Solo Stove Review

I have always loved a good backyard bonfire, but I have come to appreciate them even more over the last two years. During the summer of 2020, they were the perfect way for me to actually be able to see my friends safely, which was just so hugely important then. And even now that we’re all vaccinated, it’s just something we’ve really come to enjoy! It’s a really fun, relaxing way to hang out and catch up.

So when I saw that Solo Stove was having a sale over the Black Friday / Cyber Monday weekend, it seemed like a sign of a deal that was too good to pass up! I had seen it all over my Instagram feed for months and it had been on my wishlist for quite a while. I can say without question now that it lives up to the hype.

Heather, a white woman in a power wheelchair, is wearing a dusty pink sweater with a beige patterned blanket laying on her lap. She's on her patio and is sitting behind a fire in a Solo Stove.

What is a Solo Stove?

If you haven’t heard of Solo Stoves – they started out making lightweight, portable stoves for hunters and campers, and they make stationary backyard fire pits now, too. But the coolest part about them is the little air holes built into the main chamber of the fire pit, which make a fire with way, way less smoke. It’s honestly so cool. I could pretend that I remember enough from my engineering degree to understand the how behind this, but I do not! I can tell you, though, that it works.

They’re also made of stainless steel, which means they can stay outside without rusting. Since our patio is very new, this was super important to us! We did, however, also buy the cover to be extra safe. And if you get the stand, too, you can set the fire pit directly on any surface without having to worry about it getting damaged.

A Solo Stove is sitting on the patio, with the beginning of a fire in it.

Using the Solo Stove

Solo Stove promises a fire in minutes, and they delivered. And because of the way the inside of the first pit is shaped – it kind of curves downward and outward, like an upside down bowl – it’s really easy to add on more logs when you need them. It automatically creates the triangular shape you’re always supposed to build your fire in. And the flames were big and warm – it was truly a roaring fire.

They have a tip about not putting the logs too close to the top of the fire pit, and that’s really important – we found that when we put them too high, there was a little more smoke. It took a little bit of trial and error, but it’s really pretty simple overall. And while it wasn’t totally and completely smoke free, it was so, so much less smoke than usual. With our standard fire pit, we’ve had to move away from certain sides when the smoke got too overwhelming – we didn’t have to do that once with the Solo Stove.

The one word of warning I’d give is that there is a cost to the roaring flames – it eats through wood very quickly. So just be prepared and have a stockpile of wood nearby if you plan to be out there for a few hours.

Which Solo Stove We Got

We got the Yukon, which is the largest size of the backyard bonfire options, and actually got this bundle that also comes with the stand, the shield, and the cover (the “shelter”). The stand and the cover were no-brainers for us – the stand is what allows it to sit on our new patio without having to worry about damaging it, and since we’re leaving it outside, we obviously needed it to be covered. Since the bundles were on sale… and since I have holes in one of my blankets from embers that popped and burnt through, getting the shield seemed like a good idea, too.

I think we chose the right size. We had between five and six people sitting comfortably around the fire pit, and we were all warm but also not squished together. I don’t think I would’ve wanted to go any smaller than we did (but don’t think that it needed to be any larger, either).

Final Thoughts

I know it’s hard to really judge if something is “worth it,” but I can say that, in my opinion, the Solo Stove lives up to the hype. It was really easy to set up and get a fire going, and once it was lit, it lived up to it’s smoke-free promise. If you’ve been thinking about it as a gift for yourself or for someone else, I say go for it!

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