Tent Air Conditioners For Camping
If you have ever been tent camping in the summer months, then you have probably woken up early in the morning frantically unzipping your windows and doors before you melt into a puddle on the floor.
Don’t worry there is a solution for a camping air conditioner…
We have found the top 5 best tent air conditioner units that will meet your tenting needs.
- MIDEA MAW06R1BWT Window Air Conditioner 6000 BTU
- BLACK+DECKER BPACT08WT Portable Air Conditioner, 8,000 BTU
- IcyBreeze Cooler Chill Package
- Honeywell MO08CESWK Compact Portable Air Conditioner with Dehumidifier and Fan
In A Hurry?
Our Top Pick – BLACK+DECKER BPACT08WT Portable Air Conditioner, 8,000 BTU
Types of Air Conditioners Best For Tents
There are many good tent types and each style may do better with different Air conditioners. Some will require an AC boot or port, while other can vent using tubing.
Let’s explore the different air units currently on the market.
Window Air Conditioners
These AC units are the same ones you will find in the windows of many homes and usually start at 5000 BTUs which can efficiently cool rooms around 150 Sq.Ft.
These are great options for tents but you will need to ensure your tent is configured to accept this particular style.
Some tents are specifically designed to be used with these types of air conditioner units and will have an opening on the side that is made specifically for the size and shape of them.
Portable Air Conditioners
Typically more powerful than the window units, this style can have anywhere from 8000 BTUs all the way up to 14000 BTUs, which will obviously be able to cool a larger area.
These units are also versatile and can be placed in your tent or camper and because they are on wheels they can be moved around easily.
Ice Cooler Fans
These are basically a battery-operated cooler with a fan built into it. That’s right, a cooler air conditioner. They are set up so you can simply fill the cooler with ice and then a fan blows over the ice to a hole in the side of the cooler where the cold air is released.
These work pretty well to cool smaller spaces but will require you to refill the ice as necessary making it not as convenient compared to some of the other styles.
12V Portable AC
Battery-powered AC units can come in a pretty small package perfect for smaller spaces.
They are easy to set up and light enough to lug around without too much difficulty but may not work as well for larger tents.
These are more of the industrial flavor of AC units and are very powerful. They can come in at 1500 BTUs and are little beasts in size and weight.
They can be used for larger spaces like garages, basements and other large areas that need the extra horsepower.
That said, they can be used with larger tents and can be very effective.
How To Choose A Tent Air Conditioner
AC Power Level (BTUs)
BTU (To put it simply) is the cooling power of an AC unit that gives us an idea of how many Sq. Ft, it can essential cool off.
This is important when trying to figure out what size AC unit you will need to cool down a particular tent size.
This is important if you are trying to pack lightly and you don’t have extra room for a larger heavier AC unit.
Important: Just because we mentioned “Portable AC units” does not mean that they are light or even a small form factor. These units are simply on wheels that make it easier to move around a space that they are already occupying.
Figuring out what size tent you are using or looking at purchases will directly correlate how many BTU’s will be needed to cool down that specific space.
For a point of reference, an AC unit with 5000 BTUs can cool down a space of around 150 Sq. Ft, so figures out what the footprint of your tent is and look for a unit that will meet those needs.
If you have access to a power outlet near your tent then you can get any corded AC unit and be in good shape. Many campgrounds around the country offer electricity hook-up but some (especially tenting spots) may not offer any.
So, if your planning on camping at a place that will not have power hook-up, you will need to explore some battery-powered options that are currently on the market.
Whether you’re at a campground or someplace more remote, it is still important to understand that some AC units are louder than others.
This may be an important factor when choosing an AC unit especially if you are a light sleeper or have young children.
Personally I can’t sleep when it’s dead quiet and need some white noise in order to get a good night’s rest.
Price / Budget
Now, this can vary on different factors. Are you planning on camping in hot weather for a few days a year or weeks at a time?
I believe the old saying (for the most part) you get what you pay for. But I also understand that you may be able to get away with something cheaper if you’re not going to use it often. It depends on how you evaluate your ROI (return on investment).
Let’s talk about things you should know when setting up your new AC unit in your tent.
- Make sure you use an extension cord that is rated for at least 15 amp, you don’t want your cord to overheat!
- Make sure you use some sort of stand such as a milk crate or something similar in order to set your window AC unit on and get it off the ground.
- Ensure you have a vent location for your drain hose.
Alternatively, if you are going to be in an area without power, they do make nice portable fans that can help with airflow keeping your tent cool.
Best Tent Air Conditioner: Product Review Guide
1. MIDEA MAW06R1BWT Window Air Conditioner 6000 BTU
This unit has 3-in-1 functionality which includes air conditioning, dehumidification, and a fan mode. These three functions are great if you’re looking for more options other than the standard air conditioning.
This unit is super easy to set up, all you need to do is plug it in and use the easy touch buttons to adjust the desired temperature.
It offers touch buttons, LED display and remote control for three modes: timer, energy savings, and a sleep mode.
There are three flavors of this unit which includes a 6000 BTU, 8000BTU, 10000 BTU and 12000 BTU. This is awesome because you can find one that will be best for your tent size.
2. BLACK+DECKER BPACT08WT Portable Air Conditioner, 8,000 BTU
This is a great portable option that is casters for easy maneuvering. It comes with a convenient slide-out filter that can be removed, cleaned and reused making it really convenient.
Has the 8,000 BTU, 10,000 BTU, 12000 BTU, 14000 BTU, 14000 BTU+ HEAT which is nice if you have a larger size tent or would a unit that offers heat.
The 8,000 BTU unit offers air condition for keeping your tent nice and cold and will cool a space of approximately 150 Sq. Ft or a 10×12 foot space. A dehumidifier is great for getting the humidity out of the air which makes all the difference in getting the air to feel less warm. Also, a fan to keep the air circulating.
It offers an easy to read LED display with easy to operate buttons as well as a nice remote control (not sure how useful this feature is in a tent) but if you want one then your covered.
I do like that it offers a timer and sleep mode for when you’re out for the day you can set specific times to turn off or on.
3. IcyBreeze Cooler Chill Package
Get a cooler, some ice, slap a fan and a battery in it and what do you have? Well… you have an IcyBreeze cooler. That’s correct ladies and gentlemen it’s a pretty cool portable cooler air conditioner.
You can run this cooler with a 12v power source with the provided AC power adaptor or the car adaptor. It also comes with a battery that clams can get 7 to 8 hours of charge time on the low fan speed.
You will need to refill the ice every few hours but reports of using block ice will dramatically lengthen this time. The 3-speed fan blows the cold air out of a flexible hose on the top for directed airflow. This is a good portable option if you have access to ice nearby.
4. Honeywell MO08CESWK Compact Portable Air Conditioner with Dehumidifier and Fan
This Honeywell unit is considered a compact portable air conditioner but let’s keep it real. This would be bulky in a small two-person tent and would be much better in a larger area. It does come equipped with dehumidifier and fan that is able to cool a space of 350 Sq. Ft.
I do like the fact they have implemented the thermal overload protection keeping you and your children safe, especially in a tent. It also comes with the 24 hours energy savings timer and remote control.
As you can tell there are many different types of air conditioning units that can be a good choice when looking for something for your tent. Not all options will work depending on your situation.
But if you have a larger tent our overall choice would be the BLACK+DECKER BPACT08WT Portable Air Conditioner, 8,000 BTU.
Best of luck, and happy trails!