A few weeks ago, a giant, heavy box arrived on my front porch. Inside was a review unit of the new fire pit made by the folks at Tiki.
My 3-year-old and I set it up in about 10 minutes. And when I say set it up I mean that he ran around with the fire poker while I attached the main basin to the legs while trying not to get stabbed in the head.
Everything about the Tiki fire pit is heavy duty and high-quality.
The basin itself is heavy. It’s sturdy, thick, and built to last. But it’s not so heavy that it’s difficult to move around — you can easily carry it by an edge around the top ring of the basin.
I wanted to fire it up and test it on my back deck. But after skimming the included instructions, I saw that Tiki recommends a 15-foot clearance on all sides.
Since I was literally playing with fire, I decided that for the initial test run I would light it up in the yard instead of on the wood deck. And I’m glad I did. The Wood Pack (which I’ll explain in a minute) produces a significant bonfire. And it is this 2-part combo of the fire pit plus the wood packs that make the Tiki Fire Pit unique.
The way it works is that there is a removable cone which you can set inside the fire pit. You then balance the Wood Pack bag on top of the cone, light the 4 corners of the bag, and you’re done.
Inside the bag are about 5 pounds worth of wood pellets. These are a special kind of wood pellets that have been mixed with a bit of lighter fluid, so they easily light right up. (Which also means that you won’t want to cook any food or roast any marshmallows over the Wood Pack flame.)
As the bag burns, the pellets fall out, and — thanks to the cone in the center — they get evenly distributed around the internal ring of the fire pit.
Within a few minutes you’ve got a huge fire going. The pellets will burn for about a half hour. You can drop in another Wood Pack bag to keep the fire going or place some normal wood logs logs into the flame.
We had the fire pit going on a nice evening earlier this month, so my wife and all three of our boys were outside enjoying the fire. We kept it burning by adding some logs of Christmas trees past that we keep stored next to the shed.
And it is worth mentioning that you do not have to use the Wood Pack bags. You can also build a traditional wood-log fire in there if you’d like. But I love the idea of having a stash of the Wood Pack bags in my shed, ready to go at a moment’s notice.
I am extremely impressed with everything about the Tiki Fire Pit.
The build quality is fantastic. The details are all considered. The overall design of the Fire Pit is one of the best I’ve seen — it just looks cool (no anti-pun intended). And the Wood Pack bags make it very easy to get a real fire going with no effort at all.
Moreover, the slotted drum-style design of the Tiki Fire Pit helps to reduce smoke and collect the ash in a tray that sits below the basin. (Somewhat similar to the popular, but not nearly as handsome, Solo Stove.)
As of this review, you can back the Fire Pit on Kickstarter for $305 (and trust me — you will want to back the “Extended Burn Package” so you can get those additional 5 Wood Pack bags).
I was told that once the Fire Pit and Wood Packs become publicly available, the Wood Pack bags will be available for purchase in sets of 4 or 6 for $31 and $40 respectively. That’s about $7 / each, which is a little more than 2x the price of a Duraflame log. And while the Duraflame log is great for getting a fire started super easily, it isn’t going to give you that huge bonfire like the Wood Pack bags.
So, yes, even at its discounted Kickstarter price, the Tiki Fire Pit is definitely on the high end of the fire pit price spectrum. But that’s because you are purchasing a high-end product. The build quality, the design, and the ease of use are all there. This thing is top-of-the line and it shows.
For years, my wife and I have had a cheap fire pit hiding in the corner of our back yard. It’s basically just a metal bowl on legs that we bought at Home Depot 10 years ago. And I can’t remember the last time we had a fire out there.
Being outdoors, sitting around a fire, is an excellent way to spend an evening — alone or with friends.
Sadly, my review unit only came with one Wood Pack bag. Otherwise I would have used the Fire Pit several more times by now.
You can check out the Tiki Fire Pit on Kickstarter. If you back it now, they’ll be shipping just in time for early spring — which is right at the beginning of when you’ll want to be using it.
Our thanks to Tiki for sending this review unit of the Fire Pit. This review was originally posted on editor-in-chief’s personal site, shawnblanc.net, where he’s set a personal goal of blogging every single day this month.