3 Best Portable Heaters for Camping

Hey there campers and welcome to my post where I will share my three best portable heaters for camping this year. Winter camping is a popular pastime for those looking to experience the beauty of the outdoors in cold weather. However one of the challenges of camping in winter is the cold. In these situations, portable heaters are very much-needed to help us enjoy our time in slightly warmer circumstances.

So, stay with me here as I check out some good portable heater options for camping to keep you warm on those long winter nights.

My three recommended camping portable heaters

I will review these in more detail below, but if you just want to get moving without all the carry-on, my recommended products are listed here for your convenience:

 Portable Camping HeaterPriceGet it
best portable camping heaters - andily Compact Portable Ceramic Space Heaterandily Compact Portable Ceramic Space Heater$CURRENT PRICE
best portable camping heaters - Mr. Heater Portable Propane Radiant HeaterMr. Heater Indoor-Safe Portable Propane Radiant Heater$$CURRENT PRICE
best portable camping heaters - Mr. Heater Portable Space HeaterMr. Heater Portable Space Heater$$$CURRENT PRICE

What are portable heaters for camping?

There are few things more frustrating than being unable to sleep during a camping trip due to extreme cold. Hence, portable heaters are devices used to warm a small space, such as the inside of your tent when you are trying to sleep. There are of course other options available such as wearing multiple layers of clothing or installing a tent stove in larger tents. However if these are not suitable then portable camping heaters are extremely handy and come in various types and sizes, depending on your heat requirement.

best portable camping heaters - portable heater

What should you be looking for?

Below are some of the main factors you should take into account as you shop for a good portable heater for camping:

  1. Type of heater
  2. BTU rating
  3. Size
  4. Noise level
  5. Safety features
  6. Additions

1. Type of heater

When it comes to portable heaters, there are two major types available: electric and gas heaters.

  • Gas heaters operate on readily available and inexpensive fuels such as butane, kerosene, and the bestselling propane. Carrying extra fuel is as simple as grabbing a spare canister or bottle.
  • Electric heaters require an electric power source such as a portable generator or power station. The advantage of these heaters is that they do not emit fumes or smoke compared to their gas counterparts.

2. BTU rating

The British Thermal Unit (BTU) of a heater refers to the amount of warmth it can provide. The device’s BTU must match your required heat within the camping tent you are using. Here is a simple step-by-step to determine what BTU you need:

  1. To calculate the volume of the tent, multiply the length by the width by the height.
  2. Subtract the temperature outside of your tent from the desired temperature inside. This information will tell you how hard your heater has to work to reach the desired temperature.
  • If you measure in Fahrenheit, use the following equation: Cubic Feet x Temperature Increase x 0.133 = BTUs required.
  • If Celsius is your preferred unit, multiply the following: Cubic Feet x Temperature Increase x 0.2394 = BTUs required.
best portable camping heaters - portable heater turned on

3. Size

The size of your heater is another important consideration. If you plan on doing a lot of remote camping, you will need something portable. Things are a little easier if you are camping in your car or another vehicle.

Typically, the size of the tent heater corresponds to the amount of heat produced by the unit. Tents that accommodate four or more people require heaters similar to those found in a garage or workshop. Compact heaters that resemble desk lamps can however keep one or two-person tents warm enough in cold temperatures.

4. Noise level

Ideally speaking, electric heaters are quieter than gas heaters. Propane and butane heaters utilize various moving parts to generate heat, producing a loud humming sound when turned on. Light sleepers may prefer a less powerful, usually quieter heater.

Some manufacturers specify the heater’s decibel (dB) level so that users can determine whether it will be too loud. For your reference, 40 dB is roughly equivalent to a quiet library, 60 dB amounts to a normal conversation, and 90 dB is the same as a large truck passing by.

5. Safety features

The use of portable camping heaters is not without risk and there is always the chance that combustible materials within the tent can be set alight. To address this accident, manufacturers incorporate certain safety features on their products:

  1. Tip-over switch – When the portable heater is knocked down unintentionally, the product turns off automatically.
  2. Automatic shut-off – Once the device’s fuel is depleted, it will shut down.
  3. Oxygen depletion sensor – This detects the amount of oxygen present in your tent. Once the oxygen level is below the safe level, the heater shuts off automatically. With this feature, carbon monoxide poisoning is avoided.
  4. Overheating protection – Portable heaters are capable of overheating, which could lead to fire accidents. By having an overheating safety feature, the device shuts itself down if the operating temperature is beyond what is prescribed.

6. Additions

Other potential additions include

  1. Rapid heating – This feature allows the device to warm up rapidly to deal with the cold immediately.
  2. Convenient handle – With this feature, you can move the device to different locations with great ease.
  3. Thermostat – This is usually an adjuster knob that gives you the freedom to select the amount of heat the device emits.
  4. Fan – This is commonly integrated on portable electric heaters. Fans help spread the warm air across an area.

My three recommendations broken down

So based on the information above and my own experience, I recommend the following options:

1. andily Compact Portable Ceramic Space Heater

This first product offers excellent heating output within your tent coupled with the essential safety features to avoid any type of accident. It comes with quick heat technology for cold nights and is quiet enough for small spaces. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: Andily
  • Type: Electric portable heater
  • Heat output: 1 500 watts
  • BTU: 5 115 BTU
  • Size: 7.29 X 5.6 x 9.65 inches
  • Weight: 2.76 pounds

Other inclusions it has:

  • Adjustable thermostat
  • Overheated protection
  • Tip-over protection
  • ETL certification

Why have I chosen it?

The product can heat your personal space within seconds with safety features that will give you peace of mind when you are asleep. As it is electrical, there is no need for you to bring any type of fuel canister and its small size makes it perfect for those who like to travel a little further to their campsite as well.

2. Mr. Heater Indoor-Safe Portable Propane Radiant Heater

This next option is a propane-fueled heater which boasts a BTU of 4000 to 9000 warming spaces with a size of 225 square feet. It comes from a known manufacturer and comes with impressive safety features to ensure a comfortable and peaceful sleep anytime you want. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: Mr. Heater
  • Type: Propane portable heater
  • Heat output: 1172 – 2 637 watts
  • BTU: 4 000 – 9 000 BTU
  • Size: 7.7 x 13.4 x 15 inches
  • Weight: 9 pounds

Other inclusions:

  • Adjustable thermostat
  • Oxygen level safety
  • Tip-over protection
  • Overheating protection

Why have I chosen this?

Aside from its trustworthy manufacturer, this heater does not require any electrical power to run making it a good option for ‘off the grid’ camping. The 9000 BTU rating makes for great heat with a thermostat regulator available for easy temperature control if things do get too warm.

3. Mr. Heater Portable Space Heater

This last option is made to last due to its durable construction and equipped with a quiet start electronic ignition. At maximum capacity, this heater can provide you with more than expected warmth amid a freezing campsite. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: Mr. Heater
  • Type: Propane portable heater
  • Heat output: 1758 – 3516 watts
  • BTU: 6000 – 12000 BTU
  • Size: 10.25 x 15.5 x 16.5 inches
  • Weight: 9 pounds

Other inclusions:

  • Heavy-duty wire guard
  • Silent electronic ignition
  • Thermostat regulator
  • Oxygen level safety
  • Tip-over protection
  • Overheating protection

Why have I chosen this?

The last portable heater offers superb heat output warming a space as ample as 300 square feet. Thanks to the product’s thermostat regulator, you can easily adjust the temperature settings depending on the cold you feel. The heavy-duty wire guard ensures the durability of the product meaning long term warmth from this product.


There you have it, my three best portable heaters for camping this year. I hope it has been helpful and as usual, please let me know of your experiences with them.

Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, corrections, or would like me to check anything else out for you.

Until next time

Have fun


best portable camping heaters - pinterest

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