Times are stressful, but there are surprising things you can do to unplug and recharge. For example, you can go for a walk every day or relax in front of a crackling campfire. You don’t have to hike in the woods to enjoy this cozy orange glow. You also don’t need to build a permanent fire pit out of heavy materials like stone or brick. Instead, get a fire pit that is portable. These products are sold by many retailers including Lowe’s, Amazon, and Home Depot. In addition, many fireplace manufacturers sell their goods directly.
These portable fireplaces vary greatly in price, size, and weight. There are inexpensive $ 60 models and heavy duty pits that can cost you up to $ 350. You can even spend $ 1,500 or more on fancy propane fire pits.
In this roundup, I’ll focus on real wood-burning fireplaces. In addition to providing heat, they can also cook food, including grilling. Most of all, they’re a great way to fry marshmallows for tasty s’mores. The models on this list are either best sellers, high profile, or worthy challengers from established outdoor brands. I tested them to learn firsthand their strengths and weaknesses. If you need help choosing a fire pit that suits your needs, you’ve come to the right place. I will update this list regularly.
Brian Bennett / cnet.com
My favorite fire pit on this list is from Tiki, a company that started making the famous Tiki bamboo torch over 60 years ago. Now Tiki offers a fire pit that is large, sturdy and attractive. At nearly $ 300 more than its budget competitors, its performance, ease of use, and superior style, this pit is well worth the investment.
The steel and stained wood pit doesn’t just look good. The Tiki brand fireplace has a sophisticated airflow system that returns hot smoke to the fire chamber. During my tests, it was easy to ignite, ignite in about five minutes, and burn completely in 15 minutes.
It also produced far less smoke than the other fire pits I tested, especially after the logs got completely entangled, usually after about 15 minutes. Only the Solo Stove Ranger burned wood with less smoke, and its fuel burned violently in five minutes. The tiki fire pit logs also burned efficiently and lasted for hours.
Its large mouth (16 inches in diameter) makes it easier to share the fire with multiple people. The Solo Stove Ranger is smaller in comparison, its metal fire ring is 10 inches in diameter. However, children who gather to fry S’Mores need to be careful. All surfaces of the tiki fire pit, including its metal lip, will scald hot after the fire is lit. It also takes time to cool down after the flames go out.
I appreciate the Tiki Fire Pit’s detachable ashtray. It’s the only product in this group that has one. This makes cleaning easier. The pit also gives off plenty of heat. While this may not be ideal for hot summer nights, it is excellent when the temperature drops in fall and winter. This fire pit is heavy and weighs 45 pounds. Think twice before positioning it and get help with it.
Brian Bennett / cnet.com
Solo Stove Fire Pits have gained an enthusiastic following in recent years, and the company’s newest product, the Solo Stove Yukon, is their biggest and best yet. With a top 27 “in diameter and a mouth 23” in diameter, the Yukon is large enough to hold full-size logs of firewood. Despite the large footprint of the Yukon, its stainless steel case looks elegant.
The Yukon shares the same sophisticated airflow system as other Solo Stove products. According to Solo Stove, these vents help keep the fire continuously oxygenated. In my experience, the Yukon performs as well as its smaller cousin, the Solo Stove Ranger, but on a larger scale.
The Yukon’s fire begins quickly, its logs completely captured in just five minutes. Once caught, they burned for hours. This pit is efficient too and is constantly consuming all of my test firewood logs. At the end of the night there was little solid rubble, just a few pieces of charcoal and ash. It produces a lot less smoke than the other fire pits I tested here as well, except for the Solo Pit Ranger.
You can also order the Yukon with a rain cover ($ 55) and a metal stand ($ 70) for extra money or part of a bundle. Since the pit weighs 38 pounds, I don’t recommend moving it around often. As with other high-powered fire pits, children (and adults) in the Yukon must be careful. In addition to the intense heat of the fire itself, the Yukon’s steel surface quickly warms to scalding temperatures.
Brian Bennett / cnet.com
This Garden Treasures fire pit proves that you don’t have to spend a ton of money to enjoy a backyard campfire. Despite the low price, this pit is nice and wide (29.5 inches in diameter). It also comes with a mesh lid to keep sparks at bay.
However, it lacks an advanced airflow system so fires in this pit create a lot of smoke. And its steel frame is not rustproof, so leaving out the pit in the elements could result in rust. Even so, I was able to light a self-sustaining fire in about five minutes. Its performance is comparable to the ignition time of premium fireplaces like the Solo Stove Ranger and the Tiki Brand Fire Pit.
However, these products burn their fuel more efficiently and leave less unused firewood and ash to clean up in the morning. Even so, the Garden Treasures pit does the job on a tight budget.
We tested others
The squat, cylindrical, compact and made of stainless steel Solo Stove Ranger looks simple at first glance. In this pit, however, the same sophisticated airflow system is hidden as its bigger sibling, the Solo Stove Yukon. The system is designed so that the fire in the pit burns hotter and the wood fuel is used more completely.
I can confirm that the ranger keeps these promises. It starts quickly, its logs are on fire in just five minutes, and it burns for hours. The fires I started in the Ranger also burned with incredible ferocity. The flames in the pit were concentrated in an impressive rolling vortex. Despite the fire, the ranger gave off very little smoke.
The ranger has some disadvantages. Also, due to its compact size, it cannot accept standard firewood logs (15 inches long). It’s also not best for large groups or families. More than two people roasting marshmallows at the same time quickly becomes a crowd.
Die Kingso 22-Zoll-Feuerstelle ist klein und hat einen schlechten Luftstrom. Brian Bennett / cnet.com
The Hampton Bay Windgate is by far the largest fire pit in this group. It has a massive 40-inch diameter fire bowl that can accommodate large groups. Weighing a whopping 60 pounds and made of high strength steel, it is very tedious to get the pit where you want it to be. Unfortunately, the Windgate suffers from poor ventilation. As a result, the fires I started in the pit went out in 15 to 20 minutes. That in turn makes it difficult to recommend this model.
Wie wir sie bewertet haben
Um jede Feuerstelle zu testen, verwendete ich denselben Brennstoff, Simple Simon Premium Hardwood, der aus dem Baumarkt meines örtlichen Lowe stammt. Für die Menge habe ich drei geteilte Holzlängen ausgewählt (ungefähr 15 Zoll lang). Ich stapelte dann die Protokolle zusammen, so dass zumindest ein Teil von jedem die anderen berührte.
How we rated it
To test each fire pit, I used the same fuel, Simple Simon Premium Hardwood, that came from my local Lowe’s hardware store. For the crowd, I picked three split lengths of wood (roughly 15 inches long). I then stacked the logs together so that at least part of each was touching the other.
To light each pit, I usedfire starters in my neighborhood Kroger supermarket. One of those starter matches is all I need to get (or should be) the fire of every pit burning. I then recorded how long it took for a fully sustained fire to develop.
A powerful hearth will ignite completely in five to 10 minutes. A pit with poor airflow and design will last much longer or even flare out after 15 minutes, no matter how well you stacked your wood. I also noted how much smoke came out of each pit. Ideally, a fireplace creates a lot of flame and little smoke. A good quality fire pit also burns fuel efficiently and leaves little solid material behind once the fire burns out naturally.