The BioLite Campstove 2+ offers a versatile and portable wood-burning canister stove with an attachable power bank that also functions as a generator.  The power bank’s multi-speed fan can speed up or strengthen its users’ heating or boiling process.  A USB slot lets you charge the handy flexible light (included), a cell phone (not included), GPS systems, or other compatible devices that may be helpful off the grid.

The best part about this power bank is that its thermoelectric generator recharges the battery while connected to a fire-burning stove.  Included fire starters help start the fire in wet conditions and the built-in fan takes care of the rest.

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.6

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    Doesn’t require heavy or smelly fuel sources
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    Versatile portability - good for multi-day backpacking, single-day hiking, or vehicle-to-tent camping
  • check-mark
    Multi-speed fans help start the fire and control heat
  • check-mark
    Can be used for cooking
  • check-mark
    Less smoke due to the canister design
  • check-mark
    Thermoelectric generator offers continuous source of power for extended periods away from the grid
  • check-mark
    Included LED light allows for hands-free illuminated cooking experience
  • check-mark
    Small enough for backpacking

Things we don't like:

  • check-markWon't produce enough energy to sustain multiple devices everyday
  • check-markCompatible cookware must be able to withstand direct contact with flames

Where to buy:

Biolite Campstove Product Image

The BioLite Campstove 2+

Specs & Features

  • 3,200 mAh battery storage capacity
  • Designed to burn sticks, twigs, or other biomass
  • Boil Time: 1 liter in 4.5 minutes
  • Packed space approximates a 32-ounce wide-mouth water bottle
  • 2.06 pounds
  • Flexible usb-powered LED light
  • Four-speed fire fan
  • Thermoelectric generator

Even without the power bank and thermoelectric generator, the BioLite Campstove 2+ is a solid heat source for cooking or just ambiance. Packing down to the size of a 32-ounce wide-mouth water bottle, the stove is even portable enough for a backpacker.

Biolite's battery-powered fan system makes starting a fire easy. It also provides a means to control the flames and heat for cooking.
Biolite's battery-powered fan system makes starting a fire easy. It also provides a means to control the flames and heat for cooking.

This camping stove has, in fact, been a proven asset for off-grid communities in lesser developed countries. In particular, the included light has allowed for the company’s “energy everywhere” mission to help education and job opportunities.

With an airflow canister design that moves air in a circular motion, BioLite’s 2+ also produces less smoke than normal open fires of comparable size. That makes it safer for use in smaller dwellings too.

The four-speed fan lets you create a fire of varying size and strength, albeit at an expected noise cost.  Even at its lowest setting, the fan creates a noticeable amount of noise.  This feature can be turned on and off manually when not needed. In truth, it didn’t bother that much.

A BioLite Campstove has, in fact, been a proven asset for off-grid communities in lesser developed countries. In particular, the included light has allowed for the company’s “energy everywhere” mission to help education and job opportunities.

With an airflow canister design that moves air in a circular motion, the 2+ also produces less smoke than normal open fires of comparable size. That makes it safer for use in smaller dwellings too.

The four-speed fan lets you create a fire of varying size and strength, albeit at an expected noise cost.  Even at its lowest setting, the fan creates a noticeable amount of noise.  This feature can be turned on and off manually when not needed. In truth, it didn’t bother us that much.

The Bio Lite Campstove 2 Plus On Ground Performance

During some overnight camping, BioLite’s Campstove 2+ came in handy both as a means to boil water for coffee and as a generator. We charged it over the course of an evening and used it as a power bank to charge our telephones when we turned in for the night.

It’s immediately evident that, as a source of renewable energy, it can provide a basic minimum power source for mobile phones and GPS devices to stay connected and/or safe when off-grid.

It’s useful for overnight trips, including kayak camping and backpacking when power is needed, coffee is needed and space is limited.

Biolite Camp Stove Performance

A thermoelectric generator transforms heat energy into electricity, converting the difference in temperature to make voltage using the Seeback effect. The 2+ camping stove, given its modest size, generates a modest amount of power.

Even though the power bank can be recharged while a fire is burning in the stove pit, the single USB slot and 3,200 mAh storage capacity means that you will only get so much use out of the power pack before it needs to be charged again.  In other words, this feature will work great if you want to charge your phone while cooking up some dinner or heating up a cup of coffee; it will be less ideal if you need to charge multiple devices throughout the day or at one time.

the-bio-lite-campstove-2-plus-on-wood

In practice, it works best doing one or the other, not both. In other words, generating power while being used as a stove, then removing the generator/battery for use as a power bank.

Burn Time

The latest iteration of Biolite’s camping stove burn time will vary depending on the fuel source.  The company recommends using harder woods as these will burn better for longer, but even softer woods like pine produce a reasonable burn time. The stove’s materials present a solid and durable setup that can withstand the wear, tear, dings, and dents that come with roughing it in the great outdoors.

The Bio Lite Campstove 2 Plus On Ground Burn Time

Unique Among Other Camping Stoves

Relative to other systems, the BioLite’s main differing points will be fuel source and compatibility with cookware and cookware sizes. The stove’s legs make it sturdy enough to support a decent range of cookware sizes, but it may not be the best stove for cooking food for a larger number of people.

the-bio-lite-campstove-2-plus-with-lights

This stability makes it comparable with most Jetboil camp stoves, the difference being that Jetboil systems use propane as a fuel source. If you’re expecting to cook for a large number of people, the BioLite will be less effective than several of the Primus cookstoves, though these will be less portable than the BioLite due to their larger profiles.

Biolite Accessories

There is a growing assortment of products that Biolite is starting to manufacture. For the Camping Stove 2+, there’s a great accessory (we think, but we haven’t tried it out yet) to expand cooking options. The grill, sold either separately or as part of a kit package, seems like it could work well. We can’t attest to how well it works, haven’t tried it, but we’d like to.

Looking at how the company has been steadily producing more off-grid products and systems based on the success of this camp stove generator, it’s likely more accessories (with interoperability, hopefully) are on the horizon.

 

The Grill Plate is an accessory that turns the Biolite Camping Stove 2+ into a more versatile barbeque kit.
The Grill Plate is an accessory that turns the Biolite Camping Stove 2+ into a more versatile barbeque kit.

As weather patterns become more erratic and self-sufficiency starts to become more interesting for a greater number of people, generating power will become equally more interesting. We expect to see more thermoelectric generators to complement the groundswell of systems reliant on solar energy. With energy prices looking to fluctuate over the next few years, it’s more attractive for manufacturers and consumers alike.

Related Reviews

Our Overall Review

We have thoroughly tested - and read reviews from other experts and users. In summary, this is what we think:

4.6

Things we like:

  • check-mark
    Doesn’t require heavy or smelly fuel sources
  • check-mark
    Versatile portability - good for multi-day backpacking, single-day hiking, or vehicle-to-tent camping
  • check-mark
    Multi-speed fans help start the fire and control heat
  • check-mark
    Can be used for cooking
  • check-mark
    Less smoke due to the canister design
  • check-mark
    Thermoelectric generator offers continuous source of power for extended periods away from the grid
  • check-mark
    Included LED light allows for hands-free illuminated cooking experience
  • check-mark
    Small enough for backpacking

Things we don't like:

  • check-markWon't produce enough energy to sustain multiple devices everyday
  • check-markCompatible cookware must be able to withstand direct contact with flames
FAQ

Frequently asked questions

How does the biolite camping stove make power?

Biolite’s camping stoves have thermoelectric generators that convert heat energy into electricity. This is done using the Seeback effect, which harnesses the difference in temperature to collect electrons into the built-in lithium-ion battery.

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