3 Best Portable Fire Pits for Camping

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Hey there campers and welcome to my post discussing my three best portable fire pits for camping this year. One of the things we all look forward to whenever we have the chance to explore the great outdoors is sitting around a campfire. The warmth it brings is a good reason to start with however it can also form the centre point of social and cooking activities as well.

And although many campsites do provide fire pit options, they are not always close to the campsite, or available as in use by other campers. A portable version then may be just what you should be looking for if you want to enjoy a fire on a camping trip with your own friends near your campsite.

And as with anything to do with camping there are so many options on the market today it can be hard to know which one is right for you and your needs. So to make things a little easier I have had a look around and come up with some options for you below…

My three recommended portable fire pits for camping

I will review these in more detail below, but if you just want to get moving without all the carry-on, my recommended products are listed here for your convenience:

 Portable Fire PitPriceGet it
fire pit for camping - UCO Flatpack Portable Stainless Steel Grill and Fire PitUCO Flatpack Portable Stainless Steel Fire Pit$CURRENT PRICE
fire pit for camping - Adreak 18 inch Fire PitAdreak 18 inch Portable Fire Pit$$CURRENT PRICE
fire pit for camping - Pop-Up Fire PitFIRESIDE OUTDOOR Pop-Up Fire Pit$$$CURRENT PRICE

What are portable fire pits?

Camping fire pits are portable and compact free-standing setups where you can light a controlled outdoor fire. These are great for camping, backyard use, or any other outdoor event you may have and provide a safe and easy way to create an instant campfire.

In most cases, they are set up off the ground for use and can then be packed down for easy transportation and storage.

fire pit for camping - fire pit

Note: Regardless of where they are setup, campfires can be dangerous if not properly managed. Prior to setting up any fire, please ensure that you are in an area that is safe to do so. Additionally, always check the regulations in regards to the lighting of campfires within the campground you are in at the time.

What should you be looking for?

Below are some of the main factors you should take into account as you shop for a good portable fire pit for camping:

  1. Fuel source
  2. Construction materials
  3. Portability
  4. Ease of set-up
  5. Efficiency
  6. Additions

Fuel source

There are several fuel options for portable fire pits, including wood, charcoal, gas, and ethanol. To have an idea of how each one differs, I briefly discuss them below:

  1. Wood – Wood is a popular fuel source for lighting a portable fire pit. With a strong heat, a lovely crackle sound, and those gorgeous darting amber flames, wood creates a beautiful atmosphere. In comparison to other fuel sources, a wood-fired fire pit is also reasonably priced.
  2. Charcoal – Compared with wood, charcoal is a safer fuel source because it does not produce the same amount of sparks and burning debris. This difference is something you need, especially when it is windy. Furthermore, charcoal is easier to start and maintain than wood and produces less smoke as well. Charcoal is also good to cook on as well.
  3. Gas – Fire pits that utilize gas as their fuel source offer more convenience in setting up than their wood counterparts. Additionally, the flames produced are easier to extinguish however, gas tends to be more expensive to run than a wood fire pit.
  4. Ethanol – This type of fuel, made entirely of alcohol, is much safer than wood or gas. It burns cleanly, producing no smoke or unpleasant odors which is good for our environment. However, a canister of ethanol is the most expensive among them all.

Construction materials

This feature would contribute to the product’s size and weight as well as portability and can include:

  1. Cast iron – This material is known for its excellent durability and heat conductivity. Fire pits made from cast iron are sturdy and heavy, which means they would not easily topple. However, it leads to a weightier product, which could pose a challenge to its portability.
  2. Stainless steel – For portable fire pits, stainless steel is a popular material. Stainless steel fire pits are high-quality, reasonably lightweight, and one of the most cost-effective materials available today.
  3. Aluminum – Another suitable rust-resistant material that is both strong and lightweight. Fire pits made of aluminum have a pleasing appearance, but they are a little more expensive than others.

Portability and size

As above, when it comes to portability, the construction materials of the fire pit will mainly determine how easy it is to move. However, this can be also influenced by how foldable or collapsible they are as well. They can also come in a case or carry bag that you can easily transport down to your campsite.

On the other hand, do remember that the smaller the fire pit, the smaller the fire. So, if you usually camp with a large group you should think about fire pit size too. In addition, if you intend to do some cooking over your campfire, the size will have to be large enough to hold your cookware without it all falling over.

portable camping fire pits - Fire pit with wine

Ease of setup

Fire pits that can be assembled without too much fuss are something that can also be of advantage.

Efficiency

For this factor, your primary concern is how the fire pit was designed to ensure that the fire burns efficiently. Some fire pits are very simple, but with no actual efficiency design features meaning that fires constantly extinguish themselves without clear oxygen. Features such as high sides (to protect from windy conditions) but with air vents and holes aid in a more efficient burn. Fire pits made of thick metal retain heat as well meaning fires tend to remain hot – which is great to cook off as well.

Additions

Other potential additions include:

  1. Foldable/collapsible – Some fire pits have either foldable or collapsible designs. The logic behind such construction is for easy assemble and disassemble of the product.
  2. Storage bag – After folding or collapsing the fire pit, this can be stored safely in a storage bag for ease of transport – and to keep the rest of your gear clean.
  3. Ash tray – The best portable fire pits will have the means to collect the ash as it burns, such as the ashtray. Rather than shoveling the ash after the fire has been extinguished, this allows you to dispose of it quickly.
  4. Ground protection – All good portable fire pits are designed with the fire sitting off the ground to ensure ground protection. Also, look for high sides to keep the fire contained and the wood from falling out. Purchasing a heat shield for the fire pit is another viable option.

My three recommendations broken down

So based on the information above and my own experience, I recommend the following options:

1. UCO Flatpack Portable Stainless Steel Fire Pit

Our first product is a foldable fire pit that can safely store and carry in a carrying bag for convenience. It is made from stainless steel, meaning the product is protected from rust with an included grill grates should you wish to cook on it as well. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: UCO
  • Fuel: Wood
  • Dimensions: 13.5 x 10 x 11 inches
  • Weight: 3.3 pounds
  • Construction material: Stainless steel

Other inclusions:

  • Carry bag
  • Grill grates
  • Stable base
  • Wind break

Why have I chosen it?

The product offers excellent ease of use and is set up in just under a minute. The included grill grate provides a convenient platform for grilling hot dogs or burgers and although it is small in size, the fire pit can do the job of offering you warmth under the night sky. This is a great option for both family and lightweight camping trips alike.


2. Adreak 18 inch Portable Fire Pit

This fire pit is consists of four detachable plates allowing assembly and disassembly occur in just a matter of seconds. Because it is made from alloy steel, the product is fast heating and very durable. And of course it comes with a cooking tray to for grilling steaks and patties as well. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: Adreak
  • Fuel: Wood
  • Dimensions: 11.4 × 15.7 × 18.1 inches
  • Weight: 4.3 pounds
  • Construction material: Alloy steel

Other inclusions:

  • Carry bag
  • Handle holes
  • Cooking tray

Why have I chosen this?

This camping equipment has a clever assembly design that is both extremely durable and fire efficient, but also folds down completely flat for ease of movement. And once it is set up there are handle holes integrated on both sides allowing it to be moved around the campsite as needed (once fire is out of course haha). For family and larger group camping, this makes a great option.


3. FIRESIDE OUTDOOR Pop-Up Fire Pit

My final option has a minimalist design but offers superior warmth and safety. The fire burns on top of a fire-rated stainless steel mesh which maximizes airflow for efficient heating and the well-thought construction of the legs guarantees a stable freestanding product that also keeps the fire away from the ground. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: Fireside outdoor
  • Fuel: Wood
  • Dimensions: 24 x 24 x 15 inches
  • Weight: 8 pounds
  • Construction material: Stainless steel

Other inclusions:

  • Wire mesh fire tray
  • Carry bag
  • Large burn area

Why have I chosen this?

The stainless steel mesh can hold up to 125 pounds of wood or charcoal for extended warmth as you sit around the fire pit. The mesh also allows airflow, which means there is less smoke produced – hence less smoke smell in the tent. This is a great option for family trips where a last minute fire for roasting those marshmallows is required.

Conclusion

And there they are, my three best portable fire pits for camping this winter. I hope it has been helpful and as usual, let me know of your experiences with them.

Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, corrections or would like me to check anything else out for you.

Until next time

Have fun

Paul

fire pit for camping - pinterest
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2 thoughts on “3 Best Portable Fire Pits for Camping”

  1. Hi again! 🙂
    So, our Adreak Fire Pit should be delivered no later than May 3rd. Yahoo! 🙂 If weather permits (Oregon state), then we’ll try it the weekends after delivery. Can’t wait.
    🙂

    Reply

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Hi, I'm Paul

I am a passionate fishing, camping and four wheeled driving hobbyist who researches, tests and educates around issues and equipment relevant to them.

I am by no means a professional however my passion is to assist you in making informed decisions about buying and using awesome gear that will give you the best chance of success at whatever you are doing for the best price.

Please get in touch if you have any questions.

Paul