Not everyone has the space to dig a hole in the garden or place a large gas fire pit table on their patio.
Sometimes you just need a small pop up fire pit to take with you to your friend’s garden, bring out to a beach cookout, or simply fold out of the shed on a cold evening.
That’s why we take a look at all the different types of pop up fire pits that you can flatpack, put in a bag and chuck in the car when you need to go have a beer outside with your buddies or find a moment alone when hiking.
What is the overall best pop up fire pit?
What are the features we look for in the best portable fire pits? Well, the most important things are practicality and safety.
- It has to be lightweight. Ideally 10 lbs or less.
- Quick and easy to set up and break down
- Material that allows it to cool down quickly
- Good airflow for less smoke
- Large base to provide heat and warmth
- Fire mesh and safety features to protect from fire
We are assuming that for now, you want a fire pit that’s not a BBQ fire pit. We’ve got more below, but this is about finding a mobile fire pit that gives you that warm cosy glow and provides safety and warmth.
The trick to finding the best portable fire pit is to find one that suits your needs – whether that’s beach parties, winter fireworks, or small intimate evenings.
- Easy to set up and put down
- Big powerful heat
- Safe and easy to use
- Good airflow for less smoke
- Not for BBQs
Lightweight Flatpack fire pits for hikers
Now we will put a small disclaimer before you buy a small portable steel fire pit. Make sure you place this on a heat resistant mat or fireproof material (think stones, gravel, dirt with no burning material etc…)
Lightweight and flatpack, this is for those of you who need to put something in the backpack without the extra kilos or space getting in the way.
Generally, if you are going for a flatpack fire pit, you will need to sacrifice size. These tend to be generally better for one person.
But at the end of the day, you still want the basics to be true – you want this to be safe and easy to use. Make sure you read up on how to safely get a fire started, but buying a small little fire pit to keep the fire contained is a good place to start.
- Small and compact
- Easy to use
- Flatpack fire pits
- Make sure you safely set up the area before you set up the fire pit
Portable Fire Pit you use to impress
Sometimes it is possible to sacrifice a little bit of practicality in order to get something a little more impressive in your backyard.
But the only practicality we are willing to sacrifice is how long it takes to set up and put down.
If you don’t mind taking 20 minutes rather than 5 minutes to unfold a large portable fire pit, you may be able to present your friends with something a little more impressive.
These BBQ fire pits with height-adjustable swivel hanging grill are really useful for cookouts. Not only do you have a grill, but you can also hang a dutch oven or enamel pot over the fire if you want to cook something low and slow.
And as a bonus, you can quickly set up the fire pit without using the full tripod providing 360-degree heat to a larger group quickly.
Stylish and useful, don’t let the extra time sway you away from a fire pit grill that does it all.
- Multi-use fire pit and BBQ
- Stylish and easy on the eye
- Can be used for BBQs, dutch oven or enamel pots
- Can be simply used as a fire pit
- Provides 360 degree heat
- Takes longer to set up than the rest on this list
Mini portable propane fire pits for a quick burn
Sometimes referred to as camping gas stoves, these tend to be basic but quick to set up when you just want an open flame in your garden or when camping.
Portable gas fire pits won’t give out a whole load of heat because they are mostly made for cooking. That said if you want that open flame feel, without the hassle of using flint, wood or tinder, getting a mini propane fire pit may just be a quick solution.
It may not be as romantic, but you also won’t smell like a forest fire at the end of the evening.
The best portable gas fire pit will be small, easy to set up, lightweight and (more importantly) provide a bright and controllable open flame that will still give you a cheery glow and let you toast marshmallows.
As a bonus make sure it has a high heat efficiency and is efficient in its full burning so you don’t run out of gas quickly.
- Small and compact
- Light and portable
- Quick to light up and use
- Can be used for cooking or on tabletops
- You need to buy gas
- doesn’t provide a huge amount of heat
Portable tabletop fire pit
Needless to say, not everyone has space or the willingness to set up a large fire on their patio or garden.
If what you want is a portable wood burning fire pit, then go for one designed specifically for camping. These are made to look like gas camping stoves, but they run on wood – mostly twigs, leaves and paper.
It means you don’t have to buy large amounts of wood or have a wood store in the back garden to feed your fire. Simply bring a bag with you when you next head to the forest and start picking up small pieces of bark, woods and twigs.
Of course, these will need to be properly seasoned and dry (ie. keep the bag indoors in a well ventilated warm space) to ensure you don’t produce a large amount of smoke when you use your portable tabletop fire pit.
Alternatively, buy a coffee or eco-log and break it up into small pieces to feed your fire.
- Uses small branches, bark and twigs
- Easy to set up and get started
- Looks pretty on a table
- Can be used for cooking or heat
- Good airflow for smoke-free fire
- Small heat
- Requires fairly constant feeding
Portable fire pit BBQ for camping
If a tripod hanging grill seems like too much effort, and you don’t mind sacrificing looks for practicality, you can find some very useful foldable BBQ fire pit grills for all your outdoor needs.
These tend to be a little more flexible because they are made from stainless steel and can use different fuel sources as they are completely self-contained – the ash pan should prevent any burned fuel from touching or scorching the ground.
So if you would rather use coal, alcohol, wood, branches or a mixture, these portable popup BBQ fire pits are for you.
Just make sure it distributes the heat evenly and you can use this handy little gadget for both warmth and food.
- Distributes the heat evenly to provide heat from all over
- Safe to use on all ground
- You can use multiple fuel sources
- Foldable and easy to carry
- Not pretty
- Cooks for 3 to 4 people only
Classic Pop-up Fire Pits you can store away easily
Are you raising your eyebrow at us and telling us that most of these don’t look the part?
Well, you’re not wrong. A classic fire pit will have that beautiful cast iron look and an oval shape that brings you back to a time long gone.
But these are rarely portable (heavy) or easy to store away (again heavy AND large).
The solution is to find something in between, and preferably something that won’t break the bank.
The best you can find is a classic fire pit look with foldable legs that reduce the size by half. These will be made of alloy or steel because you need to be able to pick them up and put them away.
A carry case is what makes these popup fire pits portable and easy to store away. You won’t be able to take these hiking, but if you are looking for something to put in the back of the car that will be stylish, provide heat, and is safe, you can’t go wrong with this style of fire pit.
- Traditional look and feel of a classic fire pit
- Carry case
- Foldable legs
- Good for putting in the bag of the car, but larger than most of the portable fire pits on this list
Can you find a good portable cheap fire pit?
If none of our selection fit your budget so far, don’t worry, there are cheap fire pits out there for camping, hiking or just to quickly have a fire going off the ground.
The cheapest option is to go with a rollable stainless steel net and folding legs fire pit. This is as basic as it comes short of starting a fire on the actual ground.
We could recommend you think carefully about where you’ll place this budget fire pit as many of the safety features we could look for (mesh guard, protective bowl shape etc…) won’t be included in this design.
What you do get is a quick and easy way to set up a fire off the ground which takes up little to no space in storage. And sometimes that’s all you need.
- Cheap portable fire pit
- Easy to disassemble and set up
- Great to keep fire off the ground
- No mesh guards so keep an eye on those embers
- Light but not great with windy conditions.
What do you put under a portable fire pit?
You may be a newbie when it comes to buying a fire pit, or this is your third or fifth fire pit in as many years. Whatever your reason for getting a small portable outdoor fire pit if there is one accessory we could recommend, it’s a fire retardant mat.
They are not always needed. Mostly these are useful for smaller fire pits and stoves where the fire, ash or embers may escape out of the pit.
As a bonus, these are great to protect your patio, especially if you have a wooden patio or stone prone to discolouration due to heat.
If you are camping or hiking in wet environments, these heat mats can also help take away some of the moisture from the ground or (equally) protect you during the dry seasons.
In short, it’s a must-buy if you are just starting to play with fire.
Where is the best place to buy a fire pit?
We’ve given you plenty of ideas of what to look for when you buy a fire pit, but at the end of the day nothing beat reading pop up fire pit reviews to make sure you have the best choice.
Here you will find some great portable fire pits who have been reviewed by thousands of Amazon customers who, like you, needed to find the perfect fire pit for their home.
So whether you need a folding fire pit that stores away easily or a portable fire pit for camping, these little gems above will give you everything you need to get that warm glow from summer to winter.