A portable fire pit for camping can completely change the atmosphere of an evening. Whether it’s for roasting marshmallows or gathering with friends on a chilly night, adding a fire pit can turn a boring backyard into a great place to host an outdoor event. If you don’t want to commit to a permanent fixture in your yard or would like the flexibility to enjoy an open fire even when you are on a journey, a portable fire pit can be a handy, easy-to-carry option. When choosing the top 10 portable fire pits to buy, first think about how you will use them.
What is a portable fire pit used for?
Best portable fire pits are fire pits that you pack up and place anywhere you want. When trying to dig a huge hole in your yard just does not make sense, a portable fire pit is a solution. These fire pits take the hassle out of creating a warm fire environment wherever you go. These types of fire pits make a lot of sense considering that no one uses them for a good portion of the year, yet they can be safely stored in your backyard.
A portable fire pit for camping is usually lightweight and simple to set up. Some of the portable fire pits for camping are made of heavier metal or require a little effort to start. Overall, when you compare all the materials needed to prepare an indoor fire pit, a portable fire pit is the better option for most people.
Top 10 portable fire pits to buy
Like regular fire pits, there are plenty of portable pits to choose from, ranging from wood-burning options to models that run on gas propane tanks. There are even small portable fire pits for camping that are especially great for camping trips and smokeless versions that let you enjoy pretty flames without pesky fumes. To help you find the right one for your needs, we turned to introduce the top 10 portable fire pits to buy:
BioLite FirePit+ Outdoor Smokeless Wood & Charcoal Burning FirePit and GrillBest overall
UCO Flatpack Large – Portable Stainless Steel Grill and Fire Pit Best expensive
Winnerwell Flatfold Fire Pit – Large| Portable Stainless Steel Fire PanBest price
Wolf and Grizzly Campfire Trio | Portable Fire Pit
Pop-Up Fire Pit | Portable and Lightweight
Primus | Kamoto Portable Fire Pit | No Trace Open Fire Campfire
Trailblazer – Leave No Trace Portable Camp Stove/Fire Pit
Amazon Basics 34-Inch Natural Stone Fire Pit with Copper Accents
Colsen Tabletop Rubbing Alcohol Fireplace Indoor Outdoor Fire Pit
ZLYPSW Garden Fire Pit Outdoor Cast Iron Mantelpiece Retro Charcoal Stove
1. BioLite FirePit+ Outdoor Smokeless Wood & Charcoal Burning FirePit and Grill
BioLite turned to technology in making its FirePit+, using a lithium-ion battery, a fan, Bluetooth, and an app to create the combustion conditions needed for a smokeless fire. Admittedly, we were skeptical about relying on a battery to be able to use the FirePit+, but we never came close to running it down completely during any one fire. In fact, we could use it up to three times on one charge. The fan has four-speed speeds—max, high, medium, and low—with a claimed maximum run-time of up to 30 hours on low.
The size, weight, and folding legs easily make the FirePit+ convenient to move, transport, and store, although it is too big for backpacking. Due to its size, we found it worked best when we split our normal firewood into smaller sizes, about 2-3 inches in diameter. The rectangular shape fits about four of these 12-14-inch long logs perfectly. When we used the FirePit+ with the fan in the low or medium setting, we did notice an occasional wisp of smoke from the fire, mostly when it was breezy. With the fan set to high, the occasional wisps almost completely disappeared.
Unlike most smokeless fire pits, the FirePit+ body has mesh sides instead of solid, double-wall ones. This allows you to feel the heat radiating through them onto your lower legs when you’re sitting near it. Its shape and design, though, means we clearly felt warmer zones on both long sides of the fire pit—less so at the short ends.
The FirePit+ can also burn charcoal, and you can grill on it using the included grate that fits on top. For technophiles, BioLite has a free app for controlling the fan speed and monitoring the battery. We found it extremely quick and easy to set up, and using it helped us keep a close eye on the estimated run-time.
- Fans cut down on smoke
- Includes removable grill grate
- Highest fan setting is loud
2. UCO Flatpack Large – Portable Stainless Steel Grill and Fire Pit
In its handsome canvas carrying case, the Flatpack could pass for a laptop. It’s that slim when packed down. Though it was by far the smallest of the full fire pits we tested, it’s sturdy with the legs deployed. Keep in mind that, because the stainless-steel body is so thin, it can support only 10 pounds of wood or charcoal. This also means that the fire demands frequent attention if you light it with small wood since you can’t heap large logs on it. And the load sits fairly high off the ground for the pit’s size, so best to keep it on flat, even surfaces.
The included grill grate makes a nice platform for cooking up hot dogs or burgers at the campsite (or a local park that allows it if you’re an urban apartment dweller with limited storage). We found during testing that the Flatpack produced a surprising amount of smoke in spite of the small fire. But it does have one trait that none of the other fire pits here can claim: It’s dishwasher-safe.
- Produced a surprising amount of smoke
3. Winnerwell Flat fold Fire Pit – Large| Portable Stainless Steel Fire Pan
We were captivated when we first saw the minimalist design of Winnerwell’s Flat fold, and it didn’t disappoint when we got our hands on it. With no locks or latches, the two-piece fire pit seemed unstable, even rickety, at first. But flipping the two parts open and nesting the bowl in the stand took under a minute—and they fit together very securely. We also tested an accessory table that raises the fire pit off the ground, protecting whatever surface it’s sitting on—that means no dead spots in the grass or burnt spots on the deck. The accessory table folds flat as well, and both pieces of the fire pit nest nicely on top of it, making for convenient storage and transport.
We used small oak logs to burn a modest-size fire in the Flat fold, with foot-long logs fitting easily within its 16.5 by 16.5-inch rim. (When we tried to use regular firewood, we had to cut it down to fit.) Sitting around the fire pit, we felt heat radiated best with wood loaded just above the rim and flames reaching up to about 2 feet. While it’s available in sizes from small to extra large, the version we tested was size large, which is good for providing heat for groups of four or five people.
Like with some of the other portable fire pits, there’s an accessory grate that turns the Flat fold into a grill. Also like others, we noted that we only needed a small number of hot coals in the bottom of the fire pit to provide enough heat to cook over. So the fire either needed to burn way down or we needed to start with just some charcoal in the bottom. The simplicity, versatility, and ease of storage make the Winnerwell Flat fold a great option for car or RV camping as well as used in the backyard.
- Simple nested design is remarkably stable
- Stainless-steel discolors after use
4. Wolf and Grizzly Campfire Trio | Portable Fire Pit, Folding Grill, and Ferro Rod Combo
It might be a bit limiting, to refer to the Campfire Trio as a fire pit. It includes three parts, naturally: a Fire Safe, a Grill, and a Fire Set. What’s more, the Campfire Trio breaks down into two small cases, capable of fitting in a backpack—conducive to hikes into remote locations.
Fire Safe really says it all; it’s a safe way to contain a fire when camping. We set up the Fire Safe itself in under two minutes. It’s incredibly simple. The grill took only slightly longer. The Fire Set is for getting a blaze going without matches, and it includes two metal bars that, when rubbed together, produce sparks. We were impressed with both the number of sparks and how long they lingered. With a little practice and the right materials, it was relatively easy to get a fire started. Though the Fire Safe footprint is only 11 square inches, limiting how big of a fire we could create and therefore how much heat we could get off it. Huddling up close, we could warm our hands while sitting back we could warm our feet.
Once we let the fire burn down to embers, we put the grill over the Fire Safe and cooked some burgers. We were able to easily adjust the grill height to get the food in the right heat zone over the coals, producing delicious results. While the Campfire Trio doesn’t make a great fire pit, it’s a fine piece of camping gear that will pack easily, safely contain a fire, and work as a grill.
- Easy to set up
- Size limits the amount of heat it can radiate
5. Pop-Up Fire Pit | Portable and Lightweight | Fullsize 24 Inch | Weighs 7 lbs. | Never Rust Fire Pit | Heat Shield NOT Included
When packed down, the Pop-Up is about the size of a folded camp chair. But bust it out and you’ve got a platform for creating a nice big blaze. The 4-square-foot, stainless-steel mesh surface can hold up to 125 pounds of logs (according to Fireside Outdoor), and the 3.5-inch-high walls struck a nice balance of protecting the fire from the wind while not stifling the wide field of heat. Plus, that mesh promoted airflow, cutting down on smoke. Given that the top is completely open, too, tending to the fire and adding logs was simple.
Not so simple: setting the thing up. The legs folded out easily enough, but then we had to rig up the heat shield on the bottom with the Velcro straps, drop the four walls individually onto the stanchions, then slide the mesh on. That’s a lot of parts to keep track of, but the Pop-Up’s great if you want to post up by a roaring campfire for a few hours (or grill up a mess of food on the optional tri-fold grate).
- Open design makes for easy tending of the fire
- complicated setup process
6. Primus | Kamoto Portable Fire Pit | No Trace Open Fire Campfire
Leave it to the Swedes to design a fire pit with a modern, minimalist look. With that comes an easy setup, too; all we had to do was lift the ends up so that they formed the stable X shape, set the free leg side in the grooves, drop in the stainless-steel platform and side windshields, and get to work lighting the fire. Speaking of the windshields, they provided good protection from gusts but were thin enough that they didn’t impede the spread of the heat. The large ashtray makes for simple cleanup, but the wide base is best to set on a flat patch of ground free of debris, lest it wobbles, potentially kicking up sparks.
Our biggest hang-up, though, was how sharp the edges of the stainless steel were: As we were prepping the Kamoto, we sliced a finger open on one of the triangular cutouts. So be careful during setup. Flesh wounds aside, this fire pit won us over for the aforementioned ease of use and the ample grill space when you throw on the included grate.
- Very slim when packed down
- Sharp edges
7. Trailblazer – Leave No Trace Portable Camp Stove/Fire Pit | 3 lbs Total Weight | 12″ x 12″ Never Rust Design
Like its larger sibling, the Pop-Up above, the Trailblazer has tall walls, which did a good job of protecting the flame from the wind on a gusty day once we got the fire going. Set up is the same as the larger version: a bit more involved than some of the other pits on this list, and with the somewhat tricky task of rigging up the heat shield on the frame. Still, that heat shield did its job. When we placed a hand below it, we couldn’t feel any warmth from the fire (though Fireside warns that you need to keep the shield at least 4 inches beneath the flame so that it doesn’t delaminate). We were concerned with the ease of feeding the fire with the tri-fold grate over the top, but it rests high enough that we could easily slot smaller sticks through the gap to keep the flame going. And there’s little chance you’ll overload the 45-pound weight limit given the available space for a fire.
- Sturdy and easy to use once set up
- Putting it together is a little more involved
8. Amazon Basics 34-Inch Natural Stone Fire Pit with Copper Accents
This is one of the best portable fire pits that have overall dimensions including 33.9″ Diameter x 23.6″ Height; Fire Bowl: 22″ Diameter. This outdoor portable fire pit features natural stone with diamond copper accents and a black steel fire bowl. This model is easily portable from one location to another with stabilizing feet for sturdy placement. The round steel pit features an outer ledge for a convenient place to prop cooking utensils or drinks, and the grill also adjusts up and down to accommodate different grilling techniques.
- Well made
9. Colsen Tabletop Rubbing Alcohol Fireplace Indoor Outdoor Fire Pit Portable Fire Concrete Bowl Pot Fireplace (Square)
This unique portable fireplace works with Isopropyl Alcohol 91%. You can use it anywhere! These indoor fire pits are designed to work in any environment, making them suitable for any home. It produces barely any smoke and a cero odor. Our fire pits are designed to eliminate smoke and odor almost completely.
- Fueled by smokeless, odorless, rubbing alcohol which causes it to be eco-friendly
- Mediocre build that may develop cracks easily
10. ZLYPSW Garden Fire Pit Outdoor Cast Iron Mantelpiece Retro Charcoal Stove European Style Backyard Heating Oven Patio Vertical Fireplace
This model’s exquisite shape can decorate the yard and its durable materials are made of good quality materials. It can work with wood and other fuels. Flame retardant spark hoods provide you with a safe tribal environment.
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- The body is not heat resistant
Where to buy the best portable fire pit?
There are lots of places you can purchase portable fire pits from. Amazon is one the best online ones and Home Depot is another shop you can look for these products physically.
Types of portable fire pits
There are four different types of best portable fire pits to choose from wood burning, gel fuel, propane, or natural gas. Let’s take a closer look at each type and how they differ from each other.
1. Wood Burning Fire Pits
These fire pits are almost like having a fire in your backyard. They provide the same heat and smoky, campfire-like ambiance while keeping the fire contained in a bowl, often with a screen cover for safety. Most wood fire pits are made of steel, with the biggest difference between them being the size of the fire bowl. The bigger the fire bowl, the bigger the fire can be. Fire pit stands to add a level of safety by keeping it off the ground and off the patio floor while adding warmth to guests gathered around it.
Wood fire pits come in many styles and sizes. From marble to steel, and from compact to large, you’re sure to find a fire pit for every outdoor space. Choosing a fire pit with decorative trim is a great way to add to your backyard decor. Celebrate game day with your favorite college logo or choose a more subtle design to accent your space. Wood fire pits can be placed almost anywhere and can turn any backyard into a great place for friends and family.
2. Gel Fuel Fire Pits
Gel fuel fire pits are great to add ambiance to any outdoor space. Gel fire pits benefit from the gel being clean burning and not giving off any smoke or burnt wood smell. These fire pits do not give off as much heat as their counterparts, however, because of this they are very versatile and can be placed just about anywhere in your backyard.
The gel fuel these pits burn is refilled by either replacing a gel canister or refilling the reservoir with gel fuel. To ignite the pit you simply light the gel fuel using a gas grill lighter, and after the fuel is consumed, the flame puts itself out.
3. Portable propane fire pit
Portable propane fire pits are the ultimate convenience allowing a quality flame without refilling gel or building one with wood. These fire pits are larger than gel or wood burning pits, and are often the focal piece of the room. The flame of these pits is impressive rising from beneath either faux wood or glass or rock pebbles.
The ignition switch is normally housed under the fire pit along with the propane tank and makes lighting the pit a breeze. To extinguish the flame simply eliminate the propane supply. Most portable propane fire pit accommodate a 20-pound propane tank that can be found at your local grocery store. Propane fire pits are very versatile and can be placed just about anywhere in your backyard.
4. Natural portable gas fire pit
If you have the capacity for natural gas installation in your outdoor space, you may want to consider a portable gas fire pit. They are similar to portable propane fire pits but they have a permanent connection to a natural gas line, thus eliminating the risk of running out of gas. Portable gas fire pits are the least portable of the fire pit family because they cannot be moved, however, they are the least expensive to operate and easiest to maintain.
How to make a portable fire pit
If thrifty camping in your backyard or other places is your target of having a portable gas fire pit, for example, consider learning how to do a simple outdoor fire pit for cooking your canned green peas and meat. These are the steps to making a portable fire pit:
- Lay out the rocks you collected. Mark the place where you will build the DIY fire pit. You may choose a smooth ground or concrete platform near the patio.
- Put down the first layer of rocks and arrange them in a circle.
- Arrange the largest rocks to form a ring. If you want to make it a permanent fire pit, apply the cement and put the rocks together. Push the cement into crevices and spaces until you can no longer find any. You can smooth the edges, or leave it as it is if you prefer a rough texture. In one of your empty buckets, fill it with clean water and dip the sponge. Use it to wipe down the excessive cement.
- For the second or middle layer, use medium-sized rocks and do the same as the above.
- For the top layer, use the smaller rocks and arrange them on top. To those who want to set up a permanent outdoor fireplace, don’t forget to smear cement on top of the layer before you place the rocks on the top layer of your backyard fire pit.
- After you assemble the ring, fill it up with gravel but don’t go beyond the level of the bottom layer. This will prevent the spread of fire if ever plant life will start sprouting from the ground. For permanent fire pits, weatherproof the fire pit by using the brush to apply the cement sealant.
- Finally, add a few stones in the middle and form a circle. At the center is where you will put coal, wood, or other combustible material. Light it up to create an ember. Add the chairs, tables, and other products you need to complete the outdoor fireplace.
What size portable fire pit should I buy?
The size of your fire pit is something that should be thought about ahead of time. In the event that your fire pit is excessively little, it won’t put off sufficient intensity and it will be difficult for in excess of a couple of individuals to circle around. On the off chance that your fire pit is too enormous, the fire could without much of a stretch go crazy and visitors will experience issues talking on the grounds that the distance across the pit will require voices to be raised.
Best portable fire pit width
Smaller, more intimate fire pits are around 3 feet wide; while larger fire pits suited for entertaining groups can be up to 6 feet wide. These measurements include the thickness of the walls, so realize that the total width of the fire pit is not the same as the width of the burning area.
Best portable fire pit height
If opting for an above-ground fire pit, height is an important consideration. If your fire pit is too tall, you won’t be able to prop your feet comfortably on the edge. If your fire pit is too short, people will be bending and squatting to get closer to the flames.
A good rule of thumb is to make an above-ground fire pit 12-14 inches tall. This is a few inches shorter than standard patio furniture seat height. If you want to be able to sit on the edge of the pit itself go a bit higher, 18-20 inches will be comfortable. A fire pit any taller will actually hold heat in and make it hard to enjoy while sitting in chairs.
Being familiar with the best portable fire pits, you will also have the ability to pack up the lighter-weight models and carry them to your favorite campsite or place a gas fire pit in your backyard as a temporary finishing touch. Regardless of where you want to go, there is a portable fire pit for camping that is made to go there.