Best Tent Heaters for Camping of 2020

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Camping is a great pastime and the good way to interact with nature. Even so, it poses plenty of outdoor challenges. Seasons change from hot to cold, and even rainy periods make it difficult to explore. In the summer, the temperatures get extremely high, and in winter they become quite cold. If you’re an avid camper who prefers camping even in the winter, you need a heater for your tent. The cold days and nights can be unbearable, giving you an uncomfortable experience . That’s why you need a camping tent heater to provide excellent warmth and comfort outdoors. Finding the best camping tent heater is no easy task, thanks to the many options on the market today. However, you can get the best for your needs by reading our tent heater reviews.

Table of Contents

 

Best Overall Tent Heater

1. Mr. Heater Indoor-Safe Portable Propane Camping Heater

Mr Heater F232000 Buddy Indoor Safe Portable Propane Radiant HeaterBTU: 4.000 – 9.000
Effective Area: 225 sq.ft
Weight: 9 lb.
Dimensions: 7.7 x 13.4 x 15

Mr. Heater is a popular brand because the company manufactures excellent heating equipment. The MH9BX Buddy offers a durable, user-friendly design engineered for both indoor and outdoor use. A steel, plastic, and nickel construction makes it durable yet safe to use at any location. Designed with an ergonomic handle, you can carry it easily from place to place. It burns cleanly, making it safe for indoor use. What’s more, it delivers 4000 to 9000 BTU for up to 225 sq. ft.

This Mr. Heater Buddy offers a portable design and delivers heat to wider spaces. Its fold-down handle enables you to carry it, but folds down for storage. The regulator also swivels out and connects to a disposable propane tank, and a tip-over shut-off switch provides protection if the pilot lights go out or when there are low oxygen levels. The heater will run for up to 3 hrs. at a high BTU level. Do note that the unit may shut off at altitudes over 7,000 ft. above sea level.

What we like:
Easy to use, portable, lights up, clean burning, protective features.
What we don't:
An exposed flame, a sensitive tip-over switch, requires regular maintenance

 


 

Best Budget Tent Heater

2. Lasko MyHeat, Small Tent Heater

Lasko MyHeat Personal Compact Battery Operated Tent Heater for CampingBTU: 682
Effective Area: 6 sq.ft
Weight: 1 lb.
Dimensions: 3.8 x 4.3 x 6.1

At approximately 20 USD, the MyHeat space heater by Lasko is affordable and efficient. A compact design (about 6 in. tall) makes it suitable for indoor and outdoor use and allows you to place it anywhere in your tent, even on a chair or a table when your reading. With a ceramic heating element, it delivers adequate heat to the surrounding area, and a built-in fan evenly and quietly circulates warm air to an even wider area. Its 200-watt power provides efficient, reliable warmth.

The MyHeat Personal Space heater comes fully assembled, with no complicated installation or setup. Just take the unit out of the box and plug it in. It includes many safety features, and the exterior surface is cool to touch, not to mention its overheat protection feature that kicks in after long periods of usage. This will save you lots of money on energy bills.

What we like:
Compact, power-efficient, broad heat coverage, quiet, affordable, safety features
What we don't:
Lacks high/low power settings, not battery-operated

 


 

Safest Tent Heater

3. Honeywell, 360-Degree Fan Electric Tent Heater

Honeywell HHF 360V 360 Degree Fan Forced Electric Tent HeaterBTU: 1232
Effective Area: 443 sq.ft
Weight: 4 lb.
Dimensions: 6 x 4.5 x 9.2

If you’re looking for a perfect heating companion for wintertime, the Honeywell HHF360V is for you. Its compact, lightweight unit that carries easily to all your outdoor trips. What’s more, its carrying handle makes it extremely portable. The unit delivers 360-degree radial warmth and works well inside your tent. This warmth provides a soothing, comfortable effect for a good night’s sleep.

The Honeywell 360-degree, fan-forced, surround heater is reliable and easy to use outdoors. Its many user-friendly features give you utmost comfort. Featuring two heat controls, you can easily set the amount of warmth you desire. (The low setting also conserves electricity.) It also includes a thermostat that adjusts easily and a 360-degree tip-over switch. What’s more, its overheat protection ensures maximum safety during use.. The handle is cool to touch.

What we like:
Lightweight, compact, portable, safe, well-built, energy-efficient, user-friendly
What we don't:
Noisy

 


 

Best Survival Heater

4. Mr. Heater, Little Buddy, Portable Propane Tent Heater

Mr Heater F215100 Little Buddy Indoor Safe Propane Camping Tent HeaterBTU: 3800
Effective Area: 95 sq.ft
Weight: 5.91 lb.
Dimensions: 11 x 11 x 11

Boasting a large heating surface, the Mr. Heater Little Buddy is a terrific source of warmth in the wild. Its large heating surface is coated with porcelain, making it quite durable and enabling it to distribute heat to a wide area. You can use it when camping, hunting, or boating, and it is also a good option for indoor use during power outages and natural disasters. The heater mounts to a one-use propane cylinder, delivering up to 3,800 BTU per hr.

The Mr. Heater Little Buddy is easy to use, thanks to a single-ignition button. It warms a 100 sq. ft. space and runs continuously, odor-free, at a 45-degree angle, delivering maximum comfort. It features an automatic, low oxygen shutoff system to increase safety. For indoor use, keep it at a 4-in. minimum venting spot for adequate ventilation, and don’t use it in moving cars or golf carts.

What we like:
Easy to use, durable, foldable, adjustable temperature settings
What we don't:
Takes longer to ignite

 


 

Best Camping Propane Heater

5. Mr. Heater, 540 Degree Tank Top Camping Gas Heater

Mr Heater Corporation Tank Top Camping Gas HeaterBTU: 29.000 – 45.000
Effective Area: 990 sq.ft
Weight: 8.3 lb.
Dimensions: 10.4 x 10.4 x 17.5

Do you like fishing, boating, or camping in cold weather? If so, then the Mr. Heater Corporation tank top unit is for you. Its unique design is suitable for multifunctional applications outdoors. It requires no electricity to run, since it uses natural gas instead. A rotating burner delivers directional and multi-directional heat in a 540-degree angle. What’s more, the heater offers three heat settings – 30,000, 36,000, and 45,000 BTUs. You can easily regulate the temperature to match your needs.

This 540-degree heater is just what you need for your camping sprees thanks to its many conveniences. Its push-button valve ensures easy use, and a shut off, tip-over switch ensures your safety. This switch automatically turns off when you leave the heater on too long. The heater comes with a 20 lb. gas cylinder and a 180-degree mounting bracket for multi-directional heat transfer.

What we like:
Rotating burner, efficient heat supply, durable, reliable outdoors, easy to operate
What we don't:
Costly, not suitable for indoor use

 


 

Other Best Options

6. Dura Heat, Kerosene Indoor Safe Tent Heater

Dura Heat DH2304S Indoor Safe Kerosene Tent HeaterBTU: 23.800
Effective Area: 1800 sq.ft
Weight: 27.4 lb.
Dimensions: 17.5 x 17.5 x 26.8

Kerosene indoor heaters lead the industry because they provide many more benefits than propane or electric equivalents. That’s why the Dura Heat DH2304S tops our list as the best indoor kerosene heater for tents. This convection kerosene heater is suitable and most reliable outdoors in cold winter periods. For starters, it boasts a dynamic 23,800 BTU design that generates heat for a 360-degree radius. The heat will reach a wide area the moment you turn it on. A high-quality construction makes it usable in harsh outdoor conditions.

The DH2304S is a perfect winter companion due to its versatility. Not only does it heat cold areas, but it also acts as a lantern to light up your tent, making it useful in emergencies, such as a power outage. What’s more, a no-lift heat chamber reduces startup odor, and the tank provides up to 12 hrs. run time per fill, enough for a whole night. A protective, exterior grille maximizes safety.

What we like:
Easy to set up, operates silently, saves fuel, all-round heat coverage, lights up the area, a protective grill
What we don't:
Kerosene is expensive and not readily available; an unpleasant kerosene odor

 

7. PROWARM, Portable Electric Tent Heater for Camping

PROWARM Portable Electric Space Heater for Tent CampingBTU: 5200
Weight: 7.6 lb.
Dimensions: 10.2 x 10.2 x 11.4

In winter outdoors, you need a warm place to relax and unwind. That’s why you need should consider this ceramic electric heater by PROWARM. Its small and portable design makes it easy to carry around, to warm the interior of your tent. The ceramic tower fan minimizes the amount of sound production thanks to a low decibel rating. This low-noise design enables you to have conversations, relax, and sleep through night. The heater sets up in seconds out of the box. It is engineered with a 1500-watt engine that heats your space immediately after you power it on.

The PROWARM space heater is your ideal personal unit for providing efficient warmth to the surrounding area. Three heat settings allow you to choose your preferred warmth, and a fan-only mode, and low and high heat levels that are very user-friendly. The unit is well equipped with a PTC ceramic heating element, which is a thermostat that regulates the temperature. It also features a robust stainless-steel construction and comes with a ceiling mounting bracket.

What we like:
Durable, small/portable, efficient performance, fast heating, variable fan speeds
What we don't:
Expensive to run

 


 

Camping Tent Heater Buying Guide

 

If you’re a cold-weather camper, you understand how uncomfortable chilly nights can be outdoors. Knowing this, you need a tent heater to ensure maximum warmth and comfort in the wilds. However, picking the right tent heater isn’t easy, because a plethora of models and brands on the market today make it difficult to decide which one is best for your needs. Thankfully, we’ve gathered all the important information you need about tent heaters, equipping you to make a fast and easy buying decision. After you read the section below, you’ll have no problem choosing the one that’s best for you.

camping tent heater buying guide

What to Consider When Buying a Tent Heater?

  1. Location

    Before buying a tent heater, you must first consider the type of area you’ll be visiting. Ask questions or visit the campsite to find out whether it has electricity and if you’re required to pay additional fees to access it. This way you’ll know the amount you need to have or the type of tent heater to buy. If the area is remote and without electricity, you need something other than a camping tent heater. Some people have allergic reactions when using or being near a heater. Therefore, you should know whether the heater you choose will affect others or not. Scouting out the location ahead of time will help you know what to buy to ensure your warmth and comfort.

  2. Size

    Tent heaters come in many sizes to suit varying needs. Therefore, determine the size of camping tent heater you need. If you’re camping solo or as a couple, a big tent heater is unwieldy, but a compact heater will be more than adequate. Besides, a two-person tent won’t accommodate all your camping gear and a large heater all at once. That’s why you need one that won’t impede your space.

    Extra large camping tents requires a large tent heater to generate enough heat for everyone in your tent. Large heaters generate more heat at once and feature fans that evenly distribute warmth to larger spaces. One large unit will heat a large tent, even if it has different rooms. The size of your heater will also determine how you transport and store it. A small-sized heater will easily fit into your backpack, and you can easily find space to store a compact heater. A large tent, however, requires lots of space and is suitable for car camping; carry it in the trunk of your car and the weight won’t matter.

  3. Heat Output

    Size also affects a heater’s BTU ratings. BTU is an abbreviation for “British Thermal Unit.” It measures the amount of heat and how far it will reach from a single unit. Safety is your top priority, therefore you should know the amount of BTU required in your tent. This enables you to choose a heater that won’t burn your interior. The recommended BTU for camping ranges from 2,000 to 6,000 and is adequate for most winter camping. Anything more requires heat settings to regulate the temperatures to avoid burning up.

    To determine the BTU you need, just multiply the length, width, and height of the tent, which calculates the cubic ft. of your space. Then subtract the exterior temperature from the expected interior temperature in the tent. This estimates the temperature that your heater will need to achieve. The result is the amount of BTU required per cubic ft. of your tent. If calculations aren’t your forte, you can always use a BTU calculator online to find out the amount of heat your tent will require.

  4. Safety Features

    A heater circulates heat to surrounding areas. If it produces too much heat, it may be hazardous to the people around it. Therefore, you should know the safety features that your heater offers. Most tent heaters feature a cool-to-touch body that ensures total safety when you accidentally touch or moving it. A tipping feature is also important, since you might kick the heater by accident when you’re sleeping. This feature prevents a fire from starting while you sleep. It will automatically shut off the unit, providing peace of mind. An automatic cut-off is also essential. After running continuously for a couple of hours, the heater will automatically shut off to prevent fires. An overheat protection feature will prevent the unit from getting too hot and interfering with its internal mechanism.

  5. Noise

    The main reason for going outdoors is to relax and unwind after strenuous work and activities. Therefore, you want to return to a comfortable, warm, and quiet tent that will let you relax and sleep soundly. This in mind, you should avoid tent heaters that generate lots of noise. Some heaters get noisy when they’re emitting heat, which can cause quite a distraction to the people around. The sound usually comes from an internal fan that distributes the heat. Be sure to get a heater with a low decibel level to avoid disturbing your fellow campers. Most heaters make a small, negligible noise that’s only heard when you get too close to the heater. Also, the type of heater you get will affect the amount of noise it makes.

  6. Brand

    There are plenty of brands in the market, with new heaters entering the market every other day. This makes it difficult to choose one that works better than another. Select your heater from a reputable brand that offers reliable warranties, in case your heater fails within the warrantee period. Buying a tent heater from a well-known brand also guarantees durability and good performance. What’s more, you can easily contact customer service; they will respond attentively when you raise concerns about their product. However, you should also know that some new, startup brands are also delivering excellent outdoor performance. As you make your final choice, we highly recommend that you check out review from previous users.

  7. Durability

    Before buying an item, you need to consider how long you need it to serve you. If we are talking about a heater, you need one with maximum durability since you will be using it in the outdoors. The outdoors poses plenty of challenges that may not be suitable for certain items. Therefore, you should get a heater with a robust build and one that can withstand all the exterior abuse. You don’t want something that will break down or stop functioning because of extreme conditions. That is when you need it the most. Looking at the heater will not tell you how durable it is. You need to read reviews about them and ask people who have used it to find out whether it is durable.

  8. Price

    The cost of tent heaters varies significantly, therefore, it is important to compare the prices of various heaters. A large heater will cost more than its small counterpart. Some small heaters are also quite expensive because of the plenty of features they include. You should get one that matches the features you want and is within your budget. You should also consider the running cost of a heater. It can be cheaper to buy but expensive to run and maintain. To avoid this, simply invest in a high-end alternative with a low maintenance cost. You will end up saving a lot in the long run.

best camping tent heater

What is a Camping Tent Heater?

Camping heaters are units that heat your tent to provide warmth and comfort during the cold periods. It works by releasing radiant heat through a heating element and requires oxygen to generate heat. Tent heaters have different powering options to deliver the heat to the surrounding. You can choose one depending on your preference and availability of the type of fuel it needs. During the cold conditions, it gets difficult to rest, catch some sleep or even function properly. Your fingers and toes can freeze thereby affect your mobility. You need a heater to raise the temperatures and maintain the warmth required for comfort in the outdoors.

Types of Camping Heaters

Different products on the market come in various types and designs. This enables them to suit the different needs of the customers using them. Tent heaters are no exception. They have different types of use in the great outdoors. The types of camping tent heaters are categorized based on the type of fuel they use. This is to make it easier for you to choose the right type depending on the availability of the fuel. Let us discuss the main types of tent heaters available on the market today.

portable propane heater for camping

  • Electric and Battery Powered Tent Heaters

    An electric heater is one that uses energy from electricity to generate heat. Electric heaters are the most popular in the industry because of the availability of electricity as well as their ease of use. Almost all electric heaters come fully assembled and don’t require many installations to start running. All you have to do is plug them into an electric power source and switch it on to start working. The only concern of these electric heaters is that they require a power source to operate. If your campsite doesn’t have electricity, it gets almost impossible to use the heater.
    See also: Best Electric and Battery Tent Fans

  • Gas Tent Heaters

    Gas heaters are also common among winter campers because they are reliable. All you need is your gas supply to set up your tent heater and start using it in the outdoors. Oftentimes, the main types of gases used are propane and butane. There is no major difference between them as they burn similarly. Gas-powered heaters are suitable for all environments regardless of the wind condition.

  • Wood Tent Heaters

    Heaters that use wood are conventional alternatives available. The heater will require wooden objects to generate heat. Heat circulates the surrounding through radiation providing a warm tent environment. Some of these heaters apply state-of-the-art technology by including a stovetop. This design makes them suitable to supply heat to the environment and also warm your food, killing two birds with one stone. However, these heaters are a bit heavy and require a lot of manpower to move around. They also rely on wood and it becomes difficult to find dry wood during winter conditions.

  • Halogen Tent Heaters

    As the name suggests, the heaters incorporate a halogen element in the heating bulb. The bulb heats up to generate warm air to the surrounding. Halogen gases in the bulb aid in maximizing the brightness for longevity. It also prevents the bulb from getting dark making them safe to use at higher temperatures. This type is extremely lightweight and portable making them a suitable option for outdoor adventures. They immediately generate heat as soon as you switch them on and continue to supply it even after you switch them off. Halogen heaters are the most energy-efficient alternatives available. They are also environmental and user-friendly. What’s more, they don’t require many installations; simply take it out of the box and plugin. They will, however, heat a specific area at a time making them unsuitable for use in larger tents.

  • Kerosene Tent Heaters

    This refers to a heater that uses kerosene to emit heat to the surrounding. This type is also one of the oldest methods of heat. Similar to a lamp, a kerosene heater features a wick that draws energy from the kerosene in the combustion chamber and converts it into gas when heating. The hot air generated will circulate through convection and heat the surrounding objects via radiation. You can manually use a match stick to start it up or get a battery-operated model to make your work easier. Advanced models use the piezo-electric ignitor to start the unit. The kerosene heater also comes in two types; convective and radiant.

    Convective heaters feature a circular design with the fuel tank below the combustion chamber and wick. The wick takes in kerosene and transfers it to the burning chamber. It then circulates warm air upward and outwards in different directions. It is perfect for large tents that have plenty of ventilation.
    Radiant heaters have a rectangular design and are perfect for limited spaces. Like the convective, they feature a wick and combustion chamber. However, they include a reflector that directs hot air to the immediate surrounding. Most of the radiant heaters include a fan to maximize airflow and distribute heat fast. They have a removable tank for safety when refilling.

  • Chemical Heat Packs

    This is a rare type of heater that uses chemicals to provide warmth. They come in small packs that are extremely portable and ideal for camping. It is extremely easy to use and provides up to 15 hours of continuous heat. Each pack is reusable to around 500 times and has a long shelf life. This is the best option as it isn’t harmful to the surroundings and is also not flammable. However, they can only warm a specified area, like a small tent.

Safety Tips: How to Use a Tent Heater Safely?

safe camping tent heater
Heaters emit heat to the surrounding. If you are not careful, it can cause explosions and fires. Below are ways to use tent heaters to maximize safety.

Electric and Battery Tent Heater Safety Tips

  • Campsites experience a lot of power outages during extreme weather conditions. Get a heavy-duty extension cord to reduce the risk of fire in the tent when the electricity is restored.
  • Keep drinks and flammable materials away from the heater since this can cause explosions in the tent and the surrounding.
  • Have a camping generator for backup in case of a power outage.

 

Gas Tent Heater Safety Tips

  • Ensure the place is well ventilated.
  • Pack gas cans to use once the one in your cylinder runs out. Although they are heavy, it is important to carry cans full of gas to the area where you will be using the heaters since they stop operating once they are out of gas.
  • Place the gas heater on level ground to prevent it from falling over and causing fires.
  • Keep flammable items away from the heater.

 

Wood Tent Heater Safety Tips

  • Don’t stay too close and also, keep it away from flammable camping gear.
  • Carry your wood.
  • Keep the area well-ventilated.

 

Kerosene Heater Safety Tips

  • Use the tent heater away from explosives and flammable items. Be very careful when refilling since kerosene is extremely explosive.
  • Keep children and pets at a farther distance.
  • Ensure the tent is well ventilated since kerosene heaters emit plenty of pollutants to the air such as carbon dioxide, Sulphur dioxide, and nitrogen dioxide. This can cause breathing risks if the area is not well ventilated.
  • Carefully read the manufacturer’s instructions before using the heaters.
  • When refueling, make sure the fire is put out when refueling.
  • Make sure the area permits kerosene use before purchasing the heater. This is because some areas don’t allow the use of kerosene.
  • Put it out when you sleep to avoid fire hazards.
  • Check and clean the wick now and then.
  • Extinguish the flame of the heater and wait for it to cool then move it.

 

Chemical Heaters Safety Tip

  • Don’t use them directly on the skin as they can cause allergic reactions.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How will I store my heater after using it?

A: If you are using an electric or halogen heaters, just place them in their storage case after cooling down since they rarely require maintenance. For a gas-powered model, you can disconnect it from the gas cylinder and store it. Make sure the cylinder remains tightly closed to avoid leakages. The wooden stove requires you to wait until it cools off and then remove the accumulated ash before storing it. The kerosene-operated heater requires a lot before storage. First, you wait till it cools off and empty the fuel tank. This is done to prevent kerosene from changing chemically and spoiling. Clean or replace the wick according to the manufacturer’s instructions. Disintegrate the parts and place them in a dry and dust-free carton then close it for storage.

portable tent heater reviews

Best Camping Tent Heater Comparison Chart

ProductPricePower ( BTU )DimensionsWeightEffective Area
Dura Heat, Kerosene Indoor Safe Tent Heater$$$$$23,80017.5 x 17.5 x 26.827.4 lb.1800 sq.ft
Lasko MyHeat, Small, Tent Heater$6823.8 x 4.3 x 6.1 1 lb.6 sq.ft
Honeywell, 360-Degree Fan Electric Tent Heater$$$$12326 x 4.5 x 9.24lb.443 sq.ft
PROWARM, Portable Electric Tent Heater for Camping$$520010.2 x 10.2 x 11.47.6 lb.
Mr. Heater, 540 Degree Tank Top Camping Gas Heater$$$29.000 - 45.00010.4 x 10.4 x 17.58.3 lb.990 sq.ft
Mr. Heater, Little Buddy, Portable Propane Tent Heater$$380011 x 11 x 115.91 lb.95 sq.ft
Mr. Heater Indoor-Safe Portable Propane Camping Heater$$$4.000 - 9.0007.7 x 13.4 x 159 lb.225 sq.ft

Wrap up

In summation, camping tent heaters are crucial essentials when you enjoy camping in cold seasons. They will keep you and your family warm and comfortable to enable you to function properly. This is, without a doubt, an irrefutable article entailing everything you need to know about portable heaters. You can now make a selection of the best camping heater from the above section to use for your outdoor needs. Our reviews are filled with important information for an easier buying decision. You can gain so much confidence when buying a heater after reading this article. Once you have understood how important tent heaters for camping are, you shouldn’t neglect them when packing for your next trip.

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7 Responses

  1. I am looking for a BATTERY powered heater for a small bathroom. Can charge it easily during day, but need it at night for 30 minutes or a bit less,
    or a small portable oil filled heater to achieve similar result.

    1. Hi Dennis,

      As I mentioned in my reply before, there is no battery operated heater on the market (we will continue to search). I can suggest you a small indoor propane or kerosene heater. Mr. Heater MH9BX Buddy (you can find it in our product review section) can be a great choice for your small bathroom, it is also good in terms of price/performance and safety. Also check other brands, you can find similar products at 3,500 – 5,000 BTU which is enough for a small space.

  2. Lasko MyHeat link in this article takes you to an electric heater NOT battery operated. Does not work unless plugged in, no mention in the instruction or packaging that it runs on batteries.

    1. Hi Britt and Tami,

      We have been investigating this for a while because it has been asked a lot. Unfortunately we couldn’t find a battery operated heater on the market. All electric models are corded. But you can use them with a portable generator if you have one. Otherwise I can recommend you portable models that work with propane. The ones which we have tried and reviewed seemed very safe and effective with a compact portable design. I can also recommend battery-powered heated blankets if it meets your needs.
      However, our market research will continue. If we find a battery powered model, we’ll try it right away!

  3. I am about to buy portable heater for camping. Hope this heater perfectly fits my requirement. Thanks for sharing the useful post.

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