Camping with a propane heater can add a lot of comfort to your trip especially if you like camping year round, or at high elevations. A camping heater can heat you up while you’re at the picnic table, or warm your tent on a cold morning.
During my research of heating devices I’ve discovered there are many different propane heater models to choose from. Before buying a heater you’ll want to consider where you will be primarily using it. If you want a powerful heater to warm you up at the picnic table then there are models ideally suited for that. However, if you want an indoor heater you can use in your tent you’ll have to sacrifice some heat output.
One of the biggest concerns when using a heater in a tent is your safety. You’ll want to make sure you carefully choose a model which will protect you from starting a fire. Many conventional heaters are not approved for indoor use and can be quite dangerous. Always check with the manufacturer to ensure your heater is safe for indoor use. Sadly most tent heaters need to be operating for about 10-15 minutes to raise the temperature inside your tent a few degrees.
Below I’ve narrowed it down to the propane heaters that have gotten positive reviews and great customer feedback.
Tent Propane Heaters
One of the most popular indoor rated models is the Coleman Catalytic Heater called the ProCat model number 5053A751. Designed and tested for indoor use this heater provides 3,000 BTU output. It provides a steady heat source even when the fuel is running low, and at high altitudes.
One thing that catches many people off guard with this propane heater is the fact that it starts up with a piezoelectric sparker. This sparker ignites the propane with a flash that may resemble a small fireball. For this reason you’ll want to start the heater away from people, pets, or obstructions of any kind. This device also features a small fan powered by two D batteries to increase heat circulation. Read more about the Coleman Procat Heater here…
The Coleman BlackCat Heater is a little less expensive than the previous Coleman unit because it doesn’t have a built in fan. However, it does offer a 3,000 BTU output and can run up to 7 hours on a single propane canister.
It also features the matchless InstaStart ignition for easy lighting and comes with low and high temperature settings. The unit’s PerfecTemp Catalytic technology provides flameless heat that is safer and more efficient to use. This model works well for use in the tent, at sport events, in the garage or as an emergency backup in case of a power outage.
Read more about the Coleman Blackcat Heater here…
The Coleman Sportcat Heater is a nice little unit for personal use, or for small tents. It features 1500 BTU’s of heating power and is able to provide up to 14 hours of heat from a single propane cylinder. It has some features which make it attractive such as Instastart technology for matchless ignition.
To use it you just flip the switch to start it up. In addition it is a Catalytic model that burn clean without an open flame making it safer to use. Another great thing about this device is its portability. It weighs only 3.4 pounds making it light enough to take where you need it. The units detachable base provides stability so you can position the heater how you like and it comes with a built-in carrying handle to make it easy to transport. Read more about the Coleman Sportcat Heater here…
One of the more powerful indoor type heaters is the Mr. Heater Propane Little Buddy. With 4000 to 9000 BTU’s of heat output it really works well to warm up areas that are around 200 square feet in size. The Mr. Heater Little Buddy has some really nice features like an automatic shut-off in case the unit tips over along with a kill switch, and a turn off function if the pilot light goes out.
The Mr. Heater Portable Little Buddy measures 9 by 14.2 by 14.4 inches and weighs 9.5 pounds making it portable enough to use for car camping. It has a nice swiveling regulator that allows you to better position your propane tanks while in use. One thing that’s recommended with this model is to buy an additional adapter to accommodate the large 20 pound propane tank. This way you can get longer lasting use without needing to frequently change the cylinders. Read more about the Mr. Heater Propane Little Buddy here…
Outdoor Propane Heaters
With an outdoor propane heater you can really crank up the BTU’s to warm you up by the grill or picnic table.
One of the most popular models is the Texsport Double Propane Heater. It offers up to 20,000 BTU’s of total heating power. (10,000 per burner) you can connect it to a bulk propane tank and it comes with an auto-shut off valve if the flame dies out.
The ceramic burners provide increased, even heat distribution. You will need to light this type of heater with one of those long fireplace type lighters to get it going. After that you’ll be able to direct the two heating burners separately to direct heat where you need it the most.
Read more about the Texsport Double Propane Heater here…
Another popular model is the Stansport Table Top Propane Heater. It offers a powerful 11,000 BTU’s of heat and an electronic ignition providing you with matchless startup.
The heater has a hookup to accept gas a disposable 16.4 oz cylinder or bulk propane tank. The tabletop design means you can position the unit on a table, campsite rock, or tailgate. There’s an adjustable heat control to help you achieve just the right level of heat.
Click this link to read more about the Stansport Table Top Propane Heater…