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 a reliable and good-quality tent heater 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 that 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 leading portable heaters suitable for tents on the market.
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 a 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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- 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 13.01 lbs. and is 15.98 x 8.82 x 13.5 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 that 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.
- 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 top tent heaters you can buy at an amazing price!
The Zer One Outdoor Gas Heater is another inexpensive and portable product that offers rapid heating when you are camping, hiking, or spending time outdoors.
- It has a detachable, foldable and adjustable base to keep the heater steady even on uneven terrains
- It is gas-powered and can be screwed on top of a 1 lb. gas tank directly
- You can attach it to a propane tank via an adaptor hose, which you will need to buy separately
- A protective stainless steel net for added safety
- A fire control valve which can be adjusted to heat up the area quickly
- It is made of lightweight iron and weighs only 14.8 ounces, so it is easy to carry
- The size of the heater is 5.9 x 5.9 x 5.5 inches
- The heater comes with a convenient carry pouch
- It can be noisy when used at the maximum heating level
- You will need to purchase an adaptor if you want to use it with a propane tank
The Zer One Outdoor Gas Heater is another reasonably-priced outdoor or tent heater that is easy to use, can heat up the area very rapidly, and is lightweight and portable.
It is an inexpensive but well-built heater, suitable for hunting, fishing, camping, or for any other outdoor adventure.
The Honeywell 360 Degree Surround Ten Heater is an excellent option if you have access to a power outlet or a generator when you are camping. It is portable and lightweight and will emit heat from all sides to provide you with rapid heating throughout the tent or RV.
- It is suitable for camping near a power outlet or with a generator
- It has two heat settings, and a thermostat to maintain the desired heat
- The thermostat is programmable, and there is a timer option for energy-saving
- It is both a heater and a fan so that you can use it all-year-round
- It has a sturdy base to keep it stable on the ground
- It also has a tip-over switch, and overheat shut-off protection for your safety
- Thanks to its lightweight design, and the comfortable carry handle, you can move it around easily
- The handle will remain cool no matter how long the heater has been working
- It has a 360-degree spin function to spread the heat or to circulate the air more efficiently to all directions
- It weighs only 3 lbs. and is 8 x 8 x 11.5 inches in size
- It is not suitable for use off the grid when you have no alternative power source
- It can be noisy at the highest setting
As a whole, this 360 Degree Heater and Fan by Honeywell is one of the top options if you prefer camping in an RV or have an alternative energy source at the campsite.
It is a powerful, energy-saving device that will help keep you warm and comfortable in the winter and cool in the summer.
At the same time, it is small and light and has a stay-cool carry handle.
Note: If you don’t have a power generator, check out the Most Recommended Portable Solar Power Generators
The Junda Portable Mini Tent Stove is one of the most compact of all tent heating products on this list. It is also among the least expensive and easiest ones to use. It will help turn a burning flame into a viable and safe heating source.
- Sold at a very affordable price
- Made of durable and heat-resistant stainless steel
- Light and portable
- It works with twigs, dry leaves, and other natural sources for lighting a fire
- No polluting or costly fuels are required
- It can also work with solid fuel like solidified alcohol tablets
- It is only 4.5 inches high and has a 4.53-inch diameter
- Can be used on top of all types of stoves or burners
- Transforms burning flames into safer radial heat for tents
- Suitable for use as a backpacking stove or a tent heater
- You may need to burn the factory added paint on top of it before using it in a tent
- It does require the use of a burner of some kind to heat up a tent
Overall, the Junda Mini Heating stove is a cleverly designed device that will make any burner safer to use inside the tent. It is small-sized and light in weight and is also a very affordable option if you are shopping for a budget-friendly tent heater.
- It produces 5,000 BTU, and a 115 CFM airflow which can quickly heat up a large tent
- Made with 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.
- 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 that is easy to carry or mount and provides quiet, consistent and safe heating when in use.
Our final verdict
Picking the greatest 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 and enjoy a warm and cozy time when you are out camping next time!