Smokeless fire pits: Is a Solo Stove worth it?

When I started my search for a smokeless fire pit, the main option that I was aware of was the Solo Stove. I wanted to explore my options fully before I determined if or why a solo Stove is worth it.

Why a Smokeless fire pit?

As much as I may love the smell of a campfire, it doesn’t necessarily my neighbors do. Aside from the smell, smoke could cause issues for those with heart or lung disease – including asthma and COPD. Traditional fires are great, but I’d rather save them for camping trips. Additionally, I would like our young children to have the campfire experience without getting smoked out.

Types of smokeless fire pits

  • Gas Fire pits
  • Pellet Fire pits
  • High Airflow wood burning fire pits

For this comparison, we have focused on wood burning fire pits. Click here to see some of the options not discussed here.

Popular options

Blue Sky The Peak Smokeless Patio Fire Pit link

Fuel type: Pellet or wood
Cost: $229

What I liked:

  • Looks Out of the three fire pits that I considered, I liked the look of the Blue Sky Peak the best. It’s matte black finish and its polygonal design looked like something that could blend in while still looking nice.
  • Ash Tray I also liked that the it had a removable tray for ash disposal.
  • Cost the peak fire pit was the most affordable of the bunch at $229 on Amazon.

What I disliked:

  • Quality concerns The main factor that prevented me from ordering the Blue Sky Peak was the fact that I read several reviews criticizing the welds that held the floor of the pit. Many reviews noted weld separation after the first use. I may have taken a chance if this wasn’t such a bulky item, but I didn’t want to have to go through the trouble of shipping a fire pit if I did experience an issue with the product.

Solo Stove Bonfire  link

Fuel type: Pellet or wood
Cost: from $254.99 

What I liked: 

  • Reputation Solo Stove is the main player when it comes to smokeless fire pits. But is the solo Stove worth it? Most reviews are positive, and they seem to ship out a lot product. I had confidence that if there was an issue with the Solo Stove, I would be able to have it resolved.
  • Exterior temperature With small children, I liked that the Solo Stove maintains a relatively cool exterior temperature. While they would hopefully never be close enough to come in contact with it, I feel better knowing that it isn’t exceptionally hot to the touch.

What I disliked:

  • Looks I may be in the minority, but I don’t love the look of the Solo Stove. Don’t get me wrong, it’s attractive as a piece of industrial design, it’s just a little too flashy for what it is. I would rather have something that blends in rather than stick out.
  • Ash disposal The Solo Stove doesn’t have an ash tray, which means you have to tip it over to dump out the ash.

Breeo X-Series Smokeless Fire Pit link

Fuel type: wood
Cost: from $349

What I liked: 

  • American Made Breeo Fire Pits are manufactured in Lancaster Pennsylvania
  • Quality Construction The Breeo appeared to be the most “heavy duty” option of the bunch. It looked like a solid quality product that could withstand heavy use.

What I disliked:

  • Cost The Breeo fire Pit was the most expensive of the bunch with the 19″ coming in at $349.
  • Safety concerns with children While I really liked the idea of cooking on the rim of the Breeo, it looked like a magnet for curious little hands.

My Choice: Solo Stove

After careful consideration, I chose the Solo Stove. It had overwhelmingly positive reviews and it’s design appeared to be the most kid-friendly of the bunch. I was able to find a coupon code that stacked with their sale at the time, so that helped reduce the cost gap between some of the other options.

My initial impressions:

The good:

The Solo Stove arrived well packaged. The stove itself looks and feels like a solid premium product. Mine came with a stand and carrying bag. The stand allows you to use it on surfaces like a deck, which I won’t need, but you might depending on where you intend to use it.

The fire itself was fairly easy to get started. There was some smoke, but it’s dramatically less than a traditional fire pit and I would describe it as more of a light and vertical smoke/steam versus that choking cloud of smoke that always seems to follow you around with a classic fire pit.

The bad(ish):

One thing that I knew going in was that the fire can’t be extinguished with water. Because of that, you have to plan ahead and give yourself enough time to watch the fire burn out. We’ve found a log or two and some twigs will give us a fire that lasts long enough to enjoy and then we just let it burn out. If we want to stay out longer, we just add a log.

Another thing that I knew going in was that ash disposal would be tricky. I’ve found that tipping the stove over a bin and then spinning it slowly allows me to get most of the ash out. It’s not ideal, but it works.

Overall:

I’m definitely pleased with the Solo Stove overall and I think the Solo Stove is worth it.  We’ve used it a lot, and it’s a great way to get outside and wind down at the end of the day. It’s holding up well and still looks relatively new after months of use.

 

 

Doug

Doug is a dad, designer, maker, and a kid at heart.