After 16 hours of research evaluating 24 products, we picked Mr. Heater Buddy Portable Propane Radiant Heater (F232000 MH9BX) as our top choice.
Planning a camping trip outside peak season? Looking for a portable propane heater to keep you warm at your campsite?
We’ve found the best of the best tent heaters on the market so you can make the safest choice for the coolest nights.
Each tent heater on this list is rated for tent and inside use. They also have the stringent safety features you need in a portable propane heater.
But, there are a few safety tips to consider:
Finally, protect yourself by checking and starting your tent heater when it arrives – not when you depend on it; you want to enjoy nights under the stars and mornings with hot coffee in the fresh air. Testing your purchase ensures you hit the return and warranty windows, not your head against a tree.
Dual safety sensor (ODS + tip-over), lightweight and good for smaller tents, and works well for 6-7 hours.
Heating level can’t be adjusted, and it takes a little time to start.
If you’re looking for a super-efficient tent heater, you want to look elsewhere. However, this is one of those few tent heaters that can be used in a small tent, up to 100 square feet.
It’s a 3800 BTU unit which is relatively small.
A 1-pound disposable propane tank should last around 6 hours and, you should note, there aren’t swivel adjustments to changeover to full-size tanks. You might be able to rig one yourself, but this will negate the warranty.
This has both ODS (low-oxygen switch-off) and tip-over sensors which switch off the tent heater. You do need to properly vent the tent to operate this tent heater – as you need to do with any tent heater.
The tip-over switch-off sensor is exceptionally effective; however, the single stand (despite the wide base) isn’t as stable as other units you might find.
It’s definitely a quiet tent heater and it runs odor-free for as long as 6 hours.
Despite the Piezo igniter, you do need to press for as long as 30 seconds which doesn’t make it easy to start.
Some users find the 45-degree angle pushes air straight up, rather than out. For smaller tents, this usually doesn’t present an issue.
Also, you should keep in mind that this tent heater doesn’t have adjustable heat levels; it outputs what it outputs.
This tent heater is a little larger than some users expect at 11 x 11 x 11”, but it does weigh a mere 5 pounds and stores away easily.
Works for 12 hours on a single tank, features a 360°heating radius, and provides both heat and light.
A few users experience ignition issues, and it’s big, so it’s not easy to move around.
This is way more efficient than most campers need. You could probably heat a 600 square feet with this puppy. Yep, its 23,800 BTUs...beastly.
Users report reading 0 on their CO meters time after time. If you’re using this heater inside a tent, that’s exactly what you want.
There’s also a very sensitive tip-over sensor which will switch off this tent heat if you so much as nudge it. We kind of like it, but it means you definitely need to make sure the base is placed on a flat surface.
Because this can handle way more space than most tents need – and it radiates heat in all directions – you might be able to run this outside in place of a campfire (depending, of course, on wind conditions). It’s a bonus, then, that it also provides some light.
This tent heater is very easy to set up and gets to work just as quickly. It lights quickly and easily and can burn for 8 to 10 hours on a single tank of fuel without any odors.
Now, some people do report igniter issues, so be sure to check yours when you get it – not when you plan to use it.
This tent heater is big, very big at 17.5 x 17.5 x 26.75”. It also weighs 27.6 pounds, which means you won’t want to carry it to and from your campsite for a single night; this is for longer trips.
Lightweight and portable, covers up to 375 square feet, and inexpensive.
This heater doesn’t have the same safety features as others. Also, perhaps not the highest quality materials.
You can heat up to 375 square feet with this 10,000 - 15,000 BTU tent heater.
It heats that space very quickly, which is a good thing because you’ll get between 2 and 3 hours of heat off the 1 pound propane bottles.
This doesn’t have the safety switch-off sensors that other Mr. Heaters have, but users report zero carbon monoxide emissions and that’s a plus.
This super cool little unit is a beast of a heater and it can be used as a camp cooker too. If you’re a serious hiker looking to keep your pack as light as possible, this is the way to go.
It lights easily and gets hot quickly. This tent heater is also quiet, which you might not expect from this no-frills design.
Although you won’t get much run time from each little propane bottle, it will make your space hot as anything very quickly and you may never need to switch it up to high. Plus, you can hook it up to a 20-pound tank if you need to run it longer.
This super-lightweight unit weighs just 1.12 ounces and measures 10.8 x 11.2 x 12” with the wire frame. And, because the frame can be removed, you’ll be able to tuck it in your pack.
Works at high altitudes, 99.98% efficient, and features a safety shut-off valve to prevent accidental non-ignitions fuel discharge.
Gets a bit of a slower start than others, an pricier than some.
Although this isn’t rated to heat the biggest space (a max of 130 square feet), this 3000 BTU tent heater is super efficient. Fuel consumption is roughly 1/8 pounds per hour and there’s almost zero fuel waste.
This particular tent heater doesn’t have as many safety shut-off features as some of its competitors, but it does have a 100% efficient automatic shut off valve which prevents fuel discharge and non-ignitions.
On the plus side, many users who also install carbon monoxide monitors report readings of zero CO output while running this tent heater. For many, especially RVers who aren’t worried about the unit tipping over, that’s all that’s needed.
This tent heater is super efficient and works with low-pressure HD-5 propane.
Although it’s slow to get started, once it gets going, it’s really effective. Many people don’t feel the need to switch it up to high heat. And, it works remarkably well at high altitudes (up to 12,000 feet) and in super cold temperatures.
It’s very important to note that this is designed to stand on feet which you’ll need to purchase separately. Or you can wall mount it, which won’t do you any good in a tent as a temporary mounting isn’t reliable enough given the safety features on this tent heater.
Wow and wow. This only weighs 1 pound and measures 5 x 12 x 15 inches. That’s remarkably small and light for a tent heater.
Multiple safety sensors, extremely efficient, and can adjust to use with 20-pound propane tanks.
It’s too powerful for smaller tents and may not work above 7000 feet above sea level.
This tent heater works best in medium to large tents between 200 and 225 square feet.
On a 1-pound propane canister you should expect 3 hours burn time on the high setting (9000 BTU) and 6 hours on the low setting (4000 BTU). If you use a 20-pound tank (with a swivel regulator), you should expect around 100 hours of burn time.
According to Mr. Heater, the fuel consumption at the low level is .044 gallons/hour and .099 gallons/hour on high.
This unit features a low-oxygen safety (ODS) sensor and a tip-over sensor; both will shut off the tent heater instantly.
Users report that even slight shifts will switch off the heater.
It’s important, however, to ensure that your tent has proper ventilation when using this – or any – tent heater.
Most users have awesome experiences using this tent heater. The Piezo ignition makes it super quick and easy to light
Once lit, it’s quiet and efficient and heats the space quickly, even on the low setting thanks to the large heating surface.
The wire guard is great, though you should still exercise caution if you’ve got dogs in the tent, though the sensors are definitely effective.
The fold-in handle makes it easy to carry and store away.
This tent heater is fairly compact at 7.7 x 13.4 x 15 inches which means you won’t have too difficult a time finding space for it in your tent (remember, it’s too strong for really small tents). And, at 9 pounds, which is more than reasonable for a heater of this caliber, it’s not that difficult to maneuver. But, of course, it’s not something you can carry in a backpack.