- A good portable fire pit warms up any outdoor area, so you, your friends, and your family can still enjoy the backyard once the sun (and temperature) drops.
- The best fire pits are easy to light and channel excess smoke away from the pit (and the people around it) — some even allow you to grill food on them.
- Our top pick, the Breeo X Series 24, serves as a hub for outdoor entertainment, can help you cook dinner, and looks like a piece of art all at the same time.
There's no question that gathering around a fire with friends and family is a fun and communal outdoor experience. Whether you're making s'mores and telling ghost stories with the kids, catching up with the neighbors over a few drinks, or just stargazing with a partner, the warmth and light of a fire are incredibly relaxing.
These kinds of experiences have become so popular that buying a fire pit has nearly become a mandatory practice for most homeowners. But with so many different options to choose from these days, it's not always easy to know which ones are worth investing in. To help, I spent many a night huddled around an assortment of fire pits to find the best currently available.
The fire pits that earned a spot here are some of the most versatile, well-built, and efficient models I've ever used. So, no matter if you want a wood-burning pit, something that's portable, or are looking to save a few bucks, I've got you covered. At the bottom of this guide, I've also included some helpful insight into how to shop for a fire pit and what to consider, as well as the testing methodology I used in narrowing down which models ultimately made the cut.
Here are the best fire pits:
- Best fire pit overall: Breeo X Series 24
- Best wood-burning fire pit: BioLite FirePit
- Best propane fire pit: Outland Living Fire Bowl
- Best portable fire pit: Snow Peak Pack & Carry Fireplace
- Best budget fire pit: Kingso Outdoor Fire Pit
Updated on 12/3/2020 by Rick Stella: Updated the sections on how to shop for a fire pit and the testing methodology we used, updated the copy for each pick, checked the availability of all recommended fire pits, and updated the prices and links where necessary.
The best fire pit overall
Durable, versatile, and beautiful, the Breeo X Series 24 is an outstanding fire pit that serves as a hub for outdoor entertainment, can help you cook dinner, and looks like a piece of art all at the same time.
Pros: Looks great, incredibly well-built, doubles as a wood-fired grill, high-quality components, and lifetime warranty.
Cons: Expensive and heavy
When Breeo created its new X Series line of fire pits, a lot of time was spent on design and engineering. The result is a fantastic model that includes integrated airflow technology that makes it easier to get a blaze going while keeping the level of smoke that's produced to a minimum.
The company also chose to manufacture the X line from high-quality Corten steel, which allows it to naturally weather over time. This gives it a unique, timeless look that isn't found in most other fire pits. In fact, the level of craftsmanship on display here is head and shoulders above just about anything else on the market, which in turn allows Breeo to confidently back its products with a lifetime warranty.
Large enough to accept big logs, the X Series 24 keeps a flame going for hours. Its 24-inch opening makes it easy to continue to feed the blaze for as long as you like. And since this model is nearly 30 inches in diameter, there's plenty of room for people to gather around it to bask in warmth and comfort.
As good as the X Series 24 is as a fire pit, it might be even better as a wood-fired grill. The stainless-steel outer ring makes for a nice cosmetic touch, but it actually doubles as a sear plate, sizzling steaks, burgers, chicken, or just about anything else you'd want to grill.
This model is also compatible with Breeo's Outpost Grill add-on (which we didn't test at this time) that opens up the possibilities for cooking a meal even further. This optional accessory seamlessly connects to the fire pit while cooking but can just as easily be removed once the meal is done.
Breeo's X Series 24 is incredibly well-built and is an upscale product in every way. Unsurprisingly, this makes it one of the more expensive models in our guide at $599. Because it's made with premium materials, it's also a bit heavy, weighing in at 78 pounds — so, don't expect this model to be especially portable. That said, if you're looking for a quality and dependable fire pit designed to last — that also doubles as a reliable grill —the X Series 24 from Breeo is what you seek.
The best wood-burning fire pit
Technology and design come together in the BioLite FirePit, a model that not only excels at grilling but comes equipped with features you simply won't find anywhere else.
Pros: Great for grilling, burns both wood and charcoal efficiently, integrated fan and battery pack make starting a fire easy and keep the FirePit relatively smoke free.
Cons: Battery pack needs to be recharged regularly.
It's safe to say there aren't many similar products capable of rivaling BioLite's FirePit in terms of features. Not only does it ship with a rechargeable USB battery pack, but it also has a built-in fan that draws power from that battery.
And why would a fire pit need a fan, you ask? For starters, it helps keep air flowing inside the unit itself, which not only allows the fire to burn more efficiently but keeps the amount of smoke produced at a minimum. FirePit owners can control the speed of the fan using a button on the device itself or via their smartphone over Bluetooth.
The innovation doesn't end there either, as BioLite conveniently included a rain cover for the FirePit that comes with integrated solar panels to help keep the battery charged. Made from a material BioLite calls X-Ray Mesh, the FirePit is unique and stylish looking, too. Its mesh sides allow it to keep the fire — and any errant embers — from escaping, while still providing a 360-degree view of the flames.
In addition to making a great fire pit, BioLite's offering also happens to double nicely as a grill. Because it burns both wood and charcoal, it has a level of versatility not found in most other models. The FirePit even comes with a removable grill grate that facilitates hibachi-style cooking. Simply slide the grate into place and you'll be cooking up burgers, hot dogs, steaks, and a variety of other items in no time.
And since the FirePit weighs less than 20 pounds — and comes with folding legs — it's easy to take with you on camping trips, to the beach, or while tailgating. Each of these features functions well and truly puts the BioLite FirePit into a class all its own.
That is, as long as the battery is charged and functional. If you forget to recharge the power cell on a regular basis, you run the risk of the fan running out of juice in the middle of your family gathering. It's not the end of the world but it does take away some of the shine that'd help the FirePit rise above its competition.
The best propane fire pit
For the ultimate in convenience, it's tough to top the Outland Living Fire Bowl, a propane-powered fire pit that looks great, burns efficiently, and can produce a flame in seconds.
Pros: Uses propane as a fuel source, looks great, fast and easy to use, and is smoke-free
Cons: Not as versatile as wood-burning models and if you run out of propane you won't be able to maintain a fire
With its sleek, modern design, low profile, and efficient helios burner, the Outland Fire Bowl is a fire pit built for anyone who places a high value on convenience. Thanks to its ability to use propane as a fuel source, this unit can have a flame going in a manner of seconds. This makes it an ideal choice for someone who doesn't have the skills, patience, or inclination to build a fire by hand.
It also opens the door for more frequent use simply because it is so easy to start the Fire Bowl up, enjoy a fire for a short time, then shut it off again. Something that a regular wood-burning model simply can't match.
Propane fire pits have other benefits above and beyond just speed and convenience. They also happen to burn more cleanly, which means you won't be dealing with smoke, ash, or soot. This not only makes them easier to keep clean, but also more fun to use, whether it's in the backyard, while car camping, or tailgating at the game.
Unlike some propane fire pits, the Fire Bowl doesn't have a push-button ignition which means you'll still have to use matches whenever you want to get a fire going. Once the flames start burning, however, you can adjust the size and intensity of the blaze with the simple turn of a knob. Having this level of control over your fire pit is a real game-changer, although you'll want to make sure you always have an extra propane tank around to avoid running out of gas in the middle of a gathering.
Outland ships the Fire Bowl with some handy accessories, including a pre-attached 10-foot hose and regulator, a stabilizing ring for the propane tank, and lava rocks to put inside the fire pit itself. The unit also comes with a cover and a carrying case, both of which are nice additions when it comes to keeping the Fire Bowl well protected from the elements.
Lightweight, easy to set up and use, and affordable, the Outland Fire Bowl is an excellent option for those who want a fire pit without having to deal with the actual fire. While it isn't as versatile as some of the wood-burning options on this list, it does its job very well.
The best portable fire pit
When it comes to portability, the Snow Peak Pack & Carry Fireplace is our go-to option. This model is lightweight and collapses down for ease of transport while offering excellent durability and performance wherever you take it.
Pros: Lightweight and collapsible, the Snow Peak Fireplace is very easy to transport
Cons: Limited features out of the box
Most companies that manufacture fire pits don't take into account weight and portability when designing them. After all, the vast majority of these products will be installed in a backyard and likely aren't moved very far after that. But if you do happen to need a fire pit that you can take with you, you're in luck. Snow Peak's Pack & Carry Fireplace is exactly what you're looking for.
Snow Peak is a Japanese outdoor brand that is well known for making clever and well-built products for camping. The Fireplace is a perfect example of this, as it features a design that is both simple and brilliant at the same time. This fire pit actually has the ability to collapse down and fold flat, which makes it extremely easy to carry with you to any outdoor setting. And since it weighs just 11.9 pounds and comes with its own carrying case, there really isn't any excuse to leave it behind.
Once you reach your destination, the Fireplace expands back into its regular shape in a matter of seconds, with wide, rounded-off legs securely holding it in place even when resting on uneven terrain. A series of small holes in the fire pit's frame help to facilitate airflow, while its bucket-like receptacle can hold moderate-sized pieces of wood. Because it has a wide opening, visibility is great from all angles, and adding more wood to the fire is safe and easy.
Despite its ability to collapse flat, the Fireplace is well-engineered and very durable. Made from high-quality stainless steel, this model is designed to withstand the elements and be transported from one location to another on a regular basis. Because it is made of rugged metal, however, it does take a bit of time to cool down after the party is over.
Out of the box, the Fireplace doesn't have a lot of features or frills, although Snow Peak makes a number of accessories that extend its use even further. The company offers an array of cooking utensils for instance, and a grill top allows owners to cook over the fire. Without spending extra money on those add-ons, however, this model isn't quite a versatile as some other options.
The best budget fire pit
Sturdy and durable, the no-frills Kingso Outdoor Fire Pit is affordable enough that anyone can add one to their backyard.
Pros: Attractive, inexpensive, and comes with some handy accessories
Cons: Not weather-resistant, requires some assembly, not a lot of frills
Who says you need to spend a lot of money to get a quality fire pit for your backyard? The Kingso Outdoor Fire Pit may not have all of the bells and whistles found on the other models on this list, but it is durable, good looking, and gets the job done. It also happens to be so affordable that it won't do much damage to your wallet.
Even though this model is priced surprisingly low, the Outdoor Fire Pit isn't entirely without its amenities. Kingso does ship this model with a mesh cover that prevents sparks from escaping the flames without obstructing the view in any way. It also comes with a metal poker that makes it easy to safely remove that lid and adjust logs while the fire is going.
Lightweight and relatively compact, the Outdoor Fire Pit is made of rugged, heat-resistant steel. This makes it easy to move around or even take with you on a camping trip should you choose. Sadly, however, the metal used in its construction is not particularly well suited for resisting the elements. In fact, the manufacturer recommends that you take it inside when not in use in order to avoid rusting.
This model isn't fully assembled out of the box, although it doesn't take particularly long to put it together. Once all of the parts are locked firmly into place, the fire pit proves to be very stable, even on uneven ground. Its 22-inch bucket can hold a surprising amount of wood and can comfortably accommodate a small gathering of people. That said, this unit is a bit smaller than the others on this list, which makes it a good choice for those with a smaller deck or patio.
The real selling point of this particular model is without a doubt the price. For less than $60 you can own a reasonably well-made, portable, and attractive fire pit. While not as well constructed or feature-rich as more expensive options, as long as you're aware of its limitations going in, the Outdoor Fire Pit is a good buy.
How to shop for a fire pit
While the concept of a fire pit has been around for centuries, modern versions elevated the concept to new heights. Thanks to a blend of innovative engineering and thoughtful design, today's fire pits not only look great but are highly functional, too.
Strategically placed vents, air holes, and tubes make starting a fire easier than ever, while at the same time channel away excess smoke. This makes for a much more enjoyable experience for everyone involved, while allowing you to walk away without the smell of smoke on your clothes or in your hair
Modern fire pits come in all shapes and sizes, too, ranging from small, portable, wood-burning models, on up to massive propane-powered structures permanently installed on a patio.
No matter which size or model you choose, it's likely to become the centerpiece of your outdoor space anytime a fire is lit. It also provides plenty of heat and light, allowing you to enjoy being outdoors even during the colder times of the year.
Some fire pits even make excellent grills, allowing you to cook entire meals over a flame. But most important of all, they're a safe way to enjoy a bonfire in your backyard, without fear of the fire getting out of control.
How we test fire pits
Each fire pit featured in this guide went through a series of tests to see how it compared across these four categories: Ease of use, versatility, design, and value. Specifically, here's how each category factored into which fire pits we ultimately included:
- Ease of use: If you're unable to easily start a fire, what good is a fire pit really? While no fire pit is as easy as snapping your fingers, some are designed not just for easy fire starting but also in keeping the flame lit and full for several hours. If it feels like a chore to get it lit and to stay burning, you're less likely to want to use it very often.
- Versatility: A fire pit's sole job is to, well, be a fire pit but there are some (i.e. BioLite's aptly named, FirePit) that come with additional functionality such as being able to throw a grill on them and barbecue some food or pack down small enough to be portable enough for camping trips. Of course, we still considered home-specific fire pits that excelled at their lone purpose but did make not of multi-faceted options where necessary.
- Design: The design of a fire pit affects which models made this guide in a number of ways. First, a poor design could mean that the fire may burn out more quickly or that it doesn't quite ration the wood as well. A bad design can also just be an eye-sore, and if it's something you're looking to keep in your backyard, it's likely you prefer one that not only maintains fire but looks good doing it.
- Value: Value is the sum of the categories above, as well as some attention toward its actual price. Though it's ideal to not have to spend a fortune on a simple fire pit, it's smart to invest in something that's premium and high quality as opposed to spending less money more often on a cheaply-built model.
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