What Is The Best Propane Fire Pit For 2017?
There’s nothing like a nice, warm fire to roast some marshmallows on or cuddle around during a cold night while camping. But sometimes, building a wood fire can take some time and might be difficult for those who are inexperienced.
That’s where propane fire pits come in. A propane fire pits is a versatile outdoor tool that you can use during camping to keep you and your family warm or even cook your meals over.
Having the best propane fire pit will save you a lot of trouble and difficulties that you might normally get with a regular, wooden campfire.
I’ve selected the top five propane fire pits that you can check out to use with your family during your camping trips.
I’ll also give you a brief explanation of what a propane fire pit is, the advantages of using one, some things to look for before making your final decision, and of course, tips for safety and maintenance.
What Is A Propane Fire Pit?
Advantages Of A Propane Fire Pit
There are a few advantages of a propane pit that makes it a favored choice among campers.
One reason is that it is easy to refuel and it is cheap. You can refill your propane tanks at almost all major stores that have an automotive or outdoor section, or any gas station.
Another reason is that you can control the burn. You can adjust how much fuel reaches the fire and how quickly, making it safe for the outdoors. The chances of it spreading or bursting into large flames are a bit less than wood fire pits.
Propane also burns clean and with no smell. While a lot of people actually enjoy the smell of firewood burning, the problem is that it sticks to your clothes and your hair. With propane fire pits, this won’t be a problem.
Of course, one of the most obvious advantages of propane fire pits is that they are easy to use. Most of the time you won’t even need a match – all you’ll need to do is connect the tank to the fire pit, turn a knob, and you’re ready to go!
What To Look For
Even though you may be excited to scan through Amazon for the propane pit you are going to buy, there are a few things you need to learn about them and some points you should look for when making your final selection.
When buying a propane pit, you will often hear the term “BTU”. BTU stands for British Thermal Unit and it is a measure of how much heat a fire can produce. This means that the higher the BTU, the more heat will be produced.
When considering the BTU, think about the maximum space you will need the heat to reach as well as how cold you expect the weather to be.
Generally, around 20,000 BTU will be fine for small gatherings, but if there are more of you or the weather is really cold, 40,000 BTU will do the trick. Of course, the more people or the colder, select a fire pit with a higher BTU.
Fire Pit Size
Sizes of fire pits are classified into small, medium, and large fire pits. Small fire pits range from 20 inches to 24 inches in diameter. Some will be even smaller than 20 inches, making it highly portable and best for camping use.
Small fire pits are usually designed with some kind of handle or carry case that makes them easy to transport or store away.
Medium fire pits range from around 30 inches to 36 inches and larger fire pits measure 40 inches to 45 inches. These fire pits are better for use in the backyard or patio because they are heavier and harder to transport.
Weight And Portability
Since you will most likely be looking for a propane pit that’s portable and that you can use while camping, an important factor to look for is how much it weighs and how portable it is.
The weight depends on whether or not you’ll be carrying it far or if you’ll be car camping. When car camping, you might not have to worry about the weight too much, but if you need to hike a bit, go for a fire pit that is as light as you can find.
Weather Resistant Coating
This isn’t exactly a necessity but it is a bonus. It might be difficult to find a fire pit with a weather resistant coating, however. This is better for fire pits that you intend on keeping outside all the time like in your patio or backyard.
Fire pits with weather resistant coating will protect your fire pit from the rain or snow, as well as protect it from getting rusty.
Safety And Maintenace Tips
Before jumping into using your new propane fire pit, be sure to read the manual and instructions beforehand. See if they have any safety notes or conditions that are not suitable to use the fire pit.
Make sure to check all gas fittings and the gas tanks before you ignite your fire. Your connections should be tight and secure without any loose ends.
Don’t set up your fire pit near anything that’s flammable such as dried leaves or low hanging tree branches. The best place to set your fire pit is on top of sand or dirt and make sure that the ground is flat and level.
Try not to overfill it with the lava rocks that come with it. This may damage the fire pit or create a fire hazard. The most important thing is to never leave the fire pit unattended – NO MATTER WHAT.
After using your fire pit, give it a bit of time to cool down then clean out the leftover ashes. Do this on a regular basis so that the fire will burn more efficiently. Remember not to move the fire pit while it is hot!
Take extra caution when you are using your fire pit in the backcountry and in the forests, especially during hot, dry, summer days. As long as you follow the instructions on your manual and take precautions, you should be safe!
Top Five Picks
Now we go to the best part! There are a ton of propane fire pits that you can find, but here are my top five favorite choices.
First on our list is the Firebowl Premium portable propane fire pit from Outland Living. Starting a fire is simple with the Firebowl because of its auto-ignition function.
It also features a progressive chrome knob that allows easy adjustment of light and flame height. The set comes with a cover/carry kit, 10ft hose with regulator, propane tank, stabilizer ring, and a decorative rock set.
It has a very contemporary look and feel to it, along with stainless steel enhancements of the burner, fasteners, and decorative belt, giving it a nice, classy finish.
It is a CSA approved product so you know that it is certified safe to use when camping.The Outland Living Firebowl measures 18.5” x 18.5” x 12” and weighs about 24.5lbs. Lastly, it has a 58,000 BTU output and is easy to set up anywhere with no tools required.
- Easy to set up and ignite
- Strong, solid construction
- Quiet when running
- Adjustable heat setting
- Gas line might be a bit short
- Flame not high enough for some people
The Heininger 5995 is another portable propane fire pit that you can take with you on camping trips, leave in your backyard or patios, or take when tailgating.
One of the great things about this propane fire pit is that it burns clean without any smoke or odor.
The Heininger 5995 measures 19 inches in diameter and 11.5 inches high and weighs about 22lbs, which is slightly lighter than the Outland Living Firebowl.
The set includes a 10-foot hose with an attached regulator so you are good and ready to go. This fire pit also has a 58,000 BTU output, which is the same as most portable fire pits.
The Heininger was also mentioned on Warm And Cozy as one of their top choices for a propane fire pit.
- The rocks in the package cool down fast
- Quick and easy to assemble/disassemble
- Good heat output
- No smoke and odor
- Relatively pricey
- Flame size doesn’t change on low or high
This portable fire pit is called the “Little Red Campfire” for a good reason – it comes with a very distinct red cover with security latches for keeping the fire pit when not in use, as well as safe and easy transportation.
It measures 11.25 inches in diameter, which is smaller than the two previous fire pits. Although, it has a 65,000 BTU output so it can release more heat than both the Firebowl and Heininger 5995.
The Little Red Campfire also comes with an 8-foot hose and attached regulator. As a little bonus, the logs that come with it look realistic, so it gives you the feeling of a real campfire.
If you want more information on the Little Red Campfire, you can check out the review from the RV-Project.
- Small and portable
- Nice lid with locks and carry handles
- Great heat output
- Mid-priced, but more expensive than other options
- Hose might be too short
- Might have trouble with the regulator
Next on the list is a portable propane fire pit from Camp Chef, which as the name suggests, is a great way to cook your meals or brew a warm cup of coffee while out camping.
The Camp Chef Redwood has an easy, matchless ignition with a heat output of 53,000 BTU. It measures 19 inches in diameter and weighs about 32 lbs.
What’s great about this propane fire pit is that it comes with a safety shut off valve to ensure no accidents happen. The set also comes with a bulk tank fitting, a hose, and assorted lava rocks.
Lastly, it comes with four adjustable roasting sticks ($19.99 in value) so you can enjoy some s’mores or barbecue over the fire pit.
The Camp Chef Redwood is also found as the top pick for Your Own Home Tips.
- Relatively reasonable price
- Good heat output
- Good for camping or roasting marshmallows
- Easy to transport
- Might have some problems with the adjusting knob and regulator
- Difficult to light
Last on the list is another propane fire pit from Camp Chef. This is a smaller, more portable version of the Redwood. It is easy to use and eliminates the need to gather firewood.
This steel fire pit measures 15 inches in diameter, 6.5 inches tall, and weighs about 23lbs. It can attach to bulk propane tanks for easy use.
The package comes with a base and high-pressure burner, lava rocks, a 6 feet hose, and a carry bag for easy transport.
The design lessens the amount of smoke emitted, making it easy to sit beside it to get warm or cook some food.
- Friendly price
- Small and portable
- Comes with a carry bag and barbecue poles
- Manual lacks details
- Short fuel line
Propane fire pits are a great way to have an easy campfire while you are out on your adventure. It’s a bit difficult to select a winner among these top five, but I would have to say my favorite is the Outland Living Firebowl.
It’s got a great BTU output so I know that it can warm up my family nicely. The size is just right and it is still pretty lightweight and portable as compared to the some of the other propane fire pits.
However, if you’re looking for a more portable option, you can also choose the Little Red Campfire, which comes in second for me!