best heater for tent camping

Introduction

The urge for camping can arise at any time- even in winter. So how do you keep warm in the cold winter nights? While some campers opt to cuddle in sleeping bags, layer up themselves in heavy clothing, slip a hot water bottle under the bedding, and so on, sometimes you need the best heater for tent camping on the market today. Unlike the other options that necessitate you to carry too much luggage, a good heater for camping is lightweight and packs compact.

In this article, we shall discuss the various types of tent heaters available, show you what to look for in choosing your ideal tent heater, review the best heater for tent, and then address some of the most frequently asked questions asked about heaters.  Overall, this article aims at making you an informed buyer as you scout for the best heater for tent camping.

How Do Heaters Work?

best heater for tent camping

Heaters have a heating element that converts the primary source of energy to heat energy. The heating element can be made from different metal elements as long as these elements are good electric resistors (for example nichrome (nickel and chromium alloy (80/20%)) wire. This resistance is what causes the elements to build up heat, which they then transmit to the external environment.

With regard to the primary source of power, we have four distinct type of heaters:

Electric Heaters

These are the most common heaters for seasoned campers. Electric heaters use power from a nearby electric hook-up installation (EHUs), a standby generator, or your vehicle. They are available as fan heaters, electric radiators, halogen heaters, and electric blankets.

These heaters are also the safest of all tent heaters since they come with auto shut off and tip-over prevention features. However, they are the most expensive tent heaters. The electric fan heater, for example, is ideal for use within short periods since they tend to overheat and catch fire when left unattended overnight.  However, they are lightweight thus very portable.

In this category, we shall review the Cozy ESH Eco-Save Compact Heater and the Lasko CD09250 Heater.

Combustion Tent Heaters

These heaters use fuel like kerosene, gasoline, and propane to operate.  They tend to get very hot. These are some of the cheapest heaters for tent camping to buy and maintain since all you need is the refill gas or fuel.

However, they are also quite dangerous. They can topple over and start a fire.  They also emit harmful gases and, therefore, require proper ventilation lest there be a build-up of harmful gases such as carbon monoxide and soot.  We shall review Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy and Camping Emergency Butane Heater in this category.

Wood Burning Stove For Heating

Using a wood burning stove requires one to have the right type of tent: A tent made of fire- retardant fabric and with a flue flap.  Such heaters are good because they have multipurpose functions. You can use them to boil water, cook, bake, and grill food while they still warm the tent.

They come with a chimney to direct the smoke away from the tent. Moreover, for campers in the woods, finding enough firewood to last the night is not difficult. In this category, we shall review the Guide Gear Outdoor Wood Stove.

Battery Powered Heaters

These heaters rely on portable batteries to warm the tent. They come in handy when there is an unreliable power supply at the camping site. They are a cheaper option too, but the inconvenience of changing r re-charging the batteries make them less preferred.

We prefer to use these heaters mostly for emergency cases. Therefore, it is always prudent to use them alongside other heaters.

Our Top Six Best Heaters for Tent Camping

1. Our Top Choice: Best Heater for Tent Camping – Lasko CD09250 Ceramic Heater

Lasko CD09250 Ceramic Adjustable Thermostat Tabletop or Under-Desk Heater, Black
The Lasko CD09250 Ceramic Heater is a small automatic electric heater with three adjustable settings. It also includes a fan to alter the temperature levels in the tent. For example, when it is too cold, adjust the settings up to a maximum of 1500 watts. You could also lower the heat up to 900 watts when it gets warmer.

Lasko CD09250 has a manual overheat control feature to prevent accidents. The fan can be used to ventilate the tented room especially if you are a bit overcrowded.  It is quiet in operation, easy to use, and it comes already pre-assembled.

The Lasko CD09250 Ceramic Heater has a convenient carry handle on top, which can also be used to hang it inside the tent to keep it away from children. It comes with a 3 Year manufacturer warranty.

Pros
  • Easy to use
  • Portable
  • Durable
  • Adjustable to three temperature settings
  • Has a cooling fan
  • Quiet in operation
Cons
  • Needs external powering

Click here to view Lasko CD09250 Ceramic Heater on Amazon.com

2. Best Heater for Tent Camping – Cozy ESH Eco-Save Compact Heater

Cozy Products ESH Eco-Save 750-watt Compact Heater Saves Money and Energy
The Cozy ESH Eco-Save Compact Heater is one of the best heaters for camping in an area with no EHU installations or with unreliable power supply because it can be powered using a car battery. It is a small electric heater that uses little energy to warm your tent.

This heater is great because it has various safety control features including an adjustable thermostat with an easy to follow manual and a fan controlled by a two-way switch. These switches provide an automatic shut off and kick on to avoid overheating. They also protect the heater in case of a tip-over incident.

The Cozy ESH Eco-Save Compact Heater has a sleek and elegant design. It’s an excellent aesthetic addition to your camping experience. However, this heater is not ideal for bigger tents.

Pros
  • Unique design
  • Affordable
  • Uses little energy
  • It’s eco-friendly
  • Safe
Cons
  • A bit noisy
  • Not effective in big tents

Click here to view Cozy ESH Eco-Save Compact Heater on Amazon.com

3. Best Heater for Tent Camping – Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy

Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU Indoor-Safe Portable Propane Radiant Heater
Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy is very efficient in terms of fuel consumption. It generates heat of between 4k and 9k BTU power. Hence, this small and portable heater can emit heat adequate for a big tent. It has various safety features including an auto shut off switch that is activated when the heater falls, when used at altitudes above 7,000 feet, or when the oxygen levels get critically low.

Although it uses propane gas, you need to purchase the gas cylinder separately. It comes with a ceramic tile burner to keep it intact for longer.

Pros
  • Very safe
  • Ideal for large families with children
  • Easy to use and carry around
  • Warms a big tent in minutes
  • The propane gas cleans the surrounding air
Cons
  • You have to buy the gas cylinder separately

Click here to view Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy on Amazon.com

4. Best Heater for Tent Camping – Camping Emergency Butane Heater

Camping Emergency Butane Heater Coherent Heat Source Survival Tools
Camping Emergency Butane Heater is yet another phenomenal tent heater. It uses the readily available butane gas at a consumption of 100 grams per hour. The heater generates up to 600 BTU, which will keep the tent warm for several hours. It also has a ceramic burner that is durable.

Its solid massive base design makes it hard to topple over and cause fire accidents. Camping Emergency Butane Heater is ideal for emergency heating especially in the case of a power outage.

Pros
  • Sturdy design
  • Eco-friendly
  • Durable
  • Ideal for smaller tents
Cons
  • Too small for larger tents
  • A bit heavy to carry around

Click here to view Camping Emergency Butane Heater on Amazon.com

5. Best Heater for Tent Camping – Guide Gear Outdoor Wood Stove

Guide Gear Outdoor Wood Stove
Guide Gear Outdoor Wood Stove is a little wood-fueled stove that heats your tent and can be used to cook meals.  All the smoke is directed away from the shelter through the chimney at the tent’s flue flap.  It is easy to assemble, use, and pack, making it a great choice.

It is a light stove that is portable and compact thereby utilizing minimal space in your tent. However, this stove needs to be set on a fire retardant ground since it tends to get too hot and might burn anything underneath it.

Besides, sometimes we have stray coal falling off the stove’s door when adding more wood to it. Other than that, Guide Gear Outdoor Wood Stove is a quality option to warm your camping tent. Make sure you have a tent with proper ventiliation though – not every tent can handle a wood stove.

Pros
  • Optimum use of wood fuel to warm the tent
  • Easy to assemble, use, and carry
  • Lighter than most wood burning tent heaters
  • Can be used for both heating and cooking
  • Keeps tent free from smoke
  • Compact and space saving
Cons
  • You must use a fire-retardant tent and carpet with a flue flap

Click here to view Guide Gear Outdoor Wood Stove on Amazon.com

A Buyers Guide To The Best Heater For Tent Camping

best heater for tent camping

There are several things you need to have in mind when choosing the best heater for tent camping.

Safety

This is the most important factor. Quality tent heaters will have safety features incorporated in its design to protect against accidental tipping over, to regulate overheating, and automatically shut off the heater should you fall asleep.

When camping with children, the safest heaters to use are those that hang on a wall to keep them out of reach of children. Ensure the heater is also easy to use.

Portability

Carrying heavy luggage can make your camping trip tiresome, especially if you are hiking to get to your camping site. Consider purchasing a heater that is light, easy to fold and assemble, and a natural fit for your backpack.  Most electric heaters are portable. However, wood burning stoves are the most massive types of tent heaters.

Energy Source and Consumption

Where will you source power to run your heater?  How much of it will you need throughout the camping period? Think about the possible sources of power available to you. At least we now have eco-friendly tent heaters that have energy saving capabilities.

Most electric heaters are suited for camping sites installed with Electric Hook-Ups (EHUs). To utilize these EHUs, you require specialized cabling that controls power surges. Follow the recommended fuel requirements for your heater to keep the heater burning all night.

For a wood burning stove, be ready to chop some few logs to keep the fire burning at night. Luckily, you’ll only chop that wood once to cook and warm the tent.

The Size Of The Tent

Check on the manufacturer’s recommendations on the coverage of your tent heater.

Your choice of tent heater should not turn your tent into an oven. Too much heat in the shelter also tends to cause dehydration. Neither should it leave some areas of the canvas still cold. Check on the manufacturer’s recommendations on the coverage of your tent heater.  Also, consider how many hours you intend to have the heater running.

Multiple Functions

Some heaters can be used to heat the tented room, cook, boil bathing water, grill your barbecue or offer a beautiful fireplace to chitchat the entire night. Consider all your heating requirements and try to minimize the number of equipment you need to carry with you.

Noise

Some heaters, especially the ones with a fan, tend to produce vibrating noise. This can be soothing for someone camping at a noisy, crowded place. But it can also be a nuisance for someone who wants to spend a quiet time away from home to meditate.

It is advisable to test the heater and see whether you can tolerate the level of noise it emits before you take it camping.

Warranty

The manufacturer’s warranty is a good pointer at the heater’s durability. Most manufacturers offer a guarantee of between one to five years.

FAQs About The Best Heaters For Tent Camping

best heater for tent camping

Below are the answers to some frequently asked questions regarding tent heaters.

Q. What Do I Do To Prevent The Dehydration Associated With Tent Heaters?

Always ensure you place a bowl of water near the heater. This water will slowly evaporate and increase the humidity levels in the air and, therefore, keep you hydrated while you sleep.

Q. What Do I Do In Case My Tent Heater Topples Over?

Most tent heaters have automated features to make them switch off any time they fall. This is to avoid any fire accident. In case the heater you are using has no such safety features, you have to take measures to prevent a fire starting.

The first reaction is to return the heater to its upright position. Then manage the accident depending on the type of energy your heater is using. For electric heaters, disconnect the heater from the main switch.  Having a fire extinguisher would come in handy for combustion heaters. We always recommend bringing one as a safety precaution.

Q. Where Should I Buy The Best Heater For Tent Camping?

We recommend purchasing your heater from Amazon.com. Click here to view Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy on Amazon.com

In Conclusion

Staying cozy on a cold camping night doesn’t have to be a hassle.  As you plan for your next camping trip, ensure you purchase the best heater for tent camping to warm your tent. Additionally, heaters are important for tent camping, but you need to make sure you also insulate your tent properly for winter camping.

The above options are effective, safe, and convenient to carry. Do your research ahead of time and have a wonderful time in the great outdoors.

Huge fan of hiking with my dog, camping in the great outdoors, biking, and writing about all of it. Staff Writer at ATO.

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