BioLite CampStove 2
The CampStove 2 replaced the BioLite CampStove.
Current Retail: $129.95-$149.99
Historic Range: $112.46-$149.99
Reviewers Paid: $152.00
Forests are full of fuel; why carry petroleum? Charge your phone, your camera... as long as you can find bits of wood. Disaster? You can still cook and charge. Car camping? Perfect.
- No need to bring (pack, carry, handle) liquid or gas fuel
- Fire gets very hot (cooks fast)
- Company changes lives with profits
- Not heavy if you consider fuel space and weight of other stoves
- Great if there's woody fuel where you go
- Stove body gets VERY hot
- Certain fuels require very frequent refueling
- Heavy compared with other stoves
- Non-starter ;-) if it's very wet or snowy where you are
I've been watching BioLite since they were founded. Their mission, to bring energy (cooking heat and light and recharging capacity) to the big share of the world that's off-grid, is important and worth supporting. The new CampStove2 convinced me to actually buy their product. Started using it last week in Hell's Canyon (Oregon). It works as claimed: hot fire, charge phone, power light for cooking in the dark. Very effective.
Ignition was pretty easy with the included fire-starter. Practice will make that easier, and probably will learn to do without the pellet. Adjusting the heat is done by speeding or slowing the fan, assuming you have fuel bits that will allow that. The dead cottonwood branches I used (worst possible tree choice, but available where camped) burned up very fast, so fan speed (and fuel chamber) required near-constant adjustment.
Better wood choices would surely produce more fuel and less hassle. I brought along some lightweight clippers, which made it easy to cut wood bits to fit. The flame can be extremely hot, so boil time was fast (forgot to bring stopwatch...). Crosswinds have zero impact on the fire—it's in an enclosed chamber.
The three (cleverly folding) feet make it very stable; the kettle that comes with it works well for boiling water and fits perfectly on top, also stable. And, by design, the stove stores neatly inside the kettle, pretty much the size of a slightly fat water bottle = Highly packable; ~2 lbs. for the stove, another 1 lb. for the pot. Extremely space-efficient approach to nesting stove, charger, pot.
It does work consistently, the times I've fired it up. Charging feature was way above expectations—charged phone fast. It appears well made; after our earthquake we'll use it daily for a few months, and we'll really find out how durable it is.
All in all it performs like a well- designed machine, and I would definitely recommend it for trips/situations where small dry wood bits are available.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $152