Camping is a year-round pastime, but you should still take the proper precautions to ensure that your winter camping trip is as comfortable as possible.
In most cases, this means bringing the right winter-ready tent and packing lots of insulated materials, but finding a good heater for a tent can also go a long way. The best tent heater will be safe, easy to use, and lightweight so that you can have an easy trip.
In this guide, we’re going to show you five of the best tent heaters on the market as well as help you know what to look for when making a purchase.
To be honest, not every part of the country experiences 70-degree weather at all times of year, and when this is the case, a good heater can really make a massive difference. These usually utilize the close confines of the tent to ensure that everyone inside is provided a good amount of ambient warmth, and it does this safely and wirelessly.
Here are a few other reasons to get one of these products:
The Heating is Quick
Not only will one of these camping products provide you with a high level of ambient heat, but they will also make the tent warm quickly.
In fact, many of these will raise the temperature inside of the tent by more than 30 degrees in less than five minutes. This can make a difference, especially if you’re camping in some of the colder regions of the country.
It’s Safer than Other Means of Heating
These things are designed to not produce much external heat outside of the heating elements. This means that the entire body, which is usually made of tough plastic, is designed to stay near room temperature.
This makes it so that you won’t have to worry about the heater heating up the material of your tent and causing a fire. This isn’t to say that the main heating elements don’t produce a high level of heat – there’s just a heightened degree of safety when looking for a place to keep the heater.
In addition to this, many also have auto-shutoff features that will immediately depower the unit should it be tipped over.
They are Usually Lightweight
When you’re out trudging through snow-covered landscapes, the last thing you want is to feel over-encumbered. For this reason, many manufacturers design these types of devices to be lightweight and easy to carry; some even design them to be easily hooked to a backpack or carried like a traditional lantern.
Factors to Consider When Purchasing Tent Stoves
Now that you understand some of the inherent advantages in purchasing one of these, it’s also a good idea to know what to look for when you’re on the market.
There are a wide variety of products of this type out there, so when you’re looking to find the right product for you, consider these factors before you make a purchase:
The Size and Thickness of the Tent
Each of the heaters that you’ll find on the market today are designed to heat a specific amount of space. For this reason, the last thing you want is to purchase a heater that’s designed to only heat a two-person tent for your family tent. While you may all still be warm, you’re still going to experience cold spots that might make the camping trip uncomfortable.
An excellent way to determine what kind of heater output you’ll need to heat your tent is to first know the BTUs of the heater. These stand for British Thermal Units, and the higher the amount, the more ambient warmth the heater will generate.
For larger tents, you’ll need a higher BTU number, and for tents that don’t have insulation, then you’ll also need to go higher to counteract the cold that will inevitably seep in through the tent material.
For frigid winters where you’ll need to offset frigid conditions, shoot for a product that has a BTU rating well over 800.
The Heating Method
When working with a heater, you’ll find that there are three methods that companies use to provide ambient heat with their camping heater products: propane, electrical, and chemical.
Here’s a look at each:
Propane Tent Heater Models
Propane heaters are the most common, and they work well as long as you have a source of propane to keep the product running.
There are even products that don’t use a flame and instead use a catalytic method of providing heat. These are also known for being very portable. Many of these will provide heat for up to seven hours or so.
Chemical Tent Heater Models
Chemical tent heaters, which can use chemicals like butane, are designed to sometimes be one-use products.
Chemical heaters have a tendency to be usable for up to 15 hours or so, which is slightly longer than propane. For those that are not one-use, you can refill them using packs that can provide up to 500 uses.
Electrical Tent Heater Models
Electrical, in theory, has no upper limit on heating hours as long as you can find a source of juice. For this reason, their usage during hike or backpacking trip can be questionable unless you have access to a power source.
On the other hand, these can heat up the tent the fastest, and they also are very safe. On the market, you can also find battery operated heaters as well.
The first product in our guide is also an electrical model, so you’ll need a power source when using this product. As a result, this is a good heater for campground camping or when you have access to a an auxiliary car power outlet. Despite these minor foibles, this is definitely a heater that can keep a tent nice and warm. This is because the heating element uses a fan assembly to evenly distribute the heat throughout the confined space of your tent.
As an electrical unit, there are also a few significant safety features to consider. For example, despite its ability to add a lot of heat to a closed environment, the handle atop the device will remain nice and cool so that you can move it to where it’ll do the most good. In addition to this, the device also has an auto-shutoff function that will shut the product down should it be tipped over or should it start to overheat. This is perfect for keeping you and your family safe and warm in your tent.
Heater is one of the most well-known brands of space heaters on the market, and the company is known for its ability to heat small spaces like tents with ease and safety. This product, which will be the first of four Mr. Heater products covered here, is designed to produce a significant amount of warmth for a small space. Its maximum output is 18,000 BTU, which will warm even the most massive tents.
In fact, with its output, an area of 450 square feet can be easily heated up significantly. This is not only a good product for tent camping, but it also has great applications when heating up an RV like a teardrop camper or a Class B motorhome. Like the best portable heater products, this Mr. Heater device will auto-shutoff when tipped over, if the pilot light goes out, or there are low oxygen levels. In addition to this, there’s also overheat protection.
This Mr. Heater product is similar in design to the previous product, but it has a slightly reduced output, which can be great for anyone camping on a smaller scale. In total, this heater will heat an area that’s about 225 square feet, so you’ll experience a high level of warmth during your trips. Like the previous product, this camping heater has three intensity settings so that you can have a more comfortable experience.
The heater will shut off if the pilot light goes out, it detects low oxygen levels, or it gets tipped over accidentally, which can protect you from calamity. The body of the product incorporates steel, plastic, and nickel, and it’s designed to stay cool to the touch while in operation. This will allow it to be moved from place to place without issue, even when it’s on. The handle is also fold-down so that the entire device has a smaller sizing when in use.
Despite providing a lot of radiant heat, the product stays cool to the touch
The handle folds down
It has multiple intensity settings
At maximum output, the heater only lasts three hours per tank
One of the best features of this Mr. Heater product is how it easily attaches to the tops of most propane tanks. This grants the product some height, and it also makes it easier to distribute a good level of radiant heat. The burner head on this heater heats to an impressive 360 degrees, so this can work well as a heater that you can use outside of your tent to warm up. It’s essential to note that this heater is rated only for outdoor use, but it can still be used to warm up the area around your tent from the outside.
All of the necessary fittings are included with this product, and it’s also designed to shutoff immediately if it’s tipped over. Its power output is also impressive; its base setting produces 29,000 BTUs of heat energy, and at maximum output, you can warm an ample space with its 45,000-BTU output.
It has an excellent height for warming up the hands
This product produces a high amount of heat
It attaches directly to a 20-pound propane tank
It’s not really designed to be used inside of a tent
Our final product is the most compact of the bunch. It’s also designed to project heat to a predefined place so that it can be beneficial for tent heating. On a single one-pound propane tank, this device will heat for almost six hours, so it should be easy to remain nice and toasty during your night. Its base-level heat output provides 3800 BTUs of heat, so you’ll feel nice and warm. The heater also attaches directly to a tank, which adds both stability and safety.
This heater has a tip switch that automatically turns the heater off once it’s under operation. If the oxygen is low inside the tent, then the product will stop burning oxygen and shut down for your safety. During everyday operation, the Little Buddy will never produce propane odors, and it’s also straightforward to turn off and on via a very easy-to-reach switch.
The best tent heater can really make a difference when it comes to the safety and comfort of your next camping expedition. All of the products here are designed to provide a good amount of heat for your spaces, but if we were to select a favorite, it would be our final product.
This product, which is the Mr. Heater Little Buddy, is the most tent camping-friendly, and it even has several key protections that will ensure that you’re camping safely and warm. It also is the best portable heater on our list and has just the right BTU level to keep things nice and warm in a confined space.
Indoor-safe portable propane heater for rooms up to 95 square feet. THIS UNIT IS NOT INTENDED FOR GOLF CART USE OR FOR MOTORIZED VEHICLES.
Continuous odor-free, 45-degree heating angle. Maximum Elevation (Ft) 7000 Feet. Automatic low oxygen shut-off system (ODS)
Simple on/off buttons; uses 1-pound disposable propane cylinder (not included). Run time at minimum btu and maximum btu is 5.6 hours. Do not operate heater in any moving vehicle. This heater requires a vent area of 4 square inches minimum for adequate ventilation during operation
Low-oxygen sensor and accidental tip-over switch with auto shut-off for safety.THE USE OF UN-AUTHORIZED ACCESSORIES/ATTACHMENTS WITH THIS HEATER ARE EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED, MAY CAUSE SERIOUS INJURY, AND WILL VOID THE WARRANTY.
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