We’re big fans of Solo Stove at Gearadical.com. Check out our reviews on the Solo Stove Bonfire 2.0, the adorable tabletop Mesa and the Pi Fire pizza oven here. So when Solo Stove announced the Solo Stove Tower ($699 USD), we were excited! How does it measure up? Let’s take a look.
The Solo Stove Tower arrives in two branded boxes. The first larger one contains the base, necessary parts, hardware and the chimney’s heat diffuser. The second box contains the black rolled steel chimney that sits on top of the tower’s base.
Assembly is relatively straight forward but I highly recommend following the included assembly instructions and paying attention to the updated sheet with screws for attaching the chimney. I didn’t have any trouble assembling the Solo Stove Tower but I was thankful for the detailed instructions. It’s worth noting that this is not the time to go rogue and throw out the instructions!
The Solo Stove Tower is built with cold rolled steel and 304 stainless steel. This construction is meant to ensure longevity and protection against the elements over time. But it’s important to note that Solo Stove warns not to leave the Tower sitting in ice or puddles of water so winter storage is recommended. It’s also worth noting here that Solo Stove also offers the Tower Shelter ($89 USD), for protecting your investment when not in use.
I’m going to be brutally honest here. I was a little disappointed in the Tower’s construction. I noticed a few problems with the Ash grate and shaker assembly binding and getting caught on the fire box during my initial assembliy. I was able to work these issues out by gradually working the shaker handle back and forth inside to get things moving properly. While I was disappointed with these issues, It was not a major concern as Solo Stove backs the Tower Patio heater with a lifetime warranty and solid customer service.
The included roller wheels on Tower’s base make shifting it around on smooth surfaces easy, but I recommend supporting the chimney while transporting as the chimney tends to wobble a little due to the weight of the heat diffuser on top.
With a heat radius of approximately 10 feet, the Solo Stove Tower is designed to extend the use of the outdoor spaces around your home into the cooler seasons. As a Canadian living in Ontario, I was anxious to see how it performed.
To get things started, I filled the Tower’s pellet hopper with pellets. The hopper holds approximately 25lbs of pellets. The Tower burns roughly 8-10lbs per hour so Solo Stove says a full hopper will yield up to 3 hours of warmth.
This is a good time to discuss pellets. I’ve noticed a lot of discussions on various forums where people are using pellets for wood smokers. While these will work in the Solo Stove Tower, I personally would not recommend them for a few reasons. Firstly, they are not manufactured to produce heat (to any degree) and secondly, they are generally much more expensive than pellets designed for pellet heaters and pellet fed wood stoves. A visit to Lowes or Home Depot or your local hardware store will provide you with a variety of options that will be not only easier on your wallet, but provide you with the 72,000 BTU’s that Solo Stove claims the tower will produce. Alternatively, you can purchase Solo Stove’s premium wood fuel pellets ($15.99 USD) here.
After filling the Tower’s hopper, I opened the shutoff handle inside the hopper and locked it in the open position to allow gravity to release the pellets into the burn chamber. Once the hopper’s lid was closed, I opened the door to the burn chamber and lit a small firestarter. I found these available on Amazon, but you can also purchase these, directly from Solo Stove which can be used with any of the Solo Stove fire pit products.
After about 10 minutes, the Tower’s burn chamber was blazing inside and pellets were gently falling into the burn chamber. The heat produced from the Tower was evenly dispersed and made our backyard toasty and warm on one of the cooler fall evenings. It’s also important to note here that Solo Stove does not recommend setting the Tower heater on any combustible wooden, plastic composite wood decking or grass surfaces. It also recommends keeping the Tower 3ft away from any combustible materials like wood fencing. This was a bit of a disappointment at first because it would have been nice to enjoy the Tower on our deck but due to the heat output of the Tower, safety is priority!
The Solo Stove Tower performed flawlessly throughout our testing phase and I appreciate Solo Stove’s continued commitment to providing a smoke free, odor free wood burning fire experience. It was a pleasure to have a heat source without expensive propane, natural gas or smokey wood smells.
If I have any complaints about my experience with the Solo Stove Tower, it would be that I wish that the Solo Stove Shelter cover would be included in the Tower package. Since it is a requirement from Solo Stove that the Tower be covered when not in use, I feel it only appropriate that this be an included accessory with the Tower.
So get out there and fire up the Tower! Enjoy the fall evenings from the comfort of your patio or pool deck!
Note: Our reviews are always 100% independent but Gearadical receives a small affiliate amount if you purchase the product on Amazon.