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October 2016 Issue
Home / Gear reviews / Stoves

Biolite Campstove with USB Charger

Price:

$269

Our Rating:

Biotite’s wood burning stove comes in two parts, the stove and a fan/USB charger. The USB port can be used to charge your cell phone or power a USB light. This is done by the unit’s thermoelectric generator that converts heat into electricity which in turn powers a two-speed fan which blows on the fire and sends surplus energy to a USB charging port.

It’s designed for pre-iPhone 5/Samsung S4 and as a result the charging time is slow on newer phones. A work-around is to charge with your phone turned off, but an updated stove is scheduled to be re-released next year with 50 per cent more grunt.

The stove weighs 935g and is 209.6mm high and 127mm wide and deep. It filled up just over a quarter of my 24-litre pack.

The stove stands on a sturdy tripod that also secures the fan/USB charger in place. It works with normal tramping cookware and boils water efficiently, taking between 5-6 minutes to boil 500ml of water, using a stove-full of twigs, none larger than 2cm in diameter.

The fan ensures the wood burns hot, leaving nothing but ash behind.

To know how much wood to collect would depend on your tramp and the food you take. A fair ratio would be one stove full of twigs per 500ml boil or cooking equivalent.

The Biolite is a unique stove, sturdy and easy to use.

– Lee Galvin