As much as we love immersing ourselves in nature and getting away from busy city life, camping can sometimes be a challenging experience – the power might cut out at your campsite, the weather might take a turn for the worse, you might forget your warm clothes… But the good news is that camping doesn’t always have to be a survivalist experience.
One way to make the weekend a lot more relaxing is to take a few luxuries with you – after all, you work hard enough during the week, and sometimes an easy weekend is just what the doctor ordered.
In winter months this means taking your warmest gear with you so the cold doesn’t keep you up at night, but in the summer (when let’s face it, camping is a lot more appealing) you need to take a different approach – it’s the heat that will get you.
This is where tent air conditioners come into play. They’re a great bit of luxury camping gear that stops you overheating during the night and let you snooze for a few hours extra in the morning when the sun has risen without cooking in your tent.
Purchasing your first tent air conditioner can be a daunting task as there are tonnes of different models on the market. That’s why we’ve put together this list of the best air conditioners around to help you find the one that’s right for you – enjoy!
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Setting the bar very high on our list of the best tent air conditioners is the Black + Decker Air Conditioner.
One of our favorite things about this air conditioner is that it also doubles up as a heater, making it a great camping buddy for hot or cold weather. It also features a fan with multiple speeds and a dehumidifier setting, so you really can choose your own microclimate for your tent’s interior.
Plus, in case that wasn’t enough, there’s also a swing function to create a gentle breeze, you can use the timer function if you want a blast of cool air before you wake up, AND there’s a sleep function that controls the temperature at night so you don’t have too, so you can be sure to get a good night’s rest even in the hottest of conditions.
And, whatever setting you go for, you can select it without getting up thanks to the remote control (although the range isn’t the largest we’ve seen).
Despite this air conditioner’s decent cooling capacity (spaces up to 350 sq ft), this air conditioner is by far the lightest on our list. This, combined with its handles and wheels, will make general maneuvering, packing, and setting up camp that little bit easier.
Although fine just placed on the ground, this conditioner also comes with a window kit included, giving you the option to fit it through a window in your tent or RV (or an ordinary window at home when you aren’t camping).
Our only complaint with this machine is that the display lights are pretty bright. Although this makes it easy to choose your setting, it can be a bit too much in the middle of the night, so we definitely recommend using the automatic sleep mode!
Overall, we just can’t believe how packed full of features this lightweight, reasonably priced, the 4-in-1 air conditioner is!
If you’re looking for an air conditioner that won’t break the bank and you don’t have the largest tent, then the MIDEA Air Conditioner is a fantastic option.
With fan, dehumidifier, and conditioner modes, you can be sure to keep nice and cool during those sweaty summer months. It also features the automatic overnight setting that we love as well as an adjustable timer. And you can do all of this without getting out of your camping chair thanks to the remote control and included batteries.
The compact size and rolling wheels of this air conditioner make it easy to move this air conditioner around and, although it can be used as a standing cooler, it also comes with an exhaust hose and window kit that suits both hung and sliding windows, giving you multiple options.
Our main complaint is that draining this unit is a little more fiddly than we’d like but, once you get the hang of it, it shouldn’t take you too long.
There are air conditioner models available that can cool larger spaces but we love that there’s a cooler out there suited for smaller spaces – because why pay more and use more electricity than you need to?
The LG Window-Mounted Air Conditioner can not only cool areas of up to 350 square feet no problem, but it’s one powerful dehumidifier too – it can get rid of 2 pints of moisture in less than an hour!
And no need to worry about all that moisture affecting your unit’s lifespan – this conditioner features a high-end anti-corrosion coating, winning.
We also love the fact you can achieve the perfect conditions for you thanks to the three cooler settings and three fan settings.
Plus, we absolutely love that you can control the direction of the airflow – point it upwards if you’re in your camping chair or downwards if you’re having a nap (and of course side to side too), perfect!
Another great feature of this air conditioner is the auto-reset. This kicks in when the power cuts out (which always seems to happen at least once on our camping trips) and reboots the unit back to its previous setting so you don’t have to find it again.
The window fins aren’t the sturdiest we’ve seen, but they do seem capable of holding up the unbit thanks to its lightweight (for a unit of its kind). It’s also nice and quiet 0 at just 52dB when in use, it makes less noise than a car engine!
Although this air conditioner can’t be sued as a standalone unit, this remote-controlled, window-mountable air condition really does have a lot to offer, and we were pleasantly surprised to see that it comes with a reasonable price tag too.
Next up on our hit list is the Tripp Lite Portable Cooler. This wheeled and compact unit is easily stored away when not in use and won’t take up much room in your boot en route to the campsite either.
But don’t let its sleek appearance fool you – this air conditioner really packs a punch. With a cooling power of 12,000 and the ability to cool areas covering up to 500 square feet, this is one of the most powerful coolers on our list.
On top of that, we can’t get enough of the built-in evaporator that means you don’t have to empty collected water… yes, you did hear that right – there’s no need to carry out one of the worst cooler-related jobs, what a win.
Also, you can install a module (purchased separately)n that enables you to control the device from afar. So, if you’re heading back to the tent after a long hike in the sunshine, you can pre-chill your tent via the App.
Despite its small size, this cooler is pretty heavy and it’s also more expensive than we’d like… but we guess that’s the price you pay (literally) for this kind of compact power. Plus, you do get a 2-year included warranty with every purchase so at least you won’t have to invest again any time soon.
If you want power without the bulk, then this portable cooler is definitely the way to go.
Frigidaire is best-known for its high-quality fridges, so it makes sense that it manufactures great air conditioners too. The Frigidaire Mini Air Conditioner is one of their best products, although they do have a tonne of models out there.
This mini window-mounted air conditioner is lighter than its larger relatives but is plenty powerful enough to cool an area up to 350 square feet. The smaller size makes it a great option for smaller windows, like those you might find in a smaller tent or vehicle.
Plus, for anyone that struggles from allergies on their camping adventures, you’ll love the ‘clean air’ feature that removes pollen (and other impurities) from the air.
On top of that, it can be used as a (very efficient) dehumidifier or a fan with multiple settings for each, and it has that all-important auto-cooling for when you’re snoozing.
As much as we like the energy saver mode of this air conditioner, we don’t like that it defaults to this setting every time you turn it on and off – it would be nice if it remembered your preference. We found the remote control to be super handy but it didn’t have the best range.
Overall, however, this is a high-quality cooler featuring all the important modes at a great price – oh, and it comes with a 1-year warranty too.
Searching for a portable air conditioner that won’t keep you awake at night? Good news – your search is over. The Haier Window Air Conditioner is proudly advertised as being, on average, 9dB quieter than its major competitors – peace at last! This, combined with the sleep mode setting, means that you really will get a solid night’s sleep.
With a cooling power of just over 6000 BTU, it’s not the most powerful cooler we’ve seen but, thanks to the horizontal and vertical fins, cool air circulates very efficiently and it can still operate in areas up to 250 square feet.
One of the things we like best about this cooler is the filter indicator that lets you know when your filter is ready for a clean (which is perfect if you’re as forgetful as we are).
Its small dimensions make this another great option for tents or vehicles with small windows, although it can’t be used as a standalone cooler. The remote control lets you select your desired mode out of all the options (auto, sleep, cool, fan, energy saver, timer…) without getting out of your seat and, guess what, it’s super affordable too!
If you’re looking for a quiet, window-mounted camping air conditioner that won’t break the bank then this is definitely the one for you.
With a cooling power of 14,000 BTU, the EdgeStar Air Conditioner is one of the most powerful air conditioners on our list. It’s not surprising, therefore, that it has a cooling capacity of up to 500 square feet – perfect for those larger tents or communal areas.
We’re pleased to inform you that this standalone portable air conditioner comes with one of our favorite features, an inbuilt evaporator, so you can say goodbye to faffing around with fiddly drains. It can also be used as a fan with three settings or a dehumidifier.
Plus, it has a timer for pre-cooling and an automatic mode for during the night. Oh, and it also remembers your last-used setting when it restarts after power outages.
The window kit is included, but the tubes are a little larger than we’d expected. The LED display is easily visible in the dark, yet it won’t leave you dazzled, and the included remote is easy to operate.
We were pleasantly surprised at how quiet this conditioner is despite its high power, although the weight is, as expected quite high. This, combined with its low price tag, makes this one of the best all-around air conditioners we’ve come across.
And last, but by no means least, on our list of the best tent air conditioners is the Whynter ARC-14S Air Conditioner.
With a cooling power of 14,000 BTU, this is another high-power camping air conditioner for anyone needing to cool down a larger space (up to 500 square feet). It can also be used as a dehumidifier or a fan with three speeds, and we love that the exhaust tube is extendable to give you more freedom when setting up.
We also like that it comes with a protective cover that can also fit the remote, hoses, and included window kit.
It also features the ECO-FRIENDLY CFC free GREEN R-32 refrigerant, so you can be sure you aren’t surrounding yourself with harmful air. unfortunately, at 80 lbs it’s one of the heaviest air conditioners we’ve come across, but we guess all that power doesn’t come light.
It’s also a little expensive, but we think we can forgive that consider its great performance overall.
There you have it, our list of the best tent air conditioners currently on the market. As you’ve seen, they come in all shapes and sizes and there are tonnes of extra features that distinguish them from one another. To make sure you get the air conditioner that’s right for you, here are some things to keep your eye on when you’re shopping around:
We’ve been using the term ‘BTU’ in all of our reviews – but what does this actually mean? BTU stands for British Thermal Unit, and it’s a unit of measurement that describes energy use related to heating and cooling systems.
Basically, the greater the BTU, the more powerful the air conditioner. This generally means that the tent air conditioner can cool larger areas but, if the design is bad, a high BTU might not cool as large an area as you might think.
This is why you should always check out the cooling capacity (the area that the conditioner can cool) as well as the BTU.
If you’re using a tent air conditioner, odds are you aren’t on a backpacking camping trip. However, weight and dimensions are still important – you need to be able to carry your conditioner to the tent – so make sure you check them out full before buying anything.
If you’re really worried about lugging your unit around, check out the wheeled options that can save you some energy (although they’re more effective at home than in a field!).
Nearly all air conditioners double up as fans and, these days, dehumidifiers. Plus, some even double up as heaters, which is great if you’ll be camping all year round.
There are also loads of quirky settings and features available these days, such as timers, sleep modes, auto-restarts, and cleaning reminders. If pre-cooling is important to you, then you’ll probably love a conditioner with a timer, but if sleeping is your priority, you’ll want an automatic night mode.
These modes and settings are likely to add to the overall cost, so we recommend prioritizing a few and making sure you don’t shell out for features you aren’t likely to use.
Are you still struggling to decide which air conditioner is right for you? Here are our top three to help you decide:
Cool a little while you save a lot with the Haier Window Air Conditioner.
Not only does this window-mounted air conditioner have a super-efficient cooling mechanism that saves you power, but it’s also one of the quietest air conditioners we’ve found!
It’s got tonnes of settings too, and it even alerts you when your filter needs cleaning… such a steal at this price!
Our best tent air conditioner in terms of all-round performance is the EdgeStar Air Conditioner is. We absolutely love the in-built evaporator that means you don’t have to mess around with the drain.
On top of that, it’s powerful, compact, and it’s nice and quiet too – what more could you ask for?
But what’s our absolute favorite? It just has to be the Black + Decker Air Conditioner.
With an air conditioner, fan, dehumidifier, AND heater modes, you can use this unit for camping all year round. Standalone or window-mounted? Take your pick! This really is one versatile unit.
It’s also affordable and very portable thanks to its handles, wheels, and incredibly lightweight… it’s hard to say no, isn’t it?