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Solo Stove Tower Review – Better and More Fun than a Gas Patio Heater

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Making outdoor cooking a year round activity is something that I make a point to do. It’s not always fun in Michigan standing outside in the cold, but I’m always glad when I do it. That’s why appreciate products like the Solo Stove Tower that make being outdoors more enjoyable.

Why a Pellet Fueled Patio Heater?

The Tower is a patio heater that runs off wood pellets, rather than propane, which you’ll commonly see. While pellet fueled patio heaters are more expensive, they offer advantages.

How it Works

It may seem like a strange comparison, but the Tower works like a dog food feeder. The pellets sit in a hopper and gravity drops some into a burn pot. You light the burn pot with a fire starter to get it going.

Solo Stove Tower Patio Heater with Starter Burning
Solo Stove Tower Patio Heater with Starter Burning

Much like when a dog eats food and more pours down, as the wood pellets burn more pellets feed into the burn pot. This keeps the fire going for as long as you have wood pellets in the hopper.

The Tower has a 25 lb wood pellet hopper. This is good for about 3 hours of heating time.

Solo Stove Tower Patio Heater Pellets in the Hopper
Solo Stove Tower Patio Heater Pellets in the Hopper

To start and stop the flow of pellets to the burn pot, there is a sliding gate inside the hopper. Pull it all the way up get to the pellets dropping. Then when you’re done for the night, wear heat safe gloves or use a poker and push the gate closed. This will stop pellets from flowing to the fire, and it will die out.

Cheaper to Operate

There are two main types of wood pellets available. Cooking pellets, like you’d use in a grill, and heating pellets, which are used purely for heat. Heating pellets usually run in the range of $5-$7 for a 40 lb bag, compared to cooking pellets which can be as much as a $1 per lb.

Solo Stove Tower Patio Heater Fully Assembled
Solo Stove Tower Patio Heater Fully Assembled

Sorry to jump into math at the beginning of a review, but assuming $6 for a 40 lb bag of pellets, the Tower costs about $1.25 per hour to operate. A propane patio heater on the other hand costs about $1.50 to $3 per hour, depending on how much a propane refill is in your area.

More Heat

Additional warmth outside is why you’d buy a patio heater in the first place, so why not get one that throws off a bunch of heat. The Tower does this with about 72,000 BTUs, compared to a propane heater which usually has in the neighborhood of 40,000.

The higher BTUs gives you a better coverage area for the heat. Plus, you do get some extra heat radiating off of the base of the Tower where the fire is burning, as opposed to just at the top with a propane heater.

Better Ambiance

It’s a better experience to watch of the fire burning in the Tower than with propane patio heaters. It gives a little bit of roar to it and some light, which adds to the experience too.

Solo Stove Tower Patio Heater Fire Going
Solo Stove Tower Patio Heater Fire Going

Features and Specs

  • Retail price of $759.99 (check price) – make sure to check because Solo Stove frequently runs sales
  • Produces 72,000 BTUs of heat
  • Has a 25 lb pellet hopper
  • Has a heat radius of up to 10 feet, depending on conditions


The Tower comes delivered in two separate boxes. Mine were delivered in consecutive days, so beware of that if you’ve only received one before you start trying to put it together.

Solo Stove Tower, Shelter and Pellets in Boxes
Solo Stove Tower, Shelter and Pellets in Boxes

It was easy to put together and the instructions were straightforward. One amendment I’d make to the instructions is the pellet hopper lid came assembled on mine, while it says in the manual that you’ll have to put it on.

Solo Stove Tower Assembly Instruction with Incorrect Step 1
Solo Stove Tower Assembly Instruction with Incorrect Step 1

I’d recommend having an extra set of hands for two steps. The base is pretty heavy, so having someone to help you lift it is beneficial for your back. The other step is when you have to put the chimney on. Especially if you’re not particularly tall, it will be easier with someone else to help lift it up.

Solo Stove Tower Patio Heater Base in Box
Solo Stove Tower Patio Heater Base in Box


Works as Planned

It’s incredibly disappointing when you get a product, and it fails to live up to the vision you had for it in your head. I’m happy to say that the Tower worked as planned, which is a big compliment.

It starts easily by lighting a fire starter in the burn pot. Then, as advertised, pellets continually feed into the burn pot to fuel the fire. It throws off a good amount of heat to adds some extra degrees while you’re outside. This keeps you more comfortable outside for longer.

It’s great for when you’re sitting outside, or to help with other activities. I light it often when I’m going to be outside grilling to make it more fun in cold weather.

Great Customer Service

I put together lots of outdoor cooking and lifestyle products, which means sometimes I get damaged products. It’s a nature of the beast when shipping heavy boxes, sometimes things get damaged. While disappointing when it happens, it’s something that just happens from time to time. It’s more important to me that companies are good at rectifying the situation.

This was the case with the Tower. Unfortunately, the weld for the lower bracket on the glass on the door had broken in transit. I contacted Solo Stove’s customer service, and they were great to deal with.

Solo Stove Tower Patio Heater Broken Lower Bracket
Solo Stove Tower Patio Heater Broken Lower Bracket

Solo Stove allows customers to talk with customer service through a variety of different methods, one of which was through text. It’s my first experience being able to text with customer service, and it was a game changer. It meant no waiting on hold or being stuck to my computer with a chat window open. My day wasn’t disrupted at all, I got to do everything I planned, and just send an occasional text.

They were very pleasant to deal with, I texted them a picture of the damage, and I had a new door within a few days. Good customer service like this makes me much more comfortable buying from a company because when something has an issue, I know it will be easy to take care of.



I have this as a con simply because it’s not a cheap product in absolute terms. A basic propane patio heater will be cheaper, acknowledging that it won’t perform as well. In terms of pellet fueled patio heaters, the Tower is competitively priced.

Eats Through Pellets

The Tower has a fever, and the only prescription is more pellets. While more cost effective than propane, this thing really eats through a ton pellets. Going back to the math on the price to run it, make sure to find heating pellets in bulk if you’re going to be using it frequently.


The Tower is pretty easy to move around on pavement. It has a very wide wheel on the bottom of the base. You can move the patio heat by tipping it back, and then pushing it around with the chimney resting on your shoulder. Make sure it’s cooled down before doing this.

Solo Stove Tower Patio Heater Back Wheel
Solo Stove Tower Patio Heater Back Wheel

Solo Stove calls the cover for their patio heater a Shelter. Like Rage Against the Machine said, there be no shelter here, because the Tower doesn’t come with the cover. If you plan on storing the Tower outdoors, be sure to buy one.

It’s short enough that it will fit in a garage, so that’s also a storage option. Even standing fully upright, a garage door at a normal height won’t hit it.


The Solo Stove Tower patio heater is a solid product. You’re getting it so you can do other activities outside, but it has the added benefit that it also creates ambiance from the glow of a fire. It’s easy to use and it throws off heat to take the chill out of cool days or nights.

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