These smart stoves are absolutely amazing. As such, we’ve decided to write a full BioLite stove review on our favorite one: The BioLite Wood Burning Campstove. We’ll cover the good, the bad and the ugly about this little stove in this review. So if you’ve been looking for a camp stove in general or at this one in particular, then be sure to read this review. We’ll start with the specifications.
This unit will be shipped to you in a 5 by 5 by 8.3 inch box that weighs 2.9 pounds. The unit itself is lightweight and compact, weighing in at 2.1 pounds. This means that you should have no trouble fitting it in a backpack in case you need to carry it with you on a hike. Plus, it definitely won’t weigh you down.
The stove consists of two main components: the stove itself and the power module (where the USB port, fan and internal battery are located). The power module can be placed inside the stove when not in use, reducing its size considerably to be the same as a 1-liter Nalgene water bottle. It also has a grill top for balancing your pots when placed on top the stove. It also comes with a nylon stuff sack that you can place it in after unboxing for proper storage.
Design and Durability
The BioLite Wood Burning Camp stove is a sturdy piece of equipment built to make outdoor fire use easy. Its technology features are some of the best in the outdoor stove industry, including both a USB charging port and fans to help fires burn hotter. That it runs off biomass as well makes this stove particularly attractive due to emergency and environmental benefits.
The stove’s frame is mostly made up of aluminium. This metal is known for being both strong and lightweight, which is a great combination for any portable item. Although still too heavy to carry on extremely long hikes, we certainly think it’d earn an easy spot in the car or boat transport as well as short backpack trips.
The creators of the stove have made it a good size in terms of dimensions, not adding more than needed but not leaving anything crucial out either. You might want to test carry an item of similar weight and dimensions to ascertain whether this stove is right for you.
Overall the shape and outer design of this stove are well thought through. They complement its inner, smart technology design well, by making it functional. We appreciate that they’ve kept it relatively small so as to make it easier to transport. There are a few other feature worth mentioning though, so here’s our take on the main features to be aware of if you’re thinking about buying this stove.
This stove comes with some rather unique features that give it an edge over the competition.
Thermoelectric Generator: This BioLite Campstove allows its owners to personally generate electricity from nothing more than burning wood. This means that you can choose to take a variety of USB chargeable items with you when visiting the great outdoors and charge them as you cook or boil food/water. This thermo-electric generator is perfect for those who want to enjoy the great outdoors while remaining contact-able.
You’ll get approximately 60 minutes of talk time on regular smart phones from 20 minutes of charging time on a strong fire. We’d recommend turning off your electronic devices now and again anyway to enjoy the outdoors more, but in general this is a fantastic concept. The best part about it is that the thermo-electric generator technology works off principles and airflow, meaning it’s usable for as many times as you want or have wood for. No running out of battery charge ever again!
Burn Increasing Fan: The internal fan and gas jets built into the BioLite Campstove is ideal for outdoors people who want to get their fires up and running quickly (and don’t we all?). Having appropriate kindling or dry wood certainly helps, but isn’t a necessity with this cool stove’s design.
The HI/LO set-able fans push air into your fire which improves the combustion system. You’ll get a hotter, more efficient flame, much faster, and some find the air circulation helps with smoke control as well. If you intend to get started on making your fires late in the evening, this is a perfect choice for you.
Biomass Fuel System: The BioLite Campstove takes renewable energy to a whole new level. The system not only runs off renewable biomass like twigs and sticks found while out and about, but also takes that renewable energy and turns into electrical energy to charge your devices with! We love that it’s not reliant on coals or petroleum. It’s a much more environmentally friendly approach to fire starting and we give it a big thumbs up for that.
NOTE: This stove would be useful in emergency situations because it is not reliant on petroleum or electricity to start. You can charge your electronic devices from it, despite power line outages using just biomass (twigs and wood) from your surrounding gardens. Stay on the grid!
User Friendly Interface: The big, ON button, and easily discernible USB charging port on the BioLite Campstove, are just a couple of the user friendly features of the design. When looking for a smart camp stove you ideally want something that anyone can use. This system makes it easy to start fires by storing a little charge to fan your initial fire starting with.
That means even beginner fire starters should be able to get the flames going in this stove. For those who have tried fire starting themselves, you’ll know it’s not always as easy as it looks, especially if your wood is damp. That’s why the user friendly fans and gas jets to help start this stove’s fires are so great.
Value for Money and Guarantee
Once you consider how much you will actually be saving in terms of purchasing fuel for a gas powered stove, the decision to get the BioLite Campstove becomes easy. Furthermore, you also don’t need to buy any extra emergency battery packs in case your phone dies on you.
The unit costs approx. $130 on Amazon. It is currently not available on the BioLite website, so people looking for this unit will have to purchase it on Amazon. Once you add up the specifications, it is easy to tell that getting the BioLite Campstove will provide you with great value for your money.
We would definitely recommend this BioLite Wood Burning Campstove to anyone looking for a high quality piece of fire making and cooking outdoor equipment. Do, however, ensure that you are aware of the size and weight of the item prior to purchase. To get it to your outdoor spot you’ll have to transport it!
In addition, we’d also recommend taking a couple of small fire-starting cubes and some waterproof matches with you when you head out. This will make the fire-starting process even easier, though the design of the camp stove makes that pretty easy already.
A final note is to choose pots and pans to use with this system that are metal, no more than 10 inches in diameter, and no more than 8 pounds in weight. Other than that, this stove is ready to go. You’ll find it adds a whole new level of cool to your outdoor experience and makes cooking/boiling food/water so much easier. When it comes to camp stoves it can be worth digging a little deeper in your pocket to get a great multifunctional product, that will go the distance with you.
- Compatible with most common USB devices
- Can generate better flames than average stoves because of its fans and gas jets
- Easy to use scalloped upper design supplies a sturdy surface for pots and pans
- Cool to the touch safety conscious honeycomb exterior
- Aluminium frame is lightweight and strong
- Smart technology runs completely on biomass fuel which is renewable and readily available
- Slightly heavy
- Somewhat bulky
(Some may find that carrying a portable camp stove around is too inconvenient when they know they can just find sticks and build a fire on the ground at their destination site).
A pros and cons list is good to ensure that you get an unbiased review, and we hope that you agree with us that the pros more than make up for the cons. This is based on our educated opinion, and we are confident in recommending this stove as one of the most highly efficient, easy-to-use and useful outdoor stoves around. If you take it to the great outdoors for off-grid living, you will not be disappointed.