Best Tent Heater For Camping In Cold Weather 2022

If you're determined to venture out into the great outdoors even when it's cold, you'll want to bring the right outdoor gear to stay comfy. One of the most convenient products you can bring is a tent heater. This camping gadget can help you, and your fellow campers stay toasty amid unfavorable weather conditions. But how do you choose the right one? 

We've assembled this thorough buyer's guide that covers the type of tent heaters, the best options and safety tips you should know. If you're going winter camping, you'll want to bring one of these handy machines along.

best tent heater

Types of Tent Heaters

It's safe to assume that all tent warmers perform the same standard task — heating your temporary dwelling in the wilderness.

However, not all portable heaters are identical. The two main types are gas heaters and electric heaters, and each presents different benefits.

Gas tent heaters most commonly run on propane, but some models require other affordable and readily accessible fuels like kerosene or butane. Many campers love gas heaters, as these devices only require you to carry an extra fuel tank wherever you go.

Note: Always use the appropriate fuel source for the tent warmer you purchase. Using the wrong fuel source can cause long-term issues with the product.

The other types of tent heaters are electric. You don't need to fuel them with propane, butane, or kerosene, but you will need access to a power source. An outlet might be easy to find if you're doing some “glamping” and have access to convenient electrical hookup stations.

However, if you plan on doing some serious off-gridding, an electric device isn't the best option for you. Without an outlet, electric tent heaters are about as useful as sunscreen on a dark Alaskan night. Keep in mind the amount of british thermal units (BTUs) you need it to have. A gas tent heater on average has more british thermal units power than most electric heaters.

1. Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX

Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX

Mr. Heater is a well-established brand of consumer warming products, so be prepared to get well acquainted with it as we go through these recommendations.

The F232000 MH9BX is a reliable liquid propane warmer for any camping trip. This tent heater hooks up to a one-pound propane cylinder and lets you warm enclosed spaces with areas up to 225 square feet. 

It burns anywhere between 0.044 and 0.099 gallons per hour, meaning it provides maximum heat output for its size but doesn't impact your carbon footprint too greatly.

The only downside with this version of Mr. Heater is that it may stop working if you venture too high up. Its operability is questionable once campers reach an altitude of 7,000 feet or higher.

As long as you don't plan on getting to the tippy-top of something like the Half Dome in Yosemite, you can order it confidently.

Pros

  • Sleek red or gray body
  • A convenient fold-down handle
  • Warms small and large tents with ease

Cons

  • May not work at altitudes over 7,000 feet

2. Texsport Sportsmate Portable Propane Heater

Texsport Sportsmate Portable Propane Heater

The Texsport Sportsmate Portable Propane Heater is a fantastic choice if you have an ATV you'd like to drive on your camping trips.

You can stick this product in your tent, but it's also great for use in four-wheel vehicles on those long treks.

This product comes with a handy paddle foot plastic base, allowing it to stay put as you drive on rough terrain. Or, you can place it in the included plastic cup holder and stick it in your vehicle's cup holder for optimal stability.

It’s a reliable gas heater for tent camping, no matter if you're relaxing at home base or doing some off-roading.

Pros

  • Fits any 14.1 or 16.4-ounce propane container
  • Robust stainless steel burner
  • Includes an auto shut-off valve

Cons

  • Lower BTU production (only around 3,000 BTUs)

3. Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B

Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B

Mr. Heater is well-known for its propane heaters and the Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B is no different. 

This product is unique in that it offers odor-free warming at a 45° angle. This kind of warmth distribution is hard to come across in tent warmers, as most emit heat outwards at a 0° angle. So, it'll be much easier to set this device up and have it provide warmth the way you want it to.

The Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B is very easy to use, as it only has one heat setting of 3,800 BTU per hour. With the F215100 MH4B, you can gain a lightweight, simple-to-transport, effective warming product.

Pros

  • 45° warming angle
  • Simple on and off button
  • Low-oxygen depletion sensor

Cons

  • Warms a smaller space (only about 100 square feet at a time)

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

Campy Gear 2 in 1 Portable Propane Heater & Stove

Direct heat will definitely come in handy after a long day in the snow. But, a cooked meal can also do wonders for your body's warmth.

Luckily, the Campy Gear 2 in 1 Portable Propane Warmer offers it all. It's a propane-powered radiant heater and one of the top heaters with cooking abilities. Otherwise, combine it with a camping grill stove combo and a tent with a stove jack, which also works great for cold weather.

It warms up quickly and produces a maximum heat output of 9,000 BTUs. When it comes time for food preparation, you can boil a pot of water in as little as fifteen minutes. And, feel free to use any 12-inch pot or pan on top of the sturdy stand.

With the Campy Gear 2 in 1, you can stay warm and never miss a meal.

Pros

  • Three modes: Cook Only, Heat Only, and Cook & Heat
  • Dual option fuel supply
  • Unique 360° radiant heating design

Cons

  • May be tricky to clean if you wait to clean it several hours after cooking.

5. Portable Gas Catalytic Heater

Portable Gas Catalytic Heater

Does the idea of consistently refueling your tent warmer annoy you? If so, this Portable Gas Catalytic Heater is a great option for you. This gas tent heater implements advanced catalytic technology, meaning it burns through propane at a much slower rate than traditional products. You'll get up to seven hours on one pound of propane, which equates to several around-the-tent late-night chats. 

It offers efficiency and reliable warmth no matter where you are. Whether you’re out tent camping in the Colorado mountains or the northern part of Wisconsin, it’s got you covered. 

Pros

  • The catalytic heating technology is 99.98% efficient
  • Fewer fuel refills
  • Easy-to-use knob for adjusting the warmth levels

Cons

  • The stand tends to tip over easily

6. Texsport Portable Outdoor Propane Heater

Texsport Portable Outdoor Propane

The Texsport Portable Outdoor Propane Warmer is perfect for campers on a budget. With it, you get a reliable product to provide you and your fellow campers with some much-needed warmth. It produces up to 2,890 BTUs per hour, which is impressive for its size and price. It also has all the safety features you'd like to see in a tent warmer, like a safety grid and automatic shut-off valve.

The one drawback to this product is its appearance, but you shouldn't expect anything too grand at this price point. The Texsport Portable Outdoor Propane Heater is a cost-effective warming product for the money.

Pros

  • Low price
  • Sturdy plastic base for stability
  • User-friendly control knob for the burner

Cons

  • Poor visual design

7. Kismile Small Space Heater

Kismile Small Space Heater

The Kismile Small Space Heater is an electrical heater that provides 360° warming. It has a space-saving design, so you don’t have to worry about taking up room in the limited area you already have. This is especially helpful if you have a smaller tent. 

When it comes to choosing the heat output, this Kismile product offers a lot of freedom. You can set it on high heat (1500-watt) for a cold winter night or low heat (750-watt) for a chilly autumn day. You can even use this warmer during the summer on its “fan-only” setting. So place it in your summer tent or next to your summer sleeping bag for a nice breeze during warm weather. So if you're taking it with you for the hot weather of California or in the desert heat of Arizona, it's still a great addition to your camping gear.

If you feel you could benefit from the versatility of this electric tent heater, make sure to buy it before your next hiking trip with kids, winter camping, or backpacking.

Pros

  • Three warmth settings for your desired inside temperature
  • Compact design
  • Safety power indicator light lets you know whether it's plugged in

Cons

  • Requires an outlet

8. Mr. Heater F232000 Portable Buddy Heater

Mr. Heater F232000 Portable Buddy Heater

The Mr. Heater brand is just too reliable when it comes to making propane tent heaters, so we had to add one more to this list.

The F232000 Portable Buddy Heater might not be the top option for the camper who's on a budget, but it offers excellent value if you have the extra cash. Its heat output is quite impressive, as you can select from 4,000 or 9,000 BTU per hour. Plus, the carrying handle folds down and out of the way to provide uninterrupted warmth output.

Our favorite part about this product is the high-quality carrying bag. Any organized camper will appreciate the multiple pockets for transporting extra propane tanks and connectors. You'll have no trouble taking this tent heater with you everywhere you go.

If you’re going for long trips or in very cold conditions, make sure to get the F232000 and Carry Bag Bundle.

Pros

  • Durable carrying bag included
  • Has an oxygen depletion sensor for safety
  • Innovative Piezo sparking mechanism for easy operation

Cons

  • More expensive than other choices

9. Camping Emergency Butane Heater

Camping Emergency Butane Heater

Like the previously mentioned Texsport model, this Camping Emergency Butane Heater is a great economical option. It features a ceramic burner and utilizes a standard butane gas cartridge. This design allows you to transport it easily, and its compactness makes storage simple.

This product features a CE certificate, so you can rest assured it has met multiple health, safety, and environmental standards. If you’re looking for a reliable product you can depend on without breaking the budget, this is a good choice.

Pros

  • Easy to transport
  • Strong polycarbonate build
  • Has a pressure-sensing safety shut-off feature

Cons

  • Have to change the fuel tank frequently

10. AgiiMan Patio Space Heater 

AgiiMan Patio Space Heater

The AgiiMan Patio Space Heater provides a quick warmth output. It starts warming up within three seconds, and you can adjust the settings to your heart's content with the three heating settings. Its heating ability provides all the warmth you need for by your sleeping bag or tent. If you're camping with your child, they'll find it quite nice to have next to their sleeping bag.

Its one of the top electric heaters and the eight-foot-long cord adds to the convenience of making it easier to place in different places. That's more than enough length to place this warmer wherever you need it to be. All you need is an electrical outlet for it to keep you warm.

You can provide your family and friends with optimal comfort with this portable heater. 

Pros

  • Comes with 8-foot long cord
  • Three temperature settings for your preferences
  • Operates quietly

Cons

  • Poorly designed carrying handle

Tent Heater Safety Tips

Picture this: you've had a fun day hiking through the snow with your friends on the infamous Watchman Trail in Utah. You're all exhausted, cold, and ready to bundle up for the night. You return to your campgrounds and set up your tent. You all climb in but are disappointed to discover it's frigid inside. Blankets and sleeping bags can only do so much. 

But, if you had come prepared with a tent heater, you'd be in a much better position. As a top safety tip, consider bringing a carbon monoxide detector and placing it next to your tent heater. Most of these products release small levels of carbon monoxide and you want to be 100% safe. Some of them will come with safety features to automatically shut off when they detect this. 

As cozy as tent heaters can make your resting grounds, they can also present dangers if you're not careful. Here is some important tent warmer safety tips to protect yourself and your other camping companions:

camping in cold weather

Don't Use an Unapproved Stand

Some electric tent heaters come with stands to keep them off the ground. You can use these stands as directed without any issues. However, problems will occur if you use a makeshift stand.

We highly recommend you avoid using a random object to raise your warmer off the ground. Using a piece of firewood or milk crate could spell disaster. These items can melt or ignite a fire, singeing your precious belongings, or injuring a fellow camper.

Never Leave Your Tent Heater Unattended

It can be tempting to ditch your tent to join the action outdoors. You don't want to miss a once-in-a-lifetime meteor shower or a deer crossing that one of your fellow campers spotted.

But, tent heaters ownership involves a great deal of responsibility. Never, under any circumstances, should you leave your heater turned on and unattended. Always ensure that at least one adult is keeping a watchful eye on this device. Otherwise, no one can take action if something goes wrong.

The same goes for sleeping — everyone shouldn't be asleep in the presence of an operating one. If you really need the warmth in the middle of the night, assign one person as a watchdog to keep tabs on this convenient gadget.

Place The Heater In Proper Location

Don't just toss your heater into the tent and wait for it to do its magic. Be mindful of where you place it. Most campers find that the tent's center is an ideal spot for their warmer. This way, the heater won't ignite the fabric's edges and cause melting or burning. You should also place it somewhere where it won't be accidentally knocked over as it can be a fire hazard.

With this tip in mind, you should also be cautious of the ground you place your warmer on. If you place the warmer on the ground with a lot of dried twigs, leaves, and brush, you'll practically invite a fire to ignite. So, you should always be wary of the forest floor's state and how heavily your tent is exposed to the natural ground.

Now that we've introduced you to tent heaters for camping and safety tips, you should be a more informed buyer. Remember that some operate on gas power (like propane and butane), while others require an electric operation. Portable heaters have further distinctions based on their features, like durable stands, temperature settings, and automatic shut-off valves. It’s a handy gadget that is a must for your group when camping or backpacking overnight in cold weather.