner knobs and total temperature control round out the feature list. This model would be cosnidered an upgrade on the Petit Gourmet, but for the overall size and price, I would recommend bumping up to the Weber.
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I am a grill freak! It's hard to pick my favorite thing to grill, but if I had to choose... it is still a tie between pork ribs and a juicy beef burger. I am currently grilling on a Weber S210(I live in a small space) but my dream grill is definitely a summit. Those things are bad ass. Anyways I would love to hear from you, leave a comment or question below!