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Solo Stove Fire Pit 2.0 Review: A Removable Ash Pan Makes Cleaning Much Easier


Rating:
9/10
?
  • 1 - Absolute Hot Garbage
  • 2 - Sorta Lukewarm Garbage
  • 3 - Strongly Flawed Design
  • 4 - Some Pros, Lots Of Cons
  • 5 - Acceptably Imperfect
  • 6 - Good Enough to Buy On Sale
  • 7 - Great, But Not Best-In-Class
  • 8 - Fantastic, with Some Footnotes
  • 9 - Shut Up And Take My Money
  • 10 - Absolute Design Nirvana
Price:
Starting At $300
Solo Stove Fire Pit 2.0 fully assembled and placed on a stand
Justin Duino / LifeSavvy

Solo Stove’s original smokeless fire pits are incredibly popular, and the company just made its 2.0 version even better. Now, instead of having to flip over the 20-pound stainless steel basin to empty it out, there’s a removable ash pan that catches almost everything. It’s really awesome.

Here's What We Like

  • Easier to clean
  • Great for spaces of all sizes
  • Have a "smokeless" fire burning within minutes

And What We Don't

  • Accessories will quickly raise the cost
  • Heavy

I have spent the last several weeks testing the Bonfire 2.0, Solo Stove’s medium-sized smokeless fire pit. The company also released updated versions of its Ranger and Yukon models. Everything I have to say in this review about the Bonfire also reflects the other products. The only difference between the three variants is their physical size.

All-In-One Package That’s Easy to Assemble

Solo Stove Fire Pit 2.0 disassembled on the ground
Justin Duino / LifeSavvy

  • Ranger 2.0 dimensions: Diameter: 15in (38cm), Height: 12.5in (32cm), Weight: 15lbs (6.8 kg)
  • Bonfire 2.0 dimensions: Diameter: 19.5in (49.5cm), Height: 14in (35.5cm), Weight: 23.3lbs (10.6kg)
  • Yukon 2.0 dimensions: Diameter: 27in (68.5cm), Height: 17in (43cm), Weight: 41.6lbs (18.9kg)

When your Solo Stove Fire Pit 2.0 arrives, you’ll find all of its pieces stored inside of the 20lbs metal device. Taking a look around the outdoor appliance, you’ll find air vents around the bottom and the top of the fire pit. These allow air to constantly flow through the embers, creating a hotter fire that burns more of the wood.


Solo Stove

The result is less smoke and less ash. And yes, this is a “smokeless” fire pit, but that term actually means that there’s significantly less smoke than you’d create in a traditional fire pit. In my testing, I never walked away from the Solo Stove with burning eyes or clothes that smelled overwhelmingly of smoke.

Check out our review of the first-generation Solo Stove Fire Pit for a detailed explanation of what a smokeless fire pit is.

Assembling the Fire Pit 2.0 is incredibly easy; place the Solo Stove on the stand, drop in the removable ash pan and base plate, and then top it off with the flame ring, ensuring that it’s curved up. You’re now good to start building a fire.

Note: My review unit shipped with Solo Stove’s Stand. You’ll need to buy that separately or in a bundle. I discuss my recommended accessories below.

Enjoy the clean and shiny look of the Fire Pit 2.0 while it’s new. The moment you start a fire inside of it, you’ll see some small discoloration. You can clean the stainless steel, but it’ll never look like it did fresh out of the box.

Have a Fire Burning Within Minutes

Starting a fire in your Fire Pit 2.0 is no different than creating a fire in other fireplaces or fire pits. Solo Stove recommends placing kindling and fire starters on the base plate and putting split, dry hardwood on top. I created my first fire by placing wood on top of several pieces of packing paper.

After lighting the paper products, it took less than five minutes for the logs to catch on fire and have a solid flame. The fire pit’s air holes allow for more ventilation, which means there’s plenty of oxygen to get the fire going. Within 30 minutes, I had a hot enough fire going that flames were making their way through the double-wall chamber.

One important thing to highlight is that since the Fire Pit 2.0 is completely made out of stainless steel, the entire contraption gets extremely hot. Make sure you place the fire pit in a safe location before starting a fire because once things get going, you won’t be able to touch it for several hours.

Putting out the fire is as simple as letting it burn out and allowing the embers to cool. You don’t want to throw water into the Solo Stove as it can damage the metal while it’s hot. It also mixes with the ashes, which is just a mess to clean up. Once things burn down, you can always throw the optional Lid accessory on top and then walk away.

Cleaning Made Easier

As mentioned above, the highlighted difference between the new Fire Pit 2.0 and the original 1.0 version is the removable ash pan and base plate. These allow you to clean out most of the debris and leftover ash without breaking your back.

The 1.0 Fire Pit required you to lift the 20lbs hunk of metal and flip it over into a trash bag or other disposal bin. As you should regularly clean out your Solo Stove to ensure proper ventilation, having to flip it over every so often gets tiresome.

Taking a look at the photos above, you’ll see that most of the larger debris stayed put on the base plate. There are two finger-sized holes for you to grab when taking it out of the Fire Pit 2.0, but it can be a bit awkward to hold onto when covered with ash. No matter what, expect to get your hands dirty.

Taking out the ash pan is much easier as you can grab the sides of the dish and flip it over into a garbage bag. Unfortunately, though, a small amount of ash and unburned wood will make it into the bottom of the fire pit. Air needs to be able to make its way up past the ash pan, so it can’t cover the entire bottom surface. Thankfully, there’s usually so little ash that you can wipe it up with a wet paper towel.

Recommended Accessories

When you order a Solo Stove Fire Pit 2.0, whether it’s the Ranger, Bonfire, or Yukon model, the only accessory it ships with is a black nylon carrying case. The bag is helpful if you plan on taking the fire pit with you camping or to an event, but there are a number of other accessories that I think are worth checking out.

The first one is the Stand. My review unit came with one bundled in, and without it, I would have had a difficult time testing the fire pit. As it’s made out of stainless steel, the moment a fire is lit inside, the entire fire pit gets scalding hot. Without the stand, the fire pit directs heat down onto whatever it’s placed on top of.

Installing the stand under the fire pit allows for the heat to dissipate and not burn the surface below. While this might not be necessary for concrete porches, it’s incredibly important for wood, fabric, or other flammable surfaces.

Solo Stove Fire Pit Stand

Elevate your Solo Stove Fire Pit and protect the surface from heat damage.

Next, while the nylon bag is good for transporting the fire pit, it’s not necessarily great if you plan to keep the Solo Stove outside or in your backyard. I recommend checking out the Lid and the Shelter. Both of these are helpful when it comes to protecting your Solo Pit from the elements. For example, during my testing, I still had hot ashes in the Fire Pit when a thunderstorm started to roll through. I wish I had the lid so I could cap off the fire pit and not have to deal with wet ashes the next day. The Shelter would have also been nice to keep the fire pit covered as I didn’t plan to store it in my garage.

Solo Stove Fire Pit Lid

Keep ashes dry and moisture out of your fire pit.

Solo Stove Fire Pit Shelter

Keep your Solo Stove Fire Pit safe from the elements while stored outside.

Finally, Solo Stove will happily sell you firewood and fire starters, but they will come at a premium. I recommend going to your local Lowes, Home Depot, or some other hardware store and picking up dry hardwood from there. It’ll be cheaper and you won’t have to wait for it to be shipped to you.

Should You Buy the Solo Stove Fire Pit 2.0?

If you’re looking for a smokeless fire pit, the Solo Stove Fire Pit 2.0 is an easy recommendation. The compact design is perfect for your backyard, campsite, or tailgate. And the fact that you can get a fire going within five minutes makes it a great purchase option whether you’re inexperienced or a pro at building fires.

The smallest fire pit from Solo Stove, the Ranger 2.0, can be yours for just $229.99. Of course, that price will quickly jump up once you start grabbing accessories or choose a bundle. The Bonfire starts at $299.99 and the Yukon will cost you $499.99.

Rating:
9/10
Price:
Starting At $300

Here’s What We Like

  • Easier to clean
  • Great for spaces of all sizes
  • Have a "smokeless" fire burning within minutes

And What We Don't

  • Accessories will quickly raise the cost
  • Heavy

Justin Duino Justin Duino
Justin Duino is the Reviews Director at LifeSavvy (and LifeSavvy Media as a whole). He has spent the last decade writing about Android, smartphones, and other mobile technology. In addition to his written work, he has also been a regular guest commentator on CBS News and BBC World News and Radio to discuss current events in the technology industry. Read Full Bio »
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