There is nothing quite like camping. Indulging in the beauty of nature, smelling the fresh air, and eating over a fire are some of the best memories a person can have. But it’s not all glamorous when it comes to camping. You’re in the middle of nowhere roughing it for a few days. And if you find yourself camping in the middle of the summer during a heatwave, escaping the heat is going to be more difficult than ever before.
The good news is, there are plenty of tent air conditioners that can keep you nice and cool from sunup to sundown. (Aside from the time you spend cooling off in the nearby lake or river!) Tent air conditioners are easy to use, and you and your whole family will thank you for the break from the daytime and nighttime sweats.
The only problem is, there are a lot of tent air conditioners on the market. How can you know which one is right for you and your situation? We’re breaking down the best tent air conditioners for camping so you can have a pleasant experience you will remember forever.
What Should I Look For When Buying the Best Tent Air Conditioner for Camping?
When you’re looking for the best tent air conditioner, there are a few things to keep in mind.
Criteria #1: Will you have electricity?
This is imperative when it comes to buying a portable air conditioner. Some units will require electricity hookups. The good news is, most public campgrounds have electricity. This makes it easier to buy a tent air conditioner. However, if you’re off-grid, you will need to be pickier about your decision. If you don’t have electric hookups, then you will have to rely on battery-operated air conditioners or those that can use a power source from your car.
Criteria #2: How portable is it?
When it comes to camping, portability is everything. But it all comes down to what you’re willing or able to handle. Some campers might need something extremely lightweight for easy maneuverability. Others might not mind a heavier, larger, and more powerful device that can easily be situated on their campground. Consider portability when finding the portable air conditioner that’s right for you.
Criteria #3: What is the AC power level?
Another important thing to consider is the strength of the AC power, otherwise known as the BTUs. Larger tents will obviously need an air conditioner with much higher BTUs to handle the workload. Smaller tents can get away with less. Of course, how high the count BTU is will also determine how quickly the portable air conditioner can cool down the area.
Criteria #4: How big is your tent?
Size matters when it comes to buying an air conditioning unit for your camping tent. That’s because you need to make sure there is adequate space for the AC unit to sit. Also, the size of your tent determines how many people need to be cooled down. For example, a 2-person tent will need a minimal personal air conditioning unit, while a larger 10-person tent will need a large portable AC unit with a high cooling capacity.
Criteria #5: How loud is the tent air conditioner?
You don’t want a noisy tent air conditioner. After all, you went to the great outdoors to get away from it all. If you can’t enjoy some peace while sleeping in your tent, what’s the point of going in the first place? Well, that’s why the noise level is important when it comes to your tent AC. Pay close attention to which models are known for being quiet and, more importantly, which ones aren’t.
Criteria #6: What is the price?
Now, if you’re working with a small battery-powered evaporative cooler, you don’t need to spend too much money. Many AC units like these are priced below or around $100. However, more powerful and impressive models will be well over $100, if not $200 or $300. Take price into consideration when buying a portable AC for your tent.
Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Tent Air Conditioner for Camping
A portable air conditioner for your camping tent is a great idea, but it can be hard to find the right one. We have searched extensively through available air conditioners for camping to find the top 7 on the market. We also took into consideration reviews from real customers to make our choice. Below, you will find an AC unit that works for you, whether you need a portable AC, window AC, or battery-powered AC.
#1: BLACK+DECKER BPACT12WT Portable Air Conditioner (All-Purpose)
I love finding products that give you the biggest bang for your buck. Aside from being a reasonable price for a high-quality portable air condition, the Black and Decker Portable Air Conditioner is also an all-purpose model that fits most people’s camping needs. Here are some of the reasons why this is a standout portable AC on the market.
- Powerful. This impressive portable air conditioner comes with 12,000 BTU. The device can bring the temperature inside the tent down to a chilly 65 degrees when running at the coolest setting.
- Quiet. This machine is also notably one of the quietest air conditioners on this list. Plus, it comes with a handy sleep mode that ensures little to no noise is emitted while you slumber.
- Compact and portable. Altogether, this floor-standing portable air conditioner is 17.1 x 13.8 x 28.1 inches. It is suitable for tents up to 150 square feet in size.
- Easily installed (electricity necessary). This is one of the best tent air conditioners, as long as you have electricity. It comes with everything you need to blast cool air inside the tent, including a hose, adapter, and cord. Unhooking and storing is a breeze, too.
- Easy to use. Simplicity is the name of the game when it comes to this air cooler. It comes with a remote control that allows the user to switch up the settings in a flash. It also comes with an easy-to-read, top-mounted, LED display to control the air temperature.
- Easy to clean. It is easy to clean, too, which is a major bonus when taking air conditioners on the road. All you need to do is slide the filter out of the machine, rinse it under running water, and then return it to the device. From there, it runs good as new – even if your camping trip left the filter riddled with dust.
- 3-in-1 capabilities. This portable air conditioner is more than an air conditioning unit, though. It satisfies all of your cooling needs working as an air conditioner, fan, and dehumidifier.
Final Thoughts: If you want a 3-in-1 device that isn’t too expensive yet works in all situations (as long as there is electricity on the campgrounds to use as a power source), then the Black and Decker portable AC is a must. This is a powerful air conditioner that is easy to use, thanks to a handy remote control and LED display. You can’t go wrong, even in a larger tent.
What Reviewers Had to Say: Plenty of reviewers raved about this piece of equipment. It is excellent for larger spaces and easy to carry and install. However, some people were not impressed with the hose’s size or the noise of the air conditioning units.
#2: Whynter ARC-14S 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner (Best Portable Air Conditioner)
If you’re willing to spend more on your portable air conditioner, let me introduce you to the Whynter ARC-14S 14,000 BTU Dual Hose Portable Air COnditioner. This is the must-have tent air conditioner for those who want an experience that leaves them cool all summer long during their camping excursions. It comes with all of the top features you could want from on-the-go air conditioners.
There’s a reason why these portable air conditioners won Good Housekeeping’s “2020 Best Overall” award and Consumer Report’s 2020 Highest Score.
Let’s take a look at this high-end model.
Reason #1 to Choose This Product: Powerful Cooling Capacity
The standout feature of these portable air conditioners is how incredibly powerful they are. In fact, these powerful portable air conditioners allow the most cooling capacity with a whopping 14,000 BTU. This tent air conditioner can be set as low as 61 degrees, too, so you remain nice and cool no matter what the temperature might be soaring to outside.
Reason #2 to Choose This Product: Cools Up to 500 Square Feet
When you’re looking for a tent air condition for your camping trip, size matters, especially when you’re dealing with an extra-large tent. Well, the good news about this fascinating device is that it can keep your tent cool with no problem. This device can cool up to 500 square feet, making it no match for even the largest tents out there. This is all thanks to the dual hose operation that offers an airflow speed of 430 cubic meters per hour (253 CFM) and 3 fan speeds.
Reason #3 to Choose This Product: Three Modes of Operation
You might be thinking that this isn’t a standout feature, considering the Black and Decker offered three modes of operation, too. But this device works a little differently. While it has the same functions – air conditioner, dehumidifier, and fan – the air conditioner can run at a lower temperature, and there are three different fan settings to choose from. This allows for more versatility when it comes to staying cool.
Reason #4 to Choose This Product: Easy to Use
There are several different ways in which this tent air conditioner is easier to use than the rest. First and foremost, there is a 24-hour programmable timer. You get full thermostatic control, ranging anywhere from 61 to 89 degrees. Lastly, this device comes with a state-of-the-art auto drain function that exhausts all condensation with absolutely no work on your behalf. Installation is a cinch, too!
Reason #5 to Choose This Product: Better Air Quality
Sure, being in the great outdoors offers some of the freshest air around. But why settle for less? These air conditioners for camping come with a washable pre-filter as well as an activated carbon filter. This standout activated carbon filter ensures there are no contaminants in your air, leaving you feeling refreshed and healthy every morning.
Final Thoughts: If you’re looking for a powerful AC unit that ensures you have cool, fresh, and healthy air each night of your camping trip, then this is undeniably the model for you. Sure, it’s a bit more expensive than the other portable options, but it’s well worth every penny.
What Reviewers Had to Say: People have said things like “Superior Product – highly recommended” and “Cools quickly.” However, some people stated it was loud and a bit difficult to install. With minor modifications, though, this is a stellar piece of equipment that will keep your camping air nice and cool.
#3: Midea U Inverter Window Air Conditioner (Best Window Air Conditioner)
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Not everyone wants to deal with the hoses that are necessary for a portable AC unit. If you want ease of use, a window air conditioner might be the best choice. These window air conditioners from Midea are some of the highest rated window-mounted air conditioner units on the market, and for a good reason, too. Let’s look at some of the specifics these tent air conditioners for camping have to offer.
- 10 000 BTU. This is an impressive number. With 10 000 BTU, you can feel confident that small and medium-sized tents are kept nice and comfortable – even during warmer temperatures.
- Energy-efficient. Energy efficiency likely isn’t your biggest concern when you’re using an AC unit for camping, but it’s still a notable feature of this window air conditioner. In fact, this AC for camping won Energy Star’s Most Efficient 2020 Certification – that’s an award you can feel confident in.
- Extremely quiet. One worry a lot of people have about an air conditioner for camping is the noise. After all, you want to relax and enjoy the sounds of nature while you’re camping. You can’t exactly do that with a noisy AC. Well, the good news is that this window AC is 9 times quieter than traditional units. That is all thanks to the U-shape design of the cooler. The quiet operation ensures you enjoy the peace while staying cool.
- U-shaped. Of course, using a window AC while camping is a bit trickier. You will need a special stand for the unit to sit on. However, this tent air conditioner’s U-shape makes it easier to find a spot for the unit to stand and work effortlessly. Plus, it allows you to maintain more of a view from the tent.
- Smart controls. In this day and age, it’s a must to have smart equipment, even when it comes to a tent air conditioner. This AC unit is entirely WiFi-enabled and can be controlled from anywhere. There is an app you can use to set the temperature.
Final Thoughts: If you’re looking for the best window air conditioners for your tent, then this is a top-notch pick. It is powerful, yet extremely quiet. It comes with a unique U-shaped design that makes it a cinch to place in your tent without getting rid of the view. With smart controls, you have complete control over the device at all times.
What Reviewers Had to Say: Reviewers mentioned how this was notably one of the most powerful and efficient window air conditioners on the market. Most of the issues were with the setup, but this does not affect those using this AC in a tent. People also loved how incredibly quiet the device ran, making it an excellent choice for camping.
#4: Honeywell Portable Evaporative Cooler with Fan, Humidifier & Remote (Best Low Cost)
A popular option when it comes to cooling down the air in a tent is an evaporative cooler. These coolers work differently than other types of AC units, and they work great. We looked around at a few different evaporative coolers and found the Honeywell Portable Evaporative Cooler to be the best option on the market. A major bonus to this particular evaporative cooler is that it’s budget-friendly, too, so you won’t have to break the bank to keep your tent cool.
- Compact air conditioner. This is known for being a spot cooler. This means that the unit is great at cooling down the area directly in front of it, otherwise known as your tent. Plus, being a compact portable air conditioner, it’s a cinch to move around the tent. This is important if you’re working with a larger tent as some areas may be prone to warmer temperatures than others.
- Easy to operate and clean. Ease of operation and cleaning is essential for a high-quality camping air conditioner. Well, these evaporative coolers come complete with a low water alarm and a water fill door. When the filter starts looking dusty and dirty, simply wash it off and insert again. This ensures the air in your tent is always fresh and pure.
- Energy-efficient. This device is known for being an efficient swamp cooler that can work in dryer regions and high humidity levels. With that said, this is a great compact portable air conditioner for those planning a camping trip in dry or humid climates.
- Unique 3-in-1 evaporative cooling. This appliance works differently from others and is not an air conditioner, yet not just a fan. Instead, the Honeywell Portable Evaporative Cooler relies on evaporation to cool down the air in your tent. Use the fan for when there is a gentle breeze. Use the humidifier during winter months when the air needs to be re-hydrated.
Final Thoughts: This is the best evaporative cooler on the market. Campers love it because it’s easy to use and relies on evaporation to cool down the tent. This makes it much easier for the temperatures to cool down, whether in dry or humid climates. It’s one of the more portable are conditioners on the market, weighing 14 pounds.
What Reviewers Had to Say: It was hard to find any negative comments about this camping air conditioner. Customers thought the cooling power was incredible, especially for the small stature of the device. Reviewers said it was a good option for areas with high humidity, too.
#5: Zero Breeze Mark 2 Cordless Battery Portable Air Conditioner (Best Battery-Powered Tent Air Conditioner)
If you were to ask anyone what the best battery-powered portable AC for a tent was, there would be one resounding answer: The Zero Breeze Mark 2. The Zero Breeze Mark 2 is, without a doubt, the most revolutionary battery-powered product on the market today. There is truly nothing like it! So if you’re planning to go camping in a tent where there is no electricity, you might want to consider this incredible compact air conditioner. Here are a few more reasons why.
- Fast and efficient cooling. The best part about this battery-powered AC is that it works extremely fast. In fact, it only takes 10 minutes for the air in your tent to cool down to an incredibly enjoyable temperature. That means less time sitting around sweating and more time enjoying cold air, whether you’re relaxing and grilling up some burgers or trying to get a good night’s sleep.
- 24V micro compressor. This powerful motor ensures that you don’t have to worry about your cold air leaving any time soon. With a 24V micro compressor built right into the tent AC unit, you can feel confident in the cooling power day and night.
- The chilliest temperature of 30 degrees F. Many of these tent AC units will make sure the air in your tent is nice and crisp, but can any of them dive down to 30 degrees? Likely not. While other air conditioning units get stuck at around 60-65, this impressive appliance can reach down to 30 degrees. Amazing!
- Weighs just 16.5 pounds. If you’re looking for maximum portability, you will be happy to hear that this battery-operated device is only 16.5 pounds. Sure, it’s not as lightweight as the Honeywell, but it’s definitely close.
- Smaller than traditional portable air conditioners. Carrying a clunky AC unit into the middle of nowhere doesn’t sound like a great camping experience to some. Do you agree? Then you will enjoy having a portable AC that is lightweight while providing superior maneuverability.
- Charges fast and last 5 hours. Since this AC device requires no externalpower source, you will never have to worry about whether the unit will work. The battery is charged quickly either by car or solar. The charge lasts an impressive 5 hours, too.
- Four working modes. Versatility, when it comes to your cold air, is the name of the game with this battery-operated AC. There are four working modes to suit your fancy, including cool, fan (4 levels), sleep, and super cold.
Final Thoughts: If you don’t want to rely on an external power source to get cool air in your tent, then the Zero Breeze Mark 2 is the choice for you. This is a superior and revolutionary product that will ensure your tent stays chilly, even down to 30 degrees. It’s incredibly portable and lightweight, easy to operate, and charges quickly, so you never miss out on cold air.
What Reviewers Had to Say: There were no negative reviews about this product. In fact, some buyers commented, saying that this device was a lifesaver. Whether you’re in a small tent or a big one, this handy device can take on the workload.
#6: Uninex SAC1800 Indoor/Outdoor KOOLZONE Mobile Spot Cooler (Best Spot Cooler)
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Now, we just went into some pretty particular details when it came to a tiny, compact AC unit that works on batteries. Well, the Uninex SAC1800 KOOLZONE Spot Cooler is the exact opposite. This AC unit is quite large, but a lot of people prefer it because it feels like you’re taking a miniature version of your at-home AC on the road. It works a lot different than the other units on this list, making it a premium choice with unique specifications. Let’s look.
- Works on the outside of the tent. While the other units work from the inside, the Uninex KOOLZONE Spot Cooler works from the outside. From the outside, the cooler will vent cool hair right into the tent using an exhaust hose. This is beneficial for many reasons, but a big one is that it won’t take up much-needed space inside the tent. Yet, it can still handle a space up to 75 sq. ft.
- Heating option. Unlike the other AC models on this buying guide, the Uninex KOOLZONE is the only one that also offers a heating option. This makes it extremely versatile. It’s good to have a cooler and heater in one device. As you know, in the middle of nowhere, it can be hot during the day and cold during the night. Being able to accommodate both weather types is why this model is so highly recommended.
- 6100 BTUs. This may seem like a lower number, but the way this spot cooler functions, you won’t notice. The only downside is that it is a bit noisier than other portable models for your tent.
Final Thoughts: A spot cooler is a good option to take care of warmer temperatures. It sits outside of the tent, leaving more room inside. Plus, this model doubles as an efficient heater, too. Together, this powerhouse spot cooler is reliable and durable while providing excellent cool air. However, it is noisier and bulkier than other portable air conditioners. It is also a bit more difficult to use as you will have to drain it every few hours.
What Reviewers Had to Say: Many people were thrilled with this spot cooler. They thought it was an excellent cooler that could handle heatwaves with no problem. However, this model is not easy to move, so it is not as portable as other units. Still, though, the powerful cooling capabilities made it a top pick for camping anyway.
#7: Best Budget Tent Air Conditioner for Camping: NEXGADGET Portable Air Conditioner
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If you find yourself on a major budget and crunching the numbers just to figure out your camping trip, then you likely won’t have a whole lot to spend on a portable unit. Well, don’t let that stop you from enjoying a cool breeze in your tent. The Nexgadget Portable Air Conditioner is a budget-friendly option that won’t break the bank. Plus, it comes with many great features to give you the biggest bang for your buck. Let’s take a closer look.
- 120-degree oscillation. This is not a static device like the other units on this list. Instead of staying in one spot, this device keeps the entire tent nice and cool with a 60- or 120-degree oscillation.
- Rechargeable battery. In terms of battery power, this unit comes with a 5000mAh rechargeable battery built right inside. It only takes 3 or 4 hours to charge up, and you can use it with a power bank, laptop charger, or car charger.
- 9 hours of cooling. Tiny but mighty, this compact air conditioner for a tent provides up to 9 hours of unbelievable coolness.
- 3 level fan speed. With this device, you get plenty of versatility. There are 3 different wind speeds to choose from.
- Holds plenty of water. Paired with a 700ml water tank, you can enjoy chilly air in your tent for longer without needing to add more water for quite some time. This allows campers to enjoy the tent air conditioner without too much effort.
- Air conditioner, humidifier, and purifier in one. Making sure your air is clean is a major must for some campers. You feel confident that there is nothing but clean and crisp air coming into your tent. This unit acts as a dehumidifier and purifier on top of being an AC component.
- East to operate. With a touch-screen control panel, it’s a cinch to pick which fan speed you want and keep your tent nice and chilly.
Final Thoughts: This might be a smaller and more compact unit, but that doesn’t mean that it lacks features. In fact, this impressive little unit comes complete with 3 fan speeds to suit all of your needs. With a built-in purifier, you can make sure that your air stays healthy. The fan runs for an incredible 9 hours with only 3 or 4 hours for charging-up.
What Reviewers Had to Say: It was hard to find any negative comments about this little AC. It works like a charm, especially in smaller tents with low square footage. However, even those with larger square footage found it a cinch to cool down. Since it is so portable, it’s easy to carry around the entirety of the tent and indulge in the breeze. People really love this minimalistic device!
Verdict: Your Best Tent Air Conditioner for Camping
There are so many great options when it comes to finding an AC for your tent. Some might prefer the battery-operated feature of the Zero Breeze, while others want a large-and-in-charge spot cooler like the KOOLZONE. We have broken it down into a few simple sentences to make your choice easier.
If you want the best value for money, pick the BLACK+DECKER BPACT12WT Portable Air Conditioner.
If you need a window air conditioner, pick the Midea U Inverter Window Air Conditioner.
If you want to keep the spending under $100, pick the NEXGADGET Portable Air Conditioner.
Finding a quality AC for your tent is easy, and you can’t go wrong with any of these listed. However, you need to make sure that you’re buying the right unit for your needs. Some might need a portable AC that can handle large tents with high square footage, such as 150 sq. ft. or more. Others might want the ease of access that comes from a remote control. Well, whether you’re in search of a 10 000 BTU portable with remote control or a 6,000 BTU portable air conditioner, you can rest assured you will find it listed above. Pay close attention to features, and don’t forget to look into the different criteria listed above. Happy camping!