7 Best Tent Heaters for Winter Camping

Winter camping can be an adventurous way to enjoy the outdoors and have nature all to yourself. Unlike the busy summer camping season, you’ll likely have your pick of campsites and few, if any, neighbors. But how do you stay warm in the cold and snow? With a 4-season tent, warm sleeping bag, strategic layering—and a tent heater. We’ve researched some of the best tent heaters for winter camping and will help you choose the right one for you.

First, if you’re new to winter camping, there are some special considerations when you’re planning a cold-weather camping trip. Read about the gear you’ll need in our post on winter camping essentials. Then check out our winter camping hacks and tips. These ideas will make a winter camping trip warmer and consequently, more fun.

Of course one of the best ways to stay warm is by using a tent heater on extra frosty nights.

In a hurry? Our picks for the best camping tent heaters are the Honeywell 360 Degree Surround Heater for electric heaters, and the Mr. Heater Hunting Buddy for gas heaters.

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Honeywell 360 Degree Surround Heater with Fan Forced Technology – Space Heater with Surround Heat Output and Two Heat Settings – Energy Efficient Portable Heater
  • 360 DEGREE ALL AROUND WARMTH – Use the Honeywell 360 Degree Surround Heater in small to mid-sized rooms for additional comfort. This space heater features an adjustable thermostat as well as 2 heat settings and all-around heat output so you’re always cozy.
  • SAFETY MATTERS: This small heater offers multiple safety options including a 360-degree tip over switch, 2x overheat protection, an auto-off timer option and an easy grab, cool touch carry handle.
  • INCREASE YOUR COMFORT – Always be comfortable, no matter what season it is. This personal heater has fan forced technology and provides 360-degree, all around warmth. As a small space heater, it’s perfect for a bedroom, office and more.
  • SMART SAVINGS: A portable heater is an easy way to add warmth to any space. By turning down your whole house thermostat a few degrees and heating the room you are in, a space heater for indoor use can help you save money while providing soothing warmth.
  • HONEYWELL QUALITY: Help improve heating and energy savings in your home, bedroom or office using a Honeywell portable heater. Honeywell offers whole room heaters, tower heaters and oscillating heaters.
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Mr. Heater MH12B Hunting Buddy Portable Space Heater
  • Swivel regulator and single control
  • Automatic low oxygen shut-off system (ODS)
  • Accidental tip-over safety shut-off
  • Runs off a 1lb. cylinder, connects to a 20lb.cylinder with optional hose and filter (Propane not included)

Choosing a Tent Heater

Here are some things to consider before purchasing a tent heater:

Weigh the pros and cons of electric and gas-powered heaters.

There are two main types of tent heaters, electric and gas. Electric heaters are safer because they don’t produce carbon monoxide, but they also require access to an electrical hook-up and a long extension cord.

On the other hand, gas-powered heaters are more convenient because they don’t require a separate power source but they’re also a bigger safety hazard. They produce carbon monoxide and deplete oxygen within a space. (That’s why you should always choose a gas-powered heater that has a built-in carbon monoxide detector and oxygen depletion sensor.) The heaters on our list use propane but there are gas-powered heaters on the market that use butane.

In general, gas-powered heaters are better for staying warm outdoors (for instance, if you’re hanging out at the campsite). If you do want to use a gas-powered heater to warm up your tent, use it only before you head inside to sleep, keep your tent well-ventilated while it’s running, and always use a heater that has the necessary safety features.

Determine the size of your space.

For safety reasons, it’s better to use a tent heater in larger tents but if your tent is too large, the heater might not be effective. Make sure the heater you choose is sufficient for the amount of space you want to heat.

Keep safety in mind.

Any heater—electric or gas—has the potential to start a fire. No matter which heater you choose, be sure to set it up in a place where it won’t tip over or lean against fabric or other materials. It’s also a good idea to use the heater to warm up your tent before bed and then shut it off before you go to sleep.

The best tent heaters come with safety features like carbon monoxide detectors and oxygen depletion sensors. There are also heaters that are designed to shut off if they’re tipped over. (When sleeping inside a flammable structure, you can never be too safe.)

using a tent heater while camping in the mountains in winter

Best Tent Heaters for Winter Camping

Electric Heaters

This rugged electric heater from Stanley is a good choice if you have a campsite with an electrical hook-up. Like any heater, make sure to keep it away from flammable material including the sides of your tent. This heater has two heat settings plus an adjustable thermostat so you can find your ideal temperature. For extra peace of mind, it has a built-in tip switch if the heater is knocked over.

Honeywell 360 Degree Surround Heater

Unlike most portable heaters, this streamlined option from Honeywell is designed to provide heat in all directions. It has two heat settings and an adjustable thermostat. If the unit gets too hot, it has an an automatic shut-off safety feature. Even better, it has an automatic timer feature in case you forget to turn it off.

Sale
Honeywell 360 Degree Surround Heater with Fan Forced Technology – Space Heater with Surround Heat Output and Two Heat Settings – Energy Efficient Portable Heater
  • 360 DEGREE ALL AROUND WARMTH – Use the Honeywell 360 Degree Surround Heater in small to mid-sized rooms for additional comfort. This space heater features an adjustable thermostat as well as 2 heat settings and all-around heat output so you’re always cozy.
  • SAFETY MATTERS: This small heater offers multiple safety options including a 360-degree tip over switch, 2x overheat protection, an auto-off timer option and an easy grab, cool touch carry handle.
  • INCREASE YOUR COMFORT – Always be comfortable, no matter what season it is. This personal heater has fan forced technology and provides 360-degree, all around warmth. As a small space heater, it’s perfect for a bedroom, office and more.
  • SMART SAVINGS: A portable heater is an easy way to add warmth to any space. By turning down your whole house thermostat a few degrees and heating the room you are in, a space heater for indoor use can help you save money while providing soothing warmth.
  • HONEYWELL QUALITY: Help improve heating and energy savings in your home, bedroom or office using a Honeywell portable heater. Honeywell offers whole room heaters, tower heaters and oscillating heaters.
Pro Breeze Space Heater

Pro Breeze’s ceramic heater is lightweight, portable, and easy to use. It has two heat settings, an adjustable thermostat, and can also be used as a fan (with no heat). Its safety features ensure that it won’t overheat or continue to run if it’s accidentally tipped over. And if you’re a light sleeper, this heater is designed to be quiet while it’s running.

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Pro Breeze Space Heater – 1500W Electric Heater with 3 Operating Modes and Adjustable Thermostat - Room Heater for Bedroom, Home, Office and Under Desk - White
  • Ceramic Space Heater: This electric heater is engineered with advanced ceramic heating elements which provide faster and more energy efficient heating than a traditional electric space heater. Small and powerful this is the perfect room heater for bedroom, office and under desk use.
  • Powerful Heating: This small space heater features 750W (Low) and 1500W (High) power modes as well as a gentle fan only mode. Reduce your energy bills by using this energy efficient space heater to heat individual rooms rather than expensively heating your entire home.
  • Adjustable Thermostat: This portable heater with thermostat features an easy to use and fully adjustable thermostat control which monitors the surrounding air temperature for optimal heating efficiency.
  • Advanced Safety Features: Built in overheat protection and an enhanced anti-tip over switch ensures the mini heater instantly switches off in any unsafe situation, giving you complete peace of mind.
  • Ultra Portable: The lightweight and compact design allows this space heater for bedroom to be transported to wherever you needed it most, making it the perfect space heater for office and for use in homes, garages, dorms, and offices. DIMENSIONS: 6.5” x 5” x 9” 750W (Low) 1500W (High). 120V, 60Hz.
Lasko My Heat Personal Heater

This mini heater is the smallest on our list and is designed for personal use (not to heat entire rooms), but it’s worth considering if you have a small tent. It’s easy to pack, has an exterior that stays cool to the touch, and has safety features that prevent it from overheating. It’s also fairly inexpensive and is available in four colors. As with all the electric heaters on this list, you’ll need to use an extension cord to connect this heater to your campsite’s electrical hook-up.

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Lasko Heating Space Heater, Compact, White
  • KEEPS YOU WARM AT WORK – At 200-Watts and 682 BTUs, this low wattage mini space heater is ideal for use under the desk to keep your feet and legs warm. Best of all, because it’s low wattage, it won’t keep tripping the office circuit breaker every time you turn it on.
  • YOUR PERSONAL SPACE HEATER – At 6 inches tall with a 4” x 4” footprint, this cute, small electric heater takes up minimal desktop space and is intended to heat up your immediate space at home or the office. Designed to warm you, not a room. For that, we recommend getting a Lasko 1500-Watt tower heater.
  • EASY TO USE – No assembly required. Simply take it out of the box and plug it in to a standard 120v wall outlet. This energy-efficient, indoor ceramic heater draws about 2 amps and turns on with a flip of a switch. Compact and portable, MyHeat comes with a 6-foot cord and a 2-pronged plug. It’s also easily stored when not in use.
  • YEAR ROUND USE – Tired of always being cold at work in the winter? Is your cube right under the AC vent in the summer? If this sounds familiar, then this little heater is just what you need to keep you comfortable year-round. Produces a quiet, white noise that won’t disrupt your co-workers. MyHeat is available in 4 fun colors (black, white, blue, and purple) and makes for a great gift.
  • TRUSTED FOR GENERATIONS – Lasko has been making quality products for over 100 years. MyHeat is ETL Listed and comes with Automatic Overheat Protection. The on/off switch lights up to let you know the unit is on. The self-regulating, safe ceramic heating element keeps the exterior cool to the touch – taking the worry out of using the heater for long periods of time.

Gas Heaters

Mr. Heater Hunting Buddy Portable Space Heater

This small but mighty heater is popular among hunters but it works great for camping too. It runs on a 1-lb propane cylinder which means you can use it at non-electric campsites and when you’re camping off the grid. It also has important safety features like a tip-over safety shut-off and an oxygen sensor, plus a rugged built-in handle that makes it easy to carry.

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Mr. Heater MH12B Hunting Buddy Portable Space Heater
  • Swivel regulator and single control
  • Automatic low oxygen shut-off system (ODS)
  • Accidental tip-over safety shut-off
  • Runs off a 1lb. cylinder, connects to a 20lb.cylinder with optional hose and filter (Propane not included)
Mr. Heater Little Buddy

If you’re looking to heat a smaller space or want a powerful heater at a lower price, consider the Little Buddy heater. This mini heater can heat 95 square feet—much bigger than a tent—and uses a 1-lb propane cylinder. Like other options from Mr. Heater, it also comes with safety features like automatic shut-off and oxygen sensors.

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Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B Little Buddy 3800-BTU Indoor Safe Propane Heater, Medium
  • Indoor-safe portable propane heater for rooms up to 95 square feet. THIS UNIT IS NOT INTENDED FOR GOLF CART USE OR FOR MOTORIZED VEHICLES.
  • Continuous odor-free, 45-degree heating angle. Maximum Elevation (Ft) 7000 Feet. Automatic low oxygen shut-off system (ODS). Perfect solution for heating small enclosed spaces like tents up to 95 square feet
  • Simple on/off buttons; uses 1-pound disposable propane cylinder (not included). Run time at minimum btu and maximum btu is 5.6 hours. Do­ not­ operate­ heater­ in­ any ­moving­ vehicle. This ­heater ­requires ­a­ vent­ area­ of­ 4­ square­ inches­ minimum ­for­ adequate ventilation ­during­ operation
  • Low-oxygen sensor and accidental tip-over switch with auto shut-off for safety.THE USE OF UN-AUTHORIZED ACCESSORIES/ATTACHMENTS WITH THIS HEATER ARE EXPRESSLY PROHIBITED, MAY CAUSE SERIOUS INJURY, AND WILL VOID THE WARRANTY.
  • Recommended for emergency heat, tents, campers, workshops, job sites, porches, patios, decks, garages, storage buildings, picnics, tailgate parties, construction trailers, sporting events, barns, sheds, hunting blinds, shelters and ice fishing shanties

Alternatives to Tent Heaters

If you’d prefer to not use a tent heater but still want some ways to warm up on a winter camping trip, consider adding these items to your packing list:

HotHands Hand Warmers

These hand warmers are a classic for a reason. They keep hands and feet toasty even in the coldest weather. No electricity or batteries required!

HotHands Hand Warmers - Long Lasting Safe Natural Odorless Air Activated Warmers - Up to 10 Hours of Heat - 40 Pair
  • SAFE, NATURAL LONG-LASTING HEAT - Odorless, Disposable, Single-Use Item, Do Not Apply Directly to The Skin. TSA Approved. Made in the USA using domestic and imported materials. No shaking or kneading required
  • TO ACTIVATE - Remove warmer from outer package, shake to activate. Warmer heats up in 15-30 minutes. If heat decreases, expose warmer to air and shake. After use, dispose with regular garbage. Ingredients will not harm the environment.
  • MULTIPURPOSE WARMERS - Single use air-activated heat packs that provide everyday warmth and are ideal for keeping your body warm when the temperature gets cold. They’re available in several styles designed for your hands, feet, and body.
  • WHEN TO USE: Tailgating at Events, Outdoor Sporting Events, Hunting & Fishing, Camping & Hiking, Working in The Yard, Jogging or Taking Your Pet for A Walk. Convenient, Compact, Portable.
Zippo Heatbank

This rechargeable device from Zippo doubles as a hand warmer and a powerbank to charge phones and tablets.

Zippo Black HeatBank 9s Rechargeale Hand Warmer, Black 9-Hour, One Size (40512)
  • Charges USB compatible devices including: mobile phones, MP3 players, tablets, cameras, and more
  • Dual side heat up to 120°F/ 50°c p[eating temperature with (6) heat settings for adjustable and comfortable warmth
  • Battery and heat indicator lights
  • Rechargeable 5200 mAh lithium-ion battery (included) for lasting, reliable warmth up to 9 hours run time on average
  • Reusable, less waste versus disposable warmers
Arcturus Military Wool Blanket

Use this heavy-duty wool blanket to add an extra layer of warmth on top of your sleeping bag.

Arcturus Military Wool Blanket - 4.5 lbs, Warm, Thick, Washable, Large 64" x 88" - Great for Camping, Outdoors, Survival & Emergency Kits (Olive Green)
  • UPDATED FOR 2020: Thanks to input from hundreds of customers, we’ve made dramatic improvements for the new decade to provide more warmth and value. Unlike cheaper blankets, Arcturus wool blankets are triple-washed during production, making them softer, more hygienic, and less susceptible to shedding. Check out recent customer feedback to get the most accurate reviews from your fellow Arcturus fans.
  • PERFECT ANYWHERE: Loom-woven and hemmed on all sides with contrast lock stitching, our blanket looks right at home in the woods or on your couch. Wool is a naturally fire-retardant material. Our blankets are NEVER treated with any additional flame-retardant, making them safe for you and your family.
  • PLENTY OF ROOM FOR ALL - Large size (64" x 88") will keep you and a friend cozy while camping, at a tailgate, sporting event, or an outdoor concert. Also great as an emergency blanket in your vehicle.
  • WARM & DEPENDABLE - Wool is a time-tested natural fabric that will keep you warm, even when wet. The remainder of the blanket is composed of 20% hypoallergenic synthetic fibers for durability and washability. Because wool fibers are relatively short, longer synthetic fibers help secure the weave, minimizing shedding and adding years of life to your blanket.
  • MACHINE WASHABLE - We make it easy to care for your new blanket. Not only are they washable, but they get softer and softer with each wash. Scroll down for detailed care instructions.