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Choosing the Best Portable Propane Fire Pit for Your Camping & Tailgate Party Needs
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Choosing the Best Portable Propane Fire Pit for Your Camping & Tailgate Party Needs

Choosing the Best Portable Propane Fire Pit for Your Camping & Tailgate Party Needs

A LavaBox Buyer’s Guide

The sun’s starting to hang around longer, the birds are flocking back from their vacation in Mexico (or wherever birds go in the winter). If you’re anything like me, you’re cleaning the snowboard and ski gear out of the back of the truck to make room for CAMPING GEAR! 


Yep, it’s that time of the year again—the best time of the year in my humble opinion. That time of year when excitement is building around summer trip planning, tailgating, camping, and all the fresh seasonal gear at my local outdoor outfitter has me wanting to say, “Just take all my money!”.


Unfortunately, no matter how much I want to pour every cent of my hard-earned paychecks into camping gear and Tacoma mods, that’s. . . not particularly responsible. Or at least that’s what my financial counselor told me.


So instead, I find myself scouring the internet, magazines, and gear reviews. Comparing and contrasting the pros and cons of every option on the market to make sure that I get the most bang for my buck and only end up with high quality, long-lasting, gear staples that fit my specific needs and “spark joy” (thanks, Marie Kondo). 


If you’re like me and you’re spending way too much time conducting ridiculously in-depth research before deciding which portable propane fire pit to commit to, I wrote this guide for you. 

portable campfire

Buyers Guide to Choosing the Best Portable Propane Fire Pit: LavaBox Edition


LavaBox Portable Campfire was born on the river. Built on the foundation of the humble, yet reliable, rugged, and adaptable ammo can, trusted by river guides for millennia (maybe not quite, but a long time). 


What started with our original Tabletop Vol-CAN-no has now become a full-blown family of portable propane campfires with a handful of LavaBoxes for you to choose from. 


With options like the Tabletop Vol-CAN-no, the Krakatoa FireBreather, and the souped-up and sexy Hekla in the lineup, which ammo can campfire should you choose?! 


Read on to help determine the best portable propane fire pit to fit your camping/overlanding/backyard grill-out needs. 

Lavabox tabletop award winning portable propane campfire

Tabletop Vol-CAN-no

The one, the only, the OG ammo can fire pit. 


Material: Cold rolled steel

Weight: 11lbs

Size (L x W x H): 11 ”x 5.5” x 7”

BTUs: 230,000-280,000

Burn Time: 2 hours per pound of propane with a 1 foot tall flame

Price: $199


Includes: 

  • High heat powder coated 50 cal. ammo can
  • Patent pending ultra-tough 304 stainless steel burner and screen
  • Steel braided 5ft, 20psi regulator hose with a safety cut-off valve
  • 12 Hades Stones: Ultra-light, ceramic weave, insulating stones that can get greasy and wet. Not your ordinary lava rocks!
  • Removable lid
  • Goodie bag. . . With included goodies (duh). I.e., Instructions, sticker, wrench, quick start guide

Not Included:

  • Lighter
  • 1 lb propane tank adapter
  • Propane tank

Great for: Chucking in the back of the rig and gettin’ outta’ dodge! The minimalist ammo can design is compact and easy to fit anywhere you might need to stash it—you know, when you’re playing the Tetris game that is loading the back of the truck before a big trip. Great for families, safe for drunk people thanks to the regulator hose with a safety cut-off valve, and of course lightweight and super portable. Best for use in an established fire ring or on a concrete surface. 

portable propane campfire

Naked Tabletop Vol-CAN-no

The one, the only, the OG ammo can fire pit, but this time, stripped down bare in its most raw and sultry form. 


Material: Cold rolled steel

Weight: 11lbs

Size (L x W x H): 11” x 5.5” x 7”

BTUs: 230,000-280,000

Burn Time: 2 hours per pound of propane with a 1 foot tall flame

Price: $179


Includes: 

  • Unpainted 50 cal. ammo can
  • Patent pending ultra-tough 304 stainless steel burner and screen
  • Steel braided 5ft, 20psi regulator hose with a safety cut-off valve
  • 12 Hades Stones: Ultra-light, ceramic weave, insulating stones that can get greasy and wet. Not your ordinary lava rocks!
  • Removable lid
  • Goodie bag. . . With included goodies (duh). I.e., Instructions, sticker, wrench, quick start guide

Not Included:

  • Lighter
  • 1 lb propane tank adapter
  • Propane tank

Great for: Chucking in the back of the rig and gettin’ outta’ dodge! The minimalist ammo can design is compact and easy to fit anywhere you might need to stash it—you know, when you’re playing the Tetris game that is loading the back of the truck before a big trip. Just like a fine scotch, the Naked Tabletop only gets better with age as it builds up a beautiful patina with use. It’s most recommended for those who prefer that raw and rugged lived-in look. Best for use in an established fire ring or on a concrete surface.

 

The Tacana Twosome

Our bestseller! The Tacana Twosome includes the OG Tabletop Vol-CAN-no alongside its best bud for life, the Over/Under Grill Thingy. A perfect match made in the fiery hot depths of Hades. 


Material: Cold rolled steel (Tabletop Vol-CAN-no), stainless steel (Over/Under)

Weight: 12lbs

Size (L x W x H): 11” x 5.5” x 7”

Over/Under Dimensions (L x H): 11.876” x 5”

BTUs: 230,000-280,000

Burn Time: 2 hours per pound of propane with a 1 foot tall flame

Price: 

Naked - $229

Painted (high heat powder coat) - $249


Includes: 

  • Unpainted or high heat powder coated (your call!) 50 cal. ammo can
  • Three-way Over/Under Grill thingy that works as a trivet, a stand to get your LavaBox off the ground and closer to the action, and a grill that clips on top of the Tabletop Vol-CAN-no so you can get your Guy Fieri on 
  • Patent pending ultra-tough 304 stainless steel burner and screen
  • 12 Hades Stones: Ultra-light, ceramic weave, insulating stones that can get greasy and wet. Not your ordinary lava rocks!
  • Steel braided 5ft, 20psi regulator hose with a safety cut-off valve
  • Removable lid
  • Goodie bag. . . With included goodies (duh). I.e., Instructions, sticker, wrench, quick start guide

Not Included:

  • Lighter
  • 1 lb propane tank adapter
  • Propane tank

Great for: The camper, cooker, overlander, or similar multiuse fanatic who wants their LavaBox to meet every need, all at once. Great for families, safe for drunk people thanks to the regulator hose with a safety cut-off valve and Over/Under specially designed with intoxicated people in mind, and of course lightweight and super portable. The Over/Under folds down flat for easy storage. When you’re ready to whip it out, it keeps your portable campfire Leave No Trace friendly by keeping your LavaBox up off the ground—great for dispersed camping and campsites that don’t come with established fire rings! When you’re ready to switch positions, the Over/Under turns into a grill top making your LavaBox safe to cook on. Fit for both marshmallow roasters and the most prestigious of camp chefs. 

 

The Krakatoa FireBreather

Think Tabletop Vol-CAN-no’s big brother. Massive bonfire edition. Need a portable propane fire pit that burns taller than your 12 year old? Here ya go!


Material: Cold rolled steel 

Weight: 27lbs

Size (L x W x H): 17” x 7” x 15”

BTUs: 300,000

Burn Time: 1 hour per pound of propane with a 1 foot tall flame

Price: $349


Includes: 

  • High heat powder coated behemoth of an ammo can
  • Patent pending ultra-tough 304 stainless steel burner and screen
  • Steel braided 5ft, 20psi regulator hose with a safety cut-off valve
  • 24 Hades stones: Ultra-light, ceramic weave, insulating stones that can get greasy and wet. Not your ordinary lava rocks!
  • Removable lid
  • Goodie bag. . . With included goodies (duh). I.e., Instructions, sticker, wrench, quick start guide
  • Massive flame belch

Not Included:

  • Lighter
  • 1 lb propane tank adapter
  • Propane tank

Great for: SUMMER BLOCK PARTY!! No, but really, the Krakatoa FireBreather is great for groups of 10 or more people to gather around and feel the heat. A perfect fit for those who have been deemed as “over the top”, “too much”, or “extra” and embrace it. Or you’re someone who gets really cold and needs a really big flame. Best for use in an established fire ring or on a concrete surface.

women camping lavabox portable campfire hekla

Hekla

Stainless steel sexy. The most aesthetic, Instagram-worthy portable propane campfire on the market. #vanlife, anyone?


Material: 304 stainless steel, brass, copper

Weight: 13lbs (with Over/Under)

Size (L x W x H): 11” x 5.5” x 7” 

Over/Under Dimensions (L x H): 11.876” x 5”

BTUs: 230,000-280,000

Burn Time: 2 hours per pound of propane with a 1 foot tall flame

Price: $329


Includes: 

  • 304 stainless steel ammo can
  • Three-way Over/Under Grill thingy that works as a trivet, a stand to get your LavaBox off the ground and closer to the action, and a grill that clips on top of the Hekla so you can get your Guy Fieri on
  • Patent pending ultra-tough 304 stainless steel burner and screen
  • Steel braided 5ft, 20psi regulator hose with a safety cut-off valve
  • 10 Hades Stones: Ultra-light, ceramic weave, insulating stones that can get greasy and wet. Not your ordinary lava rocks!
  • Removable lid
  • Luxurious cowhide leather handle 
  • Sleek and sexy brass fittings
  • Goodie bag. . . With included goodies (duh). I.e., Instructions, sticker, quick start guide

Not Included:

  • Lighter
  • 1 lb propane tank adapter
  • Propane tank

Great for: Vanlifers, content creators, and bachelors/bachelorettes looking to impress potential mates in the wild with the sexiest, stage 1 and 2 fire ban-compliant campfire out there (always check local regulations before burning!). A smooth addition to any backyard party, glamping setup, or even for jazzing up a primitive campsite. If you’re adventuring off the beaten path, Hekla stays Leave No Trace friendly with an established fire ring, thanks to the Over/Under that keeps it elevated off the tender forest floor. Great for families, safe for drunk people thanks to the regulator hose with a safety cut-off valve and the Over/Under specially designed with intoxicated people in mind, and of course lightweight and super portable. The Over/Under folds down flat for easy storage and turns into a grill top fit for the most prestigious of camp chefs. If you love luxury, quality, thoughtful design aesthetic, and a mood set by flickering licks of flame reflecting on beautifully patinated steel, Hekla is for you. 

How Does LavaBox Measure Up to Other Portable Propane Fire Pits?

At this point, I know you’re asking this question. That’s because you’re a smart and savvy outdoors person and you always do your due diligence before spending your hard-earned dollars on gear that you need to be able to rely on. Let’s take an objective look at how LavaBox compares to a couple of other popular portable propane fire pits on the market today. 

 

Here is a handy dandy guide to help you make your decision. This is our blog so we would be remiss not to mention LavaBox remains the smallest footprint with the largest fire!  

 

Lavabox campfire comparison

 

Now, get out there with your new portable campfire and get lit! (Responsibly, of course.)

I hope this handy guide can save you some time and aid you in your quest to find the best portable propane fire pit for your camping, backyard BBQing, block partying, marshmallow roasting, overlanding fun this summer.


Still, have questions about any LavaBox Portable Campfire products? As always, feel free to reach out to us at info@fireanytime.com.

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