Review: Solo Stove Bonfire 2.0

"White rabbit! White rabbit! White rabbit!" Most folks who have sat around a campfire know what I’m talking about. They’re words of camping folklore that are supposed to help with those pesky moments when the fire chooses you as the target of its noxious smoke. Legend has it that uttering the phrase three times, with confidence, works to redirect the fire away. Though the effectiveness of the phrase is argued, you can save your breath—and lungs for that matter—with a Solo Stove Bonfire 2.0 smokeless fire pit.

Here’s how it works: when a fire gets going in the stove, a vacuum is created as the fire sucks in air. But instead of cold air being drawn in from above the fire, air is drawn up from below the pit. As the air rises through the walls of the stove, it heats up. Then, when the air finally reaches the fire and combusts, it is hot enough to burn off the unpleasant smoke that would otherwise be kicked out into the faces of bystanders. So not only do you get the benefit of standing closer to the fire, you also don’t have to worry about smelling like smoke for a week afterward. (Keep in mind, though, that the flames can get 400 degrees hotter than a conventional campfire, so don’t get too close.)

There are a few different sizes to choose from, varying from the small, “Mesa” design with a measly 5-inch diameter, all the way to their behemoth Canyon stove that has a whopping 30-inch diameter. I went with their updated most popular design, the Bonfire 2.0, which is conveniently sized right in the middle. It’s the perfect balance of being large enough to establish a nice, cozy firepit area, while still being portable enough to bring along to ski resort tailgates and car-camping endeavors. Additionally, the stove has accessories like a stand for use on heat sensitive surfaces (like a porch deck), and heat deflectors to encourage more fireside warmth. There are even entire platforms that surround the stove, increasing esthetic and functionality. Get one this summer to spark up the party and bring the heat on those cold car camping days. $299;