Best Tent Air Conditioner for Outdoors & Camping

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Tent Air Conditioners

A best tent air conditioner is the perfect solution for a hot tent at night. A portable air conditioner that you can bring into the tent with you to keep it nice and cool so you are not kept awake by the sweltering heat.

If you shop around you’ll find a difference in the best tent air conditioner units available. Some are more portable than others for example whilst others are more energy efficient.

As long as your campsite is powered, you will find the best tent air conditioner for you here on this guide. If you haven’t got any power though we have still got you covered. Check out the article and if you have any comments about the products featured here then please feel free to share them below.

Tent Air ConditionerBest ForOur Rating
Image Portable Ceiling FanBattery Powered6/10
EdgeStar Portable Air ConditionerPortability8/10
Whynter Portable Air ConditionerPerformance9/10

*All links above will take you to the latest prices on Amazon.com or you can read our best tent air conditioner reviews below.

#1 Image Portable LED Camping Lantern with Ceiling Fan

  • Portable and Lightweight
  • Up to 37 hours continuous use
  • LED Light

This first product is simplistic but it’s a perfect solution for those who don’t have a power supply available in their tent.

It’s a simple fan that can be hooked onto the ceiling of your tent or placed on the floor and tilted into the angle that you prefer.

When hanging from the ceiling the fan also doubles up as a handy LED light giving you greater visibility inside your tent so it’s easier for you to get do some reading or any other things you need to get done when it’s too dark.

There’s a switch on the product itself that allows you to change between low and high powered mode and to turn the light on and off. It only required 1 D battery which grants you up to 5 hours use in high speed, 15 hours in low speed or 20 hours of light.

Altogether this is a simple yet effective solution for cooling your tent on them hot days and nights if you haven’t got power into your tent. For that reason it makes it our list of one of the best tent air conditioner units!

 It’s not going to have the most powerful cooling capacity but if you’ve no other option than this highly rated and recommended tent fan is perfect!

#2 LifeSmart Indoor/Outdoor Portable Air Cooler

  • Maximum Coverage: 250 sq. ft.
  • Dimensions: 13 x 13 x 21 inches
  • Dehumidifier: No

The LifeSmart EXcool is the best tent air conditioner that is also a handy, portable evaporative air cooler.

It absorbs the heat from the air without any reliance of chemical refrigerants like traditional AC unit would use.

You will need to plug it into a power supply and fill the water reservoir but after that it’s just a case of selecting a speed and it can get to work.

It’s only 21 inches high, weighs 10 pounds and a power consumption comparable to a 40 watt light bulb which makes it perfect for cooling a small enclosure like a tent, especially if you have your own power generator.

If you fill this best tent air conditioner unit with just 1 gallon of water, it will be able to keep the air in the tent cool for up to 10 hours, so it would last for more than the night’s sleep that you need.

To top it off, the product is made in the USA, so a purchase would mean that you are supporting home grown industry and it’s also safe around pets and kids. There’s also no additional maintenance or cleaning requirements.

#3 EdgeStar AP8000W Portable Air Conditioner

  • Maximum Coverage: 225 sq. ft.
  • Dimensions: 13 x 19 x 25 inches
  • Dehumidifier: Yes

The Edgestar is another best tent air conditioner which is much more powerful and highly rated AC unit than the previous we have mentioned.

It’s fantastically compact being only 24.75 inches tall but it is a little heavier; weighing in at 56 pounds.

Despite its weight, making it a bit more cumbersome for when you first set your camp site up, it’s got a great cooling capacity and can cool an area up to 225 square feet.

There are three speed setting for the fan and the direction of the air flow can be altered. Since it is an evaporative cooler it does come with an exhaust pipe which you’ll want to direct outside of your tent so that it can dispose of the condensed water that it produces.

The device does also double up as a dehumidifier and it’s quite efficient at doing so with a 50 pints per day capacity.

It contains a removable filter that can be cleaned but that’s about all the maintenance it will need. Although the product can be a little loud, it’s very highly rated among previous buyers who are very happy about buying this portable AC unit.

#4 CCH YPLA-08C Portable Air Conditioner

  • Maximum Coverage: 250 sq. ft.
  • Dimensions: 13 x 28 x 12 inches
  • Dehumidifier: Yes

Another option for a compact tent air conditioner is the one offered by CCH which is also highly rated by previous buyers who praise it. 

Particularly for it being relatively quiet, with one review stating that it’s quitter than the box fan that they had in their bedroom.

It’s only 47 pounds in weight and can cool air within a 250 square feet; perfect for a tent or even a camper van.

The filter is re-washable so you don’t need to worry about having to buy replacements for it but the unit does need to be vented in the same way as the EdgeStar.

This product has a nice user interface with LED touch controls that allows you to change between the two fan speeds and two cool settings as well as to activate the 24 hour timer feature. It also has a remote control so you don’t even have to reach for the device to change the settings.

#5 Whynter Digital Portable Air Conditioner

  • Maximum Coverage: 400 sq. ft.
  • Dimensions: 17 x 29.5 x 16 inches
  • Dehumidifier: Yes

The Whynter Digital Portable Air Conditioner may be slightly heavier than the others with a weight of 69 pounds but it operates quietly and is up to large tasks as it can cool an area up to 400 square feet.

Even though it’s got a great cooling capacity and runs quietly it’s still perfectly compact enough to fit into a tent, camper van or vehicle and has a relatively low power consumption.

It’s also got a dehumidification mode too which can extract up to 76 pints of excess water from the air in 24 hours making it efficient and great value for money.

The control panel on the front of this unit makes it really easy to use and it has a remote control too, so you can adjust its mode and fan speed settings without having to approach the device.

What to Look For In The Best Tent Air Conditioner

Staying out in the great outdoors is a great way to enjoy nature, and your favourite hobbies such as hiking and fishing. Waking up to enjoy the sunrise is just one amazing part of the outdoor adventure but to enjoy it fully, it’s best to have had a good night’s sleep.

In locations that have a particularly hot summer where the nights are humid and unbearable it’s so uncomfortable to try to get to sleep, especially in an environment you’re not used to. It’s smart to have a tent AC unit handy if you know your vacation could potentially be ruined by hot, humid and sleepless nights.

It can be quite difficult to choose the best air conditioner to have in a tent, but the most logical choice on the market are the portable evaporative coolers. This is because of the following characteristics that they have:

They’re normally compact and lightweight in comparison to other options such as small AC units making them less effort to carry around, can fit in your tent and not get in the way.

Most campers don’t have access to a power supply or what access they do have is pretty limited. An air conditioner with a low power consumption is great as you can save on fuel for your generator.

Some come with the option to dehumidify the air as well as cool it which makes the inside of your tent feel fresh and cool compared to outside. This just maximizes your comfort and gives the device much better value.

The portable air conditioners work perfectly for small rooms typically up to 250 feet and this is perfect for a tent. Any more than that would be a waste of power and less would not be effective at all, but it does depend on the space it’s required to cool down.

There are a couple of drawbacks to be expected from the tent air conditioners but only a few. They need refilling with water once it’s used up, most need to have the condensate ventilated and they also usually require a power source. Other than that, they remain the best choice for campers.

Why Not a Battery Powered Air Conditioner?

It does sound tempting to get yourself a smaller, battery powered air conditioner and use that instead of having a generator or ensuring the camp site has an accessible power supply. Although it does sound like a good idea, battery powered air conditioners are not as good as the best tent air conditioner unit.

All products within the heating and cooling industry are rated by their BTU’s (British Thermal Units) which is a measurement of how much heat they can take out of the environment per hour. Battery powered AC units have a very low BTU rating and would not work well at cooling a tent.

As you can see from the info below, you’ll need a unit with at least 8,000 BTU’s to cool an area of 200 square feet. An average camping tent is typically 150 square feet so a BTU rating of 5,000 would be required.

  • 8,000 BTUs will cover 200 sq. ft. (1,600 cubic feet)
  • 10,000 BTUs will cover 300 sq. ft. (2,400 cubic feet)
  • 12,000 BTUs will cover 400 sq. ft. (3,200 cubic feet)
  • 13,000 BTUs will cover 450 sq. ft. (3,600 cubic feet)
  • 14,000 BTUs will cover 500 sq. ft. (4,000 cubic feet)

Unfortunately there isn’t a battery powered tent AC unit that has a rating of 5,000 BTU’s as that kind of efficiency would require much greater power input than a battery can provide.

If you find that having the power supply and the portable air conditioner is not convenient enough, it would be better value for money to invest in a tent fan like the one listed above than a battery powered AC unit. Or even a small air conditioner if you have the power supply for it.

About the Author

Dave Miller is a HVAC technician with over 10 years in the industry. Dave created HeatTalk with the ambition for it to become a resource for individuals looking for answers, whether they be a layman, student or a professional.

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