10 Best Propane Heaters For Your Home Away From Home

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detail of a propane heater glowing orange while it warms a camping place

A portable propane heater is quite useful, especially for outdoorsy types who need it to warm their home away from home. 

The fact is that there are so many models out there, it can be intimidating choosing the best of the best. What do you even need to know to be sure you've chosen the best model for your needs? 

Never fear, we'll start there, and by the time we've finished, you'll know all you need to choose the right unit.

What Is a Propane Heater?

Basically, a propane heater is exactly as the name implies: a space heater fueled by propane. Propane heaters are similar to electric space heaters in a lot of ways.

For example, both electric and propane space heaters use similar heating elements, usually made of ceramic, to heat air through radiant heating.

However, the main difference between the two types of heater obviously lies in the power source: In this case, propane.

Most, but not all, propane space heaters are fueled using small, portable propane canisters weighing a pound or less. However, many of these heaters are able to use more conventional propane cylinders or tanks. A few are even able to use either of these sources.

One downside to using propane heaters is carbon monoxide, which is produced when the heater burns the propane gas. Carbon monoxide can be dangerous in high concentrations, so it is important that the space you intend to use the heater in is well-ventilated.

Another is that these heaters may melt nearby materials, like sleeping bags or tents. Always keep these heaters away from flammable objects. 

Be sure to keep this information in mind when you are considering where you plan to use it.

Should You Buy a Propane Heater?

There are many reasons for purchasing a propane space heater and many places they can be used in. A common use for purchasing a propane space heater is for heating tents while camping.

Because a sizable majority of camping tents are not insulated, having a good source of heat to counteract the heat loss can be a good idea. Having a good insulated tent means your heater is much more effective at doing its job of keeping you warm.

However, always, always make sure your heater is only operating while you are awake -- kicking it over in your sleep is a real and dangerous possibility -- your space is well ventilated, and you have it far from flammable objects.

Other Uses

Camping isn’t the only use for a propane heater. Another common use is to take one fishing. Fishermen often use propane space heaters to warm the interior cabin of their boat.

Staying warm can often be vital, as the fishing seasons in some places can stretch into the winter months.

Some propane space heaters can also be used indoors, and originally these heaters were promoted as a relatively cheap way to heat homes without using a fireplace. Basically, if you need a cheap and inexpensive heating solution where there might not be electricity for more common electric heaters -- and the space is well ventilated and safe to use it in -- then a propane heater is an ideal solution. 

The 10 Best Propane Heaters

We’ve gathered the 10 best propane heaters from a variety of brand names. We’ve reviewed these selections based on several criteria: customer reviews, versatility, ease-of-use, BTU (British thermal unit) output, and finally reliability.

We want you to be sure of what you are getting, so we turned to the internet to provide thoroughly researched answers.

What we reviewed:

  • Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU Indoor-Safe Portable Radiant Heater

  • AmazonBasics Commercial Patio Heater, Havana Bronze

  • Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B Little Buddy 3800-BTU Indoor Safe Propane Heater, Medium

  • Texsport Portable Outdoor Propane Heater

  • Dyna-Glo RA18LPDG Portable 18,000-BTU Gas Radiant Cabinet Heater w/Locking Casters & Piezo Ignition

  • Dura Heat TT-360 Propane(LP) 360 Degree Tank Top Heater

  • Dyna-Glo BF30PMDG 30,000 BTU Liquid Propane Blue Flame Vent-Free Wall Heater

  • Olympian Wave 3 LP Portable Gas Catalytic Heater by Camco (3000 BTU )- Can Warm Up to 130 Square Feet of Space (57331)

  • ProCom MG20TBF Ventless Dual Fuel Blue Flame Thermostat Control Wall Heater, 20,000 BTU

  • Dyna-Glo RMC-FA60DGD 30,000 - 60,000 BTU Liquid Propane Forced Air Heater

Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU Indoor-Safe Portable Radiant Heater

This space heater from the Mr. Heater brand, the aptly-named Buddy, is a solid and reliable choice for pretty much any place you can conceive of, be it in a tent, on a boat, or in a cabin by a lake.

It’s not only compact and relatively light at just under ten pounds, but it also features a folding back handle that makes it easy to carry.

The Buddy uses common one-pound propane canisters to output an impressive 4,000 to 9,000 BTU per hour, making it a good heating option for many moderately-sized spaces.

The heater also has a few nifty safety features. The Buddy can shut off automatically if it detects low oxygen levels. It will also shut off if the heater is tipped or knocked over or if the pilot light is extinguished.

The Buddy can be purchased from Amazon, and a version of the Buddy that meets California requirements is available for those who live in the state.

AmazonBasics Commercial Patio Heater, Havana Bronze

An offering from AmazonBasics, this space heater is an impressive design.

The heater comes in three different metallic tones, meaning you can get the one the best fits your outdoor theme. It uses a standard 20-pound propane cylinder to power a 46,000 BTU heating element located at the top of the unit.

The heater touts an 18-foot heating range, making this towering heater a good choice for warming up pretty much any outdoor living space.

The heater has several safety features. A tilt sensor will deactivate the heater in the event that it is tipped over. The heater’s base features both wheels for easy transport and a hollow base that can be filled with either water or sand for added stability.

It also includes a useful patio cover for when it’s not in use and to protect it from the elements. The AmazonBasics Patio heater is available on Amazon.

Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B Little Buddy 3800-BTU Indoor Safe Propane Heater, Medium

The little brother to the Buddy listed above, the Little Buddy is a smaller, more compact version. Also like the Buddy, it is fueled by a one pound propane cylinder.

The Little Buddy has all of the same oxygen and tilt sensors that its bigger brother has and features a 3,800 BTU heat output.

If you are looking for a heater for a tent, a deer stand, or somewhere that’s small and cozy, the Little Buddy might be the heater for you. It’s available to purchase on Amazon.

Texsport Portable Outdoor Propane Heater

What this heater lacks in bells and whistles, it more than makes up for in simple cost and efficiency.

Consisting of a simple heating element and frame designed to be mounted on top of a propane cylinder or tank, this heater is a good option for people on a budget who need a heating solution. The heater features an adjustable temperature control as well as a carry handle located behind the heating element.

The baseplate is also fairly wide, meaning it has good stability. This heater is currently available on Amazon.

Dura Heat TT-360 Propane(LP) 360 Degree Tank Top Heater

Another “tank top” propane space heater, this model from Dura Heat projects up to 40,000 BTU of heat in a 360 arc up to 35 feet away.

Intended for outdoor use, this heater is a good choice for pretty much any outdoor setting: a construction site, outdoor patio, or even the garage. The heater also features three heat settings, a standard tip-over safety shutoff, and a rust-resistant chromed finish. This heater is available for purchase on Amazon.

Dyna-Glo BF30PMDG 30,000 BTU Liquid Propane Blue Flame Vent-Free Wall Heater

This heater is a solid solution if you are in the market for a propane home heating solution.

It has an impressive 30,000 BTU heat output that allows for heating over 1,000 sq. ft. of floor space with ease. In addition to an oxygen depletion safety switch, there is a version of the heater powered by natural gas. This Dyna-Glo wall heater is on Amazon.

Olympian Wave 3 LP Portable Gas Catalytic Heater by Camco (3000 BTU )- Can Warm Up to 130 Square Feet of Space (57331)

Another very small and compact propane space heater, the Olympian Wave 3 is a solid product from Camco. Weighing just one pound and capable of outputting 3,000 BTU of heat per hour, it’s perfect for small spaces.

Put it in your RV, your tent, or anywhere you need something small and unobtrusive. The Wave 3 can also be mounted on the wall using mounting brackets. It retails on Amazon.

ProCom MG10HBF Ventless Dual Fuel Blue Flame Gas Wall Heater, 10,000 BTU

A wall-mounted propane space heater from ProCom, the MG10HBF model is capable of putting out up to 10,000 BTU of heat per hour, making it a perfect heating solution for small homes and cabins.

With five heat settings and a push-button ignition system, it’s also easy to operate. This ProCom heater also sells on Amazon.

Dyna-Glo 40,000 BTU Portable Gas Heater

Last but not least on this list, this offering from Dyna-Glo gives you plenty of bang for your buck.

Putting out up to a staggering 40,000 BTU of heat, it’s more than capable of heating your garage or workshop. A convenient handle on top of the unit makes carrying the heater easy. It features an overheat shutoff and an adjustable heat angle.

This heater sells for bargain on Amazon, making it a good choice if you’re on a budget.

Safety First: The Final Word of Best Propane Heaters

When it comes to propane heaters, there are many to choose from. Wall-mounted heaters, portable heaters, and outdoor heaters are all available. 

The most important thing to keep in mind is the manufacturer recommendations for use and safety. You wouldn't play with your campfire, your propane space heater is twice as useful and deserves twice the precautionary safety when you use it.

What heating solution fits your need best depends on what you will use the heater for. Whether you are camping, boating, hunting, or just working in the garage, there’s a solution out there for you, and we hope that this list can help you find it.

Did you find the ideal heater on our list? Let us know down in the comments if we missed your go-to or selected one of these units.

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