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Biolite CampStove 2+ Field Test and Review 2022

BioLite CampStove 2+ Review

The BioLite CampStove 2+ is a small wood burning stove that can also generate power for your phone or other devices. It’s small and can easily fit in a backpack or other bag. The built in fan system reduces smoke and gives you more control over the fire. We got a CampStove 2+ to try out recently. It does everything it promises. Keep reading to get all the good and bad of the BioLite CampStove 2+.

About BioLite

BioLite makes innovative energy, lighting, and cooking products. They make stoves and solar panels that generate power for off grid living. They have used their products to bring power and safer cooking to over 3 million people in Africa and Asia. Biolite makes a difference with its products.

Features of the BioLite CampStove 2+

Best Wood Burning Camp Stove

BioLite Campstove 2 Wood Burning Electricity Generating & USB Charging Camp Stove
Biolite campstove product image

Key Features and Specifications

  • Grill, boil, cook, and charge with this fully integrated system. Generate electricity and create smokeless wood flames
  • 50% more power, an integrated battery, and an updated LED dashboard for improved control and feedback.
  • Burning only wood, the CampStove 2’s fan creates a smokeless fire that can cook meals and boil water in minutes while turning its heat into usable electricity.
  • Stove generates 3W power to charge devices
  • Boils 1L of water in 4.5 minutes. Burns any renewable biomass (sticks, twigs, etc.)
  • Size – 5″ x 5″ x 8″ thick
  • Weight – 2.06 lbs
  • Fuel – Wood or other biomass

The CampStove 2+ is a small wood burning stove that can be used for cooking. It also can generate usable electricity to charge your phone or power other small USB devices. In addition, it has a battery powered fan that powers patented combustion technology for improved efficiency in the stove. All of this fits into 2 small carrying bags that easily fit into a backpack. If you need power in a remote location and don’t want to rely on batteries, the BioLite CampStove 2+ is a good option.

Campstove heating water

Biolite gave us a CampStove 2+ to try out along with their larger Firepit+. We put it to use generating power and cooking. It was supplied to us but we will still give you all the good and bad features in our review.

See our review of the BioLite FirePit+ to learn more about that larger option.

Price

The BioLite CampStove 2+ retails for $149.95. It is available from BioLite and many other places such as Backcountry, REI, Moosejaw, and Amazon.

What can the CampStove 2+ burn?

It can burn almost any kind of biomass. This includes sticks, twigs, small pieces of wood, wood chips, pinecones, etc… Wood pellets sold at places like Home Depot to use in smokers work very well. Many places do not allow gathering wood or biomass from the ground. Wood pellets make a good fuel to use if you are going somewhere that doesn’t allow gathering.

Size and Weight

The BioLite Stove weighs in at 2.06 lbs which is heavy for a backpacking stove. If you are really weight conscious then it’s probably not the stove for you. There are much lighter camping stove options out there for hardcore backpacking. For canoe trips or car camping it’s a great companion. It can recharge your GPS. Other stoves cannot. You don’t need to carry gas canisters or battery packs.

The CampStove 2 is 5″ x 5″ x 8″ when packed. The electronics module can be stored inside the inner burn chamber so it takes up less space.

What’s included

Our BioLite CampStove 2+ included the stove and electronics module, 2 carrying bags, a bonus flexlight, USB cord, and some firestarters.

campstove 2 what is included

How does BioLite CampStove work?

There is a lot going on inside the BioLite CampStove 2+. It has a fan system with air jets that gives air to your fire for improved combustion. It has a themo-electric generator that generates electricity to power the fan. Excess electricity recharges the internal battery. You can use the USB output on the CampStove to recharge your phone or other device.

The combustion chamber is lined with jets so that air gets fed into the top and bottom of the fire. This leads to a more efficient fire with more complete combustion. Complete combustion means less smoke. It won’t completely eliminate smoke. It does reduce it.

There is a set of LED lights on the front to show battery status, fan speed, and fire strength. You can tell if the battery is low. You can tell if your fire isn’t generating that much heat.

CS LED Lights

The stove has 3 legs that fold up on the bottom. Attach the electronics module before unfolding the legs. You are set to go. No other setup is needed for the basic stove.

Folding legs

The below video from BioLite gives a good explanation for how the internals of the CampStove 2+ work.

You can use set a pot or other cooking surface on top of the CampStove for boiling water or cooking. BioLite sells a portable grill attachment for the CampStove if you want to make burgers or brats. They sell the BioLite Kettlepot which is designed to work with the CampStove for boiling water.

CampStove Portable Grill

Biolite Grill top product image

Starting a fire in the CampStove 2+

BioLite is nice enough to include a bunch of fire starters with the CampStove 2+. These work quite well for getting a fire going inside the Camp Stove. Gather up your fuel before you light it. Find some very small sticks and twigs to get it going. Find some small branches with more substance to burn once you have a small fire going with the twigs. Use the fan on its lowest setting for lighting the fire. This will feed a small amount of air into the flames without blowing it out.

Once the fire is burning and your putting in larger sized fuel, adjust the fan to higher speeds to get a fire with more intensity.

campstove starting fire

Our first time trying to use the CampStove 2+ was a very windy day. It helps to hold the firestarter inside the CampStove combustion chamber when you lite it. When it’s going drop it into the bottom and place some very small sticks and twigs on top of it. Once it is lit the wind didn’t really affect it at all. I am by no means an expert at building fires. I was able to get a fire going inside the CampStove on my first try. The fan jets really do help feed air into the fire to get it going.

The CampStove generated quite a bit of smoke when first starting. The jets don’t do a good job at creating a smokeless flame until there is a decent amount of heat being generated. After the fire got going the smoke level went down a lot. If you had better fuel such as wood pellets that were perfectly dry the smoke would be a lot less when starting the fire. Dry wood will produce less smoke than wet wood.

campstove smoke when starting fire
campstove smoke when burning

How long does it take to boil water?

We tried out the camp stove. It took us about 8 minutes to boil water on our first attempt. I’m sure we could do it faster with practice. One thing is that you have to keep removing your pot to feed the fire. You have to keep the fire going pretty well for flames to be coming out the top so you can see it’s still burning.

It helps to cover your pot to trap heat so it will boil faster. This is especially true on windy days.

We never saw the fire intensity go above the bottom 1/3rd. This could have been due to the amount of wind and also the fuel we were using.

boiling water on stove

We used the Yodo Aluminum Camping Cookware for this review. See our guide to the best camping cookware for open fires for the Yodo and other great options.

How well does it generate electricity?

We plugged an iPhone 12 into the CampStove before starting a fire. It had 43% battery remaining. After boiling water, we looked at the phone and it was up to 56% charged. This was after about 10 minutes of actual high intensity burning. Our first fire went out in the middle of the test and we had to start over again to get our water to boil. I attribute that more to user error than the stoves fault.

Starting charge
Ending charge

I am confident you could fully recharge a phone in an hour of burning if you kept adding fuel and kept the fire strength level high.

How long does the BioLite battery last?

The BioLite CampStove 2 has a 3200 mah battery when fully charged and a power output of 3 watts. An iPhone 12 has 2815 mah battery. The short answer is that the CampStove Battery is good for a little bit more than a 100% recharge of an iPhone or Android device. The battery recharges as you burn biomass inside the CampStove so you can extend the battery life by burning things.

Does BioLite keep you warm?

The CampStove 2+ does give off quite a bit of heat while burning with it. It’s a small stove so it can only do so much. It’s enough to warm your hands up and keep 1 or 2 people warm who sit really close to it.

Can BioLite get wet?

The BioLite CampStove can be used in damp environments and light rain. It is not completely waterproof. Using it in heavy rain can damage the electronics inside the power module.

Biolite Campstove 2+ vs 2

The only real change between the 2 and 2+ is battery capacity. There 2 had a 2600mah battery. The 2+ has a 3200 mah battery.

Is the BioLite CampStove 2 worth it?

The BioLite CampStove is pricey for a small wood burning stove. There is small wood burning backpacking stoves available for a fraction of the price that can cook just as well. None of them generate electricity. The BioLite CampStove 2+ is unique with that ability. If you want a stove that can burn wood or other biomass and generate electricity there is really no other option. The CampStove is cheap compared to the price of a small generator. It’s not that much more expensive than a few large capacity batteries.

BioLite Campstove 2 Wood Burning Electricity Generating & USB Charging Camp Stove
Biolite campstove product image
What we liked
  • Temperature control using fan
  • Generate electricity for charging while the stove is burning
  • Small size when packed up
  • Grill and other accessories
  • Can burn wood or almost any other biomass
What we didn’t like
  • High price
  • It is heavy for a small wood burning stove
  • You have to remove your cooking pot to add fuel

Wrap Up

The BioLite CampStove 2+ is a unique product. It is the only small power generating wood camp stove available. You can recharge devices, power lights, and cook with it. It is a little heavy for hardcore backpacking use. It is a perfect companion for other camping and hiking. It makes a great addition to your survival or off grid living gear as well. Check out the CampStove 2+ if you are looking for a small wood burning stove.

See our guide to the best wood burning camp stoves for other good options.

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selfie for info block

About the author

My name is Doug Ryan. I am an outdoors enthusiast always looking forward to my next adventure. I spend as much time skiing, biking, and paddleboarding as I can. I decided to start Endless Rush Outdoors as a way to share my knowledge and enthusiasm for all things outdoor adventures and to help other people have as much fun as me.

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