Status Symbol: The $500 Backyard Fire Pit

And it’s so hot that it’s sold out.

Photo-illustration by Lauren Bulbin

As Americans spend more time at home, they seem willing to pay whatever it takes to turn an outdoor space into a private oasis. Case in point: the $500 “Yukon” from Solo Stove.

We first noticed a profusion of fire pits on social media in July, despite the fact that it was summer and definitely not weather in which you’d want to roast a marshmallow. Now, as the heat and humidity give way to more forgiving autumn air, we can only imagine how many fire-pitted patios we’ll be seeing.

One especially popular option is the Solo Stove’s fire pit in its new, larger Yukon size. This model was sold out until late July, despite an original $600 price. For that money, we assumed that it was propane-powered. It’s not. Are people really dropping that kind of cash on something that requires more than the flip of a switch to ignite? Turns out, yep. Perhaps it’s the sleek stainless-steel design or the desire to find refuge in so-called basic pleasures or the power of aforementioned social media (we spotted this model all over the ’gram), but this real-wood-burning stove has lit a spark and is in high demand.

To be fair, it sets itself apart from other wood-burning fire pits—which can cost as little as $100—by promising users they’ll be spared the campfire smoke and smell: It claims that a “double-wall design . . . creates a burst of hot air over the fire, reducing the smoke without the use of batteries and fans.” Cleanup is supposedly easier, too, thanks to the “ultra-fine,” easily dumpable ash produced by an efficient burn. The Solo Stove is portable, so you can take it camping if that’s your thing, but otherwise it may be just what you need to warm up to the idea of staying close to home a little while longer.

Amy Moeller
Fashion & Weddings Editor

Amy leads Washingtonian Weddings and writes Style Setters for Washingtonian. Prior to joining Washingtonian in March 2016, she was the editor of Capitol File magazine in DC and before that, editor of What’s Up? Weddings in Annapolis.