The best portable tent heaters for winter camping

by | Nov 14, 2023 | Winter camping

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If you’re someone who enjoys winter camping, it can go a long way to bring a portable gas-powered heater.

These heaters typically run on propane or natural gas and come in different designs, including radiant heaters and convection heaters.

Radiant heaters emit heat in a specific direction, heating objects and people directly in their path, while convection heaters warm the air in a space, creating a more even distribution of heat.

Most portable gas-powered heaters on the market are radiant heaters.

Portable gas-powered heaters often have safety features such as automatic shut-off mechanisms, tip-over switches, and oxygen depletion sensors to ensure safe operation.

In many cases, it’s safe to use them inside a tent as long as it’s well-ventilated, you don’t leave it unattended, and you never leave it on while sleeping.

It’s important to follow the manufacturer’s instructions and safety guidelines when using these heaters to prevent accidents and ensure proper ventilation in enclosed spaces.

Here are a few of the best you can get.

Mr. Heater Little Buddy 3800-BTU propane heater

Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B Little Buddy 3800-BTU Indoor Safe Propane Heater

The Mr. Heater Little Buddy is a top choice among cold weather campers and is ideal for those harsh winter camping conditions due to its efficient heating capability and safety features.

It can easily heat up your tent, providing a cozy and comfortable environment.

Specifically designed for portability, this heater is perfect for those on-the-move adventures, as it easily fits in small spaces and packs away without hassle.

It also comes with a low-oxygen shut-off pilot system and an accidental tip-over shut-off feature, making it safe to use inside your tent.


  • Efficient heating for up to 95 square feet, perfect for small tents
  • Low-oxygen shut-off pilot system ensures indoor safety
  • Accidental tip-over shut-off for added protection

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Mr. Heater Buddy propane heater

Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy

This portable propane heater is a step up from the Little Buddy model, providing 4,000-9,000 BTUs of heat output, making it effective in tents up to 200 square feet.

It connects directly to a 1 lb. propane cylinder, offering easy portability and quick set-up.

You can safely use it inside your tent, thanks to the Oxygen Depletion Sensor (ODS) and accidental tip-over safety shut-off features.


  • 4,000-9,000 BTU Liquid Propane heater for powerful and adjustable heating
  • Oxygen Depletion Sensor (ODS) for safety while using indoors
  • Accidental tip-over safety shut-off system for added security
  • Fold-down handle and compact size for easy portability
  • Swivel regulator allows you to adapt usage from a disposable cylinder to a remote gas supply

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Mr. Heater Big Buddy propane heater

Mr. Heater Big Buddy Pro Series

The third and final model in the Mr. Heater series is the Big Buddy, which offers up to 18,000 BTUs of heat.

With the ability to heat spaces up to 450 square feet, this heater is ideal for even the largest tents.

Its safety features, such as the automatic shut-off in case of accidental tip-overs, pilot light failure, or low oxygen detection, provide peace of mind when using it in an enclosed space like a tent.


  • 4,000 to 18,000 BTU radiant heater for spaces up to 450 square feet
  • Auto shut-off features for tip-overs, pilot light failure, and low oxygen levels
  • Adjustable heat levels and compatibility with propane tanks or remote gas supply

Check the Amazon price

Hotdevil tent heater

Hotdevil Tent Heater

In cold weather, this heater is ideal for camping and staying warm in harsh winter conditions.

It’s not only powerful with a heating capacity of up to 6200 BTU but it’s also designed to be compact and lightweight, making it perfect for outdoor activities.

The adjustable temperature feature allows you to easily control the heat output according to your needs, which could make a significant difference in your overall comfort levels.

While it’s safe to use outdoors, be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe use inside a tent.


  • Efficient heating capacity of up to 6200 BTU
  • Portable and lightweight for convenient transportation
  • Adjustable temperature to customize warmth levels
  • Safety protection features for peace of mind during use
  • Durable construction for reliable performance in all weather conditions

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GASPOWOR multi-use portable propane heater/cooker


This heater and cooker in one is specifically designed to keep you warm, with up to 18,000 BTUs of heating power that can efficiently warm a 400 square feet area.

Its energy-efficient and fast-heating features make it ideal for camping trips, providing essential warmth in no time.

Plus, it’s safe to use inside a tent, thanks to the automatic safety shut-off valve and exterior face guard which prevent accidents and eliminate the risk of fire.


  • Versatile use as both a heater and cooker for outdoor activities
  • Safety features including automatic shut-off valve and exterior face guard
  • Powerful heating capacity with 18,000 BTUs and up to 10 hours runtime on low setting

Check Amazon price

Flame King portable propane gas outdoor heater

Flame King Portable Propane Gas Outdoor Heater

This heater is perfect for keeping you warm on those cold winter camping trips.

Its flameless heat is not only efficient but safe to use inside your tent.

This portable propane heater offers flameless heat, ensuring safety inside your tent and efficiency in keeping you warm.

Additionally, its adjustable stand lets you direct the heat at any desired angle, making it perfect to target specific areas for added warmth.


  • Flameless heat for safety and efficiency
  • Directional heat diffusion with an adjustable stand
  • Long-lasting with up to 7 hours of warmth on a single 1-lb propane cylinder (sold separately)

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DOMINOX 2 in 1 camping outdoor propane heater and stove

DOMINOX 2 in 1 Camping Outdoor Propane Heater & Stove

This portable propane heater is perfect for cold weather camping because it quickly warms up your surroundings with its 360° radiant heating.

It’s designed to ensure your safety when used inside a tent as long as proper ventilation is maintained.

In addition to heating, its dual-purpose functionality proves useful when you need to cook meals, making it an all-inclusive solution for outdoor adventures.


  • 2-in-1 feature: heater and stove combined for versatile use
  • Rapid heating with up to 9000 BTU output
  • Compatibility with various fuel canisters for adjustable flame control

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Campy Gear Little Guy 2 in 1 portable propane heater and stove

Campy Gear Little Guy

This versatile heater not only provides warmth in a short amount of time, but its 360° radiant heating ensures that you’re comfortably warm from every angle.

Its dual functionality as both a heater and stove means you don’t have to worry about lugging around multiple appliances for your next winter camping trip.

In addition to providing efficient heating, this 2-in-1 appliance also offers adaptability, as it’s compatible with a variety of fuel canisters.

The collapsible pot stands can support pots ranging from 3.9 inches to 12 inches, allowing you to cook whatever meals you may require on the go.


  • 2 in 1 Portable Heater & Stove for heating and cooking during outdoor activities
  • Rapid Heating & 360° Radiant Heating, providing warmth in seconds
  • High Adaptability, compatible with various fuel canisters and supports different pot sizes

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Campy Gear Chubby 2 in 1 portable propane heater and stove

Campy Gear Heater & Stove

If you were impressed by the Campy Gear Little Guy, then you’ll love its Chubby older brother!

The Chubby’s dual function serves both cooking and heating needs when you are enjoying outdoor life.

You’ll especially appreciate the rapid heating capabilities up to 10,000 BTU and 360° radiant heat to warm you in seconds.

The high adaptability feature ensures that the heater and stove are compatible with various fuel canisters such as 110g and 230g butane, isobutane, and propane.

Additionally, this heater has adjustable flame control for versatile cooking purposes and collapsible pot stands that can support a wide range of pot sizes.


  • 2-in-1 heater and stove for cooking and heating
  • Rapid heating with up to 10,000 BTU and 360° radiant heat
  • High adaptability with compatibility to various fuel canisters

Check Amazon price

Stansport portable outdoor propane radiant heater

Stansport Portable Outdoor Propane Radiant Heater

This user-friendly propane heater’s 3,100 BTU output ensures that you get the right amount of heat to keep you comfortable, and its compact size with a convenient carry handle makes it easy to bring along on your outdoor adventures.

Additionally, its radiant heating mechanism ensures even heat distribution, making it safe for use inside a tent.


  • 3,100 BTU output for effective heating
  • Convenient carry handle for easy portability
  • Suitable for camping, fishing, and sporting events

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How to choose the right heater for your tent

When choosing the best portable propane tent heater for winter camping, it’s extremely important to consider its ability to provide ample warmth in cold weather and harsh winter conditions.

Look for heaters with adequate BTUs (British Thermal Units) to ensure they can effectively heat the space in your tent.

Safety is also crucial, as you’ll want a heater that’s specifically designed for indoor use and poses no danger if used inside a tent.

Here are some features you’ll want to pay attention to:

Adjustable heat settings: A heater with adjustable heat settings allows you to customize the amount of warmth depending on the temperature outside and your personal comfort level.

Safety features: Look for heaters with built-in safety features, such as tip-over protection and an oxygen depletion sensor.

These features help prevent accidents and ensure the heater turns off if it detects low oxygen levels.

Portability: A lightweight and compact heater with a handle or easy-carry design is ideal for winter camping, as it’s easy to transport and doesn’t take up too much space in your gear.

Fuel efficiency: A heater with a high fuel efficiency will help you save on propane costs and reduce the frequency of refueling during your camping trip.

Easy ignition: Go for a heater with an easy ignition system, such as a push-button igniter or a piezo ignition, making it simple to start even in cold and windy conditions.

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Elise & Ross

We’re Elise and Ross, avid backcountry campers and outdoor adventurers! We started Gone Camping Again as a way to share our knowledge and experience about wilderness living and travel. Our hope is that we inspire you to get outside and enjoy all that nature has to offer!

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