If you’re someone who loves a campfire but don’t want to be bound by a firepit, then you’ll love this deluxe portable firepit from Solo Stove!
I know our family LOVES camping away from the campgrounds to really find those unique spots (and let’s face it, spots my kids can be wild in and they won’t bother anyone!) but a drawback has always been the lack of a fire ring.
While we could make our own, we tend not to as it takes away from the “wildness” of the spot and it’s not as safe as the established campfire rings. We like the ones that are raised up with kids especially as ones we just make ourselves with rocks tend to be harder for the kids to see when they’re running around camp.
Let me show you everything you need to know to figure out if the Solo Stove Bonfire (or other sizes) are worth it for your camp set up!
I also wanted to let you know that I received the stove in exchange for my honest opinion!
Overview of the Solo Stove Bonfire
Review and FAQ
What we liked
I was very impressed with how quick and easy it was to start the fire, even if the wood was a little damp. This is because of the design of the fire pit that allows air to get under the fire, so you don’t have to spend forever blowing on it!
The set we got came with the stand – this is the piece of metal that the firepit can be set down on to reduce damage to the ground underneath, and I’d say it’s something you should definitely buy with it if you plan on taking it camping.
Speaking of the set we got, we did not have to assemble anything! I LOVE that we can just have it in the back of the truck and can pull it out whenever and we have a campfire right away!
It was really nice to not see ANY damage to the grass after our fire was done (not even a wilt!) This makes me feel way more confident about using it during fire season when traditional
And, of course, I can’t forget to mention the how little smoke there is! We started our fire with some pine needles and dry moss, so there was some initial smoke for about 2 minutes, but then it was gone! This made our whole camp experience WAY easier because my kids are young and at the age where they get super affected by smoke. I almost always have at least one kid squinting their eyes as hard as they can and screaming for me because of the smoke, but with the solo stove that issue never happened!
Lastly, I love that I can have a campfire ANYWHERE. Just to say that I did it, I actually set it up in a stream and enjoyed the water next to the crackle and warmth of the Bonfire. It was awesome!
What we didn’t like
We really wish there was an easy way to dump the ash after we’re done, such as a removable tray that could slide out. We wanted to dump the ash into a hole before we left, but it was a little difficult to get it out of the stove since you have to dump the whole thing.
Another concern is putting out the fire – it burns super fast (due to how hot it burns), so usually it’s not an issue waiting till it’s all burned out, but I felt terrible having to dump water into it while it was still super hot. I was nervous it would affect the steel, so we did small amounts of water at a time. To their credit, I looked at the stove after and I didn’t notice that the crazy temp change left any damage to the stove.
FAQ about the Solo Stove Bonfire
Does it put out similar amounts of heat compared to a traditional campfire?
Yes! If you compare it to the firepits at a campground (the ones that are liked 3 feet high) the warmth is similar if not better. I actually had to give it a little more space than I’m used to because it’s so hot!
Does the solo stove really put out no smoke at all?
For the most part – at the beginning when it’s getting started there is a little, but as soon as it heats up you can’t even see it! This is so awesome because we all know how it feels when the smoke seems to follow you everywhere!
Can you cook on the solo stove?
Yes and no. You can cook all the normal stuff on a stick, but for anything that needs a long amount of time to cook you may have to play with it. I plan on bringing a grill top for our next trip to set on it and see if we can cook some sausages or hobo meals. My thought is, if you get the embers low enough (ie no massive flame) then maybe, but it burns so well that it might just burn out before your food is done. I will update this after trying it!
Is the Solo Stove Bonfire big enough for my family?
We fit six chairs around it and weren’t crammed, so I’d say for most families, this firepit is big enough for everyone to enjoy! It puts out alot of heat so you don’t have to cram together to feel it.
How do I prevent rain from getting in when I’m using it at camp?
There are two options – the company sells a cover for it, but it seems that’s when it’s not in use at all. If you’re at camp and you’re ready for bed but the stove still feels hot (even though the fire it out) you could put a lid on it! While the company doesn’t sell that, I’ve heard that this lid is a perfect fit for the bonfire if you remove the top ring.
Can you set it on a patio or other surface without damaging anything?
The company sells a base for it to sit on so that there is some separation between the heat and the ground – I HIGHLY recommend that for just about everyone! I have not tried it on my deck yet, but I did try it ontop of some grass and there was absolutely no damage to the ground (the grass didn’t even wilt!)
Will it use way more wood since it burns so hot?
No! It would seem that way, but it actually just burns much more of the wood than a traditional firepit. It seems to actually use less wood than normal, and I think that’s because it really completely burns each log.
It’s actually really nice to bring camping because if you’re in a spot where you’re allowed to forage wood/cut trees it can burn stuff that is normally too wet since it gets so hot!
Can it be set inside a permanent fire pit (both at home and at the campsite)
It can, but the company recommends giving it some space so that the design can still work – it needs good airflow to keep the low smoke, pretty flame going! They recommend 2+ inches of space around the whole thing so it can get enough ventilation.
Recommended accessories for the Solo Stove
If you use the link I listed above for the Bonfire, it will include a stand and carrying case which are must haves. The stand is what gets it off the ground to prevent damage, and the carrying case it a convenient way to carry it so it’s so round!
However this list will include some other items that will make the stove even better!
Need something smaller for backpacking? Check our their smaller version – it doesn’t even need propane or anything!
If you love the idea of having a campfire anywhere, but are thinking of something smaller don’t worry – they got that too! Let me quickly show you the backpacker version of this stove.
Backpacking Solo Stove (utilizes small twigs and has a cooking ring!)
This version is compact and meant to be used while backpacking. It doesn’t need any propane or things like that, and instead just uses small sticks and such that can be found wherever you’re at.
It nests inside of the set of pots that comes with the set I linked and can boil water in around 4 minutes!
If you’re ready for a smokeless, campfire anywhere kind of experience, I encourage you to check this out! If you have any questions, leave them in the comments!
I have absolutely loved being able to have a fire anywhere – especially since my kids aren’t constantly complaining that the “smoke won’t stop following them!”
I know it’s pricey (around 300) but it’s one of those things that can really improve your camp experience. The quality and craftsmanship shows and it just looks so clean!
So happy camping, and I hope I’ve helped you understand more about this stove. <3
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