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ProView – BioLite FirePit

This Firepit couldn’t have come at a better time. The world took an odd turn in March, and by April, I had explored the entire five-mile radius around my house. Relaxing in the evening next to a fire in the backyard, with a Paloma in hand, has changed the mental game. I look forward to that moment that transports me far away, to past camping trips, to backpacking, to social gatherings unlaced with nervousness. All the things that represent freedom bundled up in one medium-sized fire. Not only do I look forward to sitting around the campfire, but I look forward to building it. The way this portable firepit is built makes building a fire a pleasure. And I’m not normally the fire creator!

BioLite FirePit

Product Description: Enjoy the warmth, smell, crackle, and feel of a wood campfire, without any of the smoke. With capacity for up to 4 standard firewood logs, the BioLite FirePit creates hyper-efficient flames with patented airflow technology and gives you a front-row seat to the magic thanks to the X-Ray mesh body, enabling 360 views. Lift the fuel rack and toss in charcoal to transform it from a fire pit to a portable hibachi-style grill, complete with an included grill grate. Control the size of your flames manually or remotely with the free Bluetooth app.

Offer price: MSRP: $249.95

  • Quality
    (5)
  • Features
    (4)
  • Durability
    (5)
  • Eco-Friendly
    (5)

Summary

The BioLite FirePit is perfect for backyard hangs, camp trips, grilling in the outdoors, and when there are fire restrictions. I have already gotten so much use out of this piece of gear, and I’m sure I will continue to use it throughout the summer. The ease of use and efficiency is hard to pass up and it’s way easier to “have a quick fire” with the BioLite FirePit. I am disappointed not to see it charge the fans with heat, like other BioLite products, but understand it was to keep the price point reasonable. Having the fans to control the smoke and intensity of the fire is well worth the trade-off of charging it with solar. I look forward to many evening fires and roasted marshmallows to come.

Overall
4.8

Pros

  • Portable
  • Easy to Use
  • Grill function
  • Fans control smoke and how hot the fire burns
  • Can use during certain fire bans
  • Great for a backyard fire

Cons

  • The fire doesn’t charge the fans like with some of BioLite’s other devices

Performance

BioLite has created a unique firepit with a ton of well-thought-out features. All those features aside, the bottom line is the BioLite FirePit creates a powerful, easy to build, contained, fire. I’ve used it numerous times in my back yard and camping and it’s performed beautifully every time. The leading selling point with the BioLite FirePit is that it creates a fire “without any of the smoke.” Through the fifteen plus times I have used it over the past two months, I can say it does create smoke in the beginning while the fire is building. Using the 51 air jets that blow air into the fire at precise locations makes it easier to control the smoke and how intense it is. 

Weight/Packability

The Fire Pit has four foldable legs that make the FirePit way easier to travel with. I live in a van full time (when there isn’t a global pandemic), we’ve decided to travel with the FirePit on the road. It comes with a cover that we use to protect the FirePit and keep it dry. The dimensions of the FirePit with and without the legs are: 

Legs Unfolded: 27″ wide x 13″ deep 15.8″ high (68.6 x 33 x 40.1 cm)

Legs Folded: 10.5″ high (26.7 cm)

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The FirePit weighs 19.8 lbs (8.98 kg), making it easy to maneuver from one location to the next. There are two metal handles (one of the few parts you have to assemble when the FirePit arrives) that make it easy to move. I’ve tested them a few times and they don’t heat up too much. Not that you would want to move the FirePit while there’s a fire going, but it’s nice to know it’s safe to grab after the fire is out. 

Look/Style

One of the coolest features of this FirePit is the 360° viewing. It turns out it is only 270° viewing when you are using the USB powered fan feature. None the less, the 270° is enough to have a great view of the fire from anywhere around the circle. I especially enjoyed seeing where the air was blowing through the air-jets and hitting the wood. It created hot spots along the burning wood logs that added an extra visual effect to the fire. 

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The FirePit did arrive with a blemish on the top. It didn’t affect the performance of the fire whatsoever, but it was odd to arrive with a scratch already on it.

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Features

Who knew you could take the same thing that allowed humankind to advance to the homo sapiens they are now could be improved on so much. This BioLite FirePit is feature-packed. 

The biggest feature is the air jets that blow air at a controlled speed through 51 specifically placed holes inside the FirePit. The fan has three different speeds, and the battery lasts a different amount of time for each speed: 24hr on low, 10hr on medium, 5hr on high. I used the FirePit for four evenings in a row for a few hours each evening, fluctuating between high and low to control the flame, and the battery still had plenty left for more burn time. I found a great method of using the fan was to start with the fan on high right after lighting to burn the fire hot. Then turn it down once the logs were well lit. Every time I added a log, I would turn the fans on high to heat the fire up and get the next log lit. This worked well to keep a smokeless fire throughout the night. The only downside to the fans is you can hear them running. You can still hear the fire crackling, but it is accompanied by the fan, that gets worse the higher the speed of the fan. 

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The same USB Rechargeable Powerpack that runs the fan also has the capability to charge your phone, or other devices that use USB A. I personally didn’t use this feature often because I didn’t want expensive electronics near the fire and heating up. While it’s nice to have the option to charge your devices off the Powerpack, I found that saving all the charge for the fan was a better use of battery life. 

You can use Bluetooth on your phone to connect to and control the fan on the powerpack with the BioLite Energy App. The app allows you to control the fan intensity and see power usage and stats. I didn’t end up using this function because I didn’t like having my phone out while I was enjoying an evening by the fire. You can just reach down and change the controls with your hands directly on the powerpack.

Unlike other BioLite products, like the CampStove or BaseCamp, the FirePit doesn’t come with a thermoelectric generator that charges the Rechargeable Powerpack with the heat of the fire. BioLite responds to this omittance by saying that including that tech in this product would cause the price to rise to $400-$600. Instead, they chose to keep the price down and sell a cover that includes a solar panel that can charge the Powerpack in four to five days. This solar carry cover is sold separately for $60. That said, it’s important to keep the FirePit covered and protected when not in use. While I haven’t had any issues with rust, there have been instances where the inside thin metal rusts with a little bit of moisture from other reviewers.

The FirePit comes with a grill grate so you can cook on top of the fire. You can burn logs down to charcoal, or start with charcoal in the bottom. There is also a secondary grate that allows you to pull the charcoal up closer to the cooking grate for higher heat. It’s important to know how you want to use the fire before starting it, to see where you want to place the level of the fire. When you have the fire grate in the higher position, you can’t have as big of a fire without the flames coming up and over the edges of the FirePit. I cooked a few times using the food grate, primarily vegetables, foil packs, and sausages. While it is possible, I enjoyed the FirePit for large fires way more than I used it for cooking. 

This FirePit sits above the ground and is convenient for areas where there isn’t a fire ban, but there isn’t an existing fire ring. We were able to have a fire on BLM land where fires were allowed, but there was no fire ring present. Leave No Trace!

Durability/Construction

The FirePit has a solid design. There is an Ash Hole (ha, haha) at the bottom of the FirePit to clean it after a few uses. BioLite suggests using a painters brush to really get to all the nooks and crannies. The FirePit lives in the back of the van, and because of that, it has had a hard life. It’s moving in and out of the van, around the campsite, and then jostled down dirt roads. So far, it has held up great. I imagine this FirePit will hold up for many years to come. The only fragile parts I can predict having issues with is the Rechargeable Powerpack as it takes wear and tear more frequently than other electronics I take care of. 

While the durability of the FirePit is solid, BioLite does warn against using this FirePit on fragile or flammable surfaces. They suggest against decking, which would be the main choice for a lot of people’s FirePit placement.

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The FirePit can only accommodate four 16-inch logs at a time. I found this was more than enough to have a sizeable fire. Firewood you purchase to burn is the prefect size. Just remember to bring a small ax with you just in case.

A Note on Fires

Please always check with local and state regulations around fire bans and fire use in the area. Often times, when I was unsure, I called the non-emergency police or fire department phone line in the area I planned on camping in and asked what the regulations were. I even did this a few times at the home where I was using the fire pit as the regulations were changing weekly. Check on local appropriate wood use, potential burn bans, and information on where you can physically have a fire. Always stay safe, and review Leave No Trace principles and safe extinguishing practices.

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The Final Word

The BioLite FirePit is perfect for backyard hangs, camp trips, grilling in the outdoors, and when there are fire restrictions. I have already gotten so much use out of this piece of gear, and I’m sure I will continue to use it throughout the summer. The ease of use and efficiency is hard to pass up and it’s way easier to “have a quick fire” with the BioLite FirePit. I am disappointed not to see it charge the fans with heat, like other BioLite products, but understand it was to keep the price point reasonable. Having the fans to control the smoke and intensity of the fire is well worth the trade-off of charging it with solar. I look forward to many evening fires and roasted marshmallows to come.

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About the Gear Tester

Outdoor Prolink Pro
Roxy-Harbitter
Roxy Dawson
Content Marketer :: | Website

Roxy Dawson lives in a van full time and travels around the country working as an adventure journalist, searching for backcountry adventure, and using her dog as a pillow. Like most adventurers, she loves coffee, hot springs, and getting pretend lost. She works for Outdoor Prolink as the Content Marketer. She is trying to make a small positive impact on the world, and a larger one in her community. Follow her on Instagram at @roxyjan_

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