The Solo Stove Yukon earns its place amongst the best fire pits in the world thanks to a unique design, a focus on flame rather than smoke, and a confident attitude to quality. What do we mean? It comes on a 30-day full refund basis, and the brand even includes a free returns label if you aren't entirely happy with how it performs.
That's a very assured approach, and this beauty promises to be more than just a safe place to burn wood too. As we'll find out further into our Solo Stove Yukon review, it's meant to be a showstopper outdoor living experience.
The Yukon sits at the highest end of Solo Stove's fire pit range, but if this 27-inch diameter drum is a little large for your patio, the 19.5-inch Solo Stove Bonfire and 15-inch Solo Stove Ranger might be the way to go. And with fire comes warmth, but if you're looking to warm up a very large patio, we'd also recommend looking at the best patio heaters designed to generate a wide arc of warmth.
Solo Stove Yukon review: Overview
Obviously, the Solo Stove Yukon is not what we'd call a traditionally designed fire pit - this is more modern than many, a statement piece for the center of your patio. And it's one that's made for sheer spectacle when the fire is burning, too.
The airflow design switches out the traditionally smoky burn for one that emphasizes massive flames. It's not cheap, but it is large, and while you can't easily cook on it (you'll need one of the best gas grills for that), you can at least roast a marshmallow or two.
Solo Stove Yukon review: Spec
- MSRP: $599.99
- Type: Wood burning
- Dimensions: 27" x 17"
- Weight: 38lbs
- Material: Stainless Steel
- What’s included: Fire pit only
Solo Stove Yukon review: Design
It's fair to suggest that the design of the Solo Stove Yukon is going to be divisive. For some, this fire pit will be the perfect centerpiece. For others, it may appear as if someone has pulled the drum out of a tumble dryer and set it vertical. You wouldn't be entirely wrong, there, but we know this: being made of stainless steel means the Yukon will stand up to the elements well.
The stainless steel finish will be easy enough to hose down after a good fire. That said, Solo Stove is keen to point out that the unique coloration and patina that comes from repeated heating is one of this pit's charms. The Solo Stove Yukon is also suitable for placement in an in-ground fire pit, providing there's a good four to six inches of clearance around all sides.
The Yukon is designed to facilitate the best possible burning process for your fuel, and is therefore divided into layers. There's a burn chamber at the top, below which sits your fuel on a cleverly perforated base plate. Beneath this is an ash pan, which both shields the ground from heat and helps keep your combustibles and their by-product separate. Solo Stove suggests its airflow design means far more wood is turned to ash than in other types of fire pits, making clean up a lot easier.
The Yukon as sold will certainly get a good fire going, but, unlike the much cheaper Amazon Basics Geometric Fire Pit, it feels a little incomplete. For the full experience, you'll likely want to pick up a few extras: the Yukon Stand ($89.99) further helps minimize heat transfer to the ground, making this viable for use on decking or grass.
Then there's the wire mesh Shield ($199.99), which fits on the pit's top ring to deflect errant sparks and embers. There's also no cover included as standard, so the Shelter ($59.99) is an optional extra, or you can opt for the stainless steel Yukon Lid ($119.99). The latter covers up the main chamber and doubles as a table when the fire pit isn't in use.
Solo Stove Yukon review: Features
The airflow design here is quite clever. The Yukon is designed to draw oxygen through the ring of holes on the base of its outer casing, which provides plenty of oxygen to the base of the fire - itself burning on a floating platform around mid-way up the main chamber, in the manner of a traditional furnace.
There's a second air chamber around the edges of the Yukon, allowing it to also draw warmed air through the internal vent holes at the top. This provides oxygen for a secondary burn, igniting much of the smoke from its combustion process in order to produce a bigger flame and less in-your-face carbon clouds. That can only be a good thing, particularly in more windy or densely-populated environments, and it looks great.
The ash pan is a nice touch, keeping your embers and logs split up from their byproduct to make for a cleaner flame, but it's not the easiest thing to clean out. Solo Stove's suggestion is that you turn the whole thing upside down to get that ash out, which may be a more practical method to use on the Yukon's smaller cousins: this thing is 38lbs and big with it, so be sure to ask a friend for help.
That size is to its advantage, though, when it comes to fuel. There's space in its burn chamber for logs up to 220-inches long, meaning you won't need to whip out the axe to do the same preparation some other fire pits might demand.
Solo Stove Yukon review: How could it benefit you?
Fire pits tend to reside right in the middle of the action. They're things to sit around and enjoy, and the Solo Stove Yukon is made for just that even if you don't currently have a fire burning (or at least it is as long as you also pick up the Yukon Lid). It might be expensive, but it'll fit right in most situations for a number of reasons:
- Minimal smoke is a very attractive feature; the less coughing you're doing, the more fireside relaxing you can do.
- An efficient burning mechanism means you should get optimal heat from your fuel, so it shouldn't need too much preparation beforehand.
- Stainless steel materials mean it should be easy to clean with the right products and should be very durable.
- It's a stunning design and could be a superb focal point on your patio.
Solo Stove Yukon review: User reviews
Reviews here are generally very favorable, with the Yukon scoring 4.7 out of 5 on Amazon and a full 4.9 out of 5 stars on Solo Stove's own website. Users of the Solo Stove Yukon highlight a few interesting points. First, the smoke-reducing nature of its air circulation system really works best when you have a big fire going; smaller fires won't draw in quite enough air to kickstart the second burn at the top.
Second, while it does radiate a lot of heat, that heat is mostly directed upwards, with the double walls of the main pit acting as something of an insulator - something the Tiki Brand Fire Pit manages to sidestep. "Most of all," says one reviewer, "you don't smell like a fire pit at the end of the evening." Which is nice.
Not so nice aspects include an uncovered Solo Stove Yukon's tendency to collect rainwater, and the fact that it is difficult to empty of ash when you're done. Numerous reviewers also grumble that, despite its satisfying heat and impressive flames, this isn't the complete package: nearly everyone suggests picking up the optional extras, which does increase the price quite significantly.
Should you buy the Solo Stove Yukon?
The Solo Stove Yukon gets plenty hot, and its minimal smoke output and highly attractive design work together to make this an excellent urban fire pit. It won't suit every patio, and it's not as portable as something like the Bali Outdoors Wood Burning Fire Pit (or, indeed, Solo Stoves' smaller fire pits). You can't really cook on it, beyond the odd sausage-on-a-stick. But if your aim is to set fire to a log or twenty, this has you covered.
Money is an issue, though. If you're willing to pour the cash into the complete package, the Solo Stove Yukon looks like an incredible choice - but you're looking at an easy $900 once you've factored in a cover, stand and shield - though Solo Stove's 'Backyard Bundle' may save you a few hundred bucks if you're lucky.
If you can't afford all the extras it's still pretty neat, but you'll have to work a bit harder to make sure it's fully looked after, and put it somewhere where sparks and embers won't be an issue.