Hiking and camping are so much fun, but when you need to spend the night in cold weather you may find the conditions in your tent quite uncomfortable.
This is why you should consider investing in one of the best tent heaters to add to your camping gear.
There is a wide range of options available. Some are lighter and more compact and others are sturdier but more powerful.
Depending on your preferences you can purchase a portable tent heater which works on propane, kerosene, or if you are on a camping site with electricity – an electric tent heater.
Also, the type of heater should correspond to the type of tent you have, and should definitely be safe for indoor use. You need to also consider how long you will be using it, as some come with small propane tanks and others can work for longer due to their bulgier tanks.
Here is an overview of the pros and cons of the best portable heaters suitable for tents on the market.
The Little Buddy is a very compact, lightweight and perfectly portable heater which is suitable and safe for tents.
- It weighs only 7 lbs.
- Safe and odor-free heat for up to 5 and a half hours
- Simple power on and of control
- Features a sensor for low oxygen and auto shut off if the unit gets tipped over
- 3,800 BTU can heat tents up to 95 sq. feet
- Takes up very little storage space thanks to the compact design and the fold-down handle
- A built-in Piezo igniter
- A wire guard for high temperatures
- Insulated for added durability
- Great for a backup emergency heater
- Not as safe as some of the other options
- Not as powerful as others, it is not suitable for long trips or freezing temperatures
- The heating level cannot be adjusted
The Little Buddy portable heater is extremely compact and can heat a large area up quite quickly. If you are planning a short trip, and need to minimize the bulkiness of your camping gear – this could be one of the best tent heaters you can buy at an amazing price!
The Avenger forced air propane heater is a powerful tent heater with a very sturdy construction.
- The motor is thermally protected for added durability
- 60,000 BTU – great for large tents and areas
- Adjustable heat angle for better positioning
- Turns on with a push button
- Quiet functioning
- No assembly required
- It weighs 16 lbs. and is 17 x 10 x 15.5 inches
- Variable fuel adjustments for lowering propane consumption
- Comes at a reasonable price
- The tank fitting is reversely threaded which some might find counter-intuitive, so make sure you read the instructions carefully
- You need to remember to turn on the fan prior to turning on the gas
This is a superb portable propane heater which can help keep you get warm and comfortable fast in cold conditions. It is easy to use and clean and comes at a very reasonable price.
The Big Buddy portable tent heater from Mr.Heater is one of the top preferred best tent heaters in the US.
- Has a BTU from 4,000 to 18,000 and a control knob for low, medium and high heating
- Suitable for tents and other areas up to 300 square feet
- Can be used indoors and outdoors
- It shuts down automatically if low oxygen levels are detected or it gets tipped over by accident
- Must be connected to a propane tank, which is not included via a quick connect system
- Can connect to 2 propane cylinders of 1lb, or to a 20 lb. tank with an optional hose
- Portable with a weight of 17 lbs.
- The integrated fan increases the heating capacity and combines convection and radiant The fan operates on 4 D-sized batteries or an AC adapter (not included)
- Built-in Piezo sparking mechanism to turn on this heater
- Has an effective wire cage for protection against burning yourself or your stuff
- It can shut down at altitudes of 7,000 feet due to lack of oxygen
- The medium heat level doesn’t burn the propane as efficiently or as cleanly as the other two settings
Overall the big buddy propane heater is an excellent product. It is safe, lightweight and compact and yet very efficient for heating up a small cabin or large tent.
This professional grade portable heater is probably one of the best tent heaters on the market. The problem is that is more expensive than most other portable heaters.
- Extremely rugged and high-quality metal construction
- Can be set up a few seconds – just connect it to the propane tank and 12-volt power
- Can work well with 5-gallon propane tanks
- Safe and clean heating thanks to the efficient stainless steel Hot Vent which brings fresh air from outside and keeps the carbon monoxide out
- The vent has a heat exchanger and a 12-volt inline fan
- It starts working the temperature up in a matter of seconds
- The 4-foot hoses included in the package are flexible and sturdy
- It comes with a convenient storage and carrying bag
- Definitely safer for overnight use than other propane heaters
- Made in the USA
- The price can be a bit steep
- At a size of 22 x 13 x 13 inches and a weight of 34 pounds, it is bulkier than others
Nevertheless, the X-40 is a superb, reliable and sturdy propane heater, which will keep the dangerous carbon monoxide out of your tent as it safely keeps you warm.
The portable MH9BX Buddy heater is another all-American favorite when it comes to choosing the best portable tent heaters.
- Very compact it weighs only 9.5 lbs.
- Has a large heating surface
- The fold in handle also helps save space when in use or when it is stored away
- Easy to start Piezo ignited control with two heating positions at 4,000 and 9,000 BTU
- Auto shut off when tipped over or when low oxygen levels are detected by the sensors
- Reliable wire guard
- Can heat up large tents of up to 200 sq. feet when connected to a 1lb propane cylinder or to another gas source via the swivel regulator
- Minimal carbon footprint
- Very clean and quiet function
- If the heater s pitched back, the piezo ignition may fail to light the unit
This excellent quality Buddy tent heater is a true gem. With it, you will get a safe, easy to use, very compact heating unit for all of your outdoor trips and adventures. It is also a superb emergency backup option in case your heating suddenly stops.
The Hunting Buddy portable heater is a safe, very compact and light and efficient heater suitable for tents and for areas up to 300 square feet.
- Auto shut off when oxygen levels drop or when the unit is tipped over
- Easy single control and ignition
- Convenient swivel regulator for easy connection to different sources of propane
- The radiant heater works at 6,000-12,000 BTU
- It weighs only 9 lbs.
- The dimensions of the unit are 10.2 x 15.5 x 16.5 inches so it is very compact
- Burns low fuel when used in the lower heating setting
- You may want to let extra air get in the tent through a vent or an opening to let the oxygen in and the fumes out
This portable propane tent heater is an excellent choice if you want an easy to carry, easy to use, a safe and highly efficient heater to keep your tent warm and cozy in the cold winter days and nights.
This incredibly portable gas catalytic heater for tents from Camco is another favorite due to its great portability and high efficiency.
- It weighs only 1 lbs. and is 5 x 12 x 15 inches in dimension
- Its 3,000 BTU can warm up a tent of up to 130 square feet
- The heater can be mounted to a wall vertically or work as a separate portable unit
- Has a 100% efficient automatic shut off valve preventing fuel discharge or non-ignitions
- The piezo lighting mechanism has a life of 20,000 ignitions
- The device can be adjusted from 1600 – 3,000 BTU per hour
- It provides catalytic eating which is much more energy efficient than flame type heaters
- Operates on low pressure, safe and clean HD-5 propane with no battery drain or carbon monoxide emissions
- Has optional legs to change the angle of the heater
- The unit radiates the heat directly to the tent walls and to the people and objects first
- The fuel consumption is 1/8 lb. per hour for consistent heating
- 3-year quality guarantee
- Works well even at high altitudes up to 12,000 feet
- It is slower in heating an area up than others
- It is pricier than some other tent heaters
- Some additives added by propane suppliers can damage the catalyst over time
The Olympian Wave 3 is an eco-friendly, efficient and versatile tent heater which is easy to carry or mount and provides quiet, consistent and safe heating when in use.
The SportCat catalytic heater is a very convenient tent heater which can run up to 1 hours on a single 16.4 oz. propane cylinder.
- 1,500 BTU heater
- Efficient, safe and flameless catalytic heat
- Convenient handle for better portability
- Compact size of 9 x 9 x 9 inches and a weight of only 3.38 lbs.
- Built-in eyelets for tying down to any surface
- Added stability of the unit thanks to the detachable base
- 5-year warranty
- Excellent alternative for power shortages
- Doesn’t provide the amount of heat which other heaters and heat sources can
The Coleman SportCat is ideal for camping. It is safe, works quietly, takes up little space and provides reliable heat for hours with minimal fuel consumption!
This high-quality tent heater from Allegro Industries is a heavy duty, reliable heater which you can safely use in a tent or in your home if you have an electrical power source.
- It produces 5,000 BTU, and a 115 CFM airflow which can quickly heat up a large tent
- Made with a sturdy steel housing to endure transport and outdoor use
- Lightweight and compact it weighs 14 lbs. and has a size of 12 x 8 x 12 inches
- CSA approved and UL listed
- A five-blade fan
- Portable (19 lbs.) with comfortable handle
- Durable sealed motor
- Raises the temperature in a tent by about 50°F
- Adjustable thermostat knob from 32 to 100°F
- Safe overheat protection
- It requires an electrical power source
- More expensive than others
The portable industrial heater from Allegra Industries is the perfect option if you go camping where electrical output is available. It will heat up your tent or RV quickly and keep it comfortably warm at all times.
This compact camping heater is affordable and very easy to use which makes it a great choice for a tent heater.
- Safe flameless heating
- Versatile and reliable catalytic technology
- Heats at 3,000 BTU for up to 7 hours with a 1 lb. propane bottle
- Silent and cozy heat for the tent
- No need to drain your RV electrical power or car batteries
- Efficient use of propane as it burns it at a much slower rate
- Very compact size of 11 x 11.2 x 15.4 inches and a weight of 4.45 lbs.
- Foldable legs for stability
- CSA certified for use in the US and Canada
- As with all propane based heaters, you should ensure proper vents for fresh air supply and fume elimination if you use it in a tent
- Not as easy to light up as some of the other portable heaters
Overall, the Martin tent heater is energy efficient, portable and easy to use. You will get sufficient heat to keep you warm without needing to switch propane bottles every few hours.
Our final verdict
Picking the best tent heaters is not an easy task. You need to place safety first, as well as portability if you will be using the heating device in your tent or take it to a hiking trip with you.
The safest option is a heater which ensures proper ventilation in order to keep you and your family safe from the carbon monoxide fumes. Also, the better quality heaters have safety auto power off functions to ensure your safety of mind.
The fuel efficiency is also something to consider when purchasing a heater for your tent especially if you don’t have sufficient space to stack up extra tanks and bottles of propane.
We must conclude that these tent heaters are among the top choices recommended by camping and safety experts, so pick the one which will suit your needs best and enjoy a warm and cozy time when you are out camping next time!