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7 Best Tent Heaters for Cold Weather Camping

You may have seen pictures of Bryce Canyon with freshly fallen snow powdering the hoodoos and the beauty of Acadia National Park with icicles glistening on the branches of pine trees. This may make you wonder, how do campers do it? How do they tent camp in freezing temperatures and enjoy the stunning scenery that winter brings? The answer: they pack their tent heaters. 

Now, if you’re wondering if these heaters for tents are safe, you’re in luck – we have some answers for you. Let’s take a closer look at some of the best tent heaters so you can start planning that winter trip to Utah you’ve wanted to take for years!

How to Stay Warm and Safe While Camping in the Cold - Cold Weather Camping Tips

Why Do People Go Cold Weather Camping in Tents? 

During the winter, most campers pack up their gear and wait until spring to hit the trails again. But not all. Some enjoy the solitude and beauty that winter brings. So, thankfully, there are no crowds. It’s a peaceful scene to go cold weather camping. You can even feel like you’re the only person in an entire national park. This connection with nature is unlike any other time of the year.

How Do You Keep Warm Cold Weather Camping?

But if you do head out with your camping gear in January, it’s important you have plenty of ways to stay warm. You don’t just need a cozy cold-weather sleeping bag. You also want to bring plenty of food and water to refuel your body. Pack layers of clothes to keep you comfortable throughout the day and night, and pack a sleeping pad to go under your sleeping bag.

Your body loses heat in four different ways: radiation, convection, evaporation, and conduction. You must prepare to take care of yourself as you lose body heat. Change out of sweaty or wet clothes immediately. Make sure to put on merino wool, polyester, and polypropylene clothing – not cotton. Cotton will absorb moisture and become saturated. 

Don’t sleep on the cold ground. Lay down a closed-cell foam sleeping pad to provide adequate insulation. You can also put a hot, non-insulated, stainless-steel water bottle in your sleeping bag to radiate heat throughout the night. These are just a few tips to keep warm while camping in cold weather.

Pro Tip: Make sure you know these 8 Essential Cold Weather Survival Skills for Winter Recreation and Travel before you head out on your adventure.

Woman sitting in tent in the snow
Don’t let a little snow stop you from camping!

Are Heaters for Tents a Safe Way to Keep Warm? 

Another item to pack for cold weather camping is a heater. Tent heaters are perfectly safe if you use them appropriately and purchase the right kind of heater for tent camping. You want to purchase a heater that is indoor-safe.

The most dangerous aspect of using a heater is carbon monoxide poisoning. This is why getting a heater rated for indoor use is crucial. You also want to look for safety features like a tip-over shut-off and a low-oxygen sensor shut-off.

What Are the Pros and Cons of Tent Heaters?  

The biggest pro to bringing along a tent heater is to stay warm. This extra heat will radiate throughout the tent and provide added warmth. But you still want to bring a sleeping pad, clothes made of synthetic fabrics, and other items and gear to stay warm.

In contrast, this is another piece of gear you have to haul. If you’re backpacking, carrying a tent heater is not convenient. So you’re limited to tent camping in areas where you can easily transport a heater.

Pro Tip: Use your tent heater in one of these Best Cold Weather Tents for Your Winter Adventures.

View looking out of tent to snow
Tent heaters will keep you cozy no matter how much temperatures drop.

7 Best Tent Heaters for Cold Weather Camping

If you’re considering camping in cold weather, below are the seven best tent heaters on the market. These are safe and used by campers across the country, so you can trust that they’re tent-camping friendly.

1. Mr. Heater Buddy Indoor-Safe Portable RV Radiant Heater 

About: Available in gray or red, this Mr. Heater portable RV radiant heater puts out 4,000 BTUs to 9,000 BTUs, covering over 200 square feet. It connects directly to a 1-pound propane cylinder. Only weighing about nine pounds, this heater measures 8.3 inches x 13.4 inches x 15 inches.

Tent Camping Features: This option is approved for indoor/outdoor use and provides clean burning for nearly 100% efficiency. Safety features include an automatic shut-off if tipped over, if the pilot light goes out, or if it detects low oxygen levels.

Power Source: Propane

Mr. Heater F232017 MH9BXRV Buddy Grey Indoor-Safe...
  • 4,000- to 9,000-BTU radiant heater for spaces up to 225 square...
  • When operating the heater at altitudes over 7,000 FT above sea...
  • Auto shut-off if tipped over, if pilot light goes out, or if...

2. BLUU Propane Heater

About: This BLUU propane heater is available in three different colors and puts out 10,000 BTUs or 20,000 BTUs depending on which model you purchase. It can warm up a 300-square-foot space, weighs about 10 pounds, and measures 16.6 inches x 16 inches x 9.8 inches.

Power Source: Propane

BLUU Propane Heater for Outdoor and Indoor Use...
  • 🔥Thermostatic system saves 30% fuel: Bluu heater upgraded core...
  • 🔥10-step temperature adjustment.: The 10-position infinitely...
  • 🔥40% more hours of use: Our outdoor heaters are designed to be...
Tent surrounded in snow
Tent heaters can keep you safe when cold weather camping.

3. SEEYANG Tent Propane Heater and Cooker Combo

About: A completely different “look” than the previous two heaters, the SEEYANG tent propane heater looks more like a lantern for a camping ambiance. Available in two different colors, this heater puts out 13,000 BTUs and provides 360-degree radiant heating. It comes with a 5-foot rubber hose to attach to a 20-pound propane tank.

Tent Camping Features: Unlike other tent heaters, this option allows for cooking and warmth. The 2-in-1 design means you don’t have to take a camp stove and a portable heater. The top plate allows you to cook a pot of soup, and the switch makes it easy to go from cooking to heating.

Power Source: Propane

SEEYANG Propane Heater, 2-in-1 Camping Portable LP...
  • 【Multifunction Heater】 This 2-in-1 propane heater is very...
  • 【Propane Camping Heater】 Our lightweight tent heater is...
  • 【Complete Combustion 】The propane tank heater flame shield...

4. Mr. Heater Little Buddy 3800-BTU Indoor Safe Propane Heater

About: Another Mr. Heater product much smaller than the first option is this Little Buddy heater that puts out enough heat to cover about 95 square feet. The 45-degree heating angle pushes heat into the air rather than straight out.

Tent Camping Features: This is a great option for backpackers because of its size. You can easily attach it to your pack, and it only weighs 5 pounds. Like other tent heaters, this one has the safety features of a low-oxygen sensor and an accidental tip-over switch with auto shut-off.

Power Source: Propane

Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B Little Buddy 3800-BTU...
  • Indoor-safe portable propane heater for rooms up to 95 square...
  • Continuous odor-free, 45-degree heating angle. Maximum Elevation...
  • Simple on/off buttons; uses 1-pound disposable propane cylinder...

Pro Tip: Keep cozy with these 5 Best Cold Weather Sleeping Bags for Staying Warm While Winter Camping.

5. Honoson Mini Camping Heater

About: Another small option for tent campers who don’t want to lug around ten pounds is this mini heater by Honoson. It measures 5.78 inches x 4.72 inches x 4.72 inches and weighs about two pounds.

Tent Camping Features: The two mini heaters are made of stainless steel and easily fit on a camping stove. So you don’t have to bring along a propane cylinder. You won’t get as much heat from this option, but you also will have an easier time bringing it along.

Power Source: Camping stove

2 Pcs Camping Mini Heater Stainless Steel Tent...
  • Easy to Use: just simply place the camping heater on the stove...
  • Stable and Safe: the tent heater for camping has 4 slots at the...
  • Handles for You to Use: the heater for camping in a tent comes...
Cold weather camping
In addition to your tent heater, don’t forget to pack a sleeping pad, cold-weather sleeping bag, and synthetic clothes.

6. Campy Gear Chubby 2-in-1 Portable Propane Heater & Stove

About: Another 2-in-1 tent heater like the SEEYANG option is this propane heater by Campy Gear. Available in four different colors, it puts out 9,000 BTUs, 13,000 BTUs, or 18,000 BTUs depending on the model. It comes in a small carrying case and only weighs about 2 pounds.

Tent Camping Features: You can save space with this tent heater that doubles as a stove and heater. You can wake up and warm up while boiling water for a cup of coffee. The 360-degree heating radius will get you warm in no time.

Power Source: Propane

Campy Gear Chubby 2 in 1 Portable Propane Heater &...
  • 【2 in 1 Portable Heater & Stove】Campy Gear honorably presents...
  • 【Rapid Heating & 360°Radiant Heating】With a maximum output...
  • 【High Adaptability】The Campy Gear 2-in-1 Heater & Stove is...

7. BULLETSHAKER Camping Mini Heater + Warming Stove

About: Similar to the Honoson mini tent heater is this BULLETSHAKER mini heater. It’s also made of stainless steel and uses a camp stove to radiate heat. The heat also spreads through the sides rather than going straight into the air for 360-degree warmth.

Tent Camping Features: Measuring 6.18 inches x 4.92 inches x 4.84 inches and weighing less than a pound, this mini tent heater will easily fit in your backpack without taking up too much space or weighing you down. Since it’s stainless steel, it’s also durable and will withstand numerous camping trips.

Power Source: Camping stove

BULLETSHAKER Camping Mini Heater Warming Stove...
  • High-Quality Stainless Steel: Crafted from durable stainless...
  • Portable and Travel-Friendly: Lightweight and fuel-free, it's...
  • Safe and Convenient: Equipped with a cool-touch handle, it's easy...
The Best RV Winter Setup: How to RV in Winter and the Gear That Will Keep You Cozy Warm!

Is It Okay to Keep Tent Heaters on All Night? 

Even though tent heaters are deemed safe for indoor use, running them throughout the night is never a good idea. You don’t want to fall asleep while the heater is still running. This is why it’s still important to have a sleeping pad, cold-weather sleeping bag, synthetic clothes, and other items to keep you warm while sleeping. But it’s a great addition to your camping gear, so you can enjoy camping all year long.

Do you own a tent heater? Do you have one you’d add to the list? Tell us in the comments!

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About Cait Morton

Co-Founder, Logistics Queen, Business & Content Manager, and Animal Lover

An Upper Peninsula of Michigan native (aka a Yooper), Caitlin is the organization, big-picture, and content strategy queen of our operation. She keeps everything orderly and on track.

With a background in Business Management, she supports and helps channel Tom’s technical prowess into the helpful content our readers and viewers expect. That’s not to say you won’t find her turning wrenches and talking shop – RV life is a team effort. She keeps the business and the blog moving forward with a variety of topics and resources for our audience.

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She also loves the RV life due to the fact that you can bring your pets along. Sharing information about safely recreating outdoors with your whole family – pets included! – is very important to her. Because of this, Caitlin spearheaded the launch of HypePets in 2023.

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