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BioLite CampStove 2 Bundle review

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Erin L

Erin L

Biolite, campstove, bundle, 2, review, how to, best, camping, cooking

I’m a huge camper and we love spending weekends and vacation time outdoors. I’m forever trying to pare down our gear to just the essentials, so I’ve been a big fan of Biolite gear in the past. Biolite makes smart, thermo-electric powered cooking and outdoor adventure gadgets, and their new CampStove 2 Bundle is a great way to get a useful all-in-one cooking kit for your backpack or gear box. I had the chance to test out the BioLite CampStove 2 Bundle, and I’ll tell you what it can do, how well it works and if I think it’s a good bet for you.

What’s in the BioLite CampStove 2 Bundle?

This kit is an excellent way to get introduced to BioLite’s technology, since it has all the equipment necessary for grilling, cooking and boiling water.

Kit comes with CampStove 2

The Bundle has the BioLite CampStove 2, a small, packable thermo-electric camp stove that can burn biomass (wood + twigs) and even charge your cell phone with its built-in battery pack. This smokeless stove is particularly excellent for car camping, vanlife, emergency preparedness, and backpacking. The On-Board 2600 mAh battery also stores energy so you can charge on-demand later. Plus you can pre-charge it at home to head out with a full battery too.

The Stove comes in two parts; the burn chamber and the power module. More on how they work in a moment.

Biolite, campstove, bundle, 2, review, how to, best, camping, cooking

BioLite CampStove 2

BioLite Portable Grill

You also get the BioLite Portable Grill. This included grill grate can turn your CampStove 2 into a wood-burning grill surface fitting up to 4 hamburger patties or 6 hot dogs, making it great for family camping. It’s made up of 4 parts; the base, a heat sink for spreading the heat evenly, the grill grate, and a handy plastic cover that keeps char and bits off the rest of your gear when it’s packed for travel. The cover can also be used as a tray or platter!

Biolite, campstove, bundle, 2, review, how to, best, camping, cooking

Versatile BioLite KettlePot

There’s also the BioLite KettlePot, a multi-purpose vessel that can boil water for a hot drink, or cook a meal, and it’s modular and can double as a carry case for the CampStove 2, making for a nice, slim package! You also get the USB Flex Light which plugs into the power pack and acts as a small, adjustable floodlight.

The KettlePot has a silicone seal to keep liquids from spilling and thoughtfully designed, silicone wrapped folding ‘cool touch’ handles. The BPA-free plastic top is made to withstand high temperatures, plus it lets you see when your water is boiling because it’s transparent. The whole kit weighs just under 5 pounds. There are also optional accessories you can get to turn the KettlePot into a French Press coffee maker, for example, too.

This bundle is known as the Climate Neutral Edition, since 10% of all product sales will go towards Climate Neutral; a non-profit incentivizing companies to off-set their carbon emissions to a net-zero footprint by creating visible labels consumers can use to influence their buying decisions. For people who are looking to support the environment with their purchases, supporting companies that are Climate Neutral Certified is a great place to start.

Biolite, campstove, bundle, 2, review, how to, best, camping, cooking

What can I do with BioLite CampStove 2 Bundle?

This kit is ideal for backpackers, since you can grill, boil, cook, and charge with this fully integrated kit that is supremely lightweight, thanks to its aluminum construction.

If you’re off the grid or out in the back country, you can also use the CampStove to generate electricity to power or recharge things like flashlights, radios and even a sattellite rescue phone like the Spot X.

The CampStove 2 generates 3 watts of power to charge devices using sticks, wood scraps, or small wood pellets

Biolite, campstove, bundle, 2, review, how to, best, camping, cooking

How to set up Biolite CampStove

If you want a head start on the power bank, charge up the power module prior to use via the micro USB port on the bottom.

To set up: put the power module into the burn chamber, and lock it into place by extending the stove legs.

To get the fire going: use a small chunk of included fire starter and avoid using damp or green wood (this will cause excess smoke) and don’t use charcoal or any liquid fuel, says BioLite.

Biolite, campstove, bundle, 2, review, how to, best, camping, cookingUnderstanding the BioLite LED dashboard: what do those lights mean?

The power module has three LED indicators:

  • Fire: On the far left is the fire indicator that shows the strength of your fire and how much heat you’re producing.
  • Fan: In the middle is the fan speed indicator to control airflow and the intensity of flames.
  • Power: On the right, the green lights show how much power is available to you.

Once the fire is going, keep it going with the fan settings (low to high) and more fuel. Feel free to charge your phone or headlamp with the power bank while cooking. Like most wood-burning fires, getting it started will take some paper, fire starter and some care not to snuff it out by overstuffing too quickly.

Using BioLite CampStove 2 Bundle: How well does it work?

I used the BioLite CampStove 2 Bundle for several meals. I cooked burgers on it, grilled asparagus, seared a steak, grilled shrimp and boiled water for tea and coffee.

The stove does take a bit of getting used to in order to get a sustained fire that will cook, but since the built-in thermo-electric motor helps you, that makes it easier. Bottom line, our food was great, didn’t take too long to cook, and overall we were really pleased.

Biolite, campstove, bundle, 2, review, how to, best, camping, cooking

How BioLite CampStove generates power

BioLite’s technology captures the wasted heat from the fire through a heat probe in the power pack. Heat is converted into usable electricity via a thermoelectric generator. This powers the fan and sends that surplus electricity to a USB charging port so you can charge anything.

Within just minutes of getting the stove going, I was able to plug my iPhone into the USB port, and had it charging immediately.

I really like the fact this charger runs off wood, twigs, sticks or paper, because that means you can forage for fuel to recharge your gadgets and have power virtually anywhere you are.

Once you get enough of a fire going, you’re ready to cook—or just use it as a source of warmth! It kicks out pretty decent heat.

Biolite, campstove, bundle, 2, review, how to, best, camping, cooking

KettlePot in action

How long does it take to boil water in BioLite KettlePot?

You can place the KettlePot for example over the stove and boil water. The transparent top is handy to keep the heat in and lets you keep an eye on the process. It’s also got folding handles with silicone grips for protection against burns.

I boiled some water in the KettlePot to see how long it would take. It took me about 12 minutes to boil one litre of water.

You could also use small pots or even cook in cans on this stove.

Biolite, campstove, bundle, 2, review, how to, best, camping, cookingUsing the BioLite GrillTop

Want to go a step further? Install the Grilltop before lighting your fire. The Grilltop comes apart for easy cleaning, and the heat sink layer helps to spread the heat out over the entire surface of the grill so everything cooks evenly.

The grilltop fits over the mouth of the stove, and has two pop out legs for really great stability while cooking.

There’s also a lid that covers the fire so you can get it hot, and close it to redirect all the heat into the grill, then open it again if you need to add fuel.

We cooked burgers and veggies on it. I have to admit I wasn’t sure they’d actually get cooked, but in about 15 minutes, we had fully cooked, smoky, full of flavour burgers! The asparagus seared quickly and had a nice char too.

How stable is the GrillTop?

I was worried the stove would be tippy or flimsy with food on it, but it’s not, it was actually a very stable and hot cooking platform

Biolite, campstove, bundle, 2, review, how to, best, camping, cookingWon’t BioLite Stove Melt my Device?

Worried the stove will melt your device? I was at first. But once I tried the stove, I saw it’s well built to prevent that. The USB port is on the far side of the power pack, well away from the burn chamber. Plus, that dual outer skin that covers the burn cylinder means no heat is leaching out through the sides. Factor in cord length for your charging cable and your device is getting nowhere close to any open flame or heat. There’s just no danger of any damage being done.

Overall review of BioLite CampStove 2 Bundle

Overall this is a really great, versatile and useful kit that is lightweight, thoughtfully designed and extremely handy. Downsides? It does take some getting used to to build your fire and maintain it, but that’s like any fire.

BioLite Campstove 2 bundle sells for about $269 CAD and you can get it from BioLite’s website, Best Buy or Amazon.

*A note about Affiliate Links: Occasionally I will include affiliate links in my reviews. I do this partly for convenience of the reader (since I’ll almost always include a link to the company website or similar anyway) in case you want to read more or purchase but I also may get a small commission from the click, which helps me keep the blog running. If you chose to use this link I thank you greatly for supporting the blog. There’s no obligation or cost to you for using this link.

Erin L

Erin L

I'm a journalist, tech blogger, writer, TV producer, silversmith& jewelry designer, foodie and world traveler. I blog, write for publications, and supply freelance writing services to Calgary, and the world.

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