If you’re in a rush, the best tent air conditioner is the Zero Breeze Z19-B Portable Air Conditioner for Camping.
You probably enjoy camping because it’s a break from the everyday routine. However, certain creature comforts would make camping much more enjoyable. The first one that comes to mind is…air conditioning!
Thankfully, going camping doesn’t mean you have to give up the A/C. Tent air conditioners make it easier to relax and, more importantly, get some sleep. Especially if you are camping during the summer months, a tent air conditioner can be a godsend.
Table of Contents
Best Tent Air Conditioner: Our Top Recommendations
The goal of this article is to review the five best tent air conditioners on the market right now. I’ll take you step-by-step and show you what I like about them, and which unit is right for which people.
Zero Breeze – Portable Air Conditioner for Camping
The Zero Breeze Z19-B Portable Air Conditioner for Camping is for anyone looking to stay cool while they are spending time outdoors. You can power this air conditioner in several different ways, and it only takes four simple steps to set up.
This air conditioner has bonus features that make it useful for more than keeping you cool. That includes a fan, a USB charging station, LED lighting, and even a Bluetooth speaker. Plus, it is small and lightweight, so packing it won’t be a problem. There’s no doubt this is our favorite tent air conditioner on the market.
- Bonus perks make this more than an A/C unit! It includes a fan, a USB charging station, LED lighting, and a Bluetooth speaker
- It’s very lightweight (only 12.8 pounds), so it won’t weigh down your pack or take up too much space.
- You can power this unit through a wall outlet, gas/propane, lithium-powered portable generator, or a 12V car battery.
- The instructions are crystal clear, and the steps are quick and easy. Just snap the hoses on and plug it in!
- Zero Breeze are widely known for their excellent customer service. Whenever an issue comes up, they’ll fix it.
- This is a premium unit and thus has a premium price tag. But, it does include a backup battery, which most don’t.
- Since it’s small, it might not be the best for cooling larger tents.
Best for: campers who want a lightweight A/C unit that’s lightweight and helps you jam out to your favorite tunes.
Frigidaire – Window-Mounted Mini-Compact Air Conditioner
This Frigidaire air conditioner was made to be used at home, but that doesn’t stop it from being a superb camping choice! It’s effortless to use. All you need to do is plug it in and turn it on to get the same cooling power that you enjoy at home.
Operation is smooth like peanut butter and adjustments are straightforward. Best of all, it is lightweight and small enough not to impact your packing or space! In those hot summer months, this tent air conditioner will definitely help get you through the night.
- Installation is easy. All you have to do is plug it in and turn it on.
- Small enough to be used for camping.
- Since it’s made for the home, this unit is powerful! You’ll feel fresh for sure.
- The easy-to-use dials allow you to control the air temperature and fan speed easily.
- This air conditioner can quickly cool larger tents up to 150 sq. ft.
- The controls are not digital, it only uses dials. The temperature control isn’t as precise as your home unit.
- Since this A/C is so powerful, it might get a little loud on higher settings.
Best for: campers who prioritize cold air over attractive looks and features.
EdgeStar – Portable Air Conditioner
The EdgeStar Portable Air Conditioner is much more than an air conditioner. It includes a dehumidifier and a powerful fan, so all your air circulation needs will be met while camping. Even if you don’t want to run the air conditioner, you can still run the fan or dehumidifier for a better atmosphere.
This portable unit can cool up to 525 sq. ft. So, it will have no issue cooling off your tent. The best part of this portable air conditioner is the remote control and intelligent auto mode that can adjust the temperature for you.
- The remote control allows you to adjust your settings without getting up.
- The digital controls include an intelligent auto mode. This adjusts the temperature for you based on the temperature of the remote, not the unit.
- The built-in fan and dehumidifier allow you to control the air even if you’re not using the air conditioner.
- A hose and window vent kit are included with the purchase of this air conditioner, so set-up is easy and painless.
- This air conditioner efficiently cools up to 525 sq ft, so your tent will have no issue being cooled down.
- This unit includes a plug to drain water on the back. Make sure you keep an eye on it because it might drip on the floor.
Best for: campers with larger tents or those who want their A/C to adjust its settings based on temperature automatically.
Honeywell – Compact Portable Air Conditioner
The Honeywell Compact Portable Air Conditioner is an all-around top tier air conditioner for your next camping trip. It has a digital temperature readout and thermostat, as well as a remote control, so your tent can be precisely the way you want it.
Like the EdgeStar, it’s got a built-in fan and dehumidifier, so you won’t have to worry about humidity or airflow. This portable air conditioner can keep you nice and crisp, even when camping in the middle of a damp summer.
- An included remote makes operation easy, even from the other side of your tent.
- The built-in fan and dehumidifier don’t require the A/C to be on, making air quality a priority even if it’s chilly out.
- Control and changing of the temperature are a breeze thanks to the digital temperature controls and thermostat.
- This air conditioner is rated for rooms up to 250 sq. ft., so its great for smaller tents.
- The auto evaporating system makes clean-up stress-free and automatic.
- Set-up isn’t as easy as some of the grab ‘n’ go options above.
- Louder than other A/C units in this article.
- The fan only has two speeds. Not that big of a deal, in my opinion.
Best for: small group campers concerned about humidity who want a digital interface.
JHS – Portable Air Conditioner
Not to mention, it includes a 24-hour timer so you can program when it turns on or shuts off. That means you can use the timer to make sure your tent is already cold when you come back from a long, hot hike! No matter if you’re a hiking beginner or pro, everyone wants to return home to an air-conditioned tent.
- This portable air conditioner can comfortably chill 300 sq ft, so cooling off your tent will be a non-issue.
- With a built-in dehumidifier and fan, you can tweak different settings to make your tent’s environment comfortable for you.
- The 24-hour programmable timer allows you to program it to come on or turn off at specific times.
- With settings ranging from 61-88 degrees, this air conditioner can help keep your tent’s air at any temperature.
- This tent air conditioner comes with remote control and an LED display, so there won’t be any confusion on how to get the room to your desired temperature.
- The manual is not very detailed, so it might take some tinkering to get it optimized.
- This can be louder than other units on this list.
Best for: campers who want temperature controls that allow them to “set it & forget it.”
How to Camp with an Air Conditioner
Now that you’ve seen my favorite air conditioning units, let me show you step-by-step how to camp with an air conditioner.
If you want to take an air conditioner camping, you first need to find out if your campground offers electricity hookups. After all, the air conditioner needs to run off something.
Most campgrounds nowadays will offer electricity. However, if you are camping off the grid, you probably won’t have electrical hookups.
If you don’t have access to an electrical hookup, you will need to find an alternate source of electricity to run your air conditioner. Options include:
- Choosing an air conditioner with rechargeable batteries
- Hooking your unit up to your car’s outlet
- Picking up an extra car battery specifically for your A/C
Matches Your Tent
After you figure out the power source for your tent air conditioner, you can then figure out what kind of air conditioner will suit you best. There are a variety of tent air conditioners available. Not only should you choose one based on your power source, but you should also find one that suits your tent.
Your tent might already have an area that will work well for the air conditioner’s ventilation system. Or you may need to alter your tent a bit to get one to work.
You should also keep your packing situation in mind. You don’t want to be lugging a heavy air conditioner around if you’re traveling far or have a ton of gear.
What Should You Look For In a Tent Air Conditioner?
Tent air conditioners have many different variations, and shopping for one could be very overwhelming. So how do you know which one is right for you and your camping trips? The answer depends on several different factors, including:
Power Levels (BTU)
British Thermal Units (BTUs) measures the amount of energy an appliance needs to run correctly. The higher the BTU, the more energy it requires.
Keep an eye on the BTUs your tent air conditioner uses, so you don’t end up using more power than you are supposed to.
Every tent air conditioner is made to cool specific square footage. Make sure that your chosen air conditioner fits the square footage of your tent.
Keep in mind how many people will be staying in your tent. The more people that are in there, the harder it will be to cool it off.
Depending on its power source and features, your air conditioner could get pretty loud.
Make sure to read reviews and understand what makes your air conditioner tick, so you don’t get caught off guard when you go to sleep while camping.
Ventilation is vital as improper ventilation could be a legit health risk. Battery-powered air conditioners don’t require special ventilation.
However, any other type of air conditioner will need ventilation. Most units come with the proper tubes and hoses, but you may need to create a ventilation hole in your tent for it to work.
Tent air conditioners can completely change the way you camp (for the better). Imagine getting rid of all the heat that builds up in your tent during the summer.
Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to plop down right in front of the AC as soon as you get back from a hike? That can all be yours with a tent air conditioner!
The best tent air conditioner is the Zero Breeze Z19-B Portable Air Conditioner for Camping. It was made specifically for campers, with a wide variety of features that other portable air conditioners don’t. You’ll get a Bluetooth speaker, LED lighting, and a USB charging station, all-in-one.
This tent air conditioner has everything you need for camping. Plus it can be powered in several different ways, so it works great on any kind of camping trip you could go on. I can confidently say this tent air conditioner will completely change the way you camp in hot weather.