How To Choose The Right Stove

April 20, 2018
 
Looking To Burn Some Wood? Let’s Find You The Right Fit.

Since the launch of our first stove in 2012, we’ve been constantly designing new ways to experience cooking and charging with wood as an energy source. Below are a few helpful questions to ask yourself as you hunt for the fire that meets your needs.

TL;DR – skip straight to our comparison chart to see all the stoves side by side.

Q1: What’s my location and intended activities? 

 

Simply put – where are you and what are you planning to do while you are there? A little bit of context can go a long way, especially as it relates to packability or portability. If you’re planning something like a backpacking trip, the CampStove family is a solid choice as it can actually fit into your pack if you’re planning to cover a lot of ground; on the flip side, let’s say you’re stationed at a cabin for out-and-back daily adventures – setting up a basecamp with, well, BaseCamp, can suit you well.

Another important element to consider is your ground and surfaces; stoves like FirePit and HomeStove radiate a lot of heat from underneath and therefore require surfaces like cement, packed dirt/gravel, or sand for a safe burning surface. If you’re looking to set up your stove on a picnic table, or backyard lawn, check out the CampStove or BaseCamp which has more clearance thanks to folding legs that create distance between the stove and ground.

Q2: What does my fuel supply look like while I’m there?

This can often go hand-in-hand with location, but it’s always helpful to get a sense of the fuel supply you’ll have access to: only sticks and twigs* or maybe a bag of pellets? CampStove can do a lot with just a handful of biomass. Got access to some firewood or fallen branches? FirePit or BaseCamp will be ready to serve. Only have a bag of charcoal? Utilize the FirePit hibachi-style.

*Community tip: traveling with kids? The CampStove becomes a great family activity when you assign the responsibility of fuel collection. Kids love to amass their own piles and know that their work contributed to the flame that made their meal. For a little flair, toss a pinecone or two in the mix.

Q3: What kind of functionality do I want from my fire?

Our fires are all smokeless, but they show up in slightly different ways – and it’s up to you to hire the right flame for the job. Looking for ambience and the s’more-ability of a campfire? FirePit is going to give you big rolling flames and radiating heat. Want a big grill top that can flip burgers for the whole gang in one go? BaseCamp’s your match. Or perhaps you’re looking for a kit that can do some cooking but also rehydrate meals if you’re conscious about a multi-day camping trip – the CampStove 2 Bundle can give you everything you need and even nests while packed for extra portability.

In addition to cooking functionality, some of our stoves can also offer generated power as a byproduct of their fire through thermoelectrics– as you evaluate the functionality of your flames, it’s also helpful to identify if you’ll be looking to charge gear while you cook your meals.

All In One Spot: BioLite Wood Stove Comparison Chart

Okay, now you’ve got a few ways to evaluate your stove choice, let’s see how they stack up side by side: Check out the grid below for key features and suggestions on your ideal fire:

Compare

HomeStove HomeStove BaseCamp BaseCamp CampStove 2 CampStove 2 FirePit
FirePit
Video WATCH: HomeStove WATCH: BaseCamp WATCH: CampStove 2 WATCH: FirePit
Fuel Type Firewood, branches, sticks, crop waste & dung* (sometimes used in emerging markets) Firewood, branches, sticks Sticks, pinecones, untreated scrap wood, wood pellets Firewood, branches less than 16", charcoal
Materials High grade coated steel, high temperature nylon plastic, cast iron High grade stainless steel, high temperature nylon plastic, cast iron High grade Stainless Steel, Aluminum, high temperature nylon plastic High grade coated steel, high temperature nylon plastic
Dimensions 9.84 x 12.2 in
(25 x 31 cm)
13.25 x 23 in
(33.6 x 58.4 cm)
5.0 x 7.91 in
(12.7 x 20.1 cm)
27 x 13 x 15.8 in
(68.6 x 33 x 40.1 cm)
Weight 17.64 lbs
(8 kg)
17.92 lbs
(8.16 kg)
2.06 lbs
(935 g)
19.8 lbs
(8.98 kg)
Cooktop Concentrated burner flame 138 sq in grill surface + concentrated burner flame option with open lever Concentrated burner flame + 55 sq in grill surface with use of Portable Grill accessory (sold separately) Open flame design + 135 sq in grill grate when in charcoal mode
Power Supply Thermoelectrics produce 2W to power included USB FlexLight Thermoelectrics produce 5W to charge phones, lights, and other gear. On-board battery stores energy for use after fire if desired. Thermoelectrics produce 3W to charge phones, lights, and other gear. On-board battery stores energy for use after fire if desired. USB-rechargable airflow pack can run up to 24 hours on single charge. Doubles as powerbank for other devices with included USB out. Requires recharging via micro-USB
Available Accessories N/A PizzaDome, BaseCamp Carry Case KettlePot, CoffeePress, Portable Grill, StickSnapper, Wood Pellets. Solar Carry Case
Ideal For Rapid boiling and one-pot group cooking (soups, stews, beans, grains)

Homesteading, self-reliance & preparedness, cabins
Outdoor grilling & wood-fired pizza-making for groups 4+

RVs, backyards, cabins ,car camping, tailgating
Full function campsite cooking (boiling, grilling, etc) for 2-6 people

Multi-day backpacking with found fuel supply

Car-camping with found fuel or packed pellet supply

Great for families (easy s'mores, kids can collect fuel around site)
Smokeless Campfire ambience

Warmth around the fire

Cookout-to-hangout: start with charcoal to grill, add firewood to transform into your evening fire

Bonfire, beach, backyard

Fit up to 14 people around the fire