Best Fire Pit: Product Reviews

Best Fire Pit: Product Reviews & Buyers Guide

Fire pits have become a focal point of the backyard, especially after sunset. The area is a beautiful gathering point for a get-together. No matter what size yard you have, you can find a fire pit to meet your design needs. Many fire pits are also portable and easy to carry so you can move them to different locations if you decide to rearrange your outdoor space.

When picking out a fire pit, there are several things to consider such as if you will be burning wood or gas plus the dimensions and shape that best suits your outdoor living space. Many are even designed for cooking over so you can break out the s'mores to make the night memorable. Remember, your new fire pit is going to become the focal point of an backyard gathering, so you will want to make sure that you choose the best one!

Top 8 Outdoor Fire Pits: Wood & Gas

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Model

Heat Source

Dimensions

Our Rating

Outland Living Series 401
Editors Choice

Gas

L 44” x W 32” x H 23”

5 out of 5

Legacy Heating CDF-WMGB28

Gas

L 28” x W 28” x H 24”

4.5 out of 5

Solo Stove Bonfire

Wood

D 19.5" x H 14"

5 out of 5

Catalina Creations AD364

Wood

D 29.5" x H 19.7"

4.5 out of 5

Endless Summer GAD1401M

Gas

L 30” x W 30” x H 24.2”

4 out of 5

Outland Firebowl 893

Propane

D 19" x H 11"

5 out of 5

Endless Summer GAD1429SP

Gas

L 30” x W 30” x H 24.2”

3.5 out of 5

Sun Joe SJFP35-STN

Wood

D 29" x H 13"

3 out of 5

Fire Pits Average Rating: 4.5 Based on 8 Reviews

Our star ratings are based upon features, reliability, safety, ease of use and price.  Your needs may be different.

Fire Pit Reviews

#1) Outland Living Series 401 Fire Table Editors Choice

Pros

  • plus
    Arctic Ice fire glass and black tempered glass tabletop
  • plus
    Strong aluminum frame with weather resistant wicker
  • plus
    Auto ignition
  • plus
    Quickly access the interior compartment to switch propane tanks
  • plus
    One year limited manufacturer’s warranty

Cons

  • minus
    Occasionally experienced difficulty getting the ignition to light
  • minus
    Does not produce much heat

The Outdoor Living Series 401 fire pit brings pure elegance to any outdoor area. It features a 35,000 BTU burner to create a warm, cozy ambiance. The Arctic ice fire glass reflects the flames in an eye-catching fashion. There is also a black tempered glass tabletop that you can comfortably sit beside with a beverage. The base is made of weather resistant espresso brown wicker, so it goes nicely with most patio furniture choices.

The built-in auto ignition makes lighting the Outdoor Living Series 401 a breeze. There is also a hidden access interior compartment that conceals the standard 20 lb propane tank (not included). Chrome pull rings to secure the container.


Pros

  • plus
    Made of durable steel
  • plus
    Features a steel burner with table lid cover
  • plus
    When the lid is in place the fire pit doubles as a bistro table
  • plus
    Durable powder coat finish that withstands the elements
  • plus
    Easy access propane tank
  • plus
    Flame regulated with easy turn knob

Cons

  • minus
    Surface rust appears quickly in humid climates
  • minus
    Does not come with sufficient lava rocks

The dual design of the Legacy Heating CDF-WMGB28 is ideal; the fire pit also doubles as a small patio bistro table when not in use. The small steel burner is surrounded by lava rocks which add to the unit's beauty.

When in use, the Legacy Heating fire pit creates a soothing warmth with its 48,000 BTU output. The flame is regulated using a large, easy to grasp knob. It takes a 20 lb propane tank (not included) that is easily accessible through a small door in the fire pit’s base


Pros

  • plus
    Features combustion airflow efficiency with secondary combustion
  • plus
    Stainless steel design
  • plus
    Efficient burn
  • plus
    Low smoke
  • plus
    Portable

Cons

  • minus
    Discolors after use
  • minus
    Takes a while to heat up
  • minus
    Rust can develop, especially in humid climates

If you want an old-fashioned wood fire pit, then the Solo Stove Bonfire will not disappoint. It has unique secondary combustion with bottom vent holes to actively feed the fire from below and then push the warmth up between the walls of the stove. The entire process minimizes smoke production by creating a complete burn system.

The Solo Stove Bonfire fire pit’s single unit construction means that you will not have to assemble it. The unit is also easily portable so you can move it anywhere in the yard with minimal effort. 


Pros

  • plus
    Cast iron construction
  • plus
    A deep bowl to build large fires
  • plus
    Removable 24 in diameter mesh spark screen
  • plus
    Includes log grate
  • plus
    Includes a protective outdoor cover

Cons

  • minus
    Extremely heavy and hard to move
  • minus
    No way to drain rain water without tipping

The Catalina Creations Heavy Duty Cast Iron Fire Pit is traditional in its design and features beautiful stars and moons cut into its cast iron construction. When the fire is lit, the cutouts create dancing projections around the yard.

The gigantic cauldron of the Catalina Creations fire pit allows you to build huge fires that produce a traditional warmth that cannot be matched by propane-fueled model. Its whimsical and historical design creates an ideal focal point for your backyard event. 


Pros

  • plus
    Made of weather resistant steel
  • plus
    Durable construction
  • plus
    Decorative tile and steel mantle
  • plus
    Base tastefully conceals the propane tank
  • plus
    Has one year limited warranty

Cons

  • minus
    Can be difficult to light for some users
  • minus
    Some of the slate tops were delivered uneven

The Uniflame GAD1401M Gas Outdoor Fireplace features a decorative handcrafted steel and tile mantle. The base effectively conceals the propane tank (not included) and control panel to create a striking piece of patio furniture. It has a 30,000 BTU stainless steel burner surrounded by lava rocks that produce a pleasing, even warmth. Unlike many similar models, it requires no tools to assemble.


Pros

  • plus
    58,000 BTU propane for added warmth
  • plus
    Clean and smokeless flame
  • plus
    Portable and lightweight
  • plus
    Enamel finish for weather resistance.
  • plus
    1-year manufacturer’s limited warranty

Cons

  • minus
    Small flame is difficult to see and doesn't provide much warmth
  • minus
    Dial makes it hard to adjust the flames

The Outland Firebowl Deluxe is not only great for your backyard but also portable so you can take it camping or to other events. It measures only 19 inches in diameter so is considered safe to use during most state fire bans. The portable fire pit is an ideal alternative to a traditional and, often dangerous, campfire.

The portable Outland Firebowl Deluxe is constructed from durable steel that has a protective powder coating and enamel finish. The chrome knob also boasts a rubber comfort-grip for smooth adjusting. It burns clean and smokeless. 


Pros

  • plus
    Decorative slate mantel
  • plus
    Wicker base that conceals a propane tank 
  • plus
    Hidden control panel with electronic ignition
  • plus
    Includes lava rock
  • plus
    Includes a one-year limited warranty

Cons

  • minus
    Regulator often does not function or has problems
  • minus
    Difficulty lighting

Endless Summer LP Fire Pit, by Blue Rhino, is handcrafted with a combination slate and steel mantel with a decorative base that conceals the propane tank and control panel. It has a 30,000 BTU stainless steel burner that quickly warms up to create an authentic fireplace atmosphere in any backyard. It comes with lava rock that only ads to the unit’s visual appeal.

No tools are required to assemble the Endless Summer Fire Pit. Once assembled it can be easily covered with its included cover to protect the unit from the elements further when not in use. 


Pros

  • plus
    Base is made from durable cast stone
  • plus
    Has a large bowl to accommodate hardwood logs
  • plus
    Mesh screen to protect from sparks and 24-inch screen hook
  • plus
    Available in three colors
  • plus
    Full 2-year warranty

Cons

  • minus
    The inside metal bowl has failed for many users
  • minus
    Inside bowl rusts out if water is allowed to build up inside it

The Sun Joe SJFP35-STN Cast Stone Fire Pit creates the feel of a real campfire in any backyard. The massive fire bowl allows you to use hardwood logs that measure up to 21 inches in length. There is a spark screen to prevent unwanted sparks from flying out of the fire while burning. You can also use the included 24-inch screen hook to safely lift the screen to place new logs into the flames.

You can choose three stone colors when ordering the Sun Joe SJFP35-STN Cast Stone Fire Pit: Cast Stone, Charcoal Stone, and Rustic Wood. 

HOW WE RATED THE FIRE PITS

We compared hundreds of reviews of fire pits with the singular goal of providing you with accurate and well-researched information so you can make an informed purchasing decision. The 8 fire pits listed here are some of the best available. They vary from wood burning to gas units. All perform well.

We use an easy-to-understand star rating system when reviewing the fire puts. A fire pit with a rating of 5 stars has the highest possible score we can assign. We feel confident that the reviews of the fire pits listed here will help you make an informed and definitive purchasing decision that will leave you happy with your final product. 

EASE OF USE

All of the fire pits listed here are user-friendly.

The gas powered fire pits have the following features for ease of use:

  • Electric start
  • Adjustable knob to regulate the flame
  • Easy access to the propane tank

The wood burning fire pits have the following features for ease of use:

  • Fire screens to prevent unwanted sparks from escaping
  • Screen hooks to remove the screen for easy access to the fire
  • Fire grates/cauldron to adequately hold the wood in place. 

DURABILITY

The fire pits reviewd are all designed from a variety of different and very individualized materials to create durable units. Depending on which model you choose it may feature the following durable components:

  • Steel construction
  • Aluminum frame
  • Powder coating
  • Outdoor cover
  • Weather resistant wicker
  • Stainless steel knobs
  • Plastic safety grip on control regulator
  • Stainless steel hooks to secure the propane tank 

HEAT OUTPUT

If you opt to purchase a wood burning fire pit, then your heat output will be created by burning logs in the fire pit. A fire with a larger cauldron will generate the most significant amount of heat.

Gas powered fire pits depend on propane to create warmth. You should take into consideration the BTU of each unit. The gas-powered fire pits featured here have either 30,000 BTU to 58,000 BTU.

PRICE

The 8 fire pits listed here range in price from around $100 to $500. You will be able to find cheaper and more expensive models available at a variety of retailers. Some will lack specific features, and others may boast additional perks. Size is also a significant deciding factor in price. Fire pits come in small, medium, and large. They are typically priced accordingly with size. Ultimately, you can expect to spend around $200 or more for a well-built fire pit that will be a valuable addition to your outdoor living space.

HOW TO PICK THE BEST FIRE PIT FOR YOU

The appeal of a backyard fire pit is undeniable.

However, you might be wondering exactly how to pick the best fire pit. You will need to decide if you want a large fire pit that will more than likely remain in one place in your backyard and quickly become the focal point of the landscape or if a small portable unit might work better for your needs. Many people choose a portable fire pit so they can take the unit camping or to other functions.

The style is another consideration. You will need to think about what fits in with your outdoor decor. Many people choose wicker or steel based on personal taste.

Finally, your decision will more than likely revolve around a gas unit or an old-fashioned wood burning fire pit. If firewood is not readily available in your location, then you might want to forego the wood burning models and instead choose a cleaner and more accessible to obtain propane model. 

TYPE (DESIGNS)

There are 2 fire pit design types to choose from: the fire pit table or the fire pit bowl. Both have their pros and cons. Ultimately you will need to consider how you will be using the fire pit to determine what style will work best for your specific needs.


Portable fire pits are lightweight and small so you can easily transport them to various locations in the yard or pack them away on a camping trip. Large table fire pits are made to be a focal point of the backyard and are not portable. 

FIRE PIT TABLE

The fire pit table is designed to be the focal point of your backyard decor. Some feature glass or slate mantels, a steel burner surrounded by picturesque lava, and a steel or wicker base. They are indeed designed to be a gathering point in the yard. A fire pit table looks visually stunning lit or unlit. When not in use they can be used as a small table to set drinks or other items. Some even feature a cover that quickly turns them into a table when not in use.

Fire pit tables are usually gas.

FIRE PIT BOWL

The fire pit bowl is like a large cauldron. Its primary function is to create the ambiance of a fire in your backyard or on a camping trip. It does not double as a table, and many feature a bare-bones appearance in an attempt to make the unit more lightweight and portable.

Generally fire pit bowls are wood burning.

SIZE

The size of an outdoor fire pit varies significantly. Large, tabletop models often double as tables and allow users to set drinks on their large surfaces. Medium sized fire pits are great for a couple to sit beside and perfect for a smaller landscape. Small, portable units are designed to be packed away for picnics or camping trips. If your landscape is not overly vast, then you can also opt for a medium sized fire pit.

SMALL

A small fire pit is ordinarily portable which is ideal if you want to take the unit camping or on a picnic. The Outland Firebowl 893 is a small portable unit that measures only 14" tall, 19.5" diameter and comes with a carry case.

MEDIUM

A medium fire pit is ideal for any size yard. Its size means that two to four people can easily huddle around the warm glow of the fire. These units are also light enough to move to other areas. The Endless Summer GAD1401M, the Legacy Heating CDF-WMGB28, the Catalina Creations, Sun Joe SJFP35-STN Cast Stone Fire Pit, and the Endless Summer GAD1429SP all measure around 28 to 29 inches in diameter and are considered medium sized.

LARGE

The Editor’s Choice Outdoor Living Series 401 measures L 44” x W 32” x H 23”. It is the ideal size to be a focal point in any landscape. Six people can comfortably sit around this fire pit table. When not in use, the table top model can also hold beverages and act as an actual table in your backyard decor.

FUEL SOURCE

The fuel source is an important factor when deciding on which outdoor fire pit to purchase. All of the fire pits we have listed either use propane or wood. Propane tends to be more readily available then timber, and many people consider it to be cleaner burning.

WOOD

Most people automatically think of a wood burning fire pit when they think of a fire pit. Undoubtedly, wood has been the go-to-fuel source for years, but recently propane has become popular as well. Ultimately, personal taste will dictate which fire pit you choose. Many people want only an all natural wood burning fire pit to enjoy its authentic feel.

Pros

  • Wood creates an even heat
  • Considered a traditional heat source
  • Burns brightly

Cons

  • Clean-up can be messy
  • Wood is not always readily available
  • Creates excessive smoke

GAS (PROPANE)

In the last few decades, the popularity of gas (propane) powered fire pits have risen. Some users consider them to be more comfortable to use than traditional wood burning fire pits.  Propane is also readily available.

Pros

  • Easy to regulate
  • Burns clean
  • Propane is readily available

Cons

  • Propane is costly
  • Does not create intense flames
  • Lacks the warmth of a traditional wood fire

COOKING

Many people buy a fire pit for the sole purpose of cooking s'mores or roasting hot dogs.  All of the fire pits listed here can be used for such simple pleasures. Although you are not going to be able to cook a gourmet meal on them, you can easily roast a marshmallow or hot dog over the warm, cozy flames.

FIRE PIT SAFETY TIPS

Unfortunately, fire pits can be dangerous if precautions are not taken. Here are a few fire pit safety tips:

  • Position your fire pit so it is at least 10 feet away from any structure or neighboring yard - 25 feet is preferable.
  • Never use the fire pit indoors
  • Place the fire pit out in the open away from overhanging trees and porch covers.
  • Position the fire pit on a non-flammable surface, such as patio blocks or concrete.
  • Take extreme caution when placing a fire pit on a wood deck or grass
  • Always clear away flammable material from around the fire pit before using it. Ideally, there should be nothing flammable within a 5 foot radius.
  • Placing dirt or rocks around the base of the fire pit will keep the fire from escaping onto the ground.
  • Never leave a fire pit unattended
  • Keep children and pets away from the fire pit without proper supervision
  • Always use the spark cover on a wood burning fire pit.
  • Never burn garbage in your fire pit
  • Do not wear loose-fitting clothing or store flammable items near a fire pit.
  • Always keep a container of water close or a hose handy.
  • If using a wood burning fire pit then always dispose of ashes in an approved ash container.  Wood ashes can remain hot for two to three days after burning.

MAINTENANCE TIPS

Here are a few maintenance tips to keep your fire pit properly functioning.

  • Always remove the fire screen and scrub it with a wire brush to remove debris.
  • Dispose of all ash from the fire pit in an approved ash container.
  • Keep all undergrowth beneath the fire pit cleared away.
  • Allow flames to naturally extinguish on a wood burning fire pit to prevent warping or cracking of the fire bowl or cauldron.
  • Keep the burners on a gas fireplace clean.
  • Regularly check the hoses and regulator on a gas fire pit to make sure they remain in good working order.
  • Store your portable fire pit in a shed or garage when not in use.
  • Cover your fire pit with a cover to protect it from the elements and prevent rust.
  • Remove any rust on the fire pits surface with a wire brush.
  • Avoid getting the fire pit wet which can cause rust. 

DIFFERENCE BETWEEN CHEAP AND EXPENSIVE MODELS

Cheap gas powered fire pit models are often made of more inexpensive materials so are less likely to last long. They also tend to be smaller and come with far fewer bells and whistles. A gas-powered high-end fire pit is usually larger and may boast lava rock, glass, slate tiles, and be made of heavier duty materials.

A wood burning fire pit that is cheap is often flimsy and may not hold very much wood. Expensive wood burning models are well-built and boast large cauldrons that will comfortably fit big logs to create a more substantial and longer-lasting fire.

Overall, the most significant differences between cheap and expensive models are the following:

  • Size: Cheap models are generally smaller
  • Durability: Expensive models are made of more durable material than their cheaper counterparts.  Inexpensive wood burning models have a tendency to rust out.
  • Appearance: An expensive fire pit is often elegant, and a valued addition that complements outdoor furniture and a cheaper model may lack the eye-catching presence of upscale fire pits. 

BEST SELLING & TOP RATED BRANDS

  • Outland Living
  • Legacy Heating
  • Solo Stove
  • asterisk
    Catalina Creations
  • Endless Summer
  • Sun Joe
  • Sunnydaze Decor
  • asterisk
    Uniflame
  • AZ Patio Heaters
  • Blue Rhino
  • Fire Sense
  • asterisk
    Landmann

HOW MUCH SHOULD I EXPECT TO PAY?

The 8 fire pits listed here vary in price from around $115 to $550. With an average price of around $175.

The low-end fire pit on the list is the Outland Firebowl 893. Its portable design makes it ideal to take camping or for use in your backyard. The negative about this unit is that it does not boast the visual appeal of many of the higher end fire pits. It is a bare bones type of fire pit which often has a difficult to see flame with a hard to control knob.

The Editor’s Choice is the Outdoor Living Series 401. The fire pit is visually appealing with an Arctic Ice fire glass and black tempered glass tabletop. Its base is made from weather resistant wicker. Although it does not put out as much heat as other fire pits, it is indeed a stunning piece of furniture that will become a focal point in any backyard. 

CONCLUSION

A fire pit is a welcome addition to any outdoor living space. The warm glow of the fire expands the hours that you and your loved one can enjoy being outside. The warmth emitted by the fire pit allows you to sit beside the unit even as the temperature dips.

Overall, a fire pit will more than likely become the hub your backyard oasis that affords you the luxury of added hours of entertaining or the pure joy of just snuggling beside a roaring fire.

About the author

Mark Kelly

Hi, I'm Mark the owner of Yard Care Gurus. I love to be outside working on my lawn, planning my next project. I created this website to help people like you find the best products for yard care and great advice. Thanks for stopping by!

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