Best Tent Heaters for Camping

The best tent heaters are not only capable of heating large areas, but also their technology has advanced to the point where they can be run without the worry of being too dangerous. With added fail-safes, tent heaters have come a long way to provide soothing warmth whether they are used indoors, such as a tented area, or outdoors, in locations like a screened-in porch.

For smaller areas, such as a workshop or a small campsite, tent heaters are ideal because they can heat the location with low need for energy. Due to their durability and outstanding portability, tent heaters have soared in popularity and dropped in price. For your next outdoor party or indoor project, a tent heater will safely warm you and allow you to work or play without worrying about cold weather.

My Top 4 Best Tent Heaters

Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy

Perfect for an outdoor workshop or enclosed porch, the Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy can provide safe and effective heating via propane that will keep away the cold for many hours. With adjustable settings that regulate the amount of heat it dispenses, this tent heater is one of the most versatile on the market.

Not only is the Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy efficient but it is very safe as the company has installed several protections to make sure you can heat your working or relaxing area without the worry of a potentially hazardous situation. With its portability and high-quality construction, the Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy is a terrific tent heater that will perform admirably over many years.

Starting with the large heating surface, this heater delivers the heat in two different settings. Whether you choose to set your heater at the low 4,000 BTU setting or the higher 9,000 BTU mark, both configurations will provide a radiant heat that covers a lot of square footage. The high setting will cover a 225-square feet area comfortably. Users can expect around 4-5 hours of heating with a full 16-ounce propane canister.

Safety protection on the Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy is also top-notch as there are several auto-shut off features to make sure you aren’t in danger. If the heater detects that it has been tipped over, or the pilot light goes out or that the surrounding area contains low oxygen, then you can expect that the tent heater will shut down.

Also, users of the Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy have discovered that if you are in altitude above 7,000 feet that the heater can shut off or have issues working correctly. That is something to take into account if you live in higher elevation areas.

With remarkable efficiency and strength, the Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy is a terrific addition to any outdoor area that could use the comfort of a portable heater.

Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B Little Buddy

If you don’t the size or capacity of a larger tent heater, but would instead heat smaller areas of focus, then the Mr. Heater MH4B Little Buddy is perfect. Users of this tent heater love its portability and ability to generate heat in tiny working areas safely.

What people love about the Mr. Heater MH4B Little Buddy is that it is odor-free due to the clean-burning propane so you can use it without worrying about suffering headaches or other health-related issues. This tent heater is also incredibly safe with a variety of auto-shut off features that will keep you

The Mr. Heater MH4B Little Buddy is great for using in a tent because of how small it is in relation to larger tent heaters that can take up precious space. Simple to use, this tent heater packs a punch in an affordable and efficient package.

Running at 3,800 BTUs this small tent heater can heat a room just under 100 square feet. Now that may not be the most popular use of the Mr. Heater MH4B Little Buddy as most users like to have the heater set up on a bench or table, to produce focused heat on a much more confined area. In that scenario, the Little Buddy is a workhorse, and a 16-ounce canister of propane will burn for close to seven hours.

As Mr. Heater appliances, the Little Buddy has a host of safety measures to make sure you and your loved ones stay protected. Auto shut-off protection on the Little Buddy kicks in when the heater tips over or the low-oxygen sensor is tripped.

The company suggests to never use the heater on moving vehicles or in elevation that exceeds 7,000 feet. Minor hassles aside, Mr. Heater MH4B Little Buddy is a dynamic tent heater that works exceptionally well in smaller spaces that need directed heat to warm individuals.

Texsport Portable Outdoor Propane Heater

The Texsport Portable Outdoor Propane Heater won’t win any fashion awards, but it is one heck of a tent heater that delivers high-quality performance in tiny areas. With an easy to connect propane canister loading area, this tent heater provides long-lasting warmth for small areas.

Even though it may look a little strange, the Texsport Portable Outdoor Propane Heater is very well constructed. Made with a stainless steel frame, the heater is balanced with a large paddle foot that makes it stable and sturdy.

Tent heaters need a little oxygen in the surrounding air to make sure that the heater does not become toxic. That doesn’t mean that you should worry about the Texsport Portable Outdoor Propane Heater becoming problematic because the heater has an auto shut-off feature when the oxygen level dips below an unsafe threshold. So if you find your heater shutting down, then open a window or unzip the tent’s door slightly so oxygen can find its way to the heater.

Another safety feature is the steel carry handle that is several inches behind the heater allowing you to pick up the heater and move it safely without worrying about burning your hand.

The Texsport Portable Outdoor Propane Heater runs at close to 2900 BTUs. So although that may not seem like much, if you use a 16-ounce propane tank with the Texsport Portable Outdoor Propane Heater, then you can expect close to an impressive four to six hours of continuous heat. Small one-pound tanks of propane only cost a few dollars per bottle and can usually be bought in packs with multiple canisters.

The Texsport Portable Outdoor Propane Heater is compact and portable making it an extraordinary tent heater that is highly affordable and works well as long as you have bottles of propane handy for refreshing.

Mr Heater F242100 10-15K BTU Single Tank Heater

The largest tent heater on our list is the Mr Heater 10-15K BTU Single Tank Heater. What sets this heater apart from the others we’ve reviewed is that this heater utilizes a full-size 20-pound propane tank to power the heat source. Great if you need a heating source for larger areas such as garages and barns, this heater can deliver up to a whopping 30 hours of warmth.

The Mr Heater 10-15K BTU Single Tank Heater has three levels of heating. The first is 8000 BTUs of power that will reach that previously mentioned 30-hour threshold. The middle level on the adjustable heat control feature is roughly 12,000 BTU. And then the highest level on the heater delivers 14,000 BTUs of heat.

If there is a knock on the Mr Heater 10-15K BTU Single Tank Heater, it is that the size of the attached propane tank makes it difficult, although not impossible, to move the heater around when necessary. This is especially true when the propane tank is full.

Another issue is that you’ll have is that you’ll always need to know how much propane is left in the tank before using. There is nothing more inconvenient than not having enough propane to power your heater during a special event. Even though it may take a few uses, this heater does become relatively easy to operate.

One safety measure that the company installed on the Mr Heater 10-15K BTU Single Tank Heater is a quick shut off when the flame stops. This feature prevents the air from filling with propane that could be potentially dangerous.

If you need heavy duty warming via propane tank, then the Mr Heater 10-15K BTU Single Tank Heater is the undeniable champion.

Tent Heater FAQ’S

1) Question: How do I use a tent heater?

Answer: A tent heater is a propane-fueled heater that is transportable and can fit in confined spaces. Most tent heaters are smaller in size to aid in the product’s portability but also helps conserve propane for a longer lasting amount of heating.

Once you find a place to use your tent heater, you must choose a heat setting and make sure that your propane canister or tank is correctly attached to the heating device. The best tent heaters will burn cleanly, and the duration of the heating is based on the size of the propane tank and the BTU output of the heater.

2) Question: What size heater is right for you?

Answer: The output of warmth by a heater can be measured in a standard called BTUs. BTU stands for British Standard Unit which measures units of heat. To translate: the number of BTUs give you an insight into how many square feet can be heated by a specific type of tent heater.

Small tent heaters that operate at a level that exists between 2,000-4,000 BTU will cover around 100 square feet. Most individuals don’t use these little heaters to heat rooms but rather more focused areas such as a tent or a workspace. The lightweight nature of these smaller heaters makes them terrific for such tasks.

Mid-level tent heaters have a range that covers 6,000-10,000 BTU. These heaters can cover rooms that measure around 225-250 square feet. The propane in this level will burn anywhere from 4-6 hours on lower settings.

High-capacity tent heaters utilize propane tanks that you typically find on a propane grill. 20-pound tanks can produce heat on a low setting for close to 30 hours. Where these large tank tent heaters really excel is inside large outdoor areas that are semi-enclosed.

3) Question: What heater is safe to use in a tent?

Answer: Propane heaters are typically safe to use in a tent although it is vital to know your tent heaters’ limitations and safety measures ahead of time. Although propane burns without odor, it can cause issues if you have a malfunctioning heater.

This possibility is why manufacturers load their heaters with safeguards that prevent propane filling the air when it the heater isn’t working correctly. It is always recommended to read the heater’s manual ahead of its first use, so you know why the heater shuts down to keep you safe.

4) Question: What type of fuel does a tent heater use?

Answer: Tent heaters use propane to power their heating elements. 16-ounce propane canisters are used most often with the portable tent heaters, but large 20-pound tanks can be fitted to be used with specially designed heaters that generate more significant amounts of heat.

Propane is ideal for tent heaters because they burn clean and don’t have the toxic side effects that gasoline causes when burned. Propane is also lightweight and helps ease the burden of carrying additional weight on camping trips.

5) Question: How do tent heaters work?

Answer: Tent heaters work by using propane to fuel the heating element. These heaters are flameless as the propane mixes with the surrounding oxygen to create a chemical reaction that produces heat on the element.

Without a flame, heaters only burn the propane which creates a safer alternative to heating. Instead of producing fumes or harmful carbon dioxide, tent heaters that use propane burn clean. This safety feature is why heating a tent is possible without the toxic side effects.

Tent heaters cannot be left alone however because of their auto shut-off safety features you might find that the heater has turned itself off when you are shivering yourself awake.

6) Question: What about tent ventilation when using a heater?

Answer: Tent heaters typically come with different safety measures installed to keep you safe. The most essential auto shut-off feature that most tent heaters have is when the oxygen levels drop below a safe threshold. Once that safety measure is triggered, the heater will shut down.

To prevent this from happening, it is important to keep fresh oxygen circulating around the heater. If you are using the heater inside a garage, for example, it is wise to crack open a window. Inside a tent, if you are planning on using a heater for multiple hours, then you have to figure out a way to keep a steady flow of oxygen to interact with the heater.

Now, it really doesn’t take much to get some oxygen into the tent, just a small crack in the door will work to provide oxygen to prevent a shut down from your heater.


The best tent heaters have an assortment of helpful features. From portability to efficiency to focused heating, tent heaters can keep an area warm for several hours before you need to replace the propane.

Great for heating not only a tent during cold winter months, but also very helpful during outdoor events like parties and gatherings, tent heaters excel when they are used creatively. The best tent heaters deliver hours of warmth to help keep you cozy throughout a chilly night.