Best Electric Tent Heater (Fall & Winter 2022)

An electric tent heater could be a great alternative to a propane heater if you have the right amount of electricity available for use. It’s one of the many great ways to heat a tent and stay warm on all your fall and winter camping adventures. We’ve assembled a list of various sizes, wattages, and types of electric heaters so you can pick the best one for your situation.

6 Best Electric Space Heaters for Camping

These are our picks for the best electric space heaters:

Product

Wattage

Price

Dreo Portable Space Heater

1500W

$$

Editor’s Choice

GiveBest 1500w Electric Space Heater

1500W

$$

G-Ocean 34″ Tower Heater

1500W

$$$

Trustech 1500W Infrared Space Heater

1500W

$$$

Brightown 400W Mini Ceramic Space Heater

400W

$

propane vs. electric heaters for camping

Lasko Compact 200W

200W

$

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Editor’s Choice – Dreo Portable Space Heater

This portable indoor space heater is one of the highest rated on Amazon, with a whopping 7,000+ reviews and a 4.5 star rating. It’s the second smallest heater on this list, but it’s mighty with 1500 watts, a 70° oscillation, 3 different heat settings, a fan only mode, and an adjustable digital thermostat so you can set your ideal temperature. It’s also equipped with safety sensors for overheating (will automatically shut off if it reaches 122°F), accidental tip-over (an alarm will sound), 12 hour timer, and it’s cold to the touch despite the warm heating element inside. Plus, there’s a detachable filter that’s easy to clean and it’s made of flame-retardant materials.

Specifications

  • Watts: 1000-1500W
  • BTUs: 5118 BTU per hr/ft/degreeF
  • Dimensions: 5.51″D x 6.69″W x 10.31″H
  • Heating Method: ceramic with fan
  • Recommended square footage: 200 sq. ft.

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • Well thought out features

Cons

  • Doesn’t shut off for tip-over

Amazon’s Favorite – GiveBest 1500w Electric Space Heater

This GiveBest electric space heater is a close second behind our Editor’s Choice and happens to be Amazon’s Choice. Just like the Dreo above, this heater has multiple heat levels, a cool air fan, and safety features for overheating and tip-over. It is also made of flame-retardant materials, and has a thermostat where you can set you comfort temperature for the product to maintain. The main difference is that this unit does not oscillate, has a manual thermostat instead of digital, and it only has 2 heat settings instead of 3. Instead, it does have an auto-off for tip over, where the Dreo only has an alarm for tip-over.

Specifications

  • Watts: 750-1500W
  • Dimensions: 7.9″D x 6.2″W x 10.2″H
  • Heating Method: ceramic with forced air
  • Recommended Square Footage: 200 sq. ft.

Pros

  • Auto-off for overheating and accidental tip-over

Cons

  • Doesn’t oscillate
  • 2 heat levels instead of 3

For Large Tents – G-Ocean 34″ Tower Heater

This taller, oscillating heater from G-Ocean is built for bigger spaces, and it’s 34″ tall to accommodate the extra square footage. It has a 70° oscillating setting, 2 heat modes, a fan only setting, 12 hour timer, and an intelligent adjustable thermostat to maintain a stable temperature in your space. For safety, this heater is equipped with an auto shut-off for overheating and tip-over.

Specifications

  • Watts: 1500W
  • Dimensions: 12.4″W x 34.5″H
  • Heating Method: ceramic with forced air
  • Square Footage: 200-320 sq. ft.

Pros

  • Good for larger spaces
  • Comes with a remote

Cons

  • Newer product with limited customer reviews

Outdoor or Indoor – Trustech 1500W Infrared Space Heater

This Trustech Infrared Space Heater is the only infrared heater on our list, and it’s built for use indoors or outdoors. It heats using carbon fiber gold-coated tubes to deliver fast and efficient (saves 40-60% electricity) heating. The remote control is included, so you can control the heater from anywhere in the room, and it provides instant heat within 3 seconds. While it doesn’t have an auto shut-off for accidental tip-over, it was engineered with a larger base to help prevent any tipping. It does have an auto-off for overheating and a 24 hour timer.

Specifications

  • Watts: 500/1000/1500W
  • Dimensions: 7.34″D x 13.38″W x 35.92″H
  • Heating Method: radiant

Pros

  • Uses radiant heat
  • Most efficient heater on this list

Cons

  • Most expensive heater on this list

Most Affordable – Brightown 400W Mini Ceramic Space Heater

This Brightown mini heater is perfect for small spaces around 100 square feet, and offers simple usability and portability. At only 400 watts, it uses less power than the other heaters above while still being able to heat a tent or small room. It does include the safety mechanisms for overheat protection and tip-over switch for an automatic shut off if it detects any errors. Plus, it’s the most affordable product on our list!

Specifications

  • Watts: 400W
  • Dimensions: 6.3″D x 3.15″W x 6.3″H
  • Heating Method: ceramic
  • Square Footage: 100 sq. ft.

Pros

  • Most affordable heater on this list

Cons

  • No multiple heat settings

Best Miniature – Lasko Compact 200W

propane vs. electric heaters for camping

This miniature 200w heater is what we recommended for use in combination with a portable power station and solar panel to create either a solar powered heater or battery powered heater. This is because of it’s exceptionally low wattage compared to the other heaters on this list, so it’s able to run for longer on a battery unit. Plus, it’s quite affordable while putting out a decent amount of BTUs. While it’s great for being simple and efficient, it does lack major safety features like the above heaters and should be used with caution and constant monitoring.

Specifications

  • Watts: 200W
  • BTUs: 628 BTU
  • Dimensions: 4″D x 4″W x 6.1″H
  • Heating Method: ceramic with fan
  • Recommended square footage: 50 sq. ft.

Pros

  • Great for super small spaces
  • Simple and effective

Cons

  • Does not have auto-off for overheating or tip-over

Thing to Consider When Choosing a Product

Ceramic vs. Infrared

Both ceramic and infrared heaters are efficient methods of heating commonly seen in household products. While ceramic is cheaper and more common, infrared is more expensive and tends to be less common. There’s pros and cons to each so it really comes down to price point and the type of heater you want.

Ceramic heaters typically run on fans paired with a ceramic heating element. This means you could need to regularly clean a filter or fan to prevent the build up of dust and debris inside the unit. It also means there will be slightly more noise since there will be the sound of the mechanical fan running. Ceramic heaters typically are instantly cool after being turned off and maintain a cooler heating element.

Infrared heaters have a mostly silent operation since they don’t require fans for spreading the heat. This could also mean lower maintenance, since you don’t have to worry about cleaning the moving parts. Perhaps one of the main benefits of infrared heaters is that they are much more energy efficient and use significantly less power than a similar ceramic heater.

Both types offer almost instant heat (typically within 3 seconds), and can direct the heat in one direction or use an oscillating motion to heat a larger space more efficiently. Both types of heaters covered in this article are easily portable with a handle, and take up very little space.

Size of Interior Space

The above heaters vary greatly in the size and wattage, and therefore are intended to heat different size spaces. Because tents are inherently small, most of the above heaters would work well and some might even be too large. You should take into consideration the size of your tent or camper, and choose an appropriately sized heater for the situation which you intend on using it the most.

Electricity Availability

When talking about an electric tent heater, you obviously need to consider the electricity needs in order to properly run the unit. Most of the heaters on this list require about 1500 watts, while some of the smaller ones can run on 200-400 watts. If you have a battery or portable power station, one of the smaller ones would be best suited for that situation. If you have an electric hookup, you would need to look at what voltage it offers, compare that to what you will have hooked up to it, and see approximately what is leftover for use.

Conclusion

When picking the best electric tent heater for your situation, make sure you’re taking into consideration the available safety mechanisms, the size of the space you’re looking to heat, electric availability, and if you would prefer infrared or ceramic heating. From there you can pick out what size heater and wattage you would need, which would narrow down your search results even more. Or if you’ve decided to explore other ideas besides electric heaters, you could consider looking at propane tent heaters or other ways to stay warm in a tent.

FAQ

About the Author

Derek Vitiello

My goal with my writing and Know Nothing Nomads as a whole is to share my passions of hiking, camping, and a love of the outdoors with our readers. Making the difficult and uncertain feel more approachable to people that might not know enough to feel comfortable taking their first steps into the wilderness is a driving factor for me. When I’m not writing you can find me on a trail, in a forest, or next to a river with hiking shoes on my feet and a fly rod somewhere close by.

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