Air Conditioners for Camping
Picture this: It’s summer. The weather is scorching and the last thing you want is to waste away your hours locked up in your home with the comforts of air conditioning. Being the free spirit that you are, you decide to pack your bags and go camping. Trees, fresh air, and a generally more cool climate sound perfect to you. You choose a camp, set up your tent, and then get ready to chill inside. Five minutes in you notice how uncomfortable it is inside so you crack open a window. It takes another five minutes for you to realize that doing that is useless and now you’re stuck in the middle of nowhere in an overly hot tent that is not only uncomfortable but can also dangerously suffocate you if you are unlucky.
This is a perfect example of a situation that should be considered by people who have an aversion to using technology when camping. Of course, we get the point. Camping is camping, and you can’t really call it “a trip to reconnect with nature” if you have the convenience of technology that you often enjoy at home. There are moments, however, when certain leeways are not only acceptable but necessary, especially if allowing them will make a lot of difference between getting a relaxing time inside your tent–so you could recharge and use your energy on more fulfilling things–and just suffering on your trip.
Factors to consider when buying an air conditioner for camping
One limitation of using air conditioners for camping is that you have to be in a powered campsite to use them. If you’re going in more secluded locations with no power source, you need to look for units that can be loaded with 12V batteries that you can recharge in your car. Another option is to opt for more portable tent ac units or coolers. Though smaller and usually for personal use only, they are definitely friendlier to your luggage and can run longer because of their smaller size. We listed the best ones on this link
The size of your tent and the BTU of your air conditioner should also be taken into account. The benchmark for 150 square tents is 5000 BTUs–anything lower than this will not be able to keep your tent cool enough. Since tents are not insulated and have thinner walls, you need something that can work hard to actually cool its interior. The bigger your tent, the more BTUs you need.
Another thing you should consider is the type of unit. There are two types of air conditioners for camping: the window and standing ones. Window-type air conditioners are great in saving space because they don’t take up floor area while standing ones provide better portability because of their usually slimmer designs. You can easily adjust their locations too in case you have a favored area that you want to cool the most.
The Top 4 Air Conditioners for Camping
Convinced to bring along an air conditioner on your trip? Here are the best four units you can buy now.
1. Zero Breeze Z19 Portable Air Conditioner for Outdoors
As the first outdoor air conditioner manufacturer in the world, you can trust that Zero Breeze knows what it’s doing when it comes to these cooling devices. The strongest suits of the Z19 model is its portability and multi-functional features. At only 12.8 lbs, you get a unit that can effectively cool down your tent from 90℉ to 72℉. It has a 1100 BTU patented micro compressor, a little low if you have a bigger space you want to cool, but is powerful enough to make a one to four-person 50 square tent comfortable.
The battery life of the Zero Breeze is decent. Reviews say it can last for up to five hours which you can extend using the interchangeable 12V battery that it comes with. Though the model doesn’t include an extra battery, you are given multiple options on how to power it. In addition to the 12V, you can also plug it into a wall outlet or a gas/propane generator. Installation of the unit is a piece of cake, too. You only need to attach the exhaust and drain hose into their ports (another wonderful feature because you can pretty much leave the unit alone with its continuous draining design) and insert the power cord.
Now for the features, this air conditioner for camping is definitely a champ in providing you what you need and more. It has not one but five features–you can use it as an air conditioner, a fan, a light source with its LED lighting feature, a USB-charging station, and even a Bluetooth music player. All that in a very easy-to-carry unit. For a unit that’s half the size of other air conditioners for camping in the market, we’d say that’s pretty great. You can order yours by clicking on this amazon link.
2. Frigidaire FFRA0511R1 Window-Mounted Mini-Compact Air Conditioner
Though not really marketed as an outdoor air conditioner, this model from Frigidaire has always been a top choice among campers. Compact, powerful, not to mention more affordable than other window air conditioners for camping, the model has everything you need on your trip. With 5,000 BTU and 115V power, it has the capacity to cool and dehumidify a modestly-sized tent. You can choose from two cooling and fan speeds and even change the air direction using its mechanical rotary controls.
Weighing only 35 lbs., this is a good unit to bring along on your trip if you want maximum cooling comfort. It’s still slightly bulky since it is originally designed for indoor use, but its 13 x 23 inch dimensions makes it quite easy to install even on tent windows or even baggage slots. In terms of power, you need a 115v outlet to use it, meaning you can only use it on camping sites with electricity. It is one very energy-efficient model though since it only needs low voltage to work.
Moreover, this model from Frigidaire has an extra air purification feature provided by its antibacterial mesh that removes harmful floaters in your environment. Huge plus is its quiet operation too, because who wants to go sleep under the stars with a loud air conditioner blaring on their ears, right? You can read more about this product through this link at amazon.com.
3. Black + Decker 14000 BTU Portable Air Conditioner Unit
Here’s a unit that’s perfect for family camping trips. With a whopping 14000 BTU, Black + Decker’s portable air conditioner is powerful enough to cool a family tent of up to 300 to 350 square feet. Trips like this sometimes call for more comfort since you may have kids to consider and the model, while designed for indoor use, is a good standing air conditioner to bring along if you want something tried and tested in cooling your area. In addition to its powerful BTU, this model from Black + Decker is designed to provide steady airflow and consistent temperature with its vertical motion. It doesn’t make too much noise too, so you don’t have to worry about drowning in mechanical noise during your camping trip.
Feature-wise, you get four functions from this model. You can use it as an air conditioner for camping, a fan, a dehumidifier, and even a heater–making this a great addition to your camping arsenal since you can also bring it along during colder days. This model comes with a 24-hour timer and a sleep mode. You need to plug this one on a 115 volts socket so you need a steady power source to run it. You can order this air conditioner through this amazon link.
4. LifeSmart Indoor and Outdoor Single Port Air Cooler
This model from LifeSmart is definitely one of the best air conditioners for camping if you have concerns about portablity and don’t have to worry about cooling large spaces. Compact and easy to move, this 10 lbs cooler–which works by adding a gallon of water–can efficiently cool a 250 square meter area. Being a cooler instead of an air conditioner that works to chill the air around you, you don’t need to worry about your tent being insulated to feel its effects. Rather, you need to have one with ports to keep the air moving inside.
This model may have slightly different cooling capacities than a regular air conditioner, but it’s the best option to go for if you’re going into a camp with no power source. LifeSmart’s portable air cooler can run on a 12v battery and can promise an average of 10 hours run time which is just ideal if you’re just looking to make your nights a little less hot. You can order this product through this link at amazon.
Going camping doesn’t mean punishing yourself by denying your trip of simple conveniences. Air conditioners for camping can be useful in helping your environment more comfortable so you can experience and focus on more important things during your trip. Found this article useful? We also have other ones that might tickle your fancy click here.