Before you make your final decision, take your time to learn the main features of tent heaters. My guide will help you to make a mindful decision.
This section aims to highlight all the main issues that arise before buying a tent heater. Scroll down and learn the basics.
Know Your Heaters
Let’s have a look at different types of heaters so that you can choose the best tent heater based on your preferences.
This kind of heater can be fueled by propane, kerosene, or butane. The most popular is the butane heaters. They are preferred because of a number of advantages, such as ease of use, portability, and a fairly long running time. Most of them are equipped with built-in protection for the user, which automatically turns off the heater in the event of a fall or dangerously low oxygen level. A good example would be the Texsport Portable Outdoor Propane Heater.
At the same time, it is worth remembering that gas heaters must be turned off during sleep, and you have to provide ventilation while running the device. Flammable materials are also best kept away from the heat source.
These heaters can warm up the air relatively quickly. They help get rid of condensation and moisture and are also considered the safest. There are two subtypes: convection and radiant heaters. Convection warmers heat the air in parallel with the circulation process, and radiant heaters are equipped with a metal heating element, which is paired with a reflector.
The ceramic (also convective) type is devoid of open heating elements and flames, which excludes the ignition of random objects caught on it. To get a better idea, check out the Honeywell HHF360V 360-Degree Fan Forced Surround Heater.
The case of the electric heater also remains cold, and the shutdown system in case of overheating or overturn provides additional protection. However, this type of heater cannot boast an outstanding ability to heat large rooms. Also, you are dependent on the availability of electricity.
These heaters are better known as emergency heat sources than as permanent tools in your daily life. The basis of their work is a chemical exothermic reaction that you start with your actions. There are reusable and disposable chemical heaters. The duration of the disposable heaters is only one to two hours, which is not so much. Both types are non-toxic but can irritate people with sensitive skin. You can apply a reusable subtype up to 500 times, while their run time is up to 15 hours. The disadvantages of this type can be considered the relatively high cost and small volumes of heated air.
You can use portable stoves heaters on long-term stays or permanent recreation centers. They are fueled by wood and can also be used not only to make the air warm but also for cooking. Nevertheless, it is worth evaluating how much combustible material you will need to bring to the parking lot.
Pro Tip: Safety First
Keep in mind the basic safety principles for carefree outdoor recreation.
- Always turn off the heater while you sleep
- Use heat-resistant mat when installing the heater
- Keep an eye on the kids
- Ventilate the rooms, on time, so that oxygen and carbon dioxide levels are kept within comfortable limits
- Keep flammable objects at the required distance
- Remember to relieve pressure, for this first disconnect the device from the tank.
- Keep the heater dry
- Make sure that nothing blocks the airflow to the heater
- Children and pets must keep their distance
- If the unit has been idle for some time, blow it in the non-heating mode to remove accumulated dust
- It’s better not to use extension cords and connect the device directly to a power source.
- For people with sensitive skin, it is advisable to test for allergic reactions before the main use
- Do not use damaged heating packs
- Do not try to heat the pack with an additional stove or microwave.
- Provides maximum ventilation for the wood-burning stove
- Use this type of heater only inside non-combustible tents due to possible sparks.
- Make sure the fire is out before you go to sleep.
All heaters follow more or less the same installation principles, even the safest ones. Plus, you can take my safety tips to get a better idea. Be sure to position the heater away from materials easily ignite. It will not be superfluous to lay a non-combustible fabric under the heater. The stability of the installation will also reduce the risk during use.
Other tips to know
Pay attention to items that also affect your comfort and safety.
Moisture, created by running gas heater
- To avoid condensation getting on the tent floor, use a stand with sides
- To drain the condensate, run an additional electric warmer for a short period
- Do not forget to ventilate the room
- Turn off the heater for the night
The main tip
Also Significant Criteria
Heater type (fuel type). Butane heaters are less suitable for winter than for the relatively warm season because butane passes from liquid to gas at a higher temperature. Although propane burns a little faster. Firewood requires additional space for storage and transportation. Propane heaters are considered the most reliable.
Size of a tent. Estimate how much air you need to bring the tent to a comfortable temperature. Depending on this parameter, the disadvantages of heaters can turn into advantages, and vice versa.
How Safe Is The Tent Warmer for Your Tent
Given the above properties, tips, and cautions, there are three main areas.
Some camping items can be made from flammable materials. The most common cause of the fire is the improper position of the heater (too close to things), problems in wiring, and direct contact of materials with an open flame or heating element.
There is no limit for your heater to burn oxygen. Also, do not discount fumes. You can suffer from a lack of respiratory air, as well as from intoxication with combustion products.
Once again, despite the relative cheapness and ease of use of propane or other fuel, it is essential to keep in mind the presence of the open flames.
Weight Of A Tent Heater And Its Portability
Some heaters are quite small in size and can easily fit not only in a vehicle but also in your backpack. Such heaters will not create difficulties during transportation. On the other hand, for large groups of campers and large tents, relatively spacious heaters are also useful due to their heating ability.
Heat Output – Watts / BTU
The amount of warmth generated by heaters (unlike for a sleeping bag or tent with isothermal properties) is measured in thermal units. Most heaters allow you to adjust this feature. Typically, from 1000 to 5000 BTU is enough to heat the tent, while more powerful units can be used for spacious tents and cooking. So, a tent with dimensions of about 1x11x8 feet requires approximately 1200 BTU per hour or 340 watts.
Most heaters operate in almost silent mode or create a small amount of noise from burning fuel or running fans. However, if you are sensitive to sounds during sleep, pay attention to this criterion, since the use of earplugs in nature is not recommended.
As with any other equipment, this factor can be decisive. Be sure to pay attention to this point in the description so that your heater adequately transfers all the charges associated with outdoor activity.
It’s no secret that price plays a role in the selection. Fortunately, the investment in the best tent heater will more than pay off, and the prices can be viewed in advance and correlated with your budget. For example, you can easily find an electric heater for a small space, which will cost you no more than $20. Slightly larger tents for two or more people will cost you about 50 to 70 dollars.
Spacious tents for a large number of people usually require more powerful heaters. In this regard, the price is rising. The middle line runs along with the sum of $150, but you can also find options worth up to $250 or so. Sometimes there are exceptions to this pattern. It is possible to purchase a powerful enough unit for only $50 to heat almost a marquee tent.
How much BTU is enough?
In this aspect, you need to rely on two variables: the size of your tent and the wall thickness of it. Take measurements from your tent and calculate the volume of the air. Also, consider the possibility of the harshest weather conditions. For example, heating 100 cubic feet of space requires between 800 and 1200 BTUs. If the walls of your tent are thin or have poor insulation, increase this figure.
How to calculate the gas consumption of my heater?
It is not necessary to take as much fuel with you as possible. Most often, 1lb of propane is enough to keep you warm up to 5 hours, while 20lbs tanks could last for days. The higher the BTU of your heater, the faster the gas is consumed.
Why one should not use chemical tent heaters in emergency cases?
The chemical packs were designed for emergency use. Their ability to generate heat is less than that of gas or electric heaters. The use of chemical warmers on an ongoing basis is not intended for this purpose.
Portable heaters are necessary and functional tools for camping in the cold season. It is not obvious how to choose a heater suitable for you, but it is quite possible. I hope my guide will help you to make a wise decision. Focus on the desired type of energy source (gas fuel, electricity, wood, or a chemical reaction), the size of your tent, possible threats, and ease of transportation. These critical criteria will help you make a reliable friend for any outdoor activity. Stay warm!