We test the new CampStove 2 and first-generation CampStove in a side-by-side comparison: the new features and upgrades of one of our favorite BioLite products and favorite camping cookstoves.
We love heading deep into the wilderness to relax, unwind and reconnect with nature, and we’re always looking for products that help us save space, weight, or do double duty on the go. For those reasons, we’ve loved camping with the BioLite CampStove. The super efficient, clean-burning camp stove burns sticks and twigs found around the campsite, eliminating the need to carry heavy fuel canisters. And, as a bonus, the excess energy produced by the fire can be used to power up our electronic devices when we’re adventuring off-grid.
We’ve been thoroughly impressed with the innovative design and function of the BioLite CampStove out on the trail, and have been looking forward to getting our hands on the BioLite CampStove 2. Recently we’ve had the opportunity to check out the CampStove 2 (check out our full Campstove 2 review) and review the new features and updates of the next-generation stove.
So, what features stayed the same between the CampStove and CampStove 2?
Weight & size: the CampStove and CampStove 2 are both essentially the same size, and weigh about two pounds, perfect for car camping or short backpacking treks.
Quick cooking & easy clean up: 51 fan-forced air jets create a super hot, smokeless fire that cooks meals and boils water quickly while leaving only a small amount of ash inside to clean up.
And, what features got an upgrade?
More power: 50% more power and 3 watts of continuous power, thanks to updated thermoelectrics.
LED display: check fan speed, fire strength, and available power quickly on the lighted LED display.
Power storage: an integrated 2600mAh battery stores power while the stove is burning and also allows pre-charging before the adventure.
Four different fan speeds: two additional fan speeds let us adjust the intensity of the fire and control cooking heat.
We put both the CampStove and the CampStove 2 to a side-by-side test to see how the new model stacks up against the original. With just a few twigs and sticks collected around the campsite, we were able to quickly build a fire perfectly capable of cooking our favorite backcountry meal and boiling water for coffee. Both stoves lit easily and began burning cleanly, quickly producing a nearly smokeless flame. After a few minutes, and a few more sticks for fuel, the flames were hot and ready for cooking.
One advantage we noticed the new model has over the original is the four-speed fan. While both the high fan speed and low fan speed seemed comparable, it was easier to control the intensity of the flame and heat produced with the intermediate speeds on the new model. The extra fan speeds are a handy feature when cooking foods like oatmeal or eggs that can quickly overcook and stick to the bottom of the cook pot.
Both stoves heated quickly, and we had a full liter of water boiling in the KettlePot within 10-12 minutes, using the high fan speed. Constant feeding is required of both models to keep the fire burning hot.
The BioLite CampStove and CampStove 2 are designed to use with the BioLite KettlePot and BioLite Portable Grill, but we’ve used non-BioLite brand cookware as well. The original BioLite CampStove came with a metal adapter that sat on top of the stove, creating additional surface area for different sized pots and kettles. The CampStove 2 does not come with an adapter, but our GSI Outdoors Halulite Pot still sits securely on the newer stove as well.
Another advantage in favor of the CampStove 2 is its updated LED display. The original CampStove only displayed the speed of the fan and whether the stove was producing enough excess energy to begin charging a device. The CampStove 2 quickly shows the intensity of the fire, speed of the fan, and the power level of the battery on the lighted display.
The most significant upgrade BioLite made to the CampStove 2, in our opinion, is the onboard battery. The original CampStove was, first and foremost, a wood burning camp stove designed to cook meals on the trail. Powering up devices was an added bonus, but frankly took a long time and required a lot of sticks and twigs for fuel. CampStove 2’s ability to store power, either pre-charged or by burning the stove, makes it a much more versatile piece of gear. Now we can power up a phone or device when firing up the stove isn’t possible or convenient.
BioLite CampStove & CampStove 2 comparison wrap-up
Bottom line, both the original and updated BioLight CampStove 2 are great camp stoves. Both eliminate the need for packing heavy, cumbersome fuel canisters, saving weight and space in our bags. Their flames are efficient and hot, making cooking our favorite camp meal a breeze and clean up quick. The added features and upgrades of the CampStove 2 make it an even more useful and functional piece of gear and, in our opinion, an amazing evolution to an already great product.
So where can I find it?
While we received a sample stove to test, all opinions above are our own, and based on our own, trail-tested experience. Some links on Trailful are affiliate links, which means that the merchant might pay us a commission if you purchase a product after clicking our links, at no extra cost to you. We only recommend gear that we personally use and love.
Thanks for your support! - the Trailful crew