There’s nothing like enjoying the open air of a camping trip. Thing is, sometimes that air gets uncomfortably hot, so it’s a good idea to have a tent air conditioner handy to offer cool respite when needed.
Going back a few decades, campers would have been shocked at the idea of bringing an AC unit along with them for a camping trip. Nowadays, with all the available technology, there’s little reason not to.
We can commit to being purists so we can build puddles of sweat during a hot, humid day camping. Or, we can enjoy a few nice, refreshing breaks in the AC-cooled tent.
If you’re wondering which tent air conditioner is best for you, check out our top recommendations below.
Although this tent air conditioner isn’t as portable as some of the other models we’ve listed here, it’s still amazingly convenient when you consider the amount of comfort on offer.
This is a compact, single-hose AC unit. For all the power it’s capable of producing, it also comes with relative ease of installation.
Its expandable hose kit allows you to conveniently install the unit through your tent slider or RV window.
The Ivation Portable Air Conditioner comes with five modes of use.
Campers can rely on the unit as both an air conditioner and dehumidifier — or both, simultaneously. You’re free to toggle between cool, dry, fan and auto modes.
You can also enable sleep mode whenever you’re looking to save on energy.
These functions are accessible via remote control, and it’s all displayed through a pristine LED screen.
There are two configurations to consider: the standard 10,000 BTU model and the 12,000 BTU edition.
For adventurers looking to add an extra gust of freshness to their campsite air, this unit is definitely worth having a look at.
- 5 different modes
- Remote control
- Powerful unit
- Some modes can be loud
The ENKLEN Portable Air Conditioner not only offers great comfort in a small package — it also doubles as a campsite night light.
This tent air conditioner comes with seven colors of light to choose from. Pick your favorite, and look out for the glow when getting back to your tent after dark.
Of course, the lighting is just a bonus. What we’re really interested in is its cooling capabilities.
Thankfully, the ENKLEN portable air conditioner does wonders in creating a comfortable environment despite its size.
Simply fill up the 380ml water tank, turn on the unit and enjoy its cooling effect within minutes. With a full tank, it’s capable of producing 6 hours’ worth of cooling.
ENKLEN has recently given a redesign to the product, improving its noise output levels and portability.
Powered by USB via adapter drive, power bank drive or notebook computer drive, it’s easy to take the ENKLEN portable air conditioner with you on any trek.
Here’s another bonus — this tiny tent air conditioner contains a filter that purifies the tent air of dust particles. This is great for campers with respiratory issues looking to get a good night’s sleep.
- Light and durable
- Filter can be replaced
- Adjustable air outlet
- Doesn’t cool as well as other units
This unit is a good pick for campers looking for a tent air conditioner that offers power while still being relatively portable.
The Shinco Portable Air Conditioner’s dehumidifying capacity runs at 60 pints per day. Not only does this offer great comfort, it’s also ideal for keeping the growth of bacteria in your tent or RV at bay.
It’s surprisingly quiet when running on low speed mode, outputting less than 52dB.
This unit is self-evaporative — it uses water from the air around it to cool its condenser coils. This leads to less water collection in the tank, making this tent air conditioner a breeze to maintain.
Maintenance is an important factor when choosing a tent air conditioner. No one wants to spend their whole weekend emptying their AC’s tank!
- 3 different modes
- Remote control
- Easy to move
- Some modes can be loud
This mini powerhouse comes at a significant cost compared to the other models in here, but it’s the only one made specifically for the outdoor market.
Weighing less than 13 lbs and being a fraction of the size of most portable units, this tent air conditioner is handy to say the very least.
It offers five features in one compact package: air conditioner, USB charging station, fan, LED light and music player.
Now that’s some bang for buck!
Its cooling output doesn’t come close to the larger units in this list, but the Zero Breeze Portable Air Conditioner can generate some incredible power despite its small size.
The patented micro compressor produces 1100 BTU. In a medium-sized tent, it can cool the air several degrees in relatively no time at all.
If you’re looking for maximum power in a small unit, check out this innovative tent air conditioner.
- Designed for the outdoors
- Bluetooth speaker
- Can struggle to cool large tents
LED Air Conditioners
All campers enjoy the thrill of spending a weekend outdoors. As convenient as urban life may be, camping gives us the opportunity to reconnect with nature, simply enjoying the present moment.
However, it’s tough to enjoy the present moment in hot and humid weather. Nature is fun and all, but when the weather takes a turn toward the unbearable, even the most dedicated campers need a nice, cool tent to escape to.
Some campsites also lack adequate lighting and in turn, this can be a burden when trying to organise your tent, find things in your bag or conducting other duties in the dark. Wasting your phones battery life when using the flashlight app can be a thing of the past when using an LED tent airconditioner.
We’ve compiled a list of a few great options below which can both cool your tent and light it up!
Aside from providing some much-needed cooling on a hot day, this tent air conditioner is great for setting the mood. With 7 different LED lighting options, there’s an ambience to suit everyone’s color palette.
The Scinex Personal Air Cooler might not have the widest cooling range, but it’s a great option for cooling a tent.
Simply fill the tank with water, connect it to a USB port or power bank and enjoy the cool breeze. With a full water tank, you can expect 8 hours of cooling.
This nifty unit weighs only 2.8 pounds and conveniently measures 6.7” x 6.7” x 6.9”. Its compact weight and size makes it easy to carry and transport.
It fits neatly into a backpack, and it definitely won’t take up much room in the trunk of a car.
Like other tent air conditioners in this list, the Scinex Personal Air Cooler can be used in many applications outside of the campsite. Set it up on your desk at work during a humid day, or over your bedside table to help you get a good night’s sleep.
Scinex includes some extensive customer care with this model. Aside from lifetime support, they offer a full year of buyer assurance. The manufacturer has your back, so there’s very little to lose here.
- Compact size
- Dazzling LED lighting
- 8 hours of cooling
- Low cooling range
Aside from being virtually weightless, this tent air conditioner is also stylishly designed. Looks aren’t a priority when it comes to AC units, but they certainly don’t hurt.
Thanks to the considerable volume of its water tank, the Evapolar Personal Evaporative Air Cooler offers a working time of 9 hours and includes three functions in one. It simultaneously cools, humidifies and filters air particles.
Simply point this tent air conditioner in the desired direction, and it will provide 45 square feet of cooling.
The low noise output, cooling breeze and air purifying qualities make the unit your greatest ally when it comes to getting a good night’s sleep in the tent.
The soft LED backlight is an added bonus that acts as a comforting night light.
The unit’s cartridge pads use non-cellulose-based materials. Instead, it operates via inorganic nano-fibers. This makes it totally bio-resistant and immune to mold growth.
With so many functions wrapped in such a neat package, it’s definitely tough to pass this tent air conditioner up.
Immune to mold growth
9 hours of working time
- Pricier than its competitors
On days where the campsite heat is quite bearable, there’s little need to lug a bulky AC unit with you. In these cases, a light, refreshing breeze in the tent will do the trick.
The Odoland Portable LED Camping Lantern is so convenient, every camper should have it neatly packed in their arsenal.
In terms of lighting output, this is by far the brightest unit in our list. It comes with 18 individual low powered LED bulbs. Post this over your tent at night, and you’ll be amazed at how bright things get.
You can expect a whopping 20 hours of LED lighting usage, 5 hours of fanning in high speed mode and 15 hours in low speed mode.
Aside from expelling a fresh draft, the fan can be oriented in a number of different angles. With 360° rotation, you can point and set it anywhere you like.
Its lightweight build and compact size allows you to take this camping fan anywhere without feeling the slightest burden.
On top of everything, it costs a fraction of the price of other, heavier duty tent air conditioners.
Ultra bright lighting
- CLow cooling output
THINGS TO KEEP IN MIND WHEN CHOOSING AN LED TENT AIR CONDITIONER
Before jumping into our recommendations, there are a few key things campers should keep in mind.
These units are built for convenience more than power. They’re a fantastic utility to keep around a campsite, but they won’t offer nearly the same cooling capacity as a larger model.
If you’re seeking more powerful options, check out our other recommended products at the beginning of this article.
While it might be tempting to skip out on the expense of buying a tent air conditioner, it’s much better to have one available than to lack one when it’s desperately needed.
On a hot, humid day, it’s important to have the option of escaping to an air conditioned tent. Without an air conditioner, the tent will be even stuffier than the outdoors.
On a similar note, if you expect the weather to be particularly uncomfortable, it’s better to invest on a higher end air conditioner, as the output of the more affordable models might not cut it.
Thankfully, most models are relatively inexpensive considering the convenience on offer.
Don’t forget to factor in your tent space. All of the following units will comfortably cool a small tent, but larger, family-sized tents may require the use of multiple air conditioners — or a single, powerful unit — in order to achieve true comfort.
With all that in mind, let’s dive right into the list.
TENT AIR CONDITIONER TYPES
There are two main types of tent air conditioners: window and portable.
WINDOW TENT AIR CONDITIONER
This is the same type of unit that is mounted through the window of homes and apartment buildings. The same installation method is required when used as a tent air conditioner — though not exactly the same.
Of course, installing an AC unit through a tent fabric is different than mounting it over a solid window frame.
Because the fabric won’t support the weight of the unit, you’ll need to support it from the tent’s exterior.
Aside from that, proper installation may require you to make some slight modifications to your tent.
Ideally, the tent air conditioner will fit neatly through the window of your tent. If it doesn’t, you’ll have to extend the window’s dimensions to accommodate the unit. And yes, that’s just a nice way of saying you’ll have to slice into your beloved tent.
For this reason, it’s better to buy your tent with a window AC unit in mind. If you didn’t already, you’ll be much better off with a portable unit.
PORTABLE TENT AIR CONDITIONER
This type of air conditioner comes in several variations. The more powerful models require a hose to be stuck through the tent fabric to the exterior.
This does require the tent to have some sort of opening, but luckily, these hoses are small enough to fit through most tent windows.
There are also models that don’t require much of an installation process at all. Some are simply plugged in and turned on, while others are wholly portable when charged.
Generally though, hoseless models don’t offer the same level of cooling output. For families camping in larger tents, units that require a hose are likely the safer bet.
SO, WHICH TENT AIR CONDITIONER IS BEST FOR YOU?
That all depends on what you’re looking for.
Do you need a unit that’s powerful enough to cool a large tent or RV?
Or are you looking for something compact to provide a bit of extra comfort while you sleep?
Are extra features (lighting, music player, etc.) important, or are you looking for a simple tent air conditioner?
What about your budget?
These are all things you should consider before making your choice. There’s no right answer for everyone, but with a bit of digging, you’ll find the right one for you.