The 4 Best Mr Buddy Heaters in Tents – Reviews 2024

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With the right Mr. Bundy heater in your tent, you don’t have to worry about Old Man Winter and Jack Frost ruining your camping season. Camping in a tent can be a lot of fun when it’s warm inside and there’s snow on the ground outside.

Along with a tent made for winter camping and an excellent cold weather sleeping bag, the right Buddy heater for in a tent will help keep you snug and warm all night (and day) long. Any heater you buy for use in your tent must be designed for indoor use to ensure there is not a build-up of deadly carbon monoxide. While Mr. Heater offers a large selection of Buddy heaters for indoor use, we looked at most of them and have settled on just a few right choices.

These are our recommendations for the 4 best Mr. Buddy heaters in tents on the market:

Mr. Heater MH12B Hunting Buddy Portable Space Heater

The Hunting Buddy portable space heater comes in cool camo and produces between 6,000 and 12,000 BTUs. Designed to connect with 1lb. metal liquid propane cylinders directly, or you can buy an adaptor hose that lets you hook up to larger tanks. The regulator swivels to make both types of connections easier.

This space heater (see full specs) features electronic spark ignition, so you never have to mess with matches or a firelighter. Safety is ensured with a tip-over safety shut off, and an Oxygen Depletion Sensor that will turn the heater off should the oxygen levels go below safe levels.

Mr. Heater Hunting Buddy 12,000 BTU (MH12B) Indoor safe Portable Propane Heater

Mr. Heater F215100 MH4B Little Buddy 3800-BTU Indoor Heater

This unique little heater from Mr. Heater can be the best Buddy heater for a tent when you only have a small space to heat. The heating angle is set at 45 degrees to project heat up from the floor. The heater is perfect for those who like camping in the high-country as it works up at altitudes of over 7,000 feet.

The Little Buddy can heat up to 95 square feet comfortably and burns completely odor-free. For your safety, it features the ODS (Oxygen Depletion Sensor) low oxygen shut-off system and an automatic tip-over shut off. A typical 1lb. cylinder will last approximately 5.6 hours. It is the perfect choice for those who love to go out on the lake ice fishing as it can quickly warm up the average fishing hut. Hands, down, this is one of the best Mr. Buddy heaters in tents for the money.

MyMiniCamperVan: Mr. Heater Buddy vs Mr. Heater Little Buddy

Mr. Heater F232000 MH9BX Buddy 4,000-9,000-BTU Heater

This bright red and black Buddy heater from Mr. Heater can heat up to 225 square feet and is approved for indoor use, including your tent. This heater can be adjusted to provide from 4,000 to 9,000 BTUs and, like most Buddy heaters, can be used above 7,000 feet. While it is designed to be used with 1lb. propane cylinders, the regulator swivels allowing you to use an available hose and filter kit to connect to larger propane tanks.

The MH9BX features a Piezo electronic spark ignition designed to provide years of flawless performance. Like all Mr. Heater portable heaters, this one features an automatic tip-over shut off and an ODS system to ensure you can use it safely inside your tent or even in your house should the power go out.

Mr. Buddy Portable indoor, outdoor Tent, RV heater with Co2 sensor.

Mr. Heater Big Buddy Indoor/Outdoor Portable Propane Heater

For those of you with a large or multi-room tent, you need something a little bigger in the way of heat. The Big Buddy is exactly what you need. Designed to heat up to 400 square feet, the Big Buddy offers three heat settings, 4,000, 9,000, and 18,000 BTUs. Due to its size and output, it takes one or two 1lb. cylinders, or you can purchase the optional hose and connect to a larger cylinder.

To help circulate the heat, the Big Buddy (see full specs) has a built-in fan that runs on 4 D-cell batteries, or if you have power where you plan to camp, there you can use a power adaptor rated at 6V/800mA. It does use a pilot light but is designed to shut the heater off should the pilot light go out. The Big Buddy also features the ODS and automatic tip-over safety shut off systems.

Plumbing a Mr. Heater Big Buddy Heater into your RV propane system

Important Details to Know Before Buying a Buddy Heater for Your Tent

There is more to buying the best Mr. Buddy heater in tents than simply rushing out and buying the first one you see. For the most part, you will find all propane heaters certified for indoor use have similar safety features and should be safe enough for use in your tent. There are considerations such as will the one you choose provide sufficient heat for everyone in the tent? Will it be safe for use around the kids? Here are a few tips to help you find the perfect Buddy heater for in your tent.

How Much Heat Do You Need in Your Mr. Buddy?

For those who are not sure, BTU is short for British thermal units and is the most common way in which heat output is measured. To determine how many BTUs the heater you buy should be capable of producing, you need to know the interior space of your tent. You can easily calculate this based on length x width x height. For odd-shaped tents, you can guestimate this. You will also need to know the outside temperature and the one you desire inside of your tent.

The calculation is simple, subtract the outside temperature from the inside one to give you the rise in temperature needed to achieve your goal. The Fahrenheit calculation is cubic feet (volume of your tent) x desired increase in temperature x 0.133 to give you the necessary BTUs. In Celsius, the multiplier is 0.2394.

Keep in mind, the colder it gets, the larger your tent is, and the thinner the walls are, the more heat you will need. Most heater specifications include the number of square feet they are capable of heating. Determining this may be one of the most important factors for finding the perfect Buddy heater for in a tent.

Can I Overheat My Tent by With Mr. Buddy Heater?

While you might think your tent is ventilated well enough to avoid overheating it, this simply is not the case. Keep in mind that when you are asleep, your body will not wake you up if it gets too hot. This can lead to heavy sweating or worse as your core body temperature exceeds 106.1°F (this temperature can lead to severe brain damage).

If you find yourself sweating to the point of removing clothes to cool off or having trouble breathing, you have overheated your tent. To help avoid this happening while you are sleeping, use your phone’s alarm or take a portable alarm clock with you and set it to wake you up once or twice during the night. This way, you can adjust the heat as needed and keep everyone safe.

How Much Weight Are You Willing to Carry?

For most of us, camping means having to carry everything we need into the woods or down by the lake. This means you must decide how much weight you can carry. While to a certain extent, you need a heater that can heat your tent, it also must be portable and light enough for you or another member of your family to carry. The Buddy heaters above range from 5 lbs. to 16lbs. without the gas cylinder or when needed batteries.

What are My Choices of Fuel?

Camping heaters are either battery, butane, or propane fueled. While battery heaters might seem to be the best choice, they offer little in the way of actual heat and go through batteries very quickly. Butane heaters are okay for camping in mild temperatures where all you need to do is take the chill off. However, if you plan to camp in the dead of winter or at higher altitudes, propane is your best choice as it produces more BTUs and works perfectly at elevations above 7,000 feet.

What About Safety?

When looking at the best Mr. Buddy heater in tents or for that matter, any other brand, there are three safety features to look for:

Zero carbon monoxide emissions – the last thing you want is for your family to go to sleep and never wake up. Be sure the heater you choose is rated for indoor use as this guarantees you will not have to worry about CO build-up. All Mr. Heater Buddy indoor heaters feature a low oxygen sensor or Oxygen Depletion Sensor (ODS) that shuts them off if the oxygen levels in your tent fall to dangerous levels.

Tip-over protection – in the small confines of a tent, the last thing you want is a heater that keeps burning after someone accidentally tips it over. All Mr. Heater Buddy heaters feature a built-in automatic tip-over shut off valve.

Pilot light shut down – for those heaters that use a pilot light, be sure they have an automatic shut -off system that turns the gas off should the pilot light go out.


As you can see, there is a little more to buying the best Buddy heater in tents than buying the first one you see. Camping in the winter can be a lot of fun, but only if your tent has the right type of heater—one that can provide enough heat for everyone, no matter how cold it gets outside.

Hopefully, the information above will help you find the perfect heater for your winter camping trips. Happy Camping!

  • Founder of Mechanical Caveman, Beau is an unrepentant tool enthusiast and, sporting deadlift-callused hands and an incongruous beer belly, all-around macho guy. When he doesn’t know re tools, he consults with his handyman and car-repairman buds to give you well-reasoned and cutting-edge info.

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