I love the idea of sitting around an open fire with the kids, roasting marshmallows, taking in the night sky on a weekend and just loving life. But how bad is the smoke! Well, I blame Bert Kreischer who featured one on a recent episode of Something’s Burning.
There are three sizes of Solo Stove, the Ranger, the Bonfire and the Yukon, I’ve been testing the Bonfire which is big, but no where near as big or expensive as the Yukon.
The Solo Stove Bonfire is just short of 50cm in diameter, and sits 35cm tall. The genius here is the airflow technology that allows you to enjoy a fire without the smoke in your face.
How? Well, it looks to me like it’s all about airflow.
Inside the Solo Stove is a tray, with a grill on top of it, so your Wood stacks on it, but is elevated from ground level, allowing air to flow in from underneath the fire, and then the whole thing is double walled stainless steel and there are more holes around the inside around the upper rim which allow more air in and flowing, while the removable lip on top directs that air inward.
You don’t see any circular air-flow, but you can almost clearly tell it’s there.
Is the Solo Stove really smoke-free?
Yes and No. It would be wrong to say there is no smoke, because the smoke free airflow technology requires heat – so your initial fire, and the first couple of minutes will be almost normal, then when the flames pick up and the wood starts burning – and by the time people start coming to gather around, the smoke almost magically disappears!
You know you need to throw another log on the fire when the smoke comes back, because it’s died down and isn’t as hot – simple as that.
Not cheap – is it worth it?
Not at all cheap, you can buy a fancy looking fire pit from Bunnings for under $100 – but for four times the price, you get something that looks even better – a really premium look, but critically, easy to clean, and smoke free at it’s best! So there’s a price to pay, but I think many will see the solid value in that.
The Bonfire model we have came with what I first though was a cover, but it turns out it’s a carry bag – not sure why you’d want to carry it around, other than to say this isn’t made to be left out in the weather. Water will sit in it and ruin the air flow, so it needs to be kept under cover.
I get that plenty will laugh at the price, but I can tell you just as many will rush out to buy one, because the one big thing stopping you using a fire-pit or getting one is the smoke, and this thing is remarkable!