Propane fire pits cover a lot of different needs. Whether you're looking to add some ambiance to a balcony or looking for a more controlled flame on your camping trips, propane fire pits are what you need, but sometimes buying the correct fire pit can feel complicated and difficult. Figuring out the best propane fire pit for you and your needs is essential, and this buyer's guide will ensure that you know what you're shopping for, whether you're camping out or staying in.
Maybe the most crucial factor in narrowing down your fire pit options is portability, as it will ultimately determine whether you can buy some fire pits. Most fire pits will be relatively lightweight and portable, which means they can be used for camping and other outdoor activities. Generally, you want to find a mobile fire pit, even if you aren't planning to move it very often as the flexibility of a portable propane fire pit is always going to be beneficial.
If you genuinely don't believe that portability is going to be a factor, then you may want to look into a fire table if you have the room in your outdoor living space.
Whether you're looking to use your fire pit on a balcony or out in the woods, safety is incredibly important to fire pit use and should be one of your primary considerations. When it comes to fire pits, safety is divided between two categories, build and the flame itself.
High-quality materials, like stainless steel burners and thick protective powder coating, will ensure that you're buying a lasting product that will not break down when it's active or run into issues. Though fire pits are much safer than wood fire pits, low material quality can lead to severe safety problems.
The second factor of safety is flame control and height. It can be challenging to determine how safe a flame is without purchasing and testing the fire, but luckily there is an easy way to check the general safety of any flame by checking if the product is CSA Approved to use during most fire bans. This means that the CSA has determined that the fire pit delivers flame in a way that keeps it contained. Fire pits without this CSA approval may use flames that are too high or uncontrolled to guarantee the safety of nearby flammable surfaces. This approval is doubly essential for portable fire pits used outdoors, as outdoor fire pit safety is critical during most of the year.
Heat And Ambiance
Most fire pits will come with a measurement of how many BTUs of heat they can produce in an hour. Depending on how much you want to use your fire pit as outdoor heating, this BTU measurement can be critical. When looking at the BTU of any given fire pit, ensure that you also check for safety considerations like CSA Approval, as some brands raise their BTU count by using larger, unsafe flames as opposed to using fuel delivery technology to make sure the fire burns hotter.
For those looking to use fire pits exclusively for the ambiance, measurements like BTU matter less, and the main consideration will be how the fire pit works with your outdoor area. That said, one thing to make sure a fire pit has is enamel coating. Almost all fire pits will come with a powder weather shield that protects the metal from the elements, but this can dull the look of the flames. Look for brands like Outland Living that have an enamel layer as it accentuates the dancing fire and fills your space with glimmering flames.
Many fire pit brands offer accessories that you can add to your fire pit. That said, many of these brands are offering accessories that aren't a necessity to having an enjoyable fire pit experience. When you're looking at accessories, the two most important ones to keep an eye on are carry cases/bags and natural gas conversion kits.
Carrying cases are almost essential for anyone looking to keep their fire pit mobile or bring it camping with them. Though it may feel like your fire pit doesn't need a case when you initially unpack it, moving them will be difficult without a dedicated carrying case, which makes this feature well worth the money. A good carrying case will turn your fire pit into an item you can carry with one hand, which is incredibly beneficial.
The second essential accessory to keep an eye on is a natural gas conversion kit. Though this won't benefit everyone, buyers who have a natural gas line in their homes will save a good amount of money on propane if they use one of these conversion kits on their fire pit. When shopping, make sure that your fire pit is compatible with one of these conversion kits if you have access to natural gas.
A final accessory to keep in mind is a Y splitter, which will allow you to split propane between two items, like an oven and the fire pit. However, this is only a consideration if you have multiple sources using the propane.
Buying In 2020
Due to the circumstances surrounding 2020, most propane fire pit purchases are going to be done online. This is why looking for critical things like CTA approval, high BTU counts, enamel coating and stainless steel burners are essential to making an informed purchase. Ensuring that you get a fire pit that is safe to use and meets your unique needs is critical, and buying smart is an integral part of that.
Finally, when purchasing a fire pit, consider buying directly from the manufacturer. Finding a product on amazon is fantastic, but purchasing directly from the manufacturer makes warranty claims and general customer service more straightforward for you. Additionally, most manufacturer sites will have helpful comparisons between their units so you can see everything they offer all at once.