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Best Solo Stoves

Updated April 2024
Bottom line
Pros
Cons
Best of the Best
Solo Stove Bonfire 2.0
Solo Stove
Bonfire 2.0
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Feature-packed
Bottom Line

We adore this fire pit thanks to its smokeless design that we found to work well during our testing in August 2022.

Pros

Has a simple assembly and solid metal construction. The design allows for it to be transported easily if needed. Nearly smokeless once fire gets going. Based on our testing, it burns wood efficiently. Ash catcher makes disposal convenient.

Cons

We wish that it burned a little hotter.

Best Bang for the Buck
Solo Stove Lite
Solo Stove
Lite
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Portable Convenience
Bottom Line

A thin and light design makes this a great option for camping.

Pros

Dual-wall insulation allows the wood to burn slower and at a higher temperature. Weighs a little less than a pound, making it easier for us to take on the go. Fairly easy to maintain and clean after use. We love that it doesn't need fuel to burn.

Cons

May be difficult to use for cooking big meals.

Solo Stove Ranger
Solo Stove
Ranger 2.0
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Efficient Operation
Bottom Line

A durable wood-burning campfire that is easy to transport.

Pros

Made with stainless steel, which makes it super durable and lightweight. Weighs 15 pounds and measures 15 inches wide. Comes with a removable ash pan for keeping debris in place. Has an efficient airflow design that doesn't create much smoke.

Cons

It was smaller than we expected.

Solo Stove Yukon
Solo Stove
Yukon 2.0
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Great for Large Groups
Bottom Line

A traditional design makes this an excellent choice for a household campfire.

Pros

We like that the large design allows multiple people to sit around and enjoy the fire. Has multiple vents that help to limit the amount of smoke that rises from the pit itself. Fits full logs with ease. The fire burns evenly.

Cons

The size makes it hard for one person to move.

Solo Stove Mesa
Solo Stove
Mesa
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Elevated Design
Bottom Line

A tabletop fire pit that has a convenient stand for outdoor gatherings.

Pros

Works with firewood or pellets, with a pellet adapter included in the box, making it versatile. The Nylon carrying bag makes it easy to transport. We like that it's small and smokeless. Emulates a miniature campfire.

Cons

Pellets only last 30-45 minutes.

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BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We only make money if you purchase a product through our links, and all opinions about the products are our own. About BestReviews  
BestReviews spends thousands of hours researching, analyzing, and testing products to recommend the best picks for most consumers. We buy all products with our own funds, and we never accept free products from manufacturers.About BestReviews 
HOW WE TESTED

We recommend these products based on an intensive research process that's designed to cut through the noise and find the top products in this space. Guided by experts, we spend hours looking into the factors that matter, to bring you these selections.

40
Models
Considered
60
Consumers
Consulted
8
Hours
Researched
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Buying guide for best Solo Stoves

Invented in the early 2010s, the Solo Stove and its subsequent models raised the bar for what to expect from wood-burning fire pits. Its stylish design made it a darling of Airbnbs and outdoor entertaining enthusiasts, with frequent appearances on all sorts of social media platforms. Its big draw, aside from its clean aesthetic, is its clean combustion: it’s almost smoke-free.

Inside the Solo Stove’s fashionable exterior is an ingenious piece of design. By using a double wall to create a ventilation gap, air not only feeds the fire from the bottom but heats and rises separately from the fire, to be vented again inward at the top of the stove. This creates a superheated ring of air above the fire, a so-called “secondary burn,” that consumes almost all the smoke the fire emits and results in the bright, clean circle of flame that Solo owners so enjoy.

From an original single design, Solo Stoves have branched out, with several models available and an impressive collection of accessories. If you’re looking for an outdoor fire pit, you should consider a Solo Stove.

a man setting up a solo stove
Solo Stoves consume wood faster than ordinary fires. You may need to use more wood than you’re used to, but the efficiency and high heat of the stove burn almost all the wood into ash.

How to pick the right Solo Stove

Solo Stove models

There are four models of Solo Stove on the market, differentiated by size and portability.

Mesa: The Mesa is the smallest Solo Stove model, measuring 5.1 inches in diameter and 6.8 inches tall with the included stand, and weighing 1.4 pounds. Designed for the tabletop, it can use firewood or fuel pellets as combustion material.

Ranger: The Ranger is offered as the most portable full-size Solo Stove. It measures 12.5 inches tall and 15 inches in diameter with a weight of 15 pounds, making it convenient for camping and travel.

Bonfire: The Bonfire is Solo’s original and most popular model, designed to mostly stay in one place but still be portable. It has a diameter of 19.5 inches with a height of 14 inches and a weight of 23.3 pounds.

Yukon: The Yukon is the largest model of Solo Stove, designed to replace built-in fire pits in backyards and patios. It measures 27 inches in diameter, 17 inches high, and weighs a hefty 41.6 pounds. It’s big enough to double as a coffee table with an optional lid.

The model you choose depends on how and where you want to use it. For camping and travel, the Mesa and Ranger models would be most appropriate. For home use and entertaining groups, the Bonfire and Yukon models are a natural fit.

In addition to its wood fire pits, Solo also makes camp stoves and an innovative wood- or gas-burning outdoor pizza oven, the Pi Pizza Oven.

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Features of Solo Stoves

Low smoke

The top feature of Solo Stoves is the low amount of smoke they produce compared to regular fire pits or bonfires. Smoke particles from a normal fire are further incinerated and ignited by the secondary burn of the Solo Stove. However, keep in mind that while lighting and starting a fire, there will still be some smoke.

Double wall

The double wall design of the Solo Stove is a key feature in its performance. Having two walls creates an air gap between them. This air gap allows part of the air to fuel the fire while the rest of it rises into a superheated state, creating the secondary combustion.

Stainless steel

Solo Stoves are made out of 304 stainless steel. One of the most commonly used grades of stainless steel, it features significant chromium and nickel content that allows it to be more resistant to heat and electricity than other steels. 304 stainless steel may corrode but won’t rust in typical climates. It’s also known as 18/8 stainless steel when used in kitchenware.

High temperature

According to Solo, a Solo Stove can get significantly hotter than 1,000°F, which is the minimum temperature for secondary combustion. This is hotter than the minimum temperature to melt some rocks.

Low ash

The high heat of Solo Stoves transforms almost all of their fuel into small amounts of very fine ash, compared to chunks of charcoal and unburned wood in ordinary fires.

Ash pan

The ash pan is a feature in all Solo Stoves that catches and stores the fine ash left over from combustion for disposal. Original models of Solo Stoves had a non-removable ash pan, requiring you to turn over the whole stove or use a utility vacuum. In 2022, Solo added the ability to remove the ash pan for ease of cleanup.

Color

The Mesa model of Solo Stove comes in several colors, making it an appealing piece of decor, while larger Solo Stove models have a polished steel appearance that makes them stylish and eye-catching, especially in comparison to traditional fire pits or campfires.

a man setting up a solo stove
DID YOU KNOW?
Keep your Solo Stove a minimum distance of six feet from a structure or home, with a clearance of at least 20 feet above the stove rim.
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Accessories for your Solo Stove

Handle

Getting the optional handle for a Solo Stove adds a lot of conveniences, especially when moving the stove from one place to another. A handle can make moving even the large Yukon model a one-person task.

Lids

A lid goes over the mouth of the Solo Stove. It serves to contain the ash and embers of the Solo Stove to cool overnight for safe disposal, and on larger stoves it serves as a tabletop.

Stand

A stand is a must if you plan to use your Solo Stove on a flammable or heat-sensitive surface, such as a wooden deck. Solo Stove stands raise the bottom of the stove away from the surface, creating a safety gap.

Heat deflector

Solo makes a heat deflector for its Solo Stoves that attaches to the top of the stove and redirects the heat outward rather than upward, warming everyone gathered around the fire more efficiently.

Grates, screens, and cooktops

The hot open top of the Solo Stove can accommodate a variety of grates, screens, and cooktops. Spark screens catch cinders and sparks that may fly out from the fire, while grates and cooktops allow you to use your Solo Stove for cooking and heating.

Fireplace tools

For regular users of fire pits and fireplaces, but especially the high-heat Solo Stove, a good set of fire tools or hearth tools is a must. Fireplace tools usually include a poker, tongs, spade, and brush to move coals, add wood, and remove ash in a live fire.

Rain shelter

It’s highly recommended that you don’t leave a Solo Stove out in the elements. A rain cover or weather shelter helps keep the Solo Stove’s polished stainless steel dry and its intake and exhaust vents clear.

Fire starter

A fire starter or lighter can be very handy while camping and can go well with a Solo Stove.

Color packs

Change the color of your Solo Stove fire with the use of color packs. Color packs contain flame additives that alter the color of the fire into deep red, yellow, blue, or green.

Another big draw of Solo Stoves is that they come fully assembled and ready to go out of the box. However, a stand or handle is usually not included.

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How much do Solo Stoves cost?

None of the Solo Stove models are cheap, especially compared to lighting a campfire yourself on a patch of clear dirt or an old campground grate. But for the convenience, high heat, smokelessness, and style, they can be worth the cost. From time to time, they can be purchased at significant discounts.

Inexpensive

The Mesa tabletop Solo Stove is the most affordable model and costs $120. Its small size makes it highly portable, although it may be impractical for a number of camping and entertaining situations.

Mid-range

The Ranger and Bonfire models of Solo Stove cost from $300 (Ranger) to $400 (Bonfire). These are both portable models, with the Ranger being ideal for taking to a campsite or cookout, and the Bonfire being the most popular model.

Expensive

The Yukon model of Solo Stove costs $750, although it can occasionally be discounted below $500. This large model is designed to stay mostly in one place and draw a crowd and can double as a table or grill with the appropriate accessories.

Tips for using a Solo Stove

  • Make sure your wood is the right size for your model of Solo Stove. Avoid using logs that extend above the top rim of the stove, as that can interfere with the secondary burn that leads to smokelessness.
  • Never touch the upper parts of a Solo Stove while it’s burning. The airflow effect of the double wall means the bottom of a Solo Stove can be relatively cool to the touch, while the top is scalding.
  • Never leave a Solo Stove exposed to the elements. While stainless steel won’t normally rust when taken care of, repeated wettings, standing water, lack of cleaning, and other forms of exposure can lead to corrosion or reduced efficiency.
a man setting up a solo stove
You can buy firestarter materials for your Solo Stove, but you can also make your own. You can use crumpled or twisted newspaper or even dryer lint to start your fire and set your kindling alight.

FAQ

Q. Can you cook on a Solo Stove?

A. It’s possible to cook on a Solo Stove. Solo sells grill grates and cooktops that can be placed on Solo Stoves. You can also try using a grill or cooktop of your own that fits over your Solo Stove model. Remember not to block the top air vents of the Solo Stove. Its high heat can burn food easily, so it may be wise to wait until the fire has died down.

Q. Can I put my Solo Stove on a rug or carpet?

A. Yes, a Solo Stove can be used on an outdoor rug or carpet, but it must be placed on a stand. The bottom of a Solo Stove can be quite cool, but a rug or carpet can still be damaged or singed. Watch out for cinders and sparks.

Q. What’s the best wood to use in a Solo Stove?

A. The best wood to burn in a Solo Stove is seasoned hardwood logs, such as hickory and oak. Softwoods like pine burn faster, making them better for kindling. Engineered wood fuel like Duraflame logs can produce more smoke than hardwood when used in a Solo Stove.

 

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