Best Portable Heater for Car Camping (2023)

women car camping in cold

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Car camping provides a refreshing escape from the daily grind, allowing you to reconnect with nature without sacrificing too many creature comforts. One such comfort is warmth, especially during chilly nights and colder seasons. A portable heater can make all the difference, with this cold weather camping essential turning your car camping experience into a cozy adventure.

Portable heaters for car camping come in various shapes, sizes, and types, each with its own set of advantages. Some utilize propane or butane as fuel, while others rely on electricity to keep you warm. Opting for a portable heater that suits your specific needs and preferences can enhance your camping experience and keep you toasty throughout the night.

We spent countless hours researching and evaluating various portable heaters for car camping, aiming to identify the best ones that provide optimal warmth and convenience while fitting different budgets and preferences. With the following recommendations in hand, you’ll be better prepared to make a well-informed decision and enjoy a comfortable and cozy car camping experience.

Best Portable Heaters for Car Camping

Check out our top picks of portable heaters ideal for car camping. These heaters will keep you warm and cozy during your outdoor adventures.

Amazon Basics 500-Watt Ceramic Small Space Personal Mini Heater – Pink

Amazon Basics 500-Watt Ceramic Small Space Personal Mini Heater - Pink

A perfect companion to keep you warm during car camping trips, delivering comfort and style.


  • Compact and portable design
  • Heats up quickly with efficient ceramic coils
  • Equipped with tip-over protection for added safety


  • Limited to 500 watts of power
  • No adjustable temperature settings
  • May not be suitable for large spaces

During your car camping adventures, you might encounter some chilly nights. To keep yourself warm, the Amazon Basics 500-Watt Ceramic Small Space Personal Mini Heater can be your reliable heating companion. Its compact size makes it easy to place it on tables or desktops inside your car, tent or other camping setup.

One impressive feature of this personal mini heater is its quick heating capabilities. The efficient ceramic coils heat up in seconds, providing instant warmth when you need it most. Additionally, it has tip-over protection, ensuring extra safety while using the heater in confined spaces.

However, keep in mind that this mini heater is only equipped with 500 watts of power, which might not be sufficient for heating larger spaces. If you plan to use this heater in a spacious camping setup, you may need to consider other options. Also, remember that the heater does not have adjustable temperature settings, which could be a limiting factor for those who prefer to fine-tune their heating experience during camping.

Lasko MyHeat Personal Mini Space Heater

Lasko MyHeat Personal Mini Space Heater

The Lasko MyHeat is a great addition to your car camping setup, providing personal warmth in a compact design.


  • Efficient low-wattage heating
  • Compact and portable
  • Easy-to-use


  • Not suitable for large spaces
  • Limited to one temperature setting
  • May not provide enough heat in extremely cold climates

During your car camping adventures, you might find yourself needing a little extra warmth, especially during those chilly nights. The Lasko MyHeat Personal Mini Space Heater is an excellent solution for keeping you cozy without taking up too much space.

The low wattage of this heater (200W) ensures that it will not overload your car’s electrical system while still providing efficient heating. Its compact size makes it perfect for small spaces, such as your personal sleeping area in the car. The easy-to-use design means you can just plug it in with the 6-foot cord, flick the switch, and enjoy the 682 BTUs of heat it provides.

However, it’s essential to keep in mind that this heater is designed to warm you, not an entire room or large tent. With only one temperature setting, it may not be sufficient for extreme cold temperatures, and you should plan accordingly.

The Lasko MyHeat is an ideal companion for car camping trips, providing personal warmth in a compact and efficient design. It’s perfect for giving you that extra bit of comfort during your outdoor adventures.

Andily 500W Space Electric Small Heater

Andily 500W Space Electric Small Heater

The Andily 500W Space Electric Small Heater is perfect for car camping, providing a comfortable and warm environment during your trips.


  • Compact and portable design
  • Quiet fan operation
  • Simple control with one power switch


  • Limited heat output (500W)
  • Not suitable for large spaces
  • Lacks advanced features like a digital thermostat

The Andily 500W Space Electric Small Heater is a great addition to your car camping setup. Its compact size (4.33”L X 3.63”W X 6.39”H) and lightweight design make it easy to carry and transport with one hand. Designed for indoor use, this ceramic heater with a fan can quickly create comfortable temperatures in your car or tent. You’ll appreciate the quiet operation of the fan, which doesn’t disrupt your sleep or conversations.

Safety is a priority with this mini heater. The automatic overheat system turns off the unit when its internal parts reach high temperatures, preventing damage and ensuring your security. The tip-over switch also provides protection, shutting off the heater when tipped forward or backward. You can tell if the heater is plugged in as the power indicator light is visible.

Designed for small spaces, the Andily heater can be used near your pillow, or other appropriate locations to provide warmth where you need it most. However, keep in mind that its 500W power means it might not be suitable for warming larger spaces or for situations with extremely low temperatures.

The Andily 500W Space Electric Small Heater is an ideal choice for car campers who appreciate a compact, portable, and quiet heating solution. While it may lack some advanced features and the heating capacity for larger areas, its simplicity and safety measures make it a valuable companion during your car camping adventures.

Buying Guide

When choosing the best portable heater for car camping, there are several factors you should consider to ensure you get the right one for your needs. Let’s dive into the essential features you should look for.

Heating Capacity

The heating capacity of a portable heater is measured in BTUs. You’ll want to choose a heater with enough BTUs to warm up your camping space quickly and efficiently. For car camping, a heater with a capacity of 4,000 to 9,000 BTUs is usually sufficient for most situations.

Size and Portability

One of the most crucial aspects of a portable heater for car camping is its size and portability. You want your heater to take up minimal space in your car and be easy to carry around. Look for a compact design and lightweight construction, ideally with a handle for easy transportation.

Safety Features

Safety should be a top priority when using a portable heater in an enclosed space like a car or tent. Look for heaters with built-in safety features such as an oxygen depletion sensor (ODS), tip-over switch, and overheating protection. Additionally, ensure the heater has a cool-to-touch surface to avoid burns.

Fuel Type and Runtime

Most portable heaters for car camping are propane-powered, but some run on electricity or butane. Propane heaters are popular for their long runtime and widespread availability of fuel. When selecting a heater, consider how long it can run on a single fuel source, ideally for several hours or an entire night.

Noise Level

While portable heaters aren’t typically loud, some can produce noticeable noise during operation, which may disturb your sleep or the peacefulness of your camping experience. Look for heaters with quiet operation to ensure minimal disruption.

By considering these essential features, along with your personal preferences and budget, you’ll be well-equipped to find the perfect portable heater for your car camping adventures.

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