By now you know that BioLite makes products that turn fire into electricity. The company burst onto the scene a few years back when it introduced the CampStove, an innovative cook system that burned sticks, branches, and leaves to not only make your dinner, but also convert the heat into energy that can be used for recharging your phone or other devices. Thankfully, the company’s underlying technology has benefits beyond the first world’s need for more selfies.
Today, BioLite announced the successor to the product that first put it on the map. The new CampStove 2 is the result of four years of research and development, and it brings a host of improvements over the original model. For instance, the new stove produces 50% more power than its predecessor and comes with the FlexLight, a bendable, USB-powered mini-floodlight that turns on, off, and dims with a tap. The lamp plugs directly into the stove’s front-mounted USB port and provides some much needed lighting when making your meals.
The CampStove 2 also comes equipped with a removable, 2600 mAh (milliamp hours) power pack, which charges automatically as a fire roars inside the stove itself. Once those flames die down, you can take the power pack into the tent with you to charge your headlamp, GoPro camera, or other electronic gear while you slumber. The battery is capable of charging most mobile phones one time, with enough of a charge left over to boost a second phone too.
Other features include a built-in fan that continuously pumps air into the main chamber to keep the fire flaming and the smoke at a minimum, and color-coded LED indicators that depict available charge, fan speed, and fire strength. While cooking, the sturdy folding legs help support the meaty battery pack as well as a pot full of simmering ramen.
The first knock against the CampStove 2 is its weight. At a shade over 2 pounds, it won’t be at the top of Andrew Skurka’s recommended gear list. However, this stove actually isn’t unreasonably heavy. In fact, the Primus OmniFuel, with gas and all components, weighs 2 lbs., 8 oz., making it comparable to BioLite’s new offering. When packed, the CampStove 2 is about the size of a Nalgene bottle, which isn’t overly large either. Like the original, the second iteration of the CampStove works with BioLite’s Kettle Pot and Portable Grill, and the power supply slides into the stove for convenient packing.
The CampStove 2 wouldn’t be my first choice for a multi-day backpacking stove, but it does have tremendous value in emergency situations, extended stays at base camps, hut excursions, and commercial guiding settings. Those are exactly the setting where I plan to test it this spring. Stay tuned for further thoughts once we’ve had a chance to put it through its paces in the field.
The CampStove 2 is avialble now for $129.95.