5 Best Tent Heaters Reviewed (Stay Warm & Cozy!)
Camping, hiking, backpacking, and hunting are all recreational activities which have one thing in common; tents. One of the thrills of taking those outdoor trips is getting ready to settle in for the night (even when its cold). Which is why we decided to write a review of the best tent heaters on the market today.
Best Tent Heaters Comparison
- Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Portable Heater
- Mr. Heater Little Buddy (F215100 MH4B)
- Texsport Outdoor Propane Heater
- Comfort Zone Heater (CZ707)
Before going right into the reviews, let us hash out some of the essential features you want out of the best tent warmer.
Top Features That Make Up The Tent Warmer
Usually, when most people start up a camping/hiking gear collection they start with things like tents, sleeping bags, and a few cooking essentials. The thought of keeping warm is often far from most people’s minds until they have to spend a cold night holed up inside a tent. Seasoned campers know that a tent heater is one of the primary gears you want to get early enough.
Type of Heater
There are lots of tent heaters out there, and their first main difference is the heating element they use to produce warmth. Generally, you will come across three main typess use of gas, electricity or battery for fuel.
Before going into the different heaters available, it is essential to know that some campsites do not allow the use of certain types of heaters.
Gas (propane and butane) heaters are the most common type you will come across. Initially, they fall on the costly side, but they are far more affordable to operate afterward. They also heat up spaces faster and efficiently.
Various outdoor products make use of propane tanks, and it is the reason why heaters that run on them are quite popular. Propane tanks are also much cheaper when compared to butane gas canisters and other fuel sources.
However, they can be noisy, require venting for use in closed areas, and might emit carbon monoxide when not used correctly. You will also need to have enough gas cylinders when setting out and keep buying them to run these heaters.
Electric heaters will cost you significantly less for the initial purchase, but they are relatively expensive to operate. You can use these heat warmers indoors and outdoors, and they do not run noisily or emit any kinds of smells.
Unless you intend to only use them in campsites that offer free electrical hookups, they may be costly to run. They can run up quite the bill because of their consumption of electricity. Well and okay if you do have a generator, but you still have to consider the fuel costs in this case. There is also the chance of having to deal with unexpected power outages.
Battery operated heaters are not as conventional as the other two, but they are usually the most versatile and portable.
However, they do not give out as much heat as the other two options. You also have to make sure that they are fully charged or that you have enough batteries on hand before setting out. They would not hold up too well for extended camping trips.
Other Types of Heaters
Why not mention some of the other types of heaters that you might come across. You may find one of the older kerosene heaters which are now obsolete. They prove to be much more of a safety hazard and impractical to use presently with an advanced array of options.
Wood burning stove heaters are also still widely used in campsites. You will need to have a tent that is flame retardant and big enough to accommodate the stove and its flue.
You can find tents made explicitly for use with wood burning heaters, but it would only make sense if you have an unlimited supply of wood to run them. They are also the heaviest heaters that you will come across.
The amount of heat given out by a tent warmer is referred to as the BTUs or thermal output. It can sound confusing and involves a bit of math, but you definitely want to know the amount of heat you need to heat up the available space.
The size of your tent and temperature around your camping area determines the amount of BTUs you need. A general rule is to get a heater with an output no less than 3000 BTUs if you have a relatively bigger tent. However, the type of tent you have also determined the kind of heater you need.
Summer tents do not hold up too well in the winter months, and you would need a powerful heater to keep you warm when using them in the colder months. 3 and 4 season tents provide more protection against the wind and rain making them easier to heat up with smaller units.
The size of a tent heater matters because it directly has an influence on efficiently heating your tent. The ultimate goal is to get an ultra lightweight tent heater that still offers quality performance. Size also affects the amount of heat you can get from a tent warmer.
If you are working with a family sized tent, it does not make sense to go for a small sized heater which will not make much of a difference. When talking about size, also keep in mind that a bigger sized heater may offer the amount of warmth you need but could present a storage problem.
Now, another important aspect of having in mind is that gas heaters come with their fair share of safety repercussions. Generally, propane based heaters prove to be a bit safer when compared to butane-based counterparts. If you are very concerned about safety, then you might just want to avoid gas-based tent warmers and get an electric heater.
Most tent heaters come with an auto-shut-off function to respond to the unit tipping over and to detect low oxygen levels.
An ill-sized heater could become a safety hazard by producing too much or less heat than necessary.
Will the heater work for your intended function? Some heaters will not work at certain altitudes, and others are not suitable for indoor use.
Onto Our Top Tent Heater Reviews
lets see what we got…..
Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Portable Heater Review
Our top pick!
Why we like it:
- Highest rated portable camping heater with over 2200+ Amazon reviews.
- The tent warmer is enhanced for safety with an auto-shut-off function.
- It works efficiently as an outdoor and indoor heater.
- It does not produce noticeable sounds and smells.
Who should buy it?
- Folks who want a multi-functional heater that can work indoors and outdoors.
- Large tent owners who are looking for a fast and reliable tent heating solution.
- Anyone who can spare $67 to $271 on a tent warmer.
The Buddy is a worthwhile inclusion to your camping gear. It is a proficient tent warmer for families, and best yet you can leave it on overnight without incident. You can use it outdoors to supplement a campfire or crank it up inside a tent or RV.
However, this is not the tent heater you want when camping at altitudes 7000 feet above sea level because it may switch off.
Some Sweet Features
- Can quickly and efficiently heat up spaces up to 225 sq feet.
- Change the BTUs from 4000 to 9000 with a four-position control.
- Features a fold-down handle helping to save on storage space, and weighing in at just about 9.5lbs it is as portable as they come.
- An auto-shut-off function enhances safety by detecting when the heater gets tipped over, the pilot light goes off, or oxygen levels go low.
- A swivel regulator and hose installation allow it to connect to a one-pound LP cylinder with ease.
Get the Buddy tent warmer as a go-to solution for your short family camping trips. Remember that it does not hold up too well at high altitudes, and for extended camping trips in larger/permanent tents you might want to go for the heavy-duty warmers.
Mr. Heater Little Buddy (F215100 MH4B) Review
What we liked about it:
- It is the most lightweight and portable heater on our list, making it an ideal option for backpackers.
- Heats up a relatively large surface area for its size.
- Easy to use with a simple on/off button.
Why should you buy it?
- Backpackers, hikers or anyone looking for a highly portable tent heater.
- The Little Buddy goes for $59.95 making it a reasonably priced reliable heater for camping.
Backpackers and hikers who do not want the added weight will appreciate having this handy tent warmer. Falling on the affordable side, it works as an excellent option for anyone who wants a reliable tent warmer. Its compact size should not fool you because it packs a punch with a large surface area heating ability.
While its lightweight size could tempt some folks to use it in their cars, it is not intended for use within motorized vehicles. Also, it is not one of the space heaters you will feel comfortable leaving burning through the night.
Some Cool Features
- At just 7 pounds, it is incredibly lightweight.
- It uses a straightforward on/off operation model with an accidental tip-over and low oxygen sensor.
- The indoor-safe warmer can heat up 95 sq. Feet spaces.
- It runs on 1-pound propane cylinders.
- Adjust the amount of heat with two heat settings (4000 and 9000 BTU/HR). Also included is a four position control to switch between heat settings.
Offering about 6 hours of use, it is an excellent bargain for heating up small spaces.
Texsport Outdoor Propane Heater Review
What we like:
- It makes a perfect gift for the backyard camper your know.
- The exceptional craftsmanship makes it highly durable.
Who is it for?
- Backyard campers would appreciate this tent warmer.
- Backpackers would also find this tent warmer a handy tool because of its light 3-pound weight.
- It also serves folks who want a small heater for outdoor cool weather activities including hunting.
- For just $33.31, the bargain buyer will find the deal quite appealing.
The Texsport heater could also prove useful for those backyard barbeques that run late into the night.
It does not come with a self-starter which means that you must have a lighter or a pack of matches on hand to get it going.
Some Notable Features
- It features a mostly stainless steel construction which makes it strong and durable.
- The paddle feet base offers better stability preventing it from tipping over, and it measures 6 by 9 by 10.5 inches.
- An auto-shut-off valve turns it off when the flame goes out
- Burning up to 2890 BTUs, it can heat up a 100 square foot space.
- It runs on a standardized one-pound propane tank giving about 4 to 6 hours of use.
- Move around with it when needed with the help of the carry handle.
While it does not meet the demands of large space heating during winter, get a Texsport warmer to serve as a small-scale heat solution.
Comfort Zone Heater (CZ707)
What we liked:
- An affordable, compact electric heater.
- Comes with both heat and fan settings.
- It features an adjustable thermostat.
Who is it for?
- Campers with access to electric supply.
- Anyone who wants to stay away from propane heaters for safety reasons.
Naturally, going for this tent warmer means that you need access to an outdoor electric source. You can leave it on through the night without much concern.
Though not too much of a dealbreaker, electric heaters often need a bit of time to get going. Also, depending on the output, an electric heater might not give you the same level of warmth you get from propane heaters.
Some Awesome Features
- The sturdy all-metal construction makes it durable.
- A heat-friendly carry handle allows you to move around with it.
- An adjustable thermostat allows you to switch between two heat settings or the fan-only setting.
- Includes a tip-over safety switch and caution indicator lights.
- It runs quietly and efficiently.
This is a tent warmer that you should not hang up in your tent because it needs enough ventilation. Buy it because you prefer an electric heater that will get the job done.
Tooluxe Camping Emergency Heater
What we liked:
- A standard butane cartridge powers this heater.
- It comes with an LPG connector allowing you to use it with external gas sources.
Who is it for?
- Anyone who wants to have a portable emergency heater at hand.
- Take it with you on a weekend camping trip, and it will not disappoint. However, it is may not be the best option for long camping trips, but it delivers on its budget.
- It may churn out fumes which means that you only want to use it in well-ventilated spaces.
Some Cool Features
- Its gas consumption is 100gm/hr.
- The body swivels enabling you to distribute heat efficiently.
- It falls on the heavier side of heaters on this list, but the heavy-bottom design gives it maximum stability.
- The butane gas cartridge goes into an in-built enclosed case.
Most campers won’t go for this heater unless you have a ready supply of butane cartridges. Also, these cartridges can be quite expensive, and a full cylinder provides just about 4 hours of use.
That is it for our tent heater reviews, but you should have a few things in mind, aside from price, when buying one of these tent warmers:
- You want a tent warmer that provides the right amount of heat to warm up the tent you have.
- Remember that the heater you buy will determine its operation costs afterward. Also, keep in mind that campsites have individual sets of rules about the types of heaters that you can use on their grounds.
- Determine whether you need a heater to use for several days on longer trips or one to use infrequently for shorter trips.
- Make sure to get a tent heater that will serve your practical and particular needs. Preferably, you want one that you can use both in enclosed and outdoor spaces.
- Lastly, your budget should guide your final decision, but it is best to invest in a quality tent warmer for the long run.