We all love a sing-song around a campfire for keeping our temperature and spirits up when we’re on an adventure in the wilderness, but what happens when we want to hunker down for the night? It’s not like we can light a fire in our tents, and shivering ourselves to sleep doesn’t sound like such an enticing option.

Lasko Heating Space Heater, Compact, Black

Sure, sleeping bags have come a long way, but if you really want to enjoy your camping trip, sometimes they aren’t enough, especially during the cold seasons. Plus, what if we want to hang out in our tents without cocooning ourselves into an airtight bundle? There has to be a better option.

Well, friends, we’re happy to report that there is indeed a solution to this chilly conundrum. We’ve spent the last few weeks painstakingly researching battery powered (electric) tent heaters, and there are the best on the usercompared.com.

Battery Powered Tent Heaters for Camping Buying Guide

Buying a battery powered heater for your tent sounds like a simple process, but it’s actually quite complicated.

If you’re having trouble figuring out which one is right for you, have a peek at this easy-to-follow buyer’s guide.

Power Bank

You’d be forgiven for thinking that a battery powered tent heater would have an onboard battery bay, but this sort of heater simply doesn’t exist.

You’ll have far more luck searching for a heater that will plug into a separate power bank, but of course, this means you’re going to have to buy the power bank too.

Portable power banks are a whole different kettle of fish, so we won’t bore you with the details now. What we will say is that this Goal-Zero-Portable-Generator is the best of the best. 

With the ability to power up to seven different devices simultaneously, whilst emitting absolutely zero toxic gases, it’s the perfect on-the-go power solution. It can run a small tent heater without breaking a sweat!

Ceramic Plate vs Standard

Most battery powered heaters have ceramic plates these days, which is great. They’re safer, self-regulating, and more efficient than traditional heaters.

Durability

You have to be tough to take on the wilderness, and the same is true of your tent heater. The last thing you need is a broken heat source on a freezing night in the middle of nowhere.

A rugged design ensures a heater will be able to handle anything the trip throws at it and keep you warm until you make it back home.

Safety Features

Safety is of utmost importance when heating a tent with an electrical device, so picking a heater with at least some of these features is essential.

  • Anti-Toppling - A sturdy design with a low center of gravity that prevents a heater from toppling.
  • Topple-Switch - Built-in sensors that switch a heater off when toppled.
  • Overheat Protection - Shuts heater down if components reach thermal capacity.
  • Timers - Dial in customized heating periods.
  • Cool-Touch - Enclosure can be touched during the heating process.

Directional vs Oscillation vs 360 Output

Directional heaters are fine, but oscillation heaters are best for camping as they don’t concentrate their output in one area. 360° heaters are great for heating large tents before bedtime, but can’t be placed near any of the walls.

Dimensions

A compact form factor is one of the most important aspects of a battery powered camping heater. Lugging around a full-blown monolith just isn’t practical.

Efficiency

In an ideal world, your tent heater is going to be able to reach the desired temperature as quickly as possible.

The more efficient it is, the more power you can save for things like laptops, mobile phones, and toothbrushes.

Controls

Most heaters will have a built-in thermostat allowing you to set your desired ambient temperature, but some will give you multiple heating options and timers too. How much control you need depends on the nature of your camping trip.

Propane vs Battery Powered (Electric)

Propane heaters are an extremely effective way to heat your tent on those Baltic 30 °F nights, but they emit a lot of carbon dioxide, which can kill, so they must be used with extreme care.

Many modern propane heater designs are fitted with safety appointments such as oxygen sensors that trigger an automatic shutdown once oxygen levels drop in the environment. It’s also a good idea to find one with an automatic timer that powers the heater down after an allotted duration has elapsed.

To be honest, we don’t recommend ever using a propane heater for camping in a tent. It’s just not worth the risk.

If you’re camping out on a site with electrical facilities, you can simply bring that electric heater from your home along with an extension lead and hook it up to the site’s power grid.

Electric heaters are much safer than their propane counterparts but aren’t without their dangers. They need to have an incredibly stable base, auto shutdown protocols, and a clear position in the tent. Should they topple, they can easily start a fire.