Buying a small portable air conditioner for your camping tent can help you keep your cool when it’s hot outdoors. But how do you choose between tent air conditioners, and how long will it take to find the right one?
This post will guide you through the entire process, so you can pick out the best portable air conditioner for tent camping for you. Included is a quick reference small camping air conditioner comparison chart, so you can see which options might suit you at a glance.
Also covered are the frequently asked questions that pop up when considering the purchase of a portable tent air conditioner for camping. If you’re in a rush (and who isn’t?) you can also take a peek at our top pick just below.
It’s worth mentioning at this point that a mini air conditioner for tent could be the right option. By this we mean an AC unit that’s designed to cool the person, rather than chilling the entire tent. This can be a far more efficient option in terms of power usage. You may need one of these each, however, so a more powerful unit might be best for a family or group.
Continue reading to find out all you need to know about buying a portable air conditioner for a tent. Seven of the best small tent air conditioner units are also listed, to help you narrow down your search. Let’s begin!
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The Best Portable Air Conditioner For Tent Camping Overall
The Eenour QN750 is the top pick overall. Click here to see it.
Why buy the Eenour QN750?
This is the best air conditioner for a tent when you want to cool the entire space rather than just one person. It’s comfortable to carry, energy efficient, cools quickly and has a powerful Panasonic twin cylinder compressor.
Best Portable AC Unit For Camping Comparison Table
Compare the key features and power source of each large or small air conditioner for tent camping quickly and easily with this comparison chart. You can also click the links supplied to check the current price of each product.
|Mains or power station
3 speeds, fast cooling
|Mains or power station
|Cools up to 45 sq ft
Low power consumption
|Mains & USB
Very energy efficient
|Mains & USB
|LED lighting &
One touch panel
|Air Misting AC Unit
|Cooling water mist
Uses minimal power
7 lighting modes
Can use fragrance discs
Control AC Unit
Takes ice for extra
The Best Tent Air Conditioner For Camping (Based on our test and reviews)
Eenour QN650 Air Conditioner
This portable air conditioner for a tent is ideal when you have a compact space to keep cool, as it has an ultra powerful Panasonic compressor with twin cylinders. It can reduce the temperature by over 15°F in just five minutes.
There are three speeds, so you can choose the precise chill factor you want. The sleep mode is ideal for during the night, when you can rest without being disturbed. We also love the way it’s easy to carry due to a comfortable and generously sized integral handle.
You can power this portable AC for your camping tent via the mains or a portable generator or power station. Do note that it’s not designed to be powered via your car battery or outlet socket.
- Powerful Panasonic compressor
- Smooth integral handle
- Fast cooling
- 3 speeds
- Suited to small spaces only
Eenour QN750 Air Conditioner
The QN750 by Eenour is the more powerful version of the QN650 detailed above. The company say this one’s 34% more efficient than the model with a lower spec. This compact portable air conditioner for camping can be controlled via the LCD panel and also has a choice of three operating speeds.
When using cooling mode, you can expect a 12℉ lower temperature within your tent than what’s outside. When used inside with the door closed, it’s suitable for a tent with a footprint of up to up to 45 square feet.
It’s a pretty efficient little portable AC for tent camping, using a low amount of energy to power it. A one-year labor and parts warranty also comes with this machine. Like the QN650, it can also be carried via the sleek built-in handle.
- Suitable for spaces up to 45 square feet
- Twin cylinder compressor
- Low power consumption
- Sleek built-in handle
- Build quality could be improved
Evapolar EvaCHILL Personal Air Conditioner
Why choose between portable AC units for tents when you could simply cool yourself down? Whether you travel solo or buy one each, this is a very cost-effective option when you want to find the best AC for tent camping.
When it comes to looks this one’s a winner, with a sleek, compact design. You can also pick between three colors. As well as chilling the air, the unit can also remove big particles of dust and humidify the air.
The design is simple, but effective. It has a carry handle, four speeds and can be controlled via one button. Evapolar also say that it can be up to 100 times more energy efficient than a standard AC unit!
- Personal AC unit
- Very low power consumption
- Sleek looks and comes in 3 colors
- No good for cooling whole tent
- Replacement cartridges can be costly
Evapolar EvaLIGHT Air Conditioner With Light
If you need tent lighting as well as a portable air conditioner in a tent, then how about the Evapolar Evalight? This one even has a sleep timer, so you can enjoy a blissful slumber while knowing that you’ll wake up early enough to set off on your hike.
Evaporative technology is used, so you’ll need to empty the water tank from time to time to keep it running smoothly. As with the EvaChill, this uses far less power than typical, larger portable AC units for camping.
The control panel on the top is simple to use and it’s clear to see what mode, brightness setting and fan speed is being used.
- Very energy efficient
- LED lighting & sleep timer
- Simple one touch control panel
- Limited area coverage
- Expensive replacement cartridges
Air Misting Portable AC Unit
This tent air conditioner is battery powered via a built-in 5,000 mAh rechargeable pack. That’s not the only thing that makes it stand out, however. It also works by spraying out a cooling mist to increase the chill factor.
If it’s super hot, you can even add ice to make the cooling breeze even more refreshing. Due to the unique way it works, only 10 watts of power are required to run it. A full tank of water will last for up to 12 hours.
The design of this portable AC unit for tent camping is lightweight, compact and a regular shape that’s easy to store. You can carry it via the handle on top and there are three speeds for adjustable chilling.
- 3 speeds
- Cooling water & ice mister
- Tank of water lasts up to 12 hours
- Compact design with carry handle
- Water mist not ideal for use with tech
- You’ll need one each
LaoTzi Rechargeable Cordless Air Conditioner
Another option for those seeking a battery powered tent air conditioner is this one, also fitted with a rechargeable battery. With a low decibel sound output of just 30dB, it’s whisper quiet, cordless and power efficient.
There are three speeds, and the water tank lasts for two to three-and-a-half hours after topping up. Like the Evapolar Evalight, this battery air conditioner for camping and home use can also light up the night, and there are seven color cycles to pick from.
You can even wave goodbye to a tent that smells of used hiking socks, as you can add a fragrance disc to this battery-operated tent air conditioner if you like.
- Very quiet
- Cordless design
- 7 color lighting modes
- Fragrance discs can be added
- Water tank needs refilling fairly often
Shaalek Remote Control Personal Air Conditioner
This mini portable air conditioner for camping comes with a rechargeable 4,000 mAh battery, and provides cool air and light. It also has a timer and a remote control.
The battery can be fully charged in four hours, and then can operate for between two and seven depending on the mode used. There are three speeds and two spray modes to choose from.
A nicely designed control panel means you can quickly check on the speed and status, and a water tank level indicator shows when it’s time to top up. You can also add ice to this one for more intensive cooling effect.
- Remote control
- Integral lighting
- Use ice for extra cooling
- Limited running time on one charge
Best Portable Air Conditioner For Camping Tents – Frequently Asked Questions
Can you use an air conditioner in a tent?
Yes – you can indeed! Pick between a small portable air conditioner for your tent to keep everyone cool, or a personal one that will offer the right chill level for each person. As with using AC in general, remember to close doors and windows for the full effect.
If using air conditioning makes camping more comfortable for you, then why not go for it? It could make all the difference when it comes to living outdoors during hot weather.
How do you keep a tent cool in hot weather?
There are a number of hacks for keeping a tent cool when temperatures rise. The most straightforward is to get hold of the best air conditioner for camping you can find. Always drink plenty of water too, and pack light, loose clothing.
Otherwise, you might like to try putting your tent up in a shaded spot, using a reflective sunshade, removing the rainfly when it’s dry, opening doors and windows to let the breeze in (unless you’re using AC) or even sleeping in a hammock.
Are portable air conditioners good for tent campers?
Camping tent air conditioner units can be ideal for camping in hot weather: in fact, buying one could be the difference between enjoying an outdoor adventure and staying at home.
You can either buy a personal AC unit for each member of your party, or invest in a bigger, more powerful one to cool the entire tent. Remember to close your windows and doors when the unit is operating for the best effect.
Do portable air conditioners use a lot of electricity?
Clearly it’s not only about forking out for the best tent AC unit. You also need to think about running costs. The power usage of a mains, generator or battery operated air conditioner for a tent will vary hugely.
If you want to save power, it’s worth thinking about a personal rather than a whole tent portable air conditioner. This can cool you down in a far more energy efficient way. Some of these also provide light, so you get two functions in one machine!
Which is the best air conditioner for tent camping?
Buying the best air conditioner for a tent can make camping in hot climates or during summer so much more comfortable. So, we hope this guide has helped with your search!
Whether you buy a tent AC unit that’s battery powered or use mains hook-up to keep it running, investing in a good one really can make all the difference to how well you sleep at night. With a choice between units that can cool the whole tent or the individual, the only question remaining is which one will suit your budget and preferences most of all.
Do you have another pick for the best air conditioner for tent camping? I’d love to hear what it is. Comment below.
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James Ian is a national park, camping and hiking expert.
He has dedicated his life to travel, visiting more than 80 countries, all 7 continents and all of the main national parks in the United States. With over 35 years experience in the travel industry, James has worked on cruise ships, at resorts and hotels, and as a travel planner who’s helped hundreds of people plan successful trips to US national parks.
Based on his experience visiting our national parks multiple times, in-depth research and expertise as a travel planner, James has published detailed itineraries for most of the major national parks in the US. These itineraries, as well as in-depth park guides, comprehensive camping and hiking gear reviews and buying guides, and helpful packing lists and gift guides will help you have your own incredible trip to US national parks without stress and hassle.
As a national park expert, James has contributed to many publications, including Time Business News, Savoteur, Best Trip, and Wired.
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