Camping is such a well-loved activity because it gives you a break from the real world. Even if it is only for a couple of days, camping can be an escape from technology, and work, and all the things that it is easy to get caught up in.
But there are some home comforts that you might not want to be without, and one of these is air conditioning.
This is especially important if you decide to go camping in the summer as the hot weather can quickly become unpleasant, especially during the nighttime.
In the heat of a warm night it can be difficult to sleep, and all you will want is the HVAC unit that you have fitted in your home.
Thankfully there are portable air conditioning units which are perfect for camping. But finding the right one for you can be difficult.
We’ve done the hard work so that you don’t have to, so if you want to find out more about some of the best air conditioning units for tents on the market, keep on reading.
OUR TOP PICK
Our favorite air conditioner for cooling your tent is the Vivibyan Portable Air Cooler. This air conditioner has a relatively low price point which is excellent because you get so much out of it for the price that you pay.
For this price, you get a 3-in-1 air conditioner which is incredibly versatile and can be used in lots of different situations.
This 3-in-1 design includes your traditional air cooler, as well as a humidifier which can come in handy in allergy season, and an air purifier for if you want to breathe cleaner air.
So there’s no doubt that you can get lots of different uses out of this device.
As well as being versatile, this device is also incredibly easy to control. This is because it comes with an LED touchscreen display which is easy to use, and works similarly to how you would control your cell phone.
Simply press the ‘buttons’ to alter absolutely everything about this air conditioner, as well as switching between modes and adjusting the coolness that is output.
This works well as this device can be easily adjusted to increase or decrease the wind speeds depending on how cold you want it inside your tent.
So if you want to invest your money in a good device, this is a great choice.
- 3-in-1 Design - this air conditioning unit can also be used as an air purifier and a humidifier making it very versatile and a good investment
- Easily Adjustable - very easy to change the wind speeds of this cooler so that you can choose different amounts of cool air depending on what you are doing
- LED Display - easy to control with an LED touch display which means that you can simply touch the screen to turn this device on/off
- No notable drawbacks
Another wonderful choice is the Black and Decker BPACT12WL Portable Air Conditioner. Black + Decker is a notorious name in so many appliance sectors, from kitchen appliances to air coolers, so you know that this is a company that you can trust.
If Black + Decker produced products that were subpar there is no way that they would be as renowned as they are. So, even though this device is more expensive than some competitors, you know that your money is going to a company that you can rely on.
As well as being produced by a name that you can trust, this device is also packed with great features which make it worth the money.
For example, it has a high cooling capacity, allowing it to effectively cool rooms measuring between 250-300 square feet, in size, making it a perfect choice for cooling your tent.
It is also easy to install which is definitely something that you need from an air conditioner unit, especially when you are going to be using it on a camping trip.
So if you want an air conditioner unit that will make your camping experience as stress-free as possible, then this is an excellent choice.
- High Cooling Capacity - has the ability to cool rooms between 250-300sq ft in size making it the perfect option for cooling your tent effectively
- Easy to Install - give this air conditioner access to the outside and electricity, then it's good to go and will keep your tent cool for hours
- Easy to Control - includes an LED touch screen which is self-explanatory to use and an additional remote control meaning you do not need to move to adjust wind speed
- No notable drawbacks
If you want to purchase from a company who knows their stuff when it comes to air conditioner units, then the MIDEA MAPIOSICWT Portable Air Conditioner could be a great option for you.
This air conditioner is advertised as portable, but it has a heavy weight which can confuse some people.
But this device is able to be heavy as well as being portable as it is designed with heavy-duty and resilient wheels which make it easy to move this air conditioner unit around until you find the perfect spot inside your tent.
As well as being easy to move around until you find the best spot, this device is also effortless to use. Some air conditioners can be difficult to manage, which is the last thing that you want when you are supposed to be relaxing on a camping trip.
Once this air conditioner is set up it is also incredibly easy to use, and effortless to control as it comes with both an LED touch screen and a remote control. This means that you don’t even need to move from your comfy camping chair to turn on this device.
So if you want to be able to relax while you are camping while also enjoying cool air, then this could be a great choice for you.
- Easy to Transport - despite its heavy design, this air conditioner is on resilient wheels which makes it easy to move around inside your tent
- Effortless to Use - comes with remote control and LED screen which makes it easy to select your desired coolness and get this air conditioner operating in no time
- Wi-Fi and Voice Control - if you have internet connection then you can also control this air conditioner using your voice, making it a great option when you want to relax
- No notable drawbacks
If you want a budget air conditioner, then this option by Fandiishop is a great choice.
Considering its very low price point, this device is actually packed with cool electronic features which make it convenient to use, and even enjoyable.
Something that a lot of people like about this air conditioner is that it comes with a wireless connection which just enhances how portable it is.
So, not only is it small and lightweight, it also has no wires which means that this air conditioner will not become a trip hazard.
The small design of this air conditioner might lead you to believe that this device is weak, but this simply isn’t the case.
In fact, this air conditioner actually has a large cooling capacity which makes it perfect for cooling your tent efficiently.
Finally, the best thing about this air conditioner is that it is easily adjustable and customizable. This means that increasing or decreasing the wind feature is simple.
It also means that you can adjust the color cycle of the air conditioner to fit your mood, or entertain the kids. So, if you want a budget air conditioner that is full of great features, this might be the perfect option for you.
- Wireless Connection - portable and small size made even better by no wires allowing you to easily move this air conditioner around inside your tent
- Large Capacity - despite its small size this air conditioner has a large capacity that will ensure it makes your tent nice and cool
- Customizable - includes 3 different wind features, and 7 color cycle options allowing you to alter this air conditioner to fit your mood
- Less Powerful - than some other wired air conditioners we have looked at
If you are happy to spend significantly more money on an air conditioner unit, then you might choose the SereneLife Portable Air Conditioner.
Despite its high price point this device is actually easily portable as it is relatively lightweight and small, allowing you to easily fit it in the trunk of your car alongside all of your other camping equipment.
So even if you have a large family with lots of stuff, you will still be able to fit this air conditioner in your car.
As well as being easily portable, this device is also very easy to control as it comes with a digital remote controller.
This makes adjusting the air conditioner an effortless process as you don’t even need to move from where you are sitting to adjust the wind speed, simply use the controller and the device will switch to your new wants and needs.
If this wasn’t enough, this air conditioner also comes with a built-in dehumidifier which is wonderful for those who suffer with allergies. So if you want value for your money, then this is a great choice.
- Portable Design - lightweight and small design makes it easy to fit this device in the trunk of your car and to move it around your campsite
- Easy to Control - includes a digital remote control which allows you to tailor every aspect of the air conditioner to your specific wants and needs
- Built in Dehumidifier - this device can also be used as dehumidifier as it has this ability built in which is great for those who struggle with allergies
- Less Efficient - than some other devices so it might not be the best for long camping trips
Finally, we have the Rollibot Rollicool Portable Air Conditioner. If the coolness of this product’s name isn’t enough to sell you on it, then it is also packed with wonderful features which might make it the best one for you.
The most notable feature being the fact that this air conditioner is actually voice enabled.
So, if you are lucky enough to stay in a camp site that has Wi-Fi access then you can connect your air conditioner to this and use Alexa voice control to switch it on/off and adjust the wind speeds.
As well as having this cool feature, this air conditioner is also designed for spaces measuring up to 275 square feet which makes it a great option for cooling your tent.
This is because it will be able to efficiently provide enough cool air to reduce the temperature in your tent without making it cold.
But one of the main things that makes this device ideal for camping is the fact that it only weighs 56 pounds giving it an extremely lightweight design.
As well as being relatively lightweight, this device also comes on 360 degree caster wheels which makes it very easy to maneuver it around inside your tent. So it is clear that this is one of the best choices on the market.
- Perfect for Small Tents - built for use in spaces measuring up to 275 square feet making it a great option for keeping your tent cool
- Lightweight Design - weighs only 56 pounds and comes on 360-degree caster wheels so that you can easily move it about
- Voice Enabled - compatible with Alexa voice control when given an internet connection making this device as stress-free as possible to use
- High Operating Noise - might make this device unsuitable if you are a light sleeper
Best Air Conditioner for Tent Buying Guide
If you need an air conditioner for your tent then the options that we have looked at above are some of the best on the market. But if you still aren’t certain what you are looking for then we are here to help.
As well as compiling a shortlist of some of the best air conditioners for tents available, we’ve also put together a helpful buyer’s guide full of absolutely everything that you need to know about these devices.
So if you want to find out more about what you’ve been looking for before you buy then keep on reading.
Camping with an Air Conditioner
Before you decide to use an air conditioner when camping, you really need to consider how this is going to impact your camping experience.
A lot of people go camping with the intention of using as little electricity as possible, so when you decide to use an air conditioner this can hugely impact your camping experience.
So when you decide to camp with an air conditioner in your set-up, there are two main things that you need to consider. They are the amount of power that you will need and compatibility with your tent.
First you need to think about power. If you are planning on taking an air conditioner on a camping trip with you then this is perhaps the most important thing to consider as without power the air conditioner will not work.
This will impact a number of things when it comes to your camping trip at multiple different stages, beginning with choosing where to camp.
When you are deciding on your camping location, you will usually choose a campsite as these have excellent amenities that mean you are not too far away from civilization.
However, even some camping sites will not provide connection to electricity. So if you want to use an air conditioning unit you must choose a camping site that offers electricity.
As well as choosing a campsite that offers electricity, you will also have to be careful when you are pitching your tent to ensure that you are near the designated electricity point.
However, it is possible to use an air conditioner unit in campsites where electricity is not offered, you just need to prepare for this.
For example, some air conditioning units will be battery powered rather than needing to be connected to mains electricity. These units are usually less powerful, but they can cool the air inside your tent, just make sure you pack a lot of batteries in your kit if you choose this style of air conditioner.
Alternatively, you may choose to hook your air conditioner unit up to your vehicle’s electricity, which is easy, but it does mean your car needs to be close to your tent.
Finally, you may choose to pack an additional car battery so that you can connect your air conditioner without needing to park your vehicle extremely close to your tent.
Next, you need to think about the compatibility of your tent. Once you have figured out how you are going to provide electricity to your air conditioner, you can then think about the type of air conditioner that will be most effective with the type of tent that you are using.
There are a huge range of air conditioner units available, so it is important that you buy one that will be able to cool your tent without being too heavy on electricity or so powerful that it makes your tent cold rather than cool.
You will also need to consider the perfect type of air conditioner for the natural ventilation system in your tent. Some tents will be extremely insulated and others will be more breathable depending on their design, this small design feature will hugely impact the best air conditioner for the job.
Tents that are naturally breathable are great for air conditioning, but they will usually result in the air conditioner being heavy on electricity as you will lose a high percentage of the cold air to the natural ventilation in your tent.
Whereas tents that are more insulated will be naturally hotter, but they will also keep the cool air inside the tent.
Finding the perfect air conditioner for your tent is not an easy task, and more often than not it will require you to make some alterations to your tent rather than finding the perfect one that will simply slot in and do the job perfectly.
The design of some tents will make a powerful air conditioner be too much which may result in you becoming cold rather than cooled down. Likewise, the design of some tents may mean that a less powerful air conditioner is unable to reach all of the different areas of the tent, preventing it from being able to do its job successfully.
Finally, when we are talking about compatibility, you also want to consider the physical size of the air conditioner unit. A large air conditioner will be bulky and difficult to transport, which might mean that it isn’t a great idea, especially if you have a large family with lots of camping kit to fit in your car.
So before you purchase a large and powerful air conditioner (even if it seems like a better investment) consider your own situation and whether you will be able to transport it to the campsite alongside your existing camping kit.
Things to look for in an Air Conditioner
Now that you have considered your situation and how this might impact the perfect air conditioner for your tent, let’s take a look at some of the more objective factors that might impact the perfect air conditioner for you and some of the things that you should look for in an air conditioner for your tent.
Types of Air Conditioner
The first thing that you need to consider is the type of air conditioner that you want to buy. There are a huge range of different types of air conditioners available, so depending on the type of tent that you are looking to cool, a different type might be more suitable.
There are lots of different types of air conditioners, but the main ones that you will encounter in relation to tents are portable air conditioners, genuine air conditioners which are placed on a stand for camping use, cordless air conditioners, and the most common type, personal or large evaporative coolers.
Depending on the type of tent that you are looking to cool a different type will be better suited. For example, if you want to cool a tent that you are sleeping in you might choose a personal evaporative cooler.
But if you are trying to cool a larger tent which will be used for socializing, for example for a wedding, then a series of large evaporative coolers might be better suited.
So before you buy an air conditioner, you should take a look at the different varieties which are available and buy one which suits the job that you want to do best.
Size of Tent
The next thing that you need to consider is the size of the tent that you are trying to cool. If you are working to a budget then it can seem easy to just buy a cheap air conditioner, but if you have a large space to cool then the chances are that a lot of budget air conditioners will not be able to cool the air successfully.
So while it can be tempting to choose a cheap option, this might not be the best idea.
Every single air conditioner which is produced is designed to be able to cool a specific square footage of space. In a lot of budget air conditioners, this square footage is very small, hence why the price point is so low.
So if you want to be able to cool a large tent successfully then you will usually need to invest in a more expensive device.
As well as considering the square footage of the tent, you should also consider the amount of people who will be inside it.
Body heat has the ability to greatly increase the temperature of the tent, so you need to consider the effect that the people inside the tent will have on the temperature before you buy an air conditioner.
Following on from that, you need to consider the power level of the air conditioner that you are considering buying.
The power of an air conditioner is universally measured using a measurement known as BTU (British Thermal Units) which calculate the amount of energy that the device will require in order to operate correctly.
BTU works in the same way as most measurements, so the lower the BTU the less energy that the air conditioner will require, and the higher the BTU, the more energy the air conditioner will need to operate. Electricity can be expensive, so it is very important that you consider this when choosing the correct air conditioner for the job.
As we have said, it can be very tempting to just buy a big and powerful air conditioner if you have the money, simply because on the surface it appears that they will do the job best.
But something you might not consider when making this purchase is the cost of electricity. Even if you can afford a large air conditioner this could end up being a huge waste of money if you only have a small tent.
So before you purchase an air conditioner, think about the BTU at which it operates and whether you need a powerful air conditioner to be able to cool your tent efficiently.
Next, you need to think about the operating noise of the air conditioner. If you have ever used an air conditioner before you will be aware that these devices can be particularly noisy and irritating.
This can be made even more annoying when you have an air conditioner cooling your tent during the night when you are trying to sleep.
Generally, all air conditioners will come with a certain level of operating noise. But, depending on the type that you buy, this noise does not need to be so annoying that it will keep you up at night or interfere with your ability to relax and enjoy your break.
Something that often impacts the operating noise of an air conditioner is if it has a lot of additional features, so this is something to consider before you make a purchase.
Unfortunately, a lot of air conditioner producers will sell their products as ‘low noise’ when this isn’t the case. So unless the seller actually lists the exact decibel rating of operating noise then it is best to check the reviews to see how noisy a device is going to be.
But remember, all air conditioners will produce some operating noise, and so it might just be something that you have to live with in order to stay cool at night.
Finally, you need to consider ventilation when you are buying an air conditioner. This might be the last point that we are looking at, but it is actually one of the most important as bad ventilation in your tent could cause harm to your health.
One way that ventilation in your tent will impact your air conditioner is that it might affect the efficiency of the device. If the ventilation in your tent is excessive then you might find that some cool air produced by the air conditioner is actually lost as it moves out of the tent instead of inside it. This can be frustrating, but it will not impact your health.
If you have a battery powered air conditioner then there is no need to worry about it potentially impacting your health due to bad ventilation.
Bad ventilation could only affect your health if the tubing and hoses of gas powered air conditioners are not given a proper outlet to the outdoors. But, most air conditioners are now battery powered or powered by electricity, so this is not as much of a worry as before.
So before you buy an air conditioner you should think about the ventilation in your tent and whether this will cause some cold air to be lost to the outdoors.
In short, the air conditioning units that we have looked at above are some of the best options for your tent.
But if you still aren’t sure, or have any unanswered questions, check out the handy FAQ section we have added below.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you use an air conditioner in a tent?
Yes, you can use an air conditioner in your tent. It is perfectly safe, and the only thing that might prevent you from using an air conditioner is if your campsite does not have electricity,
But the majority of campsites do come with electricity, and so you will almost always be able to use an air conditioner in your tent.
A portable air conditioner is the best choice, but remember that you must buy a powerful air conditioner as it will have to work harder than it would in your home due to the lack of insulation in your tent.
How do I cool down my tent?
Keeping your tent cool can be a difficult task, especially in the summer months. The most obvious way to cool down your tent is to use an air conditioning unit, however we recognize that this might not always be possible.
If you cannot use an air conditioning unit other ways to keep your tent cool include dis-assembling the tent during the day, camping in the shade, using a reflective sunshade, or using a tent that contains lots of meshes.
All of these steps will reduce the temperature in your tent and make it more comfortable.
How much does it cost to air condition a tent?
It is difficult to calculate how much it will cost to air condition your tent without knowing the specific size and dynamics of your tent. But it is possible to calculate an average cost if you know the square footage of your tent.
Generally, air conditioning costs between £1 and £1.50 per square foot, so you can use this number to prepare yourself for how much it will cost to air condition your tent.
Simply multiply the square footage of your tent by the cost of air conditioning per square foot to get an average calculation of air conditioning costs.
How do you cool a large tent?
Keeping a large tent cool could be an Olympic sport because there are so many things that you have to consider for it to be successful.
The best way to keep your large tent cool is to purchase the correct style of tent, in particular one that is breathable, and also to set up this large tent in a shaded area where possible.
Additionally, you could dig a tent pit, pitch the tent when it is cooler, and open all the vents to make it cooler. But the most common way to keep a large tent cool is to use an air conditioning system.
How can I cool down my wedding tent?
If you are getting married in a tent then keeping it cool is more important than most other situations.
Weddings can be stressful, so cool air is very important. The best way to keep your wedding tent cool is to use fans and air conditioning units.
You should place multiple fans around the dance floor, securing them as high in the air as possible for the best results.
You should also place fans around the outside of the tent to ensure the cold air continues to circulate. This combined with a good air conditioning unit will ensure that your wedding tent remains cool.
What is the best tent for hot weather?
Some tents are specifically designed for use in warm weather, and they have features which will help keep the inside of the tent cooler during the warm months.
These tents tend to include more mesh in their design, and might use darkroom features to reflect heat back off of the tent rather than into it.
They also tend to be made with material that is less insulating as this allows the heat to move out of the tent rather than trapping it inside. But even these tents will often need to be used with an air conditioner to keep them cool.