It may sound crazy, but people can–and do–bring air conditioners for tents on camping trips. Some days, beating the heat can feel like an impossible task. Even if you wear light, loose clothing, stay hydrated, and stay in the shade, the heat can be almost unbearable. Not to mention trying to get to sleep in your tent; if you’re like a lot of people, feeling sticky and humid when you’re laying down does not make for a good night’s sleep.
If you’re at a campsite with a power source (unless you go with an alternative AC, which we’ll look at below) and don’t plan on packing up and moving sites too often, a solid camping tent air conditioner can be a game changer. Some would say it’s cheating, but there’s nothing wrong with indulging in a few luxuries when you’re enjoying the outdoors. They’re cost effective (depending on which model you go with), but not all are suitable for camping. You need something that’s energy efficient, relatively light weight, and effective at producing that sweet cool air you crave on hot outings.
- 1 Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Camping Tent Air Conditioner
- 2 Camping Tent Air Conditioner Reviews
- 2.1 EdgeStar AP8000W Portable Air Conditioner with Dehumidifier and Fan
- 2.2 Frigidaire FFRA0511R1 5, 000 BTU 115V Window-Mounted Mini-Compact Air Conditioner
- 2.3 Tripp Lite SRCOOL12K 12K BTU (3.5 kW) Portable Cooling Unit Air Conditioner
- 2.4 Honeywell Portable Air Conditioner, Dehumidifier & Fan
- 2.5 COSTWAY 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner
- 2.6 GoCool 12V Portable Semi Truck Cab Air Conditioner For Camping Tents & RV Campers
- 2.7 5 Gallon Bucket Air Conditioner – Ice Model
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Camping Tent Air Conditioner
Not all air conditioning units are created equally, so it’s important to keep a few key factors in mind before you order one for your next outing.
Tent Air Conditioner Size
Tent Air Conditioner Type
There are several different types of air conditioner units to choose from, and each have their pros & cons.
Window-Mounted Air Conditioners
Room/Portable Air Conditioners
Ice Cooler Air Conditioners
These usually require the least amount of power, but require the most amount of upkeep while using. These generally work very well if you’re willing to change the ice out several times per day (especially on really hot days), which involves draining the melted water and requires you to have a solid supply of ice on hand. They’re not ideal, but are worth the effort if it’s close to 100 degrees out and you need an escape from the heat.
Camping Tent Air Conditioner Reviews
Now that you know what to look for when picking the right air conditioner for your needs, take a look at some of the best choices (listed below). Any of these would be a great choice, so it really just comes down to your specific goals, needs, and budget.
EdgeStar AP8000W Portable Air Conditioner with Dehumidifier and Fan
The EdgeStar AP8000W portable air conditioner (8,000 BTU) is a compact sized AC which is perfect for cooling rooms that are up to 250sq.ft. This no-hassle unit does not require drilling holes to install as it only needs enough space to vent the hot air out through a wall or window and a point for power supply. You can easily find a spot to let out the hose from your tent. It has an automatic direct drain option and includes all necessary items such as a remote control, window kit, hose, casters, and washable filters so you can set it up yourself.
- Portable. Can be used and removed as required
- Easy to operate
- Can be programmed for up to 24 hours
- 3-speed fan option
- Remote control included
- A few customers had problems with water leakage
Frigidaire FFRA0511R1 5, 000 BTU 115V Window-Mounted Mini-Compact Air Conditioner
Our next AC is a window mounted unit (5000 BTU) for smaller areas, preferably no larger than 150 sq. ft. Since it requires window mounting, you may have to customize your tent to fit the unit. However, it will not take up any floor space and the unit is compact in size. It does not come with a remote control; all controls are installed on the unit itself. If you can manage a 120V power supply and a way to mount this then the AC will go a great job in keeping your tent cool fresh when you need a good night’s sleep or an afternoon nap.
- Can effectively cool tents up to 150 sq. ft.
- Small frame
- Washable mesh filter
- Pretty heavy
- Cannot be installed without tent customization
Tripp Lite SRCOOL12K 12K BTU (3.5 kW) Portable Cooling Unit Air Conditioner
If you have very limited space in your tent but still want to enjoy the benefits of AC in your tent, then you can check out the Tripp Lite SRCOOL air conditioner. It is designed to fit narrow spaces but with 12,000 BTU of cooling power it can cool 500 sq. ft. of area. It comes with a built-in evaporator so you won’t have to worry about draining the water. The unit is installed with all automatic features which allow you to just plug and go about doing your business. You can keep a track on the temperature and all settings through the LCD display.
- Powerful cooling
- Can fit tight spaces
- Automatic features and options
- More expensive than other options
- Lifetime may be an issue
Honeywell Portable Air Conditioner, Dehumidifier & Fan
We feel portable ACs are always convenient for tents because they require no permanent installation and are one of the most hassle-free cooling units. The Honeywell portable AC has 9000 BTU cooling power which is ideal for rooms up to 400 sq. ft. It comes with dual washable filters and auto-evaporation and built-in dehumidifier. The 3-in-1 pre-assembled hose comes with connectors and you can easily set up the unit wherever you want. The remote control and LCD display ensures that you get to enjoy all the features just the way you want them customized.
- Portable and easy to install
- Self draining
- Great cooling power
- Includes a remote control and LCD display
- Fitted with wheels for easy movement
- Not exactly loud but not completely silent either
COSTWAY 10,000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner
This unit from COSTWAY is yet another portable AC that cools rooms up to 200 sq. ft. with 10,000 BTU capacity. It can be used in three modes; cooling, dehumidification and fan. The fan comes with 3 speed options so you can adjust the settings to meet your requirements. The 24-hour programmer and fan settings can all be controlled using the remote control and the LCD display. You can also move the unit from place to place as it has caster wheels installed. The compact size and user friendly operation makes this a good cooling system for your tent.
- No permanent installation
- User friendly
- Easy mobility
- Includes a remote control and LCD display
- Not very quiet
GoCool 12V Portable Semi Truck Cab Air Conditioner For Camping Tents & RV Campers
The GoCool air conditioner is designed especially for the outdoors. You can use this unit to keep your tent cool when you need to escape the heat and take shelter in a cool place. It works with water and ice where the ice is melted by warm air and a cool breeze is released to fill the room. If you can fully load it with ice you can easily get 5-6 hours of cooling depending on the heat condition outside. It is a 12 volt AC & DC air conditioner with no exhaust and with (AC) wall and (DC) vehicle lighter outlet you can get this unit running successfully. It includes a 6 feet long drainage tube to get the water out.
- Ideal for camping
- Easy to use
- Requires no installation
- Needs to be refilled with ice and water every time
5 Gallon Bucket Air Conditioner – Ice Model
Our final AC on the list is a bucket air conditioner. It is the ice-model which means it uses ice to release the cool air. The size is an added advantage as it is not too bulky and needs no installation. You can carry it anywhere around the tent and place it where there is a power supply. It can also be battery operated but for that you will have to purchase the batteries separately. This product comes with AC/DC power supply. To get this unit running all you have to do is fill it with ice or frozen bottles and a high pressure fan will blow cool air out of it. Depending on the weather outside, you can get hours of cooling effect from this compact piece.
- Compact in size
- Comes with the option of running on batteries
- No hassle of installing or mounting anywhere
- The ice can melt quickly and require frequent refilling on very hot days