It goes without saying that the British weather is anything but predictable. However, we can somewhat guarantee a hot spell or two during the summer months and this is taken as a prime opportunity by campers to spend some well-earned time in their tents. However, it can get pretty warm and sticky in there and this leaves adventurers wondering how to stay cool while camping.
The good news is that there are many ways you can keep from getting too hot in your tent, and while some of these are rather creative, a simple solution is a portable air conditioner. Tents with air conditioners provide campers with a cool and comfortable environment to sleep.
Latest update: March 2021
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What Is The Best Tent Air Conditioner?
Much like anything, portable tent air conditioners come in all shapes and sizes. Finding the best one can feel a little overwhelming, not to mention it is hugely time consuming. If you want more time to plan your next trip, why not use our handy rundown of some of the best tent air conditioners on the market?
Tent Air Conditioners
OUR TOP CHOICE
The AC unit runs on mains power so it is only suitable for camping grounds where you will have access to a power source. It uses a natural refrigerant which is much more eco-friendly than traditional solutions and features an exhaust hose that can be used at any window.
This unit comes with a handy remote control and an easy to read LED display as well as a choice of settings, allowing you to create an environment that is most comfortable to you. With the sleep mode, the unit will silently and constantly adjust the air for optimal sleeping conditions.
Choice of modes including sleep mode
LED display and remote control
Comes with exhaust hose
If you are looking for a high-end, reliable air conditioner that is suitable for larger tents then this 4 in 1 model may be right up your street. It has a BTU rating of 9000 and boasts Class A energy efficiency.
The AC unit is powered by a battery and comes with an easy to use remote control. Furthermore, it features a 24-hour shut off timer adding to its efficient design. But what impressed us the most is that, alongside offering air conditioning, this one also acts as a fan, a dehumidifier and boasts a sleep mode. Furthermore, it comes with a window kit making it ideal for campers.
4 in 1 function
Window kit included
If you are a single camper or are sharing a smaller, two-person tent then you aren’t going to want bulky equipment taking up precious space. Fortunately, this compact personal AC fan is ideal for just such a situation. It comes in a very aesthetically pleasing design and is perfect for hot summer nights.
The unit boasts a 4 in 1 function offering air conditioning, a fan, dehumidifying and a handy LED night light. Considering that this is such an affordable option, these functions are incredibly generous.
The unit is incredibly compact and lightweight and features a handle for easy carrying. What’s more, when it is running, it offers a quiet operation that won’t disturb your sleep. With a 400ml water tank, the unit will run for up to five hours and there is a choice of three speed settings.
Lightweight and easy to pack
Run time could be better
LEd night light
3 speed settings
4 in 1 functions
One of the first things to jump out at you about this air cooling unit is how easily portable it is. It features a slimline and compact design as well as sitting on castor wheels which make it incredibly easy to move around.
What’s more, the AC fan comes with a generous four-litre water tank and two ice packs that will help to boost the cool in the air. It offers a choice of three running modes and with the ability to swing up to 180º, the fan will reach every area of the tent.
This is also a great choice for campers who suffer from allergies, particularly when hay fever season comes around. It can trap allergens keeping the air fresher and allowing you to sleep easily. The four-litre water tank offers a constant running time of up to two days making it ideal for a weekend getaway.
Sits on wheels
Highest speed is pretty noisy
3 speed settings
4-litre water tank
For campers who want to explore the great outdoors without being limited to a place where they can access electricity, this battery-powered AC unit offers the ideal solution. This one offers 3 in 1 function allowing you to use the air cooling, a dehumidifier and a fan.
It is compact and portable and has a seven hour timer. There are also three speed settings which can be controlled with the handy remote. The power of this AC unit is ideal for tents with an area up to 320ft².
It also boasts a five litre water tank which means that you won’t need to keep filling it up and are free to enjoy your adventure. It is lightweight at just over 7kg and offers 45º oscillation.
3 in 1 function
Run time could be better
Great for medium to large tents
Why Do I Need Tent Air Conditioning?
If, this far, you have braved those hot summer nights in your tent by simply throwing off your sleeping bag and leaving the tent windows open, you’ll likely be familiar with just how suffocating it can be. But this isn’t something that you should have to put up with; tents with air conditioners allow for an excellent night’s sleep as well as providing somewhere to get out of the sun during the day.
When you are spending a lot of time outdoors (you wouldn't be on campfire magazine otherwise!)doing vigorous activities such as hiking, canoeing, climbing and anything else that takes your fancy, your body temperature is going to rise. Without somewhere to cool off, you could end up becoming ill with heatstroke. What’s more, when it’s time to bed down for the night, campers find it difficult to sleep in the heat and this can leave them feeling exhausted the following morning; not to mention unable to enjoy the day’s activities.
What To Look For In A Tent Air Conditioner
You might think that an air conditioner for your tent is just another piece of equipment that you have to remember to load into the car when setting off on an adventure. But in reality, while this may be true, it is one of the most important bits of gear when you are camping in hot weather. You will thank yourself for it down the line. However, before you can choose the right model, there are a few things you need to think about.
As we have mentioned, there are a lot of things to pack when you go camping and adding an AC unit into the mix is sure to take up space. However, it doesn’t need to be ginormous. There are plenty of portable air conditioners that can be easily loaded into the car leaving plenty of room for other things.
You should also consider it’s size in relation to that of your tent. If you are in a two person tent, the last thing you want is a hefty air conditioner taking up your precious sleeping space. On the flip side, if you’re in a large family tent, you will need to make sure that the AC unit is big enough - but more on that later.
Finally, you should think about the weight of the air conditioner. If you are camping in a remote location without access to mains electricity, you will need a battery powered air conditioner. But it is unlikely that you are going to want to drag a heavy piece of equipment up a steep hill to your favourite camping spot.
The size of your tent will determine the amount of cooling that you will need. If you are staying at an organised campsite with access to electricity, you will be able to cool a much larger tent. In contrast, if you are using a battery-powered device, you will only be able to cool tents up to a maximum of 250ft² but this will depend on the model. Some of the smaller ones may only manage much smaller tents so this is worth checking.
When attempting to cool a 150ft² tent, you will need a unit that has a BTU rating of 5000, if you use anything less than this, it won’t have the desired effect. This applies to both electric and battery AC units.
If you are using a cordless AC, then you will also want to consider how long the batteries will last and how easy it will be to charge them. There are some models that will cool the tent for the duration of the night whereas others may only provide a couple of hours of cooling.
Type Of Air Conditioner
When choosing your air conditioning unit for your tent, you must think about whether you want a room air con or a window air con. The difference is that a window air con relies on being rigged to exhaust air through the window of the tent.
A room air conditioner is typically a lot bigger but requires far less messing around to set up. What’s more, these are multi-functional and so, when you’re done camping, you can just as easily use it in the bedroom at home.
Camping in the summertime gives you the opportunity to really enjoy the outdoor lifestyle. However, the downside is that you need to find a way to stay cool and comfortable while you sleep in your tent. Using a tent air conditioner is a great way to get a good night’s sleep and be ready for what the next day holds. But you should keep in mind that there are a lot of things to consider and choosing the right type of AC unit can make a huge difference.