The 10 Best Tent Heaters For Camping In Winter, Autumn and Spring

The overall best tent heater is the Mr. Heater MH9BX Buddy.

As an adventure guide, I’ve had to lead winter camping groups in regions where the temperature can drop to below freezing. While a cold-weather tent can certainly help, you need a proper tent heater if you want to stay warm in such conditions.

What you need to remember is that the safety factor is important. You should make sure that your camping tent heater not only keeps you toasty but also doesn’t set the tent alight! Well, I have enough experience picking out heaters that meet these standards and more.

I selected the Mr. Heater MH9BX Buddy because it is exactly what you need for cold winter camping. It is powerful enough to keep even larger tents heated. And, despite being a propane heater, it has all the safety features necessary to keep you safe. It is also long-lasting and simple to use for even first-timers.

I can appreciate that each camper is looking for specific features with their tent heaters. For some, it is portability, while for others, power is the main concern. To make sure that you find the perfect camping heater, I have included something for everyone.

Keep reading to find out what your next investment should be.

The Top Best Tent Heaters – Safe Tent Heaters for Camping

Here are the best tent heaters that are also safe for all your camping needs:

Mr. Heater MH9BX Buddy – Best Overall

Specifications:

  • Power Source: Propane
  • Heating Method: Radiant heat
  • Weight: 9lbs

Excellent Heat Output

This radiant heater is capable of heat output ranging from 4,000 to 9,000 BTU. As such, it is capable of heating up to 225 square feet of space. This means that it is more than equipped to larger tents meant for higher capacities.

As an added bonus, it won’t take that long for it to heat up your tent. This means that you only need to keep it on for a short time until your tent is at the perfect temperature. Due to these capabilities, however, the buddy heater does go through quite a bit of fuel, requiring you to keep a larger supply on hand.

Great Safety Features

Propane heaters can be a bit risky to use, but this heater has been designed with all the latest safety standards. Firstly, there is the Oxygen Depletion Sensor, so if there is a drop in oxygen levels in the tent, the heater will automatically turn off. This greatly reduces your risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.

Another handy feature is that it automatically turns off if you happen to tip it over. The same goes for if the pilot light turns off. Thus, you can guarantee that you will be safe in every aspect.

High Quality Heater For A Camping Tent

Don’t want to have to keep investing in a new tent heater every so often? Well, then this is the model for you. It’s a well-known brand name and heater that has been built to last. As such, there is a good chance that you will get several years’ worth of winter camping use from it.

Simple to Use

Even if you have never handled a propane heater before, there’s no need to worry. The setup is pretty intuitive, ensuring that you can have it hooked up to a propane tank and fired up in no time at all. So, it is even suitable for first-time campers.

We Like

  • Keeps you warm
  • Very safe
  • Long-lasting
  • Easy to use
Could Be Better

  • Uses up a lot of fuel

Honeywell 360 Degree Surround Heater – Best for Safety

  • Specifications:
  • Power Source: Electric
  • Heating Method: Fan and Forced Air
  • Weight: 3lbs

Excellent Safety Features

You will be hard-pressed to find an electric tent heater with as many safety features as this make and model. So, if you want to have complete peace of mind while sleeping or camping in general, then this is the product you should go for.

To begin with, there is the cool touch housing as well as handle. Therefore, you don’t have to worry about accidentally burning yourself when you come into contact with this electric camping heater. It will automatically turn off if it is tipped over as well.

At the same time, the heater will turn off if overheated or if obstructions are placed directly in front of it. The timer also means that you don’t have to keep the heater running all night. Instead, you can simply set it and go to sleep.

Good Heating Capability

This heater has an impressive output for its size, ensuring that it can heat smaller spaces within a very short time. The 360-degree surround heat means that it is especially great for tents that are meant for one or two people and will have no trouble keeping you toasty.

While this heater can be used in larger tents, it will take you a much longer time to heat a larger space.

Compact and Lightweight

Don’t want to lug around too much stuff on your camping trip? Or, are you planning on hiking to your camping spot? Either way, this heater will serve you well. It is lightweight and compact, making it a breeze to carry around. Not to mention, it won’t take up too much space in your tent either.

Easy to Use

This is a modern design which means that there is virtually no learning curve involved. Each of the dials have been labelled clearly and you can figure it out on the fly. So, it is great if you don’t have too much experience with heaters.

We Like

  • Great safety features
  • Heats small spaces well
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Simple to use
Could Be Better

  • Can take a while to heat larger areas

GiveBest Portable Space Heater – Best for Heat Maintenance

Specifications:

  • Power Source: Electric
  • Heating Method: Ceramic and Fan and Forced Air
  • Weight: 2.2lbs

Cyclic Heating System

With most space heaters, you have to manually turn the heat on and off as the temperature inside the tent rises or lowers according to the heat output. Naturally, this can be a pain, especially if you are trying to sleep. With this space heater, though, you don’t have to make as much effort.

This is because the internal thermostat will turn it off once it senses that the temperature is getting too high. And, when the tent begins to cool down, it will turn back on until the optimal internal temperature is reached.

The only downside is that the thermostat isn’t perfect. So, there will be moments where you are just a little too cold and have to wait for the heat to turn back on.

Good Heating Capabilities

This heater is pretty good at what it does, despite its smaller size. You will find that it has enough output to keep you comfortable in small and medium-sized tents. It will be able to heat the area pretty quickly as well, ensuring that you don’t have to wait too long.

Great Safety Features

This heater is decked out with all the best safety features. The housing is made from flame-retardant material, preventing the heater from catching fire. The heater has also been designed to turn off if it tips over. It won’t turn on if it isn’t on a flat surface, either. Last, but not least, the heater will automatically turn off if it begins to overheat.

Light and Compact

This is a great tent heater to take camping with you. It is so small and lightweight that you probably won’t even feel it in your pack. Its size will come in handy if you have to physically carry the heater from one place to another.

We Like

  • Cycling heating capabilities
  • Good heat output
  • Very safe
  • Small and lightweight
Could Be Better

  • Cyclic thermoset settings aren’t perfect

DEWALT DXH12B Portable Heater – Best for Extreme Cold

Specifications:

  • Power Source: Propane
  • Heating Method: Radiant, Fan, and Forced Air
  • Weight: 14lbs

High Heat Output

If you are planning on camping in an area that becomes extremely cold, then this is the heater you should take along with you. With an output of 12,000 DBU, it’s one of the more powerful portable heaters on the market. As such, you will have no trouble getting your desired temperature.

What is just as great it is capable of heating up quite fast. This is largely due to the high-powered fan housed inside. This means that you don’t have to wait around for your tent to heat up. Instead, it will be nice and cozy in a matter of minutes.

Safe

Of course, with all this power, you do need the heater to be as safe as possible. Well, this is exactly what this model offers. It has the standard tip-over safety switch that ensures the heater turns off if it is knocked over.

At the same time, it is equipped with an Oxygen Depletion Sensor. So, you can ensure that if the oxygen levels inside the tent begin to drop, this heater will switch off immediately.

Durable

At first glance, you will notice that this heater has been built to withstand continuous and rough use. In particular, there is a strong grill that helps to keep the important components safe. As such, you will have no trouble making it last for as long as you like.

The only downside of this is that the heater can feel quite heavy. It is unlikely that you will be able to carry it in your pack.

Additional Features

This model does come equipped with various additional features such as USB ports and lights that make it quite useful when you want a few creature comforts but don’t want to carry any additional gadgets.

We Like

  • Lots of heat
  • Safe
  • Durable
  • Additional features
Could Be Better

  • Heavy

Amazon Basics Personal Mini Heater – Best for Solo Camping

Specifications:

  • Power Source: Electric
  • Heating Method: Ceramic Coils
  • Weight: 1.43lbs

Compact and Lightweight

This is one of the smallest and most lightweight options out there. So, if you are looking for a minimalistic heater, this would be it. You won’t feel it in your pack if you need to hike somewhere.

However, the small size is particularly useful when you are camping by yourself in a smaller tent. This heater takes up virtually no space at all, ensuring that you can fit it into a rather compact space without any problem.

Good Heat Output

Considering its size, you might be surprised to learn how much heat this heater can produce. While it does have its limits, it is ideal for heating a smaller tent without any trouble at all. It can do this quite quickly too.

The only downside is that it doesn’t have any temperature control, just an on and off switch. As a result, the heat that it produces maybe a little too hot or not warm enough for some people.

Safe

Since this heater has been designed to work in close quarters, the manufacturer has predicted that people might bump into it quite a lot. As such, it has been given a sturdier base so that there is a lesser chance that you will knock it over.

Even if you do, there’s no need to feel alarmed, as the heater will go off the moment it tips over. It will only turn on again once it is upright.

Easy to Use

Since there are no settings, controls, or other features, anyone can use this heater. All you have to do is plug it in and turn it on. The heater will take care of the rest.

We Like

  • Compact and lightweight
  • Good heat output
  • Safe
  • Easy to use
Could Be Better

  • No temperature control

OPOLAR Ceramic Space Heater – Best for Adjustable Heat

Specifications:

  • Power Source: Electric
  • Heating Method: Ceramic, Fan, and Forced Air
  • Weight: 3.5lbs

Can Adjust the Heat

Since so many heaters designed for camping or tents are small and minimalistic, it is difficult to find one that comes with a lot of settings. Thus, it might be a problem to find a heater that allows you to adjust the heat as needed. If this is something you are looking for, then this is the heater for you.

With this product, you can set the heat to high or low, depending on your preference. Then, you can control the thermostat so that the heat distribution will be more even. This will allow you to reach the perfect temperature and feel far more comfortable.

Good Heat Output

This heater is capable of producing an impressive amount of heat. Due to this, you shouldn’t have any trouble heating medium or large sized tents within a very short period. This capability also makes it a good option for colder conditions as well.

The only disadvantage is that the heater does make more noise than other models. While it isn’t unbearable, it might take some getting used to.

Safe

The heater has been designed with tip-over protection. So, if it is on an unstable surface or falls over, it will automatically switch off. At the same time, the heater has also been designed to turn off if it begins to overheat.

Durable

Although this heater looks quite chic, it has been built with durable materials and design. As such, it is meant to last long, even with continuous use.

We Like

  • Good heat adjustment
  • Good heat output
  • Safe
  • Durable
Could Be Better

  • A bit noisy

Texsport Portable Outdoor Heater – Best for Lightweight Camping

Specifications:

  • Power Source: Propane
  • Heating Method: Radiant
  • Weight: 1lb

Efficient Use of Fuel

If you don’t want to carry too many things with you, then you aren’t going to want to haul a large propane tank on your camping trip. With this heater, though, you can rest easy. This is because it has been designed to make do with 14 or 16-ounce propane tanks.

At the same time, it uses this propane quite efficiently, ensuring that it won’t burn through the entire supply quickly. This means that you can make just a few propane tanks last a lot longer than usual.

Good Heat Output for Small Spaces

Although this heater has a small profile, it is good at heating the areas just around it. What’s more, it produces quite a bit of heat as well. So, if you are camping by yourself, you will find that there is more than enough heat to keep your tent warm.

Nevertheless, this heater simply won’t do for larger spaces. So, if you are camping with two or more people, you will probably need something a lot more powerful than this.

Safe

Despite its basic design, this heater has been built to be quite safe. First, there is the grate to ensure that you don’t burn yourself. The frame of the heater is quite solid as well, helping to keep it upright. The heater has been fitted with a safety mechanism where the fuel supply cuts off if the flame goes out.

Can Adjust Temperature

What’s great about this heater is that you can adjust the temperature up to 2,890 BTUs. This is quite handy whether you want the internal temperature of your tent to be hotter or cooler.

We Like

  • Efficient use of fuel
  • Good heat output for smaller spaces
  • Safe
  • Adjustable temperature
Could Be Better

  • Not suitable for larger tents

Campy Gear Portable Propane Heater and Stove

Specifications:

  • Power Source: Propane
  • Heating Method: Radiant
  • Weight: 2lbs

Dual Purpose

When you are camping, the last thing you want is to carry numerous gadgets around, which will not only slow you down but also wear you out in no time. Well, this heater cuts down on the need for this. It acts as both a heater and a cooker, allowing you to switch functions at any point.

At the same time, it has a small profile and low weight. You can easily carry it with your other gear or set it up in a smaller tent without it taking up too much space.

Good Heat Output

Don’t let the size of this heater fool you – it can produce quite a bit of heat. Therefore, you will have no trouble being able to warm small to medium-sized tents within a short period. As the heater gives off heat at a 360-degree angle, it is even more efficient at heating the area.

The only aspect you need to be aware of is that it doesn’t come with a carbon monoxide detector. So, if you are keeping this model inside your tent, you need to make sure it is well-ventilated.

Stable and Secure

There’s no need to worry about this heater tipping over as it has been designed to be quite stable and sturdy. Therefore, it can stay upright when used as a heater or cooker. The grill around the flame means that you don’t have to worry about burning yourself either.

We Like

  • Dual purpose
  • Good heat output
  • Stable
Could Be Better

  • The tent has to be ventilated when the heater is on

STANLEY ST-222A-120 Electric Heater

Specifications:

  • Power Source: Electric
  • Heating Method: Fan and Forced Air
  • Weight: 3.8lbs

Good Heat Output

Capable of producing 5000 BTUs, this heater works well to keep you and your camping party warm. It is best for small and medium-sized tents. In addition to the power, this heater is also equipped with a fan.

This means that you can heat a certain space faster than usual. Therefore, you won’t feel cold at any time.

Safe

This tent heater has been equipped with a tip-over switch. Therefore, if it isn’t kept stable on a steady surface or falls over, it will automatically go off. It only turns on again when it is placed upright on a firm surface. Therefore, you won’t have to worry about keeping this heater around kids or pets.

Although this is not a safety concern, it isn’t clear how much wear and tear this heater can withstand. It isn’t the most durable product around, so you do need to be careful with how you handle it if you want it to last.

Adjustable Temperature

If you want to control how warm or cool it is inside your tent, then it will allow you to do just this. You can control the low and high levels and adjust the thermostat as well. This makes it suitable for cool and very cold months.

We Like

  • Good heat output
  • Safe
  • Adjustable temperature
Could Be Better

  • Not very durable

Kismile Portable Space Heater

Specifications:

  • Power Source: Electric
  • Heating Method: Ceramic, Fan, and Forced Air
  • Weight: 5.17lbs

Good Heat Output

This portable space heater is quite powerful. Not only does it produce a great deal of heat, but it has also been designed to heat cool air more quickly. Due to this, you will find it far easier to heat your tent without having to sit in the cold for too long.

Safe

This heater has been designed to turn off automatically if it begins to overheat. This works to considerably reduce the risk of fires. At the same time, the tip-over safety mechanism means that this safe tent heater will not function until it is upright and on a steady platform.

The only issue is that there is no guarantee as to whether it can withstand numerous camping trips in rough terrain.

Adjustable Heat

You can adjust the heat quite a bit with the thermometer. Due to this, you won’t have to worry about the inside of your tent becoming too uncomfortable. Instead, it will always be just right, regardless of how cold it is outside.

Easy to Use

Thanks to its simple buttons and heat setting, you will have no trouble figuring out how to use it. In fact, you will have it up and running within seconds, even if you have never used a portable heater before.

We Like

  • Great heat output
  • Good safety features
  • Adjustable heat
  • Easy to use
Could Be Better

  • Questionable durability

How to Choose the Best and Safest Tent Heaters

Best Tent Heaters For Camping
The DEWALT DXH12B Portable Heater

Here are some tips and tricks you should keep in mind when selecting the top safest tent heaters:

Gas Tent Heater vs. Electric Heaters

When you go to the store, your first decision will depend on what kind of heater you want – is it one that uses electricity or gas?

Well, electric heaters tend to be a lot cleaner and safer to use in general. The only issue is that your tent should be near a continuous source of power such as a vehicle or generator. This often means having to carry around additional supplies with you, which can become rather cumbersome.

A gas heater, on the other hand, may not be as clean. However, they do work better in remote areas. In most cases, you can make do with a few tanks of propane. Since most campers will carry these items for cooking anyway, it won’t feel too much like additional weight.

Consider Heat Output

Each heater has a different heat output, often indicated by BTUs. The higher the number, the more heat produced by a heater. However, this doesn’t automatically mean that you need to reach for the most powerful one out there.

If you are sleeping in a smaller tent or if the external conditions are milder, then you won’t need as much heat. On the other hand, if you are tent camping in a much larger tent or will be braving below freezing conditions, then it is only natural to opt for heaters with a higher output number.

Consider Safety Features

There is no doubt that safety is key when selecting tent heaters. The good news is that most heaters are already equipped with these basic features.

Another thing you should look for when selecting heaters is to ensure that they will automatically turn off once the heat is high. Tip-over features are important too, as it means that the heater will switch off if it tilts, reducing the risk of a fire starting.

Of course, you don’t have to stop there. When it comes to tent heaters, more safety measures are always better. One of these is the timer function. This is great for the nighttime when you can’t guarantee that you’ll stay up long enough to turn the heat off.

If you are using a propane heater, look for one that can detect oxygen levels. This causes the heater to stop if carbon monoxide levels begin to rise, reducing the risk of poisoning.

Think About Size and Weight

Size and weight can also go a long way when choosing a heater, particularly if you are hiking to your camping spot. After all, you don’t want to carry more weight than necessary. The size will also determine how much space the heater will take up – this is important when camping in a small tent.

FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about tent heaters:

Can You Keep any Heater in a Tent?

Not all heaters are meant for tents. However, if you find one that is specifically suited to such conditions then yes, you can keep it in your tent. If it isn’t a tent heater, you need to keep looking.

Can You Get Carbon Monoxide Poisoning from a Propane Tent Heater?

It is possible but unlikely. To reduce the risk of this happening, you can get a heater with a carbon monoxide detector or make sure that your tent is well ventilated.

Can You Sleep with Tent Heaters Running All Night?

If the weather is quite cold, you can run your heater all night long or for as long as the fuel lasts. Just make sure that it has the necessary safety features in place.

Conclusion

The Mr. Heater MH9BX Buddy is undoubtedly the best option for camping. It is powerful enough to provide enough warmth for larger tents, regardless of the capacity. At the same time, it is incredibly safe, and will give you peace of mind while you sleep. Since it is well-built, you can be sure that it will last. It is also easy to use.

If you have a specific feature in mind, it’s a good idea to check out all the links I have provided in this list. You never know when you’ll come across a heater that takes care of all your needs.

This page was last updated on 2021-09-21. Affiliate links and Product Images are from Amazon PAAPI

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