Heat waves got you down? Tired of being a sweaty mess when you’re trying to enjoy the great outdoors? A portable camping air conditioner might be just what you need!

In this article, we’ll review the best portable air conditioners for camping on the market today. We’ll also cover some important questions to consider before making your purchase.

Let’s get started!

If you are a frequent camper, see our best camping gadget picks here

1. Ecoflow Wave

The first thing that catches your attention when you see this camping A/C is its unique design. Even with the add-on battery in place, this A/C’s design is nothing short of eye-catching.

Update: Ecoflow just released their new Wave 2 air conditioner, check it out

And it’s not just a pretty face. The Ecoflow Wave is a powerful 4000BTU-cooling power unit. This should be enough to bring down the temperature of a 64 sq. ft. space m² space by about 11°F in just about 8 minutes.

The add-on 1,008Wh battery is enough to power this portable tent A/C for 3 hours in its default setting. And while this is a great convenience, it pushes the total weight of the unit to about 55 pounds. Luckily, you can leave the battery behind to increase portability.

Of course, that’s not everything that you need to know about this A/C unit for camping, so here’s a highlight of the main features.

Key Features

  • Net weight of the unit: 35.58 lbs
  • Cooling power: 4,000 BTUs
  • Cooling capacity: 1200W
  • Noise level: 55dB
  • No-drain function: Yes
  • Circulation air volume: 290m³/h
  • Cooling temp: 60.8°F – 86°F
  • Ambient temp: 41°F – 122°F
  • Refrigerant amount: 14.1 oz
  • Rated cooling input (AC/DC): 460W/410W
  • Ideal size of room to be cooled: 64 ft²
  • Remote operation: Yes (Wi-Fi & Bluetooth smartphone connection)

2. Zero Breeze Mark 2

If you like the idea of not having to add ice and water to your air conditioner to create a cooling effect, then the Zero Breeze Mark 2 should be a perfect fit. With a mini compressor that is capable of producing enough cold air for an area of up to 40 sq. ft., this A/C unit is perfect for small tents or RVs.

Zero Breeze Mark 2 Portable Air Conditioner

The 2,300 BTU is enough to bring down the temperature of your tent by 30°F in just 10 minutes. How cool (pun intended) is that?

It is also quite light at 20 pounds which makes it a perfect camping air conditioner.

When you’re not using an AC outlet to power this unit, the battery will produce enough power to keep your space cool for approximately 3-5 hours. And given that there is a separate solar power system for this portable tent A/C, your camping trips can now be comfortable indefinitely.

Zero Breeze Mark 2 Review

Oh, and did we mention that it has a dual hose design? Thought not. Well, it does, which means that hot air will be exhausted out of the tent much faster.

Key features of the Zero Breeze Mark 2

  • Net weight: 16.5 lbs
  • Cooling power: 2,300 BTUs
  • Rated Voltage: 24V
  • Rated input: 240W
  • Ambient temp: 32°F – 104°F
  • Ideal area of space to be cooled: 40 ft²
  • Noise level: 52 dB(A)
  • Warranty: 1 Year

Use discount code “GFGZBEXCL” to get $80 off on Mark 2

3. Ivation Portable Multi-Purpose Air Conditioner with WiFi

This Ivation unit is one of the most versatile portable air conditioners for camping that you’ll find on the market. It can act as an A/C, fan, and humidifier all in one. The 8,500 BTU cooling power is more than enough to provide a comfortable environment for an area of up to 250 sq. ft.

And that comfort is quite easy to achieve with three control options. You can use the digital display and control panel, the included remote, or even your smartphone via the Wi-Fi connection. The good thing about having a portable air conditioner that uses Wi-Fi is that you can control it from anywhere in the world.

Considering the weight that this unit comes in at (46.3 lbs), you can be sure that it will take some effort to carry it around. But the good news is that it comes with wheels and built-in handles, so you can roll it wherever you need it.

While this unit seems quite large, a lot of the reviewers on amazon claimed to have used it in their RV trips and camping adventures without much of an issue.

It’s also good to note that this portable A/C has an assembly that easily fits most window sizes thanks to its adjustability. As such, you can be sure that this unit will serve you well, whether at home or in a camping environment.

Key features of the Ivation portable A/C

  • Net weight: 46.3 lbs
  • Cooling power: 8,500 BTUs
  • Rated input voltage: 115V
  • Noise level: 53 dB
  • App control: Yes
  • Remote control: Yes
  • Ideal size of room to be cooled: 250 ft²

3. ZAFRO 8,500 BTU Portable Air Conditioner for Camping and RV Travel

This portable tent A/C unit is not the most portable that you’ll find out there, but it’s still suitable for camping and RV use. With 8,500 BTU cooling power, you can easily bring down the temperature in spaces of up to 250 sq. ft.

You get to choose from three functionality settings to meet refrigeration and ventilation needs while saving energy. And as if providing you with a comfortable environment is not enough, this unit also provides a remote control option.

That way, you can conveniently adjust the settings, and power this device on or off without getting up from your resting position. Whether using your conditioner from home or a camping setup, you will eventually have to change or clean your air filter.

The good thing about the ZAFRO air conditioner is that its filter is washable, which means you will get several cycles of use before changing it.

Key Features

  • Net weight: 49.4 lbs.
  • Cooling power: 8,500 BTUs
  • Noise level: 54 dB
  • Ideal size of room to be cooled: 250 ft²
  • Remote control: Yes

5. SereneLife SLPAC8 Portable AC for Tents and Home

Despite coming in at a net weight of 46.3 pounds, the SereneLife SLPAC8 is another camping air conditioning unit that users like a lot. This unit has a rated power value of 900 Watts and 8,000 BTUs which produces about 290 m3/hr of air circulation.

This means that the SLPAC8 can efficiently cool a space of up to 225 sq. ft., making it perfect for most small to medium-sized tents.

This camping A/C unit comes with an easy-to-use control panel that lets you set the temperature, mode, timer, and fan speed settings to suit your needs. You also get a remote control with which you can operate the temperature and fan speed without having to get up.

The SLPAC8 has a noise level of about 55-57 dBa, which is not the quietest that you’ll find but is still tolerable. One thing that you’ll note about this tent A/C unit is that is has lots of positive reviews which goes to show that it’s a reliable product.

Key Features

  • Life SLPAC8 portable A/C?
  • Net weight: 46.3 lbs
  • Noise level: 55-57 dB(A)
  • Cooling power: 8,000 BTUs
  • Ideal size of room to be cooled: 200 ft²
  • Mosisute removal 1.2l/hr
  • Remote operation: Yes

6. BougeRV

You may not have heard about the BougeRV brand before, but this 2899 BTU portable A/C for tents is definitely worth considering for your camping needs. This unit comes in at a net weight of 23.15 lbs which makes it quite the deal if you are looking for a portable option.

The cooling capacity of 2899 BTUs can cool an area of 43-54 sq. ft., making it perfect for smaller tents and van life. Since this unit uses the R134a refrigerant, it is eco-friendly and does not harm the ozone layer.

The BougeRV portable air conditioner is also pretty quiet, with a noise level of only 45 dBa. This means that you can use it at night without having to worry about disturbing your sleep.

Key Features

  • Net weight: 23.15 lbs
  • Cooling power: 2899 BTUs
  • Ideal size of room to be cooled: 43-54 ft²
  • Eco-friendly: Yes
  • Quiet operation: Yes ( Noise level: 45-65 dBa)

7. TOSOT 8,000 BTU 3-in-1 Portable AC

Tosot, an air conditioner manufacturing brand that has existed since 2003, is no stranger to the business. The TOSOT 8,000 BTU 3-in-1 portable air conditioner is one of the most popular camping ACs that they have.

This unit comes with a cooling capacity of 8,000 BTUs and can cool an area of up to 350 sq. ft. And it’s not only the cooling power that’s on offer here. This unit has an energy star rating which makes it quite the catch for energy-conscious campers.

The TOSOT 8,000 BTU 3-in-1 portable air conditioner also comes with a dehumidifying function and a fan mode for when you just need a little bit of air circulation. The size of this unit makes it more suitable for home use, but if you have enough space in your tent or camper, it can be a great option.

Key Features

  • Net weight: 57.3lbs
  • Cooling power: 8,000 BTUs
  • Noise level: 51 dB
  • Energy star rating: Yes
  • Dehumidifying function: Yes
  • Remote control: Yes
  • Ideal size of room to be cooled: 200 ft²

Frequently Asked Questions

As we promised earlier, here are answers to some of the frequently asked questions about portable air conditioners for camping.

Q: What is a portable air conditioner?

A: A portable air conditioner is a self-contained air conditioning unit that can be moved from one location to another. Portable air conditioners are popular for camping and other outdoor activities because they can be used to cool small spaces without the need for a permanent installation.

Q: Does every portable air conditioner have to vent?

A: The simple answer is Yes. A portable air conditioner needs to vent in order to expel the hot air that it has cooled. Most portable air conditioners come with a kit that includes everything you need to vent the unit properly.

Q: What will happen to the moisture that my unit pulls out of the air?

A: More advanced portable air conditioners have a self-evaporative functionality that will expel moisture through the back of the unit. However, for units that don’t have this feature, you will need to empty the water tank periodically.

Q: What do I need to set up a portable air conditioner?

A: In most cases, you will need an included window kit when using your A/C indoors. If using your A/C outdoors, it’s necessary that you choose a unit that has the required kits. There are cases where you may want to install a portable A/C in a wall. For such situations, you will want to get the right kit for that purpose.

Q: What size of portable air conditioner do I need?

A: The size of the portable air conditioner you need will depend on the size of the space you want to cool. Most units will have a specific square footage range that they can effectively cool. When in doubt, use the following guideline:

250-350 ft² -> 8,000 BTUs

350-450 ft² -> 10,000 BTUs

450-550 ft² -> 12,000 BTUs

550-700 ft² -> 14,000 BTUs

700-1000 ft² -> 18,000 BTUs

Q: How much power does a portable air conditioner use?

A: The power consumption of a portable air conditioner will vary depending on the model and make. The power rating can vary from 500 watts to 1500 watts. However, the average power consumption is around 1000 watts.

Q: What differentiates single and dual hose units?

A: A single-hose unit draws warm air from the room or space in which it is placed and exhausts hot air through the single hose. It’s cheaper and less efficient when compared to a dual-hose unit, which makes it perfect for use in smaller spaces.

A dual-hose unit, on the other hand, has two separate hoses for the intake and exhaust of air. This type of unit is more efficient since it prevents a situation where cooled-down air is exhausted to the outdoors. It’s, however, more expensive and ideal for use in large spaces.

Q: How noisy are portable air conditioners?

A: The noise level of a portable air conditioner is measured in decibels (dB). The lower the dB rating, the quieter the unit. Most units have a dB rating from 48 dB (noise level of falling rain) to 60 dB (noise level of a normal conversation).

Q: Which are the most important factors to consider when buying a portable air conditioner?

A: The two most important factors to consider when buying a portable air conditioner are portability and cooling power.

Portability is determined by the weight and size of the unit. The lighter and smaller the unit, the more portable it is.

The cooling power of an air conditioner is determined by its British Thermal Units (BTUs) rating. The higher the BTUs, the more powerful the cooling capacity of the unit.

Other factors you may want to consider include the hose design, noise level, energy efficiency, and warranty.

There you go,

A helpful guide when choosing the best portable air conditioner for you! With the information in this article, you should be able to choose a perfect unit for your camping trip or indoor use.

Happy cooling!


Special thanks to James for contributing to this article and making it info packed