A camping trip is a brilliant way to get back to nature, explore the great outdoors, and really clear your head and enjoy an adventure. There is no denying, however, that it can be a lot more fun if you are allowed to enjoy some of your creature comforts!
From making sure your tent is watertight to checking that you actually have spare batteries for your battery-powered torch, camping can require a lot of organization if you want things to go smoothly, and for everyone involved to have a lot of fun!
For many people, the typical image of camping tends to involve a lot of rain, damp surroundings, and every item you own being permanently soggy for the duration of your trip.
This doesn’t always have to be the case, however! On occasion, the stars align, and campers are able to enjoy that more sacred of rewards: actual sunshine. Though without a doubt preferable to driving rain, this does come with its own issues: the very real danger of overheating.
We have all experienced the sticky, sweaty unpleasantness which can come from being inside your tent, especially if you are sharing with others.
The combination of body heat and breathing, alongside the waterproof fabric of the tent, can lead to condensation and the transformation of your interior into something resembling an oven. We have good news, however: there is a solution!
Taking an air conditioner on a camping trip may seem unusual, but it could be the ultimate secret to staying cool and comfortable. Whether you are a veteran camper, or this is your first trip, read on for the tips which could totally change your camping experience!
Before you make your decision, there are a few key areas to consider, and these will help to ensure that the make the best decision when picking your portable camping unit, and help your trip run smoothly and comfortably – its time to make camping fun again!
If you are new to the world of camping, the idea of air conditioning your tent may be something which has never previously occurred to you, in which case you are in for a pleasant surprise!
Tent air conditioners are a growing market within the camping industry, and people seek to create a more enjoyable and luxurious camping experience -they are particularly popular with those who prefer the glamour of ‘glamping’ top traditional tents and camping trips.
If you have ever wondered whether you can even put portable air conditioners to cool and refresh your tent, then the answer is very simply yes! Portable air conditioners are designed to be moved from place to place, and most will feature some form of caster wheels to help facilitate this.
In addition, the best models are designed to be portable and will be lightweight and easy to move to help make it easy to transport them to wherever you need to go.
A tent air conditioner is one of the easiest easy to stay cool and comfortable during your camping trip, but there are a few other steps you can take to make sure you avoid the heat and remain chilled. Some of the most popular include:
It may sound obvious, but the location is a crucial element when it comes to staying cool.
Make sure you pitch your tent somewhere with plenty of access to shade, and out of direct sunlight – this will reduce the risk of the tent heating up when the midday sun hits it, which fills it with hot air and turns the interior into an oven and leads to an uncomfortable nights sleep!
Tarpaulin is the new best friend of campers; it can be used to provide valuable extra shade at the campsite and keep off the worst of the heat from your area. Make sure it offers protection before placing it, and you will help to maintain an even, comfortable temperature in your site.
If there is no tarp handy, you can use a reflective thermal survival blanket as an alternative. This may seem counterproductive as these items are usually intended and designed to keep you warm in a cold situation.
But the reflective surface is perfect for acting as a heat shield and can redirect the rays of the sun away from your tent, allowing you to stay super cool.
This should be arranged in the same way as a tarp, and placed over the tent with the shiny surface up, ready to reflect the heat away.
One of the easiest ways to stay chilled and comfortable is to check that you care camping near a water source.
Not all tents were created equal, and some will be better equipped to tackle the heat than others. Make sure you do your research when choosing equipment.
The best tent to choose is one with a strong material that is not prone to overheat, and in a light color – a lighter finish will reflect the heat far more effectively than a dark tent.
A double-walled tent is usually the best bet, and it is best to choose one with a mesh inner – this allows are to circulate more easily, and keeps the temperature regulated.
If you are headed to hot climate, you may even be able to remove the rain fly from your tent before you go, especially if you have a mesh inner section – this will really allow a breeze to head all the way through your tent, keeping a regular, cool, temperature.
This has the added bonus of allowing you to snooze beneath a canopy of stars – is there any way to drift off on a camping holiday?
Silk is the best option here; it feels far cooler and more comfortable on the skin and has the added bonus of being fast drying – perfect for any excess sweat lost during the night.
In very hot surroundings, you may also benefit from changing to a hammock – this can be a great way to cool down.
As there is no mattress beneath your body, the hot air is not trapped for extra insulation, and this is a quick and easy way to reduce your temperature. Even better, being high off the ground allows a through-breeze to flow above and below you.
In addition to choosing a light color for your tent, you should also ensure that your clothing is as light as possible, both in color and with regards to fabrics.
Storing dark clothing in your tent turns it into a sun trap, and will increase the temperature of the tent air. By using lighter colors, you reflect the worst of the heat.
It is always important to check you are drinking plenty of water, and this becomes even more critical in warm weather. As you sweat, you will lose fluid very quickly, and this needs to be replaced to reduce the risk of heatstroke, overheated, and other issues that will throw a serious downer on your trip!
One of the easiest ways to stay cool is to ensure you have grabbed yourself a tent air conditioner. This is not only great for keeping you cool and comfortable, but it can actually improve your overall tent air quality.
The fan then circulates cold air throughout the tent, and the ac unit can be adapted to meet your needs, perfect if you need to program it before you drift off to sleep.
One of the advantages of camping is the chance to get back to nature – but that often means you will be traveling without power. In this case, a portable battery-powered fan can be a real lifesaver and can help to blow cold air through the tent to help keep you fresh.
You may believe that a lack of power prevents you from making the most of a portable tent air conditioner, but this doesn’t have to be the case!
Many tent air conditioners are battery-powered and will hold a charge for a while without being connected to a mains power source – making them perfect for just sitting neatly inside your tent.
By doing a little research, you can keep your tent air fresh, circulating, and super cool – even if you are in the middle of nowhere!
Many of the tips we discussed above – including using reflective surfaces to help redirect the heat of the sun – can also be super useful here, and allow you to stay cool, relaxed and calm while camping – the real focus is on having a lot of fun, and staying safe in the sun.
Compact, powerful, and affordable, this is a great portable air conditioner for those looking to stay cool on the move. The unit can dehumidify up to 1.1 pints per hour and is able to cool a room of 150 square feet in no time, making it perfect for smaller tent spaces.
There are two cool speeds and two fan speeds available, as well as two-way air direction, to help you get totally comfortable, and this is not only a great way to cool your tent, but also to purify the air around you.
Harmful bacteria are removed, thanks to the antibacterial mesh filter, keeping the air pure while you stay cool and relaxed.
Totally customizable – direct airflow, speed, and temperature to create perfect conditions
Works quickly and effectively
Very quiet during operation to allow for great sleep
Can be easily mounted to a window space for convenience
Does need to be connected to an external power supply
Can be loud when starting up
Sleek and slim, this Honeywell air conditioner is one of the most portable options on our list, thanks to the inclusion of handy wheels – essential for shifting the unit from place to place, or tent to tent!
This is a 3-in-one conditioner and combines dehumidifier, multi-speed fan, and an air conditioning cooling unit into one lightweight, pint-sized unit, which is perfect for tent cooling!
As an added bonus, you can target the flow so that it is only cooling one area at a time – perfect for making one tent comfortable without worrying about wasting energy.
Lightweight, portable and easy to manage
Combines cooling, dehumidifying and air conditioning into a single unit – best if you only want to invest in one product
The remote control allows you access from anywhere in the tent
Self evaporation system eliminates the need for buckets
Can cool rooms of 250 – 250 square feet
Requires mains power – this does limit the portability of the unit somewhat
Will continue to circulate air even after the desired temperature is achieved – this could waste valuable energy
Black and Decker is a respected name within the industry, and this portable air conditioner helps to show why that is.
Designed for spaces with square feet of 15×20, this tent air conditioner can keep the room – or tent – hot or cold, depending on your needs, offering you the best of both worlds, and allowing you to stay totally comfortable for the duration of your trip.
Vertical motion allows the temperature to stay consistent – important if there are multiple occupants for your tent – and the filter is easy to change and rinse to keep things feeling fresh and comfortable.
4-in-one unit: suitable for heating, cooling, dehumidifying and air conditioning
Easy to move and portable enough for transportation
Electronic controls and LED screen offer you total power and control
The noiseless operation for convenience and peace
Tends to be some rattling during the cooling process
Very heavy compared to other models
As one of the cheaper options on our list, this JHS portable tent air conditioner is the best pick for anyone who finds themselves needing a cooling fan on a budget.
It has the added advantage of being super portable and easy to move and offers dehumidifying, cooling, and air conditioning programs to keep your tent comfortable throughout your trip.
Convenience is another major advantage of this unit, with a handy app available, allowing you to control the air conditioner from wherever you may be – perfect if you need to cool the tent down before you bed down for the night!
Very affordable, allowing you to stay cool and comfortable even on a budget
The self-evaporating feature is convenience and reduces mess
Can be controlled via WiFi thanks to the handy app
Excellent value for money
Covers 300 square feet
Thermostat sometimes gives inaccurate readings
Maybe a little clunky compared to some of the more expensive models
Easy to operate, with a sleek, basic design, this portable air conditioner EdgeStar unit is the very definition of usable, and is the perfect cooling method for your home or tent – you can take it with you on any trip to ensure that you remain chilled in every sense.
The unit triples as a dehumidifier, air conditioning system and fan, and can remove up to 71 pints of moisture a day from the air – super useful if you are trapped in a hot, sweaty tent!
If your unit needs to be vented, simply connect the included hose and head to a window, but otherwise, it will stay where it is plonked, making it perfect for a luxurious camping experience.
Adaptable and combustible to your exact needs and requirements
Designed to be far more eco-friendly than some other air conditioner models
Can remove 71 pints of moisture a day, leaving your space cool, dry and pleasant
Cools up to 400 square feet
Can be quite loud compared to other models
Struggles to get the room down to a really cool temperature – it tends to peak at a certain point
Takes quite a long time to cool the space
This Haier air conditioning unit instantly stands out from the crowd, thanks to the sleek and super cool design. Best of all, this is far from a case of style over substance; the model has the specs and features to help make it a seriously impressive piece of kit, which also happens to look great!
This is a 4-in-one unit that can take care of heating, cooling, air circulation, and dehumidifying, meaning that you only need to make one purchase to take care of several jobs.
With three cooling speeds, three fan speeds, and three heating speeds (high, medium, and low on each), you can adapt the output to meet your exact needs, depending on the condition inside your tent, the weather, and your own comfort levels.
This is a unit designed to keep you cool when its hot and toasty warm when the cold weather hits and can target a room of up to 500 square feet.
At only 50dBA, you can guarantee a quiet, peaceful night’s sleep, and the inclusion of a 24 hour on/off timer means you can set the program to meet your exact needs.
The stylish finish helps the unit to stand out from the crowd!
Three heating, cooling, and fan speeds to choose from
4 in 1 unit can take care of a wide range of features and tasks
Quiet mode helps you drift off in total peace and serenity
Cannot be used on its side – must be placed upright
Is louder than some of the other available models
Grey and chic, this is an air conditioner with an edge and has the ability to cool up to 525 sq ft of space without requiring any permanent installation, helping to keep you super cool even on the hottest days. The real strength of this unit, however, lies in its dehumidifying properties.
The Avallon air conditioner uses InvisiMist Technology, which helps to guarantee maximum removal of moisture from the air, even when the climate is humid and wet.
As soon as a drop of excess water begins to accumulate in the reservoir, the system kicks into action and starts by pumping water from the reservoir and into the connected vent hose.
This is then transformed unto a light mist, before being safely released outside, allowing your unit to continually cool the air and remove moisture, unlike units that require cooling to cease if the reservoir becomes too full.
In addition, a separate intake and exhaust hose both allow more air to enter the unit – this means more cooling power and stable pressure, resulting in a 40% faster cooling rate than other single-hosed units.
Designed to remove up to 80 pints of moisture a day from the air, this is one of the highest performing air conditioner units on our list, and it is also super easy to use.
Even better, Auto Mode allows the fan speed to adapt automatically, and other settings will cool the area to your desired temperature quickly and easily.
Can remove an impressive 80 pints of moisture a day from the air
Can simultaneously cool the room and remove excess moisture
Offers a 40% faster cooling rate than other models
Takes quite a lot of energy compared to other models
Can struggle when the temperature gets super high
When it comes to the best air conditioners for camping, there is no denying that our list is full of strong competitors for the top title.
While each of the units included in the top seven has its own serious advantages, the only winner has to be the Haier HPND14XHT 14, 000 BTU 115V Air Conditioner.
Not only does it look great, but it combines four essential functions into one convenient unit, and can keep you warm and cool without an issue.
Best of all, it can be totally customized to your needs and preferences, with three settings – high, medium, and low – on each of the three functions – heating, cooling, and air circulation.
This makes it easier to tackle any situation, and means that you only need to make one purchase to tackle a huge range of jobs! As an added bonus, the Haier unit is designed to be as quiet as possible and is a great choice if you need to use the unit while sleeping.
You can even control the temperature and airflow from the comfort of your sleeping spot, thanks to the remote-controlled access which is included – this is a model built for your utmost convenience!
Portable Air Conditioner