Best Camping Heater On The Market to Keep Your Warm
No matter which season you choose for camping, the weather in this part of the world is often unpredictable. Even the warmest summer nights can see temperatures drop if the rain starts to pour or the wind picks up. If you’ve ever tried to get a good night’s sleep in a cold and damp tent, you know where I am going with this. Of course, you can sit around a bonfire for a while, but when it’s time to cuddle up in your sleeping bag, a heater is the more practical option.
Whether you’re in a large family tent on a campsite, a caravan, or a cosy two-person collapsable shelter in the middle of the wilderness, there’s a fitting camping heater for you out there.
After reading up on safety – which is of high importance on any camping trip – take a look at my recommendations for the best camping heaters on the market!
But first, let’s figure out which type of heater you need — both gas and electric fuelled heaters have their pros and cons.
Table of Contents
What Camping Heater Do I Need?
Gas Camping Heaters
Electric heaters are efficient and easy to operate, but not always viable if you are camping out of designated areas. The great thing about gas heaters is that you can use them almost anywhere. They offer powerful heat output and come in lightweight, and compact designs, making them easy to carry with you. More often than not, you’ll already bring a set of gas cannisters for cooking, so you won’t have to double pack.
A major disadvantage of gas heaters is the danger of carbon monoxide poisoning, which is everpresent when these heaters are used indoors. It’s best to only use gas heaters out in the open, and provide adequate ventilation IF you ever bring them inside.
Butane or Propane?
Most camping gas heaters run on either Butane or Propane. Before purchasing your heater, it is good to learn the difference, and why it matters.
Butane gas turns from liquid to gas at a higher temperature than propane, so it may be a poor option if you are winter camping. You’ll struggle to operate your heater around 5°C, and at 0°C you’ll be completely out of luck. Propane gas, on the other hand, is more reliable and lasts longer in colder climates. That said, Butane will last longer in warm weather.
Electric Camping Heaters
On camping trips to serviced campsites, where electric outlets are available, electric heaters are a better option because they are safer and emit zero Carbon Monoxide (or any fumes at all, for that matter). You can safely use them inside your tent or caravan, just be sure not to place them too close to anything flamable as they can get hot while running and potentially create a fire hazard.
Safety Considerations for Camping Heaters
As I mentioned, using a heater while camping may be dangerous if you don’t take the right safety precautions.
- Gas heaters emit carbon monoxide, which can be fatal without proper ventilation. Never use any type of gas heater, propane or butane, in an enclosed space. You could consider buying a Carbon Monoxide detector with a built-in alarm if you contemplate a gas-fueled heater for your next camping trip; but, it’s better to be on the safe side.
Using a gas heater outdoors also means a potential fire risk. Even though most models are equipped with safety measures, always place the gas heater on a cleared, level surface.
- Electric camping heaters have built-in safety features. These commonly include the tip-over safety switch that cuts off power supply if the heater is knocked over, and overheat protection that turns the unit off if it exceeds maximum temperatures. Still, it’s best to keep the heater at a safe distance from any objects, like sleeping bags and billowing curtains, and never leave the unit unattended.
Another thing to keep in mind as you enjoy your camping holiday is that electricity and water don’t mix well. But we all know that, right?
Best Camping Gas Heater For Your Trip
Dinex Topflame portable camping heater is designed for heating all sorts of tents, large and small. The compact design, top carry handle, and lightweight make it easy to carry the heater with you in your backpack or behind the bike on a fishing trip. Replaceable Butane bottles fuel it, and a ceramic disc element provides a maximum of 1500W heat output. The heater is equipped with adjustable heat control and angle. Piezo ignition makes it easy to switch on the heater, which will radiate heat for approximately 3 hours on the maximum output setting.
- Dimensions: 28.5 cm x 19.5 cm
- Weight: 2 kg
- Power Source: Butane gas
- Heat Output: 1500W
- Safety: Not specified
What do people say about it? The consensus is that this portable gas heater from Topflame performs very well for anyone who wants to stay warm on a camping trip. It’s easy to carry in your backpack, quick to set up, and it provides excellent heat in no time. It warms a moderate-sized tent in just a few minutes and emits zero smell. Great for any outdoor adventure.
- High gas consumption
- Mainly for outdoor use
- Works best for smaller spaces
The Dinex Topflame portable camping heater is an excellent, affordable for shorter camping trips. You need to bring a few bottles with you, but they weigh little to nothing, so if you have space for them then go for it. The heater itself is lightweight, too. When you use the heater in your tent, be sure to keep a vent open to allow Carbon Monoxide to escape – this is essential for your safety.
Mr Heater Buddy is one of the most popular portable propane heaters. This robust and compact heater is suitable for indoor use and can quickly heat a tent as large as 20m2 (225ft2). It works great outdoors too, as the porcelain-coated surface of the unit radiates heat over longer distances. Thanks to its swivel regulator, the heater can be fuelled by either a disposable cylinder or a remote gas supply. Hose and filter for remote supply are bought separately. The heater is equipped with a handle at the top for extra portability. Safety is ensured —should Mr Heater Buddy get knocked over, lose the pilot light, or detect low oxygen levels, it will shut off immediately.
- Dimensions: 2 x 35.5 x 37.6 cm
- Weight: 3.8 kg
- Power Source: Propane gas cylinder
- Heat Output: 1200-2400W
- Safety: Oxygen Depletion Sensor (ODS), tip-over safety shut-off
What do people say about it? Most buyers claim that Mr Heater Buddy is both reliable and powerful. The pilot light makes the heater turn on in a split-second every time, and it performs well even at the medium heat setting. The material is high quality, and feels that it’s built to last. One canister of gas lasts between 6-8 hours, so the heater is quite economical, too.
It’s worth noting that several buyers took Carbon Monoxide level measurements while operating the heater, and registered zero. That said, I will not recommend you to use this heater inside a tent without proper ventilation.
- Easy to operate
- Clean combustion
- Versatile use
- Compact size
- Equipped with safety devices
- Cannot be used in high altitudes
- A bit on the heavier side
Mr Heater Buddy is one of the most popular camping heaters on the market. It is easy to understand the popularity – the heater is sturdy, reliable, and powerful. It consumes little gas, and is safe to operate as long as the correct safety measures are in place (remember to keep air vents open when burning gas indoors). If you opt for a propane fuelled camping heater, you will find this to be one of the best.
The Zonsuse Camping Mini Heater is made of sturdy, rust-free stainless steel — the perfect material forlong-term outdoor use. The heater has a compact design and light weight that makes it perfect for camping trips, as it fits right in your backpack.
It works by being placed over your camping stove, such that the slots match the stove’s buckle and can’t get knocked over easily. You simply turn on the gas cooker, and immediately feel the heat radiating from this small heater.
The circular, chimney-style design helps the Zonsuse Camping Mini Heater radiate heat all around, so it can keep several campers warm at the same time. The vents on the unit ensure that heat is distributed evenly, and that the unit doesn’t overheat. The heater comes with a handle, so it’s easy to grab and move the unit from the stove while it’s still hot.
Cover and storage bag are included with the purchase.
- Dimensions: 12 x 14.7 cm
- Weight: 420 g
- Material: Stainless Steel
- Power Source: Liquified Petroleum Gas (LPG)
What do people say about it? Most positive reviews agree that the Zonsuse Camping Mini Heater is a powerful little heater that’s perfect for outdoor camping. You will feel the warmth at least 1 metre (3 feet) away and ½ metre (18 inches) from the unit’s top at the medium heat setting. It still produces a bit of heat after it has been turned off. The heater locks securely onto the stove, so there’s little risk in the unit coming detached.
- The unit gets quite hot
- Mainly for outdoor use
If you are going on a short camping trip and don’t fancy bringing a tremendous amount of luggage, the Zonsuse Camping Mini Heater’s compact design will suit you well. It fits right into a backpack, and weighs practically nothing. It is not as powerful as other models, but certiainly scores points on portability and ease of use.
Best Electric Camping Heater For Your Trip
This electric heater from Donyer is a ceiling-hung halogen heater suitable for both indoor and outdoor use. You can hang it from a beam in a larger tent, or outdoors while having dinner in nature. The sloping design and waterproof coating help this heater cope with a bit of rain. The shape also ensures that the warmth is dispersed downwards rather than up.
With 2 heat settings — 800W and 2000W — and a 360-degree radiation angle, this heater is tailored to small outdoor gatherings. For greater ease in handling, the Donyer Power Electric Heater comes with an adjustable chain you can use to suspend the unit from the ceiling or a beam. The overheat protection feature ensures that the heater switches off if the temperatures exceed their limit.
- Dimensions: 45 x 27 cm
- Weight: 2.5 kg
- Material: Coated Stainless Steel
- Power Source: Electric 230V
- Heat Output: 800W/2000W
- Safety: Overheat protection /copper wire
What do people say about it? This ceiling-hanging model from Donyer is a solid, versatile heater. You can hang it anywhere — inside the tent, where it is conveniently out of the way, and outdoors while dining and cooking. It also functions as a lamp, emitting a gentle, cosy light. The heater makes no noise at all and gets warm in a matter of seconds. If you stay directly underneath, you will feel the warmth instantly.
- Ceiling hung
- Adjustable height level
- Fume free
- Versatile use
- Low energy consumption
- Not easily transported
The Donyer Power Electric Heater might not be easy to pack and transport, but you’ll enjoy its many benefits — such as power and mounting flexibility — as long as you’ve got enough space in your luggage. You can hang this model inside your tent, outdoors from a tree, or under your caravan’s canopy.
The Honeywell HZ445E 360° Heater produces up to 1800W of heat and has a “Surround Heat” feature that allows you to choose between 180° and 360° oscillation modes. Honeywell uses smart technology with an intelligent electronic thermostat to ensure that the desired temperature is quickly reached and correctly maintained. The heater is remote-controlled, equipped with a digital display, and has an electronic OFF timer that can be programmed to turn off the heat after 1, 2, 4, or 8 hours.
For safety, this model has a tip-over safety switch, and a cool-touch handle that allow you to move the heater while operating.
- Dimensions: 25.8 x 46.8 cm
- Weight: 2.4 kg
- Material: Ceramic
- Power Source: Electric
- Heat Output: 1800W
- Safety: Tip-over safety switch /Cool-touch handle
What do people say about it? Apparently, the Honeywell HZ445E 360° Heater is quite efficient, and the Surround Heat function is rather convenient when you have several friends out with you on your camping trip. The heater gets quite hot, so be sure not to have any items placed against it to avoid fire risks. Some buyers mention that the Honeywell HZ445E 360° Heater is a bit noisy, but its nothing you can’t filter out after a little while.
- Heats rapidly
- Has a timer
- Has a thermostat
- The unit gets hot to the touch
- Not meant for outdoor use
- Not entirely silent
The Honeywell HZ445E 360° Heater is the ideal electric heater for larger tents. Thanks to its thermostat and times, this model is also incredibly convenient. However, since it gets quite hot while in operation, it’s may be unsafe to use in smaller surroundings.
The Pro Breeze 2000W delivers instant warmth thanks to its ceramic heating element. The heater has two heat settings — 1200W and 2000W — and a built-in thermostat that lets you set the temperature to the desired level. The optional 60° oscillation function radiates the heat evenly.
At only 2 kg, this heater is easy to bring on any trip. The Pro Breeze 2000W is equipped with a tilt-over safety switch and overheat protection, so you won’t have to fret over knocking the device over or letting it get too hot.
- Dimensions: 26 x 5 x 15.5 cm
- Weight: 1.75 kg
- Material: Ceramic
- Power Source: 220-240V
- Heat Output: 1200-2000W
- Safety: Overheat protection, Tip-over safety switch
What do people say about it? The Pro Breeze 2000W is a powerful mini heater that can quickly heat a large tent or caravan. It makes a bit of sound when running, but it’s not enough to bother you. The oscillating system gets plenty of praise for distributing the heat evenly. Aside from the front grill, the unit device doesn’t get too hot.
- Powerful heat output
- Oscillating system
- Nothing obvious
The Pro Breeze has a robust heat output, is portable and lightweight, and doesn’t get hot to the touch. That said, the Pro Breeze might be a bit too poweerful for smaller tents as it gives off quite a bit of heat. A great choice for spacious tents!
Have you used a camping heater that you fancied? Or any of the ones on my list?
If so, please leave us a comment to share your experience with our readers!