Solo Stove Ranger vs Bonfire: Which Fire Pit is the Best for You?

Solo Stove smokeless fire pits have become very popular in recent years. And for good reason – Solo Stove fire pits are well made, affordable, and come in a variety of sizes. If you’re reading this, you’ve narrowed it down to two size options: the Solo Stove Ranger or the Bonfire.

Both of these models are incredibly popular. So, which one is the best for you? In this article, we will review and compare the Solo Stove Ranger vs Bonfire and help you decide which one is right for your needs!

An overview of the Ranger and Bonfire

The Ranger and the Bonfire are the ‘small and medium’ models in Solo Stove’s core lineup. They share the same design and smokeless technology. The main difference between the Ranger and Bonfire is their size. We’ll talk about how the smaller size of the Ranger has its advantages, and when you might want to choose the bigger Bonfire.

Comparing the Ranger and Bonfire

Let’s get into the details around the dimensions of the two models, then talk about other characteristics than set them apart from each other.

12.5" x 15"
14" x 19.5"
15 lbs.
20 lbs.
Best for
1-3 people
Up to 5 people


We’ll start by talking about the difference in size, since that’s the main difference between the Ranger and Bonfire.

The smaller Ranger has a 15″ diameter, while the Bonfire is 30% wider at 19.5″. The Ranger is 12.5″ tall and the Bonfire is 14″, so not too much difference in height.

The Ranger weighs 15 lbs, which is lite for a stainless steel fire pit. The Bonfire weighs 5 lbs (30%) more than the Ranger. But at 20 lbs, the Ranger is still pretty lite.

Although it may seems like the Ranger and Bonfire are pretty close in size, the difference in size does matter . The smaller Ranger is easier to easier to pick up and transport. The larger Bonfire creates more heat, which is better for cooking and keeping people warm.

A bigger fire pit means you’ll burn through more logs.

Another thing to consider with the bigger size of the Bonfire is that you’ll need more wood to keep the fire burning hot. And remember, you’ll need to keep the fire hot so it remains smokeless. The Ranger can burn efficiently and smokeless with fewer logs.

You may not be concerned with going through more logs, especially if you’re buying in bulk. But if you’re stuck getting small bundles of wood from your hardware store, than having a bigger fire pit can mean extra money spent on wood.


Solo Stoves are designed to be portable. The company started out making small backpacking stoves, and then added the Ranger, Bonfire, and Yukon to the lineup.

The Ranger only weighs 15 lbs and doesn’t take up much space in your car, truck, or SUV. While the Bonfire is about 5 lbs heavier, it’s still lite enough for most people to move, and it doesn’t take up much space either.

Both the Ranger and Bonfire and perfect for beach trips, camping, tailgating, or anywhere else you might want to take your fire pit.

Size of logs

Not surprisingly, the Ranger works best with smaller logs. Solo recommends using logs that 10″-12″ long. That’s shorter than standard logs you’ll find in bundles, so depending on where you get your logs, you may either have to cut them or just deal with the fact that they won’t lie flat in the pit.

A pile of logs in a yard
The Bonfire works best with standard 14″-16″ logs

The Bonfire can for the standard 14″-16″ inch logs, and that’s the size Solo recommends using. That’s a win for the Bonfire.

Which is better for cooking?

Solo Stoves are great for cooking a wide variety of foods. If you get yourself a grill grate, you can make the same things you could make on a gas or charcoal grill.

The same cooking accessories are available for the Ranger and Bonfire. The cooking difference gets back to size and heat output. The grill (or any cooking accessory) the fits the Bonfire will be bigger than the same accessory for the Ranger. So of course a bigger grill means you can cook more burgers, steaks, or chicken.

But other than the amount of food you can cook at once, there’s not real difference in the cooking abilities of either model. They’re both great, so it just depends on how big you expect your cookouts will be.


The price for these two models is pretty close. At the time of this writing, they are both on sale. The Ranger is available on the Solo Stove website for $199.99, and the Bonfire is priced at $219.99.

To put that in perspective, the Bonfire is about 30% bigger, but only costs 10% more. If you’re looking for more bang (or steel) for your buck, then the Bonfire is the better option.

The Solo Stove fire pits are reasonably priced compared to other brands. We’ll get into some brand comparisons later, but for now we’ll say that Solo Stove pits are toward the lower end of the price spectrum. If you find a comparable sized fire pit from another brand, be careful – the quality probably won’t be as good as a Solo Stove.


One great part about getting a Solo Stove is adding on extras to make your fire pit even better. Let’s talk about a few of the more common accessories.

  • Cooking Hub – The Hub is the base cooking accessory for both the Ranger and Bonfire. It raises one of the cooktops (sold separately or as part of a bundle) about 8″ over the top of the fire pit.
  • Spark shield – The spark shield is a safety accessory that does what it sounds like – it shields sparks. The shield will stop the inevitable hot ember from jumping out of the fire pit and causing damage to your furniture or deck, or worse injuring someone.
  • Heat deflector – As its name suggest the heat deflector forces (deflects) heat from the fire toward the side of the fire pit. You’ll want this on a frigid cold night. Without the heat deflector, much of the fires heat escapes straight up into the air. So if you’re sitting close to the fire, your feet and legs could still get cold.

All the accessories mentioned above use the same 304 stainless steel as the Solo Stove fire pits, so they’re going to last just as long.

And these are only a few of the many accessories available to take your fire pit game to the next level. Some other nice accessories include: fire pit tools (poker and grabber), color packs to make the flames turn cool colors, handles to move your fire pit, shelters (cloth covers), a station to store your fire pit and wood, and a bunch of fun cooking items.

The accessories come in multiple sizes to perfectly fit whichever fire pit you have. So whether you choose the Ranger or Bonfire, you’ll have the same great options available.

How do smokeless fire pits work?

Smokeless fire pits like the Ranger and Bonfire use a simple, but very smart technology. Understanding how these fire pits work is important if you want to keep your fire smoke-free. So we’ll give a high level explanation of how fire pits can be smokeless.

The whole magic behind smokeless fire pits comes down the double-wall design. You can’t see it from the outside, but there are actually two stainless steel walls on all side of the Bonfire and Yukon. Between those walls is a narrow gap.

A diagram of a smokeless firepit

As the fire burns, fresh air is pulled into the bottom of the pit and through the gap between the walls. If the fire is burning hot, those double walls will be very hot. The air gets heated as it passes through those double walls. Finally, the heated air is forced into the fire pit over the top of the flames and burns off the smoke before it gets into the air.

Building a smokeless free fire with the Ranger

Solo recommends starting with a base layer of 2″-3″ inch chunk wood. You can also use pine cones, twigs, sticks, dryer lint, or even cardboard egg cartons.

Once you have your base layer,add 3-5 pieces of 10″-12″ split hardwood pieces. Light your base layer and then be patient. It may take some time for the fire to get burning hot. During that time, the fire will be smokey. This is normal. Once the fire gets burning hot, the walls of the fire pit will get hot enough for a secondary burn and the smoke will fade away.

Just remember to keep feeding the fire so it stays hot, but don’t overfill the fire pit.

Building a smokeless fire with the Bonfire

There are countless ways to start a smokeless fire. A popular method for building a smoke free fire in a Solo Bonfire is a three-tiered circular pattern known as the “clock face.” Here’s how it works:

  1. Add a layer of 2-3″ hardwood chunks in a circle, leaving room in the middle for tinder.
  2. Add your tinder to the center of the chunk wood circle. Tinder can be dry twigs, pine cones, leaves, etc. Believe it or not, dryer lint and egg cartons also work very well as tinder.
  3. Add 4-5 hardwood logs in a circular pattern, each with one in the center and the other end against the wall. This will spread the fire to the double walls, which as we discussed earlier, is key to a smokeless fire.

Once your fire gets going, be sure to feed it logs regularly. Otherwise it’ll cool down and start getting smokey again.

The Ranger is perfect for you if…

You want ultimate portability and expect to use the with smaller groups. It’s great for a small patio or to move to the end of your driveway for neighborhood get together.

The Ranger is also great to take camping, to the beach, or a tailgate.

The Bonfire is perfect for you if…

…you want a versatile fire pit that works great as a stationary backyard fire pit, or as a fire pit that can travel with you. It’s also great for cooking just about anything you can imagine.

Other options

If you’re not sold on the Ranger or Bonfire, there are other fire pits in the Solo Stove lineup to consider. The main alternative would be the Solo Stove Yukon.

The Solo Stove Yukon

The Solo Stove Yukon is the bigger brother of the Ranger and Bonfire. The Yukon has a 27″ diameter, about 40% bigger than the Bonfire.

As Solo Stove advertises, the Yukon “works great as a center piece to any backyard.” The Yukon looks stylish sitting on your patio surrounded by some comfy chairs. If you don’t have a patio, just drop it on your lawn. Just keep in mind you’ll want to use the stand if you don’t want to burn your grass.

The Yukon is the largest Solo Stove

Compared to the Ranger or Bonfire, the Yukon will do a better job of keeping larger groups warm. The Yukon is also the most expensive, but it’s a good option if you’re looking for a bigger sized fire pit.

For more info, check our our comparison of the Yukon and Bonfire.

Solo Camping Stoves

Solo Stove has a separate line of camp stoves, that are even smaller and more portable. These three stoves are meant to be thrown in a backpack and are perfect for cooking a quick meal or warming your hands during a break from your hike.

The camping stove lineup:

Solo Stove Lite – Less At less than 6″ tall and weighing only 9 oz, the Lite is well… lite. Get a fire going quickly with twigs and pine cones and use the Solo Stove Pot 900 to heat up your meal.

Titan – Measure almost 8″ tall and weighing just over a pound, the Titan is the middle child of the Solo camping stove lineup. The Titan is small enough to carry on long hikes, but burns hot enough to cook a meal for a few people.

Campfire – The biggest of the three camping stoves is designed for cooking meals for four or more people. At 2.2 lbs, it’s double the weight of the Titan, but still small enough to take hiking.

All three camping stoves use the same 360 Degree Airflow Technology as the Ranger and Bonfire. And of course they’re made from 304 stainless steel, so this should be a purchase that lasts a lifetime.

Solo Stove vs Other Brands

There are a lot of of big brands in the smokeless fire pit market. We’ve even seen Solo Stove knockoffs in grocery store aisle. For now, let’s compare three of the biggest Solo Stove competitors.

Breeo vs Solo

Breeo and Solo are two of the most popular brands of smokeless fire pits. Breeo has a few different models of smokeless fire pits. Their X Series 19 is most comparable to the Solo Stove Bonfire. The next biggest Breeo is the X Series 24, which is closest in size to the Solo Stove Yukon.

The Breeo fire pit with lid

Breeo also uses the double-wall technology to transfer heated air to the top of the fire. So like Solo Stoves, the Breeo X Series puts off very little smoke.

From a quality perspective, Solo and Breeo are pretty close. Both are made from 304 stainless steel, but Breeo uses a thicker gauge metal.

The bottom of a Breeo
The bottom of a Breeo X Series 24.

The big difference between the Breeo and Solo models is their weight. Breeo pits are heavier and therefor less portable. For example, the Solo Bonfire weighs 20 lbs, while the Breeo X Series 19 weighs 47 lbs. The Breeo weighs 27 lbs more than the closest sized Solo Stove. Breeo stoves are great, but they’re not designed for portability.

Comparing prices, Breeo is more expensive and runs fewer sales than Solo Stove. At the time of this writing, the Solo Yukon is on sale for $429.99. The Breeo X Series 24 is $579, which is $149 more than the Solo. Breeo does offer sales, but usually only once a year, and even then the Solo will usually be cheaper.

Blue Sky vs Solo

Blue Sky is another brand gaining popularity in the smokeless fire pit industry. Like Solo Stove, Blue Sky also uses the double wall design to reduce smoke.

Blue Sky offers several different models that vary in shapes in sizes. Unlike the other brands compared here, Blue Sky makes a square fire pit, called “The Square Peak.”

Unlike Solo or Breeo, Blue Sky paints their fire pits with heat resistant paint. However, the manufacturer admits that there aren’t any paints that can withstand the high heat generated by these firepits. So expect to see some rust and possible paint peeling (think of an old black Weber grill lid). However that shouldn’t effect how well the Blue Sky fire pits operate.

A popular Blue Sky model is the Improved Peak smokeless fire pit. The Improved Peak falls is a bit bigger than the Bonfire. From a price perspective, the Blue Sky Improved Peak is more One cool thing about Blue Sky is they sell NFL and NHL licensed fire pits, so you can get a pit with the logo of your favorite team etched out. Solo stove has collegiate versions of their stove, with 50+ colleges available.

Duraflame vs Solo

Duraflame isn’t necessarily a popular brand for smokeless fire pits. They’re more known for slow-burning logs. But they do sell a smokeless fire pit and it very much resembles the Solo Stove models. If their fire pits didn’t have the Duraflame logo, you probably couldn’t tell them apart from a Solo Stove.

Duraflame only offers one model, a 19″ diameter fire pit that is closest in size to the Bonfire. Like the Solo Stoves, Duraflame uses 304 stainless steel.

Duraflame is priced a bit lower than the Bonfire. But from a reputation and quality perspective, the Solo Stove beats out the Duraflame.

The Verdict: Which is best for you?

To recap, both the Ranger an Bonfire are portable. You can take the Bonfire anywhere you can take the Ranger. So let’s call portability a tie.

They both put off a lot of heat, but the bigger Bonfire puts off more heat and will keep bigger groups warmer. The Bonfire wins there.

The Ranger is cheaper, but not by much. The better value is probably the Bonfire.

Only you can decide which is best for you, but we’d recommend the Bonfire for most people. Either way, we hope this comparison of the Ranger and Bonfire helped you decide.

Happy burning!

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are some of the questions we hear form people who are considering buying the Ranger or Bonfire.

What kind of wood do you use in Solo Stoves?

Always use hardwood like oak or hickory, which burns longer and hotter. Make sure the wood is thoroughly dried, which means it should be seasoned (left to air dry for several months) or kiln dried.

Do you need the Stand for Ranger or Bonfire?

The purpose of your stand is to “minimize heat transfer from Ranger (or Bonfire) to heat-sensitive surfaces below by raising up your fire pit and allowing cool air to pass through Stand’s vent holes.”

Whether or not to use the Solo Stand with your Ranger or Bonfire depends on where you plan to use your fire pit. If you plan to use your fire pit on your grass, but don’t want burn marks, then you’ll definitely want to use the Stand.

Can you use a Solo Stove on a wood or composite deck?

Solo is a little vague on whether you can use a Solo Stove on a deck. If you’re considering it you’ll definitely need to use the Stand.

According to Solo, “We designed this [the Stand] with multiple surfaces in mind, but we can’t account for every type of patio or deck out there. With that in mind, use your best judgement and read all instructions thoroughly!”

Even if the fire pit doesn’t scorch your deck directly, there’s a high likelihood that sparks will shoot out onto your deck and could burn wood or composite materials. The Solo spark shield would help alleviate that.

So like they say, use your best judgment.

How do you clean the ash from a Solo Stove?

There are few ways to clean the ash from your Solo Stove. The manufacturer recommends just turning the Solo Stove over and dumping out the ashes. Just be sure they’re cool first, or that you’re dumping them into a metal container.

If you use that method, the Ranger is easier to clean than the bigger Bonfire, so it’s something to consider when picking which pit is best for you.

There are two other common ways to clean the ash out, and that’s to use an ash shovel or an ash vacuum. You don’t need to pick up the fire pit if you use the shovel or vacuum, so the fire pit size doesn’t make much of a difference there.

Can the Ranger or Bonfire be enclosed in stone patio blocks?

Yes, the Ranger and Bonfire can both be enclosed (wrapped) in patio block, or used in an existing stone fire pit. This is commonly done to a achieve a better look or to add an extra layer between people or pets who might get to close to the hot fire.

The Ranger is probably too small to surround in stone, and would look a little strange.

In order to keep the fire burning hot and smokeless, Solo recommends leaving 3”-6” space between your fire pit’s walls and the enclosure.

Is there a warranty for the Ranger and Bonfire?

Solo stove warranties their products to be “free of manufacturing defects”, but the company does not warranty its products against normal wear or misuse.

Are wood burning fire pits better than gas?

There are pros and cons to each both types. Gas pits are easier to use and burn cleaner. Wood fire pits are more traditional, better for cooking, and lower priced. For a complete comparison, check out our article on gas vs wood fire pits.

Are smokeless fire pits worth the price?

Smokeless fire pits might cost a bit more than a regular fire pit, but brands like Solo Stove are made of 304 stainless steel, which will last a lifetime. So yes, I think smokeless fire pits are worth it.

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