Biolite Wood Burning Camp Stove Review

The Biolite Wood Burning Camp Stove creates an efficient clean burning fire to cook your meals over, and oh by the way, charges your cell phone if you feel the need.

Setup and Design Features

The Biolite Wood Burning Camp Stove converts heat from the fire into electricity which can be harnessed through the the battery pack and handy USB port.  The battery detaches, fits nicely inside the stove and packs down to 8.3” x 5” x 5” and weighs 2.1 pounds.  It burns sticks, pine cones and any other small woody debris you can find out there.  Biolite Camp StoveIt is able to burn relatively large sticks (up to 8”) and provides a little more capacity than some of the other comparable wood burning camp stoves out there.

During full power the Biolite will boil 1 liter of water in 4.5 minutes and will give your phone 60 minutes of talk time (Iphone) with 20 minutes of charging at this full fire level.

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Like any campfire, the Biolite Wood Burning Camp Stove requires maintenance to keep it stoked and burning well enough to charge the phone at a high rate.  Because of the enclosed chamber the wind resistance on the Biolite is good.  Unlike some wood burning stoves in this class, you can’t stoke the wood pieces from the side.  This decreases the length of wood pieces that can be used with this stove.  Click here if you would like additional history about the history of this product.

Comparison Information

There are other portable power sources out there that will charge your phone faster with less work in certain situations.  For example solar might work better on a sunny summer day and liquid fuel might be better high up on a mountain.  Take a look at our Backpacking Stove Reviews for a few examples that might work better in these situations.  What the Biolite does offer is an opportunity to get the entire wood burning package at a reasonable price.

You will want to bring along some fire starter sticks if you are going into areas where the wood may be a little wet.  You can purchase a grill accessory separately that works effectively with the stove, but is pretty large and will add considerable extra weight.  Visit the Biolite site if you would like to see latest news and upcoming events.

If you are heading above the tree line for an expedition or into climates where it going to be wet you may want to think about bringing a stove with a dedicated fuel source.  But if you are going to have plenty of sticks around and enjoy stoking a campfire the Biolite might be your best choice.  In comparison to other wood burning stoves the Biolite Stove is very efficient and leaves very little burnt debris at the end of your fire.  This is due to the fan forced air design that helps to keep the stove burning effectively.  The Biolite costs around $130.

The ProsBiolite Camp Stove

  • Charges electronic devices
  • efficient at boiling water
  • Little smoke created vs comparable wood burners
  • Little soot left on pots and pans
  • Optional grill accessory is effective

The Cons

  • Constant fire stoking required for maximum charging capacity
  • Heavier than most of the other wood stoves
  • Phone charging can take extended time

Insider tips

You just need a few twigs to get this stove going.  Make sure they are dry enough to snap before burning.  You can bring along a few wood pellets if you are in a damp environment.  Make sure to charge the battery fully before heading out on your trip.  This will save you a lot of time during your first electronic charging period.

Biolite Wood Burning Camp Stove Summary

If you are looking to get that nice wood burning feel in a stove that produces a small amount of smoke and charges your phone then the Biolite is the best in its class.  You will ultimately spend less money on fuel, have less bottles to dispose of and have a little more fun stoking a campfire while out and about.  A good choice for emergency preparedness as well.

This stove boils water fairly rapidly in comparison to other stoves in the class and packs up into a bag that is about the size of a  one liter nalgene bottle.  Like any wood burning stove it takes a little effort to keep the fire going at a good clip, but provides the flexibility to avoid bringing fuel along.

Conclusion

Overall the Biolite Wood Burning Camp Stove provides a nice durable design that works effectively in most camping situations.  The features listed in this review make this stove one of the best in the wood burning stove class.  If you are good with the extra weight that the Biolite brings due to the battery pack, then I would recommend the stove for general camping and emergency preparedness situations.

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