Best Camping Heaters: What to Look For and Where to Buy

Due to the unpredictability of British weather, most campers only pitch their tents during the summertime. If you can find the right camping heater, you can extend your camping season to all-year-round.

Whether you're camping during the cold chill of winter, or the heavy showers of spring, owning a reliable camping heater can be the difference between a good holiday, and a cold one. We've compiled a comprehensive guide to our favourite camping heaters, as well as what to look out for when buying one.

What is a camping heater?

A camping heater is a portable heater purpose-built to take on a camping trip. Heaters come in a wide array of shapes and sizes. Each one is made with different materials, fuel sources and safety features.

Camping heaters can be powered by a fuel source or can be connected to electric hook-up. You can safely operate most electric heaters in tents during the night if you follow our advice here.

Gas heaters should only be used in well-ventilated areas and not inside tents. Even then, extra precautions are needed to give the heater enough space so naked flames cannot get near the heater, a stable base and the addition of a carbon monoxide alarm for your safety.

Why do I need a camping heater?

There are few things worse than not being able to sleep during your camping trip due to being too cold. Wearing multiple thin layers of clothing can help and allow you to regulate your temperature better. However, with a well-built camping heater, you don't need to limit your holidays to summertime; you can have the freedom to camp confidently all year round.

Camping heaters banner

What to look for when buying a camping heater

With a wide variety of camping heaters available on the market, it can be overwhelming to know which one is the right one for you. We've collated a list of the things to look out for when choosing your new camping heater:

1. Safety

Safety is the most crucial aspect when it comes to choosing your camping heater. Some heaters have safety features such as cool outer housing, turning off automatically if they overheat and a tip-over switch. Sleep in comfort, knowing that your tent is not only warm, but you and your family are safe. Always make sure they are stable, the bigger the base, the better.

2. Size

Take into consideration the size of your camping unit, as well as the amount of space the heater would take up. A small, compact heater will also be easier to pack in the car and transport on your holiday.

3. Adjustable

Depending on how cold the weather is, it might change how warm you'd like your heater. Look out for a heater that has thermostatic control so you can set the temperature you are comfortable with.

4. Dual-purpose

As well as heating the air in the winter, being able to blow around unheated air is very handy in the warmer months too.

5. Heating output

The last thing you want is your heater tripping the hook-up supply, so make sure it's below 2000 Watts and remember the higher the output, the less other items you can use at the same time.

Our favourite camping heaters

Now you know what a camping heater is, why you need one and what to look for, take a look at some of our favourite heaters currently on the market.

1. Duronic Convector Heater

Used in many homes and offices around the globe, the Duronic Convector Heater is also excellent for warming up your camping unit. Due to its large size, this heater is better suited for caravans, motorhomes and larger tents. Use the customisable heat setting to add a touch of warmth in the spring, or a blast of heat in the winter. This heater boasts an impressive safety feature; the heater will automatically turn off it becomes overheated.

View this heater, prices from £29.99

2. Kampa Diddy Portable Heater

Kampa Diddy Heater

Despite its small size, the Kampa Diddy Portable Heater disperses plenty of heat in a short amount of time. Plug this small, compact heater in with its 3-pin plug and camp confidently and warmly throughout autumn and winter.

View this heater, prices from £19.99

3. Outdoor Revolution Eco Compact Electric Heater

Outdoor Revolution heater

Controlled by a modern digital control panel, the Outdoor Revolution Eco Compact Electric Heater is engineered to warm small spaces in a short amount of time. The heater's compact shape and size makes it easy to pack and transport on camping holidays. This heater is the perfect companion in both summer and winter, as it can disperse cool air, as well as warm air using its oscillating fan feature.

View this heater, prices from £39.99

4. Outwell Katla Camping Heater

Outwell Katla Heater

Boasting an adjustable thermostat and two power settings, the Outwell Katla Camping Heater will keep you warm during the typically unpredictable Great British weather. During summer, the heater has a cold setting, meaning it can be used as a fan. The remote control gives you simple control for easy operation.

View this heater, prices from £40.99

5. Quest Bahama Dual Purpose Oscillating Fan Heater

Quest Heater

Displaying an effective oscillating motion, the Quest Bahama Fan Heater is an excellent and resourceful addition to your camping trip. This heater will automatically shut off if the fan gets too hot, or if the fan falls over.

View this heater, prices from £19.99

Alternative camping heaters

While investing in a reliable electric camping heater is an excellent way of staying warm on your camping trip, there are alternative ways to keep the cold out:

1. Hot water bottles

These cheap and simple bottles can make all the difference in getting a good night's sleep. Add a flask to keep some water warm to transfer if you get cold, and all of a sudden you have a personal heater.

2. Rechargeable Heat Pod

Similar to a hot water bottle, the rechargeable heat pod is a safer and more convenient way of keeping warm for longer. Charging in just 5 minutes, this pod doesn't require hot water and consequently removes the risk of leaks and scalding.

View this product, prices from £19.99

3. Electric blanket

Use to warm up chairs or a bed, when its bed-time either remove to warm another bed or switch off and unplug - you'll be surprised how hot you get.

View this product, prices from £25.99

4. Patio heater

Patio heaters can be safely hung up, ensuring an able air gap between the heater and the tent material and will help warm a large tent quickly; it also gives off a pleasant light.

View this product, prices from £118.00

If you are looking for more advice on camping gear, take a look at our comprehensive guide to camping stoves.