Camping isn’t complete without a fire.

However, not all campsites, particularly those off the usual road, come equipped with fire pits. But you already know that, which is why you’re looking for a new fire pit to take on your next camping trip. 

There are a variety of solutions available today that will suffice, but it’s vital to consider a few factors before making a final decision.

  • Size. Do you need a fire pit to keep a small party warm or a large group warm? If the latter is the case, you’ll want to go for something a little bigger. Fire pits, thankfully, come in a variety of designs and sizes. 
  • Cooking. Do you intend to cook in your lovely new fire pit over an open flame? Check to see whether your fire pit can handle it, and if it comes with any cooking gear. 

We hope you’ll be impressed with some of the best fire pits on the market right now. 

Types of Fire Pits to Consider

Propane and wood are the two most common fuel sources for fire pits. Gas-powered pits are simple to connect to a propane tank via a pre-attached hose and turn on and off, so there’s no need to wait for your fire to burn out or find water to douse it when it’s time to retire for the night.

A normal propane tank can weigh up to 20 pounds, but you won’t have to lug around any firewood bundles. Propane pits also allow you to light a fire even if burn bans are in effect in your region (but you should still check for fire regulations where you plan to use one). In addition, propane fire pits produce less heat than a huge wood-burning fire pit. 

Many firms claim that their wood and propane pits would reduce smoke, so you won’t have to keep moving your chair around the pit as the breeze shifts. And if you’re not a fan of smelling like a campfire, it means less of the smokey odor that generally lingers for days on your clothes and hair.

Easy to bring pits come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some resemble classic non-portable fire pits but are lighter, while others feature folding legs and carry bags. For backpackers or serious campers who need to keep their flames off the ground, options like the UCO Flatpack fold flat.

Furthermore, some pits contain more practical amenities for cooking and grilling, like cooking grates. If you want to barbeque with charcoal, the BioLite can accommodate that as well. When reviewing the alternatives below, keep in mind how you intend to use your fire pit.

8 of the best fire pits for camping.

UCO Flatpack

UCO Flatpack Portable Stainless Steel Grill and Fire Pit
  • Stainless steel grill folds to 1.5 inches thick and fits in a backpack; can be used as a fire pit; comes in regular or mini sizes (sold separately)
  • Regular size features 13 x 10-inch grilling area for up to 6 servings; mini features 9 x 6.75-inch grilling area for up to 3 servings
  • Stable base for safe grilling; quick 30-second setup; sides of grill serve as a wind-break
  • Safely contains fire and keeps fire off the ground; constructed from durable stainless steel to provide high rust and corrosion resistance
  • 1 year manufacturer’s warranty

Dimensions: 13.5 in. long, 11 in. tall (when packed) | Weight: 3.2 lb. | Fuel: Wood, charcoal

The Flatpack may pass for a laptop in its elegant canvas carrying cover. When folded down, it’s that little. The Flatpack is strong with legs deployed, despite being the smallest of the full fore pits we examined. Keep in mind that the stainless-steel body can only sustain 10 pounds of wood or charcoal due to its thinness. This also implies that if you start a fire with small wood, you’ll have to keep an eye on it because you can’t pile large logs on top of it. For the size of the pit, the load rests rather high off the ground, so it’s better to maintain it on flat, even surfaces. 

Pros

  • It’s simple to set up
  • Folds up small enough to fit in a backpack
  • Dishwasher-safe

Cons

  • It won’t fit large logs
  • A remarkable amount of smoke was produced

Fireside Outdoor Pop-Up Pit

Pop-Up Fire Pit | Portable and Lightweight | Fullsize 24 Inch | Weighs 7 lbs. | Never Rust Fire Pit | Heat Shield NOT Included
  • The Pop-Up Fire Pit is the first truly portable wood or charcoal burning fire pit.
  • ENGINEERING SIMPLE - The Pop-Up Pit sets-up in just under 60 seconds without the use of any tools.
  • PERFECT BURNS - Burning on a fire-rated Stainless Steel Mesh (Fire Mesh) means our fires get perfect airflow. Enjoy brighter, hotter fires with almost no smoke. The Fire Mesh holds up to 125lbs of weight and doesn't allow ash to fall through.
  • EXCEEDS THE REGS - With 576sq inches of burn area, an elevated base, and 3.5inch sides the Pop-Up Fire Pit exceeds BLM and Forest Service regulations for fire pans.
  • FIRESIDE GUARANTEE - While limited in its lifespan, the Fire Mesh comes with our unique 50 fire/1yr minimum guarantee.
  • Fuel Type : Wood
  • Weight : 8lbs / 3.6kg

The Fireside Outdoor Pop-Up Pit began as a Kickstart project and has now grown to become one of the most popular fire pits available.

This lightweight, portable, and robust fire pit, which is now carried by REI and other major camping gear retail stores, has a lot to offer.

To begin with, it has a simple yet effective design that all fits into a convenient carrying case.

After that, there’s the set-up. The manufacturer claims a startup time of 60 seconds. It only takes 90 seconds to cool down and then take down and pack away your fire after it has been extinguished.

Even if you’re doing some cooking on it, this fire pit can hold 125 pounds of weight, which is more than plenty. The heat shield on the Fireside Outdoor Pop-Up Pit has inconsistencies in quality, however, the manufacturer has upgraded the product and is sending replacement shields to campers who have had this problem. 

Pros

  • It is lightweight. 8 pounds is pretty light for a fire pit.
  • Large. This fire pit is ideal for a family or group of friends that camp frequently.
  • Rust-proof. Even with heavy use, this fire pit should last you several years

Cons

  • The quality of the heat shield. On the heat shield, the stitching is uneven.

SuchDeco Portable Fire Pit

SUCHDECO Portable Fire Pit for Camping Foldable, Small Size16.5 Inch Mesh Fire Pit, Foldable Camping Fire Pit for Camping Backyard Beach and Wood Burning Camping, Barbecue, and Garden
  • 🔥2021 UPGRADE PORTABLE OUTDOOR FIRE PIT 2.0: Suchdeco upgrade package size is 9.4" x 4" x 4" (the traditional product package size was 25.6" x 2.5" x 2.5"). We designed the four steel feet to be detachable, which not only keep the better stability, but also will be more portable for outdoor camping. WIth A Free portable bag.
  • 🔥EASY TO ASSEMBLE: No tools required. You just need to connect the stainless steel tube to the support frame during the use.
  • 🔥ECO-FRIENDLY & CONVENIENT: The net of the outdoor fire pit is constructed with anti-heating, eco-friendly 304 stainless steel material and is meticulously woven to limit ash and debris from slipping through. It is easy to clean.
  • 🔥BEST CHOICE FOR OUTDOOR: Our portable fire pit is best choice for outdoor wood burning such as camping, outdoors picnic, beach, garden, trekking, barbecue, fishing, climbing, etc. Put it into your bag and enjoy your outdoor life!
  • 🔥REUSABLE & EASY TO CLEAN: The 0.96mm heat-resistant mesh of our foldable fire pit, making ash or debris not fall and it is easy to clean. If any question, please contact us by e-mail freely, we're always at your service!
  • Fuel Type : Wood
  • Weight : 2.1lbs / 0.9kg

The SuchDeco Portable Fire Pit is a terrific budget-friendly solution for the camper who needs an ultra-portable fire pit. It safely lets you and a small group to enjoy a lovely bonfire.

At first glance, the fire pit, which is made of stainless steel and heat-resistant mesh, resembles a camping chair. It has an 11-pound capacity, which is sufficient for a couple of pieces of quality, dry wood.

It’s important not to put too much weight on the mesh table, as this could harm it.

You won’t have any problems with air circulation because it’s wide open. However, be cautious on windy nights because embers have a tendency to blow off the edge. 

If portability and weight are important to you, the SuchDeco Portable Fire Pit is a great option.

Pros

  • Ultra-portable. On-the-go backpackers and motorcycle campers will love this.
  • Lightweight. There isn’t a lighter fire pit on the market at 2.1 pounds
  • Budget-friendly. You can get a couple of these fire pits as gifts for your camping buddies.

Cons

  • Durability. Although ash can fall through the mesh setting, this isn’t always the case.

Wolf and Grizzly Fire Safe

Wolf and Grizzly Fire Safe; A Portable, Foldable Fire Pit for Outside Cooking and Bonfires
  • ULTIMATE PORTABILITY: Two parts, that's it. Fire Safe's stainless steel insert and frame both fold to less than 1 inch and weigh under 2.2 pounds. So portable you can take it anywhere.
  • POST FIRE PROMISE: We'll replace any part that isn't functioning properly within your first year of reasonable use. Even in the fire, we've got you covered.
  • ENGINEERED FOR EFFICIENCY: Fire Safe's frame acts as a built in wind-shield and its segmented design facilitates airflow overtop and below your fire. Have better fires with less fuel.
  • ONLY THE BEST FIRES: Use wood or charcoal. Make a small cooking fire or a backyard bonfire. Fire Safe is as flexible as you are.
  • CARRYING CASE INCLUDED: Premium carrying case made of recycled materials holds your Fire Safe, with extra space for a Wolf and Grizzly Fire Set, tinder, or anything else you need.
  • Fuel Type : Wood
  • Weight : 2lbs / 0.9kg

The Wolf and Grizzly Fire Safe is a well-engineered fire pit that’s as portable as it is handy. Place it on the beach, a picnic table, or your uneven campground. 

Assembly and packing up is a breeze after a few practice rounds since this fire pit is made of strong stainless steel and comes in two sections. Even better, the base bends into a scoop for quick ash removal after a fire, which should be buried. 

The real magic of this fire pit, though, is the way it’s designed for maximum airflow, which is essential for any campfire. The windshield on the device also keeps embers and ash from blowing out of the fire pit. 

Pros

  • Ultra-portable. This fire pit is made up of two parts that fold up nicely.
  • Protection against the wind. The frame is made to allow for maximum air circulation while also ensuring safety.
  • Guaranteed by the company. If anything goes wrong during the first year, the business commits to replace it without question.

Cons

  • For the size of the fire pit, it seemed a little pricey.

Solo Stove Bonfire Fire Pit

Sale
Solo Stove Bonfire Fire Pit - Smokeless Large 19.5 Inch Stainless Steel Outdoor Firepit | Portable Backyard Natural Wood Burning Firebowl | No Gas or Propane Required
  • Solo Stove Bonfire, the world's most unique fire pit, pushes the limits of both combustion airflow efficiency and minimalist outdoor design with its all stainless steel construction. It was painstakingly engineered to provide a backyard fire experience that cannot be duplicated. Our patent pending design sold over $1.1M sold on Kickstarter.
  • SECONDARY COMBUSTION - Double wall design maximizes airflow and burning process. Bottom vent holes allow oxygen to the feed the fire from below while simultaneously channeling warm oxygen up between the walls of the stove and back into the fire.
  • EFFICIENT BURN/LOW SMOKE - A more complete burn means little to no smoke. It also means no more half burnt logs to deal with.
  • NO MORE DODGING SMOKE - Since Bonfire burns with almost no smoke, you'll spend less time dodging smoke and your clothes won't smell. You'll spend more time enjoying the fire!
  • EASY TO USE & PORTABLE - The Bonfire’s singular construction completely removes the need for parts and assembly. There is literally no setup. Heavy duty carry case included. Size: 14" tall, 19.5" diameter.
  • Fuel Type : Wood
  • Weight : 20lbs / 9kg

The Solo Stove Bonfire Pit is a superbly crafted fire pit that allows you to burn strong, long-lasting fires while substantially reducing smoke. It was designed with the luxury camper in mind. 

This stainless steel fire pit is only 20 pounds, so it’s still rather portable. However, it’s clearly intended for backyard campfires and car campers with plenty of space and cash.

The precision base plate is the key to this fire pit’s success, as it permits ample of oxygen to keep the fire alive. The vent holes at the top of the pit aid in full combustion, reducing smoke. You won’t have to move with the breeze to avoid smelling like a blaze as a result.

When it comes to drawbacks, only one stands out: the price. The cost of this Solo fire pit is more than three times that of a typical fire pit. 

Pros

  • Less smoke, more flame. This fire pit has been expertly designed to virtually minimize all smoke from the fire.
  • A unique ash pan. The ash from the fire falls into a pan that is placed in a location that does not obstruct airflow, allowing the fire to burn hotter.

Cons

  • Expensive

BioLite Fire Pit

BioLite FPB1001 Outdoor Smokeless Wood & Charcoal Burning FirePit and Grill, 1, Black
  • A smokeless wood-burning fire pit that can go from spark-to-fire in less than 30 seconds, cook your meals, and give you a front-row seat to everything going on inside your fire. Burn charcoal or wood for a hibachi-style grilling experience.
  • Airflow system has 4 fan speeds to control the intensity of your flames. Control fan intensity from the firepit's power pack or from the free BioLite energy app for Android and iOS
  • 10, 400 mAh rechargeable battery power pack with USB outputs for charging your devices
  • Enjoy the feeling of a 360-degree floating fire with the firepit's X-ray mesh and up to 24 hour burn time
  • Can be utilized as a smokeless grill, or for BBQ, or just as an outdoor fire pit. It's perfect on the go, or in the backyard.
  • Fuel Type : Wood / Charcoal
  • Weight : 20lbs / 9kg

The BioLite Fire Pit is a tech-savvy fire pit that’s the right size for intimate campfires or cooking hibachi-style dinners. It’s a one-of-a-kind product that leans on its revolutionary features.

For starters, it can hold four regular firewood logs. After lighting it, rely on the proprietary airflow technology of the brand, which is powered by a 10,400mAh battery. That’ll keep the fire running for another 24 hours.

That powerpack allows you to manage the fire’s heat either directly on the fire pit or via Bluetooth using the BioLite Energy App.

Pros

  • A technologically advanced solution. A rechargeable power pack is included with the fire pit to ensure that your fire burns evenly.
  • Excellent for grilling. It also comes with a grill grate for switching from wood to charcoal for hibachi-style dinners.
  • The design is transparent. Watching the embers burn through the x-ray mesh container is soothing.

Cons

  • Rust is something we don’t like. After six months of use, rust can form.

AmazonBasic Portable Fire Pit

Amazon Basics 26" Portable Folding Fire Pit
  • Overall Dimensions: 26.3" Diameter x 16.5" Height
  • Heat-resistant, painted steel bowl and fire screen
  • Log grate, cooking grate, carrying bag and fire tool included
  • No tools required for assembly
  • Fuel Type : Wood / Propane
  • Weight : 12lbs / 5.4kg

With the AmazonBasic Portable Fire Pit, Amazon continues its entry into branded camping and outdoor gear.

This is an excellent illustration of what a basic fire pit should look like, with its circular form and mesh grate cover. It’s light enough to go to the beach or camping, weighing only 12 pounds. The grate cover is a useful safety element that allows you to enjoy a fire even if your campsite has severe fire regulations.

We wouldn’t expect perfection from AmazonBasics because it’s a budget firepit. For entry-level, casual campers, though, it should be enough.

Pros

  • Simple to put together. During the setup, no tools are necessary.
  • Size is adequate. This fire pit is large enough for a large fire, measuring 26 inches in diameter.

Cons

  • Screws that are loose. Make sure your screws are tightened before or after usage

Camp Chef Sequoia Fire Pit

Camp Chef GCLOGM Portable Fire Pit
  • 55,000 BTU burner for use with bulk propane tanks
  • Flame adjustment heat-control lever
  • Lava rock included to disperse heat
  • Includes 2 extendable roasting sticks for s'mores, hotdogs, and more
  • Carry bag included for easy storage and transport
  • Fuel Type : Propane
  • Weight : 24lbs / 10.8kg

The Sequoia Fire Pit, the only propane-powered fire pit on this list, is built for the camper who wants convenience and is willing to spend a little additional money on propane.

This fire pit contains a robust foundation, high-pressure burner, lava rock, and two roasting sticks for preparing marshmallows or hotdogs, and is designed for RV campers who may have fire restrictions in their park.

Obviously, the drawback is having to buy propane for each journey. You don’t want to run out in the middle of a camping vacation, so be sure you have plenty.

However, the quality and simplicity of the Sequoia Fire Pit make it well worth the money.

Pros

  • Gasoline-powered vehicles. Propane is more expensive, but it allows you to build a fire quickly. Furthermore, no wood is required.
  • It has a nice design. The evergreen trees carved onto the base’s side are a great touch.
  • There isn’t any smoke. There will be no smoke if there is no wood.

Cons

  • Price. If you don’t want to worry about running out of gas, you’ll need to bring a new can of propane for each journey.

Why Do I Need A Fire Pit for Camping?

Let’s get one thing straight: no camper requires a fire pit; you can camp without one just fine. However, there are numerous reasons why you would desire one, and a fire pit is a must if you want to have a rustic, classic camping experience.

Using this type of equipment will help you to construct a proper fire without the inconvenience of having to start from scratch. Furthermore, a roaring fire gives your campsite a much more authentic sense, but it is safely contained inside the fire pit, which is ideal if you have little campers.

Furthermore, many people are unaware that sitting near a fire might be helpful to one’s health. Being in the presence of a fire has been demonstrated to reduce blood pressure in studies! Camping is already a calming and delightful experience, but add this health advantage to the mix, and you’ve got a winning formula!

In the spirit of recipes, your camping fire pit will also serve as an excellent cooking surface. There are gas stoves that will do the work (our guide to the best camping stoves is a terrific read! ), but nothing beats meals cooked over an open fire for flavor and comfort.

We could go on, but even with just these few benefits, it’s easy to see how a camping fire pit could help you on your next excursion. Let’s take a look at some of the best with that in mind.

Benefits Of A Fire Pit Over Traditional Fire

Although a fire pit is not required, it can add to the enjoyment of your trip.

Using a fire pit eliminates the need to start a fire from scratch. You must consider all areas of safety.

It’s wonderfully relaxing to sit around a fire pit and watch the flames dance. They’re also a terrific way to cook; you can use your gas stove, but nothing beats the flavor of food cooked over an open fire.

Portability

When looking for a camping fire pit, one of the most crucial factors to consider is how easy it will be to travel. You should also consider how you intend to use it. For example, if you plan on staying in one place for two weeks, a larger fire pit may be more beneficial.

If, on the other hand, you plan on hiking and camping in a new location every night, portability is critical. You should seek a lightweight, collapsible camping fire pit. Some fire pits come with a carrying bag, while others fold up so little that they may fit in your pocket.

We wrote an article about having a fire pit on grass that you should read. 

Assembly

When you arrive at your campsite, the last thing you want to do is fiddle with complicated equipment. Some of the best camping fire pits come with an easy-to-assemble design that takes only a few minutes to complete. It’s also crucial to consider whether you’ll need any particular tools or equipment to erect the fire pit.

Materials

Because the fire pit will be exposed to tremendous heat, it must be made of durable materials that will not deform from the flames. In a nutshell, the fire pit should be composed of metal, although the sort of metal used will vary depending on the product.

  • Iron has a highly strong design that is unbeatable in terms of durability. However, because it is significantly heavier, it may not be appropriate for campers who spend a lot of time moving between sites.
  • Steel is significantly lighter and more portable, making it excellent for individuals on the road. While this is a tough metal, it pales in comparison to iron in terms of toughness.

You might also want to look for features like powder coating, which adds an extra layer of toughness and protection to the material. Furthermore, galvanized metal has a far longer lifespan and is extremely resistant to moisture and rust.

To Grill Or Not To Grill

For the most part, the campfire will be used to cook. However, this isn’t true for everyone. If you want to cook over an open fire, it’s best to seek one that comes with a grill or at least the possibility to install one.

If you only want to utilize the fire pit for heat, though, an open design might be better.

Airflow

To get your flames to get hot and bright, you’ll need a lot of airflow. Your fire will continue burning out and a lot of smoke will fly in your face if your fire pit doesn’t let in enough oxygen.

Your fire pit’s foundation should be mesh or have some holes to allow air to pass through. There’s a chance that hot ashes will fall through larger holes, burning the ground beneath them.

So, while mesh may be more effective in the short term, it will need to be replaced after a few journeys since it will begin to burn through.

Fuel Source

There are a variety of fuel sources available for portable fire pits, including wood, charcoal, gas, and ethanol. Because we at Queensland Camping believe that nothing surpasses a real wood campfire, all of the portable fire pits in this guide are powered by wood (or charcoal). However, if you have a different idea in mind, we’ve outlined the advantages and disadvantages of each fuel source below.

1. Wood

For lighting a portable fire pit – or any form of fire pit, for that matter – wood is one of the most preferred fuel sources. With a strong heat, a delightful crackling sound, and those gorgeous darting amber flames, wood creates a lovely atmosphere. In comparison to other fuel sources, a fire pit made of wood is relatively cheaply priced.

The disadvantage of a wood-fueled campfire is that it is more difficult to start and extinguish, though I believe many campers would agree that this is half the charm.

2. Charcoal

​​In general, charcoal is a safer fuel source than wood because it does not produce the same amount of sparks and burning debris. When it’s windy, charcoal is unquestionably the better choice. Furthermore, charcoal is easier to start and maintain than wood. Charcoal is also less smokey than wood fires, which is beneficial for both individuals sitting around the fire and those cooking food.

On the other hand, charcoal has a lesser heat content than wood, which can burn for hours. Also, dealing with charcoal is much messier, since it leaves black powdered dust everywhere it comes into touch.

3. Gas

One of the key advantages of a gas campfire over a wood fire pit is that it is much easier to set up and put out. However, running a gas fire pit is more expensive than running a wood fire pit, and it’s another thing to lug about while camping.

Furthermore, gas does not appear to produce the same amount of heat as a wood fire, and therefore is not suitable for cooking. If not utilized properly, they can potentially be harmful.

4. Ethanol

Another fuel source for portable campfires is ethanol, often known as biofuel. This form of fuel, which is made entirely of alcohol, is much safer than wood or gas, and it burns cleanly without producing smoke or disagreeable odors.

The disadvantage of ethanol fuel is that it is more expensive than wood or gas, and it does not produce a lot of heat, making it unsuitable for camp cooking.

Efficiency

Another factor to consider is the design of the fire pit to ensure that the fire burns efficiently. Some fire pits are simple and lack any genuine efficiency characteristics. Look for features like high sides to aid with windy weather, air vents, and air holes to help with a more efficient burn, and fire pits made of thick metal to better conduct and retain heat for a fire that burns effectively.

Ash Tray and Clean Up

When a fire burns, ash is produced. So, where does the ash go? That’s an excellent question. Is it going to fall to the ground and make a large mess, or is it going to stay in the fire pit and choke up the burning area? The best portable fire pits will feature an ashtray or other mechanism to catch the ash as it burns. Rather than having to shovel the ash once the fire has been extinguished, this helps you to dispose of it quickly.

Safety and Ground Protection

Finally, you want a fire pit that is safe to use and will not pollute the environment. You don’t want a fire pit that leaves the earth black and burnt, nor do you want to be worried that the flames will escape while you’re using it.

All good portable fire pits are designed with the fire sitting off the ground to ensure ground protection. Also, seek for ones with high sides so that the fire can be contained and the wood doesn’t fall out. Investing in a heat shield for the fire pit is also a good idea.

FAQs 

Why does my fire pit keep going out?

It’s possible that your fire pit isn’t properly ventilated if it keeps going out. Remove any excess ash to allow the fire to breathe.

It’s also possible that your wood is moist on the inside. It’s probably damp beneath the surface if you hear a “sizzling” noise when the fire is running.

Can a propane fire pit be used on a camping trip?

Yes, propane pits can be used on a camping trip. They’re relatively safe to use, and you’re less likely to start an unintentional fire with them than with a traditional fire pit.

Just keep in mind that the gas canister and fire pit can take up a lot of room, making really portable propane fire pits difficult to come across.

Should I use lava rocks in my fire pit? 

Lava rocks aren’t required for a campfire, although they are helpful. They protect the bottom of your fire pit and help your fire burn hotter for longer. Because they will take up important room in a tiny pit, they are more suited for a larger home fire pit than a camping setup.

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