The Best Heaters for Tent Camping 

Staying warm during winter camping can be a challenge, but it is possible when you use heaters for tent camping.  

Living in Colorado, winter (and even early spring and late fall) camping can be miserable without the right tools to make the experience comfortable temperature wise. 

There are many options for keeping warm while camping in the great outdoors.

Check out the top 6 best heaters for tent camping below.  

All portable heaters are highly rated and none require electricity. Perfect for those off the grid camping trips.  

Best Heaters for Tent Camping

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Top 6 Portable Heaters for Tent Camping – Battery Powered Heater Alternatives 

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

2 – Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B Little Buddy 3800-BTU Indoor Safe Propane Heater

3 – Texsport Sportsmate Portable Propane Heater

4 – Campy Gear 2 in 1 Portable Propane Heater & Stove

5 – GASLAND MHA18B Propane Heater

6 – Martin Portable Outdoor Camping Infrared Propane Gas Heater Parabolic

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

Product Features: 

  • 4,000- to 9,000-BTU radiant heater  
  • Heats up to 225 square feet. 
  • Approved for indoor/outdoor use

Safety Features:

Auto shut-off if…

  • the unit is tipped over,
  • the pilot light goes out, or 
  • detects low oxygen levels. 

What I like about this heater: 

The Mr. Heater Buddy propane heater is a perfect solution for heating enclosed spaces like large tents up to 225 sq. ft. 

It’s fast and convenient deployment makes this a great heater for someone that needs portable heat. 

Provides long lasting heat with reviews mentioning up to 80 hours of burn time on the lowest setting using a 15lb propane tank.

You can also run it off of a small 1lb propane tank and it fires up in a breeze. 

The rear wall mount adapters already built in are great for mounting in your hard shell camper, workshop, shed, garage, etc…

PROS:

  • Versatile and easy to start 
  • Heats a larger area 
  • Long heat time that lasts through the night 

CONS: 

  • Some mention the sensor is very sensitive and can be easily triggered 
  • It’s on the larger size, so make sure you have adequate space to set it up and store it

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

Product Features:

  • 3800 BTU 
  • Heats up to 95 square feet
  • Approved for indoor/outdoor use

Safety Features:

  • Automatic low oxygen and accidental tip over shut off 

What I like about this heater: 

Simple on/off buttons, lightweight and easy to carry.

A one pound bottle of propane lasts anywhere from 4.5 – 7 hours. 

Equipped with a low-oxygen shut-off pilot system and accidental tip-over shutoff for indoor safety.

PROS: 

  • Adequate heat but it doesn’t blast so much you’re worried about starting a fire
  • Great for a smaller 2 person tent 

CONS: 

  • Heat may not last through the night
  • Is not small enough to store in a backpack for overnight backpacking trips

Texsport Sportsmate Portable Propane Heater

Product Features:

  • Up to 3000 BTUs
  • Keeps one or two people warm
  • Great for outdoor activities while camping 

Safety Features:

  • Auto shut off if the flame goes out

What I like about this heater: 

Simple design and easy to use. The Texsport portable propane heater is easy to store and take with on your next camping trip.

Great to warm up during a chilly morning or provide a heat source during you’re out and about during a cooler day.

PROS:

  • Small and easy to take with you during hikes
  • Simple to operate 
  • Near instant heat 

CONS: 

  • Not the best choice to use overnight in a tent
  • Does not have an accidentally tip over safety feature 

Campy Gear 2 in 1 Portable Propane Heater & Stove

Product Features:

  • Up to 9000 BTUs 
  • 360 degree radiant heating design 
  • Dual functions – heater and stove

Safety Features:

  • None mentioned 

What I like about this heater: 

Say goodbye to dull looking propane heaters. The Campy Gear 2 in 1 portable propane heater and stove comes in three different vibrant colors.

I love that it can be used as a stove and heater and is small enough to tote around in a backpack. 

Since there are no safety features listed, this portable heater would be best used in a well ventilated space when someone will be around to watch it. 

PROS:

  • Small/compact design
  • Dual purpose as a heater and stove

CONS:

  • No safety features mentioned 

Would not be the best option to use for overnight heat

GASLAND MHA18B Propane Heater

Product Features:

  • Up to 18,000 BTUS
  • Heats up to 450 square feet
  • Ultra quiet 

Safety Features:

  • Accidentally tip over and low oxygen shut off 

What I like about this heater: 

The Gasland portable propane heater is the ultimate heater when you’re wanting to heat a large area. Now you can host all your friends and family in that ginormous tent you bought.

Equip with wheels, this heater is super easy to move around from place to place and wherever you need it to be.

The tank is placed in the dedicated space on the back of the heater for convenience and ease of moving. 

PROS: 

  • Heats a large space 
  • Easy to move around as needed

CONS: 

  • There is a lot of exposed flame which can be a potential danger is not monitored carefully

Martin Portable Outdoor Camping Infrared Propane Gas Heater Parabolic

Product Features:

  • 3,100 BTUs
  • Low, Medium and High Settings
  • Convenient carry handle 

Safety Features:

  • Auto shut off fuel valve if the flame goes out
  • Large paddle base for stability 
  • Safety grid

What I like about this heater: 

The Martin portable outdoor camping gas heater is a more compact size which makes it easier to tote around. Even with it’s small size, it still has key safety features that will make you feel safe using it when camping. 

PROS:

  • Smaller size is easier to take with you
  • Adjustable heat ensures you get the right amount of heat without wasting gas

CONS:

  • Reviews mention the base is less than desirable 
  • May not be enough to use during the night

Do Battery Powered Heaters Exist? 

When first searching for a way to heat a tent when camping, you may be wondering if there is such a thing as a battery operated heater.

In fact, online search results will show that there are thousands of people searching for this every month.

While a battery operated heater sounds convenient, versatile and perhaps a better solution than gas or electric, they simply cannot provide enough power to be used for heating a space. 

In other words, bad news is that battery operated heaters simply do not exist.

How to Stay Warm when Winter Camping: Best Heaters for Tent Camping

Even though you are not able to heat up your tent using a battery-powered heater, there are many ways to keep yourself warm during cold winter camping nights.

Alternative battery-based heaters that will help keep you warm include portable heated  blankets, gloves, vests and socks.

Using any of these battery-powered devices can help supplement your heat source during cooler camping months.

Can you put a Heater Inside a Tent? 

Having the option to put a heater inside of a tent is an easy way to warm up your camping space.

The best kind of heater for a tent is an electric heater or gas heater.

By choosing the proper heating device for your tent, it will make your camping experiences much better when temps are below comfortable range.

Both an electric and gas heater bring some risk to the table. Be sure to research all risks involved and make the best decision for your circumstance.

Best Heaters for Tent Camping

How do you Safely Heat a Tent?

To fully understand how to safely heat a tent, you must also know the risks involved with both a gas heater for a tent and an electric heater for a tent.

Gas Heaters for a Tent 

When running a gas heater inside of your tent, the risks include being exposed to too much carbon monoxide, oxygen depletion and a potential fire hazard from an exposed flame.

To mitigate your risk, there are several safety features you should look for when purchasing a gas heater for your tent:

An automatic shut-off feature that will shut off the unit if:

  • low oxygen is detected, 
  • the device is accidentally tipped over,
  • the pilot light blows out.

Our top choice of gas heaters for tents is the Mr. Heater Buddy brand. This brand carries various sizes and styles of gas heaters that will easily Heat up the space in your tent.

Their models also include the important safety features mentioned above. They have options that can last all through the night or just for several hours if you need additional heat while day hiking.

When using a gas heater in your tent, always follow the product instructions exactly as they say and allow for plenty of ventilation  to help circulate the air.

Electric Heaters in a Tent 

If you’re not a fan of using a gas heater for your tent, you also have the option to use an electric heater.

Electric heaters can pose more of a challenge when camping, since they require electricity to run.

Many campgrounds have electric hook-up options, even on the tent sites so be sure to check your campsite to see if electricity is available.

Similar to gas heaters, electric heaters in your tent carry some risk as well.

Always make sure there is adequate space around the electric heater, as with any heater for that matter.

Similar to the gas heaters, you want to find an electric heater that has safety features such as a timer, an accidentally tip over shut off and an overheat identifier that will automatically shut down the device.

best heaters for camping

How to Choose the Right Size Portable Heater for Your Tent

The easiest way to figure out the right size heater for your tent is to get the square footage of your tent.

Simply multiply the length by the width and that will give you the square footage. A 7 foot by 10 foot tent, for example, would be 70 square feet.

It is best to find a heater that can heat your exact square footage, so you don’t risk it getting too hot or you don’t risk the device not being powerful enough to heat your entire space.

If that is not possible, get the next size up from the square footage that you require.  In other words, if your tent is 80 square feet And your two choices are a heater that covers 50 square feet or a heater that covers a hundred square feet, go for the hundred square foot heater. As always, use your best judgement for your own unique circumstance.

How Much Should you pay for a Quality Tent Heater?

The price of a heater for your tent can vary and it will depend on the square feet you’re wanting to heat.

In doing some pricing comparison research, the average heater for a tent will run you anywhere from $60 to $150, plus the cost of propane needed to run it each time.

Heaters for Tent Camping Conclusion 

For a quick recap, heating your tent is easier than you may have originally thought.

Always start with a gas heater that will work for the size of square footage you are trying to heat.

When shopping for a gas heater for your tent, consider the safety features first. 

The most important safety features include an automatic shut-off for accidental tip-overs, detection that the pilot light has burned out and a low oxygen detector. 

It’s wise to have a carbon monoxide detector readily available as a back up plan.  You can never be too safe!

Now that you know heating your tent when camping is possible, what will be your next venture? 

Shop this Post: Best Heaters for Tent Camping

Until next time,

Krista

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