We all know that winter is the ideal season for camping. And camping lovers always feel it necessary to keep their tent warm while they will sleep at night. There are not too many ways to keep their tent warm in winter other than insulating the tent properly. Inside all of those methods, maximum campers pick a battery-powered tent heater for camping.
Generally, a battery-powered tent heater is a very common heating gear and it has lots of variations. But for camping a 12v battery power tent heater is mostly used for camping. This kind of heater is popular as they don’t require an electricity connection and everything is done just with a set of batteries.
Every year we get pathetic news of lost campers because of excessively cold weather. A battery-powered tent heater can help to survive even staying comfortably in the tent even when the temperature scale is running negatively. So, if you need one, I prefer checking out everything about the battery-powered tent heater. I will share some alternative ideas too and hope you will truly get some help.
What is a Battery Powered Tent Heater?
A battery Powered Tent Heater is considered the quickest, easiest, and safest way to warm tents. As it doesn’t require any electrical connection, you can use it anytime anywhere. You just have to be aware of the battery working periods. If you think to have more heating time, you can simply take an extra set of batteries.
To run a battery-powered tent heater, you cannot just use any battery you have near your hand. In fact, the problem arises because the heaters don’t work on any normal batteries. The normal batteries we use in households like AA’s or D size batteries won’t work for these heaters.
For these heaters, you need to find sources from bigger batteries like cars. If you park your car beside your tent then it will be quite easy. Electric heaters are quite safe because they won’t emit any CO2 or flames. Moreover, remember to turn off your heater before you go to bed.
How a Battery Powered Tent Heater Works?
A battery-powered tent heater works following the general working principle of a normal heater. But as it’s more likely to be a room heater, it doesn’t create a temperature that humans cannot tolerate. However, the functions may vary from product to product.
Basically, the main advantage of a battery-powered tent heater is it doesn’t require current flow. And you know that getting an electricity line is not often possible when you are camping in a remote place.
As it is about the battery, you have to keep in mind there is also a limitation, you can use the heater as long as the battery provides services. For this reason, ex-pats always suggest having an extra set of batteries in case you need to stay longer.
In this case, you can simply use the battery at home to check exactly how long it works. Eventually, you shouldn’t believe in whatever the time of working is mentioned on the product packet. The actual time often doesn’t match with their promised time limit.
Generally, there is a coil inside a tent heater and 1-2 fans. As soon as you turn on the heater the battery starts to work and the coils run to produce flames or direct heat. It supports a certain area such as 150-300 sq. Feet.
There are also some functions available on a heater such as extra-heating, low-heating, natural air, and others. You can change the heating level according to the function available on your tent heater.
The most advantageous working feature of a battery-powered tent heater is the auto shut-off feature. It can prevent major accidents when you forget to turn it off and leave it keeping on.
Best Battery Powered Tent Heaters for Camping
If you are not sure about what to buy for your next winter camp, I have some suggestions for you. Here, I review 5 different heaters for both solo and family camping trips. You can check out the features and some essential details to find the appropriate one for yourself.
1. Enerco Group Inc DXH12B Portable Heater
First, I would like to introduce you to a portable heater from Enerco Group. It is an entirely portable and lightweight heater that you can use just with a set of batteries. It is safe and will take a few minutes to create a warm temperature on every corner of your tent.
You have to use a 5Ah battery and it will keep you warm for a particular time of 3 to 4 days. To operate this heater, you don’t need any AAA batteries either. Besides, it is very light in weight and not more than 14 pounds.
This high-quality heater is basically rated at only 6000 BTUs at the lowest power and 12000 BTUs at full power. Additionally, it works with a dual 1 pound propane tank too. You can simply use a 20 pounds propane tank to charge it up.
- You can charge your mobile phone with this heater.
- Two small tanks of propane can heat for around 3 to 7 hours.
- A LED light will be there with the heater.
- This cordless heater comes with three USB ports, an additional fan, and a dual tank space.
- 14 lbs can be a little bit heavier for many of you.
- It is not a waterproof heater.
So, if the weight doesn’t matter for you, I think it can be the best choice for sure.
2. Portable Electric Space Heater
Minetom Store brought a very fast working heater that you can use at your home and in the big size tent. To heat an area of around 200 sq ft, it only takes a few minutes. However, it’s the Minetom Store’s Portable Space Heater that works both with batter and electricity.
This portable mini heater is around 6.2 inches in length, 7 inches in width, and 9.2 inches in height. Besides, it weighs only 3.2 pounds. So, you can carry it inside your backpack and you would feel heavier with it.
However, you can adjust the temperature from the range of 0℉ to 158°F. Besides, it works at 750 watts to1500 watts only. It uses PTC ceramic heating technology. And the high-speed fan is there to reduce the chances to make the air cold.
- It comes in different colors: blank and silver.
- A half-moon handle will make it easier to carry.
- It is very much lightweight and can heat a big space of 200 Sq Ft in a few seconds.
- Good for a family camping tent.
- This high functional heater is not suggested for solo campers.
As the heating capacity is very high for this heater, you should better buy it for your family.
3. Mini Desk 400W Low Wattage Personal Ceramic Heater
Let’s check out another low voltage ceramic heating system that comes from the Brightown Store. It is the Mini Desk 400W Low Wattage Personal Ceramic Heater. The name must make it clear that the heating system is made of ceramic and so, it works very efficiently.
This mini heater is suggested for personal use as it cannot heat up a big space. It is only 6.3 inches in length, 3.1 inches in width, and 6.3 inches in height. And it’s not more than a pound only. So, you can carry it anywhere anyway.
For this small heater, 100 sq ft is the limited heating area. And I think, for the solo campers,it is more than enough. Additionally, it can heat up to 158°F.
- You can use an additional remote to control this heater.
- Comes in a compact size and a nice combination of black and orange color.
- Tip-Over protection is one of the best parts of this heater.
- An additional carrying handle will help you carry it comfortably.
- You cannot use it for a big tent.
For its amazing portability functions, this mini and compact heater is highly recommended for solo campers.
4. Lasko 754200 Ceramic Heater with Adjustable Thermostats
Let’s meet a very customizing heater from a new brand, Lasko. Mainly, for its compact size and so many functions, Lasko 754200 heater is well known among the campers. This adjustable heater comes with a thermostat that is not available in most others.
It is only 7.6 inches in length, 7 inches in width, and 10 inches in height. And compared to its size, the weight is nothing to count. It’s only 3.5 pounds in weight. So, carrying this heater won’t be an issue anyway.
This high-quality battery-operated tent heater can heat the tent area within a few seconds. And if you manage to keep the door and other parts closed, the place will be warmer for a long time if you turn it off. Besides, it is efficient and affordable too.
- For its lightweight facility, you can carry it easily.
- This heater comes with automatic overheat protection.
- The additional adjustable thermostat will let you maintain the appropriate temperature.
- Comes with a handy design and silver color outlook.
- Not appropriate for solo campers too.
So, this affordable and handy tent heater can be a wise decision for you if you love to camp with your family.
5. Lasko Heating Space Heater
If you are looking for a mini heater that weighs no more than one and a half pounds then the last option will be a savior for you. And again, it’s a product from Lasko, and this time, I am talking about Lasko Heating Space Heater.
This mini-size heater is only 1.4 lbs in weight. And it is only 6 inches in average dimension. However, regardless of its mini size and less weight, it can create a warm environment and spread the heat all around your tent. Generally, people use it for personal use and it can heat a small tent easily.
This compact size heater comes with a trendy design and it is designed with a ceramic heating system. Plus, it is quite durable and you can plug it in a 120v wall outlet. Additionally, it draws 2 amps with a 6 feet cord.
- Very much smaller in size and completely portable.
- Takes a few minutes to heat the small space.
- You can place it on your desk or any place inside the tent.
- It comes with a 1500 watt tower function.
- It is not a good option for a family-size tent.
So, for the solo Camping trip, you can use it for sure. It is easy to carry and able to heat in a short time.
The part of the best battery-powered tent heater is done. Now, I have some essential information to share with you about this issue. As it’s a battery-powered system, you should have some basic idea about it. I will share some alternative plans as well. I am sure, someday, you will remind me of this information.
What is the 12v Battery Heater?
Most of the campers love to use a 12 Volt Battery Heater to warm up their tent or car. And it is one of the most common battery-powered tent heaters. This portable simple and little heater is lightweight and very easy to install.
You can simply connect it easily with a power source like a car battery or power bank. And you are done! It will keep you warm for a long time.
However, the sturdy external case of this heater prevents heat loss. As an electric battery heater, it won’t emit any harmful gas like carbon monoxide. It also doesn’t start the fire and burns your tent. Moreover, it begins to warm your tent almost instantly. Saves money and time.
If your tent is large, sometimes it’s hard to reach heat in those places. Yet, 12v Battery Heater operates heat on those places easily. Installing the heater is quite easy and you just have to plug the heater with the power source and turn it on.
There are versatile brands of 12v Battery Heater in the market. Some of those also come with a portable power source. So, you can recharge it before heading outdoors. Moreover, besides the heater, you can also recharge your phones with those power sources. So, you should choose those 12v Battery Heater with the power source.
Some of the campers often face difficulties in sleeping because of excessive heat when the heater is still on. If you are getting in a similar situation, simply turn off your heater when you are heading to bed. You should warm up your tent at least 1 hour before you are going to bed.
Can I use a 12v Battery Heater inside the Tent?
If you are expecting a direct answer, I will say, yes, it’s a good choice for using inside a tent. A 12-volt heater works fast. Like the random heaters, it won’t make you wait for long to get the heaty air.
The 12V heater affects the coil very faster and you will get instant heat. Besides, the heat spreads to every corner of your tent instantly. However, you won’t be able to plug in other gadgets such as mobile or music pot while getting the heat.
In that case, using a more powerful alternative such as a power station will be more beneficial. It will allow you to plug in the 12-volt battery-powered heater along with 1-2 smartphones. Sounds kinda amazing, right? Well, it is. And if you think about the healing period, I am sure you will be satisfied. It works for quite a long time and for your short camping time, it will be more than sufficient.
The Drawback of 12V Battery Heater
Until now you have learned about the positive effects and beneficial facts of using a 12V battery heater inside the tent. But for some particular reasons some people don’t like the idea of using a 12V battery heater inside a tent. And I think you have to be aware of that before you are heading towards the shop to buy one.
The most common problem is the weight of this product. Basically, a 12V battery heater is quite heavyweight and so, you can’t call it a completely portable gadget. You must have to face some problems while transporting it. On top of that, they are more popular for use in cars not in tents.
The second issue is the plug slipping problem. It seems silly but it actually matters. Being so heavyweight even at a little bumping the plug slips out from its position. So, you have to plugin again. Continually having this problem is annoying.
12v Battery Heater Alternatives
You are already aware of the drawbacks of 12V battery heaters. Some of us don’t take them as serious issues especially when they have cars to reach the campsite. They can simply carry it from the car deck to the tent and then it won’t be burdensome.
But some are already thinking of alternatives. It’s because carrying the heavy product for long, especially when it is Mountain, I am sure, will make you lose All your energy. No worries, in this segment, I am going to discuss an effective alternative to a 12V battery heater.
The most favorable alternative to the 12v Battery Heater is a high-power storage battery bank. You can equip the 12V battery with over 40000 mAh battery power that is quite sufficient for supporting any low wattage heater.
If you want a specific suggestion then I would love to recommend the Serene Life Portable generator having a capacity of 42000 mAh.
Want more alternatives? Well, I have some ideas for you. In the next section, you will get to know about the most affordable and available alternatives to the battery-powered tent heater. At the same time, I will share some hacks that will keep you warm, and then you may not need a heater as well.
Best Battery Powered Heater Alternatives
Battery-powered heaters for camping are great for camps and they make your camp stay a bit more comfortable. If you don’t like the battery-powered ones, there could be any reasons for your preference, you can go for alternatives. Some of them are very common and you will find them easily in the marketplace, for example; propane heater, electric heater, etc.
A propane gas-based heater is a very popular heater used by countless camping enthusiasts. It is a very useful method to warm the interior of a tent. It might be compact and worry-free but it has some potential risks. Propane gas can produce carbon monoxide in an enclosed area and a tent is also such a place.
Carbon monoxide can lead to potential poisoning and that is life-threatening. You must ensure that the propane heater you are using is safe to use in a tent and have proper ventilation facilities for the heater. Most of these propane heaters come with built-in safety facilities which defect the oxygen level and hold its operations accordingly.
The electric heater is another way to keep the tent heated in cold weather. This can be a good alternative to battery-powered heaters if you don’t like them. They can be a bit costly and cost you electric bills. There are some limitations too if you compare with battery-powered heaters available in the market.
As you can camp in the far wild in the cold with an electric heater as you will require an electric line to use it. If you are camping near home or near proper electric supply then surely, this is the best solution. You can take your household room heater and use that in the tent. But try to carry the compact ones for better mobility.
Battery Powered Heater Alternative Hacks
The following hacks are like a lifesaver when it is cold outside and you are just inside your tent. So, check out before going on the next winter camping trip especially if you don’t have a battery-powered tent heater.
Hot Water Bottle
One of the handy and natural ways to warm yourself up in the camp is using a hot water bottle. They can offer instant ease after a freezing hike in the wild. These water bottles are lifesaving. You can get very well-featured water bottles in the market of different sizes. They can easily keep the water warm for a long time.
Many of my friends keep one of them in their backpacks. You can also make your DIY water bottle too, but they won’t keep the water warm for a long time. If you are near a campfire and require immediate heating then you should use a bottle and pour hot water in that. This way you can keep the heat up to an hour so.
A more portable option is here you can probably find them in a snow shop. Just put them into your gloves and socks and get the result in a few minutes.
Undoubtedly, they are cheaper and easier to carry with you. But a little issue, it won’t be able to heat up in a few seconds like a 12V battery-powered heater. It generally takes 10-12 minutes to heat your hand and foot.
Thermals are mandatory if you go camping in the winter. They work perfectly when it comes to preserving heat inside the tent or in the sleeping bags. Some tents and sleeping bags come with built-in thermal solutions but if you have all-season supported tools, they might not work as well. So, it is always better to pack some thermal fabric or other solutions while camping in cold weather.
Thermals are designed to hold the body temperature within the enclosed area. You can take extreme weather clothes with you as they are made with thermal fabric but they are not on the affordable side. Some people might not like thermals as they might feel a bit uneasy. They sleep on their full sleeve dresses along with a heavy-duty sleeping bag.
I suggest you warp up the thermal fabric over the tent and an additional one from the inside this will offer sustainable heat inside the tent. This might work for you or not but some of my friends have positive experiences. You are free to experiment with thermals as long as you like.
Sleeping bags are by far the best natural solution for getting yourself warm in cold weather. In camps, you don’t need any extra heaters if you have some heavy-duty sleeping bags and a thermal insulation-based tent. High-quality sleeping bags are made to give you warmth.
This way of heating is natural but you will have you pay some more to get high-quality sleeping bags. You will find some sleeping bags that are made for extreme cold and they are also backpacking friendly. Some of them take limited space yet hold the body temperature flawlessly. These lightweight yet operational sleeping bags tend to be costly.
We suggest you buy high-quality ones as they last for a long time and offer convenience. You surely don’t want to carry heavy baggage that comes cheap on your camping ventures. If you have a pickup or truck then you can go for affordable ones which are on the heavy side.
No doubt that a battery-powered tent heater is quite a better option for camping in the extreme cold temperature. If you have a vehicle to reach the campsite, I must suggest carrying a 12v battery-powered tent heater. It works for a long time and often you will get long-term warmth even after turning it off.
However, you can also use different alternatives. If the temperature is not on the negative side of the scale and it’s not ice everywhere, you can just grab the alternative hacks anyway. So, here I bid my goodbye for today. Wishing you all the best for your next winter camping tour. Thank you again for your time.
Pavel is a true outdoor enthusiast with a passion for nature and a love of the great outdoors. He started Outdoor Fun Mag to introduce people from all walks of life to everything the outdoors has to offer and hopes that you’ll find something that excites you every time you stop by.
When not exploring nature Pavel works as an Electronics Engineer — a job that gets him thinking and makes sure he pays attention to all those fine details. This means that when he leaves work for the week, there’s no better contrast than the calmness and serenity of the natural world. By giving Pavel the chance to switch off and relax, his time spent camping hiking allows him to feel refreshed and relaxed unlike anything else. His dream is for you to be able to share the same sensations and experiences so that you can live a healthier and happier life.
In the future, Pavel plans to explore new areas and corners of the world with nothing more than a backpack and a tent. It’s an authentic way of seeing new places that allows him to de-stress and enjoy life, and his dream is for you to make the most of it too.