10 Reasons Why This Air Conditioner is Great for Camping

Posted On September 15, 2020

Do u love camping in hot weather, I do being a camper I really understand Why it is important to have Best Tent Air Conditioner.

There is nothing worse than being hot and uncomfortable while you are camping. The best way to avoid the heat is by having a good air conditioner that can help keep your tent cool. This article will discuss my top 10 reasons why this air conditioner is great for camping, and how it will make your next trip more enjoyable!

Well we need to know whether the campsite is powered with electricity or not. But in case the there is no no power there are many options in battery-operated appliance available in the market. A tent air conditioner probably the most effective solution for camping out in summer.

After my tones of research came across the review of people and consumer rating report. Even before choosing the brand you must know what are the brands  that should be your 1st choice.

As per consumerreports.org when they measure the difference between a portable vs window AC unit. Their test chamber of around  90° F to 85° F. The average time taken is 20 minutes to cool the tent. Comparison to window AC unit can cool the same in about 15 min or less.

Window ac tent

So probably the portable unit are not that bad. 3 brands showed up the max Honeywell, Frigidaire and Whynter- earn a Excellent top rating for more reliability. They tested the same with their own members who are extremely happy to recommend their AC unit. The number was not quite high, with most other brand having mediocre rating.

 Staying Cool

If the camping day is hot then even the open tent can be very suffocating. After a long whole day outdoor adventure of trekking and hiking can be very exhaustive for the body for a great sleep.

Hot stuffy tent will keep you awake till late night and exhausted next day. The heavy vigorous activity of a forest does affect your body temperature. Cooling the body in night is a must for regaining energy for next day. Staying cool is very much necessary for a proper sleep.

There are many way to keep the tent cool without air condition- you can check out our post on how to cool a tent without electricity. Cooling a tent without electricity cannot guarantee a effective sleep in night.

Our Pick

For Window AC-

For Portable AC-

For Battery Operated - Zero Breeze Mark 2

Don't Worry if its not available in Amazon. We have tried and covered the alternatives also.

How much Cooling do you need ?

Well tent neither has a electric power nor a centralized cooling system. For the tent to be cool 2 things are needed either a electric hookup at the campsite or a air condition unit that is battery operated. Minimum 5000 BTU rating is required for keeping the tent cool. Anything lesser then this won't be helpful. The bigger the tent the more BTU u need.

Usually seen in battery operated tent run with 12 volt batteries having a life of 10 hours as low as 40W. These units weight approximately 15 to 80 lbs but their efficiency is no way close to their weight. Though Weight is important only from the portability point of view. In my experience some air condition unit keep the temperature cool as low as 35 degree Fahrenheit just for a hour and other will hold as long as 10 hours, it really depends on the model you choose.

In woods the temperature dips considerably in night. So AC unit actually doesn't require to maintain a consistent temperature. Once the tent is cool enough you can comfortably sleep, the air condition can use less cooling power because the cool temperature outside will keep the tent cool.

How to select How much BTU (British Thermal Unit) is needed ?

12-14 Person - Space required is 180-220 Square Feet - 10,000 BTU
8-10 Person - Space required is 120-160 Square Feet- 8000 BTU
4-6 Person- Space required is 60-100 Square Feet- 5000 BTU

What are some of the battery operated tent air conditioner?

1. Zero Breeze Mark 2 Portable (Mark 2)

Being a regular camper it is really worth investing on the quality products. Choosing from your tent to sleeping bag, tent stakes etc. Having fun in camping boils down to right choice of equipment. The Air Conditioner is not an exception. Camping in tents whether summer or winter, it can really get sticky and humid inside the tent. Zero Breeze Mark II is perfect match for the camping nomads. 

One of the most highly recommendation when it comes to Battery Operated Tent air conditioner. Zero Breeze is highly innovated with cutting edge technology achieve great result. It is not cheap but the best alternative to look for.

Zero Breeze cools a area of about 40 square feet or you can 3 person tent. You may not be aware of the history of Zero Breeze. This gets better then Mark 1 which was designed for 2 person. With the latest technology the Zero Breeze has evolved it is ideal for a large tent now.

The Air Condition unit is 2300 BTU quite powerful compared to the size. Almost double then Mark 1 which was 1100 BTU capacity. This model is upgraded and almost doubled to 24V micro-compressor and it also allow multiple charging options.

When it comes to performance everyone is impressed by the upgraded model of zero breeze. It is leak/drip proof and it also comes with gravity drain system. It also comes with dual hose function.

Initially in Mark 1 only single hose venting system was only used. With double hose its a game changer the hot air is pushed inside the device and converted into cold air. Unwanted hot air escapes form the back of the unit.

While others have given this system 6/10, we believe its more like an 8/10 when it’s used for camping. We cannot compare this with anything else in the market. It is great pain relief for the small campers.

Others may rate this system low but for it more likely to be 8/10 when it comes to camping outdoor. It is a great relief to small-sized tent, campers or RV. Remarkable feature of zero Breeze mark 2 is that it comes with a portable generator that is just mind blowing.

It comes with extended 30 days money back guarantee and 1 year warranty so need to worry when you purchase from their website. You must check out some of the regular discounts at zerobreeze.com

2. Zero Breeze Portable Air conditioner (1100 BTU)

Zero Breeze is one of the most portable Air conditioner who is looking for staying cool when they are outdoor. It usually take 4 steps to set up. It comes with 2.5 rating with more then 25 reviews.

The plus point of this unit is it comes with a fun, USB charger, Bluetooth Speaker and LED Light. It is lightweight and small enough to carry.

It is weighed only 12.8 pound easy to carry and charge it

3. Bucket Breeze

Bucket Breeze a cooler fan using frozen gel as the source of cooling. The gel with be frozen upto 10 hours. It is 175mm fan which pulls air inside the bucket, it is cooled in heat exchange with the gel.

It run on double-A batteries (8 batteries are required) or could be used on AC adapter. Recommend to be use with rechargeable batteries as it will be drained in 10 hours.

There are no other features included. No remote control  You only get 4 gel filled canisters. You need to purchase your own batteries to run the bucket breeze.

Only 75 square feet closed off room or less is suitable. You need to put more gel canister or adding more cooling power. You can even use ice bag instead of gel canister. The unit is already small so you should not expect that it will cool large room spaces such as garages or sheds.

A camper tent or a small RV could use bucket breeze to keep you cool during the afternoon when the sun is at its peak or overnight. Since it operates with only 175mm not producing much noise. It is 2.5 rated with over 3 reviews.

4. IcyBreeze Cooler Chill package

Not recommended and not reliable as more of a electric portable air conditioning unit. Going for a off- grip camping adventure then I am sure Icy Breeze Cooler would be the right choice for you.

It runs with 12V battery and approximately runs for 7 hours. As long as you have the access of ice and water you can enjoy the IcyBreeze Cooler. It comes with varieties of colors and a wall charging unit along with car charger adapter. It could be hooked up to electricity and that makes it possible to run even when the battery is dead.

Major drawback is it doesn't comes with removable battery. So you cannot even swap it with a back up battery and keep enjoying the AC unit. Worse part is you need to move the whole unit for charging instead of just the battery in the car.

When it comes to performance it cooling is minimal power and cannot be compared with actual AC unit. I tried using it in one of my camping trip and found it more suitable for someone with no electric option.

5. Life Smart Indoor/Outdoor Cooler

It is battery operated and cheaply available. It comes with 2.5 star rating over 45 reviews. It is advertised as it can cover upto 500 square foot but testing it shows it is not worth the deal.

It is helpful for outdoor and dry spaces. Why would anyone would like to have moisture in the tent. The only cool part is that it is battery connected and one of the 12V alternative air conditioner.

6. Tripp Lite Portable Cooler

It comes with 3.5 Star rating above 250 review. It is more and less like a old computer Destop

What are some of the Window AC for Tent Camping

1. Frigidaire Mini Window Air conditioner

We cannot recommend enough about this air conditioner. It is the best over the quality ratio. Nothing could beat this bad boy. There are more 4k review's of 4 star rating on amazon. See it for yourself how it is one of the best wall mounted AC

During our research for selecting the AC unit for our trip. We were not able to move our eyes from this age old best wall mounted air conditioner. It is compact unit for a small sized tent.

It comes with 5000 BTU, it doesn't seems much but with little tricks to your canvas it can be really very effective and efficient for cooling the your tent.

It comes with a remote control and some essential features like delay start and stop or low-power startup. A perfect choice for a campsite. It is ideal for 4-6 person tent. It comes with built-in dehumidifier that will automatically get rid of condensation. Any bigger then that you might need to consider a powerful air conditioner.


2. HOmeLabs 

A amazing alternative to Frigidaire well if ur tent has a vent for a window unit for a air conditioner then HOmelabs is perfect for you in next camping experience. It is just 37 lbs and easy to travel with unlike other heavy and bulky AC. It is quite and reliable and compact. It is much more effective and affordable tent cooling option for smaller areas.

It comes with 4.5 Star rating over 1.3 k reviews on amazon. But it slightly more noiser then Frigidaire AC which is around 60 dBa level. So not that enough for your neighbors to complain of loud noise. I am sure they may be jealous if they didn't get that along.

This AC unit is ideal for tent with 150 square feet. Good for atleast 4 adults sleeping comfortably. It is quite effective when it comes to cooling. It takes about 15 min to be more chilled. The only downside is that it doesn't comes with a remote control.

Another down side extension cord cannot be used (outdoor or indoor). Cord comes with 6 feet long. Direct power source hookup need to be closed for setting up HOmelabs window AC unit

3.Tao Tronics Air Conditioner

It comes with 4.5 star rating above 200 review

Alternatively you can look at Portable Cooling Device

1. Honeywell HL 10CESWK portable air Conditioner for Camping 

The AC unit is designed to keep it inside the tent. Initially i have chosen this since it is quieter then Frigidaire but then it reduces my tent space. It comes with 4 star Rating over 1.5 k review on amazon.

Honeywell is not that cheap but still comes with great quality. There are different variants that comes from 10,000 BTU to 14,000 BTU. It works beautifully

It has a modest look and you can operate it effortlessly. I would personally recommend it, if you have enough space inside your tent.

2. Black + Decker Portable Air Condioner 8000 BTU

Black & Decker comes with 4 star rating over 3 k Reviews and one of the amazon best choice. It comes with 8000 BTU so suitable for 4-6 people only.

It is about 83 lbs and it is necessary to be stored upright. It takes enough space in the tent too so it is be considered for packing in ur camping trip. I love the unit having doubles which works not only an AC unit but also heater in tent. This really makes it ideal for camping in both place whether its hot and cold night.

It is excellent choice for a commercial tent but only if setup correctly. It is not as great as window AC's as shown in CRC report also. Best suited for large tent spaces because it is noisy but that much that you cannot sleep and it doesn't required drained.

3. SereneLife 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner

Looking for a portable Air conditioner. It comes with a heater. Alternatively you can consider this option it comes with 4 star rating over 3 k review on amazon. I am sure you enjoy camping so you must consider this an option too.

The Air Conditioner is heavy and the exhaust hose need to run outside the tent. And 110-120 V - with 30 amp outlet is needed. The great news this kind of connection is available in most state park, commercial campground and national park too

Usually the air is pulled in by the unit. The portable AC unit uses refrigerant to remove heat from the air. It also condenses moisture out once the coil is cold. You should know heat is exhausted through the hose; cooled and dehydrated air is blown inside your tent or RV.

Don't forget the hose need to be exhausted outdoors- or from a zippered entrance.

4. Rosewill RHPA - 18001 Portable Air Conditioner, 8000 BTU

It comes with 4 star rating over 300 reviews

5. Haier HPND14XHT

It is a excellent choice for larger tents. For people camping 4-6 person - not atall a good choice, it would be too much for the same. It comes with 4 star rating over 80 people reviewing on amazon.

It usually comes with 14000 BTU combined with heating mode and well it is quite powerful (Approx 10,000 BTU) heating capacity. It can cool upto 600 feet.

If you are a 4 season camper. I don't see a reason for you for not checking this out. You should make it sure that you can transport it.

6. EdgeStar Portable Air Conditioner 12000 BTU

It cools upto 425 square feet. Comes along with programmable timer of 24- hour, caster wheel and remote control. It is rated 4 star rating over 500 reviews on amazon.

It comes with 3 modes cooling, fan and dehumidification. Interesting part is it runs with water and also with electricity. cooling coolants are not required. Extendable hose is also provided for drainage. There is a beeper which allows us to know about the empty water reservoir.

There is a adjustable digital control which also comes with remote control for more comfort. Surprisingly it also comes with window kit for mounting on the walls of tent. It also comes with cabon filter that removes all foul odors and small debris to stay cool inside your tent

Frequently Asked Questions

How to choose a tent air conditioner?

There are varieties of AC units available for tents. Options are endless such as evaporative cooler, powered fans, room AC, ice chest blowers, and window AC. Usually it is seen the temperature drops post-midnight. So the selection of AC should be done accordingly to the climate. Some of the Best air conditioner are combination of these features.


This is so common to understand portability and convenience to carry for camping a must look into factor. AC units needs to be moved a lot during camping. Lighter the better it is. A bulky AC will make it difficult to move around.

Power/ Cooling capacity

The unit should be capable to give a cooling effect in a closed space. It should be powerful enough to maintain the same the temperature the whole night. Alternatively there are cooling fans with battery pack for outdoor activities. And the power cord should be long enough.


Very important factor to consider for a budgeted trip. Though not so important as other factors like feature, durability etc. Reasonable price is a must factor for buying best AC unit. We have covered it all.


Compact the AC unit the better it is. If it is too small then it will cool the specific area only and if it is too big then you will feel very cold. You should understand how much BTU you should need first. 5000 BTU capacity is for a good-size family tent. There are 3 common sizes 5000 BTU, 6000 BTU and 8000 BTU.

Window or Portable Room AC

Basically only two types are available Room AC and Window AC

Room AC are easier to setup though bulky and occupy space in the room but easy to setup. And they are also convenient for house also. Window ACs are superior in terms of cooling. They are more equip to exhaust air only through the windows only. It helps to create more space in the room.

How to use an Air Conditioner in a tent?

Make sure you are pitching the tent in the shade. If you really can't find the shaded place, place the tent toward east to block the tent for most afternoon sun.
If you really cannot avoid the sun. Buy a heat reflective coating with the tent or use a  Bushnell Shield Series 15' x 9' Instant Cabin Tent series

Can You Put a Portable Air Conditioner in a Tent?

You need consider 2 things before putting air conditioner inside your tent. One is ventilation and other is air flow. A 12V powered AC will not require any additional Ventilation then one already built inside the tent.
When to comes to electrical units- it will definitely require outside ventilation so it requires to be place outside of tent only.

Sealing Your Camping Tent Air conditioner for 4 weathers

It is advisable to seal you ac port with simple boot sleeve. You can use simple nylon riptop fabric cheaply available very easy to seal and cut. The fabric is lightweight, airtight and waterproof. Using duct tape or Fabri- tac. Not recommended to tape the actual boor or gluing the air conditioner. Alternatively you can use bungee cords for covering the fabric. You can also hunt for more types of ac boot or buying a tent with ac port.

Roof top tent air conditioner

It really look cool to have a hanged up tent AC unit on the roof. But it becomes useless if its too hot. Lots of question start arising connection with power supply, cord placement, light weight roof top ac etc . Technically there is no such light product that could be used.


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