Best Outdoor Fire Pits For Your Money

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Our Top Choice...

Key Features

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    Easy to assemble and only took about 30 minutes
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    Comes with highest safety standards
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    Modern design, perfect for your home
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    Durable and quality construction
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    Great value for your money

outdoor fire pitsCampfires are one of the great unifying features among all cultures on the planet. Sitting around, sharing stories and a hot meal, warding away the chill of winter, it’s a touchstone experience that most people have shared.

It’s harder and harder to get that experience though, with urbanization and a drier environment in many places. That’s where fire pits come in, providing a safe, available alternative to a roaring flame that provides the comfort without the danger of rampant wildfires. We’re going to go over a lot of great options today (and a few that act as sort of an example of what not to do) as well as how to choose one for yourself.


Outland Living Series 401

This is a very tasteful looking firepit with a lot to recommend it.  The wicker analogue is made of a durable high density polyethylene (HDPE) with a UV resistant treatment in the nice coffee colored paint to keep it safe from fading or cracking in the sun for years to come.

The frame itself is durable but lightweight, made of a sturdy powder coated aluminum. Aluminum is not usually my ideal choice for outdoor construction, but aluminum is an excellent heat conductor and will help this fire pit radiate heat just a little better, while making it resistant to warping.

It run son propane gas, with an easy to turn knob sparking it up, and it’s easy to light. The black tempered glass tabletop is heat resistant and smooth without being slippery, and the dark coloring nicely compliments the “arctic ice” glass rocks set into the brazier portion.

All in all this is the best fire pit I could find, with excellent performance, easy to use, a great price, and a very nice understated appearance that goes well with almost any patio setup.

Pros

  • Materials: HDPE and aluminum are standard materials, but they work well for products like this, being lightweight, heat resistant (or so conductive they’re not likely to warp, as aluminum will cool off within seconds of the heat being shut off), and patterned nicely. The tempered glass is especially good to have here.
  • Aesthetics: I really like the understated, coffee and black design of this model. It’s not flashy or tacky, and doesn’t clash with much; it fits in with pretty much anything on the warmer end of the color spectrum or earth toned arrangements, and can even work with some of the cooler colors as a contrast, depending on how dark they are.

Cons

  • Ignition: My only real complaint is this model doesn’t come with an electronic ignition system.

Landmann 25282 Barrone

This is a very nice looking wood fire pit from Landmann. It’s made of bronze, and incredibly conductive material, which makes it great material for a fire pit. The pit is spacious (23 inches square around the edges and 10 inches deep) and holds a lot of wood, easily stacked neatly in whatever arrangement you want.

The air flow is excellent, being able to vent and receive air from every direction, while the mesh protects the fire from gusts and you from sparks popping off of it.

The lid is nicely arranged and easy to remove with the hook of your poker and returns just as easily, which is more than I can say for some of these lids that sway too much, being made of either flimsier materials or having the wrong kind of ring (a standard handle shape slides too much).

It sits at a comfortable height, and looks nice from every angle, with very good welds and hidden or decorative rivets. When not in use as a fire pit (during the summer months, for example) I could still see it being a nice decorative piece on my patio or porch, and used as light storage.

It’s incredibly lightweight for the size and easy to move. The only real drawback is the price, which is a bit high, but well worth what you’re getting.

Pros

  • Bronze: Bronze is an excellent material for a fire pit. It’s highly conductive, making it radiate heat easier and cool down faster once the fire goes out, and looks nice with almost any furniture (unless your patio decoration includes a lot of reds, I suppose). A perfect melding of form and function.
  • Size: While lightweight this fire pit is spacious and perfectly sized for use on most any patio setting, with plenty of room inside for whatever wood you prefer.
  • Lid: Special mention goes to the lid, which is designed to be a bit heftier than normal so it’s easier to pick up and put back in its place when using the poker.

Cons

  • Price: The cost is a bit high, running you a little bit more than the smaller Outland Firebowl.

Outland Firebowl 883

This is another good propane powered model from Outland. A smaller one this time, it still provides a lot of high quality performance. It can be hard to note, but it has little flame shaped holes cut out for ventilation, giving it very good circulation for the flames and a little heat venting.

The volcanic rocks are a nice looking touch and add a great flickering effect to the flames. Purely cosmetic, but it adds to the cozy atmosphere.

The fire itself is powered by propane and controlled by an easy to use knob (though still needs lighting of the pilot light).

It puts out a solid 58, 000 BTUh, quite a lot of heat in a small package and will keep you warm on cold nights pretty much no matter where you are.

As another bright side, unlike many wood fire pits this model is CSA approved for use during most campfire bans, so no need to cancel your camping trip during those more dry, dangerous months.

Overall this is a quite excellent propane powered campfire pit for a very reasonable price.

Pros

  • Propane: This is really where all the good parts of this model comes from. The propane powered nature of it makes it easy to use and set up pretty much anywhere, prevents the popping sparks common with other fires, and makes it safe to use at any campsite any time of the year.
  • Aesthetic: It’s nice and shiny, with those great looking lava rocks that produce a more natural seeming flickering flame. It’s not quite as aesthetically pleasing as a real wood fire, but it’s as close as you can get with this kind of flame.

Cons

  • Lava Rocks: If I had to thing of one minor thing wrong with this, it’s the loose rocks. Not just easily lost, but annoying to take in and out of the fire pit whenever you’re setting up or packing up camp.

Solo Stove Yukon

This is an interesting one. It goes for size above all, with an enormous 30 inch diameter rig and 16 inch height, it’s made for whole extended families and gatherings to warm up around at once.

The flame it produces is just as enormous as the ring itself, being fed by the excellent design of the chamber itself. It’s double walled for insulation, and has a unique bottom focused airflow design which sucks cold air through the vents in the bottom to feed the flame without it being blown crossways and dimming.

If your focus is finding the biggest fire you can possibly muster in a fire pit, this is your go to. Its construction is solid double walled 304 stainless steel and it’ll last you a lifetime if you take care of it, and every facet of its design is spent cranking that fire higher and higher.

Pros

  • Fire: Flame produced is big, hot, and bright, perfect for campside gatherings, Best of all it is a nearly smokeless flame produced by wood fire, due to the ay air flow is perfectly regulated by the design.
  • Sturdy: 304 stainless steel is strong, and double walled makes it stronger while vastly increasing the insulation capability.
  • Design: Design overall is excellent, and devoted solely to building a bigger flame, through a combination of excellent air flow (cold air through the bottom, fed in a vortex like pattern through to the top) and impeccable insulation.

Cons

  • Aesthetic: Stainless steel is sturdy, but certainly not much to look at. Could have used some kind of flake resistant coating to make it look a little better.
  • Price: This fire pit is expensive, one of the most expensive models on this list. It’s worth it for a lifetime if you need this kind of fire regularly enough, but think twice if you don’t.

Landmann 28345 Big Sky

If you want a simple, but effective fire pit this is a great option. It is a nicely spacious (12.5 inches deep by 24 inches wide) steel bowl with a great design.

The mesh covering protects you from sparks, and the decorative cutouts are also meshed over to catch sparks and are arranged to increase air flow, keeping the fire smoldering for long periods of time without suffocating it.

It sits at a comfortable distance off the ground and the cutouts will also help it radiate heat, while the steel frame retains heat for a long time after the fire stops burning, keeping those nice waves of heat radiating out for hours at a time.

It’s easy to clean and use, and will last you a long time.

Pros

  • Durable: Construction is of solid steel and last well in pretty much any weather conditions. Steel is also great at heat retention, keeping the comfortable warmth going long after the fire is just embers.
  • Air Flow: The moon and stars design is nice looking, and also provides increased air flow to prevent the fire from going out.
  • Mesh: Mesh provides protection from jumping sparks and breaks up the smoke a little bit, for more comfortable sitting around the fire pit.
  • Size: The interior is spacious and holds a fair amount of wood, as well containing the fire quite a bit so it doesn’t rage out of control. It is pretty much the perfect size for this kind of fire pit.
  • Portable: The fire pit is relatively lightweight (around 26 lbs) and easy to move around. Great for taking to backyard gatherings at a friend’s house, or to a campsite.

Cons

  • Wood: While I like wood fires, it is also nice to have a reliable power source for your fire. This is less a drawback and more a note that this makes a less good permanent fixture than a propane fire pit.

Bond Manufacturing 63172

This is a fun one, aesthetically. It come sin 4 distinct designs, all in the same brazier style, but different takes on it.

It can get away with this as a propane model (no sparks to worry about, so no mesh needed), so you can get this excellent appearance without the worry of starting a fire.

It ignites easily, being the only propane model I’ve seen that actually has electronic (pulse) ignition built in instead of needing to manually light the pilot. It stores well, with the propane tank going directly inside the body so you don’t have an ugly hose hanging around ruining the aesthetic.

40, 000 BTUh isn’t the greatest, but this is clearly mean to be more of a decorative piece, not a primary heat source, so we can give it a pass. In a pinch it will do, but is clearly mean for lounging around in warmer climates that might get a bit chilly at best.

The price isn’t too bad either, being about $100 cheaper than our winner, so you won’t find yourself breaking the back buying this one.  A great pick for a back yard with a pool or garden, especially if you want something vaguely Greek themed.

Pros

  • Aesthetics: This is really the high point of this fire pit (though that is almost a misnomer for this one). It looks great with a lot of different decorating styles, and even more when you factor in the 3 other available designs for the same price.
  • Performance: While 40, 000 BTUh isn’t that high, this is clearly meant to be used in warmer climates, so is the perfect performance for that kind of setting. It’s great to put in a central place to ward off a chill, but not as a primary heat source at any kind of wintry backyard gathering.

Cons

  • Price: While not too bad, it feels a bit overpriced for what it provides, since it’s basically just a decorative piece overall.

AmazonBasics

“Basic” is certainly the right word to use to describe this one. There’s nothing overwhelmingly wrong with it, but nothing really to recommend it either.

It’s quite cheap, but not so much more so than other models that I can really recommend it as a budget option. The size is nice, being 23.5 inches across and around 15 inches deep, giving you plenty of room for wood to burn without crowding it and ensuring the ash will smother the fire prematurely.

Ventilation is good, with quite a lot of holes evenly spaced around the fire pit, and a good protective mesh around the exterior that protects you from sparks.

The main issue with this fire pit is a distinct feeling of cheapness. The rivets and welds are clearly visible and the metal is thing and flimsy feeling. It makes the unit satisfyingly lightweight for transport (around 30 lbs) but it would also make me wary of moving it around too much for fear of it bending.

It’s hard to recommend this one over a similar model like the Landmann fire pit above, as the quality is severely lacking compared to most similarly constructed fire pits around.

Pros

  • Price: The price is quite low compared to many of these fire pits, though not to a huge extent overall. If you’re looking to save $20 or so over a better model, this one is a good choice.
  • Design: The design is sound, with good airflow and a solid protective mesh that keeps sparks from jumping out.

Cons

  • Construction: Construction is cheap, as befitting the price, and is simply shoddy seeming with weak materials and obvious, flimsy rivets and welds. It doesn’t look very good and is likely to fall apart within a year or two.

Landmann 28335

This fire pit is almost identical in every respect to the other Landmann fire pit near the top of the list, save that it is a reddish orange color.

It is the same dimensions (12.5 inches deep and 23.5 inches in diameter) that makes it perfect for building good sized fires in a little package. It’s fairly lightweight and easy to move around, with a good handle on it. It sits at a good height, and has a great mesh to protect you from popping sparks, with the moon and stars cutouts still acting like quite good air flow increasing vents.

…So why does this model cost twice as much? As near as I can tell, it is entirely for the privilege of having the reddish paint instead of black, because it’s not actually MADE of Georgia clay.

Pros

  • Size: For a simplistic model like this, it’s the perfect size for building a good fire to gather a few friends or your immediate family around.
  • Well Designed: Cutouts are decorative and increase air flow well, while protective mesh cuts smoke and (primarily) protects you and the environment from popping sparks.

Cons

  • Price: It costs twice as much as a model with identical performance, from the same brand, whose only difference is in the tinting of the paint. Hard pass.

Yaheetech

On paper this one looks pretty good. It has a nice spacious interior (though not much depth, which is annoying to work with) and decent air flow.

The mesh is easy to remove and replace, with great spark protection while still letting you see the fire.

The table itself looks nice, and actually works as a table. Great for sitting around the fire drinking cocoa or hot toddies or having a small meal.

The main rub is the construction of this model. It’s pretty flimsy overall, with weak screws and thin metal, as you’d expects from something you nee to put together yourself.

This in itself I wouldn’t mind overly much if it was a low price; I’ve gladly used my fair share of cheap furniture like this over the years and been happy with it for what it is. But the price is exorbitant for what it offers, more than the far superior Outland Firebowl and Landmann Bronze models I would vastly prefer at a cheaper price.

Pros

  • Aesthetics: It looks nice for what it is, with a pleasing tortoiseshell or cracked earth pattern on the table, and a good solid dark grey paint to it.
  • Size: The size is good, encompassing both the large (but shallow) pit itself and the solid table ringed around it.

Cons

  • Value: The price is high but the effort is low, essentially. Materials are cheap and flimsy and must be assembled by hand, while the cost is far, far too much for what this model actually offers.

Sun Joe SJFP35-STN

I often talk about the good and the bad when reviewing products, but I rarely have to talk about the ugly. This is an exception.

Let’s get the good out of the way first. This fire pit looks gorgeous in all 3 of its designs. The fire pit is huge, and holds logs up to 21.5 inches long comfortably, and lets you stack them high with its spacious interior. This produces a long lasting, strong burning flame with a nice mesh overhead for air flow and protection from sparks.

It even has a good price. A little too good for a fire pit of this type.

As you might expect, this results in a bit of a quality control problem. Normally quality control issues result in something like a motor burning out, or parts repeatedly being dented by poor shipping. These things are annoying and enough to not recommend the product, but in the grand scheme are just something to mention and move on.

This product though is one of the most dangerous I’ve seen. It explodes. No moving parts, no mechanical failure, just shoddily produced bricks full of air pockets, causing explosions of shrapnel as reported by a surprising number of buyers.

I could overlook one; accidents happen, but this is multiple repeated buyers saying their fire pit has cracked, exploded, or otherwise suffered catastrophic failure. That is inexcusable. Avoid at all costs.

Pros

  • Aesthetics: It looks real nice in every singe one of its 3 forms.
  • Price: It’s a very inexpensive fire pit for the size.
  • Size: Size is one of the largest I’ve seen, and makes big, beautiful fires.

Cons

  • Exploding: It explodes. I don’t think much more needs to be said about this, you don’t want an exploding fire pit.

Final Verdict

Outland Living Series 401

There are a lot of good options here for both kinds of pit. The Landmann Bronze model and Yukon Stove are hands down the best wood fired models for their respective price ranges, while the Outland models steal the show for propane fire pits.

The same four are the overall best options for home centerpiece options (Outland Living Series 401 and Yukon Stove) and camping (Outland Firebowl and Landmann Bronze), as all of them work the best for their respective purposes and types, and run around the same price range as each other based on size and use.

Some of the others are okay, but the prices are so similar you may as well shell out for the best.

Whatever you choose, make sure to stay far, far away from the Sun Joe model; that way the shrapnel won’t hit you.

How To Pick The Best Outdoor Firepits

Fire pits come in two basic types, and the criteria for choosing them are almost completely different between the two. Let’s start with wood fire pits.

Wood Fired

Wood fire fire pits are pretty simple. You really only need to look at the overall construction of the pit itself, making special note of the materials used, the size of the pit itself, and the basic design,

The size needed is going to vary based on your tastes, but generally you want it to be at least 21 inches wide (as that’s about what most logs are going to be) and maybe 10 inches deep (just so you have plenty of space.

The pit should generally be made of either a heavily insulated or heavily conductive material. An insulated pit will create a long burning, ultra hot flame for people to huddle around, which is great for kind of setting and forgetting a fire. The more conductive materials will radiate heat better and keep the air and people sitting around it warmer on average, but the fire will burn out much faster as a result.

Typically insulated materials include steel and cast iron, while conductive materials are aluminum and bronze.

The design can vary from many different shapes, but all should include good ventilation. Fires feed on oxygen, and air flow is important to the longevity and heat of a fire. You don’t want to smother it.

All wood fire pits should come with a mesh covering to reduce sparks, unless they have some other way of preventing sparking (like keeping the wood hidden inside a larger body, as one of the models on this list does).

Propane

Propane pits are different. You want a model that looks good, while having high performance and a large heat output more than anything else. For a propane fire pit, shape and overall design don’t really matter all that much.

These are typically going to be decorative items for your kitchen outside, centerpieces for your patio, deck, back yard seating area, or whatever you have. The few that aren’t are typically designed to be used on dangerous campsites during the dry season when there would normally be a ban on campfires; propane fires produce no smoke or sparks.

Heat output is measured in BTUh (British Thermal Units per hour), and should be a minimum of 35, 000 BTUh. Most of the heat is going to be leeching into the air after all, unlike a grill (which is enclosed and insulated), so the output needs to be much higher.

Price

Both types of grills are going to be around the same price range based on sized; larger models cost $300 and up, while smaller ones will run you around $100 on average. This is consistent whether you’re talking about propane or wood fired pits, as most of the cost comes from the materials, not the internal components of propane using fire pits.

Therefore price wise it is mostly a matter of preference, though keep in mind propane centerpieces do tend to BE bigger.

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