If it comes from Solo Stove, we cover it at Family Handyman because, frankly, were obsessed with fire pits. Plus, weve covered everything Solo Stove, fromthe Pi Prime Pizza Oven to the new Mesa Torches and more. With cold weather officially here, we were stoked to test out the Solo Stove Patio Heater to see what its all about.
October is arguably the most perfect month for fire pit hangouts, and if you have a smokeless fire pit in your backyard, youve probably noticed that they dont put out a ton of heat. Thats because their smokeless design funnels fumes and smoke (and heat) upward instead of outward, into your face. So, if youre looking for a patio heater that you can use in addition to your fire pit or on its own, the Solo Stove Tower Patio Heater may be what youre after. Heres how it worked out for us.
What is the Solo Stove Tower Patio Heater?
The Solo Stove Tower Patio Heater is a pellet-fueled heater that warms your outdoor space. Just like the Solo Stove Bonfire 2.0 fire pit, the Tower Patio Heater is also smokeless. It has about a 10-foot heating radius, so its perfect for small to mid-sized patios during colder months.
The Tower Patio Heaters hopper box holds about 25 pounds of pellets, and a full hopper box should produce about three hours of warmth. Quick note: Something Ive learned about pellets while testing this patio heater and other Solo Stove products that are pellet-fueled is that there is a difference between the pellets you use in a smoker and pellets made for wood stoves and heaters. Namely, pellets made for pellet heaters like the Tower Patio Heater are less expensive and produce more heat.
That said, if youve been searching for a patio heater that doesnt use propane, then this Solo Stove pellet heater may be just the thing youre looking for. Pellets are generally easier to store and light than firewood, plus theyre typically less expensive than propane and dont pose the same combustion risks.
We Tried It
Solo Stove Tower Patio Heater
This pellet-fueled patio heater is perfect for warming your outdoor space.
Solo Stove Tower Patio Heater Features
The Tower Patio Heater measures in at 80-1/2 inches tall, nearly 20 inches wide and about 23-1/2 inches deep. At 104 pounds, its relatively lightweight for its size. The body of the heater is primarily matte black, while the sides of the heaters base and the very top of the deflector are chrome. Honestly, its one of the best-looking patio heaters Ive seen.
I also love that the front of the heater has a perforated door that allows you to see into the base of the heater as the pellets are burning. This design feature provides an added touch of ambiance, as you can see the fire as you sit around and enjoy its warmth.
Because we plan to leave our patio heater outside most of the time, I will say it would be nice to have some added protection against the elements. Solo Stove does make a Tower Shelter, but its sold separately. I would highly recommend getting it to protect your Tower Patio Heater.
Additionally, Solo Stove does not advise placing the Tower Heater on any combustible surface (wood, plastic, grass, etc.). You should also keep it at least 3 feet from any combustible materials (i.e., a wood fence). That said, the Tower Patio Heater is truly designed for patios with a concrete or stone surface, not a wooden deck.
How We Tested It
The Solo Stove Patio Tower Heater arrives at your door in two large boxes. One houses the base of the heater, and the other holds the tubing that makes up the heater’s tower. They are heavy, so you may need assistance lifting and moving the boxes from your front door to your backyard (or wherever you plan to assemble the heater).
Ive said this before about Solo Stove packaging, but I wish the brand added a bit more protection and padding to their products, as I have received a couple of dented products now. Well, two products specifically: The patio heater and the Bonfire 2.0. Granted, I have received dozens of Solo Stove products that arrived in perfect condition, so the issue doesnt seem to happen too frequently. However, Solo Stove products arent cheapand I expect products to arrive without any defects or markings.
If your Solo Stove Patio Heater arrives defective, you should reach out to customer service, as the product has a lifetime warranty and is guaranteed to arrive free of factory defects. Because the most noticeable dent on the main body of the heater was covered by the hopper lid, I did not worry about reaching out to customer service, as its barely noticeable with the lid closed and doesnt interfere at all with the heaters use. However, during my second and third use of the heater, I noticed that the top of it was dented and part of the tower was chipped.
But enough about that, lets talk assembly. While you might be able to get the Solo Stove Patio Heater built with one person, I wouldnt recommend it. When it comes time to assemble the tower, its nice (necessary, in my opinion) to have an extra set of hands to hold the tower in place while screws are being inserted and tightened. Overall, assembly with two people wasnt difficult. Although, there were a few things that made assembly more difficult than it needed to be.
Namely, the instructions and parts werent as clearly written or labeled in some places as they could have been. The instructions had some addendums, which helped, and the entire assembly process didnt take very long. In other words, you should be able to use the heater within a couple of hours of opening the boxes.
Starting a Fire
Once the Tower Patio Heater was assembled, I filled the hopper box with pellets and opened the door within the hopper box to allow the pellets to flow through to the burn chamber. Once the burn chamber was filled with pellets, I closed the hopper box and lit a fire starter within the burn chamber. The pellets within the burn chamber caught fire almost immediately.
Once the fire has had time to build, youll start to notice heat coming from the top of the tower. If you fill the hopper box completely, the pellets can be fed into the burn chamber continuously for a longer burn. While the Tower Patio Heater is said to have a heating radius of 10 feet, I found that the heat was most felt sitting within 5 feet of the tower.
I do question whether the heat deflector at the top of the tower could be wider to ensure that less heat escapes out above the tower. However, I found it to be quite cozy under the heater, and I loved being able to watch the fire burn through the door in front of the burn chamber. I also appreciated the smokeless, odorless heat that the Solo Stove Tower Patio Heater emits. It was pleasant to have the heat and visual charm of the fire without expensive propane and added fumes.
Pellet-fueledSmokelessBurns fuel for three hours at a time10-foot heating radiusRelatively lightweight and easy to slide across patio spaceLooks great and adds ambiance to any backyard patio scapeLifetime warrantyFree shippingFree 30-day returns
PriceyCant use on combustible (i.e., wood or plastic composite) surfaces
How much is the Solo Stove Tower?
How do you light the Solo Stove Tower?
To ignite the Solo Stove patio heater, youll light the pellets in the burn chamber behind the front door of the heaters base. Youll light the pellets just as you would in a fire pit or any other pellet-burning device. I recommend using a fire starter to get the pellets burning easier and faster.
What Other Reviewers Had to Say
Other reviewers weigh in on the Tower Patio Heater on the Solo Stove siteheres what they had to say.
Verified buyer Arrian B. says the heater is easy to start. They write, Light a starter cube, open the gate and it fires right up. Definitely puts out the heat.
Seth C. says it makes cold North Dakota temperatures patios enjoyable for a longer period of time. It took 2 of them, but the ambient temperature of my patio in Northwest North Dakota has increased to the point I can use it a month later in the fall and a month earlier in the spring. Warmer than the propane ones that weve had in the past, they write.
Kim A. loves it too. They write, It was worth the wait. It makes a big difference when it is in the 20s. We had our Yukon and the Tower going and it was comfortable.
If youve been looking for a patio heater that uses an alternative fuel source to propane, then the Solo Stove Tower Patio Heater is one to consider. While it is an investment upfront, you may find that a pellet heater saves you money in the long run over a propane heater. Depending on what type of pellets you buy, they’re likely going to be cheaper than the cost of propane. Additionally, if youre looking to avoid propane for other reasons, a pellet heater may be the route to go.
Again, I love the way the Solo Stove Tower Patio Heater looks. I love that its sleek, yet rusticand Solo Stove does say that the heater will change color over time. The black will change to dark gray, and the stainless steel will bronze as the heater ages and the outside of it oxidizes. I, personally, like that rustic charmand the fact that you can see the fire burning on a chilly night for the coziest autumn and winter vibes. Add in a cup of hot cider and a blanket, and you can create the patio setup of your dreams.
Where to Buy the Solo Stove Tower Patio Heater
We Tried It
Solo Stove Tower Patio Heater
Solo Stove’s patio heater lets you watch the fire that warms you for ultimate cozy vibes.
The Tower Patio Heater retails for $760 at Solo Stove, and the Tower Shelter retails for $90, which is a great Solo Stove accessory to include. The best place to shop the patio heater is directly from the retailer, to ensure free shipping, a lifetime warranty and customer service assistance if needed.