The 5 Best Portable Air Conditioners For Camping [2022]

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Camping is a great way to experience nature and immerse yourself in the local environment. But, an immersion in nature means you’ll also have to deal with the full extent of the outdoor heat. Instead of being miserable for your entire camping trip, consider investing in a portable air conditioner.

Portable AC units are easy to transport and provide enough cooling capacity to cool a modest size tent, RV, or camper. Even if you’re roughin’ it on your own away from a campsite with no access to power, there are some battery-powered AC options for you.

If you’re venturing out on a hot camping trip soon and need a way to stay cool, keep reading to learn about the top six portable air conditioning units for camping. So, let’s get started!

A woman carrying a portable AC for camping

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Air Conditioners For Tents – Quick Comparison

ProductDetailsWhere to Buy

Zero Breeze Mark 2
Zero Breeze Mark 2

Cooling type: AC unit (refrigerant with micro compressor)
Cooling capacity: 2300 BTU
Power: 840 Wh battery (3-5 hours of usage)
Noise level: 52 dB
Size: 20” x 10” x 11” (LxWxH)
Weight: 16.5 pounds

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Get $50 off with code EHG50MARK2

Evapolar evaCHILL EV-500 Personal Evaporative Cooler
evapolar evachill ev-500

Cooling type: Evaporative cooler
Cooling capacity: 1190 BTU
Power: Micro USB (5 V)
Noise level: 25 dB
Size: 7” x 7” x 7” (LxWxH)
Weight: 1.7 pounds (with empty tank)

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EENOUR QN650 Portable Air Conditioner
eenour qn650

Cooling type: AC unit
Cooling capacity: 2350 BTU
Power: 100-240 AC (wall plug)
Noise level: 44 to 64 dB
Size: 21.26” x 8.78” x 11.73” (LxWxH)
Weight: 20.94 pounds

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EEIEER Rechargeable Evaporative Cooler
eeieer cooler

Cooling type: Evaporative cooler
Cooling capacity: N/A
Power: 4000 mAh battery (rechargable)
Noise level: 30 to 55 dB
Size: 10.71” x 7.99” x 6.18” (LxWxH)
Weight: 2.46 pounds (with an empty tank)

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MightyKiil 12 Volt Air Conditioner
mightykiil 12v ac

Cooling type: Evaporative cooler
Cooling capacity: N/A
Power: 12-volt (car charger)
Noise level: N/A
Size: 12” x 11” x 8” (LxWxH)
Weight: 5 pounds

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What We Look For in an Air Conditioner For Camping

Getting a portable AC unit that can keep you cool and comfortable during your next camping trip is important. When we evaluated these top six air conditioners for camping, we looked closely at the following criteria:

Cooling Type

diagram showing how portable AC works

When we say cooling type, we mean the kind of cooling technology the portable AC unit uses to provide cool air. Some models use refrigerant and a compressor (just like your central air conditioner and window AC unit), and others use ice and blowing air (i.e., an evaporative cooler).

Both cooling types have their own pros and cons for camping. A traditional-style portable AC unit works better if you have access to power. And an evaporative cooler, which uses water to cool you, is great if your only option is batteries or you’re cooling a small space.

Cooling Capacity (BTUs)

The cooling capacity of an air conditioner is represented in BTUs (British Thermal Units). The higher the BTU rating, the more powerful the unit is and the larger space it can cool.

A portable AC unit with a lower BTU rating will be fine if you’re only camping with one or two people. But, if you’re camping with a group or have a larger space to cool, you’ll need an AC unit with a higher BTU rating.

Power Supply Requirements

A RV connected to the campground’s water and electricity power supply

All of the portable air conditioners on our list can be powered by electricity, but some can also run off battery power. If you’re planning on camping in an area with no access to power, make sure you get a portable AC unit that can run on batteries.

Also, pay attention to how much power the portable AC unit requires. Some units require a lot of juice and might not work with your standard RV or camper power supply. If you’re unsure, check with the manufacturer or your RV/camper/car manual to see if the portable AC unit you’re interested in is compatible with your vehicle’s power supply.

Portability

Packing light is essential for a successful camping trip. And, opting for a compact and lightweight, portable air conditioner can help you avoid carrying too much gear while keeping you cool throughout your stay.

When we evaluated portability, we looked at the form factor of each portable AC unit. Some units are larger and heavier than others, making them more difficult to transport. If you’re planning on doing a lot of camping, you might want to consider investing in a smaller, more compact unit.

Noise Levels

The last thing you want on your camping trip is a loud and obnoxious air conditioner. If you’re planning on using your portable AC unit while you sleep, pay special attention to the noise level. The units on our list range in noise level. But if you’re like me, you might prefer something a bit louder because the white noise helps you sleep.

Tent Air Conditioner Reviews

Each of the below portable air conditioners is a great option for camping. But, the best option for you will depend on your cooling needs, budget, and access to power. Check out our air conditioner tips for more information. Let’s take a look at each one.

Zero Breeze Mark 2

Zero breeze mark 2

Use coupon code EHG50MARK2 for $50 off the ZeroBreeze Mark 2!

Key Specifications

  • 24V battery supply
  • 2300 BTU of cooling capacity
  • Lightweight and easy to transport

The Zero Breeze Mark 2 is the ultimate solution for cooling on your camping trips. It has an outstanding cooling output of 2300 BTUs, which is enough to make even giant tents cool and comfortable in extreme heat. Plus, it lasts 3-5 hours straight based on how often it runs.

For an even longer run time, you can purchase a second battery. However, an extra battery is expensive. Alternatively, you can keep the AC unit plugged in with the included 24 VDC wall outlet charger if your campsite has power access.

This portable AC unit is expensive, but it includes everything you need to get it set up to cool your tent, camper, or RV. It includes:

  • AC unit
  • Power adapter
  • Drainage pipe
  • 2 vent hoses and connection adapters
  • Remote control
  • Front air outlet duct
  • Smart battery and cables
  • Window slider

If you’d like to save some money, you can purchase the “Basic” option for a lower cost, but it doesn’t include the battery. This version is only useful if your campsite has power access. The “PLUS” option is the middle-of-the-ground choice and includes the battery.

On the other hand, the “PLUS EXTRA” is the top-tier choice and includes two batteries that you can rotate to get up to 12 hours of cooling. You can always purchase a second (or third) battery separately.

Pros

  • 4 wind speed levels
  • Removable battery (ability to swap with a spare to extend cooling time)
  • Dual hose configuration

Cons

  • Takes 6 hours to charge the battery completely
  • Pricey

Use coupon code EHG50MARK2 for $50 off the ZeroBreeze Mark 2!


Evapolar evaCHILL EV-500 Personal Evaporative Cooler

evapolar evachill ev-500

Key Specifications

  • Small size
  • 4 fan speeds
  • Easy to carry with built-in handle

The Evapolar evaCHILL EV-500, is a nifty personal evaporative cooler. It has a tiny footprint of just 7″ x 7″ x 7″ and weighs only 1.7 pounds. This makes it a perfect choice for distance hikers carrying their tents and gear daily.

This unit has four fan speeds and a rotatable grill, and enough cooling capacity to cool one person. Since it cools individuals by blowing on them directly, it is not the best option for large tents, RVs, or campers with multiple people.

However, if you’re looking for an easy solution to cool yourself in a single-person tent, the Evapolar evaCHILL EV-500 is a solid choice. Since it is an evaporator cooler (and not technically an AC unit), you will need to refill its 27-ounce reservoir with water every so often.

One thing to note is that you will need a USB power bank, USB wall plug, or a laptop to power this unit. It includes a micro USB cable for power but no wall adapter. Its alternative use is as a desktop cooler that your computer powers.

Pros

  • Low cost
  • Rotating fan grill
  • Lightweight (1.6 pounds)

Cons

  • Cools just a single person
  • Evaporative cooling design- need to refill water tank
  • No battery

EENOUR QN650 Portable Air Conditioner

eenour qn650

Key Specifications

  • Rated for indoor and outdoor use
  • Low power consumption (240 Watts)

The EENOUR QN650 portable AC unit is an effective unit that can cool up to 40 square feet, which is more than enough for most tents, campers, and RVs. It is easy to set up and run. Plus, it is a real air conditioner (not a swamp cooler), which means no need to refill a water tank.

It delivers an excellent cooling capacity of 2350 BTU and cools down to 60ºF and up to 40 square feet. This is more than enough to cool even large tents or campers.

For the most part, it is decently quiet. On the low fan setting, it is only 44 dB, but on the highest setting, it reaches 64 dB. Not too bad, but it could be bothersome to certain people.

This EENOUR AC unit is energy efficient, consuming just 240W of power. If you power it with an external battery or generator, it won’t drain it too fast. It also has an easy-to-use sleep mode so that you can power it down automatically after time passes.

Pros

  • Lightweight and easy to transport
  • 3 fan speeds
  • Cools to 60-86ºF

Cons

  • Needs a wall outlet or your own battery to work
  • Highest setting is 64 dB

EEIEER Rechargeable Evaporative Cooler

eeieer cooler

Key Specifications

  • Rechargeable, long-lasting battery
  • Remote controlled
  • LED night lights

The EEIEER rechargeable evaporative cooler is a practical battery-powered unit for tents and campers. Its battery lasts up to two hours and charges relatively quickly. Plus, it has a small form factor that does not take up a lot of space, and it is super lightweight for easier portability.

This unit can’t cool more than one person since it has to be blowing straight at you to feel the evaporative cooling effects. If you’re sharing a tent or camper, keep that in mind. The good thing is that it is extremely affordable, and includes a remote control.

So, if you’re looking for a low-cost, lightweight cooler to cool just yourself, this EEIEER unit is a great choice. Just keep in mind that you will have to refill it with water about every other time you use it.

Pros

  • Fast cooling
  • 2-hour battery length
  • Lightweight

Cons

  • Requires refilling of water tank
  • Not enough cooling capacity for multiple people

MightyKiil 12 Volt Air Conditioner

mightykiil 12v ac

Key Specifications

  • 12-volt power (runs off car outlet)
  • Connects to cooler to deliver ice cold air

The MightyKiil 12-volt evaporative cooler is an excellent choice for cooling tents, RVs, and campers if you have access to a 12-volt plug (i.e., cigarette lighter plug inside cars). It has two adjustable exhaust vents that you can individually angle to blow cool air on multiple people. And it can deliver up to 25mph of cool air.

It comes with an air intake line that you can connect to your own beer or drink cooler. For the coldest air, we recommend using a mixture of ice and water. Providing your own cooler is beneficial because you can get one as large as you like and keep your beverages ice cold simultaneously. But it could be a downside, too, since you’ll have to lug around a cooler.

Pros

  • Provides 25 mph of cool air
  • Includes hose to connect to ice cooler case

Cons

  • Requires your own water tank or cooler
  • 12-volt plug not ideal for tents

Stay Cool While Camping

Whether you’re spending the night in a tent, camper, or RV, having an air conditioner source during hot weather is key to a comfortable trip. And, if you don’t want to deal with the noise of a window unit, a portable air conditioner is definitely the way to go. The best portable air conditioners for camping provide cooling power, portability, and convenience in one package.

When choosing the best portable air conditioner for camping, consider the size of your camping space, how many people you’ll need to cool, and whether or not you want features like a remote control or sleep mode.

One of our above recommendations will be sure to keep you cool on your next camping trip. And, of course, don’t forget to bring along a cooler for those ice-cold drinks (and for your evaporative cooler)!

About The Author

Jonathon is a mechanical engineer with over ten years of experience in the HVAC industry. He has hands-on experience with all types of HVAC systems.

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