If you’ve ever camped in the winter, you likely know that waking up shivering is one of the worst feelings.
You’d much rather be warm, cozy, and bundled in your tent.
Having camped for years in the winter, I’ve been through all the struggles of trying to stay warm.
Browsing for solutions, I came across tent heaters, and they’ve kept me warm ever since.
Nobody likes being cold at night, and you don’t have to be.
A reliable tent heater can keep you warm in even the coldest temperatures. Let’s dive right into the 10 Best Tent Heater options.
Tent Heaters: My Top Picks
Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy 4,000 – 9,000 Btu Portable Propane Indoor-Safe Radiant Heater
The Mr. Heater F232000 is a handy heater that can keep you toasty in your tent. At 4,000-9,000 BTUs, this radiant heater is excellent for spaces up to 225 square feet.
This 9 lb unit burns cleanly with nearly 100% efficiency, a great advantage. A single propane tank powers the heater for 3 hours on max power. If you tip over this heater, it automatically shuts off. This function also kicks in if oxygen levels are low.
At 4,000 BTUs, the heater runs at .044 gallons per hour, and at maximum power, it runs at .099 gallons an hour. A fuel-down handle and a swivel-out radiator connect to the propane tank, which is another convenient feature.
Some say this is the best heater for tent camping. Campers are satisfied with this product and say it keeps them warm and toasty. They also enjoy the oxygen and tip-over sensors that power off the heater and keep you safe.
On the other hand, some say that the heater can trigger carbon monoxide detectors in closed tents. This heater also uses a significant amount of fuel and doesn’t last the whole night on full power.
- Great for camping, fishing, and hunting
- Easy to use
- Lots of heat
- 3-6 hour run time
- High gas consumption
Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B Little Buddy 3800-BTU Indoor Safe Propane Heater
A very safe and portable heater, the F215100 gets the job done for most campers. If you’re looking for a lightweight and easy-to-use product, the F215100 may be the best heater for inside tent purposes. The F215100 has simple on and off buttons and heats rooms up to 95 square feet.
You can enjoy the heat for 5.6 hours, which is respectable for the heater’s size. Also, the smaller heater is odorless and secured at a 45-degree angle. If you plan on camping in high elevations, this heater shuts off when taken above 7,000 feet.
A helpful safety feature is the low oxygen shut-off system. With this device, you can have peace of mind that the air is safe. The total power output is 3,800 BTUs per hour. There’s a convenient handle on top of the heater for easy lugging.
Owners of this product enjoy its design and point out how safe it feels. Consumers are also impressed that the small device can run at 3,800 BTUs. People have mentioned that the product is a little touchy and shuts off with minor bumps. Others state that they wish there were different levels of heat instead of just one.
- Very portable
- High BTUs for size
- Safe air
- Very warm
- Slightly touchy
- Takes some time to warm up
Portable Outdoor Camping Infrared Propane Gas Heater Parabolic
Texsport’s heater is ideal for camping, hunting, and other outdoor activities. The heater is easy to use and operates at a max of 2890 BTUs and 847 Watts, providing 7-8 hours of heat on low. You can use a 14.1 oz. or 16.4 oz. propane fuel cylinder to power it.
Conveniently, there’s a safety feature that shuts off the heater if the flame goes out. For added stability, there’s also a sturdy paddle foot base. The company prides itself on a 40-year history of satisfaction for outdoor enthusiasts.
Outlining the heater is a stainless steel burner, aluminum reflector, and copper finish.
A significant advantage over Mr. Heater products is this heater’s ability to function at over 7,000 feet. There isn’t an automatic shut-off function when you go higher. There’s also a control knob, which lets you choose the BTU output.
This heater has helped many people endure ragingly cold nights inside their tents. Consumers favor the long 7-8 hours of heat with a single 1 lb propane bottle. People also enjoy how quickly the heater warms up, delivering instant heat. If you’re looking for a small product, the Texsport heater may be the best heater for inside tent purposes.
- Warms up quickly
- Low fuel consumption
- Long run time
- Slight odor
- A bit noisy
Mr. Heater F242300 MH15C 10,000-15,000 BTU Cooker, Chrome
If you’re looking for a portable propane tent heater that dishes out serious BTUs, the BTU Cooker might do the trick. Impressively operating at 8,000-15,000 BTUs, this heater undoubtedly keeps you warm in lots of scenarios.
This heater is made of steel and is ideal for spaces up to 375 square feet. You can also connect the heater to a 20 lb refillable tank in addition to small propane cylinders. Lightly weighing only 1.12 oz., the product is among the lightest of all portable heaters.
A 1 lb propane bottle on a medium setting lasts 1-1.5 hours, while a 20 lb tank supplies 25 hours of use. This heater is chrome-colored and utilizes the forced air heating method. An automatic safety shut-off helps prevent any accidents.
Depending on how much heat you want, you can choose between high, medium, and low settings. For camping uses, you likely won’t need to use it long before feeling the intense warmth.
In consumer perception, people give the heater high remarks for thriving in near-0 temperatures. Others compliment the reliability and solid build. People tend to use this heater to pre-heat their tent, stating it gets hot very quickly.
- Very powerful
- Can use 20 lb propane tanks
- Cooking uses
- Can be too hot after a while
- Design is tippy
REMINGTON Portable Tank Top Propane Heater
A reliable and high-output BTU heater, the Remington is excellent for camping, ice fishing, and tailgating. The 16,000 BTUs provide warmth for up to 400 square feet. This heater has a wind-resistant frame, a safety shut-down valve, and a tip-over switch.
Versatile and portable, this heater runs for 27 hours on a 20 lb propane tank. The match-light ignition makes for an easy start process. Without the gas tank, this product is 3 lbs.
In the case of a break or malfunction, the company offers a convenient 1-year warranty.
As an aesthetic choice, you can choose a silver or black design. Some other features are the coated steel reflector, personalized burner housing, and chrome emitter guard. This heater is one of the more affordable products on the list.
Some people compare the heat to sitting next to a warm campfire. The safety functions tend to be sensitive, and consumers recommend to not bump the heater. For the price, campers feel as though they get their money’s worth.
- 16,000 BTU output
- Safety shut-down
- 1-year warranty
- Lightweight and versatile
- Wind resistant frame
- Awkward tank attachment
Stansport Portable Outdoor Propane Infrared Radiant Heater
The Standsport Heater is a top-of-the-line indoor tent heater. This device supplies 3,100 BTU’s of heat and features low, medium, and high control settings.
Pleasantly connected at the top, there is a carry handle that makes for efficient carrying. This heater uses a matchless electronic ignition, which speeds up the start process. You can use 1 lb propane cylinders to power the heater.
Allowing you to focus heat in different directions is an adjustable metal dish. A front cage makes the heater safer. In the package, you get a plastic cylinder base for stability.
The dimensions of the product are 8.8×5.5×5.5″, and the weight is 1.8 lbs. Like with many other heaters on the market, propane isn’t included in the purchase.
There is a wide variety of customer feedback on this product. Some people have positive testaments, while others have negative ones. Many campers label this heater as reliable and ideal for inside a tent. On the other hand, some reviews claim that the ignition isn’t matchless, like the description states.
Since the heater’s BTU output is relatively low compared with some others on the list, it’s especially ideal for inside a tent.
- 3 control settings
- Safety shut-down
- Excellent for tents
- Rear cage
- Adjustable metal dish
- Not the hottest
- Some consumers say the “matchless ignition” isn’t true
MARTIN Safe Portable Gas Catalytic Heater
The Portable Gas Catalytic Heater is an excellent flameless heater by Martin. A flameless technology adds more efficiency and keeps you warm inside the tent. This heater uses advanced catalytic technology, relying on chemical reactions to produce heat.
With a 1 lb propane tank, you can squeeze 7 hours of heat out of this 3000 BTU unit. A propane space heater for tent purposes, this product has 99.98 heating efficiency. On the other hand, many flame-type heaters can waste 45% of the heat.
Because of its excellent efficiency, the heater is very safe and recommended for families that camp. The sound produced by the heater is also very soft and hardly noticeable.
The Martin heater comes in a yellow color and has dimensions of 11×11.2×15.4″. For peace of mind, this product is also CSA certified. There’s a set of foldable legs that make setting up the heater simple and easy.
Campers enjoy the easy process of lighting the heater and say many products take much longer. The legs have proven to be very sturdy and reliable, making tip-overs very uncommon.
With a front guard, the Martin heater protects campers from accidental burns. For the price, this product delivers a stellar quality.
- Great value
- Easy to light
- Not for indoor use
Camping Emergency Butane Heater Coherent Heat
As the first heater on the list that runs on butane gas, the Tooluxe Emergency Heater is an excellent source of warmth. If you’re looking for a single-unit heater with inner-tank placement, don’t look further. This heater runs on standard butane gas cartridges and has an output of 4,400 BTUs.
Convenient with a ceramic burner, the Tooluxe heater is very portable and has a built-in carrying handle. Keeping campers safe is an automatic shut-off feature based on pressure sensing. The heater has a 100gm/hr rate of gas consumption, giving you plenty of warmth throughout the night and in the morning.
There’s an external connector for butane and an LPG for external gas sources. A 5.4 lb compact unit with a handle, the heater poses no difficulty for campers to carry in and out of the tent. As a bonus, you can use this heater indoors safely.
Reviews of this camping tent heater are mostly positive in nature. Consumers highly favor the easy process of swapping butane cans. The instructions are also detailed and show that the company cares for its customers.
Even on the lowest setting, the Tooluxe heater dishes out a lot of heat.
- Portable butane gas cartridges
- Ceramic burner
- Low gas consumption
- CE certificate
- Excellent value for the price
- Detailed instructions
- Non-standard regulator hose adaptor
- Carbon Dioxide builds up when laid flat
DEWALT DXH12B Portable Heater
If you have a knack for advanced technology, don’t skip on this heater. When you’re in a tent, you don’t always have access to a power source. The Dewalt heater takes care of that.
Three USB ports allow campers to charge their devices directly from this advanced unit. A dual-tank capacity combined with the 12,000 BTUs of power gives you 7 long hours of heat. The integrated high-speed fan is an awesome feature because it circulates air throughout your tent.
Among all of the safe tent heaters for camping, the Dewalt heater has the most beneficial features. With oxygen depletion and tip-over safety functions, you can enjoy a carefree camping experience.
The quiet and trustworthy electronic ignition transcends heaters that you have to manually light. When starting the device, there is a straightforward twisting knob. At 14 lbs, this heater isn’t the most portable, but many say its quality makes up for the extra weight.
Consumers are supportive of the fan option because of the excellent heat distribution. The CO2 detector is also very responsive, and it shuts down the heater immediately when necessary. Campers have benefitted from the built-in light during the night. This heater is ideal for even the largest of tents.
- 12,000 BTUs
- Integrated fan
- LED light bar
- Safety shut-down functions
- 3 USB charging ports
- Quiet ignition
- Dual tank capacity
- No returns
- Not great in the wind
Forart Outdoor Camping Mini Portable Heater
A robust and compact propane heater, Forart is convenient for campers in limited spaces. For the price, the Forart is a superb winter camping tent heater. Since it’s made from stainless steel, this product can take a few hits.
An easy-to-use safety valve gives you control over the gas flow and heat. 330g is relatively light for a heater, and this product also has modest dimensions of 15x15x14 centimeters. The company, like most other companies, recommends not to completely seal the tent when using it.
The package includes a base and a storage bag. Standard protection bars keep campers from being burned by the heating net. There are 3 legs connected to the tank’s base that create sufficient balance.
When powered on, this heater emits a comforting amber glow that emulates the color of fire. This compact heater is an excellent choice for camping, climbing, and ice fishing.
Based on reviews, customers seem to enjoy this product very much. Some people, expecting an average-functioning heater, are surprised by the superb quality. This heater is an affordable way for campers to stay warm at night.
- Durable stainless steel
- Great for winter
- Adjustable valve
- Portable min heating stove
- Not highly powerful
- No safety shut-down feature
- Small legs
Factors to Consider
Before choosing the tent heater that’s best for you, there are some things you should consider. Here are some of the main factors
With the countless available heaters on the market, finding the best one for yourself is more challenging than it may seem. In the end, you don’t want to get stuck in a freezing tent out in the wilderness. Finding your perfect tent comes down to assessing these things:
- Performance and output
- Safety features
- Type of heater
How much money do you have to spend on a tent heater? Though this may seem like a basic question, it’s definitely an important one. Spending a lot of money on a heater can yield lots of benefits, but not everyone needs all of the extra features to stay warm at night.
If you need to heat vast spaces, a more expensive heater may offer more power and reliability. On the other hand, plenty of cheap and durable heaters can perfectly suit smaller spaces. The important thing is not to buy something your family’s budget can’t handle.
Performance and Output
Different tent sizes call for varying BTU outputs. On top of BTUs, another significant factor is efficiency. Understanding which heater has the ideal power for your tent lies in this formula created by Mr. Heater:
Required BTUS=cubic feet of space x your desired temperature x 1.33
This formula can give you a rough estimate of how much power you need. Some factors, such as tent wall thickness and outdoor temperatures, can affect this formula.
In this review, I’ve included each heater’s BTU outputs to make it easier to find your match. All of the heaters on this list are the most tested, trusted, and effective products on the market. So, you can feel safe when picking one.
Before doing anything, figure out your tent’s heating requirements and review the outputs of these heaters.
The last thing you want inside your tent is a fire. So, having safety features on your heater can be the difference between a peaceful night and an emergency situation.
In terms of carbon monoxide production, catalytic heaters tend to produce much less than gas-powered infrared heaters. Since all heaters emit some carbon monoxide, it’s vital to look for a gas-detecting feature.
Also, the safest heaters have automatic shut-down functions when they tip over. This feature is essential since you may not be aware of a tip-over in your sleep. I’ve indicated whether or not the heaters on this list include these safety features for your convenience.
Before zoning in on a heater, make sure to consider size and portability. In most cases, the heater’s size is directly proportionate to the power output. Since heaters take considerable effort to lug out in the wilderness, it’s great to have one which isn’t too heavy for your needs.
Most of the propane camping heater options on this list are lightweight and portable, besides a few exceptions. You should keep in mind that the gas tanks are separate and add additional weight. A battery-operated tent heater doesn’t come with this extra weight.
Type of Heater
There are different types of tent heater options on the market. Find a type of heater that fits the environment you plan to inhabit. If you need a small camping heater, you might consider vent-type or catalytic heaters since they produce the least carbon monoxide.
However, if you need heat outside your tent, you may be better off with butane or infrared heaters. These heaters are often more powerful than other types.
Can you use heaters in tents?
Some heaters are safe for tents, while others aren’t. Since a tent is generally a compact space, you often don’t have a heater with over 10,000 BTUs of power.
Catalytic heaters produce less carbon monoxide than gas-powered infrared heaters, making them safer inside tents. However, no heaters are safe in fully closed-off spaces, so you should always ensure there’s an opening inside the tent.
What is the best camping heater?
For inside the tent, some of the finest heaters are the Mr. Heater F242300, Remington REM-16-TTC-O, and the Stansport Portable Outdoor Infrared Heater. For outside the tent, more powerful heaters like the Dewalt DXH12B and Mr. Heater F232000 are ideal.
Are there heaters that don’t require electricity?
Yes, all of the heaters on this list are portable and use gas containers or a battery. Since camping often happens where there’s no electricity, owning a portable heater may be necessary to stay warm at night.
Are tent heaters dangerous?
All heaters can be dangerous if they aren’t used carefully. If you’re going to use a heater inside a tent, make sure there are openings to mitigate the build-up of carbon monoxide. Tent heaters with safety features like automatic shut-downs are safer in the event of a tip-over or gas build-up.
How cold is too cold to sleep in a tent?
Without a heater, the best temperatures for camping are between 50-70 degrees Fahrenheit. On the other hand, temperatures below 40 degrees are too cold without an additional heat source. The use of a high-quality tent heater can make it possible to camp in near-0 temperatures.
Camping can be one of the most peaceful and exciting activities to do in your free time. The winter presents many challenges for campers. It’s common for people to get a perfect setup only to wake up during the night, shivering from the cold.
My top pick and favorite camping heater on this list is the Dewalt DXH12B. Not only does this unit provide radiant heat, but it’s also a charging station and flashlight. The 7-hour run-time, better than many heaters on the list, can keep campers warm the whole night.
With the starter knob, you don’t need to manually light the heater, which is highly convenient. This unit is sturdy and hard to tip over, making it very safe.
If you’re looking for high performance, reliability, and an excellent night of sleep in your tent, check out the Dewalt DXH12B heater.
If this model is a bit too pricey for you, then I’d be sure to check out the Remington REM-16-TTC-O, a high-quality and affordable heater.