Many avid campers love beating the heat and venturing into the great outdoors during winter. While Australian winter camping trips can be pleasant, evenings can be a little nippy, especially if you don’t have camping heaters to take the chill out of the air. 

Nothing beats the crackle of a campfire, but not all campsites allow fires, nor does everyone feel like searching for wood for a short-term or late-night camping trip. Therefore, you might instead consider a camping heater in your open-sided awning, gazebo, or out in the open.

While you can be warmed as well as you would with a campfire, heaters for camping allow you to avoid smelly clothes, stinging eyes, and the risk of a campfire getting out of control. However, if you’re having a hard time choosing the best portable heaters for camping, take note of this information below.

Considerations for Purchasing the Best Camping Heaters

There are so many different camping heaters on the market that it can be hard to make a purchasing choice. You might know you want something powerful when campfires are not an option, but you might also want something lightweight, easy to use, and safe.

Before you hit that ‘buy now’ button, take a moment to factor the following points into the decision-making process.

Safety

Even before looking at price tags and design features, safety is the most crucial consideration when you’re searching for the best camping heater on the market. You want to be toasty and warm on an outdoor adventure, but you also want to be safe.

First and foremost, always shop for camping heaters with safety features like anti-tilt shut-off, oxygen depletion sensors, and protective front guards. However, even with these safety features, it’s important to note that most heaters for tent camping and outdoor use are not suitable for indoor use (yes, even in a tent). 

Fortunately, we’ve found one option (the first one below) that can be used inside your tent safely. If that one doesn’t suit your needs or is out of your price range, you can always stay warm in your enclosed tent with extra clothing and blankets, a hot water bottle, a warm drink, and a quality sleeping bag.

Heat Source

It’s always worth considering the heat source before purchasing heaters for tent camping. The majority of options on the market are butane or propane, but you can also buy a 12v heater for camping or even chemical ones.

12-volt heaters don’t typically produce as much heat as gas models, but they can run on mains power or car batteries. In contrast, gas camping heaters run on propane or butane and generally have a higher heat output. 

Heat Output

Not all heaters camping enthusiasts use are designed for all camping situations. As a result, it can be worth paying attention to the heat output before making your purchasing choice. Often, this is referred to in BTU, which is British Thermal Units. The higher the BTU, the more heat output in a wider area you can enjoy.

Size and Weight

The size and weight of portable heaters for camping can reflect their heat output. You might only need a small heater for overnight hiking trips, or you need something more powerful for family camping trips.

Always read the dimensions and weight information of camping heaters and think about how far you will need to travel while carrying one before you choose.

Best Camping Heaters for Camping Trips in Australia

After considering safety information, size, weight, heat output, and heat source, you might be now ready to make your purchasing decision. Any of these high-quality heaters for camping below might be worth your attention.

Companion Aeroheat Ducted Rechargeable Tent Heater

Companion’s Aeroheat Ducted Rechargeable Tent Heater is the only solution we’ve found to heat your tent safely. 

Keeping the unit itself outside of the space and ducting the heat in through a pipe seems like the most obvious option to overcome the dangers of heating a tent, so we’re not sure why the market isn’t packed with options like this one. The Companion Aeroheat Ducted Rechargeable Tent Heater can be recharged from flat in 5 hours and should heat your tent for about 4 hours. Alternatively, it can just be plugged into AC or DC power (AC adaptor sold separately) so you can run it all through the coldest part of your camping day.

Dimensions: 44.2 x 16.3 x 38cm
Weight: 8.5kg
Max. Temperature Output: 60˚C (+/- 2˚C)
Fuel Type: Propane/ULPG
Fuel Consumption: 2.2 Mj/h – 43.7 g/h
Warranty: 3 years

Best camping heater

The Radiant Gas Heater from Companion is leagues ahead of its competition for fast, easy heat at your favourite campsite. This small outdoor-only heater packs a punch with a 5,500 BTU heat output, and it’s easy to attach to a 3/8-inch LH BSP gas cylinder.

You’re also bound to be impressed with the high-quality stainless steel, aluminium, and chrome-plated steel construction, the one-year warranty, and the safety features for peace of mind.

Dimensions: 20.6 x 12 x 28.5cm
Weight: 0.52kg
Heat Output: 5,500 BTU
Fuel Type: LPG/Propane
Fuel Consumption: 116g/hour
Safety Features: Chrome-plated grill
Warranty: 1 year

Best camping heater

Why go through the hassle of collecting wood for a campfire when you can enjoy push-of-a-button heat from this Companion Portable Propane Heater? This compact, easy-to-use outdoor camping heater features a robust powder-coated surface, a carry handle for easy portability, and two heat settings to suit all campers.

It also has an abundance of safety features, such as an oxygen depletion sensor and tilt switch, and it’s designed to be easily connected to a propane canister. You might also appreciate the up to three hours of runtime, generous 7,300 BTU heat output, and generous one-year warranty to seal the deal.

Dimensions: 45 x 34 x 20cm
Weight: 4.2kg
Heat Output: 7,300 BTU
Fuel Type: LPG/Propane
Fuel Consumption: Up to 153g/hour
Safety Features: Front guard, oxygen depletion sensor, tilt switch
Warranty: 1 year

Best camping heater
With an incredible 10,800 BTU heat output and easy connection to a gas bottle with a 1500mm POL hose and regulator, it’s not hard to consider purchasing this portable heater for camping. It has robust stainless steel legs for stability on your outdoor campsite, and it even comes with a convenient carry handle.

Campers may also enjoy the easy-start Piezo ignition and abundance of safety features like an oxygen depletion sensor, anti-tilt shut-off, and a front guard. When campfires are prohibited, this gas camp heater comes to the rescue.

Dimensions: 41 x 38 x 19cm
Weight: 4.2kg
Heat Output: 10,800 BTU
Fuel Type: LPG/Propane
Fuel Consumption: 227g/hour
Safety Features: Oxygen depletion sensor, anti-tilt shut-off, front guard
Warranty: 1 year

Best camping heater

While camping in winter can sometimes be chilly, you can rely on the Gasmate RV propane heater to take the chill out of the air. This lightweight and compact heater runs on POL propane cylinders or 1-pound disposable propane canisters and can produce incredible heat of 13.5MJ/hour.

It’s fully assembled out of the box, and all you have to do is connect the included 1500mm POL hose and add a D battery. It comes with three heat settings, safety features, and compliance with Australian gas regulations and standards for peace of mind.

Dimensions: 44.5 x 24.5 x 34.5cm
Heat Output: 13.5MJ/h
Fuel Type: Propane
Safety Features: Oxygen depletion sensor, anti-tilt shut-off

Gasmate Butane Heater

When you’re after a small camping heater to take on your next outdoor adventure, check out this model from Gasmate. While these are not camping heaters for tents, they are well-designed outdoor heaters with abundant safety features that can have you saying goodbye to dirty and time-consuming campfires.

These camping heaters boast a 6,800 BTU heat output, run on convenient Gasmate bayonet cartridges, and are certified to Australian and New Zealand standards. They’re also lightweight, easy to set up, and fully portable with a carry handle.

Dimensions: 31 x 28 x 18cm
Weight: 2.1kg
Heat Output: 6,800 BTU
Fuel Type: Gas cartridges
Fuel Consumption: 7MJ/hour
Safety Features: Oxygen depletion system, tip-over switch, flame failure safety system, pressure-sensing safety shut-off system

12V Mini Fan Heater

Instead of searching for camping heaters for tents, you might be on the hunt for something to assist with windscreen defrosting instead. In that case, set your sights on this 12-volt mini fan heater from Camec.

This compact, 500-gram camping heater is designed to plug into your vehicle’s accessory socket and defrost windscreens that ice up after a cold night outside. They come with automatic temperature control, an adjustable swivel stand, and a 1.5-metre circuit-protected cord. Mount it anywhere with adhesive tape or screws, and let it work its magic.

Dimensions: 7 x 20 x 29cm
Weight: 500g
Fuel Type: 12-volt power
Fuel Consumption: Power – 150 watts

Mr Heater Portable Buddy Heater

When you finally arrive at your campsite tired and weary after a long drive, the last thing you probably feel like doing is searching for wood in the dark to light a fire. Thanks to this Mr Heater Portable Buddy Heater, you don’t have to.

All you have to do is connect a 450g disposable propane cylinder or 9kg gas bottle to this heater and enjoy up to 9,000 BTU heat emanating from it in the great outdoors. This heater is designed for outdoor use and has several safety features like a flame failure safety device, automatic shut-off tip-over, and an oxygen depletion system.

It’s also easy to carry, courtesy of its fold-down handle, and has a runtime of 2.4 hours to warm even the coldest campers.

Dimensions: 34.5 x 18.5 x 37cm
Weight: 3.6kg
Heat Output: 9,000 BTU
Fuel Type: Propane/Gas
Safety Features: Automatic shut-off tip-over, oxygen depletion system, flame failure safety device

Mr Heater Little Buddy Heater

If you’re looking for a quiet, clean, and odour-free form of heating, you might see the value in this Little Buddy Heater from Mr Heater. This small heater with metal, plastic and ceramic materials is designed to work with 465g disposable propane canisters and produces 3,800 BTU heat output.

It has safety features for peace of mind, conservative dimensions to fit into hiking packs, and it’s easy to light with the Piezo ignition. This portable heater for camping is bound to tick all the right boxes.

Dimensions: 43.2 x 25.4 x 21cm
Weight: 2.26kg
Heat Output: 3,800 BTU
Fuel Type: Propane
Safety Features: Oxygen depletion sensor, accidental tip-over safety shut-off, flame failure safety device

Ozpig Big Pig Cooker & Heater

Why travel to go camping when you can enjoy a camping-like experience in your own backyard? This Ozpig Big Pig Cooker & Heater can offer this very experience. It’s a powder-coated steel pig cooker that you can use to heat your yard or use with the stovetop to cook a delicious meal. You can even cook directly on the fire.

When you purchase this cooker and heater, you’ll be pleased that it comes packed with accessories for the ultimate user experience, including a steel body, stove plate, fire grates, chimney sections, warming plates, cooking port plates, a lifting tool, and screw-in legs.

All that’s left to do now is add your wood or heat beads and cook up a storm while keeping warm simultaneously.

Dimensions: 73 x 49 x 135cm
Weight: 41kg
Fuel Type: Wood, heat beads
Warranty: 1 year

Ozpig Cooker Heater Series 2

There’s no need to eat tinned food on your next outdoor adventure when you could be cooking gourmet food on your Ozpig Cooker Heater Series 2. This exquisite piece of kit is a camper’s best friend, with options to both heat your body and cook your food simultaneously.

It comes with a carry bag for easy portability, a mesh floor fire grate, two BBQ plates, an upgraded mesh door, and much more. Use wood and heat beads to bring your fire to life, then cook any manner of delicious food items like scones, snags, or a primo bit of steak. The options are endless with this powder-coated steel heater and cooker in one.

Dimensions: 40 x 30 x 134cm
Weight: 17kg
Fuel Type: Wood, heat beads
Warranty: 1 year

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Got yourself a great camping heaters? Which model did you buy? If you have any stories, updates or corrections, please let us know by commenting below.

If you’re looking for ideas on where to take your next family camping trip, check out our Travel Inspiration section. Need hikes to do on your camping trip? Try The Trail Finder.