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You can likely buy a Solo bonfire from Amazon for cheaper w/r/t shipping!
While they certainly have delivered every product, I'm not a big fan of BioLite.
1. I think they consistently under-deliver compared to the promises they make. (Or they mislead their customers, judging by people's stated expectations versus what their products actually do.)
2. Their designs are unnecessarily complicated. If you take advantage of physics (like the Solo Stoves do) you don't need the added weight, complexity, and failure points of batteries and electric fans.
3. Aesthetically, I'm not a fan of all the plastic they use in the designs. I understand why it's necessary from a cost and weight perspective, but it contrasts harshly with the the idea of being outdoors and closer to nature.
As an example, compare the actual power output that is available for charging a phone of the original BioLite stove against PowerPractical's original PowerPot which was Kickstarted around the same time. How long (and how much wood) would you need to fully charge a typical smartphone battery with each system? The simpler PowerPot easily wins. But the bright colors and flashy electronics of the BioLite stove appealed more to certain demographics.
I have a Solo Stove Bonfire and it works as advertised. It might seem expensive, but compared with the typical steel-bowl fire pits it's a night and day difference. Less smoke, more heat, and much more complete combustion. You end up with nothing but ashes at the end of the night.
Good points. I've bought several of their products. The stove was noisy, filled with ash, was hard to start, and produced negligible USB power, but I still use it a lot as it puts out more heat than even my Omnilite Ti, runs off twigs, and keeps the mosquitos at bay. I bought the Grill and Kettle to go with it, and they were good. I wrote to them about the shortcomings of their products and filled out all their surveys with no response or impact. I agree that their use of orange plastic is hideous.
However, the price point is good, the radiant heat output at just the right height and with their holes seems to be a real advantage over the Solo, and then of course there's the fact I can actually get the Biolite in Australia. In 9 months...
I will pester them to see if it makes too much noise, it is muted in all their videos.
Good luck with the long term use of the "Firepit". I hope it maintains is functionality with time and use.
I've never seen the bonfire under $299 on Amazon...been watching all summer since the last Massdrop ended
That's why I suggested it to OP though, it may cost more on Amazon but if they have Prime, shipping is free and could end up being cheaper to ship to Australia from Massdrop when factoring in currency exchange + shipping costs.