The Best Tent Heaters: Guide to Staying Warm While Camping

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​Camping is one of the best ways to get out and rid you of the stress of everyday life. It enables you to get back in touch with your inner self and enjoy the basics that life has to offer. However, staying warm is an essential part of camping and without the right basics, you will be left to face the elements instead of enjoying a great trip.

The best tent heaters can be rather daunting to find.With so many safety issues, many people simply leave them behind and go without them, only to realize later that the really needed one. Fortunately, we have stepped in and tested a couple of the top heaters to enable you to find one that will keep you warm and cozy on your next trip.

Quick Comparison of the Best Tent Heaters

  • Radiant heater with 4000 to 9000 BTU that can work for three on hours on maximum BTU
  • Capable of warming spaces of up to 225 sq. ft.
  • 100% efficient and clean burning, making it appropriate for indoor and outdoor use
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  • Liquid propane heater with 6000-12000 BTU for radiant heating
  • Suitable for enclosed spaces of up to 300 sq. ft.
  • Equipped with safety features include low oxygen shut-off system and accidental tip-over shut-off
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  • Portable and indoor-safe heater suitable for heating up to 95 sq. ft.
  • Features automatic low oxygen shut-off for increased safety
  • Provides continuous odor-free heat at a 45-degree angle
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  • Portable electric heater that cuts down your electricity bills
  • Find your desired temperature with the adjustable thermostat and three powerful settings
  • Comes with several safety features including overheat protection sensor and tip-over switch
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Camping in the Cold

Camping in the cold is something that you will need to endure if you are an avid camper. The cold weather is part of nature and while we can predict when it will be cold, it can often times swoop in unexpectedly. With a top quality-tent heater, this wouldn’t be an issue and you can safely stay in the tent and keep warm regardless of the weather outside.

In certain areas, the weather can be warm, but at night temperatures can drop into the sub-zero range and catch you off guard. When that happens, you can just make the best of the situation and turn on your brand-new tent heater.

Types Of Tent Heaters

Generally, the first thing you will need to do is choose the type of tent heater that you feel will be ideal for your needs. These heaters are broken down into three subsections, which are propane gas, electric, and battery-powered heaters. Each of these have their own benefits and drawbacks:

  • Gas: Gas heaters are a little cheaper but will cost you more in the long run. The gas needs to be refilled often and they could pose some safety risks if they fall over. However, they can provide  a better heating experience as they do have a tendency to reach higher temperatures.
  • Electric: The electric tent heater is the most expensive of the three types of tent heaters and it will require some sort of electric connection. That could be from a campsite hook-up, or maybe the battery of your car - or even a generator if you bring one along. However, these heaters will never run out of gas and they include auto-shutoff features to prevent a fire hazard if they fall over.
  • Battery-powered: Battery powered heaters might not be very powerful, but they do have the advantage of being very portable. The battery-powered heater is versatile and it can be used anywhere. Just make sure the batteries are fully charged before setting out on your excursion.

Important Factors to Consider When Choosing a Tent Heater

After looking at the various types of tent heaters, there are a few other things you need to consider as well. Understanding these factors and using them in your decision-making process will help you choose the best heater much more easily. Here are the main factors to consider when choosing a tent heater:

  • Weight: The heater will be used for camping and even backpacking occasionally so the weight is something you need to keep in mind. If the heater is too heavy, it could be more of a problem to carry around than your food and other equipment.
  • Power Consumption: The power consumption is the main aspect you need to keep focused on as this will determine the long-term costs. Fortunately, you will be able to choose energy-saving options if needed.
  • Noise: A noisy heater will definitely be disturbing at night times as you try to get some sleep for the next days’ activities. The electric heater should be somewhat quieter than the other two types of heaters to choose for camping.
  • Safety Features: Many of the heaters do have safety features incorporated and these features are perfect for when you accidentally knock over the heater. Two of the main safety features are the auto-shutoff for when it falls over and a timer to shut off the unit as you fall asleep.
  • Coverage area: The coverage area will be determined by the size of your tent and if you need the entire tent covered. It is recommended that the heater be able to warm the entire tent, which helps keep it from escaping.
  • Warranty: Anything can be subjected to manufacturer flaws. And with outdoor equipment rising in price; the warranties seem to be an essential part of picking the right heater. The warranty will also give you some additional peace of mind.

These are the main features you need to look for and the top factors that need to be considered. The price might also be added to the list, but if you are looking for the best product, you also need to be willing to pay for all the top-quality features. Cheaper does not always mean better.

Quick Take: Best Tent Heaters

Reviews of the Best Tent Heaters

With your toes nice and toasty by the fire, without the best tent heater, you’ll be scared to slip into your bed when the campfire is over. However, we’ve prepared a great list of pros and cons for each tent heater below, to give you an idea of how to stay cozy when camping once the fire goes out.

1. Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX

Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU Indoor-Safe Portable Propane Radiant Heater, Red-Black

The Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Heater is an adjustable gas heater that enables you to cover an area of 225 square feet. It can be adjusted between 4000 and 9000 BTU depending on the amount of heat that is needed. It offers a clean-burning experience that is close to 100% efficient.

The heater is lightweight and easy to carry with a folding handle. It also includes the auto-shutoff feature when it is tipped over or when the oxygen in the air seems to be running low. For the price, this heater is really affordable and with all these features, you can be sure to always be safe and stay warm on your next trip.


  • Covers a large area
  • Auto-shutoff feature
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Power consumption can be adjusted


  • The gas refills are quite expensive over time

Mr. Heater MH12B Hunting Buddy Portable Space Heater

Being portable and lightweight is the goal with this buddy heater. With the ability to connect any type of cylinder, the Mr. Heater MH12B Hunting Buddy Portable Space Heater can be used for either backpacking or camping purposes. It features some of the same features as the previous one from the same brand but just seems somewhat more portable.

With the same shutoff feature you would expect to find in heaters from this brand, this heater also keeps you safe and warm at nighttime. It reasonably priced and should be the perfect single-person backpack heater, but can also be used for larger tents and entire families.


  • Can be adjusted
  • Offers versatility
  • Portable and lightweight
  • Connects to any size cylinder


  • A little expensive

3. Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B Little Buddy

Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B Little Buddy 3800-BTU Indoor Safe Propane Heater, Medium

Last but certainly not least, we have the Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B Little Buddy Heater. This heater is one of the most portable on the market today.

The heater has a power output of 3800 BTU and should be perfect for single-person tents. It includes the auto-shutoff features and low oxygen sensors that will turn it of automatically.

This heater is really affordable and will be the ideal addition for backpackers specifically. It might not have the capacity to cover larger tents, but can easily be stored in your backpack without any real hassles.


  • Portable design
  • Really affordable
  • Easy to use and set up
  • Includes a low oxygen sensor


  • Not ideal for covering larger tent areas

This ceramic tent heater comes with an adjustable thermostat for easier temperature control. With 1500 watts of power on the highest temperature setting, you can also set it to low or fan only. This model comes with tip-over and overheat protection.


  • Easily Portable Due to its Light Weight
  • Surprisingly Powerful for Such a Small Fan
  • Great Safety Features to Switch it Off if it Falls Over or Gets Too Hot
  • Adjustable Thermostat Allows You to ‘Set and Forget’ the Temperature


  • Overheat Protection Becomes Less Sensitive Over Time
  • Thermostat is a Little Over-Sensitive Sometimes and Switches Off  Even When the Room Hasn’t Reached the Set Temperature

Bottom Line:

A great little tent heater, this model is a good value for the money, despite having a shorter lifespan than other models. It has good safety features and you can set the temperature and forget about turning it off thanks to the thermostat.

Other Top Tent Heaters

The tent heaters below are ones that just didn't quite make our top list, yet are still solid options.

Comfort Zone CZ707 Personal Heater Fan

Comfort Zone CZ707 1500 Watt Compact Utility Heater, Gray

With two adjustable settings, the Comfort Zone CZ707 Personal Heater Fan is an electrical heater that comes at a really affordable price. The heater features two settings that can be used depending on the size of your tent and the fan setting makes it ideal for larger groups or larger tent areas. The heater is also extremely quiet when in use, but a little heavy.

If you need something affordable, this will be a great option to consider. The heater does not cost you an arm or a leg and includes the same auto-shutoff features you would find in some of the top heaters. We would definitely recommend this for camping purposes.


  • Reasonably priced
  • Great for larger tents
  • Durable and sturdy construction
  • Easy to use and multiple settings


  • The metal casing makes it a little heavy

Zodi Outback Gear X-40 Hot Vent Tent Heater, Black

The Zodi Outback Gear X-40 Hot Vent Tent Heater is a battery-powered air heater that offers you clean and warm air within a matter of seconds. The heater cleans out the air without removing or burning up the oxygen that you need. It uses a propane tank and covers the entire area of most larger family tents with ease.

The compact size means it is easy to set up and pack away. Thanks to the lighter weight, it can be carried around with ease. Unfortunately, this is one of the more expensive heaters on the market today. But buying it will prove to be a great investment due to the large area it can cover outdoors and in your home.


  • Versatile
  • Covers a large area
  • Lightweight for camping
  • Easy to set up and pack away


  • Really expensive

Safety Principles

Before using your new heater, there are a couple of safety precautions that also need to be taken. These safety tips could mean the difference losing all of your belongings as they go down in flames or even life and death. Here are the top tips to keep in mind:

  • Always keep the heater at least 3 feet away from anything that might burn or catch fire
  • Never use an oven to keep you warm as this cannot really be controlled
  • The heater should be easy to control and sturdy for you to keep in place
  • Always use the right gas with your heater to avoid any problems


Cold weather should never stop you from going outdoors and enjoying everything nature has to offer. These tent heaters are the ideal way to keep you warm no matter what the outdoor temperature is.

People Also Ask

Retaining heat while camping is essential, and it’s not possible to do so without a tent heater. However, due to safety concerns, people have reservations about taking one along on their camping trip. The following questions, along with their answers, can help you make a safe pick.

Are Catalytic Heaters Safe in Tents?

These kinds of heaters make use of propane; however, they don’t heat up with a flame. Apart from any open flames, there are no fumes or carbon dioxide emitted, making such heaters suitable for use in tents.

Is it Safe to Use Propane Heater in a Tent?

It’s not safe to use a propane heater in a tent in any case. A tent is a closed space, and there are a lot of flammable items around. Putting in a propane heater will only put you at risk. In addition, the amount of carbon monoxide produced by it can be detrimental to your health.

Are Kerosene Heaters Safe in a Tent?

In short, it’s not advised to use kerosene heaters in tents at all. Such units produce carbon monoxide while working, which can be deadly.

Are Electric Heaters Safe in Tents?

Many people find electric heaters to be the simplest and safest way of heating up their tent. Of course, you’ll need to make sure the campsite has a power supply and that the safety precautions are in place. Like other kinds of heaters, electric heaters can also pose a risk of fire, so you need to be extra careful.