Gear Review: Fireside Outdoor Trailblazer
The Fireside Outdoor Trailblazer is a compact fire pit and grill that packs down small and helps lessen environmental impact.
Every ounce counts when traveling, and cargo space becomes very precious when on the road. Traditional fire pits and stoves can be heavy, take up room, and time to set-up. The Fireside Outdoor Trailblazer looks to provide a lightweight, portable and minimal impact design in a fire pit and grill combination.
The first thing we noticed is the incredibly compact size when packed and how lightweight it is, weighing only 3.2 pounds. The fire pit also measures at a mere 14” x 4” x 4” — about the size of a small camp chair. It easily can be stowed away in a trunk or packed with other gear without taking up valuable cargo space.
The Trailblazer’s small size makes it easy to not only take with you, but also to set up at the campsite, on a tailgate or in the backyard. The included carrying case with a carry strap and zipper enclosure makes it simple to grab and go while keeping everything together and organized. The strap is adjustable to wear on a shoulder or hand carry.
Assembling the fire pit is straightforward and takes just a minute or two. No tools are required. The kit comes with a frame, four ember guards, fire mesh, heat shield, and grilling grates. The frame opens very similarly to a camp chair and locks into place. From there you attach the ember guards, fire mesh, and optional grill grates, for cooking. The heat shield installs easily via the Velcro straps that attach to the frame. We suggest using the heat shield to protect the ground from getting hot and starting a fire. Follow the instructions for proper usage, as well, to keep the shield itself from being damaged. The only issue experienced was with the heat shield and one edge coming undone a bit only after a slight tug, but it still worked fine during testing.
According to the company, the Trailblazer is compliant with all Federal fire regulations due to its minimal impact design that prevents heat from your campfire from scorching the ground below offering a safer, more contained fire than (often illegal) stone fire pit rings.
The fire pit is versatile, doubling as both a fire pit to keep warm in cooler temperatures or as a cooking grill. The grill’s cooking area is about 12” x 12” leaving just enough room for a pack of hot dogs, about four burgers, or the use of a cooking pan or kettle. Both charcoal and smaller pieces of wood (not a full log) can be used with the Trailblazer due to the size (we tested with wood). It can easily be used at home but is made for travel.
With the grill fired up and a couple of sausages ready to cook, it was time to put the Trailblazer to use. The first thing I noticed was the initial amount of smoke that comes out of the fire pit, which is pretty significant but could potentially be due to the type of wood used. Once things settled and the fire was going, it took only a couple of minutes for the sausages to cook. The grill sits only a few inches above where the wood is placed, so the flame can reach the food quite easily. I’m not a seasoned outdoor chef, but the grill did its job in creating a tasty meal.
Care and Cleaning
Clean-up of the fire pit is more of a process, but the removable fire mesh makes it easy enough to keep the ashes safe and secure before discarding safely. Once everything is clean and ready to pack up, it was easy to roll the frame and components within the fire mesh, very similarly to a camp chair, and use the included Velcro straps to secure it. It is recommended to rinse the fire mesh, brush off the grill grates and wipe down the ember guards.
I found the fire pit to be sturdy due to the food grade 304 stainless steel. The cross-braced design helps to provide a low center of gravity for stability from the wind, although I suggest monitoring the fire pit for safety, especially in windy conditions. We also appreciate the low impact and leave-no-trace design to help prevent forest fires.
Overall, the Fireside Outdoor Trailblazer is a great option for traveling. Its compact design is highly portable and easy enough to keep in your rig without sacrificing space. The ease of use is a bonus as it leaves more time to spend in the outdoors versus setting up camp. The design is clever and we recommend this for travelers looking for a compact, quick and convenient solution for heat and cooking when on the go.
If you act fast, you can catch their Kickstarter campaign and get the product for a deal.
(available for less during the Kickstarter campaign)