In twenty-five years of camping, we’ve been through a number of fire pits and fire bowls. Wood-burning fire pits have always been our choice in the past. We chose them because, after all, we wanted an authentic campfire experience, which we thought we could only have with wood.

More recently, we’ve found that wood fires are not always permitted in some parks that we visited. We still want the campfire experience though. I mean, it is critical to feeling like you’re really camping, right? So we are going to invest in a portable propane fire pit.

But which one? I’ve run into the Outland Fire Bowl  at RV shows and at Costco. The Outland is usually priced under one hundred dollars. But is it the best one for us?

That has made us consider what we want in a propane fire pit. Here’s our list:

  • provide good heat
  • have a nice high flame that resembles a wood campfire
  • light weight (we always have to consider the weight for traveling in an RV)
  • attractive
  • easy to clean
  • well-built (we don’t want a piece of junk that might break tomorrow)
  • reasonably priced

I found a great chart online  that compares portable propane fire pits but it did not include the Outland Fire Bowl. So I’ve compared the Outland according to factors on the online chart to see how it stacks up against the other eleven reviewed there. (The other portable pits were: Campfire In A Can, Fire Dancer, Camp Chef – Redwood, Ban Buster, Little Red Campfire, Big Red Campfire, Port-A-Fire, Heininger Outland, Patioflame, Patio Fire, New Frontier.)

One camping neighbor has a Fire Dancer and they say they love it.

One camping neighbor has a Fire Dancer and they say they love it.

Here are the results of the comparison between the Outland Fire Bowl against the others.

Factor         Eleven Bowls on Chart Outland compared how?
CSA Safety Certification 4 were not certified which ruled them out yes
BTUs 3 had slightly higher BTUs with a max of 64,000 BTUs for Campfire in A Can 58,000
Heat Output/Flame 3 had robust flame and high heat output – Patioflame, Port-A-Fire, Campfire In a Can At 58,000, it would be considered a moderate flame and medium heat
Weight and Dimensions 3 of the CSA certified were lighter weight – Campfire in a Can, Port-A-Fire, Heininger 17 lb 18.5 in x 18.5 in x 10.5 in.
Fire Accent Feature All had accent feature Yes – lava rock

 

Based on the comparison, I will consider the three with the higher flame and heat output. The Patioflame weights 35 pounds though and costs up to $400, so I’ll pass on it. Port-A-Fire for approximately $185 and Campfire in a Can for nearly $300 remain in the running.

My camping neighbor invited us by this evening to experience the Outland. They say they love it.

My camping neighbor invited us by this evening to experience the Outland. They say they love it.

The lingering question for me is whether the moderate heat from the Outland is significantly less than the robust heat from the Campfire in a Can or the Port-A-Fire. That might be the determining factor for going with a more expensive vs. the less expensive Outlander.  My camping neighbors have invited me over to experience their Outland this evening, so we shall see. They say they’ve had it for four years and they love it.

Does anyone have any input on this? What has been your experience with portable propane fire pits?