ProView – BioLite CampStove 2 Bundle
It was finally time. After three months locked up at home, I was able to grab a few close friends and head west with the BioLite CampStove 2 Bundle in hand. Loaded up with our mountain bikes, cameras, and camping gear, we crawled back deep into the hills of Grand County Colorado for a long weekend away from home.
BioLite CampStove 2 Bundle
Product Description: The BioLite CampStove 2 Bundle is your all-in-one setup for a complete camp kitchen. Includes the award-winning BioLite CampStove 2, which burns wood like gas and uses thermoelectrics to convert the heat from your fire into usable electricity, as well as the KettlePot and Portable Grill accessories. Grill, cook, and boil with this full integrated system.
Offer price: MSRP: $260.00
The BioLite CampStove 2 Bundle is a great alternative-fuel stove option for car camping trips. The included grill and kettle were perfect for heating water for morning coffee or grilling an afternoon snack. The battery-powered fan kept the fire hot to make quick work of cooking dinner. The ability to charge electronics and use the included flexible light were great bonuses.
- Charges electronics
- No need for bulky fuel canisters
- Includes useful attachments
- Burns wood efficiently.
- Takes practice to get the right wood/air mixture
- Not as fast as traditional fuel stoves
After a brief test run in the driveway to get acquainted with the product, it was time to put this stove through the wringer. I had seen the BioLite system before and was excited to try it out after years of experience with traditional fuel stoves. After 45 minutes of bumpy BLM roads, we set up a home base for a weekend of mountain biking, fly fishing, and photographing our adventures. After getting the morning started with what can only be described as “a 25-mile death march over fallen trees with our bikes on our backs”, we returned to camp for some much-needed coffee and snacks.
Ready for a warm cup of coffee after our morning ride, the BioLite CampStove 2 boiled water surprisingly fast. Once I was able to figure out the correct wood/air ratio, getting the water hot for coffee took no time (about five minutes). The included kettle was the perfect size for our group of three. Even in light rain, the stove performed up to my expectations. When it was time to cook meals, we broke out the grill attachment and threw on a few burgers and brats. Even though the grill sits off the fire a bit, it cooked our food fairly quickly, though the heat wasn’t evenly distributed across the grill. This wasn’t a big issue, we just were vigilant about rotating the food around. The battery charged fairly quickly, I was able to give my phone a few percents. By the end of the weekend, we were all fighting to charge our electronics during meals. As the temperature dropped that evening, having another source of power to charge cold and dying camera batteries was a lifesaver.
Though most stoves are pretty basic and don’t include many features, the BioLite CampStove 2 had a few that really made the product. The included attachments (kettle and grill) fit the product nicely. Oftentimes I have found camp cookware a little less stable and had to be forced into place, not an issue with the BioLite. The FlexLight was helpful when cooking evening meals, it was nice that it ran off the USB power. The best feature was by far the battery/fan. Once turned on, it would add oxygen to burn hotter and more efficiently, while also generating power to store in the battery. The unit has different levels, though I always burned at the top setting to get the most heat.
The stove seemed durable after a few uses, it is a sturdy stove and held up to light abuse. It also held up to light rain with no issues. The attachments were strong and the grill survived a fall from the back of the truck without any dents or scratches. The grill was spacious enough for a few burgers and brats, but was strong enough for cooking a hearty meal for dinner.
This was the biggest con I found while testing the system. Though the stove packs nicely in the kettle, it is still pretty cumbersome and heavy, especially with the grill attachment. This product makes a great car camping stove but is realistically too heavy for most backcountry missions. We wanted to take the stove on our hike to the river for lunch but decided it wasn’t worth hauling and was best left at basecamp.
After encountering a few rain showers throughout the weekend, smaller scraps of dry wood were harder to come by. Luckily we had wood in the truck to cut into manageable pieces for the stove. Always keep wood to burn in mind, especially during inclement weather and places where materials are scarce. Another option is to use BioFuel Wood Pellets. There are made from a premium hardwood blend and provide two hours of cook time (and come with firestarter!).
The Final Word
The BioLite CampStove 2 Bundle is a great alternative to traditional fuel stoves. With it’s heavier weight, it is best used for car-camping missions where the added size isn’t an issue. The built-in battery/fan helped keep the fire roaring and our electronics charged (very helpful for a photographer battling colder evening temperatures). The included kettle and grill made heating water and grilling dinner easy and fun.
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After years of guiding trips in the mountains of Colorado, Devon’s passion turned to photographing his adventures across the US. As a professional photographer, Devon has had the opportunity to head outside to shoot photos for brands and agencies across multiple industries. When he isn’t behind the lens, you’ll find him fly fishing, skiing, mountain biking, and rafting the American West. Follow @devonwax on Instagram to stay up to date on his adventures.