The Best Fire Pits of 2017- A Comprehensive Guide

The romantic scene of an outdoor fire is an idyllic thought for many and there’s nothing that quite compares to the comfort of a crackling, warm and natural fire. Many people have fond memories of socialising around a fire, whether that’s sitting around a campfire roasting marshmallows, or simply spending time with your nearest and dearest.

fire-pit-bannerNow, thanks to the latest trend for fire pits, you can not only experience the warmth and atmosphere of an outdoor fire, but you can also be confident that it will look great and be perfectly safe for you and your family to enjoy.

Best Fire Pit Reviews

  • Landmann Savannah Garden Light Fire Pit
  • Price: $
  • Material: Steel Construction
  • Assembly Required: No
  • Dimensions: 24.25 x 25 x 28.5 inches
  • Other Features: 360 degree viewing of the fire, spark screen and poker included
  • Napoleon Grills St. Tropez Rectangle Patioflame Table
  • Price : $$$
  • Material: Aluminium Construction
  • Assembly Required: Yes, but easy
  • Dimensions: 36 x 56 x 23 in
  • Other Features: Easy start ignition, Gas automatic safety shutoff
  • Uniflame Firehouse with Chimney
  • Price : $$
  • Material: Steel Construction
  • Assembly: Yes - no tools required
  • Dimensions: 25 x 45.3 x 20.5 inches
  • Other Features: Exhaust control, removable ash receiver for easy cleaning
  • Sunnydaze Square Northern Galaxy Fire Pit
  • Price: $$
  • Material: Steel Construction
  • Assembly: Yes- easy
  • Dimensions: 32 inches long x 32 inches
  • Other Features: Cooking Grate, Spark Screen, Chrome Cooking Grate

What Types of Pits are available?

There are a wide variety of different pits available for purchase, varying in style, size and the type of fuel used to operate them. In terms of style, there are the more traditional wrought iron, hand crafted pits and the more exotic kadai, or fire bowls and the choice is entirely down to your own personal taste. However, you will often find that the more traditional pits are larger, while fire bowls are perhaps more suitable for smaller gardens or backyards, therefore, this is definitely something to consider when choosing the right outdoor heating.

What are the Features of the Best Fire Pits?

Just like the size and style of your pit, there are many other features you will want to be aware of, as these can often separate the poor fire pits from the best on offer, this includes:

Materials – There are many different materials used to create outdoor heating pits, this includes ceramic, stone, wrought iron and copper. You will often find that high quality metals such as copper and iron last longer and retain their heat far better than other materials such as stone. Although, the stone and ceramic style is the preference for many people, so don’t let longevity be the only factor.

Cooking – Some pits come with added features such as grills and windows, which allow you to easily cook, BBQ and roast food, perfect for family get togethers during the summer, or for sharing some marshmallows on cold winter nights.

Open or closed? – This also links into style choice, but there are fire pits that are open giving you that natural campfire feel, yet they won’t retain heat as well as closed pits such as bowls. So this is something to bear in mind if you want a pit that will provide a good amount of heat and efficiency.

What Type of Pit is the Right Choice for you?

The exact fire pit or bowl you choose needs to be assessed on a personal basis, and you need to think of your own and your family’s needs. For example, if you have a small garden or outdoor area a fire bowl or pot will probably be a better option than a larger square, fire box style which is often at least 20-30 diameters.

types of fire pitsAnother factor is the type of fuel you want to use. The majority of pits require wood logs or pellets and sometimes charcoal, which offer the natural crackle and warmth that many people are searching for. However, these don’t offer the portability and convenience that propane and gas fuelled pits do. These are usually a box-style and equipped with an access point where you can easily replace the fuel tank. As well as the lack of the idealistic crackles, propane doesn’t disperse heat as well as more solid fuels like logs and coal.

Gas Fire Pits Vs. Wood Burning Fire Pits 

A dilemma for many first time fire pit buyers is deciding whether to obtain a pit that utilises gas such as propane, or a wood burning fire pit that utilises firewood as the fuel source. Like with most things in life, this isn’t a clear cut decision, since there are various advantages and disadvantages for each type. Ultimately, it boils down to personal preference.

Pro’s and Con’s of a Gas Fire Pit 

A gas fire pit is perhaps the easiest to run and requires less labour than a wood fire pit. With a gas fire pit you simply need to attach the gas valve to the propane tank and that’s about as much effort required. You will notice when you need to refuel your fire pit and use a new tank as the flames will start to dwindle until eventually they completely die.

Pro’s and Con’s of a Wood Burning Fire Pit  

On the other hand, a fire pit that utilises firewood will require more labour and maintenance, since firewood will need to be placed into the combustion space whenever required. Since firewood produces waste in the form of embers and ash, you will need to regularly clean your fire pit. In certain areas wood itself can be more difficult to source than gas, so this is also something to bear in mind, although typically this isn’t really an issue in most regions.

Many people think that the extra labour and mess made by a wood burning fire pit is a price worth paying, for the natural crackle and ambience created by a wood fuelled fire. While others prefer less mess and a more convenient outdoor heating solution, whichever way you look at it both methods are providing heat and ambience, so the decision is largely a personal one.

Key Differences Between LPG, Propane and Natural Gas?​

What is LPG?

LPG stands for Liquefied Petroleum Gas, which is combination of different hydrocarbons stored in a liquid form. The types of hydrocarbon gases used in LPG include butane and propane. The LPG gas mixture is both colorless and odorless. These gases make an efficient fuel since they burn well in the presence of oxygen, for these reason, they are commonly used for home cooking and heating.

propane vs natural gasThe components of LPG gas vary depending on location. For example, certain states only use propane, while other locations use a combination of butane and propane.

What is Natural Gas?

A natural gas is generally sourced from underground deposits and includes combustible, odourless gases such as methane. For safety reasons, a smelling agent is typically added in order for leaks to be easily detected, for example sulphur, which gives off that familiar rotten egg smell.

The Key Difference

Natural gas

The major constituent of natural gas is methane. Natural gas is found in deep underground rock formations or allied with other hydrocarbon reservoirs in coal beds. Methane has an incredibly good safety record and for this reason is commonly utilised in home cooking appliances and heating systems. Methane is lighter than oxygen and in the case of a leak will quickly disperse.

LPG Gas

Liquefied petroleum gas or LPG gas also referred to as simply propane or butane, are flammable mixtures of hydrocarbon gases. LPG gases are heavier than oxygen and so fall and concentrate in a specific area.

Fire Pit Safety Advice

If you plan on using a fire pit in your garden it’s vital you understand the risks associated with them and to familiarise yourself with the correct safety procedures in order to help mitigate these potential dangers.

fire pit safetyChoose an Appropriate Location

It may sound obvious but a fire pit is burning fuel and producing an intense amount of heat that should not be underestimated. Therefore, always ensure you keep a safe distance between your pit and other structures such as walls, fences and your home. In addition, ensure you only ever use your pit on hard, inflammable surfaces such as the ground or stone surfaces, as flammable materials such as wood decking are of course likely to catch fire.

Be Wary of Glowing Fragments & Smouldering Ashes

You will also want to consider the embers, ash and sparks that can easily escape the fire. As a result, always ensure you use your spark cover when you are not cooking or adding more fuel, this extra precaution will ensure there are no nasty surprises or damaged property. You may also want to consider a fire proof matt as an extra precaution.

Key Fire Pit Safety Guidelines:

It goes without saying that you need to be cautious around aa fire source, but it’s easy to forget the importance of safety. Never underestimate the importance of maintaining good safety protocols as it can literally take seconds for a fire accident to occur.

The following steps should be followed to keep you and your loved ones safe:

  • Always keep the pit a safe distance away from property and potentially flammable objects
  • Always use a poker and other tools to add fuel or rearrange hot logs, coal and ash
  • Never breath in the smoke from the fire it could contain potentially toxic compounds that could irritate your airways
  • Avoid loose or flammable clothes (nylon) as these can catch fire quickly. If you are the primary person tending to the fire opt for clothing that is tight fitting or cotton.

Gas Fire Pit Reviews – What’s on Offer?

1. Outland Firebowl Portable Propane Fire Pit

6182z6qd5il-_sl1000_ Brand Reputation

Outland Living was founded in 2010 by accomplished business partners Willie Fisher and Frank Fan. Before starting the company both men had a lot of experience in the outdoor living market. Today there brand has a solid reputation, especially for their fire outland firebowl and portable propane fire pits.

 Lightweight & Portable 

At just 24.5 lbs this stove is an excellent portable stove as its both small enough to fit in a small car and rucksack and it’s also extremely light, making it easy enough to be carried easily while backpacking, camping or hiking.

The best part is that the sturdy design requires no tools to assemble, is extremely lightweight and comes with a handy carry strap, making it the ideal portable fire.

 Gas Fuel Means No Mess 

This is a gas stove meaning there is no concern about cleaning up ash and wood waste, like you would find if you used a wood burning fire pit, which can be messy, laborious and time consuming. Importantly, wood campfires are restricted in many regions, in particular, many camp sites and locations on the west coast prohibit wood burning fires.

 Generous Heat Output 

This stove generates a heat output of up to  58,000 BTU’s, which is very good considering its size. It easily gets hot enough to roast marshmallows, which is a must for any outdoor camper!

Other Features: 

  • Auto-ignition feature ensures a fast and simple startup
  • Includes cover/carry kit and decorative rock kit for an authentic campfire feel
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Includes propane tank stabilizer ring, and decorative rock set

2. Landman 26364 Savannah Garden Light Fire Pit

81qh3iyknrl-_sl1500_ Established in 1966

Landman is a well-established German manufacturer of outdoor heating products that was established way back in 1966. The Savannah Garden Light Fire Pit lives up to the Landman name and overall has received fantastic feedback, which is brilliant for such a reasonably priced fire pit. 

The Savannah is one of the most popular fire bowls online, offering a beautiful and sturdy design. A popular feature is the 360 degree views thanks to the mesh like design, creating a great ambient, especially in the evenings.

Easy Installation 

The Savannah comes partially assembled, meaning that the remaining assembly is incredibly easy and at 22 pounds you can be confident that it won’t be moved easily, especially once loaded with the fuel of your choice.

Installation is straight forward and consists of attaching four legs at the bottom of the pit, and the spark guard-supporting tabs on the rim of the bowl. The legs are relatively easy to install – a wrench is recommended. The guard support is a little more difficult as there’s little control of the length of the threaded studs that attach to the tabs. However, with a little patience and persistence its easier enough.

 Safety Features 

It also comes with a very snug spark screen to prevent any ash or sparks from harming you or your loved ones. One downside to this pit is that is does not come with any added bonuses such as grills and it is also quite open meaning it will not keep it’s heat as well as other designs, but it’s definitely a pretty good choice for the infrequent user.

The fire pit comes with a long “multi-purpose” poker, made of two halves that screw together; one half has a hook, the other a handle shaped like a shepherd’s staff with a rather tight hook. It is handy for maintaining safety when moving the spark-guard dome lid when hot as well as for poking the logs or embers.

Other Features:

  • Large 23-1/2-Inch Fire Bowl
  • Sturdy steel construction designed for easy assembly
  • Spark screen and poker included
  • Provides 360 degree viewing of the fire
  • Attractive, decorative cutouts on fire box create an incredible ambience at night

3. Sunnydaze FireBowl Fire Pit With Handles and Spark Screen

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The Sunnydaze fire bowl fire pit is perfect if you are looking for a safe and aesthetically pleasing wood burning fire pit.

Durable Design

This bowl style fire pit by Sunnydaze is a top rated and solidly designed fire pit, which, as well as offering a unique, industrial design, also offers a pit that retains more heat for longer, thanks to its enclosed, steel base which has been painted with black high-temperature paint, accented with brass-colored highlights.

Constructed  from steel and coated with a high-temperature black paint that not only adds to the ancient styling of this fire pit, but also helps it last longer by making it more resistant to the extreme heat.

 Safety Features 

The Sunnydaze firepit is safer than many other models due to its design. For instance, the handles at either side of the base, mean than it can be safely and efficient be lifted to other areas without any difficulty (when not in use of course). In addition because the base is solid and it comes with a handy spark screen, embers and sparks aren’t a threat, which is a great advantage, especially for those who have pets or small children.

A firewood log poker is also included ensuring you can safely adjust and rearrange logs and the spark screen when it’s in use.

Other Features: 

  • 1-year manufacturer’s warranty for worry-free purchasing
  • Fire pit is engineered to last: It features steel construction and black high-temperature paint, accented with brass-colored highlights. Plus, “Brass tack”-style detailing surrounds the perimeter of the top rim, accentuating its “industrial” aesthetics
  • Includes a 20″ wood-handled poker, a 29″ mesh spark screen, and a 17.5′ wood grate
  • Everything needed to use the unit right out of the box

4. Sunnydaze 30 Inch Cosmic Fire Pit with Cooking Grill and Spark Screen

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 Budget Friendly

The cosmic fire pit is another value for money fire pit on offer by Sunnydaze, which is ideal for seasonal users. The design features a cosmic pattern which is appealing in its own way, however, be weary that this design may also cause sparks and embers to escape. This isn’t a huge safety issue, but it’s something you may want to bear in mind if you have small pets or children.

 Perfect for Cooking 

If you are looking for a pit that will provide a good amount of outdoor heat and double up as a cooking facility, then this fire pit is ideal. The pit comes accompanied with a built-in firewood grate for better air and oxygen circulation, as well as a grill for easily cooking food over the fire. While it won’t cook a full course meal, it’s certainly functions well for roasting marshmallows and other easily cooked items.

Other Features: 

    • Includes spark screen, poker/lifting tool, built-in wood grate and cooking grate for a complete fire pit kit
    • Fire pit is made from steel and finished with rustic patina high temperature paint for long-lasting durability, functionality and quality
    • 1-year manufacturer’s warranty

Final Words

When shopping for the perfect pit you have a lot to consider. Firstly you will want to think about portability, do you intend on moving it with ease? If so, consider buying a smaller bowl design that uses propane or gas. Next is style, which is entirely down to personal taste. Finally, you will want to think about function, do you simply want a warm, crackling fire to light up your garden and keep you warm? Then a normal pit is great, however, if you want to cook, consider a pit that comes with extras such as a grill.