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Best Tent Heaters for your cold tents in 2022

Last updated January 14, 2022| Camping

You will find this article the most informative and useful for tent heaters on the internet. We have made it easy to find the way to various types of heaters that can be small, large, gas, electric, etc. we have provided the information on safety and the best type of heater for you.

Is It Safe to Use a Heater in a Tent?

So, the answer to the above question is, Yes, it is safe to use a heater in a tent as long as you use the proper safety measures. You will have to make sure not to put anything very close to the heater or above the heater, such as clothes or your sleeping bag. Additionally, it is not suggested to sleep with the heater on, just use it to warm up the tent prior to getting into your sleeping bag.

Electric heaters are considered to be the safest to use in a tent but propane heaters that have been permitted for indoor use are safe as well. Carbon monoxide is the biggest fear here. Many propane heaters have been carefully tested to make sure no carbon monoxide is produced, but you should always test the heater to observe if it is permitted for indoor use before using one in a tent.

It is always good to make sure your tent has some space to exposure to air, whether you are using a heater or not it is an important factor to be considered. You should never consider sleeping inside any air-tight space because the carbon dioxide you produce by breathing will build up inside.

Before buying any heater, you should check the safety elements as well. Make sure the heater you buy will shut off if it is tipped over or tilt bent. If you choose to buy a gas heater, it is highly recommended you buy one with a low oxygen sensor.

Electric vs Gas Tent Heaters

There are a variety of pros and cons to both electric and gas tent heaters. In broad discussion, propane powered, gas heaters are often more accessible but, depending on your camping situation, you may prefer to choose an electric heater. This portion is meant to help you make the right decision.

Electric heaters are safer than gas because they do not emit any toxic gases for instance, carbon monoxide and are less likely to set a fire. Though, they are not always practical because you might not have an electrical supply.

If you are not concerned about having an electrical supply, electric heaters are the best option. You may be camping in a campground with an electrical hookup or run your own generator. But for many of us that sleep in a tent, we would have a preference not to rely on electricity. This is where gas heaters are superior.

The large number of gas heaters run on propane which is great because they are usually clean burning and produce little carbon monoxide (often not even detectable with sensors). Propane is widely available in handy 1-pound tanks, but you can also buy connectors to hook these tent heaters up to 20-pound tanks.

Some gas heaters use kerosene, and these are more powerful than propane tent heaters. Though, there is concern about the toxic fumes put out by kerosene heaters, one of which is carbon monoxide. So only use kerosene heaters in well aerated areas.

Some gas heaters use kerosene, and these are more powerful than propane tent heaters. Though, there is concern about the toxic fumes put out by kerosene heaters, one of which is carbon monoxide. So only use kerosene heaters in well aerated areas.

Best Tent Heaters at a Glance

Image Product Features Price
1 Little BUddy Mr. Heater Little Buddy BTU: 3800 Per Hour
Heating Capacity:
95 Sq. Ft.
Power Source:
L X W X H: 11 x 11 x 11 inches

Check Price
2 Texsport Portable Outdoor Heater BTU: 2890 BTU
Heating Capacity:
Power Source:
Gas Powered, Liquified Petroleum Gas
L X W X H: 8.5 x 10 x 5.25 inches
Check Price
3 Martin Portable Gas Catalytic Heater BTU: 3000 BTU’s per hour
Heating Capacity:
Power Source:
Propane Gas
L X W X H: 11 x 11.2 x 15.4 inches

Check Price
4 Mr. Heater Buddy BTU: 3000 to 9000 BTU
Heating Capacity:
225 sq. ft.
Power Source:
Gas Powered
L X W X H: 7.7 x 13.4 x 15 inches

Check Price
5 Camco Olympian Wave BTU: 1600-3000 BTU
Heating Capacity:
130 sq. ft.
Power Source:
Propane Gas Powered
L X W X H: 14.5 x 11.75 x 4.88 Inches

Check Price
6 Mr. Heater Big Buddy BTU: 4,000-9,000 & 18,000
Heating Capacity: up to 450 sq. ft.
Power Source:
Gas Powered
L X W X H: 19 x 12 x 17.75 inches

Check Price
7 Zodi Outback Gear X-40 BTU: 40,000
Heating Capacity:
130 sq. ft.
Power Source:
12 Volt & Propane Tank
L X W X H: 105 x 13 x 20 Inches
Check Price
8 Mr. Heater Tank Topper BTU: 30,000-45,000
Heating Capacity:
230 sq. ft.
Power Source:
Gas Powered
L X W X H: 16.75 x 6.5 x 16 inches

Check Price
9 Tooluxe Butane Heater BTU: 5000 BTU
Heating Capacity:
Power Source:
Butane Gas Powered
L X W X H:11.6 x 10.9 x 7.9 inches
Check Price
10 APG Portable Butane Heater BTU: 46,000 BTU
Heating Capacity:
8-12 sq. meters
Power Source:
Liquefied Petroleum Gas
L X W X H: 6.3 x 6.3 x 5.91 inches
Check Price

The 10 Best Tent Heaters for Cold Weather Camping in 2021

Mr. Heater Little Buddy

Mr. Heater is considered as one of the most reliable brands when it comes to portable heaters and this one does not disappoint at all. The Little Buddy runs on a 16 oz propane tank and can go for straight 5 hours on high heat using just one tank of propane. It can put out 3800 BTUs of heat and is advised for no more than a 95 square foot space. 

It is possible to buy tubes individually to connect the Little Buddy to a larger propane tank which is suitable for a large garage or workshop. The Little Buddy is permitted for indoor use and little to no carbon monoxide discharges noticeable. It also features a low oxygen sensor and a tip sensor as security features.

The downside of the low oxygen sensor is that sometimes it rejects to work at high altitudes so you may consider a different heater if you intend to use it above 7,000 feet.


  • 3,800 BTU per hour
  • For use with propane gas
  • Heats up to 95 sq. ft.
  • One button ignition on function
  • 8in round stand uses little floor space.
  • Accidental tip-over safety shut-off.
  • Automatic low oxygen shut-off system (ODS)
  • Connects directly to one 1 lb. disposable propane cylinder.
  • Quiet, clean, odor-free operation
  • The distinctive RED Mr. Heater Buddy that has delivered comfort and safety for decades.
  • The use of un-authorized accessories/attachments with this heater are expressly prohibited, may cause serious injury, and will void the warranty.

Texsport Portable Outdoor Heater

The Texsport Outdoor Heater is one of the reasonable options if you want a small, portable, and affordable propane tent heater. It weighs only a single pound yet still emits over 2800 BTUs of heat. The Texport portable outdoor heater runs on a standard 16 oz (1 pound) propane tank. The Bunsen burner is made from stainless steel and the dish is aluminum.

The Texsport heater is a simple device and is not flashy or especially fancy looking, which may be why it comes at such an affordable price in the market. It showcases a shutoff valve that cuts the fuel off if the flame goes out, though it does not have a low oxygen sensor or a tip valve. This heater comes with a base that connects to the bottom of the propane tank for added stability, but I would still describe this heater easy to tip over.

For the reason that it is somewhat easy to tip over but doesn’t have a tipping shutoff feature, this heater is not meant to be used inside a tent.


  • Durable stainless-steel burner
  • Individual regulator on/off control knob that adjusts burner up to 2,890 BTU’s.
  • Auto shut off valve shuts off fuel if flame goes out.
  • Large paddle foot plastic base makes for greater and more reliable stability.
  • Uses 14.1-ounce or 16.4-ounce disposable propane fuel cylinder (not included)
  • Aluminum reflector with safety grid
  • Carry handle.
  • Display box
  • Manufacturer warranty: 1-year warranty

Additional Product Features

  • Model14215
  • Recommended Environment is Outdoor
  • Heating Wattage is 847W
  • Heating Technology is Radiant
  • Features includes Handle, Carrying Handle, Heating, Heater, Portable
  • Smart Home Protocol is Radiant
  • Mounting Location is Tank Top, Portable
  • Heater Style is Compact
  • Time Control24 Hours

Martin Portable Gas Catalytic Heater

The Martin Catalytic Heater is a great lightweight option that is very much fuel capable. The catalytic technology is flameless, and it converts more propane into heat than other flame heaters. It says to be over 99.9% efficient while flame heaters are around 50% efficient. Because of this competence, it can run 7 hours on a single 16 oz (1 pound) propane tank unlike other tent heaters.

This heater only weighs 4.5 pounds and puts out 3,000 BTUs. This is not big enough to warm a large area but is great for less significant areas, or for just sitting right in front of it.

This heater has two safety attributes: it will shut off if the flame goes out so gas does not continue to escape from the bottle and it also has a tip-over shutoff switch.


  • Brand Martin
  • MPNCH3
  • GTIN0778047113204
  • UPC0778047113204
  • ModelCH3

Product Key Features

  • Power Source is Propane, Gas
  • Color it offers is Multicolor.


  • Weight 4.45 pounds

Additional Product Features

  • BTU Heating Rating 3000 BTU
  • Type Catalytic Heater
  • Mounting Location is Portable
  • Item Depth11.2 in.
  • Features are Heater, Portable.

Read More: Best Hot Tents for Winter Camping in 2021

Mr. Heater Buddy

This one is said to be the best Propane Heater without any doubt. A step up from the “Little Buddyâ€, Mr. Heater’s Buddy heater is still efficient, light in weight and economical. You really cannot go wrong with a Mr. Heater ever.

The Buddy tent heater has two settings that is low and high. The low puts out 4,000 BTU whereas the high kicks out an impressive 9,000 BTUs. This should be considered enough to warm a space of about 225 square feet and, running on high, it goes through a standard 16 oz (1 pound) propane tank in about less than 3 hours. But if you Run on the low setting, on tank can last up to 6 hours.

It has a built-in lighter and can connect to a full size (5-gallon) propane tank with an adaptor but that is sold separately. As with the Little Buddy model, the Buddy features a tip sensor as well as a low oxygen sensor, which will turn off the stove if either one is skipped. Because of the low oxygen sensor, these heaters often do not work at elevations above 7,000 feet.

The heater weighs a little heavy for its size weighing in at about 10 pounds. But it’s handled on top makes it a light wind for carrying. I think the Buddy model is a great heater but if you are not concerned about gas expenditure and you want a lot more power, check out Mr. Heater’s Big Buddy.

More Information

BTU Per Hour4,000/9,0000
Heating Area (Sq Ft)225
Tank Capacity (Min) 1 lb Propane Cylinder
Run Time (Hrs at Max BTU) 3 Hours
Run Time (Hrs at Min BTU) 6 Hours
Fuel Consumption/Burn Rate (Gal/Hr) at 4,000 BTU = 0.044 Gal/Hr,
at 9,000 BTU = 0.099 Gal/Hr
Maximum Elevation (Ft) 7000 Ft
Weight 10.6
Model MH9BX
Dimensions (LXWXH)14.25 X 9 X 15
Fuel Type Propane
Warranty 1 Year Limited

Disclaimer Not for sale in Massachusetts or Canada.

Camco Olympian Wave

The Olympian Wave heaters run on liquified petroleum that includes propane. These heaters are more intended for RVs but can be used as tent heaters also. These Olympain Waves are presented in three sizes, that depends on the maximum BTU output: 3000, 6000, or 8000 BTUs. The heaters are proposed to heat 100 (small model) to 230 (large model) square foot areas.

The best thing about these heaters is that they are catalytic heaters, which are way more effective than typical gas burning heaters. The downside is that they don’t just have a spot to screw in a propane cannister like most camping heaters. You will need a gas line hook-up which are standard in RVs, but the parts can be purchased to turn any propane gas tank into a gas line.

The heat given off is dazzling heat, so it is best to sit directly in front of the heater to feel the heat. There is a protection shutoff valve, though the company offers no explanation as to what trips the shutoff valve.

This is considered as a decent heater for an RV but probably not a great option as a tent heater because of the size.


  • No flame, flue, or chimney. Self-generating piezo starter.
  • 100% safety shut-off valve. Silent operation—no fan or blower noise.
  • Use inside RV as portable unit or permanently mounted. Can also be used outdoors as portable unit.
  • Heats up to 200 sq. ft. AGA and CGA approved.
  • 3200 to 6000 BTUs. For use in vented areas only.

Mr. Heater Big Buddy

This one is another great product from Mr. Heater, the Big Buddy can put out some serious heat and warm even large tents, up to 400 square feet. Isn’t it amazing? This heater comes with three settings to put out 4,000 to 18,000 BTUs. That is a lot of BTUs contemplating the unit weighs only 12 pounds.

It also comes with the protection features that set Mr. Heater apart a low oxygen sensor and a tip-over safety shutoff. As with other Mr. Heater units, however, the low oxygen sensor means it often has trouble in higher altitudes (above 7,000 feet).


  • 4.4 (125 ratings)
  • current price: $148.88
  • weight: 12 lbs, 18000 BTUs

Other key features 

  • 4,000, 9,000, or 18,000 BTU per hour
  • For use with propane gas
  • Heats up to 450 sq. ft.
  • Single control starts knob.
  • Hi-Med-Low heat settings.
  • Swivel regulators
  • Automatic low oxygen shut-off system (ODS)
  • Accidental tip-over safety shut-off.
  • Connects to two 1 lb. cylinders.
  • Connects to a 20 lb. cylinder with optional hose.
  • The distinctive REDMr. Heater Buddy that has delivered comfort and safety for decades.

Zodi Outback Gear X-40

This one is the best heater that is meant for large tents, putting out a whopping 40,000 BTUs of heat. its design is great and has the heating unit outside the tent as well. It draws air from an input vent, heats it outside the tent, and then pumps the warmed air into the tent via a separate output tube so this feature is not introduced by any other heater for now.

Having the heating outside significantly reduces the risk of carbon monoxide build-up or knocking over. You can also place the input tube inside the tent for increased heating capability or keep it outside the tent to draw fresh air and improve aeration. It does come at a much higher price point than other heaters featured here because this is not just for warming a small family tent.

The Zodi Outback Heater involves a full sized (5-gallon) propane tank to run and a 12-volt power source to run the fan. It comes with a storage space bag that it packs up nicely into.

This tent heater is a great option for very large tents or if you are having an event that needs heating for instance, an outdoor wedding but is overkill for a weekend family camping trip.


  • Safe, clean forced heat in seconds without dangerous fumes.
  • Rugged high-output portable heater with all-metal construction.
  • Sealed stainless steel heat exchanger for extended duty cycles.
  • Sets up in seconds, just connect to 12-volt power & propane tank.
  • Propane regulator connects easily to 5-gallon propane tanks.
  • Durable metal handle for easy transport.
  • Includes inline 12 Volt fan and flexible 4 ft air hoses.
  • Compact size – stores and transports easily in included gear bag.
  • Made in U.S.A.

Mr. Heater Tank Topper

If you are looking for some serious heat to run on a 20-pound tank, the Mr. Heater Tank Topper is a wonderful option. This heater mounts right on top of the tank and puts out 29,000-45,000 BTUs of heat in all directions. There is an easy modification knob to turn up or down the heat as well as a push-button ignition built right in.

This is a popular heater for outdoor constructions projects or while working on your patio. But it also makes a great camping heater if you are able to bring a 20-gallon propane tank with you. This makes it a great option for hunting trips or ice fishing.

Mr. Heater also offers double and triple tank toppers which are worth checking out, but we choose the 360-degree warmth provided by the single Tank Topper. As with all Mr. Heater units, the Tank Topper comes with an oxygen reduction sensor as well as a tip-over safety switch.

Specs at a Glance

  • 360° Burner Head
  • 180° Multi-Directional Bracket
  • 30,000 – 45,000 BTU per hour
  • For use with Liquid Propane
  • Push Button TE Valve
  • Safety Shut-off Tip Over Switch
  • Mounts to a 20 lb. cylinder

Tooluxe Butane Heater

The Tooluxe Butane heater uses a ceramic burner to boost productivity and the end result is warming your tent quite quickly. It fits a butane can inside but make sure you have the right kind – the small butane/propane containers used on camping stoves require an adapter to use with this heater. The unit weighs about 5 pounds and puts out 5,000 BTUs of heat.

Some argue this heater can double as a burner for cooking, although the company does not publicize it as such. It has a pressure sensing safety shut-off feature.

Key features

  • Use standard butane gas cartridge for portability.
  • Ceramic burner
  • Pressure sensing safety shut off device.
  • Gas consumption 100gm/hr.
  • 1 pc external connector for butane with LPG for external gas source
  • MPN60116L
  • GTIN0837013601166
  • UPC0837013601166
  • Model 60116L

  APG Portable Butane Heater

This one is the Best Backpacking Tent Heater. The APG Portable Butane Heater is a super-lightweight option for a tent heater. This little guy weighs in at only 11 ounces (320 grams) and fastens onto a cooking stove that many backpackers carry anyway. The best part is that this tent heater is very inexpensive and puts out plenty of heat. There is also an adapter available to purchase separately so it is possible to fit it onto a propane cylinder.

There are several downsides to this unit, though. Being lightweight and cheap, the unit is easily bent or dinged up, so you have to be careful with it. This is not ideal when taking it backpacking but there are very few other options.

This tent heater does not have any security features either. So, you have to be exceptionally careful not to tip it over, which is easy to do because it is a little top-heavy.

I think the APG Portable Butane Heater is the best backpacking tent heater because it is lightweight and fits a common fuel type used by backpackers, not because it is a particularly great product. All other tent heaters are too large and intense or require a different fuel type. 

If you know of another great tent heater for backpacking, let me know in the comments and I’d be happy to review it here.

Key features

  • Available for heating and cooking functions 
  • Steel body, Thickness:0.6mm
  • quickly heat up.
  • Efficient.
  • Item Size: Dia.27*H33.5cm
  • Heating Capacity: 4000-6000 Btu/Hr
  • Co2 Release: <0.41m³/h
  • Gas Consumption <0.13m³/h
  • Applicable Area:8-12 square meters
  • Ignition Way: Piezoelectric Ignition
  • Gas Type: LPG
  • Nature Gas

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