Solo Stove Ranger vs. Bonfire: Which Size Is Better? (2023)
In comparing the Solo Stove Ranger vs. Bonfire, both smokeless fire pits are portable, but which is right for you?
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There are few things that warm the soul as much as sitting around the fire. Still, old-school fire pits were cheaply designed to sit out on a big plot of land, far away from your house. They were big, bulky, and unsightly, but Solo Stove fire pits are beautiful, portable, and feature smokeless technology.
If you are in the market for a new fire pit, then comparing the Solo Stove Ranger vs. Bonfire may be the perfect place to start.
Comparing Solo Stove Ranger vs. Bonfire
Most of Solo Stove's fire pits feature the same smokeless design, so the biggest difference between the two units is their size. They are both reasonably easy to move, but the Solo Stove Ranger is the more portable of the two units.
Solo Stove started out manufacturing portable camping stoves, so they how to pack impressive features into a small package.
Solo Stove Bonfire
The Solo Stove Bonfire is the brand's most popular smokeless fire pit. The do-it-all smoke-free pit will work on your back deck, on a dock, or down by the ocean. Solo Stove products feature easy assembly and a sturdy build.
The Bonfire is all about versatility and ease and is affordable, too. Some smoke-free fire pits cost as much as $1,000 or more, but the Solo Stove Bonfire is the right size and boasts all the features you need for an awesome Friday night.
Bonfire Size and Portability
The Bonfire walks a fine line to be the perfect size for nearly any situation. Plus, the Solo Stove Bonfire weighs less than 25 pounds, so you can easily move it wherever you want it to go. The Bonfire is 20 inches in diameter, so practically, this fire pit makes sense to leave at home.
The fire pit comes with a free carry case, and it is small enough to put in the trunk of your car. Still, it takes up enough space that you wouldn't be able to fit much else in the trunk with the Bonfire comfortably. It's so light and easy to carry that the Bonfire is very easy to move around.
We recommend the Bonfire if it will mostly stay at your house, but you occasionally want to take it with you on an excursion. The Solo Stove Ranger is more ideal if you plan to make a weekly ritual of throwing the fire pit in your vehicle.
What Size Wood Fits In Bonfire
Solo Stove recommends using 8-12" wood logs in your Bonfire. They sell their own oak firewood logs through the website. Oak is a very dense hardwood, which means it will burn efficiently and without much smoke. It's the perfect firewood to use in your Solo Stove fire pit.
You can also use chunk wood, but hardwood fire logs will last longer and provide a more pleasant burning experience.
Solo Stove Bonfire Features
Both the Solo Stove Ranger and Bonfire are designed with the brand's 360-degree airflow technology, facilitating a smoke-free experience. Plus, the stainless steel construction makes this fire pits exceedingly durable.
The most recent design change introduces a removable base plate and ash pan. While this might seem like a small detail, it's actually a big deal. Cleaning ash out of a fire pit can be a real pain that, in the past, required scraping the ash out with a tool or turning the fire pit upside down. Either way resulted in a big mess.
The removable ash pan makes it easy to lift the cooled ash and quickly discard it.
The Bonfire comes with a removable fire ring that helps direct the flames toward the middle of the burn chamber. This gentle redirection helps to prevent stray flames and floating embers. Solo Stove products create a very efficient flame (strong and tall), so you must practice caution. Still, the fire ring is a nice design feature that we applaud.
The Bonfire Stand is an add-on, but it is a must-have accessory if you plan to use your Bonfire on a deck or grass. We mention it here so that you know this is more a must-have than a nice accessory, depending on how you plan to use your new Solo Stove fire pit.
Will Solo Stove Bonfire Keep You Warm?
The fire generated in a Solo Stove Bonfire will keep you warm if you sit close enough, but we understand that some people don't like sitting close to the flame. We recommend purchasing the Solo Stove Heat Deflector, which disperses the heated air if you want the coziest fireside experience.
Can You Grill On A Solo Stove Bonfire?
Solo Stove fire pits weren't originally designed for grilling, but they've added accessories over the years that make it possible. For instance, you can add the Pi Fire at the top of a Solo Stove fire pit, which turns it into a pizza oven.
You can also opt for a cast iron cooking griddle or a cast iron wok. Other fire pits don't offer this many options.
Of course, without the accessories, you can still cook hot dogs and s'mores on nearly any fire. Still, the accessories add versatility to cooking an actual meal.
If grilling on your fire pit is the first priority, then we recommend comparing Solo Stove to Breeo. Why? Breeo fire pits feature similar smokeless technology, but they are designed specifically with cooking in mind.
Is The Solo Stove Bonfire Worth It?
The Solo Stove Bonfire might be the perfect fire pit for your backyard. It looks sleek and burns wood efficiently. The efficient burn results in a hotter fire and low smoke, both of which are perfect for roasting marshmallows. A Bonfire is well worth the investment.SUMMARY PROS
- Do-it-all size
- Bulkier than Ranger
- Stainless Steel
- Easy to clean
- Many accessories
Solo Stove Ranger
The Solo Stove Ranger comes with a carry case, and at only 15 pounds, this portable fire pit is designed for life on the go. The Solo Stove Ranger might be the perfect fire pit for car camping, but it will also work well for tailgating and other fun activities away from home.
And while the Ranger is lightweight, it's still durable and big enough for the occasional backyard fire.
Ranger Size and Portability
How does the size compare to the larger Solo Stoves? Well, as noted above, the Bonfire has a diameter of about 20 inches. The Ranger's compact body is only 15 inches across. Those 5 inches might not sound like much, but think about it this way: The Ranger takes up 25% less space than the Bonfire.
The Ranger is the ultimate choice for anyone looking for a smokeless fire pit designed for portability. And still, the Solo Stove Ranger maintains its functionality despite its smaller size.
What Size Wood Fits In Solo Stove Ranger
Solo Stove recommends using 8-12" long firewood for all of its fire pits, but we recommend that you opt for that smaller 8" firewood log for the Ranger. Longer logs will create a tight fit that is difficult to manage.
Don't overflow your burn chamber with logs. Solo Stoves run efficiently, so start with just a few logs and then add wood as needed to keep the fire going.
Will Solo Stove Ranger Keep You Warm?
Since the Solo Stove Ranger is smaller than the Bonfire, it puts out less heat than the Bonfire. The more compact size also makes it more difficult to pile people around. Still, the Solo Stove Ranger is perfect for small outdoor spaces.
You can even use the Ranger on a small deck if you use the stand to protect the surface.
Solo Stove Ranger Features
Solo Stoves all have about the same features regardless of the size. These smokeless fire pits represent fantastic value compared to some other fire pits. Like the other 2.0 fire pits, the Ranger has a removable base plate and ash pan. It also comes with a fire ring that sits on top of the burn chamber.
You will have to purchase the stand, shield, and shelter separately, but the Ranger does come with a free carry case. That carry case is particularly important for the Ranger since it is Solo Stove's most portable smokeless fire pit.
Can You Cook or Grill on Solo Stove Ranger?
The portability of the Ranger lends itself to hot dogs and roasted marshmallows more than anything else. Still, Solo Stove sells several of its cooking accessories designed to fit the Ranger's compact size. You can purchase a cast iron griddle top or wok top to slide right above your fire.
The available accessories are another reason this little fire pit is perfect for car camping.
Is The Solo Stove Ranger Worth It?
Our Solo Stove Ranger review indicates that this small unit is the perfect portable fire pit for family road trips and camping trips. It's small enough to easily fit in your car with the rest of your gear and luggage, but it still packs a good punch.SUMMARY PROS
- Portable Size
- Too small for crowd
- Stainless Steel
- Easy to clean
- Many accessories
Solo Stove Fire Pits: Reasons To Buy
Solo Stove fire pits are among themost popular smokeless fire pits that money can buy. The brand is innovative, stylish, and durable. While the Solo Stove Yukon is the biggest and hottest fire pit in their lineup, the smaller Solo Stoves are impressive units that eliminate smoke and generate heat.
The signature 360° Airflow design facilitates the Solo Stove smokeless technology. Fresh air is pulled into the bottom vent holes and heated as it rises through the double wall design. The hot air then flows out the vent holes at the top of the fire, which creates secondary combustion. This secondary burn results in less smoke.
It's a simple technology that is extremely innovative. As a result, you can enjoy the fire without constantly avoiding the changing winds. Smoky flames are a nuisance. You want a hot flame that will burn wood efficiently, and that is what Solo Stove provides. The hot fire burns off the excess smoke.
The air circulation system pulls that cold air in through the air holes at the base of the unit, and magic happens when the hotter air flows out from the top of the unit.
Stainless Steel Fire Pit
Solo Stove fire pits are made with 304 stainless steel construction. This is the other big difference you will notice when comparing Solo Stove to cheaper brands that you might find at a store around the corner.
The 304 stainless looks sharp, but it is also very durable. Many brands will use painted steel, but as the paint eventually breaks down to high heat, the steel will rust. This isn't a problem with Solo Stove fire pits.
Removable Ash Pan
The Ranger is the most portable full-size smokeless fire pit on the market, and it is also easy to use and maintain. It's a game-changer to be able to lift up a pan holding the ash and easily discard the fire remains.
There have been times in the past when I wanted to have a fire, but I didn't want to deal with cleaning up after the fire. Solo Stove's unique design solves this problem. The pan catches all the ashes, which makes it easy to discard everything leftover from your fire properly.
When you combine features like the stainless steel construction, the removable ash pan, and the dual air circulation, you start to see why the brand is so popular.
Solo Stove Accessories
One of the reasons that Solo Stove continues to explode in popularity is because they continually add new accessories that improve the overall brand experience. You might not be able to start out with all of these accessories, so let us explain more about the options so that you can make an informed decision.
The most important accessory is likely the Solo Stove Stand. It doesn't come with the fire pit, but it lifts the heat of the fire pit away from the surface beneath. You can use your Solo Stove fire pit on a composite or wooden deck, but you need to lift the fire pit above using the Stand.
Some people may try to find a bonfire mat or some other heat shield, but the Stand is practical and simple. It's just what you need.
Plus, the Stand lifts the fire pit slightly higher, providing a nice feel as you gather around the flames. The fire is a little closer to your core height as you sit in a chair, which elevates the warmth and creates a nice ambiance.
On colder evenings, you'll want to ensure you enjoy the fire's heat. Solo Stoves burn hot fires that naturally provide heating, but the heat doesn't disseminate far away from the burn chamber. The Solo Stove Heat Deflector is an accessory that solves this dilemma.
The Solo Stove Heat Deflector is engineered to capture heat that would otherwise dissipate and then redirect that heat to those that are sitting fireside. It's yet another innovative design that is practical, effective, and improves the overall Solo Stove experience.
Embers fly away from fire. It's just something that happens with any fire pit, and I have small holes in a few pairs of pants that I will point to as evidence of this phenomenon.
In response to this problem, Solo Stove designed a shield that sits over the top of the fire and catches most of the flying embers.
Sparks, crackling pops, and flying embers can all be the precursor to unpleasant experiences, but the Solo Stove Shield makes your experience just a little bit safer.
While the Shield protects you, the Solo Stove Shelter is designed to protect your fire pit. The shield is made from PVC-coated polyester, which is strong enough to protect your fire pit from the elements.
Yes, these Solo Stove models are made from durable 304 stainless steel, but prolonged exposure to the elements will still hurt your unit over time. The Shelter helps to protect your investment and eliminates the need to move the fire pit to protect it constantly.
Lastly, the Solo Stove Lid provides peace of mind and safety as your fire burns out. You shouldn't use the Lid on a burning fire. Still, as the embers start to cool, you may be ready to go inside. You can cover the Solo Stove with the Lid to prevent embers or sparks from jumping out of the burn chamber and provide temporary coverage from the elements.
A little rain or snow may not seem like a big deal, but if moisture mixes with the ashes, it creates a sludge that is hard on the materials and hard to clean. It's best to keep the elements out; the lid will offer reassurance when you head to bed.
If, in comparing the Solo Stove Ranger vs. Bonfire, you realize that it is not quite what you were originally looking for, keep in mind Solo Stove makes camp stoves and fire pits in multiple sizes. Other Solo Stoves include the Mesa and the Yukon.
The Mesa is the smallest fire pit that Solo Stove makes, while the Yukon is the largest. The Ranger and Bonfire make sense for most backyards, but the other Solo Stove units have their place and purpose.
Solo Stove may have started with camping stoves, but they now own backyard fire pits.
Solo Stove Mesa
The Solo Stove Mesa is designed as a tabletop fire pit. You can either use wood pellets or small wood chunks to fuel the fire inside the Mesa. Our experience with the Mesa is that it likely won't keep you warm if it is cold outside, but it still adds a nice ambiance.
And if you sit nearby, you will still feel a little warmth, even if it doesn't warm your entire body. We like to use the Solo Stove Mesa to complement one of the larger fire pits), like the Solo Stove Bonfire. The Mesa can sit on a side table to provide focused light and warmth while you gather around the bigger fire pit with friends and family.
The Solo Stove Mesa is also great for road trips but works best if you are alone or traveling with another person. Don't plan to roast marshmallows with the Mesa, but it's very affordable and offers a good alternative to the bigger units.
Solo Stove Yukon
The Solo Stove Yukon is one of the largest units available in the backyard fire pit game. It is the biggest unit that Solo Stove makes and the least portable. The Yukon is much lighter than competitor fire pits of a similar size, but it's still fairly big and bulky.
Still, the Yukon might be just what the doctor ordered if you have a large backyard or frequently host big groups of people. The Solo Stove Yukon is a big outdoor fire pit that is large enough for an entire family or friend group to gather around.
Alternative Smokeless Fire Pits
While Solo Stove has largely dominated the smokeless fire pit market, one brand stands as a worthy rival. Breeo. Breeo makes smokeless fire pits that are a little tougher than Solo Stove fire pits and more directly geared for cooking.
The first thing you will notice about Breeo fire pits is that they look like they are built to survive a meteorite. To a certain extent, they are. Breeo fire pits are designed to last a lifetime, so this might become a family treasure.
Breeo has multiple sizes of fire pits, and most are available in corten steel or stainless steel, but they can get pricey compared to Solo Stove products.
The Breeo X Series is big, bulky, and durable. You can add a sear plate, grill grate, and kettle cook to these fire pits to create the ultimate outdoor cooking experience. Still, they aren't that easy to move around, so Breeo developed the Y Series fire pit with portability in mind.
Breeo Y Series
Breeo X Series fire pits have an X-shaped crossbar in the base of the burn chamber that increases the flow of oxygen and creates a more efficient fire. Since the new portable fire pits are a little smaller, they used a Y-shaped crossbar to save some space. Hence, the introduction of the portable Breeo Y Series.
If you are interested in comparing the Solo Stove Bonfire vs. Ranger, you are likely looking for a portable fire pit. The Breeo Y Series is the best of the competition.
The Y Series weighs only 31 pounds, so it is much easier to move around than the heavier X Series. Still, fire pits can be awkward to carry, so Breeo added a built-in handle that doubles as a bottle opener.
Breeo fire pits don't have a removable pan, but the handle makes it easier to turn the fire pit over to dump the ash.
The Y Series also has a built-in heat shield, so you can use the pit on a wood deck or nearly any other surface, and you don't need to buy an extra accessory to do so. Plus, you can use charcoal, wood pellets, or traditional wood in the Y Series, which makes it exceedingly versatile.
Which is Best: Solo Stove Ranger vs. Bonfire
In comparing the Solo Stove Ranger vs. Bonfire, you need to answer whether you plan to travel with your fire pit. Both the Ranger and Bonfire are light and portable, but the Ranger will much more easily fit in your vehicle with other gear or luggage.
A Portable Fire Pit At Its Finest
I have the Solo Stove Bonfire in my backyard, and I recommend you try it. While some Amazon-bought fire pits amount to nothing more than a metal bucket, Solo Stove offers high-quality craftsmanship and advanced, modern features.
ASolo Stove Bonfire is perfect for nearly any outdoor space, and the Ranger is perfect for anyone drawn to the nomadic lifestyle. In comparing the Solo Stove Bonfire vs. Ranger units, your decision will come down to how you intend to use the fire pit.
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