7 Best Portable Fire Pit Models to Bring the Heat Wherever You Go
Light it up with the best portable fire pit!
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MARY HENN/ FAMILY HANDYMAN
There’s nothing quite as lovely as gathering around a crackling fire when the sun goes down to enjoy the soft glow and dancing flames. Whether you prefer to burn firewood or opt for an easy-to-ignite gas-powered model, the best portable fire pit should always be simple to use. When inspiration hits, there’s no need to make a huge fuss. Simply pull one of these portable fire pits out, light the fire, sit back and let it warm your soul.
“The benefit of a portable fire pit, is that wherever it goes, a good time is sure to be had,” says Ty Hancock director of product marketing for Solo Stove. “You can move it around your yard, from your yard to your neighbor’s yard for a party, from your yard to a campsite, or from your yard to any other place you can think of. You’re not just bringing a fire pit along for the ride, you’re bringing your trusty showstopper centerpiece.”
What to Consider When Buying a Portable Fire Pit
Portable fire pits come in all shapes and sizes. When searching for the best portable fire pit, consider how user-friendly it is. Will it provide enough warmth? Is it for decor only, or would you also like to cook with it? Additionally, ask yourself if it’s lightweight enough to carry alone or if you’ll need help loading it into your vehicle. Lastly, be sure the overall design and finish are the ones you love.
Types of Portable Fire Pits
Materials for Portable Fire Pits
- Cast Iron: A budget-friendly material, but heavier than steel.
- Stainless Steel: Lightweight and durable, yet prone to rusting over time.
- Stone or Concrete: Sturdy and ding-proof, but can also be heavy.
Fuels for Portable Fire Pits
- Wood or Charcoal: Make sure the wood is seasoned and dry for the longest burn times. Charcoal can be found everywhere—like hardware and grocery stores—and is not as expensive or as labor-intensive as wood.
- Gas or Propane: Avoid the hassle, turn the knob and your pit is lit with gas or propane.
Styles of Portable Fire Pits
- Open: Great for arranging seating around the perimeter, portable fire pits come in a variety of shapes like bowls, pillars, squares and rectangles.
- Closed: All-around screens or removable mesh lids protect from flying sparks and embers.
- Grill- and Cook-ready: Equipped with grill grates or cooktop accessories.
- Tabletop: Aesthetic in nature, these are used to create ambiance and not necessarily to generate heat.
Best Overall Portable Fire Pit
Living Accents Round Wood Fire Pit
At 45 inches tall, this enclosed black-finished wood fire pit is larger than others on this list. It’s also our pick for one of the best portable fire pits on wheels—this intrepid little traveler rolls around patio furniture or a stadium parking lot like a champ. Additionally, the clever sliding door provides easy stick access for toasting marshmallows or roasting hot dogs. Oh, and did we mention it’s budget-friendly at around $100? Swoon.
- Porcelain-baked boot lid
- Around $100
- Heavy mesh fire screen
- 360-degree flame visibility
- Comes with a steel log grate
- No clean-out hole at the bottom
Best Budget Portable Fire Pit
Fire Sense Folding Fire Pit
Great for a beach getaway where building a fire in the sand is restricted, this 22-inch diameter mini fire bowl is inexpensive and durable. It even comes with all the necessary accessories, including a log grate, cooking grate and screen lift tool (speaking of, also check out the Pit Command Ranger multitool to safely manage your fire pit). Additionally, this portable fire pit can be folded when it isn’t in use, which makes carrying and storing it a breeze.
- Wallet-friendly price
- Heat-resistant painted steel bowl
- Ideal for one or two people
- No-tool assembly
- For wood only
Best Camping Portable Fire Pit
Camco Little Red Campfire
Ideal for any al fresco situation, this propane-filled gas campfire works in the wilderness or when backyard camping with the kids. Assembled, it’s a little less than 14 inches tall and weighs just 15 pounds. It might look small, but there are enough BTUs (65,000) per hour to generate serious heat. Plus, the Camco Little Red Campfire is safe for use at campgrounds and RV parks that restrict in-ground fires. What could be better?
- RV campground approved
- Realistic rock pieces
- Lid and security latches for safe transport
- Propane hose works with standard LP gas cylinders (not included)
- Replacement parts are pricey
Best Portable Tabletop Fire Pit
Colsen Tabletop Fireplace
When it’s not particularly cold out, add a little ambiance to your picnic or patio table with this freestanding tabletop fire pit. It can easy take the mood up the notch!
Megan Mowery, Senior Editor, keeps one of these small-but-mighty fire pits on her patio. “I like that it’s stylish and doesn’t take any fuel to fire it up, just some household rubbing alcohol,” she says.
- Can be used indoors or out
- Flame burns up to 50 minutes on a fill
- Comes in a concrete or black version
- Must use rubbing alcohol, Colsen’s Fire Pit Fuel or specialized fuels to light fire
Best Smokeless Portable Fire Pit
Solo Stove Fire Pit
About the size of a trash can, this stainless-steel cylinder fire pit fits easily in the back of your car or RV. One of the best portable smokeless fire pits around, its patented 360-degree airflow system burns off smoke before it can get on your clothes or hair. It weighs 15 pounds and burns real, honest-to-goodness firewood (or wood pellets with the Solo Stove Pellet Adapter). “For Solo Stove fire pits, it’s necessary to use a Stand underneath it when burning on top of grass, wooden decks or other heat-sensitive material,” says Hancock. “This will minimize the heat transfer of your fire pit to the underlying surface. For a little bit of extra protection, add some pavers below the stand.” If you’re using your Solo Stove on gravel, dirt, pavement, concrete, or other non-combustible surfaces, a stand is not needed.
- Removable baseplate and ash pan
- Carry case included
- Comes with a lifetime warranty
- Accessories sold seperately
Best Space-Saving Portable Fire Pit
Mont Alpi Steel Wood Burning Fire Pit
This wood-burning, flat-folding fire pit slips into its carry bag, and away you go! And it only takes about one minute to assemble. We also love the angular lines of this fire pit and how it has an uber-cool pre-rust finish. Additionally, this fire pit from Mont Alpi is weather-resistant, so you don’t need to worry about it holding up poorly to the elements.
- Compact size
- Includes grill grate and stainless-steel ash catcher tray
- Holds generously sized logs
- Weather-resistant finish
- Weighs only 24 pounds
- Should not be used indoors
Best Backpacking Portable Fire Pit
Snow Peak Pack & Carry Fireplace
Conquer the backcountry or hit the highest summits with the Snow Peak Pack & Carry. The best portable fire pit for camping, hiking and mountaineering, the Snow Peak Pack & Carry lies as flat as a pancake when folded. It’s easy to tuck this compact, lightweight fire pit into your pack or store it the corner of the tent. If you’re a serious adventurer, there is no need to dine on “gorp” the entire trip—the company offers plenty of accessories (sold separately) for grilling and cooking proper meals.
- Folds flat when not in use
- Corrosion-resistant coated stainless steel
- Air holes to stoke flames
- Available in small and medium sizes
Why You Should Trust Us
I have been a culture and lifestyle writer for The Family Handyman for many years. I’ve covered a variety of fire-related review topics such as the best draft stoppers, ethanol fireplaces, fireplace screens, and portable fire pits. I know how to narrow down the best options for shoppers, with reliable reviews, useful features and varying price ranges.
We consulted with Ty Hancock, director of product marketing at Solo Stove for more insight on portable fire pits. Solo Stove is one of the leading brands for outdoor fire pits, specializing in smokeless fire pits. Hancock has been with Solo Stove for over two years and knows the best features to look for in portable fire pits and the safety protocols that you need to follow when using them.
How We Found the Best Portable Fire Pit
As shopping experts, our only job is to help you find a winning product. We start with the research and reporting basics—what products are made of, what they look like and how much they cost—to ensure that we’re only recommending the buys that are worth your time and money. Then, we research the features that speak to the product’s quality, taking advice from industry insiders and subject-matter experts on what makes a product a smart value (or worthy of a splurge). Finally, we do the work of combing through user reviews to see how real people interact with the product, and if it stands up to the test.
Are portable fire pits safe?
Fire pit safety should be top of mind, especially if you’re planning to use it around young kids. To ensure nothing bad happens:
- Never leave children (or the fire) unattended
- Make sure portable fire pits are placed on a level surface
- Don’t use a fire pit when there are strong winds
- Place the pit at least 10 feet away from buildings, foliage, grass and trees
What do you put under a portable fire pit?
Many portable fire pits come with metal trays to catch hot ash and embers. You can also purchase heat-resistant pads. As Hancock mentioned, you want to minimize the heat transfer of your fire pit to the surface below. Especially when operating on heat-sensitive materials, such as grass or wooden decks. Many of the fire pits listed above have built in legs to keep them off the ground. If not, look to see if the company sells a stand that fits the fire pit or look into getting a heat-resistant pad.
What is the best size for a portable fire pit?
This depends on your intended purpose for your portable fire pit and the size of the space you have for it. If you plan to move it around a lot—maybe for camping—a smaller, lighter fire pit would be better. If you’re going to keep it in your backyard for the summer and then put it in storage for the winter months, opt for a bigger fire pit with a large bowl so you can stack more wood and have longer burn times.