Written by Terry Smith
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UK’s best portable fire pit for camping and beaches: gas, wood, oil
This article was last updated on March 16th, 2022 at 9:59 am
You’ll probably know just how much I love my fire pit at home. So being able to take one with me on an adventure is a real win – be it camping, beach, or any general outdoor event. They aren’t just great for heating, for me, the best thing about a portable fire pit is just how much it’ll enhance the mood of any camping trip at night, whilst offering far more safety than an opening fire. You can also get portable fire pits in the UK which combine as a portable charcoal bbq. My personally tested Notebook grill isn’t a bad shout for this either if you like charcoal. If you’re thinking gas, it’s probably worth having a look at my portable gas bbq page too. This is an excellent all rounder that you wouldn’t leave behind and they really do conjure up the feeling of a marshmallow around the camp fire that the kids love toasting 🙂
So what you want is a portable fire pit that’s easy to carry, safe to use , gives off decent heat, and priced well. No problem – I’ve put together exactly the list you’re after – with a few variations so there’s something for everybody:
Best portable fire pit top picks
Best portable fire pit overall: Fire Bowl with Grill Grate & Protective
Best for camping: SUCHDECO Portable Outdoor Camping Fire Pit
Large foldable option: FIRESIDE OUTDOOR portable pop-up firepit
Best portable gas fire pit: Trueshopping Portable Gas Fire Pit Bowl
Budget pick: SUCHDECO Portable Outdoor Camping Fire Pit
Portable fire pits are a must-have for any camping trip, as all you need is a bit of wood and some firelighters and you can get a safe fire going. This will let you cook, keep warm and actually see when it gets darker at night. Portable fire pits are especially useful for wild camping, as it saves you the effort of trying to build a huge fire which could easily get out of control. They’re great on campsites too, as although you should ask permission of the owners first, they’re safe when used properly and don’t leave a mess behind. Use them in conjunction with a picnic table and you’re all set for a great evening. If you want to know more about checkout the portable fire pit buyers guide too.
Portable Fire Pit – Buyers guide
Camping trips are great, but whether they’re wild or on a campsite, they’re often overlooked when it comes to adventuring outdoors. Putting up the tents, making sure you bring enough food, hauling your bags up hills…it might not sound fun at first, but those who have gone camping before know different. It’s a cheap way of getting a real sense of adventure, whilst also getting some well needed fresh air.
Before you set off into the wilderness, however, there are a few things you’ll be needing. Alongside the basics (pop up tents, coats, boots, maybe a portable generator etc), there’s one particular item that really does bring a sense of adventure to any camping trip- and that’s a fire pit.
There’s no doubt that a portable fire pit is a great addition to any camping trip, but as you’ll have noticed reading this, there are a few important aspects to consider.
Firstly, it’s important to know that portable fire pits come in all different shapes, so there’s not really any constant “look” that you should be aiming for. Some are simply a mesh net on legs (such as product 2) whereas others are more complex, such as 3 and 4. So, don’t feel intimidated when you look at fire pits online and none of them looks similar-they do the same job!
Secondly, most portable fire pits don’t require gas, as most are designed to just be a base of sorts where you can start your fire. For those that are gas-powered, be aware that you will need to buy the appropriate gas of the right size, and that this will likely not come with the product. If you aren’t using a gas-powered fire pit, then some firelighters for when you find wood where you’re at. Firelighters cost less than £5 and are available from most DIY stores.
Whilst those points are important to remember, there are a couple of features you need to look for when buying a portable fire pit.
Since you’re going to be carrying it around with you no matter where you camp, the size of your portable fire pit is important (especially for hikers!). As we’ve already said they come in different shapes and sizes, but the size you want depends on what you’re using it for. If you’re off to a campsite with plenty of people or if you have a car, then larger fire pits will be fine. However, if you’re going to be hiking or even just walking short/long distances, or if you’re going back and forth to a vehicle, then you’ll really benefit from smaller fire pits.
Most portable fire pits deconstruct or fold into a carry case, but some don’t, so you need to check this before buying. If you have no carry case, make sure it’s a suitable size by making sure it’s not much bigger than the diameter of your camping rucksack, as this means you can attach it to the backpack easily. If it folds into a compact case, then you should be fine!
As well as this, make sure to buy large fire pits for more people and vice versa, as they will provide the right amount of heat and cooking area. Pretty simple really.
Similar to size really, but more important in terms of carrying it around. As you know many portable fire pits fold compactly into a case, but even then, the weight stays the same. Anything over 8lb is more suitable for camping trips where you have access to a vehicle…or if you have someone in the group that isn’t carrying much!
Quite a few portable fire pits available don’t actually come with accessories, and whilst you can get them cheap on their own, it’s really useful to have them included. Without certain items such as a fire poker or protective meshing, your fire pit might become problematic for a few reasons, including safety and control.
The main accessories to look for is a grille, protective mesh cover and a fire poker with a wooden handle. This will make the product much easier to use and makes it a lot safer. Actually with regards to a fire poker, you might just want to find a good straight stick that’s fairly sturdy to save on the carrying.
They are the three key things to check when buying a portable fire pit, so always have a look before you buy. Material is also important but it’s not really key to look for, as all fire pits we’ve seen use materials that are heat resistant (at really high temperatures) and that should last you, so you don’t need to worry about that.
Portable fire bits really are useful for multiple reasons, so we couldn’t recommend them enough. If you have kids or pets, then they’re even more suitable for you, particularly because of their safe nature. They’re not overly big and their portable nature makes them an ideal accessory to take on your camping trip, and if you haven’t got one, you’re missing out.
Overall, we would definitely recommend a portable fireplace, as they’re easy to operate and have a range of uses. They’re also a lot easier than trying to start a wildfire (which is not only dangerous but possibly illegal) and are an environmentally friendly way of bringing some more adventure to your camping trip.
Best portable fire pit
Since the idea of making fires can be off-putting or dangerous, we’ve tried the best portable fire pits on the market place and reviewed them in detail based on safety, ease of storage and tidy away following a fire. This will reassure you which fire pits might be more suitable for you so you can feel confident about buying and using these products. Read on to learn about the best 6 portable fire pits (in our opinion) on the market today.
1. Fire Bowl with Grill Grate & Protective Grille
Before I get into this review, it’s worth pointing out this was a highly rated product a couple of years ago and still is now to my mind. For some reason they have changed the listing so don’t be surprised by the low rating, what I found was this is absolutely the best all round portable fire pit giving a great balance of heat, ability to cook food / warm water, safety, and decent stability whilst being raised from the ground on tripod legs.
Our first place spot is a compromise between price and quality, you get a sleek-looking fire pit that does the job perfectly. It’s made from black lacquered iron designed to be heat resistant up to 500°C, which is exactly what you need in a fire pit. Compared to other fire pits in this list, it’s definitely the best for a few reasons.
It measures 54x54x43cm, which is on the large side for a fire pit but remains perfectly portable at the same time. It has 3 adjustable, removable legs that are really easy to screw on and off, and it didn’t take me much time at all. Even with its size and only 3 legs to support it, it was really lightweight as it weighs 3-4kg, so you wouldn’t need to worry about walking with it. It might be a slight issue in terms of space, but it’s still small enough to attach to a basic rucksack, so this isn’t an issue that cannot be overcome. Here’s a look at what I mean about those legs:
It also comes with plenty of accessories that really make it value for money too, especially since these accessories make it a 2-in-1 fire pit (for fire and cooking). It comes with 1 spark protection cover to ensure it’s safe enough for people to gather around, as well as 2 more grilles for charcoal and grilled food to be cooked. These can easily be placed on or off using the included metal hook, which has a wooden handle so you don’t need to worry about it getting too hot. It also comes with two anti-scalding clips for easy use.
With all these design features and included accessories, it’s safe to say this fire pit really surpassed expectations. It worked great and the fire got going in no time, and the accessories really did come in handy. The spark protection cover was great at containing the fire, and the hook used to swap grilles around was probably the most useful tool out of the lot. This tells me that it won’t be unsafe at any point and is suitable to bring to any type of camping trip, such as those with young children or pets running around.
The removable legs were handy too, and their curved nature is actually a feature that came in handy when placing it on the ground such as sand or mud, as they really help the fire pit stay secure. The pit in itself feels robust enough, so it feels like you’re getting your money’s worth out of this product for a long time to come.
Overall, this fire pit has absolutely everything you need in a portable fire pit (and more!) and I couldn’t recommend it enough. It’s got the right safety features to make it suitable for both wild camping and campsite use, especially around children or pets. The reviews average at 4 and a half stars for almost 500 ratings, and they note how well made the product is and how robust it feels. This really is a great bit of kit and for the money.
2. SUCHDECO Portable Outdoor Camping Fire Pit
The SUCHDECO firepit is well-deserving of our second-place spot, and since it’s also amazon’s choice for portable fire pits, it’s no wonder. This product is simple, it has 4 legs that hold up stainless steel meshing which can hold 11lb of weight, so it’s the simplest functioning firepit out there. As well as this, it only costs the price of a family kebab!
It really is a steal for this price, and it’s perfect for those who don’t often go camping or for beginners who are slightly nervous about starting their own fires. It also comes in four different sizes to choose from, all of which don’t differ in price massively, so you can choose the size that’s right for you. The legs detach easily and are easy to set up again, so you can tidy the product away into the compact carry bag for easy transportation. Its small, compact nature is perfect for those who are doing plenty of hiking on their camping trip, as it’s also lightweight at 1.6lb.
It’s not overly large, and if you’re cooking it will take a while, but this doesn’t mean it doesn’t do its job. For this price too, you really are getting value for money. With over 225 ratings averaging at four and a half stars, this product was praised for its easy to use nature and how compact it was.
The reason it’s in second place is that it really is great value for money, but it’s simple and is really the bare minimum of a portable fire pit. The mesh is fine but debris can still fall through, so it’s not the most environmentally friendly either. However, it’s still great for the price and gets the job done, we just feel you’re better off paying a bit more for a long-lasting, better piece of kit.
3. FIRESIDE OUTDOOR portable pop-up firepit
Our third-place spot is a serious piece of kit, weighing 8lb and measuring 24” by 24” when opened up. If you’re going to be camping in a large group, or if you need to cook a lot of food at the same time as staying warm, then this is the firepit you need. When the mesh is on, it can hold up to 125lb in weight, so you don’t need to worry about its strength.
The unit itself sets up quickly, and it really wasn’t a problem to get ready either. It folds down nicely and fits smoothly in the carrier case, which isn’t actually as big as you’d think. It’s made from high strength aluminium, and it’s meant to cool down in 90 seconds, which isn’t a lie at all. This is really useful for a firepit for safety reasons. It has an added heat shield that prevents the fire or its heat from damaging the environment, which is another very useful feature.
It really is a great product, but there’s just a couple of reasons it’s not top. Firstly, it costs mid range money, which is really on the expensive side when it comes to portable fire pits. As well as this, it doesn’t come with any accessories that help maintain the fire, so with such a big pit, it could be easy to lose control. In terms of size, it can separate and fold easily to fit into a compact bag, so it isn’t too bad to carry. Overall, a great product but just on the expensive side.
4. FENNEK Hexagon
In fourth place is something a little bit more simple yet more aesthetic, and it’s the FENNEK hexagon fire pit. The six stainless steel plates it is composed off stack well on each other for compact and easy transport, but require you to set them up when needed. This can be a bit of a pain, but it’s not the end of the world. It has a design style in which the manufacturers have made this process a lot more simple, which is always a good sign.
Aside from that, It doesn’t really have any issues and is a great product. It weighs 4kg but is still compact and lightweight, and when set up, has a whopping 17L capacity. You have plenty of space in the pit itself to make a fire and its depth means that it should spiral out of control either. The hexagonal design means that it balances evenly on surfaces such as sand too, so it’s really useful for wild camping.
Overall, it’s an excellent fire pit, and it’s got a unique design that not only looks good but works well as a firepit too. Since it has 6 panels attached to a base, it’s great for protecting the floor from heat damage, so it’s great for campsites. However, it doesn’t come with any accessories. For the price, it’s not the best value for money, but if you’re not worried about a budget, then this would be an ideal portable fire pit for you.
5. Trueshopping Portable Gas Fire Pit Bowl
For our fifth-place spot, I’ve never seen a better-looking fire pit for camping-honestly! This portable fire pit by Trueshopping really looks the part and feels robust when held. It also uses attractive, natural lava rocks to burn the fire and so it really does look good…great for photo opportunities! A gas fire bowl is super easy to get going and really looks the part – you’re up and running in less than ten minutes and most of that is connecting your gas pipe to your valve. Here’s a look at a gas bowl that’s very similar fired up – it is in fact the same bowl just branded differently:
When it comes to the product itself, it uses standard camping gas (I find a 5kg or 7kg bottle to produce a steady flame that will last you for hours, with an output of 12KW max which when you compare to wood, is pretty powerful and yet none of the mess clearing up after when compared directly. The flame strength and size can be adjusted with the adjustable knob, so you have control over your fire. This makes it perfect for campsites, and really is ideal when you have kids. It weighs 4kg and is compact enough to fit into a bag, so it’s easy enough to carry. It’s not as compact as the other products, but it still isn’t that big that it would be a pain.
It’s a great product, but it does have its limitations. Firstly, using gas is a more environmentally friendly way of making a fire, especially since the design of the pit should prevent floor damage, but it’s expensive and has to be carried around. This pit also requires a 20lb propane canister, which is quite a large canister. It really is on the expensive side but still a nice bit of kit. If you aren’t worried about a budget, and perhaps have extra space or a car to travel to the campsite with, then this is suitable for you. If you’re hiking about however and already carrying lots of weight, this wouldn’t be ideal.
6. WOLF GRIZZLY Foldable Fire Pit
The final spot product in our list is another great product that gets the job done, it’s just not quite up there with the products we’ve already discussed. For mid range money again, you get a reliable fire pit, but it just isn’t quite the same value for money as the other 5 spots. Either way, it’s exactly what you need in a fire pit.
It’s made from stainless steel and is fire safe, making charcoal or wood most suitable to start your fire. It comes in two parts that easily connect, both of which are foldable, so they fit nicely into its 100% recycled bag. It might be foldable, but it still feels robust enough to be reliable too. It’s easy to balance as its base has a large surface area, so it’s useful for most ground surfaces. It only weighs 2lb but can actually hold a fair bit of weight, so your fire will get going just fine.
It’s a good little fire pit and actually feels reliable enough to be a great fire pit to bring with you on any trip really. For larger groups, it might be a bit of a stretch, especially if you’re cooking, but should be fine for most of your camping needs.
It doesn’t come with accessories though and is really just a lot more simple than the other products. For the price, I would expect more, but it doesn’t make it any less of a reliable fire pit. It’s perfectly portable and does the job, so we recommend it either way.