When it comes to portable fire pits, there is only one brand that pops into mind, Solo Stove. The question here is “which model is the right one for you”. In this Solo Stove Ranger vs Bonfire comparison, I’ll help you choose the ideal size (model) for you.
In summary, just like any other Solo Stove, Ranger and Bonfire have the same smokeless design, the only difference is their size and capacity. Solo Stove Bonfire is great if you’re a regular size family who’re thinking of placing the stove at their backyard and maybe take it to their campsite sometimes. But if you’re just a couple without kids or a solo camper and if you’re thinking of taking the stove to outdoors more than using it at your backyard, in that case, Solo Stove Ranger is the better option for you.
Go straight to the detailed comparison.
Why Solo Stove
The short answer is: Solo Stove created the unique smokeless design, and thanks to them, now breathing around the fire is possible.
Solo Stove is not an ancient brand, they’re in the outdoor market for only a decade but just like every other big-brand in the world, they created something unique, therefore, they’re the first brand that pops into mind in the outdoor community when we talk about wood-burning stoves.
In 2010 they joined the outdoor market by creating the first smokeless wood-burning stove. Up until then, there was no such thing as a smokeless stove.
This patented design basically has a double wall and vent holes. This design intakes cold air (from the bottom vent holes) creates secondary combustion and allows hotter air to feed the fire, resulting in a smokeless fire.
Solo Stove Ranger Overview
- WEIGHT: 15 lbs / 6.8 kg
- MATERIAL: 304 Stainless Steel
- DIMENSIONS: Ø 15″ (Base Diameter) x 12.5″ (Height)
Solo Stove Ranger is the newer model that came after the Bonfire. The main reason this stove is created is to fulfill the needs of those who find Bonfire too bulky to carry but still need a Fire Pit.
Those people are generally: small families, couples, fishermen, and RV/car campers. If you’re one of those people, at the end of the article, you will probably find that Solo Stove Ranger more suitable for your needs.
The great thing about Solo Stove Ranger is; it’s only 15 lbs (6.8 kg), packs down to Ø 15″ x 12.5″ but still gives you everything you should be looking for from a fire pit.
Just like any stove in the Solo Stove’s line, Ranger is made of 304 Stainless Steel which is a durable lightweight and corrosion-resistant material. So the perfect choice for a portable fire pit.
Lastly, it’s very compact and portable, every part that is not attached (such as the fire ring) to the stove can be nested in it.
Solo Stove Bonfire Overview
- WEIGHT: 20 lbs / 9.07 kg
- MATERIAL: 304 Stainless Steel
- DIMENSIONS: Ø 19.5″ (Base Diameter) x 14″ (Height)
As I’ve mentioned before, Solo Stove Bonfire is the first fire pit that the brand came up with, and today it still is the most popular model.
The reason is, it’s the perfect size for placing your backyard and taking it to your car camping site from time to time.
It sure offers enough capacity for a family of four (if you’re a bigger family I would recommend Solo Stove Yukon), and it’s light enough to bring with you to the backcountry.
Just like Ranger, Solo Stove Bonfire is made of 304 Stainless Steel as well.
And last but not least, even though it’s not as portable as Ranger it’s still compact, every part of the stove (such as the Stand) can be nested in the main base of the stove. Therefore it packs down to Ø 19.5″ x 14″.
Specs: Solo Stove Ranger vs Bonfire
|Solo Stove Ranger||Solo Stove Bonfire|
|Stove Weight||15 lbs / 6.8 kg||20 lbs / 9.07 kg|
|Fuel Type||Chunk Wood (up to 13" long)||Firewood Logs (up to 17.5" long)|
|Material||304 Stainless Steel||304 Stainless Steel|
|Inner Volume||8.835 cubic in.||16.724 cubic in.|
|Dimensions||Ø 15″ (Base Diameter) x 12.5″ (Height)||Ø 19.5″ (Base Diameter) x 14″ (Height)|
|Best Use||Backyard/Car Camping||Backyard/Car Camping|
|Check Prices||Check Price on Amazon||Check Price on Amazon|
Detailed Comparison: Ranger vs Bonfire
Weight and Portability
|Weight||15 lbs / 6.8 kg||20 lbs / 9.07 kg|
|Pack Size||Ø 15″ x 12.5″||Ø 19.5″ x 14″|
|Inner Volume||8.835 in3||16.724 in3|
Both fire pits are easy enough to carry by one person, but although 5 lbs seem like a small difference, if you’re thinking of moving the fire pit a lot (by taking to camping every time), after a while, it might start to feel like a burden.
For small groups, Solo Stove Ranger is more than enough, and if you have a small patio or backyard it would fit perfectly.
Volumetrically, Bonfire is twice the size of Ranger, and if you don’t mind the extra 5 lbs it offers enough fire capacity for a regular size family (four/five people).
Ranger, on the other hand, is not enough for a group of four, it would still do the job, but you would probably find it too small.
And if you’re buying a fire pit just for your backyard or your patio, then one important thing to consider is the size of your backyard. If it’s a really small place then Bonfire might not be a good option. So, to help you to get an idea of the sizes of the fire pits, here are pictures of Bonfire and Ranger.
And, also, if you think neither of the fire pits is big enough for your backyard, I would recommend Solo Stove Yukon, it’s twice the size of Bonfire, you can also check out my review of Solo Stove Yukon and Bonfire.
Each fire pit has the same design, and this design allows the stoves to pack down quite easily. Every part of the stoves, including big parts such as the Fire Ring, Stand, or even the Shield (sold separately) can be nested in the stove.
Here is a quick video of Solo Stove Shield, but you can also see how everything can be nested in the stove:
Cooking & Roasting
If you’ve ever used the smaller versions of Solo Stoves before (like Solo Stove Titan), it’s normal to think that you can cook easily with Solo Stove Ranger and Bonfire.
But, that is not the case, since both Solo Stove Ranger and Bonfire are all in one piece, it would be a huge burden to clean them. So most people just use these fire pits for roasting sausages and marshmallows.
Also, since they don’t have prongs like smaller Solo Stoves, it’s impossible to cook without getting a cooking grate. Solo Stove doesn’t provide or sell a cooking grid for its fire pits.
But some people buy fire pit cooking grate separately and use it with Solo Stove Ranger and Bonfire. In that case, I can recommend Only Fire – Round Fire Pit Grate.
And for the comparison of Solo Stove Ranger vs Bonfire, if want to cook on your fire pit, I must say that Solo Stove Ranger would be a better choice for you.
But for roasting, there is no difference at all, you just need good Roasting Sticks, and you are good to go.
Accessories for Solo Stove Ranger & Bonfire
Some fire pit accessories are musts and some are just luxuries, but that also depends on your condition as well.
Therefore, I compiled every fire pit accessory of Solo Stove and gave information about them containing on what conditions the accessory is a must or a luxury.
The Solo Stove Stand is a very important accessory, especially if you’re thinking of taking your fire pit outdoors, to a friend’s house or somewhere else. Trying to find a way to keep your fire pit off the ground would be a big burden.
And since the bottom of the fire pit gets really hot, you should definitely use a stand on heat-sensitive surfaces.
But if you’re thinking of buying the fire pit just for your backyard, you can even create your own much better-looking stand. If you’re thinking of building your own stand on your backyard, just a quick note:
Do not build a wall around the fire pit big enough to block the bottom vent holes. If you do that you would prevent stove to intake cold air and that would cause a smoky fire.
Solo Stove Fire Wood Rack Station
A firewood rack station is not a must, but if you want a more organized space in your backyard, I would definitely recommend Solo Stove Fire Wood Rack.
It’s very durable and also if you don’t have a garage to store the fire pit, it has a shelf to store the fire pit as well and this shelf is big enough to store Solo Stove Bonfire as well.
Quick Reminder: If you don’t have a garage and if you’re thinking of storing your fire pit on the open air, you should also purchase the Solo Stove Shield, it’s an important accessory for the longevity of your stove. But if you’re thinking of storing the fire pit in a closed area (such as a garage) then the shield is not a must.
And last but not least, whether you go with the Solo Stove Fire Wood Rack or another one, a well designed Fire Wood Rack gives a great ambiance to the backyards.
Solo Stove Fire Pit Tools
Solo Stove Fire Pit Tools include an angled poker and a log grabber, as you might guess, it is not a must like a stand. You can just find something at home to grab the log, and you can just use a small wood stick to use as a poker.
But they are made of 304 Stainless Steel, therefore, they’re extremely durable and corrosion-resistant, and these tools make the job much easier.
Solo Stove Shield
If you’re thinking of getting a portable fire pit for your wooden deck or if you’re thinking of placing the fire pit near heat-sensitive furniture, Solo Stove Shield is definitely a must for you.
Because no matter how well you control the flame, at some point sparks and embers will leave from the fire.
But if you’re thinking of using your fire pit outdoors or if you’re thinking of placing it on a stone surface at your backyard, then the shield is just a luxurious tool to ease your adventure.