If you were wondering “How do I keep my tent cool while camping?” or “Can I use an air conditioner in my tent?” then you’re in the right place to find a Portable Air Conditioner for Camping Tent.
We’ve tested 13 products and found the Zero Breeze Mark 2 to be the best of the best Camping Coolors for the average camper.
I’ve been a camper for over 25 years, so I know a thing or two about camping. Read on and see if you don’t agree that the Zero Breeze Mark 2 is the best, or if you prefer one of the other portable air conditioners for camping tents I mentioned.
Top 3 Portable Outdoor Air Conditioner Quick Picks
|Zero Breeze Mark 2: Best Overall|
A dual cordless or battery-operated portable air conditioner, this is a true portable air conditioner with the power to not only cool but heat your tent at about 1/4 the capacity of a conventional auto air conditioner. It is sleek and powerful, and perhaps the best tent air conditioner money can buy.
|Hessaire MC18M Portable Evaporative Cooler: Best Budget Cooler|
Known traditionally as a swamp cooler, you fill it with water and the fan will cool the ambient air and makes a very reasonable and affordable portable outdoor air conditioner.
|Evapolar EvaLIGHT Plus EV-1500 Personal Evaporative Air Cooler: Best for Small Camping Tents|
If you have only a small camping tent and access to an electrical outlet, the Evapolar EvaLight is a popular, whisper-quiet alternative to lugging around a huge and expensive portable outdoor air conditioner.
Best Portable Air Conditioner for Camping Tents
1. Zero Breeze Mark 2 (Perhaps the Best tent air conditioner you can buy)
If you are a serious outdoorsman and want the very best Portable Air Conditioner for Camping Tents, then look no further than the Mark 2 by Zero Breeze.
This is the Rolls Royce of a Portable Air Conditioner for Camping Tents.
- First, the Mark 2 is a truly off-the-grid Portable Air Conditioner for Camping Tents.
The Mark 2 comes with a rechargeable, lithium-ion battery which can be used for up to 5 hours of cooling, or you can run the unit as long as you want if you have access to
a power supply.
Most other Portable Air Conditioner for Camping Tents do not come with the option of running on battery power.
- Second, the unit not only cools but heats
The Mark 2 heating function can actually heat a tent up to 90 degrees, ideal for hunters who are searching for big game in cold climates, and has 2300 BTU’s of cooling Powers which is amazing for a 16 pound, portable unit.
- Uses relatively low power
Despite being powerful, the Mark 2 uses about 1/5 the energy of a conventional air conditioner.
Therefore, it’s possible to hook a Mark 2 to a conventional car battery with an inverter, so you do not necessarily need a generator to enjoy your Mark 2 off the grid.
- Best overall
As we said initially, we found the Mark 2 the best overall Portable Air Conditioner for Camping Tents, and have yet to find a portable unit that is so versatile.
They are not cheap but are worth every penny you pay.
2. Hessaire MC18M Portable Evaporative Cooler
At the opposite side of the spectrum comes the Hessaire MC18M Portable Evaporative Cooler
It is important for campers to understand the difference between an air conditioner that uses refrigerant like the Mark 2, as compared to swamp coolers which take warm air from the outside, and cool them down with wet cooler pads.
According to the US Department of Energy, a swamp cooler like the Hessaire can lower the ambient temperature by up to 15 degrees. The bad news is that swamp coolers only work well in places with low humidity. So don’t plan on using them outside Atlanta Ga or Austin Texas.
As to the Hessaire:
- This is a powerful cooler that can cool a huge room, so unless you camp with a circus tent, you’ll be covered.
- But no battery
Unfortunately, there is no battery operation. The Hessaire is strictly a power-only cooling system. You’ll either need a power plugin or a generator to use the Hessaire for camping.
- The best portable swamp cooler for the money
The Hessaire is only a fraction of the cost of a true air conditioning system, and in places with low humidity, if have a place to plug it in, they work great.
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3. Zero Breeze Mark 1
The Zero Breeze Mark 1 is made by the same company that makes the Zero Breeze Mark 2.
The Mark 2 is better since it both heats and cools, comes with a lithium-ion battery, and has over twice the cooling power of the Mark 1.
However, it’s still small and sleek, and if you already have a lithium-ion battery, then simply buy the attachment to allow the battery to run the unit and you are all set.
The advantage of the Mark 1 is that it is quite a bit cheaper.
- Best for smaller tents
- Significantly cheaper
- Weighs less
4. Evapolar EvaLIGHT Plus EV-1500 Personal Evaporative Air Cooler
The Evapoloar is alright for a 2-man or 1 man tent. As sleek as it looks, despite the advertising hyperbole, in the end, it’s simply a tiny swamp cooler.
Does it work? Plenty of reviewers say yes, although most of those reviewers are from places with low humidity in the first place.
- Fairly cheap as person coooling devices are concerned
- Must be plugged in but uses very little electricity
- Will spot cool a small room and does a decent job in a small tent
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5. Nakatomi X Uninex Indoor Outdoor KoolZone Mobile Spot Cooler N407
A spot air conditioner in the true sense of the word, the Nakatomi is a true air conditioner that puts out nearly 9,000 BTU’s of cooling power.
Three things, however, make the Nakatomi rather impractical for camping in a tent.
The first is the weight. The Nakatomi weighs in at 88 pounds, making it rather impractical for camping, although it does have wheels to transport it.
Secondly, the item is quite expensive, again making the Mark II look better.
Third, it must be plugged in. There is no option for a battery.
- Reviews indicate it spot cools very well.
- Built to last
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How Do You Vent a Portable Air Conditioner in a Tent?
The main idea is to have plenty of ventilation. You’ll need to have an open spot behind your air conditioner to eliminate all gasses and pollution that may build up.
With some personal air conditioners like the Mark 2, this is not a problem, but generally, you want plenty of outside ventilation by creating a small exit hole for airflow.
With a true air conditioner, you’ll need to vent the water that builds up as the air conditioner actually removes humidity from the air and the water build-up needs to be vented outside the tent.