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.
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.
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.
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
Now that you know what you’re looking for regarding safety, size, weight, heat output, and heat source, you’re ready to take a look at the products on offer right now on the Australian market.
If you’re ready to make a purchase, hopefully this guide is making that decision easier for you.
Companion’s Aeroheat Ducted Rechargeable Tent Heater is the only solution we’ve found to heat your tent safely.
When it comes to safe and efficient tent heating, the Companion Aeroheat Ducted Rechargeable Tent Heater has made a significant impression on me. Its innovative design situates the heater outside the tent, delivering comforting warmth within via a duct.
Dimensions: 44.2 x 16.3 x 38cm
Max. Temperature Output: 60˚C (+/- 2˚C)
Fuel Type: Propane/ULPG
Fuel Consumption: 2.2 Mj/h – 43.7 g/h
Warranty: 3 years
In a market that often overlooks the hazards of heating a tent, the Companion Aeroheat stands out for its thoughtful design.
- Safe Heating Solution: Placing the heater outside the tent eliminates potential fire risks inside, a feature I found invaluable.
- Rechargeable: The 5-hour charge time is practical and gives about 4 hours of heat.
- Continuous Power Option: The option to power it via AC or DC ensures consistent warmth.
- Weight: Weighing 8.5 kg, it’s a bit hefty, which posed a challenge for backpacking trips.
- Separate AC Adapter: Be aware that the AC adapter is sold separately, adding to the total cost.
Its innovative external placement and ducted heat delivery are truly unique, distinguishing it from other options. If safety and uninterrupted warmth are high on your list while camping, this heater is well worth your consideration.
In the realm of quick and easy campsite heating solutions, the Companion Radiant Gas Heater outshines its competition. Despite its compact size, this outdoor-only heater boasts a robust 5,500 BTU heat output. It attaches conveniently to a 3/8-inch LH BSP gas cylinder.
Dimensions: 20.6 x 12 x 28.5 cm
Weight: 0.52 kg
Heat Output: 5,500 BTU
Fuel Type: LPG/Propane
Fuel Consumption: 116g/hour
Safety Features: Chrome-plated grill
Warranty: 1 year
From the moment I saw this heater, I was struck by its high-quality construction, featuring a blend of stainless steel, aluminium, and chrome-plated steel. The one-year warranty adds an extra layer of reassurance. Not to mention the safety features, including the chrome-plated grill, that give me peace of mind.
- Compact and Powerful: Despite its small size, it offers a substantial heat output of 5,500 BTU.
- Quality Construction: The stainless steel, aluminium, and chrome-plated steel build ensures durability.
- Safety Features: I appreciated the chrome-plated grill for added safety.
- Outdoor Use Only: As it’s designed only for outdoor use, it’s not suitable for heating enclosed spaces.
- Fuel Consumption: The consumption rate of 116g/hour could be a bit high for extended use.
Though the Companion Radiant Gas Heater is for outdoor use only and might consume fuel somewhat rapidly, its compact design and powerful heat output make it a notable option. The superior construction and safety features also impressed me. If you’re looking for a robust, safe, and reliable heating solution for camping trips, I’d recommend considering this heater.
Why invest energy in gathering wood for a campfire when you have the Companion Portable Propane Heater at your disposal? This compact, user-friendly outdoor camping heater is a game-changer. With a robust powder-coated finish and a handy carry handle, it’s the epitome of portable heat solutions.
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 to seal the deal.
Dimensions: 45 x 34 x 20cm
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
What truly sets this heater apart for me is the two heat settings that accommodate all types of campers. The added safety features such as an oxygen depletion sensor and a tilt switch give me an extra sense of security. Connecting it to a propane canister is a breeze. And let’s not forget about the considerable heat output of 7,300 BTU and a runtime of up to three hours.
- Compact and Convenient: The small size and carry handle make it easy to transport.
- Multiple Heat Settings: Two heat settings cater to various temperature preferences.
- Safety Features: An oxygen depletion sensor and a tilt switch enhance safety.
- Fuel Consumption: The consumption rate of up to 153g/hour could be high for long camping trips.
- Runtime: With up to three hours of runtime, you may need to replenish the fuel for extended use.
Despite its few limitations, I’m particularly impressed with the Companion Portable Propane Heater’s overall performance, convenience, and safety features. For those seeking a hassle-free heating solution for camping trips, this heater should be high on your consideration list.
Sometimes, the search isn’t for a conventional camping heater, but a reliable solution for windscreen defrosting. In that regard, the Camec 12-Volt Mini Fan Heater has proved to be a valuable companion during chilly weather.
Dimensions: 7 x 20 x 29cm
Fuel Type: 12-volt power
Fuel Consumption: Power – 150 watts
This compact, 500-gram heater is designed to plug into your vehicle’s accessory socket, making it an excellent tool for defrosting windscreens after a frosty night outdoors. As a frequent road-tripper, this heater has saved me time on many cold mornings.
- Compact and Lightweight: Its small size and light weight make it highly portable.
- Automatic Temperature Control: This feature simplifies use, requiring no manual heat adjustments.
- Flexible Mounting: The ability to mount it anywhere using adhesive tape or screws provides versatility.
- Limited Use: It’s primarily designed for defrosting and not suitable as a camping heater.
- Power Consumption: Consumes 150 watts, which could be a concern if power supply is limited.
Despite its limitations, the Camec 12-Volt Mini Fan Heater’s utility as a windscreen defroster cannot be underestimated. Its compact design, automatic temperature control, and flexible mounting options make it a valuable tool, especially for frequent road travellers like me.
Arriving at a location after a long journey, the last thing you want to do is rummage around for firewood in the dark. With the Mr Heater Portable Buddy Heater, there’s no need for such hassle.
Dimensions: 34.5 x 18.5 x 37 cm
Weight: 3.6 kg
Heat Output: 9,000 BTU
Fuel Type: Propane/Gas
Safety Features: Automatic shut-off tip-over, oxygen depletion system, flame failure safety device
In my experience, after countless late-night arrivals at various destinations, all it takes is connecting a 450g disposable propane cylinder or a 9kg gas bottle to this heater. The result? Up to 9,000 BTU heat, providing much-needed warmth after a long day.
This heater is designed specifically for outdoor use and comes packed with safety features like a flame failure safety device, automatic shut-off tip-over, and an oxygen depletion system. The fold-down handle makes it easy to carry around, and the 2.4 hours of runtime sufficiently warms up even the coldest environments.
- Ease of Use: No need to search for firewood, just connect a gas bottle and start heating.
- Safety Features: Comes equipped with an automatic shut-off tip-over, oxygen depletion system, and flame failure safety device.
- Portability: The fold-down handle makes it easy to carry.
- Limited Runtime: A 2.4-hour runtime might necessitate refueling for extended use.
- Fuel Type: Only runs on propane or gas, which may not be readily available in all locations.
Despite these minor setbacks, the Mr Heater Portable Buddy Heater has consistently proved to be a reliable companion during late-night travels. Its portability, safety features, and ease of use make it a valuable asset for anyone needing a quick, easy source of heat in outdoor settings.
In pursuit of a heating solution that’s silent, neat, and odorless, the Little Buddy Heater from Mr Heater caught my attention. Compact in its design and made from a combination of metal, plastic, and ceramic, this heater found a place in my gear without any trouble.
Dimensions: 43.2 x 25.4 x 21 cm
Weight: 2.26 kg
Heat Output: 3,800 BTU
Fuel Type: Propane
Safety Features: Oxygen depletion sensor, accidental tip-over safety shut-off, flame failure safety device
The heater is engineered to run on 465g disposable propane canisters, outputting a reasonable 3,800 BTU of heat. The Piezo ignition assures a quick startup, while safety features like the oxygen depletion sensor and the accidental tip-over safety shut-off provide much-needed assurance.
- Quiet, clean heating operation
- Compact size fits seamlessly into hiking packs
- Safety features for peace of mind
- Heat output might be inadequate for some
- Runs exclusively on propane
Given its modest heat output and propane dependency, one might question its effectiveness. But in my experience, the ease of use, compact design, and safety measures of the Little Buddy Heater outshine these concerns, making it a solid companion for outdoor activities.
The Ozpig Big Pig Cooker & Heater has been a game-changer for me. It offers a camping-like experience right in the comfort of my own backyard. Built from powder-coated steel, this multifunctional tool serves as both a heater and a cooker. The icing on the cake is the option to cook directly on the fire, elevating my backyard cookout experience.
Dimensions: 73 x 49 x 135 cm
Weight: 41 kg
Fuel Type: Wood, heat beads
Warranty: 1 year
When I received the cooker, I was impressed by the array of accessories included. The package comprises a steel body, stove plate, fire grates, chimney sections, warming plates, cooking port plates, a lifting tool, and screw-in legs.
All I needed to do was gather wood or heat beads, and I was all set to cook and keep warm simultaneously, which is especially satisfying on cool evenings.
- Multifunctional as both a cooker and a heater
- Numerous included accessories
- Durable construction
- Somewhat heavy, limiting portability
- Requires wood or heat beads for operation
While it’s a bit on the hefty side and requires wood or heat beads, the convenience and flexibility offered by the Ozpig Big Pig Cooker & Heater make it a standout for backyard use. In my view, it’s a substantial upgrade for any outdoor enthusiast.
The Ozpig Cooker Heater Series 2 is truly a game-changer. It doesn’t just heat up your surroundings; it turns campsite meals into an epicurean delight.
Dimensions: 40 x 30 x 134 cm
Weight: 17 kg
Fuel Type: Wood, heat beads
Warranty: 1 year
In personal experience with the Ozpig Series 2, its dual functionality stands out immediately. Whether it’s scones, snags, or a prime cut of steak, this cooker handles it all. It comes with a mesh floor fire grate, two BBQ plates, an upgraded mesh door, and a carry bag for all-in-one convenience.
- Versatile cooking options: This cooker can handle a wide variety of dishes, making it a mobile gourmet kitchen.
- Dual Functionality: This gem cooks food and provides heat at the same time, a rare combination in outdoor gear.
- Portability: Despite its comprehensive features, it’s surprisingly portable, thanks to the carry bag.
- Weight: At 17 kg, it’s heavier than most of its counterparts.
- Regular Fuel Supply: It does require frequent refueling with wood and heat beads, which might be inconvenient.
While it might not be the first choice for lightweight backpacking, the Ozpig Series 2 has proven to be a standout performer for stationary camping or backyard settings. Its unique blend of cooking versatility and heating functionality makes it an excellent addition to any outdoor enthusiast’s gear collection.
As an outdoor gear reviewer, I’ve also tested a myriad of camping stoves, and the Winnerwell Nomad View Camping Heater & Stove is one that stands out.
Dimensions: 15 x 25.5 x 86 cm
Weight: 9.07 kg
Fuel Type: Wood
Safety Features: Fireproof glass, adjustable air supply
Warranty: 1 year
Winnerwell’s Nomad View offers a unique aesthetic experience with its integrated viewing window, transforming a typical camping stove into a captivating visual centerpiece. The fireproof glass and adjustable air supply not only ensure safety but also provide efficient fuel usage.
- High heat output: It consistently delivers significant warmth, standing out in its category.
- Efficient fuel consumption: The Nomad View maximizes the heat output per wood unit, leading to noticeable fuel efficiency.
- Aesthetic design: The viewing window adds an attractive touch to the camping environment.
- Heavy: Weighing over 9 kg, it might not be the first choice for backpackers.
- Regular wood supply needed: The wood-burning nature of the stove necessitates regular refueling.
Despite its weight, the Winnerwell Nomad View is an excellent choice for semi-permanent camping setups, owing to its high heat output and visual appeal. Testing this product has been a remarkable experience, and its blend of functionality and aesthetics certainly sets it apart.
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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.