Best Tent Heaters for Cold Weather Camping: 4 Top Picks

Best Tent Heaters for Cold Weather Camping

Looking for the best tent heaters to keep you warm during cold weather camping? A high-quality tent heater can make all the difference in keeping you comfortable and cozy after the sun goes down.

The right heater will allow you to enjoy the crisp air without having to pile on layers and shiver in your sleeping bag.

When it comes to choosing a tent heater, safety is the top priority. You’ll want a reliable heater that minimizes risk.

So! Get ready to stay cozy and adventure further in cold weather with our top picks for the best tent heaters and tips for safe operation. Let’s kick off this chilly camping season!

HeaterTypeBTUsRun TimeSafety Features
Mr. Heater Portable BuddyPropane4,000-9,000Up to 14 hrs on 20 lb tank– Auto low oxygen shutoff
– Tip over switch
Mr. Heater Little BuddyPropane3,800Up to 6 hrs on 1 lb tank– Auto low oxygen shutoff
– Tip over switch
GiveBest Portable ElectricElectric1,500WVaries on power source– Overheat protection
– Cool-touch exterior
TRM Military Camping StoveWood burningN/AHours per fuel load– Sturdy steel construction
– Proper ventilation
The top tent heater picks

Best Overall Tent Heater: Mr. Heater Portable Buddy

Mr. Heater Portable Buddy

Mr. Heater Portable Buddy

When it comes to serious tent heating power, it’s hard to beat the Mr. Heater Portable Buddy. This versatile propane heater pumps out anywhere from 4,000 to 9,000 BTUs of comforting warmth.

Key Features

The Buddy runs on a small 1-pound propane cylinder or you can hook it up to a larger 20-pound tank with an adapter hose for longer runtime. It’s compact at just 10.25 x 14.25 x 14.25 inches, making it easy to set up inside your tent.

Safety and Performance

One of the key advantages of the Mr. Heater Portable Buddy is its built-in safety features. It has a low-oxygen shutoff sensor that automatically turns the unit off before carbon monoxide builds up to dangerous levels in your tent. There is also a tip-over switch that immediately cuts power if the heater gets accidentally knocked over.

In our testing, the Buddy consistently reached temperatures between 110 to 115°F on the high heat setting when placed in a properly ventilated 6-person tent. It can easily heat up small 1-2 person tents as well. We found that on low heat, a 1-lb propane cylinder lasted a solid 5-6 hours. And you can get up to 14 hours when hooked up to a 20-lb tank.

The Buddy heater is affordable, reliable, and delivers more than enough warmth to keep your tent toasty. Just be sure to take proper safety precautions like allowing for ventilation and monitoring the temperature. Overall, the Mr. Heater Portable Buddy is our top pick for the best tent heater for most camping needs.

Real-Life Review

Last winter, I took my portable Buddy heater along on a frigid camping trip in the Rockies. The first night, temperatures dropped well below freezing. I was worried about how cold it was going to get inside my four-person tent.

After setting up my sleeping area, I fired up my Buddy heater. I made sure to partially open the tent door and a vent window to allow for some airflow, just like the user manual instructed. Within 15 minutes, my tent warmed up nicely to a comfortable temperature.

The Buddy emitted a soothing glow as it radiated heat in a 360 degree radius. I was able to stay pleasantly warm inside my sleeping bag all night despite the freezing temperatures outside. I barely had to use a quarter of the 1-lb propane tank. This little heater packs some serious heating power!

I’m so glad I invested in the Mr. Heater Portable Buddy. It gave me the reliable, safe warmth I needed to camp comfortably even in frigid single digit weather. This rugged little unit will keep you nice and toasty wherever your cold weather adventures take you. I would never camp in the winter again without my Buddy!

Best Small Tent Heater: Mr. Heater Little Buddy

Best Small Tent Heater: Mr. Heater Little Buddy

Mr. Heater Little Buddy

If you need a compact, portable tent heater, look no further than the Mr. Heater Little Buddy. This mini-version of the Buddy provides 3,800 BTUs of clean, radiating heat. It’s an excellent choice for heating small, 1-2 person tents efficiently.

Mr. Heater Little Buddy

If you need a compact, portable tent heater, look no further than the Mr. Heater Little Buddy. This mini-version of the Buddy provides 3,800 BTUs of clean, radiating heat. It’s an excellent choice for heating small, 1-2 person tents efficiently.

Key Features

Despite its small size at just 11 x 8 x 11 inches, the Little Buddy can run up to 6 hours on a single 1-lb propane cylinder. I find it provides more than enough warmth for my small backpacking tent on weekends in the woods.

Safety and Performance

The Little Buddy shares the same key safety features as its big brother. It has an automatic low-oxygen shutoff sensor that turns the unit off before carbon monoxide builds up. There is also a tip-over switch that cuts power if the heater accidentally falls over.

In my experience, the Little Buddy takes just 10-15 minutes to heat up my compact 1-person tent to a nice and toasty interior temperature around 90°F. It maintains the warmth consistently throughout the night on low heat. The ceramic burner tilts to direct heat where you need it.

While it doesn’t have quite as much power as the regular Buddy, the Little Buddy is the top choice for conveniently heating small, portable tents. It provides reliable warmth and crucial safety features at an affordable price.

Related article: Are Propane Heaters Safe in a Tent?

Best Electric Tent Heater: GiveBest Portable Electric

GiveBest Portable Electric

GiveBest Portable Electric Heater

For campers who don’t want to deal with propane, an electric tent heater is a convenient alternative for indoor-style warmth. Our top pick is the GiveBest Portable Electric heater.

Key Features

This compact ceramic heater packs 1,500 watts of heating power. It has an adjustable thermostat and fan speeds so you can customize the temperature and airflow to your liking. The GiveBest heater is quieter than many other models while still providing ample warmth.

Safety and Performance

A key advantage of electric tent heaters is that they don’t consume oxygen like propane heaters. The GiveBest has overheat protection and a cool-touch exterior housing for added safety. At under 5 pounds, it’s lightweight and portable.

In testing, I found the GiveBest Electric Heater quickly raised the temperature of my 6-person tent by around 20 degrees in under 10 minutes. By positioning it near my sleeping area and angling the heat flow, it kept me comfortably warm all night.

One thing to note is that electric tent heaters require access to power. You’ll need a portable power station or hookup to a campsite power outlet. But for car camping or powered sites, an electric heater offers cozy infrared warmth without a flame.

The GiveBest Portable Electric Heater provides reliable, customized heating for tents when electricity is accessible. It’s an excellent alternative to propane for safe indoor-style warmth.

Best Wood Burning Tent Stove: TRM Military Camping Stove

Best Wood Burning Tent Stove: TRM Military Camping Stove

TRM Military Camping Stove

If you want a tried-and-true, off-grid heating option, go with a wood burning tent stove like the TRM Military Camping Stove. This sturdy, compact stove allows you to harness natural wood fuel for heating and cooking.

Key Features

The TRM stove is made from durable, corrosion-resistant steel. At just 10 x 10 x 11 inches, it’s designed for easy transport and fits well in tents and shelters. The stove pipe is adjustable up to 36 inches for proper ventilation.

Unlike propane heaters, wood stoves don’t require lugging fuel canisters. Simply gather twigs, sticks, and logs from your campsite to fuel the fire. The TRM stove provides clean, radiant warmth that will heat a medium sized tent for hours on a single load of wood.

Safety Considerations

However, wood stoves come with some key safety considerations. Always set up the stove on a fireproof surface. Keep the stove a safe distance from tent walls and fabric. Monitor the fire closely and extinguish it fully before leaving your tent.

In exchange for more hands-on operation, a wood burning tent stove allows you to be self-sufficient and ditch messy propane. Go off-grid and enjoy the rustic charm of wood fire warmth.

Key Tent Heater Safety Tips

Ventilation, Monitoring and Caution

When using any type of tent heater, there are important safety guidelines to follow. Here are some key tips to ensure safe, cozy warmth:

  • Allow for proper ventilation: Leave doors, windows, or vents partially open to avoid dangerous CO buildup.
  • Use a CO monitor: Invest in a carbon monoxide detector designed for tent use.
  • Read manuals: Follow all manufacturer instructions for safe setup and operation.
  • Only use certified heaters: Look for ratings like ANSI or CSA which indicate safety testing.

Operation and Precautions

  • Give space around heater: Maintain adequate clearance from tent walls, fabric, clothing.
  • Monitor tent temperature: Use a thermometer and don’t overheat. Recommended is around 50-70°F.
  • Supervise at all times: Don’t leave a powered tent heater unattended.
  • Have an emergency plan: Know how to quickly exit the tent if needed.

By taking the proper precautions, you can safely enjoy the comforts of heat while camping in cold weather. Refer to your specific heater’s guidelines and always err on the side of caution when operating tent heaters.

Read more about: Can You Use Solo Stove During a Fire Ban?

Stay Cozy and Adventure On

Don’t let cold weather stop you from camping in comfort. With the right tent heater, you can stay warm and enjoy the crisp air. Our top picks offer safe, reliable heating tailored for different needs:

  • Mr. Heater Portable Buddy – The best overall tent heater with serious BTUs and safety features.
  • Mr. Heater Little Buddy – A compact propane heater ideal for small tents.
  • GiveBest Electric Heater – Convenient indoor-style warmth powered by electricity.
  • TRM Military Stove – Off-grid wood burning heat and cooking.

Be sure to prioritize safety by allowing ventilation, using CO monitors, and following manufacturer guidelines.

Stay cozy, live adventurously, and create lasting memories without sacrificing warmth and comfort. The right heater will help you enjoy the beauty of colder seasons.

So get out there, brave the elements, and choose one of the best tent heaters to stay toasty in your home away from home. Happy camping!

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