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. We'll go over-
- Portability: Whether you can take a given fire pit with you.
- Safety: What to look for to ensure you're safe using your fire pit.
- Heat and Ambiance: How it matches with your space and accentuates the fire.
- Accessories: What you actually need to spend your money on.
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Let's dive in!
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, stainless steel fasteners, and thick protective high heat gloss enamel steel coatings, 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, such as thin powder coat and carbon steel hardwarecan lead to premature rusting and eventual 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 certified. CSA has determined that the fire pit delivers flame in a way that keeps it contained, which means they are approved safe to use during most firebans and even under nasty wind and rain conditions. Fire pits without this CSA approval may use flames that are too high or uncontrolled to guarantee the safety of nearby flammable surfaces and are definitely not approved for use during fire bans. 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 coat weather shield that protects the metal from the elements, but this coating does not last long and will flake and peel under use. Once the initial coating is compromised rust sets in and the powdery finish can dull the look of the flames. Look for brands like Outland Living that offer premium high heat gloss enamel coatings as it accentuates the dancing fire, fills your space with glimmering flames and won’t break down under heat.
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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 three most important ones are:
- Carry Bags for Mobility
- Natural Gas Conversion Kits for Home Use
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 a single cylinder of propane between two items, like a gas stove and the fire pit. However, this is only a consideration if you have multiple sources using the propane.
Buying In 2020-2021
Due to the circumstances surrounding 2020/2021, most propane fire pit purchases are going to be done online. This is why looking for critical things like CSA approval, high BTU counts, enamel coating, stainless steel burners and stainless steel fasteners 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.