Last Updated on
What is the best tent air conditioner? It doesn’t matter if you’re a novice or a veteran of dozens of trips to the wild…
When it comes to tent camping, sweltering heat can make it a horror show.
And that’s where a tent ac comes in.
I will be educating you about camping air conditioners (or a tent ac) in this guide…
…I want you to get a good air conditioner for camping.
Plus, I will be answering some of your questions about this crucial equipment for holidaying enthusiasts.
Let’s get started.
- 1 Types of camping air conditioners
- 2 Buying Guide
- 3 Why Should You Buy?
- 4 Best tent air conditioner reviews
- 4.1 Frigidaire Window-Mounted 5,000 BTUs, 115-V Mini-Compact Air Conditioner
- 4.2 Scinex Personal Air Conditioner Air Cooler –
- 4.3 Pioneer Tent AC Unit Inverter plus Wall Mount Ductless, Mini Split Minisplit Heat Pump
- 4.4 Black + Decker Portable Air Conditioner, BPACT10WT 10,000 BTUs
- 4.5 Ontel Arctic Personal Air Cooler
- 5 FAQs
- 6 Concluding words
Types of camping air conditioners
In this section, I’ll discuss some of the typical portable tent air cons out there.
And what to expect from each when holidaying under canvas.
Let’s jump right into this.
Window based camping air conditioner
These tent air cons are similar to the one you use at home to cool your bedroom, sitting room, or kid’s bedroom.
Of course, you mount it inside an open window.
What to expect: a window installed portable ac for camping wonderfully cools your tent and you should appreciate the starry night skies plus the fresh air with it running.
The only downside is the cumbersome installation particularly if your tent lacks an AC port.
Portable tent air conditioner
As their name suggests, this is an extremely mobile tent ac.
In short, it’s essentially designed to let you simply roll it in to virtually any place, plug, then turn on to savor highly efficient cooling.
You only need to complete some basic installation and voila!
What to expect: you will avoid the nightmare that installing a windows type portable AC can be. Besides, you will enjoy the versatile spot cooling.
The major issue here is their cost- you definitely have to cough up more bucks.
In addition, I find the process of emptying the reservoir every few hours a bit annoying.
Note that these units are either battery or electric-powered (larger, more powerful brands).
I know you could be having tons of questions.
What are the key features? The best brands? What to steer clear of? And more.
Well, below are some tips to guide you before you take the plunge:
To get the cooling you need and relish spending time closer to nature, you must be certain that the unit you have selected is up to the task.
Fortunately, manufacturers indicate the BTUs output, cooling capacity, and the working temperature to help make a more informed buying decision.
Noise Level and night LED off switch
Loud buzzing noises at night could be another disaster and you will almost certainly have a terrible mood in the morning because of the sleep deficiency.
Steer clear of blaring units.
A lamp-off feature is also cool since your tent will remain pitch dark for good night sleep.
If you’re going off-grid, consider types that use batteries.
Excellent AC powered units exist too but the last thing you want is a unit that brings pleasure to your camping but pain to your pocket because of hiked electricity bills.
To be on the safe side, research each of the AC unit’s power consumption before settling on a portable ac unit for camping (if that’s the route you will take).
Ease of use
Let’s face it:
Figuring out correct the right setup can be intimidating and time-wasting.
The vast majority of these air cons are straightforward to mount and use. Pick such.
Needless to say, a remote control would be a handy accessory to have.
Another lovable feature you want is a charging port. You won’t have to worry about your phone running out of charge.
A timer can also be great as you can program your air conditioner to run for a specified number of hours.
As it turns out, there are tent air cons with a sleep mode feature to regulate the conditions (heat and cold) around you automatically to help you sleep better at night.
The more such features, the merrier.
We even have units with concealed audio speakers to keep you entertained with your favorite music on your trips!
Why Should You Buy?
Is camping ac really game changing?
In fact, it’s perhaps the easiest way of beating the heat.
And as you might be aware, your tent will likely overheat during hot summer days even in moderately hot places ruining your outing to the natural world.
The air condition blows cool air increasing the air circulation in your tent (reducing unpleasant heat) and helping cool you and your loved ones down.
Of course, you can employ strategies like placing ice inside your tent but trust me, even a small portable air conditioner for camping makes such a massive difference!
Best tent air conditioner reviews
These are some of the most versatile and sleek tent air conditions on top of the market.
Any one of them will cool your tent lighting fast to allow you commune with the majestic grandeur and simplicity of Mother Nature.
Frigidaire Window-Mounted 5,000 BTUs, 115-V Mini-Compact Air Conditioner
Frigidaire deserves kudos for inventing this well-loved 5,000 BTUs window-mounted model.
It quickly cools a tent up to 150 sq. ft. while dehumidifying at 1.1 pints per hour (maximum) thanks to the distinctly greater fan speed.
Nearly all the functions come in doubles- you get 2 cooling speeds along with 2 fan speeds to help it blow and re-circulate the air indoors and outside swiftly.
Its good looks complement the air con’s reliability – something it adopts from its siblings at Frigidaire- while the robust knob controls are seamless when it comes to setting desired cooling and fan speed.
This mini-compact air conditioner isn’t the cheapest, but Frigidaire’s attention to detail brings out a solid construction and the quality of the components ensures good value for the money.
The low power start-up, effortless restart, and a whisper-quiet operation also go some way to justify the price tag.
It works with a standard electrical outlet (115V) and comes with its window mounting kit (mounts on a window at least 13 inches high and 23 inches-36 inches wide).
The annual estimated energy bill comes to a reasonable $41 with this unit.
- You breathe healthier air (the antibacterial mesh on the filter removes airborne bacteria).
- Straightforward operation.
- Easy to install.
- Manual controls.
Scinex Personal Air Conditioner Air Cooler –
Another unit you should consider next time you’re heading out for a camping trip is this Personal Air Cooler by Scinex.
The LED night light (it produces 7 soothing colors) gets you into sleep mood and you’re sure of catching some quality Zs.
Its boundless range of features confirms Scinex Personal Air Cooler as a force to reckon with.
The air con actually doubles up as a humidifier and will bring a relaxed, healthy ambiance in no time, probably explaining why it has been such a roaring success in the market.
The adjustable fan speed is the outstanding part of its smooth running fan- it blows nicely- while causing a calming white noise.
The best part?
It won’t use batteries- all you have to do is put some water in the tank, plug it into the USB port (or a power bank) and that’s it!
Furthermore, it unbelievably easy to use (you will find the controls on the top).
And I have to add that it looks pretty cute just in case that matters to you.
- A wide array of mind-blowing features.
- The reservoir can run it for 8 hours nonstop.
- Compact and highly portable (2.8lbs).
- Only effective for tents up to 33 sq. feet.
Pioneer Tent AC Unit Inverter plus Wall Mount Ductless, Mini Split Minisplit Heat Pump
This top-of-the-line Pioneer air conditioner features a lot of bells and whistles including a super delightful extra-large LCD backlit display (dimmable) and a multifunction remote controller.
Most importantly, the tent air con is capable of serious cooling in oversized cabin tents/large tents (can work for up to 1000 square feet) and should get rid of the scorching musty air in no time.
The air con is a firm favorite among aficionados of tent camping thanks to the enormous airflow- the motor behind the fan is incredibly powerful.
Yet, its noise is barely noticeable (surprise, surprise!).
Owning this Pioneer tent air condition is about more than having another air con in your camping gear: the ductless mini-split inverter combined with the heat pump system is unsurpassed when it comes to efficiency.
That it doesn’t consume much electricity means hundreds of bucks saved all year-round.
It’s honestly a big hitter: you can select 4 operating modes (cooling, dehumidification, heating, and ventilation) and you can have it run on “auto”.
What’s more, you can configure the device to turn on/off at specified times thanks to the timer.
At night, you are lulled to sleep by the night mode function.
The auto restart function is handy too and will take it back to the previous settings in case of a power outage.
- Clear installation instructions.
- Excellent for large camping tents.
- Permanent (washable) air filters.
Black + Decker Portable Air Conditioner, BPACT10WT 10,000 BTUs
The Black + Decker Portable Air Conditioner delivers a steady, powerful airflow that makes you feel as cool as a cucumber.
Additionally, the 4 rolling caster wheels make it a breeze to move around your tent.
It’s best for cooling tents between 150-250 square feet.
The first thing I have to point out is that it’s a multitalented unit- it dehumidifies, cools, and circulates air brilliantly to stand up to blistering summer heat.
The other thing I fell in love with is the control panel -the electronic controls respond promptly and there’s a remote for convenience.
This Black + Decker Portable ac’s fan is as well reliable and the airflow fair for the unit’s price.
Its large front-vented airflow outlet adds a classy touch to this good value package.
It hits just 75dB on the highest setting and won’t disturb your sleep or evening talk.
Furthermore, it restarts automatically and utilizes the environmentally-friendly R410a refrigerant.
- Easy-to-clean slide out filter.
- Fairly simple to install.
- Functional remote control.
- May be distracting at night (cover it).
Ontel Arctic Personal Air Cooler
This is Ontel’s (the maker of the remarkably popular Arctic air cons brand) answer to the Scinex personal air cooler.
Subsequently, it comes with all the award-winning features of Scinex personal air conditioner including the 7 gentle nighttime colors.
This is ideal for a tent sized 45 sq. ft.
This camping-ready equipment has three fan speeds and superb air flow, which is vital for fine-tuning the cooling in your tent.
Of course, it plugs right into USB ports (comes with a USB wall adapter and cord) like its rival.
It’s a 3-in-1 model once more and will cool, humidify, and purify to bring pleasure to a blistering day.
Managing it is super simple- everything comes on/goes off with a single touch of a button though it doesn’t include a remote control.
Plus, it fits nicely wherever you place it thanks to the compact design and lightweight built.
This Freon free camping ac unit is also installed with a lasting reservoir- each fill runs for 8 hours (maximum)!
Overall, separating this unit from its competitor from Scinex is a daunting task.
But you pay much less here and that can sway your opinion towards this model.
- One of the quietest air conditioners.
- Comforting night lights.
- Energy efficient.
- Efficient in tiny tents only.
Q. How much BTU’s do I need for my tent?
There is no easy answer since it depends on a heap of factors, both internal and external.
For that reason, the best approach is to follow the rule of thumb that recommends 30 BTUs per square foot of tent area.
You should, as such, calculate the required BTUs for optimum tent cooling before going shopping.
If in doubt, call the local HVAC engineer for help.
So that’s it for this guide whose purpose was to point you towards an ideal camping ac unit.
It’s my hope that your chase for the best tent air conditioner will now be a pleasant experience.
Camping should mean rejuvenating your life and bonding with dear ones and not a time to whine about being too-hot.
With the addition of a suitable tent ac to your gear, that will be a thing of the past.