Campfires are an absolute camping classic. However, they’re not the thing you can bring and start wherever, whenever – be it due to local restrictions, poor weather, or unsuitable spots. Or lack of time as you’re in the middle of your backpacking trip.
Obviously, your belly won’t take these excuses when it’s time for lunch. And that’s where the beauty of camping stoves strikes, taking all the hassle and turning it into a small, much like a traditional campfire that you can carry on your shoulders.
One of the most talked-about options among campers is the Solo Stove Campfire – a portable camp stove that promises to deliver a high-quality and efficient cooking experience. But does it keep its promises? We’re just about to find out.
In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at the design and features of the Solo Stove Campfire, see how it performs in the field, its durability, and how it stands out on the market.
Quick story of Solo Stove
The Solo Stove was founded in 2010 by two Texan brothers – Jeff and Spencer Jan. Their aspiration was to create an ultralight backpacking stove for boiling water.
In 2014, after a successful Kickstarter, the company started producing new fire pits at scale. Today, their acting CEO is John Merris, and Solo Stove is a well-known brand beloved by outdoor enthusiasts for their backyard pits and fire accessories.
The company’s commitment to innovation and quality has remained unchanged throughout the years. And most importantly, they’re a member of 1% for the Planet, a program where members donate 1% of their revenue to environmental organizations.
What is a Solo Stove Campfire?
This wood-burning stove is made of durable stainless steel and is designed to maximize airflow while minimizing smoke. It’s portable and easy to take on camping trips or use in your backyard.
The Solo Stove Campfire costs around $110 (at the time of writing) and can cook for up to 4 people at a time. There are smaller Solo Stove models available; for example, the Titan is OK for two people and costs $90, while the Lite is the tiniest one-person version and costs around $70.
What comes in the box?
If you decide to purchase a Solo Stove Campfire, you’ll receive more than just the stove itself.
First and foremost, you’ll get the Solo Stove Campfire. In addition to the stove, there will come a convenient, well-built carry bag with a drawstring closure to help transport the stove safely and easily.
You’ll also find a user manual in the package with detailed instructions on how to set up and use your Solo Stove Campfire. The manual includes important safety information, tips for maximizing the stove’s performance, and advice on how to properly clean and maintain the stove for long-lasting use.
- Materials: Grade 304 stainless steel
- Weight: 2.2 pounds
- Diameter: 7 inches
- Height (with cooking ring): 9.25 inches
- Packed size: 6.7 x 7 inches
- Fuel: Sticks, twigs, pine cones, and other biomass
- Capacity: Cooking for 4+ people
- Boil time: 2-4 mins (32 fluid ounces)
Design and features
The Solo Stove Campfire stands out with its impressive build quality and rust and scratch-resistant body. But this fire pit isn’t an extravaganza in terms of its design; instead – all Solo Stove pits look very similar. It’s a barrel-shaped stainless steel bucket with holes at the bottom.
As we said, it comes in a nice carry bag that’s just the right size to pack the fire pit and keep its dirt isolated from other camping gear.
The Solo Stove Campfire contains two parts: the main body and the detachable fire ring. The ring is made of the same material and is designed to be put on the top or inside the fire pit for compact storage.
But why do we need this ring, after all? Basically, we can call it a cooking ring. Its design has three 90°-folded tabs on which you’ll put your camping pot, pan, or camping tea kettle. This way, you’ll leave some space beneath the cooking equipment for better heat and airflow. This ring has a cutout place for putting more fuel through it.
Inside the fire pit, you’ll see a built-in steel mesh that prevents ash from impeding the fire.
What the Solo Stove Campfire is super famous for is its patented double-wall construction. It creates an airflow between the walls of the stove. This airflow, combined with the unique design of the bottom vents, creates secondary combustion. which results in a more efficient burn (so there’s very little smoke when burning at full capacity) and less ash and soot.
In simpler words, the Campfire works as a gas burner, as in the final combustion stage, it really burns gas. This design allows the stove to burn with less fuel, which makes it more environmentally friendly.
Overall, this stove is slightly bigger than other camp stoves, so it wouldn’t be the winner for backpacking. Though, if you’re car camping and space isn’t a concern, the Solo Stove Campfire can bring a lot to your camping experience.
Cooking on Solo Stove
Solo stoves are not only a fire pit, but an awesome addition to your campfire cooking kit. While cooking over an open flame isn’t the best option using a Solo stove, the brand offers plenty of cooking accessories that can do the job.
For example, if you wish to elevate your pot or kettle above the fire, you can use a Solo tripod for that. It’ll work best for stews and soups.
And if you want a simple way, i.e., to put a pot on the top of the stove, Solo has different sizes of Solo pots explicitly created to fit your selected model. The Solo Stove Pot 4000 pairs best with the Solo Stove Campfire.
Another impressive tool is Solo roasting sticks that make roasting marshmallows or transporting campfire foil meals onto the fire much more pleasant. They’re sturdy, long enough to use for kids, and hold food like a champ.
How and where to set it up?
There’s not much to prepare for setting up the Solo Stove Campfire. Actually, all you need is only flat terrain, free of any flammable materials.
Then, take care of your fuel. This fire pit burns biomass, and finding proper fuel isn’t a big deal, especially if you’re in a wooden area. You’ll start your campfire with some twigs, cones, and leaves, but if you’re aiming for the maximum – get yourself some hardwood like birch, oak, or hickory. Don’t leave these sticks too big; cut them down into finger-sized pieces.
Now, the only step left is putting the fuel into the Solo Stove and lighting it up. It’s super quick, but a campfire starter can do the job if you wish to reach even more outstanding speed.
If needed, place the cooking ring on the top before ignition.
For how simple-looking this fire pit is, it can be surprising by its incredible performance. Some leaves, twigs, and pine cones can get you a smokeless fire in somewhere between one and two minutes.
If you’re lucky enough to use the Solo Stove on a sunny, warm day, you’ll most likely have completely dry fuel. It would contribute a lot to the fact that there is literally zero smoke and plenty of heat.
Both bottom and upper vent holes do their job just right in channeling oxygen through the fire pit. The cooking ring centralizes the flames even more.
When it comes to boiling water, this pit can get it boiling at full capacity in no more than 5 minutes if you use a medium-sized pot filled to half.
Theoretically, the Solo Stove Campfire can burn for up to 30 minutes on a single filling of fuel, which is more than enough time to boil water or cook a meal. But if you don’t fill it up too much, you’ll have to refuel it pretty often. Still, it’s not a hassle at all with its handy cutout on a fire ring.
As the Solo Stove produces massive heat, the pit’s interior quickly develops a slight patina.
The flames, without refueling, die down rather quickly, but the coals remain hot for a long time. It’s handy if you want to use a Solo Stove again because it’s enough to put some fuel and get your fire roaring in no time later.
Never put the fire out with water since the stainless steel gets super hot, and it might be dangerous. You’ll need to wait approximately half an hour till it gets cool.
Cleaning up after using the Solo Stove Campfire is quick and easy. You only need to tip the stove over and ensure the ashes have completely cooled down. Then, quickly wipe down the stove to remove any remaining debris.
However, you might encounter a pesky burnt twig that’s hard to remove from the mesh. While this can be a bit annoying, overall, the cleanup process is simple and hassle-free.
One small tip: a removable mesh could come in handy for those stubborn bits of debris that just won’t budge. But other than that, keeping your Solo Stove Campfire in top shape is a breeze.
All in all, the performance of this mighty little pit is impressive. Mainly because it doesn’t give a single headache while setting it up, instead – it’ll steal your heart by how quickly it produces smokeless, hot flames and for how long it burns, giving you enough time to boil water and cook meals.
Solo Stove return & exchange policy
Solo Stove offers free returns within 30 days from when it’s shipped. They’ll pay for shipping and issue you a full refund.
If you’d like to return your stove outside the 30-day window, Solo Stove will accept unused fire pits in exchange for store credit.
Solo Stove only accepts returns for purchases directly from their website, not from 3rd party retailers.
They also offer a lifetime warranty and will replace any product that breaks due to a defect.
Solo Stove Campfire FAQ
Can you cook on a Solo Stove?
How many people can sit around a Solo Stove Campfire?
Since it’s a small fire pit, it’s not the best option for sitting around a group of campers. Still, depending on how close you want to sit to each other and how close you prefer the pit to be, you can squeeze two to four people.
Why is my Solo Stove smoking?
There are several reasons why you might see smoke coming off your Solo Stove:
– The firewood you’re using isn’t dry enough
– You have too much wood stacked, so the air can’t go in and out through the top vent holes
– There’s isn’t a coalbed behind your wood
– You’re using softwood as the primary fire source
How far should you put a Solo Stove from a house using it in a backyard?
You should place your Solo Stove at least six feet away from your house. With this distance, you’ll prevent flames from catching on something and causing fires.
Can you leave a Solo Stove in the rain?
No, you shouldn’t leave your Solo Stove Campfire in the rain. The water in the drum can negatively affect how it works later on, so let it cool down and cover it for storage.
Can you burn charcoal in a Solo Stove Campfire?
Solo Stove fire pits are wood-burning, so it’s not recommended to put charcoal that burns much hotter than wood and thus can damage your stove.
So, is Solo Stove worth your attention and money?
Absolutely, yes. If you’re still wondering why you should spend your pennies if you can simply dig a hole and make a fire ring yourself, the Solo Stove will quickly show you the answer.
It’s a portable, efficient, and durable camping stove that fires up fast for your evening fire. Plus, it’s well-designed and completely smokeless.
The Solo Stove Campfire has a unique double-wall construction and airflow system, and it comes with a few accessories to make it even more convenient to use. It has a lifetime warranty and excellent customer service.