Unlike industrial propane heaters, a normal indoor and outdoor household propane heater is meant to heat only a relatively small area like a living room or small patio. That’s why the majority of propane heater buyers prefer to buy a portable propane heater. Portable propane heaters are characterized by its size (normally small-ish), weight (normally under 10 lbs) and mobility (it has wheels if it’s large and/or heavy).
Having the ability to quickly generate heat anywhere you go can make any camping, hunting or fishing trip much more comfortable in the colder months. Modern portable propane heaters can provide this heat and have advanced to the point where they are safe and very easy to use. Most models use a small propane cylinder for fuel and can be used almost anywhere you need a little heat. With the wide variety of these systems available on the market today, there are a few things you’ll need to consider before purchasing one to be sure that it fits your needs.
The 5 Best Selling Portable Propane Heaters:
- 4,000- to 9,000-BTU radiant heater for spaces up to 225 square feet. Approved for indoor/outdoor use; clean-burning; nearly 100-percent efficient
- When operating the heater at altitudes over 7,000 FT above sea level the heater may shut off.
- Auto shut-off if tipped over, if pilot light goes out, or if detects low oxygen levels
- Swivel regulators and single control,Length 19.00,Width 12.00
- Automatic low oxygen shutoff system
- Accidental tip-over safety shutoff
- Indoor-safe portable propane heater for rooms up to 95 square feet. THIS UNIT IS NOT INTENDED FOR GOLF CART USE OR FOR MOTORIZED VEHICLES.
- Continuous odor-free heat for up to 5-1/2 hours; 45-degree heating angle. Maximum Elevation (Ft) 7000 Feet
- Simple on/off buttons; uses 1-pound disposable propane cylinder (not included)
- Hi-effiency steel heat reflector
- Rust proof chrome emitter guard
- Porcelain coated back with rear safety grill
- Propane heater uses a durable stainless steel burner as well as a large paddlefoot plastic base for greater stability
- Individual regulator on/off control knob adjusts burner up to 2,890 BTUs
- Safety feature: Auto shut off valve will shut off fuel if flame goes out
The 5 Best Portable Propane Heaters:
Below we have listed the 5 best portable propane heaters currently available for sale online. This list will be reviewed and updated regularly.
As for our category of portable heaters, the first one comes from Stansport. A very convenient and affordable heater, this product has a very neat carry handle and a nice little stand. It’s sturdily built, ready to take on whatever the outdoors throw at it. It produces about 3,100 BTU, making it a good addition to your camping equipment, and a perfect way to keep yourself warm while camping during the colder months. It has simple controls, and you can turn it off, set it to low, medium or high at your discretion. It also has a rear cage for safety purposes.
The second heater, the Texsport Sportsmate is a similarly efficient and powered product. The heater can generate up to 3,000 BTUs, but it doesn’t feature multi-stage controls like the Stansport. Instead, it has a valve, so it offers a little bit more control and an opportunity for fine-tuning. The product has a slightly larger tank (16.7 oz, whereas Stansport had a 13.7 oz tank), and features an auto-shutoff valve for safety reasons. The burner is made out of stainless steel, while the base is made of molded plastic. Just like the Stansport, Texsport also features a steel cage. The product is optimized for use in golf carts.
This is in a way double product. It’s an amazing portable heater, and an amazing indoor heater as well. If you’re looking for a slightly more powerful product, then check out Mr/ Heater MH18B. This brawny portable heater can generate anywhere between 4,000 and 18,000 allowing it to heat up spaces as large as 300feet. It features a clean burning system and is 99% efficient. However, the heater can’t operate at altitudes over 7000 ft, so all you mountain people cankeep on looking. It features a pilot light that automatically shuts off if there is a lack of oxygen, and will also shut off automatically if it’s tipped over. The control knob offers multi-level adjustment in the form of off, low, medium and high power.
Because Mr. Heater productsare so good, we simply had to include another one. Mr. Heater MH12B Is another very powerful and very neat portable heater, able to generate even more BTUs than its brother. MH12B can generate up to 12,000 BTUs, and is up to par with the some of the wall-mounted models on our list. The product operates off a 1-pound cylinder, but, with an appropriate hose and filter, you can connect it to a 20-pound cylinder. Just like its brother, the heater features the same knob, with the same adjustment levels, off, low, mid and high. It also features the same auto-off features.
But don’t get your knickers tied up in a knot yet, because here comes Dyna-Glo RMC-FA60DGD Air Heater. This beast can produce anywhere from 30,000 to 60,000 BTUs, making it one of the most powerful heaters on our list. But, where the Dyna-Glo is a beast in power, it’s a kitten in setup – it simple, easy to use and hook-up, and comes with a regulator and a 10 foot long hose. Its blower spreads the heat over a wide area, ensuring you’re good to go even in the largest of cabins. As for safety features, it’s got tip-over shut-off and a back pressure switch.
Portable Propane Heaters Buyer Guides
Convection or Radiant Heating?
Most portable propane heaters generate their warmth in one of two ways. They either rely on convection or use a radiating element to warm you. Both of these technologies have their advantages and the one you choose is based mostly on the type of locations in which you’ll be using the heater.
A convection heater is a very simple device that creates an internal flame and then directs the heat produced to the air around the heater. This heat will uniformly warm an area and can be a great choice for areas that are slightly enclosed. While not all of these heaters are certified for indoor use, many can be usedsafely in an area that is shielded from the elements.
The reason these work so well in this type of area is that the warm air they produce will be lost in the open spaces outdoors. Even though you can huddle in close to the heater, the warm air it creates will be drawn away with the next breeze. Most indoor heaters use this technology since the air is fairly stationary inside a home.
A radiant heater is a better choice for outdoor use, especially if you’ll be in a wide-open area. This type of heater uses an internal flame to heat a specialized element to very high temperatures. When this element gets hot enough, it starts generating infrared heat that can travel through the air and heat any object it touches. This is a very efficient method of outdoor heating since none of its energy is wasted on heating the air between you and the heater.
Size Versus Portability
While most of these modern portable propane heaters can generate far more heat than older models, you’ll want to make sure you choose one that is large enough for your needs. The challenge is that these heaters are available in very large models that make their portability harder. If you purchase one of the larger units, it may be too big to safely heat a smaller area. With a convection heater, you’ll want to try and find one that can easily heat the area where you are expecting to use the heater. Most models provide some guidance on the number of BTU’s they generate and the rough size of the area they can be expected to heat. It’s always better to buy a heater that is slightly larger than your needs to avoid overworking it.
Radiant heaters are more dependent on how far away from the heater you expect to be and the number of people you hope to keep warm. Most models of radiant heaters broadcast their heat evenly around the heater in a circular pattern but some models allow you to focus their heating efforts in a particular direction. This can be helpful if you want to locate the heater at the edge of a campsite and not waste energy heating the woods.
Essential Safety Features to Look For
Any portable heater you’re considering will provide a number of safety features. These should include a tip detector that turns off the heater if it falls over. This eliminates the danger of the internal flame coming in contact with combustible materials. Some models feature a low oxygen detector that extinguishes the flame if the air in a room becomes toxic from the heater’s exhaust gas due to poor ventilation. This feature is especially important if these heaters are used in a garage or an area with limited ventilation. Most models of heaters also include thermostats or other temperature settings that allow you to manage the amount of heat they produce.
Modern portable propane heaters are more versatile than specialized indoor heaters and allow you to take the warmth they produce with you. Most models are designed to be rugged and easy to use. They will allow you to quickly and safely generate all the heat you’ll need to be comfortable, wherever you happen to need it.