Why it’s great: The Solo Stove Bonfire is simple and so light—it’s half the weight of our other picks. It’s also small enough that we had no trouble hiding it behind patio furniture or in the garage when it wasn’t in use. Like all the fire pits we tested, the Bonfire is easy to load with wood and to light—though due to the smaller pit diameter, you have to stack standard-size logs carefully to make them fit. Is it truly “smokeless”? No, not really. But then, none of the pits we tested are. However, once it gets burning, the Bonfire does eat up a lot of the extra smoke; by our admittedly rudimentary estimation, the fire pit reduces smoke by about 70% to 80%. (We compared a fire in the Bonfire with an open wood fire by burning them side by side, using wood from the same source.) One perhaps unforeseen consequence of the smoke-reducing afterburn effect is that all that gas redirection seems to project the heat of the fire straight into the air, cutting down on a lot of the radiant heat you might expect to feel when sitting near a regular fire pit. Also, the thinner-gauge metal of the Bonfire appears to hold and radiate less heat than that of the heavier models we tested. However, all the stove’s metal sides get very hot to the touch. Solo Stove also offers a smaller size (the Ranger, which is 15 inches in diameter) and a larger size (the Yukon, which is 27 inches in diameter) and sells a grill grate accessory (we haven’t tested it yet).
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