Supersize or miniaturize — it feels like we’re obsessed with gear on either end of the spectrum. At REI alone, you can buy a 10-person party tent or a literal Tiny Tent for your pet.
And in fall 2022, Solo Stove introduced its Mesa tabletop fire pit. Weighing in at 1.4 pounds (compared to the 30- to 40-pound standard Solo Stoves) and measuring slightly larger than a water bottle, it’s another mini-me option. It doesn’t require going out and chopping or buying a mess of firewood. Yet it can burn for 30-45 minutes: perfect for roasting hot dogs or maybe fueling a backyard fondue bar.
Launched yesterday, the Mesa XL Fire Pit ($150) is the larger of the brand’s two “tabletop” pit options, yet it’s still markedly smaller than the backyard Ranger, Yukon, or Bonfire varieties. It’s another in-between, find-your-right size that’s already getting mass appeal. Here are the nitty-gritty details and how to get one.
Why the Mesa XL?
On spec, there aren’t many differences — which is why it’s interesting Solo Stove took the time to make the Mesa in a second size. But at the end of the day, head to head, it all comes down to burn time.
Solo Stove says that the Mesa XL has a pellet capacity of about 3x more than Mesa, and will subsequently burn for about 15 minutes longer (about an hour).
If you plan on always or usually using pellets instead of traditional ol’ kindling and wood, the Mesa XL probably makes more sense. With the Mesa, you need to add in the included pellet adapter.
And bigger is better, right? Maybe. But as someone who has tested (and really enjoyed) the original Mesa, I’m not so sure. The Mesa is small, portable, and allows you to have a great no-frills fire, even in the smallest outdoor space. Why mess with the classic?
One reason: Why not provide another option? The Mesa XL provides yet another option in terms of size, usage, and price point. One that can burn just a bit longer, for those who want to prop up their feet, take their time, and linger a while next to a fire under the stars.
Mesa vs. Mesa XL Tabletop Fire Pits
Solo Stove’s Mesa and Mesa XL both use the same exact design, and are both tabletop-size. The Mesa weighs in at 1.4 pounds with a 5-inch diameter, while the Mesa XL is slightly more with a 7-inch diameter.
The one big difference is Solo Stove changed the design of the internal grate in the XL size to be pellet-compatible, with no adapter needed. (In the first Mesa, you have to add in a pellet adapter grate if you want to burn pellets instead of wood.) It’s one less accessory/insert to keep track of, so it’s a nice upgrade.
According to the Solo Stove team’s standardized pellet fire test, the Mesa gets about 30-45 minutes of burn time and Mesa XL gets about 45 minutes to 1 hour. (With traditional wood fuel, we found the burn times to be about the same, for the record.)
Overall, the Mesa ($120 MSRP) and Mesa XL ($150 MSRP) are super similar. If price or space is a factor, the Mesa is a great (mini) size and will get the job done. If your goal is to use it more often, burn longer fires, or use pellets, then it’s a good thing the Mesa XL is on the scene.
The Mesa XL is available for preorder now and will begin shipping on March 6.