Last Updated: May 10, 2021

Best Tent Heater in 2021

Have you ever spent those sleepless cold weather nights camping in a tent on a mountain thinking about how to rig up a tent heater and why don’t they make one? Your brain starts thinking of putting something metal under the fire and running hot pipes of air to your tent. Well, it turns out they actually already make tent heaters, so there is no need to go cold again or design them in the middle of the night. I wish I had known earlier.


At A Glance: Our Top 2 Tent Heaters


Those wintery icy nights while camping and waking up to a full frozen rainfly are no more. Tent heaters come in two main forms, propane heaters and electric heaters, both of which we’ll discuss in this article. They are both as equally popular as each other and which one suits you best is a personal choice, depending on a few factors which we’ll get into later.

In the review, we have taken some of the best tent heaters on the market and put them head to head against each other so you can find the best tent heater for your camping needs.

Top Product Overview

Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B Little Buddy 3800-BTU Indoor Safe Propane Heater, Medium
  • It's very affordable
  • The base is stable so it won't fall over in the night
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Texsport Portable Outdoor Propane Heater
  • Light and extremely portable
  • There are feet that come out the base to keep it stable
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Mr. Heater F242540: 29,000-45,000 Btu 540 Degree Tank Top, One Size, Stainless Steel
  • Provides an awesome amount of heat
  • Excellent safety features
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  • Has an anti-freeze preset to keep you from being icy
  • Multiple heat settings from 600-1500 watts
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Dura Heat TT-360 Propane(LP) 360 Degree Tank Top Heater
  • Has quite a wide range of heat options
  • Well made from durable materials
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Lasko 6405 Designer Oscillating Heater,Gold
  • Pretty affordable for the quality
  • Looks pretty cool and it's quite portable
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Comfort Zone CZ707 1500 Watt Compact Utility Heater, Gray
  • Works as a heater and as a fan too
  • It's pretty light and compact for easy portability
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Electric Heater, 1500W Portable Ceramic Space Heater w/Adjustable Thermostat, Space Heater for Desk Office Home Garage,Hot & Cool Fan Overheat Protection Personal Small Space Heater Fan(ETL Certified)
  • Looks pretty cool, like a speaker
  • It's fast at heating up spaces
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Best Tent Heater


Best Propane

Mr. Heater Little Buddy

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

If affordability and portability are your main concerns then you might have found your tent heater already. The Mr. Heater Little Buddy is an incredibly light, compact, and portable propane heater that’s super affordable.

Weighing just 5lbs it’ll squeeze into any backpack along with the 16.4 oz. gas cylinder. You might not want to add any weight to your pack but if there is snow on the ground you’ll be happy you did.

The heater is designed for use in small spaces, like a tent. The metal dish focuses the heat into one directing and does an excellent job at it.

The gas heater comes with a gas control knob and an ignition switch. The knob allows you to choose between Low-Med-High and off, of course.

In terms of safety, the base is fitted with a wide foot that ensures the heater isn’t going to fall over and it comes with a metal grid blocking the heating elements to ensure you don’t burn yourself. There is also a low oxygen sensor and tip-over switch that when engaged, turns the heater off automatically.

Overall a great propane gas heater, especially if you’re after a portable bargain that has all the safety measures you need.

Pros

  • It's very affordable
  • The base is stable so it won't fall over in the night
  • There is a cage to stop you from burning yourself
  • The heat provided is very focused
  • It's super portable and light with or without the cylinder
  • Low oxygen sensor and auto-off tip-over switch

Cons

  • Not powerful for large spaces

Product Information

  • Type: Propane
  • Heat Output: 3100 BTU
  • Cylinder Size: 16.4 oz
  • Weight (lbs): 5
  • Dimensions (in): 11 x 11 x 11
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Texsport Portable Outdoor Heater

Texsport Portable Outdoor Propane Heater

The Texsport Portable Outdoor Heater takes it up a notch from the Stansport above. While having quite a similar design the Texsport beats the Stansport in most categories,

Weighing just 1lb and being able to use either a 16.3/14.1 oz. cylinder, this propane tent heater is about as portable as they get. Together with the cylinder, you’re carrying an extra 2lbs of weight for some cozy warmth, there is nothing wrong with that.

This heater knocks out up to 2890 BTU’s at maximum heat which is pretty small, to be honest, but it’s fine when you’re in a tent. The head uses a fan-shaped aluminum reflector to give maximum heat reflection and it comes with a single knob so you can adjust the heat.

From a safety point of view, this propane tent heater comes with flip-out feet at the base to ensure it stays standing, and it has an auto-shutoff valve when the flame goes out, so propane isn’t just leaked into the tent.

Overall, a solid choice in both the portability and affordability categories but it could be a bit better in the safety department.

Pros

  • Light and extremely portable
  • There are feet that come out the base to keep it stable
  • The heat output is adjustable so you can pick your comfort level
  • Auto-shutoff safety features
  • Durable and affordable

Cons

  • Quite a low heat output, but enough for a tent
  • You can't direct the heat with the head as its fixed
  • It could have some more safety features

Product Information

  • Type: Propane
  • Heat Output: 2890
  • Cylinder Size: 16.3/14.1 oz
  • Weight (lbs): 1
  • Dimensions (in): na
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Mr Heater MH540T

Mr. Heater F242540: 29,000-45,000 Btu 540 Degree Tank Top, One Size, Stainless Steel

The Mr. Heater MH540T takes heating to another level, especially when you look at the other two above. It might be overkill for a 2 person tent but it’ll do the business in a 12 person tent.

The heater connects to a 20lb cylinder, and I can already hear you saying, ‘how the hell am I meant to get that in my backpack?”, well you’re not. This is more of a car camping heater.

It’s easy to connect the head to the cylinder and from there lighting takes the click of a button. Once it’s on you can choose between 30,000-45,000 BTU’s of heat, that is a lot, and it’ll all be reflected 360 degrees, so everyone stays toasty.

The only issue with giving off so much heat is that you’ll go through your fuel pretty quickly.

In terms of safety, this is the best heater so far. There is an auto shut off for an accidental tip-over, so as soon as this begins to fall, the flame and gas are put out immediately.

Overall a pretty solid heater if you’re car camping and using a large tent.

Pros

  • Provides an awesome amount of heat
  • Excellent safety features
  • It's pretty quiet and reflects heat 360 degrees
  • Very easy to set up and use
  • Excellent for car camping and large groups

Cons

  • Uses a lot of fuel
  • Only connects to a 20lb cylinder
  • Not portable for backpacking

Product Information

  • Type: Propane
  • Heat Output: 30000-45000
  • Cylinder Size: 20 lb
  • Weight (lbs): 5.5
  • Dimensions (in): 10.4 x 10.4 x 17.5
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Best Electric

Caframo Limited True North Space Heater

The True North Heater from Caframo Limited is one of the most sophisticated heaters in the review. Designed with campers in mind, they made this sleek-looking electric heater light and with a low profile, making it easy to get from A to B.

The heater comes with five settings from high, low, sleep, and energy saver to fan only. Each step down reduces the fan speed and makes it a little quieter. You have the choice as to whether to heat up fast, cool, or hit sleep mode for silent heating. There is also a thermostat on this heater, the ideal tool for finding a temperature that is just right for you.

On top of the heater, you’ll find all the buttons to help you turn it on and find the right temperature. You can even set an anti-freeze mode that will make the heater come on at 38°F / 3°C, pretty awesome no, you’ll never freeze again.

The only issue with this electric tent heater is that it’s a little loud on the higher settings and it can get annoying, so be sure to turn it on before bed if you’re worried.

Overall an awesome powered heater that does pretty much everything you need a heater to do.

Pros

  • Has an anti-freeze preset to keep you from being icy
  • Multiple heat settings from 600-1500 watts
  • Low-profile design makes it a lot more stable
  • Has a 5-year warranty
  • Can be used as just a fan
  • Buttons are easy to find and use

Cons

  • It's a little loud on high settings

Product Information

  • Type: Electric
  • Heat Output: 1500 watts
  • Weight (lbs): 5.25
  • Dimensions (in): 9.25 x 4.4 x 4.4
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Dura Heat TT-360

Dura Heat TT-360 Propane(LP) 360 Degree Tank Top Heater

Similar to the propane heater above, the Dura Heat TT-360 is quite similar in terms of heat output and portability. It’s not made for backpacking that’s for sure, as it needs to be connected to a 20lb cylinder, and I doubt anyone’s hauling one of those up the mountain.

The heater takes about 5 minutes to install and once attached is very simple to use. Simply open up the gas and hit the ignition, and your warmth will start increasing.

Once on, this guy is a little too intense for a tent and can heat 1000 sq. feet very quickly, so it’s probably better to use it outside your tent than in it. It is made for use in campsites, patios, garages, winter hunting, above-ground pools, construction sites, and fishing.

There are some great safety features in this propane heater including auto shut-off in case it falls over and chrome guards to stop anyone burning if they try and touch the head.

Overall a great outdoor space heater that is very effective but it is overkill for a tent.

Pros

  • Has quite a wide range of heat options
  • Well made from durable materials
  • Heats in multi-directions for all-around warmth
  • Has some solid safety features
  • Easy and quick to set up

Cons

  • Not suitable for tent use
  • The ignition can be a bit a finicky

Product Information

  • Type: Propane
  • Heat Output: 30-40000. BTU
  • Cylinder Size: oz
  • Weight (lbs): 4.87
  • Dimensions (in): 9.25 x 9.25 x 17.5
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Lasko 6405 Oscillating Heater

Lasko 6405 Designer Oscillating Heater,Gold

Our first electric heater of the review is the Lasko 6405 Oscillating Heater. As you can see from the picture above, this heater is pretty stylish compared to most electric heaters and it has some awesome settings too.

You can choose between 65-85 F on the thermostat control and set a timer for between 1-7 hours. This makes going to sleep a piece of cake, just pick your temperature and choose for how long, and off you go.

At just over five pounds, the speaker is pretty light and portable, well portable enough to use for car camping. It’ll slot in the trunk with ease but you will need an electric connection in your tent when you pitch your tent.

Once on it oscillates to spread the heat evenly and can push out up to 5118 BTUs on its max setting, which is plenty warm enough for heating up a tent.

The only downsides are that it smells when you first turn it on, so maybe break it in outside, to begin with. And, there is no tip-over safety feature but it does have a mechanism that stops it overheating.

Overall a handy electric tent heater for any occasion where there is an electric hook-up.

Pros

  • Pretty affordable for the quality
  • Looks pretty cool and it's quite portable
  • Comes with a 3-years warranty
  • You can pick your temperature and set a timer
  • Super easy to use and set up

Cons

  • There is no tip-over safety feature
  • Smells of plastic when you first use it, break it in
  • You'll need an electric hook up in your tent

Product Information

  • Type: Electric
  • Heat Output: 1500 watts
  • Weight (lbs): 5.86
  • Dimensions (in): 10 x 10 x 16
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Comfort Zone CZ707

Comfort Zone CZ707 1500 Watt Compact Utility Heater, Gray

The Comfort Zone CZ707 is another electric tent heater that is pretty awesome altogether. Light, powerful, and very safe, it’s an ideal cozy companion for any camping trip.

Weighing just 3lbs, this electric tent heater is not going to take up much space in the trunk of your car or your tent. You’ll need an electric hook up to plug it into your tent, and once hooked up, it can be a fan or a tent heater. How cool is that? The amount of times I’ve need a fan in a tent is real.

Once on you can choose from 3 heat settings from low to high and keep a space up to 150 sq feet warm. Enough for a 12-person tent, just about. There is also an adjustable thermostat to help find your ideal temperature.

In terms of safety, it comes with a tip-over switch, an overheating auto-off sensor, and indicator lights.

Overall a very well-priced tent heater that’s also a fan. It’s portable, easy to use, and has all the safety features you might need.

Pros

  • Works as a heater and as a fan too
  • It's pretty light and compact for easy portability
  • There is a carry handle on the top to move it around
  • Has some great safety features
  • Comes with a thermostat so you can pick your temperature
  • Well-made and will last
  • Gives great heat output

Cons

  • The metal casing is a little heavy
  • Handle feels a little weak

Product Information

  • Type: Electric
  • Heat Output: 1500 watt
  • Weight (lbs): 3
  • Dimensions (in): 8 x 6 x 6.75
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Multifun Space Heater

Electric Heater, 1500W Portable Ceramic Space Heater w/Adjustable Thermostat, Space Heater for Desk Office Home Garage,Hot & Cool Fan Overheat Protection Personal Small Space Heater Fan(ETL Certified)

This funky little electric tent heater looks like a speaker out of the ’80s. Small, compact, with a carry handle, the Multifun Space Heater is an excellent choice for camping, especially if you’re on a budget. This has to be one of the most stylish, affordable, and practical tent heaters for camping around.

Weighing just 2.79 lbs and taking up just 7 x 6.7 x 6 inches of space, you can take this heater anywhere. It runs at 1500W and can heat a space of around 108 sq ft, so a large tent will be perfect for this.

The heat emitted is weaker than other tent heaters but is enough and you can control it with the thermostat. The heater is assisted by a quiet fan that you can’t really hear. Annoyingly the fan continues after the heating stops, possibly cooling the room.

It comes with all the right safety features and is made from flame-resistant materials to ensure your shelter doesn’t burn down. It also meets the ETL and UL standards.

The only thing it doesn’t have is an auto shut-off for if it falls over. Overall an amazingly inexpensive tent heater that is ideally portable for camping.

Pros

  • Looks pretty cool, like a speaker
  • It's fast at heating up spaces
  • Extremely light, small and therefore portable
  • You can control the temperature with a thermostat
  • It's exceptionally affordable

Cons

  • There are no tip-over safety features
  • The fan stays on once thermostat temp is reached, cooling the room

Product Information

  • Type: Electric
  • Heat Output: 1500 watts
  • Weight (lbs): 2.79
  • Dimensions (in): 7 x 6.7 x 6
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What To Look For In A Tent Heater

The first choice you need to make is to choose a propane or gas tent heater, and here are the details you need to know.

Electric Tent Heater

The first thing about an electric tent heater is that you’ll need a hook up to an electrical outlet to use one, which removes the ability to backpack and camp out in the wilderness. They need a lot of power to run and therefore can’t run on batteries, which is a shame. This reduces your cold weather campsite options quite considerably.

All tent heaters are fire hazards as they cant ignite or melt things near them if unattended. Make sure to pick an electric heater that has the right safety features like auto-shutoff if it tips over and overheats. Timers and thermostats are also very useful to stop the tent heater from running all night and to save energy while keeping the room at the right temperature.

Be careful around water with electric heaters too, as water plus electricity aren’t something you want to ever deal with, especially in a tent.

Propane Tent Heaters

Let’s start off with the safety side of propane heaters. Propane heaters burn oxygen and increase the risk of carbon dioxide and monoxide poisoning, they are also quite a serious fire hazard. The risks can be helped by using propane heaters with auto-off sensors and some common sense.

The best thing about propane heaters is that you get to take the fuel with you, so you can camp anywhere you choose to. They are also very light and portable, so if you’re backpacking, they are the only way to go.

Once you turn them on, they burn hot and they heat tents up very quickly. They also can give a lot of heat from a small vessel. A 16 oz. propane cylinder can give you up to 7 hours of heat, not bad for such a tiny vessel.

Safety features

Taking safety precautions with tent heaters is a must and you’ll need the heater you choose to incorporate some fool-proof features to keep you safe.

  • Overheating protection stops heaters from melting themselves and catching fire, a good heater will shut off automatically before this happens.
  • Carbon Dioxide/Monoxide sensors or low oxygen sensors are important when using propane heaters, and when incorporated shut off the heater before the levels become risky.
  • Tip-over switches are really important and turn the heater off in case it accidentally falls over.

Safety Tips

Here are some things you can do to ensure you’re safe when using a tent heater.

Positioning is key, and you should ensure you read the manual before setting it up. Make sure the tent heater has ventilation and isn’t near any other objects.

Turn it off before you go to sleep to remove all risks of it falling over or giving you carbon monoxide/dioxide poisoning. Once you’re in your sleeping bag you should be fine, so why risk it?

Our Favorite Tent Heaters

The best propane tent heater is the Mr Heater Little Buddy. This little guy is ideal for backpacking weight just 5lbs and it connects to a 16 oz. cylinder so you can take it and use it anywhere. It’s also pretty affordable and comes with all the features you need to keep you safe while using a gas tent heater in a tent.

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Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B Little Buddy 3800-BTU Indoor Safe Propane Heater, Medium
4,683 Reviews
Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B Little Buddy 3800-BTU Indoor Safe Propane Heater, Medium
  • Indoor-safe portable propane heater for rooms up to 95 square feet. THIS UNIT IS NOT INTENDED FOR GOLF CART USE OR FOR MOTORIZED VEHICLES.
  • Continuous odor-free, 45-degree heating angle. Maximum Elevation (Ft) 7000 Feet. Automatic low oxygen shut-off system (ODS). Perfect solution for heating small enclosed spaces like tents up to 95 square feet

The best electric tent heater is the True North Heater. This electrical tent heater is by far one of the most portable and energy-efficient heaters around. It comes with excellent safety features and helpful heating features like anti-freeze which turns the heater on before the temperature gets too low. There is a thermostat that you can set to your ideal temperature to too.