Best Portable Heater for Camping

Camping is an incredible way to connect with nature and experience things that noncampers will probably never see. If you want to experience all that the wilderness has, there is no better way than packing up a tent and getting outside.

However, camping should not be just tied down to the warm months. In fact, winter camping is super fun and can give you new perspectives on the areas in which you are in.

Today, we will be talking about the best portable heater for camping. These help keep you warm when the outside elements could be harsh. Here are the best portable heaters for camping!

Disclosure: Some of the links on this post are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost to you, I may earn a small commission if you click through and make a purchase.

Our Picks of the Top 3 Best Camping Heaters

The Best 10 Portable Heater for Camping

Mr. Heater F232000 Buddy Portable Heater

The first option on our list is a highly rated one that will not break the bank. The Mr. Heater Buddy portable heater will last a long time and be a cornerstone of your winter camping endeavors.

This portable option pumps out 9000 BTU, so your area is heated quickly and efficiently. This is as easy as grabbing the heater and using it super simple.

This is also a portable propane heater for camping, so you will not necessarily have to have a steady electrical source to get use out of it.

Sale
Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU Indoor-Safe Portable Propane Radiant Heater,...
16,355 Reviews
Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU Indoor-Safe Portable Propane Radiant Heater,...
  • 4,000- to 9,000-BTU radiant heater for spaces up to 225 square feet. Approved for indoor/outdoor use; clean-burning; nearly 100-percent efficient
  • When operating the heater at altitudes over 7,000 FT above sea level the heater may shut off.
  • Auto shut-off if tipped over, if pilot light goes out, or if detects low oxygen levels. Fuel Consumption/Burn Rate (Gal/Hr) at 4000 BTU = 0.044 Gal/Hr, at 9000 BTU = 0.099 Gal/Hr

Pros:

  • Adjustable output to cover 4000-9000 BTU
  • Auto shut off function when the heater tips over
  • Fold down and easy to use handle for the maximum amount of portability
  • Will run for about 3 hours at full force

Cons:

  • Will not work above 7000 feet of elevation
  • Weighs 9 pounds, so it can be a pain to carry around in certain situations

Dewalt Portable Heater

Dewalt is a leading brand when it comes to electric power tools. However, when it is coupled with Mr. Heater, a leader in heating mechanisms, what you get is a fantastic product.

The Dewalt Portable heater comes in the classic yellow and black color scheme and is a great battery-powered and propane option.

If you already have Dewalt power tools, you can use the same flex batteries to power this as well. There is also a built-in LED light to give some versatility and extra use out of it. However, this is still a propane tent heater like the traditional Mr. Heater.

DEWALT DXH12B Portable Heater, Yellow
298 Reviews
DEWALT DXH12B Portable Heater, Yellow
  • Three USB ports for charging personal electronics and accessories
  • Dual tank capacity provides up to 7 hours of run-time
  • Integrated high velocity fan to effectively disperse convective heat

Pros:

  • Extra features other than heating powered by Dewalt batteries which are very reliable 
  • Has a built-in light strip in case it is going to be used in a dark area
  • Has three USB ports for charging phones and electronic devices
  • Has about 7 hours of run time
  • 12,000 BTU output

Cons:

  • Does require both propane and battery power to work all features at once
  • Additional Dewalt batteries are expensive
  • Weighs in at 14 pounds, so if you are on the move a lot, this may not be the best option.

Mr. Heater Little Buddy Propane Heater

To keep downsizing, the Mr. Heater Little Buddy is the perfect option if you want something even more portable than any of the other Mr. Heater products. This can literally be held in your hand and thrown on the back of a pack with ease.

If you are doing some more remote camping where space and weight are an issue, this is the one to buy. It pumps out 3800 BTU, which is quite good for its size. So, for a truly portable option that can be used in most circumstances, don’t look past the Little Buddy.

Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B Little Buddy 3800-BTU Indoor Safe Propane Heater, Medium
4,798 Reviews
Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B Little Buddy 3800-BTU Indoor Safe Propane Heater, Medium
  • Indoor-safe portable propane heater for rooms up to 95 square feet. THIS UNIT IS NOT INTENDED FOR GOLF CART USE OR FOR MOTORIZED VEHICLES.
  • Continuous odor-free, 45-degree heating angle. Maximum Elevation (Ft) 7000 Feet. Automatic low oxygen shut-off system (ODS). Perfect solution for heating small enclosed spaces like tents up to 95 square feet
  • Simple on/off buttons; uses 1-pound disposable propane cylinder (not included). Run time at minimum btu and maximum btu is 5.6 hours. Do­ not­ operate­ heater­ in­ any ­moving­ vehicle. This ­heater ­requires ­a­ vent­ area­ of­ 4­ square­ inches­ minimum ­for­ adequate ventilation ­during­ operation

Pros:

  • Super compact design that allows for traveling and packing easily
  • 3800 BTU output
  • Simple buttons that make ease of use a priority
  • About 5 hours of run time on the maximum output
  • Built-in tip over kill switch
  • Takes less than one cubic feet of space

Cons:

  • The output will not heat up large areas quickly
  • Does require allotted space for ventilation which can be difficult in tight spaces
  • Can be considered pricey considering the size and output

Texsport Portable Propane Heater

Although the leading brands tend to make a really nice-looking package and quality product, Texsport wastes no time getting to the performance. This is simply an extension that is hooked onto the top of a propane bottle.

Although the packaging and build of those fancy options are great, this cuts right to the chase and saves you a bit of money. The Texsport portable heater stands about 10 inches from the bottle and shoots out just under 3000 BTU.

Sale
Texsport Portable Outdoor Propane Heater
1,529 Reviews
Texsport Portable Outdoor Propane Heater
  • Sport Type: Camping & Hiking

Pros:

  • Super simple design that is easy to use
  • Is very affordable
  • Almost 3000 BTU
  • Very light and compact design for the travelling and packing you may do

Cons:

  • Does not have a lot of structure, so breaking can happen without a carrying case
  • You will need to buy your own propane bottles and replace them often.

Sengoku HeatMate Portable Kerosene Heater

If the budget allows and you need something that has a bigger output, the Sengoku HeatMate Portable Kerosene Heater is an excellent option.

Again, this is a fairly beefy option that is not so much for portability on the trail, rather an option that can be set up inside and out with almost no effort required.

Rather than being a propane heater, this is a kerosene heater. Although the difference is subtle, it is still worth pointing out. This is great for camping as its output is higher than many other options at 10,000 BTU. So, if you are camping in a large space or with many people, this is the way to go.

Sengoku HeatMate 10,000-BTU Portable Indoor/Outdoor Omni-Radiant Kerosene Heater, OR-77
1,022 Reviews
Sengoku HeatMate 10,000-BTU Portable Indoor/Outdoor Omni-Radiant Kerosene Heater, OR-77
  • Perfect for emergency heating or zone heating of rooms up to 380 square feet
  • The large capacity 1.2 gallon/4.5 liter fuel tank will keep you warm for up to 14 hours on one fill
  • Features an automatic safety shut off, easy push button start (no matches or electricity required), EZ Flame adjuster, tip over switch, and protective safety grills.

Pros:

  • 10,000 BTU for a large output compared to other portable options
  • Automatic safety function to avoid any issues
  • Designed for use inside and outside, making it a great camping option

Cons:

  • Can be considered expensive, although output is high
  • Is slightly big and bulky by portable heater standards
  • Will be overkill if you are camping in small spaces

Campy Gear Portable Propane Heater and Stove

One of the more unique options on our list is the Campy Gear Portable Propane Heater and Stove. Not only can you and your immediate area be heated, but you can use the top of the heater as a stovetop. Plus, it is a very affordable option.

Having this type of versatility makes the purchase well worth it. In addition, the heat output is 9000 BTU, and it has an interesting 360-degree heating radiant. So, you and your buddies can be huddled around, and everyone can enjoy the heat.

Campy Gear 2 in 1 Portable Propane Heater & Stove, Outdoor Camping Gas Stove Camp Garage Tent Heater...
440 Reviews
Campy Gear 2 in 1 Portable Propane Heater & Stove, Outdoor Camping Gas Stove Camp Garage Tent Heater...
  • DUAL FUNCTION CAMPING GEAR: Take the load off on your next outdoor adventure and use our portable Campy Gear 2-in-1 Heater & Stove! Cook meals during the day and stay warm at night with just the click of a button.
  • FAST HEATING: With a max output up to 9,000 BTU and a unique 360° radiant heating design, our compact heater will keep you and your family warm during cold winter days/nights. Stay warm and enjoy the outdoors!
  • PRECISE COOKING: The heater & stove is equipped with adjustable flame control to satisfy various cooking purposes and a sturdy stand that supports up to 12 inches pans and pots.

Pros:

  • Heat goes out 360 degrees for pleasure and out of the top to provide a cooking surface
  • Not many other heaters also give you an opportunity to cook
  • Super affordable for the product you are receiving
  • 9000 BTU output, which is really good for a heater of this size.

Cons:

  • Can be overkill if you do not need another camping stove
  • Can hold 12 inch pans, so if you need something bigger or heavier, you may be out of luck

Camplux JK-1000 Portable Butane Heater

If you want a more compact heater that is very light, the Camplux JK-1000 heater is one of the best options out there.

Weighing in at just eight ounces without the butane added, this is a super-light option that can be packed away very easily. If you are hitting the backcountry, this is a great backpack-friendly option.

Even if you just want to use it around the camp, this is a good portable heater. Plus, there is a grate on the top that can hold a small pot for heating up water and making coffee. This is an added bonus for those who would like some hot drinks on those cold mornings.

Camplux JK-1000 Portable Butane Heater, 4,400 BTU Outdoor Camping Gas Heater, Patio Heaters...
45 Reviews
Camplux JK-1000 Portable Butane Heater, 4,400 BTU Outdoor Camping Gas Heater, Patio Heaters...
  • ✅ HIGH EFFICIENCY,FAST HEATING- Heat output is 4,400 BTU/HR.This outdoor butane patio heater can heat in 5 seconds without waiting.The heating area is approximately 100 sq.ft. The multifunctional design allows you to do cooking,toast,heating and so on. You can enjoy warm and outdoor cooking at the same time.This butane gas heater will definitely save you a lot of time.
  • ✅ EASY TO OPERATE - Individual control knob for maximum heat regulation, powered by 8 oz standard build-in butane gas canister(Fuel Not Included).Adjustable angle help you enjoy the heat in different scenes.Easily set up in minutes with no tools required.Please read the instructions carefully for installation.
  • ✅ SAFETY OVERHEATING PROTECTION - Built in pressure sensor canister ejection system and gas flow cut off mechanism (butane), will eject canister at overheating.Also, to prevent the explosion problem caused by excessive pressure, there are safety device to prevent gas leakage.

Pros:

  • Super light and great for packing on longer trips
  • Uses butane instead of propane
  • Has built-in safety features
  • Super easy to work and will last a long time
  • 4400 BTU output

Cons:

  • Not super durable as the outside materials can dent easily
  • There have been cases of the ignition knob of sticking and being hard to manage

Honeywell 360-degree Surround Heater

One option that is great at home, in the office, and the wilderness is the Honeywell 360-Degree portable heater. If you need heat to be expelled in all directions, look no further.

So, you can have multiple people huddled around with no one hogging all of the output.

Plus, this is a super affordable option that can still be energy efficient. This is also a heater on our list that is convection-powered. They use a fan to shoot up the air and heat the entire area quickly and efficiently.

Honeywell 360 Degree Surround Heater with Fan Forced Technology – Space Heater with Surround Heat...
3,177 Reviews
Honeywell 360 Degree Surround Heater with Fan Forced Technology – Space Heater with Surround Heat...
  • 360 DEGREE ALL AROUND WARMTH – Use the Honeywell 360 Degree Surround Heater in small to mid-sized rooms for additional comfort. This space heater features an adjustable thermostat as well as 2 heat settings and all-around heat output so you’re always cozy.
  • SAFETY MATTERS: This small heater offers multiple safety options including a 360-degree tip over switch, 2x overheat protection, an auto-off timer option and an easy grab, cool touch carry handle.
  • INCREASE YOUR COMFORT – Always be comfortable, no matter what season it is. This personal heater has fan forced technology and provides 360-degree, all around warmth. As a small space heater, it’s perfect for a bedroom, office and more.

Pros:

  • Very affordable
  • electric-powered, so you do not have to buy any propane
  • Has 360-degree fan heating so everyone get some of the action
  • Has a thermostat and fan strength settings, so it can be customized to whatever you would like it to be

Cons:

  • Can be a bit fragile and will not last a very long time
  • Must have some sort of electrical hookup to operate

Portable Electric Space Heater

Finally, there is the Portable Electric Space Heater made by GiveBest. This can heat up an area of 200 square feet with ease, so everyone in your area can feel the warmth. Now, this is one mass release option, so there are many great reviews.

This is a pretty basic heater, so it should be super easy to use and transport.

Portable Electric Space Heater with Thermostat, 1500W/750W Safe and Quiet Ceramic Heater Fan, Heat...
44,346 Reviews
Portable Electric Space Heater with Thermostat, 1500W/750W Safe and Quiet Ceramic Heater Fan, Heat...
  • 2 in 1 heater fan: This ceramic heater provides two heat levels, 1500W or 750W and one cool air fan, you can use it both for winter and summer. Thermostat control of the heater will turn the heater off when it reaches a preset temperature and turn the heater back on when the temperature dips below the thermostat setting. It will cycle on and off. Adjust the setting of thermostat from 0℉ to 158℉ to keep room comfortable
  • Multi protection safety system: These heaters are made of flame retardant material avoiding any fire hazard. Automatic safety shutoff system will shut the heater off when the heater overheat. The tip over protection system will also shut the heater off when the heater was knocked over by accident and it will come back on automatically if it is up righted
  • Compact and powerful: 8.3 inch x 6.3 inch x 4 inch, 2.2 pounds Portable mini heater with build in carry handle helps to reinforce the potential of rather low electrical bills by using at the place where you need when you don't want to warm the full house with other centralized heaters

Pros:

  • 1500 W heater
  • Heats 200 square feet of space
  • Great for RV camping and indoor use

Cons:

  • Ceramic build can lead to cracking or breaking
  • Needs to have electricity hookup

Alternatives to Camping Heaters

Chemical Packs

One of the more interesting innovations is the chemical pack. This is where science and camping mix as products combine chemicals to create a heating sensation. One example of this is a hand warmer.

Camping Lanterns

There are actually camping lanterns out there that can pump out some heat. The Reenou Camping Tent Fan is one that can help move heat around your area quickly.

There is also the Coleman Propane Lantern that will provide light and heat all in one go.

Wood Burning Stoves

If you want to go old school with it, you can get a wood-burning stove. These will provide some serious heat, but they will require a bit of work on your end.

The TMS Portable Military camping stove is an excellent option. Although made for ice fishing, it can be used in any outdoor setting.

Electric Blankets

If you want to stay warm on a smaller level, invest in an electric blanket. There are so many good options out there, so find one that is big enough and warm enough to transform your camping experience into something much more enjoyable.

Why Do You Need a Tent Heater?

Having something to heat your tent can make camping in colder conditions so much more enjoyable. Roughing it in the wilderness is a thing of the past if you choose for it to be.

So, you should invest in a tent heater to fill the enclosed air with comforting heat.

Camping best portable heaters

What do you need to know before buying a camping heater?

Different Types of Camping Heaters

  • Gas Heaters
  • Fan Heaters
  • Electric Portable Heaters
  • Convector Heaters
  • Halogen Heaters
  • Oil Filled Radiators

Safety Features

A majority of the options we listed above have built-in safety features to prevent any big issues from arising. The most common safety feature is the tip over feature. This is when a heater will automatically turn off if it tips over. So, it will not catch fire from leaked fuel.

There are also some more subtle safety features built-in that you do not even need to think about because that is the standard in the industry.

How to Safely Use a Tent Heater

When using your heater in a tent, things get a little more complicated. Because you need to be as safe as possible, it requires some extra thought.

The biggest tip for safely using a tent heater is having the right heater for the job. You need to have a tent-safe heater even to entertain using one.

Other tips for safety using a tent heater are keeping it away from the side of the tent, use a rug or carpet to insulate the floor, and only run it when you absolutely need it.

Size and Portability

The size of your heater is a huge aspect to keep in mind. If you are doing a lot of remote camping, you need something small enough to pack. If you are camping out of your car or another vehicle, things are a little easier.

As you can see from the list, there is a range of portability for camping heaters. They can be as small as a propane attachment and as big as a large heating unit, so keep these aspects in the front of your mind.

Other Factors

One of the biggest factors not included in price. You have to find a medium that works with your wallet and still provides an excellent product. This will give you the best experience possible that everyone can feel good about.

Another factor to keep in mind is the brand. Obviously, brand recognition and reputation is not everything, but it does carry some weight. With the top brands, you will probably get a better consumer experience and potentially a better product.

Conclusions

The amount of great portable heaters that can be used for camping is great. Finding the best one for your situation is key to efficiently staying warm while outdoors.

You also need to make sure the type of heater fits your style of camping. Are you off the electrical grid? You may need a propane option. Do you have full hookups? May as well take advantage of what you are already paying for.

Overall, having the best portable heater for camping completely takes your experience to a new level. Be sure to weigh all your options and find one that will work perfectly for you. Good luck, and happy camping!

Plan Your Next Trip

Last Updated on 15 October, 2021 by Veronica

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