9 Best Camping Heaters for a Cozy Trip in 2024

Campfire

Even a four-season tent can only keep you so warm when camping in cold weather, and what if you want to have a portable space heater by your campsite’s picnic table?

To turn a nightmarish, freezing cold outing into something that’s not only survivable but enjoyable—toasty, even—you’ll need to invest in a camping heater.

The question is: what kind of camping heater is right for your situation? We’ll take a look at nine heaters below that you can use to turn your next cold-weather romp into a wintry wonderland of warmth.

Contents

THE BEST CAMPING HEATER: COMPARISON TABLE

HOW WE REVIEWED

Our team of experts carefully selected nine camping heaters to compare and contrast. The following products were reviewed based on their features, reviews, pros & cons, price, and commercial availability.

We wish to emphasize that camping heaters can be dangerous if not rated for in-shelter use, or if they come too close to flammable materials. Always use the utmost caution when using a camping heater, fire pit, or other source of heat when you’re camping. Safety first!

Man happy camping stand and raise his hand holding his hat on the mountain in the morning time during his trekking camp near to two small tents with sun cloud and blue sky background, Thailand

PORTABLE SPACE AND CAMPING HEATER PRICE RANGE

Depending on size, maximum heat output, fuel source, and various other features, portable or camping heaters will run somewhere in the neighborhood of $20 on the low end, to $130 on the high end—making them a wonderful investment to keep your campsite comfortable year-round.

THE BEST CAMPING HEATER REVIEW

Superlatives

Hottest heat: Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy

Most versatile: 2 in 1 Propane Heater & Stove

Most high-tech: Govee Smart Space Heater

Most affordable: Ceramic Space Heater for Indoor Use

man holding cup of coffee on a camp site

MR. HEATER 4,000-9,000-BTU PORTABLE PROPANE RADIANT HEATER

Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy camping heater

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Features

This adjustable 4,000 to 9,000 BTU radiant camping heater can be used to keep spaces up to 225 square feet warm.

It’s approved for use either indoors or outdoors and uses clean-burning propane gas as a heat source.

It includes automatic shut off if it detects low oxygen levels, if the pilot light goes out, or if it is knocked over.

Users say that this product is high quality, easy to use, and warms almost too well. Campers have used it during the winter in a large, uninsulated tent with pleasantly warm results. One reviewer didn’t like how it heats upward rather than straight onto you

Price: This product can be found on Amazon for about $80.

Pros

  • Adjustable heat output
  • Automatic shut-off features
  • Nearly 100% fuel efficient

Cons

  • Heating surface is very hot and can be a hazard if touched
  • Relies on a pilot light which may blow out in a strong wind
  • Some users report control knob can get stuck in the on position

CAMPLUX Portable Propane Heater

CAMPLUX Portable Propane Heater

Features

This portable, propane-powered heater has three temperature settings – ranging between 10,000 and 15,000 BTU. It has a safety guard to prevent you from touching the heat output directly.

Buyers say that this product is hot, easy to assemble, a good value for the price, and easy to use. There was one comment that it feels a bit flimsy.

Price: This portable camp heater can be found at online retailers for around $40.

Pros

  • Lightweight/Portable
  • 3 adjustable settings
  • Chrome emitter guard to protect against scalding

Cons

  • Single-cannister design requires more frequent refueling
  • For outdoor use only
  • Some customers report ignition switch fails after repeated use

Dreo Space Heater

Dreo Space Heater

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Features

The coolest feature that this product offers is its temperature control. You can set it to any temp between 41 and 95 degrees Farenheit. It’s also sleek, reliable, and easy to use.

Buyers say that it packs a powerful punch for its size. It’s small enough that it can be stored just about anywhere. It also doubles as a fan if you turn the heat down. The most common complaint was the black buttons on a black surface makes the controls hard to read.

Price: This camping heater is available on Amazon for about $40.

Pros

  • Precise temperature control
  • Quiet
  • Attractive display
  • Timer

Cons

  • Needs to be plugged in
  • Black buttons

Ceramic Space Heater for Indoor Use

Ceramic Space Heater for Indoor Use

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Features

This space or camping heater delivers heat quickly and right where you want it because of the built-in fan.

It features a compact ceramic heating element that converts electricity into 200 watts of heat, providing compact, efficient warmth in a tiny package. Though this heater relies on electrical current, it could be ideal for campsites with electric hookup, RVs, or campers who bring a portable generator with them.

Price: This little space heater can be found on Amazon for right around $.

Pros

  • Built-in overheat protection shut-off
  • Cool-touch exterior
  • Fully assembled

Cons

  • Relies on electrical current
  • May tip over on uneven surfaces
  • Will not generate sufficient
    heat to warm larger tents

HONEYWELL UberHeat 5 Portable Ceramic Space Heater

Honeywell UberHeat 5 Portable Ceramic Space Heater

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Features

The Honeywell UberHeat 5 Portable Ceramic Space Heater is an electric heater with two settings (high/low). The ceramic construction means that it uses a process called “resistance heating” where heat is generated through the resistivity of the ceramic material as electricity is passed through it.

Buyers say that this product has a sturdy build, attractive design, useful controls, and a great heat output. Some don’t prefer the safety feature where it shuts off automatically when overheated.

Price: This product can be found on Amazon for approximately $43.

Pros

  • Tip-over and overheat protection
  • One-button heat control
  • Rapid heating ceramic element

Cons

  • Confusing owner’s manual
  • Shuts off automatically (turns back on again when cool)

HONEYWELL HZ-0360 SURROUND HEAT HEATER

Honeywell HHF360V 360-Degree Fan Forced Surround HeaterCheck Price

Features

This camping heater features a full 360 degrees of heat output, which will warm an entire tent or enclosure safely and efficiently.

Complete with a convenient stay-cool carrying handle, easy-to-use manual controls, an adjustable thermostat, and a safety tip-over switch, this heater also features an extra-wide base to guard against accidental knock-overs. This camping heater can run on low, high, or fan only, which makes it useful as a cooling device.

Price: This camping heater is available for right around $.

Pros

  • 360-degree heat output
  • Safety tip-over switch
  • Fan-only feature

Cons

  • Relies on electricity
  • Consumes 1500 watts on high heat setting
  • Heating grill can become hot to the touch

2 in 1 Propane Heater & Stove

2 in 1 Propane Heater & Stove

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Features

What makes this camping heater special is that it doubles as a stove. So, especially in no-burn areas, it makes the perfect replacement campfire. Warm up after a cold night and make your coffee all in one go.

This stainless steel, propane-powered appliance is equipped with tip-over protection. Reviewers say that it heats efficiently and boils water quickly. Multiple people said they wouldn’t feel comfortable using it inside a tent, so keep that in mind.

Price: This camp heater can be found at online retailers like Amazon for around $70.

Pros

  • Doubles as a stove
  • Stainless steel
  • Tip over protection

Cons

  • Heat emitting out the sides can make it difficult to cook
  • Unwise to use inside tent

MR. HEATER LITTLE BUDDY 3800-BTU PROPANE HEATER

Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B Little Buddy 3800

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Features

This indoor-safe portable propane camping heater is rated to heat spaces as large as 95 square feet, plus can do a reasonable job of keeping the chill out of slightly larger spaces.

It features odor-free, high-efficiency heat and a heating element angled at 45 degrees for maximum heat dispersal. It uses disposable one-pound propane cylinders and will run for over five-and-a-half hours on a single cylinder at its maximum heat setting.

This heater requires a vent area of at least four square inches for adequate ventilation, but is equipped with a low oxygen sensor and a tip over sensor, both of which will turn the unit off.

Price: This camping heater can be found in camping supply stores or at online retailers for an affordable price, but does occasionally go on sale.

Pros

  • Perfect for tents, camping shelters, hunting blinds or other small enclosed spaces
  • Burns clean and is rated for indoor use
  • Low oxygen and tip over safety sensors

Cons

  • Propane tanks are not refillable
  • Unit will not operate at altitudes greater than 7000 feet
  • Front grill of heater can become dangerously hot

Govee Smart Space Heater

Govee Smart Space Heater

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Features

The feature that makes this product stand out is the app that comes with it! Not only is it an impressive heater, but you can control specific setting and receive safety alerts to your device. It comes with safety features to protect against tip-overs and over heating, and has a safety lock and timer.

Buyers insist on glowing reviews for this space heater. They love how it looks, how it works, and how fast it heats. One of the coolest features of the app is that it IS the remote – so no chance of losing it! The biggest complaint is that several users found the temperature settings to be off, so setting it to 80 degrees will actually get you to 70 degrees, and it can be tricky to adjust.

Price: 

Pros

  • 2-second heating
  • Comes with downloadable app
  • Compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT
  • Quiet
  • Can put it on a schedule (like turn on at 3pm, turn off at 2 am)

Cons

  • Issues with temperature settings

CAMPING HEATER FAQ

camper sitting on a tent

1. What Is a Camping Heater?

A camping heater is a small heater designed for outdoor or in-tent use. They commonly run on propane, butane, or some other fuel which may or may not be safe to use in confined quarters. Always refer to the manufacturer’s guidelines before using a camping heater in a tent or enclosed shelter.

2. What Does a Camping Heater Do?

A camping heater converts fuel or electricity to heat and generates radiant warmth that can be used to keep outdoor campsites, tents, or enclosures warmer than ambient heat would allow. They are used in shelters, outdoors with campfires, or on their own if conditions do not allow for a fire.

3. How Does a Camping Heater Work?

Propane or butane heaters generally convert fuel to heat by means of small controlled combustion (flame), while electric or catalytic heaters convert heat without relying on flame or combustion to generate warmth.

4. Where Can You Buy a Camping Heater?

Many outdoor supply stores, camping stores, hardware stores, etc., will stock camping heaters, and they are also available from many online retailers. You may also wish to check the stock at your local Army Navy surplus store.

THE VERDICT

Group of friends sitting around a bonfire at a campsite

While the electric heaters on our list are suitable for indoor use, and can be used at home, they rely on electrical power, meaning you must have a generator or a wired camp site to use them.

Plus, you’ll still face the hassle of running extension cords into and out of any enclosed space like a tent or small camper, making it difficult to seal it against the elements. Still, they can be a handy feature for the right circumstances, and shouldn’t be overlooked.

The butane heaters in our round up are more suitable for smaller enclosures or for personal space to “take the chill off,” but probably will not heat larger tents or campers, and are susceptible to wind, which will both diminish their output or could extinguish them entirely.

The larger propane heaters pump out the most heat, but come with the downside of exposed metal parts and possible leakage, which can be a burn hazard—or a fire hazard if placed too close to a flammable surface.

As long as you use your camping heater safely and wisely, you’ll love to enjoy the great outdoors year-round.

The Out sider

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