There is nothing better than sitting around a campfire with your friends, which is why this portable fire pit from Fireside Outdoor is the perfect accessory for any off grid living adventure. Picture this; you’re travelling in a van and meet up with some other vanlifers in the middle of a forest. Someone grabs a guitar, and someone else pulls out a pack of smores and hints that a fire would be nice. You look around but can’t see any stones, and it’s too risky to just light a fire on the ground without any protection. Everyone cries and drives off, leaving you alone and friendless once again.
We’re all about looking after our planet here at Van Clan and we live by the ‘leave no trace’ culture, which is why this pop-up portable fire pit is such a great bit of kit. Now you can cook up some tasty camping treats or keep the party going late into the night without worrying about setting the forest on fire or spoiling the scenery for other people. Just pop it up, and you’re good to go!
We’ve been getting to grips with the pop-up pit over the past few days and learning all about how it works, as well as making notes to give you the lowdown on how this thing feels, looks, and works. Check out our thoughts below!
Could This Be The Ultimate Vanlife Portable Fire Pit?
Here it is folks, the pop-up portable fire pit from Fireside Outdoor. Before we get into the where, when, and why, I’m going to give you some stats and facts about this pop-up marvel. First impressions upon looking at this unit are that it looks pretty sturdy, and it needs to be if it’s going to be able to hold 125lbs of wood! That’s enough to make a hearty fire for the whole crew to sit around, and it’s also perfect for smaller fires if you’re travelling alone or with a partner.
If you want a fire with less mess, better fuel efficiency, and a safety rating higher than a vault at Fort Knox, then this is the portable fire pit for you.Van Clan
It’s often hard to be able to tell whether the fire pit you’re choosing for your adventures is going to be safe and won’t cause any unwanted accidents or nasty surprises. I’ve used pop-up BBQ’s before that have corroded after two or three uses, but this portable fire pit is put together with some seriously strong materials. Both the ember guards and the collapsible frame are made out of 6061 Aluminium and come with a limited lifetime guarantee, which means that Fireside Outdoor will replace parts that break or become defective over the life of the product through use. That should be enough to put your mind at ease and give you value for money!
Safety is paramount when it comes to lighting fires out in the wilderness, and the last thing that you want is to damage local forests or peoples property. The 3.5″ ember guards meet American fire regulations and exceed all BLM and USFS regulations, so if you’re living the van life full-time or just like visiting your best van life travel spots on a weekend, then you can use this portable fire pit with confidence. The fire mesh keeps ash and soot contained even when the fire is extinguished with water, making packing up and setting off a breeze.
How Easy Is It To Pop Up And Put Down?
Fireside Outdoor boasts that this is a super simple bit of kit to use, and we would have to agree. I was a little sceptical when I saw the 60-second set-up time advertised on the website, but I timed Van Clan’s CEO while putting it up and he managed to erect this portable fire pit in just over a minute. Bearing in mind that this was our first time using the product, I don’t think that that’s too bad! We’re going to compete to see who can do it fastest next time – the winner gets the first sausage off the grill.
What about packing it all away once you’re ready to head off to your next location? Well, the unit itself cools down in just 90 seconds which in itself is very impressive. Granted you’ll need to clean any debris leftover from your woodpile, but all in all the packing down process is simple and pain-free.
This portable fire pit comes with a carry bag that is used for storing the unit and for carrying it from place to place. It’s designed to be able to sling over the shoulder so that you can have your hands free for carrying wood, pulling your suitcase, or taking selfies of yourself while looking awesome in the forest. The bag is pretty strong and will certainly last the test of time so long as you look after it; just don’t put your fire pit away while it’s still hot or you’ll set the bag on fire!
Let’s Talk About Size And Weight
I’ve been using the phrase ‘portable fire pit’ throughout this entire article without giving you any information as to how portable this thing actually is. The unit itself can be set up on any surface so long as it’s stable, and it weighs 8lbs. That’s the same weight as a gallon of water (or any other liquid of your choice – we’re not biased). I’m not sure how long I would want to walk with a gallon of water on my shoulder, but the weight of this product isn’t bad considering how strong and sturdy it is once erected.
In terms of storage in your camper, this portable fire pit packs up smaller than a camping chair (27″ x 5″), so it’s perfect for slotting inside a cupboard or behind the driver’s seat in the cab. When erected, the unit measures 24″ x 15″, allowing you to pop it up in pretty much any outdoor space. Just remember to make sure to set it up away from combustible materials before you get your fire going.
How Does It Burn?
There’s nothing worse than a fire that burns like a damp squib, but this portable fire pit has some pretty neat tricks up its metallic sleeve to make sure that never happens. For starters, you can burn multiple types of fuel on this pop-up pit, so it’s great for using as a BBQ grill and a traditional campfire for those epic Van Life Instagram shots. The design of this fire allows air to flow directly underneath your flames, giving you a brighter, hotter fire with 80% less smoke than a traditional campfire. The fine ash can be disposed of safely once cooled, and the fire pit will be ready to clean just 90 seconds after using.
The heat shield that comes with this unit is designed to reflect the heat of the fire upwards away from combustible materials on the ground underneath. Now you can set up your fire pit on grass or wood without worrying about scorching or setting fire to it, making this Fireside Outdoor portable fire pit a must-have if you spend a lot of time in campsites during your travels.
This portable fire pit is the real deal and is far safer than lugging stones around to make a circle on the ground. It’s stable, it’s portable, and it gives you all of the comforts of an old-fashioned campfire without damaging the area around you. The fact that it surpasses all regulations gives me confidence and the ease in which you can use multiple materials as fuel is a nice touch. If you want a fire with less mess, better fuel efficiency, and a safety rating higher than a vault at Fort Knox, then this is the portable fire pit for you.
I’m super impressed with how quick it is to set up and I think it will only take a few more goes until I can do it with my eyes closed. For me, this is something that I would carry around in my van rather than on my shoulder during long walks, but if you’re used to carrying heavy bags while out on the trail, then you won’t even notice that the fire pit is on your shoulder. All in all, this is a nice product that is sure to make the next Van Clan camping trip a much less stressful affair. Now, where did I put those matches?
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