Life is better around a fire pit. The camaraderie that is formed with your friends and family, watching the flames flicker and maybe roasting a few marshmallows, goes unmatched. With fall coming quicker than you think, those chilly nights will soon call for a warm fire to huddle around.
Solo Stove change the backyard fire pit scene when it launched its sleek, now-recognizable stainless steel fire pit in 2010. The initial iteration of the Fire Pit was the first of its kind – smokeless. The brand has since added different products to their lineup, including a pizza oven. Now — 12 years later — we've got the upgraded Fire Pit 2.0.
This new build features all of the great tech of the original, with the addition of the highly requested removable ashtray. Cleaning the older version could easily become a two-person job, depending on the size of your fire pit, but that's no longer the case.
The new model is available in the same sizes as the original: Ranger, Bonfire and Yukon. If you have yet to use a Solo Stove, it's essentially engineered to burn up the smoke before it wafts outside the pit. The double-wall design provides additional airflow, allowing for a secondary burn of the smoke, making for a highly efficient fire. This may seem a bit confusing, but I promise, it works.
To see if this fire pit was worth the upgrade, I set it up in the backyard, determined to see if I would have to resort to showering off the smokey smell. I went into the clean-up process expecting the worst, but came out extremely pleased with the nifty new feature.
What's Good About the Solo Stove Fire Pit 2.0
Set-up is easy
Testing the Bonfire 2.0 in all its smokeless glory was honestly a pleasure. It was a breeze to set up, with clear and well-articulated instructions.
To start, you build a normal fire, making sure none of the wood is covering the vent holes right beneath the rim, and light it up. I used a bundle of mesquite wood for my test; I admittedly chose this wood because it was the only option in front of the gas station where I bought it, but also because it's a notably smokey wood; it is often used as fuel for smoking meat. Because of the high walls in the pit, I found it was especially easy to light since you aren't fighting the wind. And within a few minutes, I was off to the races.
It burns hot — and gets there fast
The fire reached its peak pretty quickly: as Solo Stove notes, it will take between five and 15 minutes for full efficiency. My mesquite wood met its match with the 360° Airflow Technology — the fire was burning at such a high temperature that there was no smoke to be seen or smelt. The flame roared, putting out some great heat and an enticing flame pattern.
Clean-up is easier than ever
Now comes everyone’s favorite part: cleaning up after all the fun. I let the fire burn out and the stainless steel cooled overnight (it does get wildly hot) and came back to it the next morning. The 2.0's new removable ashtray makes the user experience exponentially better. You just pull up the ash pan and dump it out – painless.
I was concerned that there would be large chunks of charcoal left on top of the grate that I would have to navigate around, but that was not the case as it had all been burnt to dust. There was no heavy lifting involved, and no special tools were needed to get the job done. I put the ashtray back, slid the carrying case over the top to protect it from the sprinkler and called it a day.
What's Not Ideal about the Fire Pit 2.0
I do wish the new pit came with a small brush to use with the ashtray. Naturally, not all the debris falls through the grate, and it would be nice to have a handheld broom to sweep it into the holes to best clean up. But in all honesty, this is something I can easily fix with a quick run to the store.
With many accessories available through Solo Stove, the one I might recommend adding to your shopping cart is the handle. I would not consider the Bonfire size to be heavy at all, and it can easily be moved, but it does tend to be a bit awkward to pick up if you plan on moving it around a lot without the carrying case.
Something to be wary of is the patina that comes along with stainless steel and high temps. The discoloration will happen very quickly on the inside and rim of the Solo Stove. This isn't an issue of performance, especially since the stainless steel’s rust-resistant nature is a great trade-off. Rather, it's an issue of aesthetics: you just have to remember that it’s the inside of a fire pit, and as such, will not be shiny and clean for long.
Solo Stove Fire Pit 2.0: The Verdict
With fall quickly approaching, your cool evenings will start to call for a fire to sit around. The Fire Pit 2.0 is a convenient upgrade to the already proven original Fire Pit line. It's a sleek addition to your backyard setup, and no one will complain about their clothes smelling like Smokey the Bear. The brand-new fire pits are now available on Solo Stove's website with size-dependent price points: Ranger, the Bonfire and the Yukon.