The best portable fire pits of 2024

Be a modern-day Prometheus by taking a fire pit where and when you want to heat up crisp nights (or cook up dinner).

Best overall

The Solo Stove Ranger 2.0 fire pit with a fire going inside

Solo Stove Ranger 2.0

Best design

Snow Peak Pack & Carry Fireplace best designed portable fire pit

Snow Peak Pack u0026 Carry L Fireplace

Best for backyard

Yaheetech multifunctional square patio table portable fire pit with spark screen and waterproof cover

Yaheetech Multifunctional Fire Pit Table

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Portable fire pits are life. Literally, human beings’ harnessing of fire as a tool—a source of warmth, cooking, and protection—is one of the things that helped us survive to become the society we are today. And while it might now be hyperbole to say fire, specifically, is life, it’s at least extremely useful and enjoyable. There’s a primal allure to a flickering flame and an aesthetic pleasure from the shadows, the crackling sounds, and—if your fuel is right—even the smell. But having an outdoor fire can be a pain. If you’re at home, you must install a dedicated, built-in fire pit. If camping, you must set up somewhere with a clear and safely built campfire space. Or do you? With one of our best portable fire pit picks, a lot of the hassle of having an outdoor fire—whether for ambiance, warmth, or cooking—is handled, leaving you to bask in the warmth of family and friends (and contained, maintained flames, of course). 

How we chose the best portable fire pits

We compared the specs and reviews of two-dozen portable fire pits before narrowing our list to the best of the best, juggling customer consensus, reviewer preference, and personal experience. Careful attention was paid to portability, style, capacity, safety, and secondary features to come to our conclusions. Considerations were made for use at home or while camping. We considered fire type (wood-burning/gas/propane), best uses (warmth/cooking/ambiance), and price. Eventually, a pecking order emerged, but you can rest assured that every pick on this list is straight fire, with every one of these products being a solid buy and an easy recommendation.

The best portable fire pits: Reviews & Recommendations

Portable fire pits contain and elevate fires, allowing you to place them in nearly any open area. Some even come with features that make grilling or containing smoke beyond easy. So embrace the ways of our ancient ancestors and fire up one of the best portable fire pits of 2023.

Best overall: Solo Stove Ranger 2.0

Best overall

Solo Stove Ranger 2.0


  • Weight: 15 lbs
  • Height: 12.5 inches
  • Material: 304 stainless steel
  • Structure: non-collapsible, single form


  • Lightweight and compact
  • High-quality well-controlled flame that eliminates most smoke
  • Strong stainless steel construction
  • All-in-one design improves strength
  • Round design is stylish and silver surface is chic
  • Included carrying case makes transportation easier


  • All-in-one design makes it difficult to pack
  • Grilling or lifting requires separately-purchases accessories

The smaller brother of the Solo Stone Bonfire 2.0, our favorite smokeless fire pit, the Solo Stove Ranger 2.0 is more portable but not less powerful. One of the first things that stands out about the Ranger is its sleek, circular design. This fire pit would fit right in at an elegant rooftop cocktail bar with its clean silver cylinder design. (And would add a similar touch of class to your backyard or car-camping set-up.) Even the flame comes out looking stylish, with the high perforations allowing small flamers to flicker out, ringing around the larger central flame. 

It’s extremely controlled yet powerful, producing wonderful heat and light without being or feeling dangerous. Firestarting is done the typical way, but the contained cylinder makes it even easier by shielding the fledgling flickers from wind and moisture. Following the included instructions is best, but even a lazy “throw some wood on top of a lit bit of kindling” can sometimes work because of the efficient design. Lighting the fire is the only time smoke is ever an issue, as the airflow traps and eliminates any puffs after that point.

Once the fire starts, you don’t want to touch the fire pit; the sides heat up as you might expect. As always with fire, this isn’t a product or practice to use around unsupervised children or pets. Once all the smoldering has subsided, however, the updates to the 2.0 design make cleaning much easier, placing the ash on a removable pan (one of many touches greatly appreciated in our full review of the Bonfire 2.0). With its combination of style, function, lightweight (15 pounds is low for this category), and efficient control of flames and smoke, the Solo Stove Ranger 2.0 is about as good as a portable fire pit gets.

Best for the backyard: Yaheetech Multifunctional Fire Pit Table

Best for the backyard

Yaheetech Fire Pit Table


  • Weight: 26 lbs
  • Height: 15 inches
  • Material: metal alloy
  • Structure: non-collapsible, single form


  • Elegant, patio-appropriate design
  • Ample fire area
  • Included iron mesh cage for both aesthetics and to prevent embers from blowing
  • During the summer, you can fill the bowl with ice and beverages (or shrimp and crab legs, veggies and dips … that’s up to you)


  • Not weatherproof, but comes with a fitted protective cover.
  • Not smokeless
  • Not compact or collapsible

When it comes to backyard fire pits, looks matter a lot. You want a fire pit that feels welcoming and matches the aesthetic of your patio furniture. Yaheetech’s 32-inch metal table is the platonic ideal for when you’re doing some elegant al fresco entertaining. Square, with a decorative rock pattern on the top, it’s an eye-catching centerpiece but also highly functional. The basin for the fire is significantly lifted, letting heat radiate out and even slightly down, warming those toes on breezy evenings, while rails prevent little ones from getting too, too close to the bottom. The mesh spark guard completes the aesthetic. 

It’s classic, cute, and fits a backyard vibe. Style and price are the main selling point of this model, as there’s no fancy smokeless airflow design or foldability features, but it is relatively light and can easily be put in a flat-bed trunk, van, or SUV for a trip to the beach or park. One warning: while it can handle fire, it’s not impervious to all the elements. It isn’t waterproof but comes with a cover that it so, after use and cooldown, protect it appropriately from the elements.

Looking to upgrade your conversation pit with one click? You can buy a $1,599 7-piece patio furniture set with matching 55,000 BTU propane fire pit—we’re not going to judge, but we are going to ask to be invited over.

Best for camping: Fireside Outdoor Pop-Up Fire Pit

Best for camping

Fireside Outdoor Pop-Up Fire Pit


  • Weight: 7.2 lbs
  • Height: 15 inches
  • Material: aluminum
  • Structure: collapsible / disassembled


  • Extremely light-weight and portable
  • Vertical collapsed design is easy to pack
  • Extremely large burn area
  • Smoke-eliminating mesh holds up to 125 pounds
  • Designed with leave-no-trace fires in mind


  • Any grilling needs an accessory kit that reduces portability and adds weight
  • Mesh and heat shield are a bit hard to clean
  • Mesh requires that fires be more wide than tall
  • Function over fashion, may not look great in a backyard set-up

For serious campers—specifically those who don’t need to grill—two things are extremely important: lightweight portability and environmentally sound design. The Fireside Outdoor Pop-Up Fire Pit is designed with campers in mind, offering a lifted, full-size fire for warmth and light that leaves little to no impact on the ground below it or the area around it. The size and weight when collapsed are impressive: about the size of a camping chair. Despite that, when assembled, the Pop-Up Fire Pit offers one of the largest burn areas of all our portable models, two feet by two feet. One drawback is that the metal mesh that holds the wood needs a pretty equal distribution of weight to avoid tearing or warping–fires must be wide more than tall.

Grilling is possible with additional accessories, but the primary function of the Fireside Outdoor Pop-Up Fire Pit is warmth and light with a minimal footprint, and it delivers in spades. The portability requires assembly, and while it isn’t the fastest—likely around 3 minutes—it’s simple and straightforward. If your main goal is roughing it, this one will make it a little less rough.

Best for grilling: Front Runner BBQ/Fire Pit

Best for grilling

Front Runner BBQ/Fire Pit


  • Weight: 17.4 lbs
  • Height: 12.2 inches
  • Material: 3CR12 stainless steel
  • Structure: disassembled / flat-packed


  • Built-in grill is convenient and excellent at distributing heat
  • Flat-pack design makes it extra easy to pack in a vehicle
  • Sturdy design and excellent flame containment
  • Grid-lifting tools are included


  • 17-pound weight makes its portability more truck-based than backpack-based
  • Requires a good bit of maintenance as grease and food will build up on the grill surface
  • Designed for use with a specific brand of pick-up storage box and may not fit all vehicles as well with other brands

Designed for grilling and transportation with a truck, the Front Runner BBQ/Fire Pit has a rugged design with sharp corners and strong geometry. However, that angularity is also in service to its easy-to-assemble flat-packed portable form, as it is a series of interlocking metal panels that can be put together in less than a minute even by an amateur outdoors explorer. The top is already a high-quality grilling grate, which is the main selling point of this model: it cooks well without any need for pricey accessories. The stainless steel is one of the highest grades we’ve seen in this category, which should help the Front Runner hold up if it ends up jostled around in the backwoods.

One drawback is that while it packs flat, it’s still quite large and heavy—a trade-off for its durability. The panels are meant to be placed into a Wolf Pack or Wolf Pack Pro pick-up truck storage container, not a backpack, making this less ideal for trekking and more for family camping (check our camping grill guide for smaller, cheaper options).

Best propane: Bond Manufacturing Aurora Portable Steel Propane Gas Fire Pit

Best propane

Bond Manufacturing Aurora Portable Steel Propane Gas Fire Pit


  • Weight: 18 lbs
  • Height: 14.65 inches
  • Material: stainless steel / metal
  • Structure: non-collapsible, locking lid


  • Propane-ready
  • Locking lid acts as carrying handle
  • No assembly required
  • Auto-ignition function makes starting fires simple


  • Need for separate propane tank increases weight and space
  • Awkward shape means it’s a carry-from-the-car kind of portable

For some of us—I’m looking at you, Hank Hill—propane is simply the best option for heating (or grilling). That’s where the Bond Manufacturing Aurora Portable Steel Propane Gas Fire Pit comes in. The gas burns clean, and stones are used for both aesthetics and to help contain the flames. The gas allows for a consistent 50,000 BTU output. The consistency of gas is one of its main benefits over wood. Wood’s heat can come and go as the fire gets stronger or weaker. Gas also means no ash, charred wood, or other debris left over when you’re done enjoying your fire. Simply turn off the gas, wait for the stones and fire pit to cool down, lock in the lid, and carry the fire pit away.

Unfortunately, the convenience of propane is undercut by the need to bring a tank of the stuff. That means an additional 20 pounds and a rather large object to take on your beach, tailgating, or camping trip. If your main purpose is backyard use, this is less of an impediment. The Aurora is sturdy but also a bit hefty, so if your campsite is a hike away, it may not make it up the mountain with you. But for close and consistent flame sources for propane pros, it’s an easy recommendation.

Best design: Snow Peak Pack & Carry L Fireplace

Best design

Snow Peak Pack u0026 Carry Fireplace


  • Weight: 12.1 lbs
  • Height: 12 inches
  • Material: stainless steel
  • Structure: collapsible / flat-pack


  • Clever and stylish collapsible design
  • High-quality stainless steel
  • Easy set-up
  • Packs flat


  • Requires additional accessories to grill
  • Somewhat small capacity

The minimalist principles and clean lines of Japanese design have done it again! The Snow Peak Pack & Carry L Fireplace is beyond slick in its balance of form and function. Its collapsible design leaves it in a nice, flat shape that, at 12 pounds, is quite easy to carry. When set up—which is a cinch—it’s got a striking modern design with sharp lines complemented by swooping legs. Additional purpose-built accessories Fireplace Grill Bridge L and Fireplace Grill L can transform this cute fireplace into a Takibi grilling solution and even the centerpiece of a packable dining table, but it will add cost and space. This spiffy fireplace/fire pit comes courtesy of Snow Peak, a Niigata, Japan-based company whose camping gear is as cool and covetable as it is useful.

The tradeoff is the relatively small fire area the Pack & Carry offers. Some pre-cut wood might be too large and require further whittling. The fire produced might be too small for a large gathering but is perfect for a solo adventure or intimate getaway.

Best value: Inno Stage Portable Smokeless Fire Pit

Inno Stage Portable Smokeless Fire Pit

Best value


  • Weight: 16 lbs
  • Height: 12.5 inches
  • Material: 304 stainless steel
  • Structure: two pieces


  • Airflow design allows for smoke reduction
  • Three sizes of the same design available for different size needs
  • Matte black finish keeps fire pit looking clean
  • Price/performance ratio is high


  • Designed for wood pellets rather than traditional firewood
  • Somewhat bulky design partially alleviated by carrying case

Sometimes you don’t want to go full force into a product category, and that’s where a value choice like the Inno Stage Portable Smokeless Fire Pit comes in. This baby isn’t much of a step down from fire pits twice its price, and offers a few innovative ideas that really up its value. First of all, the airflow design eliminates a lot of smoke while the fire is going. Secondly, the two-part design makes it relatively easy to set up and store, though the bulky shape isn’t the easiest to carry. (The carrying case certainty helps.) At under $100 for the medium size, the investment is minimal.

The biggest drawback is its design is meant to be used with wood pellets or very small pieces of wood. Purchased firewood is probably too big for this baby, and scavenged firewood will have to be cut down considerably. Therefore, you’ll need to include a bag of wood pellets in the car if you plan to use the Inno Stage on any trips. At home, this is much less of a drawback, of course. Wood pellets tend to burn very evenly and efficiently and impart specific aromas (which is why they’re popular with grillmasters).

The matte black finish is probably the most clean-looking of the options for the Inno Stage, but there’s also a chrome option and a faux terra cotta option as far as colors go. For grilling, the design is such that simply buying a disposable grill and laying it over the top is likely one of the better solutions. If you want strong performance without much of an investment, the Inno Stage Portable Smokeless Fire Pit is a great entry point into the world of portable fire pits.

Best budget: UCO Flatpack Portable Stainless Steel Grill and Fire Pit

Best budget

UCO Flatpack Portable Stainless Steel Grill and Fire Pit


  • Weight: 3.2 lbs
  • Height: 13.5 inches
  • Material: 304 stainless steel
  • Structure: collapsible / flat-pack


  • 30-second set-up
  • Extremely light
  • Folds flat for easy portability


  • Can’t handle a lot of weight on or inside it 
  • Needs a nice, flat surface for stability
  • Grilling space is not particularly large

For those who want the lowest-cost solution for a very small gathering, there’s the UCO Flatpack Portable Stainless Steel Grill and Fire Pit. As a grill, this one offers the least capacity and stability of any of our recommended models. Heavy cooking accessories such as a Dutch oven as a serious no-no, and even overloading the grill surface could result in some warping. However, a grilled dinner for one is more than doable. As a heat-and-light-only solution, the UCO Flatpack is actually really strong for its price. It’s the lightest of all our models, and it folds flat, meaning it’s very easy to carry. The assembly from flat is quick and simple, definitely taking less than a minute. Best of all, it’s a fraction of the cost of some other pits on our list. If you want features, versatility, and long-term durability, you may want to look elsewhere. But if you want a cheap, solid solution for personal use, the UCO Flatpack gives way more than it costs.

What to consider when choosing a portable fire pit

The first thing to consider when choosing a portable fire pit is how portable you need your fire pit to be. “Portable” is relative when it comes to this category and can be as simple as “is not built into a patio” to as versatile as “collapses and can easily be attached to a backpack. Many of these models are meant for transport via vehicle—RV or truck especially—and are not appropriate for camping that involves long hikes away from a car. The lighter, collapsible models are the only ones you’ll want to look at if you’re truly planning to do some wilderness camping. If your main desire is for a fire pit to be used in backyard gatherings, the style will really matter. It’ll be frustrating if your fire pit has a utilitarian design when your patio furniture is more casual and tropical. And for those who want a portable grilling solution, remember that many of these models don’t include grilling accessories in the base package, so that will add cost, weight, and space, eating into the whole “portability” factor.


The next thing to consider is how much you’re willing to spend. If you want to stay under $100, there are really only two models to consider (our best value and our best budget). If you’re willing to go to $200, many more models open up.


Lastly, fuel type is important. The vast majority of these fire pits are intended for use with commercial or scavenged firewood. A few want pellets or gas. All these fuels will need to be carried with or stored near the fire pit or found at the beach/campsite you plan to use the fire pit.


Q: Which fire pit gives off the most heat?

Wood burns hotter but less consistently than gas. Gas will produce flames in the same place at roughly the same intensity as long as you don’t change the gas output, while fire flares up and dies down, and wood collapses, making the fire change over time. But for pure heat, wood is the way to go.

Q: Will a 50,000 BTU fire pit keep you warm?

Whether a 50,000 BTU fire pit is ample to keep you warm depends on your distance from the fire pit. These fire pits are relatively small, and you’ll need to be relatively near them to really feel the warmth. Fire heat dissipates very quickly in air, where the energy can move in any direction. While 50,000 BTUs (British Thermal Units) will keep you warm when you’re within a few feet of the fire, stretch that distance to several meters and you won’t feel it as much. Things depend on the climate and any enclosure, but in still, open air, 50,000 BTUs will be hot from within 8 feet, comfortable from about 8 to 10 feet away, and not warm from over 10 feet.

Q: How do I make my fire pit hotter?

Oxygen increases a fire’s heat output because oxygen is what the fire consumes to grow. Get air to the base of the fire, particularly using a bellows, and your fire will increase its heat output. Also, good fire design with nice dry logs that are the right size to burn is important. Check out some YouTube videos on building fires in fire pits to get a sense of what you should be looking for both in your wood and your set-up.

Q: How do you keep a fire pit burning all night?

If it’s gas, just ensure you have a big enough gas supply. If it’s wood, you want dry, seasoned wood, not wet or green (young) wood. Many of these fire pits also come with heat shields that act as a reflector, distributing the heat that would normally travel down from the fire back up toward it, which helps keep the fire active. Make sure there’s enough wood to burn through in a lattice-like pattern. When your fire starts, use smaller pieces of wood, and add in larger ones later that will take longer to consume. Also, a dry, cool, but not cold night with minimal wind helps a lot. Lastly, certain types of wood burn more slowly, chiefly oak and maple.

Q: Is it OK to leave a fire pit burning overnight?

If you’re not going to check on it, do not leave a fire pit, or a fire of any sort, burning overnight. Fire is extremely dangerous, and while these fire pits are well-made, a small defect can become a major problem overnight. Keeping an eye on your fire ensures you can cut any problems off and douse the fire before it becomes a problem.

Q: What is hotter: coals or flame?

Flame is hotter, as it has more access to oxygen that lets it reach higher temperatures—assuming the flame is coming from the same source that the coals are made from.

Q: Do you put sand in a portable fire pit?

Portable fire pits do not need sand in them.

Q: Are fire pits good for winter?

If there’s just cold and no snow, yes. However, high moisture content in the area can make it very difficult to keep a fire going.

Final thoughts on the best portable fire pits

A portable fire pit will add a touch of class to a backyard gathering or a source of heat and food on a camping trip. You can grill in the summer, cut the chill in fall, manage the cold in winter, or set the mood in spring. That cozy fire feeling can be yours anywhere, so if you’re interested in fanning the flames in your own life, grab whichever of our recommended models fits your needs.

Why trust us

Popular Science started writing about technology more than 150 years ago. There was no such thing as “gadget writing” when we published our first issue in 1872, but if there was, our mission to demystify the world of innovation for everyday readers means we would have been all over it. Here in the present, PopSci is fully committed to helping readers navigate the increasingly intimidating array of devices on the market right now.

Our writers and editors have combined decades of experience covering and reviewing consumer electronics. We each have our own obsessive specialties—from high-end audio to video games to cameras and beyond—but when we’re reviewing devices outside of our immediate wheelhouses, we do our best to seek out trustworthy voices and opinions to help guide people to the very best recommendations. We know we don’t know everything, but we’re excited to live through the analysis paralysis that internet shopping can spur so readers don’t have to.


Nicholas Ware Avatar

Nicholas Ware

Contributor, Reviews

Nicholas Ware was born and raised in Montgomery, Ala., but has since spent time in Florida, Georgia, Ohio, California, and Japan. At PopSci, he contributes reviews and round-ups focusing on tech, audio/video products, and video games. While much of his free time is spent enjoying that realm, his outside interests include professional wrestling and improv comedy and he has attended the two biggest wrestling shows in the world: WrestleMania in the United States and Wrestle Kingdom in Japan. Most of his career has combined freelance writing with being an educator and he has taught at nearly every level from elementary school to university as well as supplemental education/tutoring.