Monotony can have adverse effects on morale and performance of a human and depending on technology for getting rid of monotonous life is not a good idea. According to a study, camping not only have health benefits but also help in improving self-confidence and job performance, so for getting rid of monotonous life camping is one of the best options.
Camping trip can get stressful if you are not well-prepared for it. After choosing the right spot, one should arrange the essential for camping like tent, food etc. Most of the times, we forget to consider the weather while preparing for the trip which is one of the reasons camping trips fail to deliver the expected results.
For summer camping, there are best tent air conditioners in the market which are as refreshing as a waterfall.
The best tent air conditioners are those which can provide desired temperature without becoming a hurdle inside the tent and in the trunk of the car. Moreover, few tent air conditioners are noisy, heavy and unfit for camping trips, though they claim to be portable ac units.
We filtered out such air conditioners and choose the best portable air conditioners for campers after thorough tests.
Expert’s Choice – Top Picks
Icy Breeze Portable Air Conditioner Fan
The Icy breeze is perfect for Solo camping; its lightweight and compact size is easy to carry to the extreme areas.
SereneLife Portable Air Conditioner
The superior rainproof coating and fabric and the lightweight and built quality earned it the top spot on our list.
In this Article
Types of Tent Air Conditioners
Window Air Conditioners
Window air conditioners are cool, but require plenty of ventilation, so if your tent isn’t well-ventilated, then it might not work effectively. They run on around 5000 BTUs and is fit for an area of 100 square feet.
Small Portable Air Conditioners
They don’t require plenty of ventilation but are quite heavy. Other than cooling the tent, they act as dehumidifiers. These Air Conditioners can cool areas up to 400 square feet at 12000 BTUs.
12V Portable Air Conditioner
These are convenient among all, but least powerful. These are battery operated air conditioners, compact and light. If you are camping in a small tent, and your camping trip includes hiking, then these are the perfect choice. Other than charging the battery, you have to fill the air conditioner with water or ice to keep it running.
10 Best Tent Air Conditioners Reviews 2020
|Tent Air Conditioner Picture||Brand||BTU's||Cover Area / Size||Price|
|IcyBreeze Cooler Chill Package||-||-||Check Price|
|SereneLife Air Conditioner||10,000 BTU||200 square feet||Check Price|
|HomeLabs Window Air Conditioner||8000 BTU||150-180 square feet||Check price|
|Frigidaire Window-Mounted Mini-Compact Air Conditioner||5000 BTU||-||Check Price|
|Costway Portable Air Conditioner||1000 BTU||150-200 square feet||Check Price|
|Tripp Lite Portable Air Conditioner||12000 BTU||-||Check Price|
|Black + Decker Portable Air Conditioner||8000 BTU||-||Check Price|
|Vremi Portable Air Conditioner||14,000 BTU||200-250 square feet||Check Price|
|Lasko 7050 Misto Outdoor Misting Fan||-||16.25 x 12.3 x 14.85 inches||Check Price|
|SHSTFD Portable Air Conditioner Fan||-||5.7 x 3.9 x 9.5 inch||Check Price|
|NTMY Portable Air Conditioner Fan, Mini Evaporative||-||50-60 square feet||Check Price|
IcyBreeze Cooler Chill Package is perfect for Solo camping; its lightweight and compact size is easy to carry to the extreme areas. It works on a simple mechanism; still it is effective than most high-end air conditioners. The fan blows at speed up to 25 mph.
The concept is simple; charge the machine, pour water or ice, and enjoy the cold air. Note that it is not as effective as a window or portable A/C unit. It is for solo camping or when you are going off-grid. You will love it for its flexible hose that you can hold and point to your face or rest of your body for maximum coolness.
This rechargeable cooler is an energy-efficient unit, but you have to fill it with ice or water after every six hours of use, so as long as you can find ice easily, you are good. Moreover, if you have an electricity connection in the campground, you can run it on continuous electricity, but you have to buy a 110V power adapter for that.
The package also includes a USB charger so that you can charge it in your car and RV, but the battery is non-removable, so you have to make space for the cute air conditioner in the front.
It doesn’t produce exhaust heat, nor it makes any noise, so it is just a peaceful camping companion, which will only cool your tent and drinks. You can keep two drink cans in it at a time to cool; therefore, it is a complete camping package.
★ Small and Compact
★ Runs on battery
★ Flexible hose
✖ Non-removable Battery
The serenelife portable air conditioner is loud, but it is portable and inexpensive. The 10,000 BTU power is more than enough for a 6-person tent to 8-person tent if properly insulated. It is free-standing and can sit directly on the ground, but it takes the tent’s precious space as it is not compact. Though it is not compact, still the rolling tires and handle make it portable.
The portable ac unit is rated for 350 square feet room, but it will work effectively in 200 square feet tents since there are more escape routes for conditioned air in a tent than a house. It manages to achieve a temperature drop of 11°F over the course of one hour.
In winters, the unit can be used as a 9,000 BTU heater, so it can be used throughout the year. It has multiple modes, including the dehumidifier. Plus, you can control the fan speed and temperature through remote control.
The installation process is simple; you don’t need any tool to install it because of the lever opposite to where you insert the hose that locks it into a position that is why it sets up in breeze and doesn’t move.
Serenelife isn’t serene at all, the noise of the air conditioner will annoy inside a tent, but if you have a large tent, at least a 10-person tent, you will not notice the noise.
Other than the noisy function, it is the best portable air conditioner for camping.
★ The hose is easy to transfer through the window
★ It is portable because of the rolling wheels
★ Multiple modes
★ Air Conditioner cum Heater
✖ It isn’t quiet
If you have a large family tent with a built-in air conditioner port, it is a good option as it cools an area up to 150 square feet and has multiple modes that help save energy. It is not noisy as other window tents; it is 55-60 dB loud, but you may hear slight vibration.
One of the air conditioner’s exciting features is it can reduce humidity without cooling the room, plus you can also run the fan only; therefore, the air conditioner can be used according to the weather.
We don’t like waking up in the middle of the night to adjust the temperature considering that HomeLabs introduced sleep mode. The air conditioner will automatically adjust the temperature and fan speed.
This window Air Conditioner cannot work as a heater, and that’s probably the major drawback of it.
It has a washable filter, which is convenient if you don’t mind routine cleaning. Compared to washable filters, disposable filters are expensive as they need to be replaced at least once a month. Though it is powerful, it won’t work effectively if your tent isn’t adequately insulated, so use a reflective tarp to protect your tent from UV rays and cover leakages.
The 6.5ft power cord is slightly short for camping, but you can use an extension to solve it. It comes with the installation equipment, so it becomes easy to install it on your own.
★ Washable Filter
★ Multiple moods
✖ Short power cord
✖ No heating options
Frigidaire AC comes at a low price and suitable for small family tents. The installation process is easy, and the box contains items necessary to install the window unit. It doesn’t have multiple modes and remote, unlike most air conditioners on our list, but it is still a good value for the money because of the cooling capacity and the lightweight.
The Window AC is ideal for 4-person tents with ground vents. It can also be effective in a 6-person tent if the tent is properly insulated. As the tent comes at a low price; therefore, it is not as quiet as the high-end air conditioners. It makes soothing sounds at the start, but after few days, the sound gets slightly louder, so if you don’t have a problem with the sound, it is the best option for your small family tent.
As in camping tents, the conditioned air can escape easily compared to bedrooms; the 5000 BTU air conditioner cools a tent with 150 square feet space. If you are buying it for your house, it can easily cool a 10 x 10 room.
Other than the noisy sounds, it works perfectly in small spaces, plus the installation is straightforward and easy. Also, it counts among the cheap portable air conditioners.
★ Low Price
★ Works perfectly in small spaces
★ Easy Installation
✖ It doesn’t have multiple modes and remote control
The Costway air conditioner has a minor defect; it doesn’t have a removable dip container, so it takes time to empty the water. Other than that, it is a reliable air conditioner with a soothing sound.
Unlike most portable air conditioners, this unit doesn’t have loud motor and fan noise, but a soothing sound. Therefore, it is the right choice for a tent camping since no one wants a loud machine in a small space. It is a bit challenging to attach the hose of costway air conditioner without spilling water, so be careful while you are trying it inside the tent.
You will need at least 28 inches of a window for the hose; the hose has a large diameter and is 59 inches long. The window plate that comes with the A/C fits perfectly in vertical and horizontal windows. Though the A/C is short, it is bulky, so if you don’t have much space, then it is not the right air conditioner for you.
It has multiple modes e.g., fan, dehumidifier, and cooling. It is a complete package for summer, unluckily it doesn’t have heater mode, so it belongs to the storeroom in winters.
The unit is easy to carry because of the rolling wheels; you can roll it inside the tent and house without any problem. The cooling power is suitable for 150-180 square feet tent, but if you expect mild temperature, you can even use it for a 250 square feet tent.
★ Cooling power is impressive
★ Soothing sound
✖ Hose attachment is not smooth
✖ It doesn’t have a removable dip container
Tripp Lite Portable AC comes with a one-year warranty and excellent customer service; if you find any fault with the product, they will replace it for you in no time.
It is easy to install, but it doesn’t work effectively if the hose is vent out through a side-hung window. The hose is extendable with a diameter of six inches and length 59 inches, so before buying the air conditioner for camping, check the compatibility.
For a more relaxing experience, the Tripp lite introduced both self-evaporating and manual drainage systems in the portable air conditioner, and it also has an auto-restart feature. You will be relaxed while camping as the smart air conditioner does almost every work on its own. It has two washable filters that can be easily detached.
The fan of this model is stronger than the rest of the air conditioners on our list, so it can easily cool 10-person to 12-person tents because it can blow the conditioned air to every corner.
The digital thermostat control range is 61°F ~ 88°F and displays both in Centigrade and Fahrenheit. Sometimes the digital display gets stuck in Fahrenheit, the only glitch you will come across. It is not noisy; you will only hear soothing sounds that you can sleep to.
It is not a small unit, so make sure you have enough space to adjust it.
★ Extendable hose.
★ Powerful Fan
✖ Heavy .
✖ Not compatible with few types of windows
In this model, Black Decker has increased the cooling capacity of the air conditioner; other than that, all the specs are the same as the older model. The older versions were a hit among campers and households because of the portability and multiple modes.
It is an air conditioner and heater combo; whether you are in summer or winter camping, this camping air conditioner can come handy. It has a washable air filter, which should be cleaned every two months. The self-evaporating system eliminates the need for manual drainage in cool mode, but in hot season the condensation water should be emptied once or twice.
It has multiple modes that help to conserve energy control the cooling and heating according to the temperature. Moreover, the set-and-forget mode is for people who often forget to switch off lights and appliances when not used.
The 4’11’’ long hose is long enough to go through the window or any designated spot of the tent but make sure the distance between the window and the air conditioner is short.
It is slightly noisier than Window air conditioners, and the display is illuminating, so in a closed space, it can be slightly disturbing. Overall, it is a powerful and convenient air conditioner for large tents.
★ Long Hose
★ Air conditioner cum heater
★ Multiple modes
✖ Noisy and in the hot season, the condensation water fills up frequently.
Vremi portable air conditioner is sophisticated; multiple moods, remote control, digital display, and high cooling capacity. It is suitable for large commercial tents and family tents, for small tents it is quite big. It has a hose for ventilation and drainage, and the 5.4′ hose can be easily vented out through the window.
It has a mode that dehumidifies the room, and that features come handy frequently when camping. Moreover, the might increase cooling capacity, and multiple modes make it the best choice for the hottest areas, and if you are planning to attend the burning man event with your friends, then you will need a big portable air conditioner like Vremi.
This makes soothing sounds, which you can sleep to, and even with regular use, the humming stays the same.
Few portable air conditioners use two air filters, but most high-end air conditioners have two air filters for cleaner and odor-free air. The Vremi portable air conditioner has two washable air filters that need to be cleaned once in a month or two.
The package all the equipment needed for the installation, and it takes no time to install the unit. It is not a small unit, so compare the size of your tent and the air conditioner for a hassle-free camping experience.
★ Enhanced Cooling Capacity
★ Easy to Install
✖ It is Bulky
The size and weight of zero breezes allow you to take it anywhere you want and is easy to use inside a tent. It is a high-end product with no prominent or minor defects. The previous models’ cooling capacity was suitable for solo camping. In Mark 2, Zero Breeze has increased the cooling power to make it for 3-person tents.
It has a 24V compressor, almost double from the previous models. Other changes include multiple charging options, so it a much better option for camping than the earlier models of zero breeze. You will need to attach a hose as it produces a significant amount of heat and water.
Zero Breeze has equipped the air conditioner with a superior battery, lithium-ion polymer battery, which takes 4-6 hours to charge fully. You can run it by plugging the 240W power adapter, or you can charge the battery. Moreover, for cars and RVs, it has USB charging options.
It is designed for small areas, so you shouldn’t replace portable or window A/Cs with this, and it is not like the basics air coolers; it is the coolest among battery-run air conditioners. It can cool your burning men tent, and you don’t have to worry about the exhaust and electricity much, indeed the best portable ac for tent camping.
It comes with a 30 days money-back guarantee and 1-year warranty, so it is almost a risk-free investment.
★ Converts to heater
★ Small portable air conditioner for camping
★ Large Evaporator
✖ No option to control the airflow direction
Best Portable Air Coolers for Camping
If, for any reason, you think that the window or portable air conditioners are not right for you, then check our compact and portable air cooler list. These air cooler cum fans help cool the tent without the complications of hose and ventilation, so if you are camping alone or with your pet, then take one of these compact and cool fans along.
This misting fan that looks like a gladiator helmet protects against extreme weather by reducing the room temperature by 25 degrees through its 90-degree mist flow mechanism.
The fan speed can be controlled, but it sprays water, which cannot be held except buying a filter for it. You will get wet if you are at a distance of less than 10′ to it; therefore, it is for scorching weather.
It is well-built; it can last for years if used properly.
★ 90-degree mist flow
★ Lightweight and Compact
✖ Sprays water
This can be used as a fan and air cooler; if you can’t find ice, then the fan will circulate the air to make your tent livable. It is not for big tents; it can only cool 1-person and 2-person tents. If you are worried about the tent’s bad odor, you can drop a fragrance oil in it for a pleasant camping experience.
★ Easy to use
✖ difficult to clean
With its user-friendly design, multiple power supply methods, and humidifier feature, it is the best air cooler for summer and autumn. You don’t have to bear dry air and bad odor with this compact air cooler.
The 60-degree adjustable fan helps to carry out camping activities without being sweaty, and the removable tank makes it easy to clean the fan and tank. It is a highly energy-efficient, 5V / 2A power adapter.
★ Removable Tank
★ Energy Efficient
✖ Only cools a single person
How to Choose a Best Tent Air Conditioner
Choosing a home air conditioner is easy compared to tent air conditioner as most of us don’t have prior experience and there are few air conditioners which are suitable for camping. To make the buying process easy for you, we have provided a user guide on how to choose the best tent air conditioner below.
Compatibility of the AC power and Tent size
Comparing the AC’s power with your tent size is a crucial part of buying the best Air Conditioner for Tent, but most campers skip this step. Usually, Air conditioners come in the range of 5000-9000 BTUs, and a 5000BTU AC is sufficient for 100 square feet. Choosing a powerful air conditioner for a small space is not a good idea as it can cool the tent beyond the acceptable limit and damp it likewise, a small AC unit for a large area is not sufficient either.
Almost every powerful air conditioner is not suitable for campgrounds that aren’t vehicle-accessible, but lightweight and compact air conditioners run on battery. If accessibility is not an issue, then you have a wide range of options to choose from.
Window or Room Air Conditioner
Window air conditioners are superior to Room air conditioners when it comes to cooling capacity, but window air conditioners are heavy and require adequate ventilation. Moreover, tents don’t have built-in space for window ACs; therefore, you have to make a window. Window ACs are suitable for large tents; for small tents, portable air conditioners are better, only if you are okay with the air conditioner occupying your precious space.
There are two types of air conditioners; one that runs on electricity and the other on battery. Electric Air Conditioner is powerful compared to a rechargeable air conditioner. Still, not every campground is supplied with electricity, so it is necessary to know the campground facilities and the power source of the air conditioner. If you are solo camping, then a battery-run portable ac unit is the best option.
How to insulate a Tent for AC
As most tent manufacturers do not consider Air Conditioners while designing shelter, so the air conditioners do not work effectively in most of the tents except pre-insulated tents. Tents with penetrable fabric and mesh roof let the heat in and do not reflect light; that is why the tent stays hot even after installing the best tent air conditioner. Therefore, the first thing you should do is insulate the tent before running the Air Conditioner.
The following are the easiest and effective ways to insulate a tent for Air Conditioning.
Reflective tarps protect the tent from every weather condition and prolong the life of the tent. These tarps reflect sunlight making your tent livable even on a sunny summer afternoon. Moreover, the reflective tarps deflect the Conditioned air that helps in keeping the tent in the desired temperature.
To use a reflective tarp, place it over the rainfly or inner tent with the reflective surface facing upwards.
Thermal Shield inside of the tent
Thermal blankets can be used for summer camping since it can retain cold air inside the tent by reflecting it when attached to the tent’s ceiling. Thermal blankets are made from temperature resistant materials; It can reflect heat.
A thermal blanket secured to the tent ceiling with duct tape can help in retaining the inside temperature. These blankets are waterproof too.
Secure the leakages
The easiest way to secure minor leaks is to cover them with duct tape. Duct tape can also be used to tightly seal the AC port or any other openings that can leak air. Some people use pool noodles to secure leaks, but that is quite laborious.
How to use an Air Conditioner inside a Tent?
The video that I have added below will help you to install an air conditioner inside your tent. You have to take care of the hose and regularly empty the condensation water if the air conditioner is not self-evaporating.
Portable air conditioners are easy to use inside a tent as they don’t require a particular spot unlike the window air conditioners, so if your tent doesn’t have a built-in place for window air conditioners, then buy a portable air conditioner.
Can we convert Window AC into a portable air conditioner?
Yes, we can, but it is a cumbersome process. First of all, you have to add a duct to drain the condensation outside. Secondly, protect the heat exchanger from overheating by covering the rear side of the air conditioner and blowing it out with a fan’s help.
AC alternate to Consider
We know carrying an air conditioner can be cumbersome, and installing it inside the tent inside a tent is a headache too if your tent doesn’t have a dedicated spot for it; therefore, you might be considering an alternate of AC. Well, air conditioners are the coolest, but other machines can make your tent livable in summer.
You can consider buying evaporative coolers; they cool the air but do so by adding humidity to the atmosphere, hence they are not a good option. Air fans are a better option as they are portable, compact, and don’t add humidity. But in very hot spaces, air fans fail since they only circulate the air.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Yes, you can put a portable air conditioner in a tent, but you will need a small vent for the hose of the air conditioner. Plus, portable air conditioners are bulky, so make sure you have extra space for it. Air conditioners with an extendable hose like Tripp Lite Portable Air Conditioner are easy to install in a tent.
It depends on the air conditioners’ condensation collecting rate; most portable air conditioners can run for 24 hours without requiring an attendant. Modern air conditioners have timers, making it easy to conserve energy; one such air conditioner is Black+Decker Portable Air Conditioner, which has multiple modes and can run for 24 hours smoothly.
Yes, and they are more convenient than Window air conditioners. For camping, portable air conditioners are better than window units because they require only a small vent, but they are noisy and bulky.
To air condition a tent, you will need electric power, so as long as you have an electricity supply, you can air condition your tent. If you have a small tent, you can use battery-run air conditioners compact and easy to use, but not as powerful as the window and portable air conditioners. One of the most famous battery-run air conditioners is IcyBreeze.
IcyBreeze Cooler Chill Package and Zero Breeze Mark 2 are the best battery-operated air conditioner; they allow you to take them anywhere you want and are easy to use inside a tent. There are videos on youtube on how to make tent air conditioners DIY.
Due to climate change, the summer season is getting hotter, so the need to cool your tent while camping has become significant. Air conditioners are the best way to protect yourself from starching heat. Now there are air conditioners that are suitable to use inside the tents.
The three types of A/Cs; Portable air conditioners, window air conditioners, and battery-run air conditioners are compatible with tents of different sizes, so choose one according to the tent’s tent size and climate. We have listed top air conditioners in every category and also mentioned top products in every type to save your time from scrutinization.
Winnie is a co-editor of the tent house. He is an adventurist, hiker and trail runner. Always eager to learn about adventure camps.