Best Tent Heater | Portable Warmth for Camping

So, you’re looking for the best camping tent heaters for sale. You’ve come to the correct place! In this article we investigate which camping heater is most suitable for your needs and preferences.

While nothing beats camping outside, the cold can quickly set in, which makes camping an uncomfortable experience. Whether you want a portable propane heater for camping or a battery powered tent heater, the following four units are perfect for staying warm in winter. Without further ado, let’s dive in!

Best Tent Heaters for Camping

  1. Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy
  2. Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B Little Buddy
  3. Mr. Heater F274830 MH18BRV Big Buddy
  4. AmazonBasics 500-Watt Ceramic

1. Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy

A top-selling tent heater on the market, and we can see why! It's a powerful tend heater with adjustable heat settings.

If you want an all-rounder that can be used for every situation, then the Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy is the one for you. There’s a reason why this is a best-selling tent heater.

Adjustable Heat Settings

Discover a cordless heater for camping that can be adjusted to the exact temperature you require.  Those who need a powerful tent heater for cold conditions will appreciate that the model can be altered from 4,000 BTU/hour  all the way up to 9,000 BTU/hour.

Heat Distribution

Those who are camping with their family in a large tent with appreciate how well this heater is able to distribute heat. This is in comparison to many heaters that get really hot, but can’t distribute the heat to all corners of the tent.

Safety Features

No tent heater should be used if it isn’t safe. This is why we have included so many Mr. Heater products in this guide. It’s important to buy from a brand you can trust. This model comes with two features.

The first feature is called “tip over shut-off”, which means the machine automatically turns off if it falls onto its side. The second feature is called “low-oxygen shut-off”, which means the device is always monitoring the oxygen levels in the air. The heater will switch off if it doesn’t detect a sufficient amount of oxygen.


This isn’t the lightest camping heater on the market, but it isn’t the heaviest either. It’s no trouble to move the 9lb heater from place to place. It is fitted with a large handle that folds out for easy carrying. Finished camping? Simply fold the handle down, and slide into any corner of your car or garage.

Types of Camping Heaters

Tent heaters come in a number of different varieties, shapes, and sizes. With that said, heaters are best categorized into the type of fuel they use. Let’s give a quick overview of each type of camping heater for staying warm in winter.

Electric tent heaters

Whether you use a plug-in heater or a battery operated heater for tents, this type of heater uses electricity to generate power and heat. They are the easiest heater to use, which is why they are so popular at campsites around the world. To get it running, it’s simply a case of plugging the heater into a power source and then switching it on. However, you may not always have access to a source of electricity, so in that case a gas or wood heater would be better.

Halogen tent heaters

This type of heater uses a halogen element in the bulb to produce heat. Halogen heaters are great for those who value portability. They are fast-acting and an “aggressive” form of heater, as they get working straight away and will continue to supply some heat even when switched off. There is no set-up required, just plug in your halogen camping heater, then feel the heat! This type of heater is great for localized warmth, but we would recommend a different type to heat a large.

Gas tent heaters

This type of heater uses gas to generate heat and power. They are another popular heater and one of the best winter tent heater types. They’re great because you aren’t relying on electricity. All you need is a supply of gas canisters.

Wood tent heaters

This type of heater uses wood to generate heat. This is the oldest type of heater that typically comes in the form of a wood stove, which can also be used to cook your dinner and boil water. The only negative is that you need a constant supply of wood.

Kerosene tent heaters

This type of heater uses kerosene to generate heat throughout the area. It works by using a wick to take energy from kerosene, where it is converted into gas energy. You can buy battery-operated kerosene tent heaters or ones that need match sticks to start.

How to find the best tent heater for camping?

Before deciding on the best rated tent heaters, we must look at the following factors:

Price – It goes without saying, but you want to get the best tent heater for the money. We all have different budgets when it comes to camping equipment. However, none of us want to waste money on overpriced items.

Weight – If you need to travel light, then you’ll want the best packable tent heater. On the other hand, if you are driving then the weight may not be so much of an issue, and you can focus on other factors like price and quality.

Power – If you’ve got a big tent, you will want a tent heater that is powerful enough to keep the whole family warm. As such, you may want the most powerful tent heater for camping in winter.

Build quality – Like with all camping equipment, you don’t want to be let down when it matters. Imagine camping, and then your heater stops working, or decreases in power. As such, be sure to buy a quality heater that is built to last.

Is a tent heater essential for winter camping?

While not essential, using the best heater for tent camping is recommended if you want to stay warm when camping in cold conditions. Your tent serves as a shelter against the elements, but sometimes your tent isn’t good enough. The benefits of a tent heater for camping are as follows:

  • Heating – If you’re camping in cold weather, your tent will likely not provide enough warmth. Obviously, winter tent heaters are perfect for keeping your family warm and comfortable.
  • Drying – If you want to dry your damp clothes when camping, then you’ll want to buy the best tent heater with rack.

Are tent heaters safe for camping?

Being warm is important, but being safe when camping is even more important. As such, there are a few rules to remember when using tent heaters.

Personally, we would only ever go to sleep with an electric heater that has an automatic shut off when it becomes too hot or gets knocked over. You should also be careful about where the heater is positioned in your tent. It’s extremely important to ensure your heater doesn’t come into contact with water, or other materials that could cause a fire.

If your heater uses gas instead of electricity, you should remember that gas heaters need good ventilation to stop the build up of fumes.

Electric tent heater safety tips

  • Keep flammable items and liquids far away from the heater
  • You rely on electricity. As such, you may want to bring a generator as a back-up

Gas tent heater safety tips

  • Although you want to stay warm, make sure the tent is well-ventilated
  • Use the gas heater on a stable surface
  • Ensure there are no flammable items near the heater

Wood tent heater safety tips

  • Keep flammable items away
  • Ensure there is a constant flow of air in the tent

Kerosene heater safety tips

  • Kerosene is an explosive substance. As such, make sure to keep it away from items that are flammable
  • Keep pets and kids away
  • Kerosene emits pollutants, like nitrogen dioxide and carbon dioxide, so keep the area well-ventilated at all times
  • Check or change the wick often
  • Put out the fire before refuelling
  • Only have the heater on when you can attend to it (not asleep)

How Many BTUs do I need for my sized tent?

Right, time to do some maths!

Measure the dimension of your tent to determine the cubic feet inside the tent. This is done with the following calculation: Length x Width x Height = Cubic Feet. Then, subtract the outside temperature from the desired inside temperature to determine the amount of temperature increase that you require.

  • Fahrenheit formula: Cubic Feet x Temperature Increase x .133 = Required BTUs
  • Celsius formula: Cubic Feet x Temperature Increase x .2394 = Required BTUs

How should I store my tent heater?

Gas – Remove the gas cylinder from the unit, and then stow them away. You must ensure the gas cylinder is firmly closed to prevent accidental leakages.

Electric or halogen – This type of heater is easy to store. Portable battery operated camping heaters can be the best for those who value travelling light. Just wait until the heater has cooled down, and then just place them into their designated storage cases.

Wooden – Wait for the wooden tent heater for camping to cool down, and then remove any ash or dirt before storing to away.

Kerosene – Unlike the other heaters, a kerosene heater requires a lot of maintenance. You need to wait till the heater cools, empty the fuel tank, and then clean the wick. After this is done, you need to break-down the heater and place the separate parts in a dry storage space.


With such an array of camp heater for tents on the market, it can be hard to choose just one. You will need to decide on the power you need, whether you require a portable heater for camping, and the budget you have available – amongst other things.

This guide will regularly updated with the latest and best heaters for tent camping. Each of the 5 heaters in this review has been chosen because of their high-quality. Got a favourite tent heater? Please leave a message in the comments below.