Which portable propane fire pits are best?

Everyone loves a warm and cozy fire on a chilly night. Not only do portable propane fire pits provide you with much-needed warmth, but they also create a pleasant ambiance that can elevate an ordinary evening into something special.

Portable propane fire pits allow you to avoid the hassle and mess of a traditional wood-burning campfire. You carry them to your desired location, attach the hose to your fuel tank and push a button to ignite the fire. 

When choosing a portable propane fire pit, it makes sense that ease of transport should be a top priority. The Outland Living Firecube 805 stands out in this regard thanks to its included lid to keep the lava rocks contained and a strap that allows for one-handed carrying.

What to know before you buy a portable propane fire pit

Reasons to buy a portable propane fire pit

There are many reasons to use a portable propane fire pit when camping or enjoying an evening on the beach. Unlike wood fire pits, you don’t have to add more fuel to them by hand constantly. You also won’t be left with a messy pile of ashes to clean. 

Additionally, starting a fire in a propane fire pit is as easy as pushing a button or turning a knob. You don’t have to mess around with kindling or lighter fluid. Propane fires hardly create any fumes, too, so you’ll never have to worry about getting a face full of smoke if the wind turns in your direction.

Another considerable benefit of portable propane fire pits is that CSA-approved models can often be used in locations that have a campfire ban. Make sure to double check the regulations in your jurisdiction first before doing so just to ensure you are conforming to local restrictions. 

Portability

Since you’ll likely be taking your fire pit on the go, portability is the name of the game. Several factors contribute to portability, all of which you should consider carefully. The overall weight and size will dictate how easy a propane fire pit is to carry and pack inside a vehicle. Some models also include straps that serve the purpose of securing the lid in place, if there is one, and double as a carrying handle. Folding legs allow you to make a fire pit more compact during transport but can sacrifice stability when the pit is in use.

Heat

The amount of heat a portable propane fire pit produces is measured in British Thermal Units. Most range from as low as 30,000 Btu up to 60,000 Btu. Those with lower Btu ratings won’t be as effective for heating a large space, so you’ll need to huddle much closer to the fire pit to keep warm. 

What to look for in a quality portable propane fire pit

Rust-resistant construction

Portable propane fire pits are used outdoors in a variety of weather conditions. Because of this, it is advisable to purchase models that have rust-resistant construction. These should feature a stainless steel burner, an enameled or powder-coated finish and a chromed, aluminum or plastic knob.

Ignition

Most portable propane fire pits feature an automatic ignition system that only requires you to push a button or turn a knob. This way, you never have to worry about remembering to bring along a lighter or matches. That said, it is best to double-check the description of any product you are buying just in case. A few select models aren’t equipped with an ignition system.

Cover

Though not a necessity, a cover that secures in place in some manner makes for more convenient transport of a fire pit. It will keep the lava rocks contained when on the go, so there is no chance of them spilling out and making a mess.

Hose length

Nearly all propane fire pits include a hose that measures between 5 and 10 feet in length. The longer the hose, the better because it allows you to keep the propane tank far out of the way. 

How much you can expect to spend on a portable propane fire pit

Most portable propane fire pits cost between $125-$250.

Portable propane fire pit FAQ

Can I use a portable propane fire pit for cooking food?

A. The majority of portable propane fire pits are not designed for cooking food and do not come with a grate of any sort. That said, you can use them for roasting marshmallows and cooking other items that you can hold on a stick or suspend above the fire in some manner. Just be aware this will likely make your fire pit dirty.

What size propane tanks do portable fire pits use?

A. Portable fire pits can use any size propane tank as long as it fits the included regulator. Most people will be best served by a 5- or 10-pound tank, as these provide enough fuel for plenty of use without being so large and heavy they become a hassle to transport.

What’s the best portable propane fire pit to buy?

Top portable propane fire pit

Outland Living Firecube 805

Outland Living Firecube 805

What you need to know: The Firecube 805 gives off plenty of heat to keep a large group of people warm and is CSA-approved for use in most locations currently under a campfire ban.

What you’ll love: It has a 10-foot hose, so you can keep the propane tank nice and far away, and it includes a lid and carrying strap for convenient transport.

What you should consider: You need to wait for the unit to cool fully before placing the strap on it.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top portable propane fire pit for the money

Outland Living Firebowl 893 Deluxe

Outland Living Firebowl 893 Deluxe

What you need to know: The Firebowl 893 provides just as much warmth as the Firecube but at a lesser cost to save you some money.

What you’ll love: It has cute campfire cutouts in the bowl that add to its charming ambiance. Plus, you’ll never have to worry about chrome control knob or stainless steel burner rusting.

What you should consider: At 23 pounds, it is a bit heavier than some other models.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Fire Sense Sporty Campfire

Fire Sense Sporty Campfire

What you need to know: Though it can be a bit expensive when not on sale, the Sporty Campfire is a lightweight and highly convenient model that features folding legs.

What you’ll love: The sides of the fire pit have diamond perforations throughout that help distribute heat out the sides where it can better warm users rather than straight up and into the air. It boasts a 60,000 Btu rating, too, which is slightly more than most competing models.

What you should consider: There are reports of the automatic ignition not always working well on some units. 

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

 

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Brett Dvoretz writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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