Is a tent air conditioner practical for camping use?

It’s not a great feeling when you’re baking in your own sweat as you sleep in a humid tent. A good night’s sleep will seem nearly impossible.
But don’t panic just yet. There is no need to cancel the trip as you can solve this problem. All you need to do is to get yourself a tent air conditioner.

Below, you will find reviews of the best tent air conditioners. Along with these reviews, We will also help you make the right choice by learning about different options available for campers.

Best Tent Air Conditioner for Camping – Top Picks

Product Model
BTURating
Price
Frigidaire Compact Air Conditioner

5,000

4.5

Honeywell Portable Air Conditioner

10,000

3.9

Whynter Portable Air Conditioner

14,000

4.0

Honeywell Evaporative Air Cooler

N/a

4.1

LG Window Mounted Air Cooler

8,000

4.2

Types of tent air conditioners

Camping with a tent air conditioner is a great way to make camping cool (no pun intended) even when the temperature is rising. These appliances come in various sizes and shapes, allowing you to find the one that suits your unique camping needs.

However, these appliances use electricity, and therefore you need a camping site with a power source to enjoy a good night’s sleep in tents with AC.
When you want to buy an air conditioner to keep your tent cool when camping in a hot climate, it’s important to learn about different types of air conditioners. It will help you make the right choice.

Window-mounted unit
Portable air conditioner

Create your own Air Conditioner

DIY

Factors to consider when buying

When buying a tent air conditioner, it’s important to consider the following factors to make the right choice.

Size & Portability
Cooling capacity
Installation

Frigidaire Window-Mounted Mini-Compact Air Conditioner

Tent Air Conditioner - Frigidaire Mini-Compact Tent Air Conditioner
Frigidaire FFA0511R1 5000 BTU 115V is a window-mounted mini-compact air conditioner that comes with mechanical controls. It comes with a window-mounting kit and powers using a standard 115V electric supply.

Review
This model from Frigidaire is one of the best tent air conditioners because of its ability cool the room quickly. You can install it in a large tent, up to 150 sq. Ft and never worry about the heat outside. Even if you are camping in a humid environment, this device will help you with its built-in dehumidification feature.

The device has 2 cool speeds, giving you total control on the indoor temperature. If you are camping in a mildly hot area, simply use the cool low setting to achieve a comfortable environment inside the tent. On the other hand, you can turn it up to ‘high’ cool when camping in extremely hot climate.

Since this unit has a low power start-up, it will save you money by conserving energy. Your camping trips are affordable even when you plan to camp in hot and humid weather.

Technical details
– Window-mounted air
– 5,000 BTUs
– 15 x16 x12 inches
– Cools a room up to 150 sq. ft.

How to install
To have an air-conditioned tent, simply mount the window AC to a window. You can read the manual and do the installation on your own without requiring any professional assistance.
It has a washable mesh filter that slides out from the side. Keeping this filter clean ensures clean air, free from harmful bacteria and disturbing odors. With this unit operating, you won’t see any airborne particles.

Pros

– Suitable for hot and humid climate
– Healthy and clean air free from odor and airborne particles
– Multiple cool/fan speeds
– Low power start

Cons
– No touch controls
– No LCD display

Honeywell Portable Air Conditioner with Dehumidifier & Fan

Tent Air Conditioner - Honeywell MN10CESWW Portable Air Conditioner
Honeywell MN10CESWW MN Series air conditioner is a portable unit with 10,000 BTU for superior cooling even in the hottest places. It’s slim and has a built-in dehumidifier. This unit can cool a room up to 350 sq. ft.

Review
Honeywell portable air conditioner comes with digital LCD display, which is touch-enabled. The device takes only 3 seconds to respond to your touch, which is incredibly fast. The package comes with a full-function remote control that makes it easy to change settings from anywhere in the tent/room.

The 3M electrostatic filter and a powerful compressor ensure that you always enjoy clean and cool air even when the temperature outside jumps way above normal.

This device comes with a built-in dehumidifier. You can easily camp in a humid climate, never bothering about humidity. It has an auto-evaporation system, which means the unit will operate without water any water to drain or bucket to empty. When camping, it makes your life a lot easier compared to portable air conditioners without auto-evaporation.

Although this unit provides many attractive features, many customers have complained about its durability. The unit is made of cheap components that could easily break.

Technical details
– Portable air conditioner with casters
– 10,000 BTU
– Cools a room up to 350 sq. ft.
– LCD display with touch-enabled controls
– 3M electrostatic filter


How to install

Since this unit is a portable appliance, it doesn’t require permanent installation.
When you buy this unit, you don’t have to visit a hardware store to buy additional equipment or pay for professional installation.

Pros
– Digital display with touch controls
– Portable
– Built-in dehumidifier
– Auto-evaporation
– Comes with a flexible hose and a window mounting kit
Cons

– Cheap components

Whynter Portable Air Conditioner 

Tent Air Conditioner - Whynter Portable Tent Air Conditioner
Whynter Dual Hose Portable Air Conditioner is a perfect unit for anyone looking to camp in the hot and humid climate. It comes with a full thermostatic control that gives you digital reading. You can operate the unit as a fan, a humidifier, or as an air conditioner.

Review
This unit from Whynter has a remote control to help you change settings from anywhere in the room. It comes pre-installed with a carbon air filter and a washable pre-filter. This top quality filter system ensures that you always enjoy cool and healthy air with almost zero airborne particles.

The Whynter portable air conditioner has a built-in dehumidifier with a capacity of 101 pints per day. It means you can trust the unit even when you are camping in a humid climate. But if you are camping in a dry climate, you may want to check Honeywell 1540 CFM Air Cooler to reduce energy cost.

Technical details
– 14,000 BTUs
– Flexible dual hose
– Portable unit with caster wheels
– Built-in dehumidifier


How to install

This air conditioning unit includes extendable exhaust and intake hose. It means that you can place it anywhere in the room, not worrying about keeping it close to the window. The hose can extend to 60″.

Similarly, it comes with a flexible window kit that makes your life easier when it comes to installing this device. Since the unit comes with four caster wheels, you can move it anywhere in the room with ease. All it takes is a gentle push.
The device comes with upper and lowers direct drain option. This gives you hassle-free operation without having to worry about condensate accumulation.

Pros
– Fan-only mode to save energy
– Washable pre-filter and a pre-installed carbon air filter
– 24-hour programmable timer
– Upper and lower direct drain option
Cons

– Slightly Bulky

Honeywell Evaporative AirSwamp Cooler

Tent Air Conditioner - Honeywell Evaportative Tent Air Cooler
Honeywell 1540 CFM Air Cooler is an indoor and outdoor evaporative swamp cooler that comes in gray and white. This cooler consumes less electricity than an air conditioner. It’s an ideal solution to fight the heat with a cool breeze when you are camping in a mildly hot and dry climate.


Review

Honeywell air cooler can cool a room up to 850 sq. ft. The unit doesn’t use a compressor system but cools the air naturally, giving you inexpensive cooling. It uses cooling pads on three sides and blows air from the front side at 1540 CFM using a 16-inch fan blade.

You can use Honeywell 1540 evaporative cooler outdoors. The device is made from a high-quality, water-resistant material that can easily take the toll of the tough weather.

For the best results, use this cooler in areas with low humidity. Ideally, the maximum relative humidity should be 60% or less. Similarly, the warmer the climate, the more evaporation will occur and the cooler will give you higher levels of cooling.


Technical details

– Evaporative air cooler
– Cools a room up to 850 sq. ft.
– 1540 CFM air flow
– 16-inch fan blade

How to install
Unlike tent air conditioners, swamp coolers do not require installation at all. You simply place the cooler near open window or door, add water and ice, and turn it on. It works like a charm. Just make sure that you allow air circulation to avoid raising indoor humidity.

You can also use this evaporative unit to humidify dry air during cool weather. Just make sure that you close the doors and windows so that the humid air can accumulate in the room.

Pros

– Water resistant
– Perfect for use in dry, warm climate
– Can be used as a humidifier during the cool weather
– Improved cooling can be achieved by using ice in the tank
– No installation required

Cons
– Not suitable for humid climates
– Without ice, it can’t cool the room the way an air conditioner does
– You might have to fill the tank when using cooler for longer periods

LG Window-Mounted AIR Conditioner

Tent Air Conditioner - LG LW8016ER Window Mounted Air Conditioner

LG LW8016ER is a window-mounted air conditioner that has 12.1 Energy Efficiency Ratio (EER). It can cool a room up to 340 sq. feet. This unit uses a standard 115V electric outlet for power.

Review
LG 8,000 BTU air conditioner comes with 3 cooling speeds that give you the flexibility to use it in varying climates. The unit also allows you to change fan speed so that you can adjust the airflow according to your needs.
This unit from LG comes with a built-in dehumidifier that can provide humidification at 2.2 pints per hour.
The unit comes with a 24-hour timer to allow you hassle-free operation. You will also get a remote control with the device that allows you to control it from a distance without having to walk to the air conditioner every time you want to change cooling/fan settings.

The LG LW8016 air conditioner has an energy-saving option that allows the appliance to use electricity more efficiently compared to other window-mounted air conditioners.

Technical details
– Window-mounted air conditioner
– 8,000 BTU
– Cools a room up to 340 sq. Ft.
– 3 cooling and 3 fan speeds

How to install
The unit comes with an installation kit. You don’t need to call a qualified plumber for installation as you can do it yourself after reading the manual and using the kit. If you are still having problems installing this unit, you can watch a video on YouTube and follow the steps closely.

Pros
– Remote controlled device
– Energy saving option
– Comes with an installation kit
– Easy to install
– Environment friendly
Cons
– Foam around the fan cracks when its old
– Sometimes you feel slight vibration when the unit is operating

Air conditioner vs. Air Coolers

Evaporative coolers are popular even today despite being one of the oldest forms of indoor temperature control. However, these coolers are not versatile as you can only use them in a warm climate with low humidity.
Other alternative tent coolers are an option, but if you plan on camping in a dry, warm climate, an evaporative cooler could be the right choice with its low power consumption and low cost.
Below is a quick comparison table to give you a better idea of both the options for hassle-free camping.

Swamp (Evaporative) Coolers
Air conditioner
Low cost High cost
Low energy consumptionHigh energy consumption
Easy to install Requires professional help when installing
Environment friendly Emissions from the unit make it less environment-friendly

Best Camping Tent Air Conditioner – Conclusion

Tent Air Conditioner - Frigidaire Mini-Compact Tent Air Conditioner

Camping is a great outdoor activity, but it could become a frustrating experience when faced with hot humid nights. Fortunately, camping air conditioners and swamp coolers can help when your campsite or vehicle has electricity.
For the majority of campers, we voted the Frigidaire as the best tent air conditioner, It’s portable and cools a large room efficiently.