Widespread, Comfortable Heat
You don’t need to huddle around the Mr. Heater portable heater to stay warm. We sat at least six feet from it while it ran on the highest setting for a couple of hours, and it warmed us up pretty well. The product boasts that it can heat up to 225 square feet, and it seems to do just that.
We also tested the Mr. Heater portable heater in a tent during a particularly cold weekend, with wind chills just above zero and a frost on the ground. Not surprisingly, the heater kept the tent comfortably warm.
Easy to Use
Turning on the Mr. Heater portable heater is just like turning on a gas kitchen stovetop. You press the knob in, turn it to the desired setting, and then let go. The heater should start heating up the space within 5-10 minutes.
Slim, Compact Design
The Mr. Heater portable heater may be powerful, but it comes in a comfortable small package. Unlike other heaters, it’s pretty inconspicuous. Plus, even with a one-pound propane cylinder attached, it’s still easy to carry around. You can even push the handle down when you’re not carrying it.
Nice Safety Features
You would hope that a propane-consuming tent heater is a safe tent heater, and the Mr. Heater portable heater does well in that regard.
The Mr. Heater heater shuts off automatically whenever it tips over, which is an important safety feature. However, the product seems quite sensitive to movement. If you move it around too much, even if you keep it upright, it can still shut off. While it’s not a big deal to move it once or twice during use, you’ll want to know where to place it to avoid this problem. Still, we like that the product prioritizes safety that highly.
Protective Steel Cage Around Heating Unit
The heating unit is going to get hot, so it’s protected with a steel cage. However, it’s not like it’s safe to place anything on top of the unit, like a piece of clothing, for instance. Given enough time, objects could melt or start a fire.
While using propane will emit tiny, tiny amounts of carbon monoxide, Mr. Heater portable healers have measures in place to further limit it. Even if you run it at full capacity for a long time, its carbon monoxide levels should not be dangerous at all.
That said, we recommend you take a few safety measures when storing the heater. If you’re storing the heater inside, you’ll want to disconnect the propane cylinder from the heater. Vice versa, if you’re storing it outdoors, you can probably leave the cylinder attached. Either way, you don’t want to keep it near anything flammable, mainly wooden patio furniture.
Best for Outdoor Use
It’s good to note that two Mr. Heater models are available: the Canada/Massachusetts model and another model for the other 49 states. You cannot use the Canada/Massachusetts model indoors for safety reasons, mainly because those regions prohibit the use of propane products indoors.
Propane releases carbon monoxide, so using them in airtight spaces is dangerous. It’s okay to use them in tents, in that regard, but electrical heaters are much safer for indoor use.
Another nice thing is that even if you leave the portable heater out in the rain or snow, it should still work just fine.
Best for Small Spaces
The Mr. Heater portable heater can only produce 9,000 Btu (British thermal units) on its highest setting (compare that to the 40,000 Btu that larger outdoor heaters can make). It’s optimal for smaller spaces in that regard, but a couple of them should take care of a larger group. To get the best heat, you’ll want to sit in front of the unit, though you can get a little warmth from the back.
You can only get about 3 hours’ worth of heat from a single one-pound portable tank. That’s also if you’re using the heater on its highest setting. We only ever use it on low for about 10 mins each time just to heat up our Annex area attached to our roof top tent before bed and when we wake up in the morning.
While there are several ways to stay warm when camping in colder weather, trying high-quality sleeping bags and a propane heater is the best way to go. You’ll have to be careful to ventilate your camping area, but your camping things, not to mention you yourself, should stay toasty and dry.