Are you looking for the best portable heater for camping? Camping is an exciting outdoor activity that many people enjoy; for some people, it’s even a passion, and they do it all around the year.
So when the winter season comes, most likely, there will be freezing weather, which might disturb your comfy camping environment. But with the best portable heater, you can avoid that discomfort.
If you don’t choose the right heater, the heat may not circulate the way you need, and it could even be a fire hazard. There are multiple choices you can pick from.
So, if you don’t know the market well and are looking for the perfect heater, we have made a list of the best portable heaters for camping. All options are safe and comfortable for you.
We also recommend below some of the things you should look for to choose the best portable heater for camping.
Read more: battery operated heater for camping
What factors to consider before buying the best portable heater for camping
Different kinds of portable heaters
The first thing you should know, before buying the first heater you see, is that there are different types of heaters, you have:
- Gas heaters. These portable heaters produce more heat than any other type, and they run on the two safest gases there are, propane or butane.
Propane releases carbon monoxide, but it’s the gas that burns the cleanest compared to most gases. The propane heaters are fueled by liquefied petroleum gas (LPG). The propane tank is connected to the heater, and when you create a spark with a match or an igniter, the burning of gas will jump-start.
The butane heaters are powered by liquefied butane gas. The heat is also activated by a spark or an igniter, and the gas is reserved in a small can. Butane actually costs more than propane, and even though it is less efficient, it releases less carbon monoxide than propane.
- Electric heaters. These portable heaters need to be directly connected to a power source, for example, a generator. They rely on the battery’s runtime to supply heat. After the battery dies, you will have to recharge the heater, so you will always need an available power source.
There are some electric heaters that you can charge with solar panels, so if you have a solar panel or a gas generator, you won’t have any problems with an electric heater.
Some people prefer these heaters because they consider them safer than gas heaters and easier to set up.
Weight and size
It’s not very recommended to get a heavy or large heater, given that you are probably taking a lot of camping gear on your trip.
This is the most important factor you have to consider. You definitely want your heater to be able to fill the space inside your tent sufficiently.
The gas heaters are rated by BTUs. It depends on the tent, but most people choose gas heaters that can put out 2,500 to 5,000 BTUs per hour.
And the electric heaters are measured in watts and volts. We recommend a range of 750 to 1,500 watts or 5 to 20 volts.
Portable heaters could be a fire hazard if they are set up in the wrong spot. It could be very dangerous if they are too close to the tent or any other flammable objects, or they could fall to the floor.
There are some portable heaters that can automatically shut off when they fall or when the unit gets overheated. Some gas heaters can also power down automatically if they detect a lot of carbon monoxide in the air.
If you are a light sleeper, you should probably get a heater that’s less noisy so it won’t interrupt your sleep.
Propane and butane heaters are a little bit noisier than electric heaters; they have more moving parts to create the heat, so they can produce some humming sounds when they’re on.
Some electric heaters do make some ringing noise, but they are mostly quieter.
Most heaters won’t indicate how loud they are, but some do say the decibel (dB) levels so you can figure out if they are too loud or not. For example, 90 dB is as loud as a large truck, 60 dB is like hearing a regular conversation, and 40 dB is like being in a library.
All heaters have limited runtime, although gas heaters can last a lot longer than electric heaters.
Of course, depending on the size of the fuel tank, the runtime of a gas heater could last from one hour to 48 hours.
The runtime of electric heaters doesn’t last very long; they need to be charged after one to four hours of use.
Also consider reading: Best camping electric heater
9 Best portable heaters for camping
1. Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy
This portable heater is considered one of the best; it’s made out of plastic and steel. It’s powered by propane; it can heat a wide range of space, up to 225 square feet, at 4,000 to 9,000 BTUs per hour. The runtime can last up to 3 hours on the highest setting.
It comes with a safety feature that ensures the heater will automatically turn off if it falls or detects that the oxygen levels are low.
It weighs 10.6 pounds and has a handle that folds down, so it’s really easy for you to transport.
2. Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B Little Buddy
This is the perfect option if you really need something portable. It weighs 5 pounds, you can literally hold it in your hand, and it can fit into a backpack easily.
This portable heater runs on propane, and it can heat at the rate of 3,800 BTUs per hour, which is enough to warm up 95 square feet of space.
Its runtime can last for 5.6 hours. It can also monitor low oxygen levels, and it automatically switches off if it tips over.
3. Campy Gear Chubby 2 in 1
This one is quite unique; besides immediately heating your area, it can also be used as a stove. At the top of the heater, you will be able to cook anything; no other heater can offer you this feature.
It has a heat output of 9,000 BTUs, and it comes with a 360-degree design, so everyone can sit around it and share and enjoy the warmth comfortably.
It’s powered by 110-gram and 230-gram fuel cans of propane, isobutene, or butane. Its runtime can last 2.5 hours on a 230-gram fuel can.
This portable heater actually has three different models; there’s one that you can use only for cooking, the other one is heat-only, and the third one you can use it for both cooking and heat.
4. DEWALT DXH12B Portable Heater
A battery and propane can power this heater. It comes with a LED light in case you want to use it in the dark.
It can heat at 12,000 BTUs per hour and can offer about 7 hours of runtime.
It has a fan integrated to effectively get rid of convective heat; it also comes with 3 USB ports, so you can charge your electronics.
5. Sengoku HeatMate
The Sengoku HeatMate heater has a big output, and it’s an excellent option.
This heater is powered by kerosene instead of propane, not much of a difference, but still. It’s designed so you can use it outside and inside. It’s not so much to be portable, but it is an excellent choice for camping.
Its heat output of 10,000 BTUs, so it’s excellent for large spaces, up to 380 square feet.
Its runtime can last for about 14 hours with 1.2 gallons of fuel tank; it will keep you warm and cozy.
It comes with safety features, so it will automatically shut off if it falls or tips over. It also has protective grills, and it doesn’t need matches or electricity.
6. Vornado Velocity 3R
The Vornado Velocity 3R is an electric heater, very easy to use and lightweight. It comes with touch controls that allow you to choose the temperature you like, lets you switch between different heat settings, and sets a timer.
It comes with three different heat settings, which include high (1,500W), medium (1,125W), and low (750W).
It’s equipped with a safety feature, so if the heater tips over, it will automatically shut off the system, preventing to cause any fires.
It also comes with a cool-touch case, so you’ll be able to pick it up or handle it while it’s on.
Some people find it a bit noisy, and it needs another power source to work.
7. Honeywell HHF360V
The Honeywell portable heater is a great option for any space, from the office to the wilderness. This heater can expel heat in every direction, so everyone can sit around it and enjoy the warmth and comfort.
This heater is electric, so you won’t have to buy any butane or propane. It uses a fan to shoot out the hot air and fill the space quickly.
It’s also very easy to customize. It comes with a thermostat and fan settings, so you can adjust it any way you want to fit your needs better.
8. Camplux JK-1000 Portable
The Camplux JK-1000 is one of the best options; it’s a very compact and light heater. It weighs only 8 pounds, and you can put it in your backpack very easily.
It’s powered by butane and has a heat output of 4,400 BTUs; it can heat about 100 square feet.
It comes with a little grate on the top of the heater that can hold a cup; with this, you can make coffee or heat up water. So you will be able to stay warm and enjoy a nice coffee every morning.
It’s very easy to operate and install, you won’t need any extra tools, and you can set it up in minutes. It would be best if you still read the instruction when installing.
It also comes with safety features; it has a built-in pressure sensor, and a gas cut-off mechanism that will eject the can fuel if it overheats and prevent gas leaks. All this avoids any possible danger and fire hazards.
9. Portable electric space heater
This portable heater is able to heat up to 200 square feet without any problem, so everyone around its area will feel warm and comfortable.
It has a basic design and characteristics, so you will be able to use it and transport it very easily.
You can use it in both cold and hot weather because of its integrated fan with cold air and its two heat settings, which are 750W and 1500W.
The heater has a thermostat control that will turn it off if it reaches a specific temperature limit. It will turn it back on once the temperature goes down below the setting previously adjusted.