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I love the super-long days of summer. When warmer temps roll around, you’ll find me sitting outside on my deck for hours, but once the sun sets I pack it up and head inside — begrudgingly. There was just nothing to do once it got dark (unlike during the day when I could work on my laptop, take my lunch al fresco, or just relax with an iced coffee while taking in the sunshine).
That all changed with the Solo Stove Mesa. I started using it in late fall, when I realized that the key to prolonging the outdoor season was a cute little tabletop fire pit, and I haven’t stopped since. You see, I can’t use a traditional fire pit on top of my old wooden deck, so unless I wanted to build a whole new stone patio just so I could have one, I needed to find a better — and much cheaper — solution.
What’s So Great About the Solo Stove Mesa?
The Solo Stove Mesa is an itty-bitty tabletop fire pit that adds warmth and ambiance to my deck, and also happens to be the perfect spot for s’mores. At 6.8 inches tall and about 5 inches wide, it won’t overwhelm your outdoor dining table, or even a small side table, but it will add all the cozy vibes.
My husband and I love using the Mesa when we’re eating dinner outside, which is about 80% of the time during the summer, and it’s a fun party trick when friends and family come over, too. It sits right on our outdoor dining table so there’s no need to disrupt the vibes and move everyone to a different area for dessert.
The Mesa lights up easily with a bit of fire starter and seasoned wood, or pellets, all of which you can buy on Solo Stove’s site. We’re lucky enough to have a wood-burning fireplace, so we use small chunks of seasoned firewood. Depending on how much wood or how many scoops of pellets you use, you can keep the Mesa burning for as little or as long as you want; we keep the fire going for about an hour most nights for dinner, dessert, and general chill time.
But beyond being able to make an endless supply of s’mores, having the Mesa has meant that we can enjoy the great suburban outdoors for more than a few months in the summer. In the fall, our deck felt like an extension of our living room with the Mesa flickering on the table as we drank hot toddies, and during the mild winter we just had on the East Coast, it amped up the cozy factor when used with our outdoor patio heater.
I’m not the only one who loves the Mesa, though. Best List editor Britt Franklin says,”I love lighting up a huge fire pit in the cold months, but during the summer I don’t necessarily need one that large. The Mesa is just the right size for having a fire pit experience on a smaller scale. It’s super easy to use and clean up afterwards, and with me and my friends spending more time outside, I love that it’s something we can all enjoy together. Not to mention, it comes in a handful of gorgeous colors that make it great for gifting, too!”
Which Solo Stove Mesa should you buy?
I have the Solo Stove Mesa in Water, a dusty blue shade that adds some color to our outdoor dining table, while Britt has hers in moody Mulberry. There are six different colors to choose from, including a new limited-edition version called Speckled Glory with a white base and red and blue dots that looks great even after the summer holiday festivities. If you have the space, there’s a slightly larger Mesa XL, which measures about 7 inches wide and 8.6 inches tall.
No matter which size you buy, each Mesa comes with a stand to keep it off your table and a pouch for transport. I’d also suggest getting a Mesa Accessory Pack for an easy s’mores setup because it comes with long roasting sticks, stick rests, pellet scoop, lid, and a carrying case. The lid comes in super handy when you’re ready to call it a night and want to stop the flames safely — just cover the Mesa’s opening and the lid will help snuff out the flames. Definitely use your best judgment here and don’t try to put the lid over a roaring flame.