The 9 Best Outdoor Fog Machines

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Do you have a photography shoot outside? A party in your backyard that needs an upgrade? Or a Halloween display you want to be the best on the block? Let’s take a look at the best outdoor fog machines that will accomplish any desired need!

When deciding on the best unit for you, we first need to make note of some basic features that different fog machines have to offer. Some models have LED lights, large fluid capacity tanks, wireless remote control, fast warm-up times, or even DMX control. These are some of the attributes that need to be considered to get the most out of your unit. You do not want to be stuck with a unit that underperforms your expectations and becomes a wasted purchase. So let’s get the selection right the first time! In this review, we will break down some key characteristics, go over important factors that must be evaluated, and then take a look at the 9 best outdoor fog machines!

Fog MachineUnit NameFeaturesPrice
ADJ Products VF1100 Fog Machine ADJ Products VF1100
(Best Budget)
-Heated Fog Machine
-Budget Friendly
-850W (9,000 CFM)
-Wired and Wireless Remote
-1 Liter Fluid Tank
- Fluid Level Sensor
-Lightweight and Portable!
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HOLDLAMP Fog Machine, 1200W and 6000CFM Smoke Machine with Wireless HOLDLAMP Fog Machine (Best Features)-Heated Fog Machine
-6 RGB LED's
-1,2000W (6,000 CFM)
-Wireless Remote Control
-1 Liter Fluid Tank
-Lightweight and Portable
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CHAUVET DJ H1200 Compact and Lightweight Fog Machine w/Timer Remote CHAUVET DJ H1200
(Best Alternative)
-Heated Fog Machine
-3 Modes of Operation
-1,180W (18,000 CFM)
-15ft Wired Controller
-1 Liter Fluid Tank
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CHAUVET DJ Fog Machine (Hurricane 2000) CHAUVET DJ Hurricane 2000
(Best Capacity)
-Heated Fog Machine
-On-Board LCD Display
-1,230W (30,000 CFM)
-Wired, Wireless, and DMX
-Fast Warm Up Time
-Large 3 Liter Fluid Tank
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Chauvet Hurricane 1800 FLEX Fogger with Remote Chauvet Hurricane 1800 FLEX
(Best Versatility)
-Heated Fog Machine
-Manually Adjustable Output
-3 Modes of Operation
-1,190W (25,000 CFM)
-Wired Controller
-DMX & Wireless Accessible
-Large 3 Liter Fluid Tank
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ADJ Products MISTER-KOOL-II Grave Yard Low Lying Water Based Fog MISTER-KOOL-II -
(Best Affordable Low-Lying)
-Chilled Fog Machine
-Budget Friendly
-700W (3,000 CFM)
-12-Foot Wired Remote
-Custom Fog
-No Need For Dry Ice
-Tough and Durable Quality
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Chauvet DJ Nimbus Professional Dry Ice Low Lying Fog Machine CHAUVET DJ Nimbus
(Best Professional)
-Chilled Fog Machine
-Professional Quality
-Large Capacity
-Low Water Sensor
-Manual Output Control
-Includes a Cart
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CHAUVET DJ Hurricane 1600 Compact High-Output Fog Machine w/Timer Remote CHAUVET DJ Hurricane 1600
(Best Overall)
-Heated Fog Machine
-Great Features
-3 Modes of Operation
-1,580W (25,000 CFM)
-Wired Controller
-DMX & Wireless Accessible
-Large 2.4 Liter Fluid Tank
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3500W Fog Machine Dry Ice Low Lying Fog Machine DJ Portable 3500W Fog Machine
(Best Manual Control)
-Chilled Fog Machine
-Easy to Use
-3500W (Large Production)
-Includes Tube and Nozzle
-Manual Control
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Outdoor vs Indoor Fog Machine – What’s the Difference?

When searching specifically for an “outdoor” fog machine, your results will honestly be pretty similar to that of an “indoor” fog machine. The reason behind that is that most fog machines are not characterized by those exact parameters. Instead, YOU have to decide, based on unit specifications if that will accomplish your sought-after effect when placed outdoors. This can make it quite challenging, but that is why we will elaborate on the key fundamentals for ensuring quality outdoor fog production.

Heated Fog Machine vs Chilled Fog Machine

There are two different types of fog machines we can choose from, a heated fog machine, and a chilled fog machine. A heated fog machine works by heating both the fog liquid and a water solution to produce a dense vapor that gives the fog effect. A chilled fog machine works by either cooling fog liquid with the addition of ice, or with dry ice and heated water. When the unit begins production, dense fog is the result. This can give you that low-lying effect, making the fog appear to hug the ground.

Maximizing Outdoor Fog Production

When looking for the best outdoor fog machine, the most important quality we will be examining is the wattage. Generally speaking, the higher the wattage, the more powerful the machine will be, thus producing more fog. Your “regular fog machine” will roughly consist of 400-500 watts, which will output around 2000 cubic feet per minute, and reach 6-10 feet in distance. Now that might be all the fog you need and therefore, a 400w fog machine could do just the trick. We will, however, be examining units with a much higher wattage, designed for increased fog output.

These units are typically more robust than your regular fog machine. A unit with more power will have a larger reservoir and a more compact and durable design. The larger the capacity, the less time you have to worry about refilling the unit with dry ice or fog fluid. And with a stronger build, you will be rewarded with an increase in longevity for your unit’s performance. Yes, you might be looking at a more expensive purchase, but quality and high fog production come at a cost!

External Factors to Consider

No matter the fog output your unit is capable of, some underlying factors must be acknowledged for your outdoor usage. The most important that can make or break your expected outcome is the weather. Rain is a no-brainer, as you should not have high expectations since rain will break up the fog effect more quickly. Also, the temperature outside needs to be carefully examined when attempting to achieve your fog machine effect. Warm air tends to rise, whereas cold air will sink.

Referencing back to the two different fog machines, a heated fog machine should be operated outside in cooler weather. The heated fog machine produces a hot vapor, so the outside air needs to be colder, or else the fog will rise and disperse. A chilled fog machine produces a colder vapor, so the outside air needs to be warmer. When the dense vapor is released, it weighs more than the outside air, allowing it to fall and stay low to the ground. If you were to use a chilled fog machine on a very cold day, you might not get the effect you were hoping for. Understanding the differences between the fog machines is important when finding the best outdoor fog machine because we do not want your visual effect to be disrupted. Imagine trying to do an outdoor photoshoot with a fog machine, and the fog is constantly rising away from the target, leaving you frustrated and unsuccessful. Or you are hosting an outdoor party, and the fog is elevating to eye level, creating a disturbing distraction.

Another underlying factor that might seem common sense, is wind. You could have the highest-producing fog machine, with a perfect outside temperature, but the wind could ruin this immediately. No feature could help you avoid this factor, you simply have to be cautious of this before beginning your effect outdoors.

Additional Key Characteristics

From this point you have a better understanding of fog machines, and how we can use that information to help us find the best outdoor fog machine. Now let’s take a look at some more fog machine features you need to be familiar with.

  • Tank Capacity refers to how much fog liquid or dry ice your unit can hold. Important to note, because you do not want to operate a unit that requires more refilling than intended.
  • Warm-up Time is ultimately how long the unit will take when powered on to begin producing fog. If you are looking for a unit that requires a quick setup, then a long warm-up time would not be ideal.
  • Fog Machine Wattage is the amount of power required to operate the unit. Generally the higher the wattage, the more fog it will produce.
  • Output Distance refers to how far the fog will be traveling. This is crucial when strategizing the display and where the effect needs to be presented.
  • Unit Size and Weight are significant when thinking of transporting and overall space acquired during the occasion.
  • Control Methods can vary with products. Some units require manual control at the unit for proper function, there are units with wireless control accessibility or even a hands-free automatic timer.

With these features in mind, let’s take a look at the best outdoor fog machines, and find your perfect unit.

9 Best Outdoor Fog Machines

1. ADJ Products VF1100 – Best Budget

ADJ Products VF1100 Fog Machine

Searching for a high-performing fog machine that won’t break the bank can be difficult, but that is not the case with the ADJ Products VF1100. This is an 850-watt unit and produces a fog output of 9,000 cubic feet per minute! The unit contains a 1-liter fog fluid tank, along with a fluid level indicator that will automatically shut off to protect your pump. The warm-up time is only 6 minutes, giving you great fog production in a short amount of time.

The unit comes with a wired and wireless remote, allowing you to operate from any desired location. The unit is relatively small in size and weighs roughly 8 pounds. This unit is perfect for transportation with the attached handle and lightweight features. Overall this fog machine sure does pack a punch with quality fog production, and the budget-friendly price tag makes it a great purchase for an outdoor effect.


HOLDLAMP Fog Machine – Best Features

HOLDLAMP Fog Machine, 1200W and 6000CFM Smoke Machine with Wireless

It can be tough to find a fog machine that offers cool features and also produces a strong fog output. The HOLDLAMP Fog Machine, however, does both! This is a 1,200-watt unit capable of producing a fog output of 6,000 cubic feet per minute. This model contains a 1-liter fluid tank and requires a 4-8 minute warm-up time to begin fog production. This unit is even capable of generating 40 seconds of continuous fog!

The fog machine also contains 6 RGB LEDs that let you illuminate the fog to give your atmosphere an extra touch! This model comes with a wireless remote control, giving you full access to the unit from your desired location. The unit comes with an attached handle and roughly weighs 9 pounds, making it easily transportable. If you are looking for a fog machine that adds a little extra life to your fog effect, this unit will certainly get the job done!


3. CHAUVET DJ H1200 – Best Alternative

CHAUVET DJ H1200 Compact and Lightweight Fog Machine w/Timer Remote

The Chauvet DJ H1200 is a compact and lightweight fog machine designed by a very reputable company in the fog machine industry. This is a 1,180-watt unit capable of producing a fog output of 18,000 cubic feet per minute. This model contains a 1-liter fluid tank, and requires a warm-up time of only 2 minutes! There is also an advanced fluid sensor, which will automatically shut off the pump when fluid levels are low to prevent overheating.

The unit is equipped with a wired timer controller. With this controller, you are provided with 3 modes of operation: timer, continuous, and manual. You can control the desired fog output as well which gives you a more precise result and even helps preserve fog liquid. With the timer mode, you can also set the interval of how long between each fog burst, and the duration which sets the length of time the fog machine will burst. You can operate the unit with a wireless remote, but that is sold separately.

The wired controller is 15 feet in length which gives you plenty of distance from the unit. The fog machine itself is relatively light in weight at 6.4 pounds, making it very mobile. If you are looking to have more control over your fog machine and still have quality performance, then this unit will certainly ensure just that!


4. CHAUVET DJ Hurricane 2000 – Best Capacity

CHAUVET DJ Fog Machine (Hurricane 2000)

The high-volume Chauvet DJ Hurricane 2000 is ready to take your outdoor event to the next level! This is a 1,230-watt unit capable of producing a fog output of 30,000 cubic feet per minute! This model is taking a step forward in fog production, guaranteeing a thick fog effect on command. The unit contains a whopping 3-liter tank and requires a 3-minute warm-up time. There is also an advanced fluid sensor, which will automatically shut off the pump when fluid levels are low to prevent overheating.

This model is equipped with an onboard LCD giving you complete access to fog interval, duration, timer, and even output volume. If you do not want to program a specific fog function, there is complete manual operation as well. This model is also wired, wireless, and DMX control accessible. These are however sold separately, but the ability to control this unit is endless! The unit weighs roughly 13.6 pounds and has a handle attached to make transportation a breeze. The unit itself consumes about 48.6 ml/min, and when combined with the large capacity tank, you are sure to have long-lasting fog production before needing to refill. This is one of the best outdoor fog machines simply because of the full access to customization and generous tank size. Allowing you to enjoy your event without the hassle of keeping up with the fog machine!


5. Chauvet Hurricane 1800 FLEX – Best Versatility

Chauvet Hurricane 1800 FLEX Fogger with Remote

If you want an outdoor fog machine that gives you the freedom to position the unit for a more specific fog effect, then the Chauvet Hurricane 1800 FLEX is your match! This model offers adjustable 180-degree angles, making it simple to display your fog vertically or horizontally. This unit is mountable, allowing strategic placement for your effect. Imagine giving someone a breathtaking entrance with fog blowing down on them, or improving your photo shoot to make the fog rise directly to your target.  This is a 1,190-watt unit capable of producing a fog output of 25,000 cubic feet per minute.

The unit is equipped with a 3-liter fluid capacity tank and only consumes 30ml/min. This will ensure long-lasting fog, without the need to constantly refill. The unit features a manual control panel but also comes with a wired timer controller. There are 3 modes: timer, continuous, and manual. With the wired timer controller, you will have access to fog interval, duration, and output. The model does accept DMX control and wireless remote accessibility, but these must be purchased separately. The start-up time is roughly 5 minutes, and the unit is equipped with an advanced fluid sensor to protect from overheating. The number of possibilities is endless with this unit, and that is why it is the best outdoor fog machine for versatility.


6. ADJ Products MISTER-KOOL-II – Best Affordable (Low-Lying)

ADJ Products MISTER-KOOL-II Grave Yard Low Lying Water Based Fog

The ADJ Products Mister-Kool-II offers the best low-lying effect at an affordable price. Many other units are quite costly to produce this low-lying effect. This model does not require dry ice to properly function, simply add ice and fog liquid to begin creating your effect. Earlier we mentioned that there are two different types of fog machines, and this is your chilled fog machine. The unit is not as powerful when compared to others, but the 700 watts is capable of producing a fog output of 3,000 cubic feet per minute. The unit can hold 4 pounds of ice and 0.8 liters of fog liquid.

The unit is tough and durable weighing in at only 19 pounds. There is even a built-in carry handle that will make transporting this unit a breeze. The warm-up time is considerably fast at only 3 minutes, so you can begin producing fog in no time! There is a unique drainage system that is attached and allows for an easy clean-up process. The remote attached to the unit offers easy-to-use controls for your desired needs. You can set the specified interval and duration of the fog production, or even manually control the unit. If you are looking for a fog machine that is beginner friendly, yet still produces the desired low-lying effect, then this unit will be perfect for you!


7. CHAUVET DJ Nimbus – Best Professional

Chauvet DJ Nimbus Professional Dry Ice Low Lying Fog Machine

The Chauvet DJ Nimbus sets the bar for fog production. This is a 1,500-watt unit with a single element and 3,000 watts with a dual element. The user manual does not state the fog output, but when looking at the wattage we can justify that this will perform just fine. This is a chilled fog machine, and the unit is capable of holding 4.5 gallons of water and 10 pounds of dry ice. If you are using one source of power then the warm-up time is 50 minutes, but with two power sources, the warm-up time is only 30 minutes.

You can easily control the fog output with the adjustable, multi-level control handle attached to the unit. There is even a low water sensor that will help regulate tank capacity, ensuring the safety of your product. The unit can weigh up to 75 pounds when fully loaded with water and dry ice, but there is a cart included that will make transporting your unit a swift process throughout the event. This unit is loaded with high-caliber features making it the ultimate fog machine for you!


8. CHAUVET DJ Hurricane 1600 – Best Overall

CHAUVET DJ Hurricane 1600 Compact High-Output Fog Machine w/Timer Remote

Finding a unit that offers great features, strong output, and is reasonably priced can be tough to find for an outdoor fog machine. The Chauvet DJ Hurricane 1600, however, checks off all of these boxes! This 1,580-watt unit is capable of producing a fog output of 25,000 cubic feet per minute. The unit contains a fluid capacity of 2.4 liters and consumes 120ml/min. This model does allow DMX control and wireless controller accessibility, but that is sold separately.

This unit does come with a wired remote control, giving you access to 3 modes: timer, manual, and continuous. With the timer mode, you can set the interval of how long between each fog burst, the duration of the fog burst, and even the output amount. The warm-up time is roughly 4 minutes, and there is an advanced fluid sensor to protect your pump from overheating. This unit weighs around 13.7 pounds making it very lightweight and compact. This model gives you complete access to customization and has a very impressive fog output production. This is certainly one of the best outdoor fog machines based on cost, features, and performance!


9. Portable 3500W Fog Machine – Best Manual Control

3500W Fog Machine Dry Ice Low Lying Fog Machine DJ

If you are looking for a fog machine that is simple to use and has a strong output, then this 3500w Fog Machine will satisfy your needs. The unit requires dry ice, capable of holding 22lbs, and water, with a capacity of 3 gallons. The unit takes approximately 15 minutes to warm up and can cover an area of 150m²/1614ft². The maximum output of fog can last roughly 5-6 minutes before needing to be refueled.

There is also an electronic temperature control that will allow you to alter the density of the fog to produce a more precise effect. The unit itself weighs about 18lbs and has two handles attached which will make transportation undemanding. This model even includes a tube and nozzle that will enhance your fog accuracy toward your desired target. If you want to give your event that extra touch of magic, I highly recommend this unit!