Spoiler Alert: Conquerwild named the Amacool Portable Battery Camping Fan as the best tent fan overall!!
Summer is considered to be the prime camping season for many people, but camping in warm weather can be a bit daunting. Nobody wants to be stuck in a hot, stuffy tent for hours upon hours at a time. Summer camping doesn’t always have to be like this.
Tent fans are one of the best ways for campers to beat the heat. These little efficient contraptions are lightweight, portable and energy efficient. However, not every product out there is going to provide you with the best results. I’ve done my best to search for the best tent fan out there, and I found 6 quality products that are great for any camping trip. Here are my honest tent fan reviews.
What We’ll Be Reviewing:
- Geek Aire Rechargeable High Velocity Outdoor Floor Fan
- Coleman CPX 6 Lighted Tent Fan
- Amacool Portable Battery Camping Fan
- O2COOL 5-Inch Portable Desktop Fan
- Odoland Portable Camping Lantern With Ceiling Fan
- O2COOL Treva Portable Desktop Air Circulation Battery Fan
Geek Aire Rechargeable High Velocity Outdoor Floor Fan – Most Durable Tent Fan
If you need great wind power at a reasonable size, the Geek Aire High Velocity Outdoor fan is one of the best choices out there. This 10 inch fan is pretty heavy duty for its weight and sound level. This fan keeps the volume to a minimum so that staying cool throughout the night doesn’t mean you have to lose sleep. Multiple customers have reported this thing being so quiet that they forget it’s even on.
This fan also has the rest beat when it comes to durability. It’s got a sturdy metal frame that’s resistant to the forces of nature, yet it’s still light enough to be portable. This is the only product on the list that’s waterproof. This means that it’s just as great outdoors as it is inside a tent. All you need to do is charge this fan for 3 – 4 hours and you’ll be able to stay cool for a full day. It utilizes pitched metal blades which produce a padded yet steady wind that doesn’t feel too abrasive. You probably won’t be able to find a rechargeable fan for camping that has a better balance between convenient sizing and durability.
- It’s waterproof.
- It’s ultra quiet.
- Battery lasts up to 24 hours.
- Can be used while it’s charging.
- Uses an LED power indicator to signify its battery life.
- Has plastic, anti-slip feet for maximum stability on any surface.
- Comes with a 12 volt AC adapter.
- Weighs less than 8 pounds and has a large grip handle.
- Utilizes a stepless speed control knob for seamless controllability.
- When on high setting, the fan will not last a full 24 hours.
- It’s a bit pricey for a tent fan.
- Slightly heavier than the other products on this list.
Coleman CPX 6 Lighted Tent Fan – Best Tent Fan For Children
If you’re going to have children running around your tent and want to double up on safety measures, you might want to get yourself the Coleman CPX. This fan manages to produce steady, strong airflow with foam blades that are not dangerous to the touch.
Coleman Company Inc. specializes in tents and other outdoor gear, and this fan was crafted specifically for the camping environment. Its interesting design looks a bit like a steering wheel. In place of the horn, there’s a bright, 2-setting night light. Instead of the traditional hook that most ceiling tent fans use, the Coleman CPX has a magnetic base which you can attach to the ceiling. This rechargeable tent fan will certainly have no problem keeping your tent cool for hours at a time without putting your children in danger. Overall, it’s one of the best fans for tent camping.
- Foam blades make for a safe and quiet source of wind.
- Includes a magnetic ceiling mount and a stand for the floor.
- Includes four 5 millimeter LED lights which can generate 99 lumens of brightness.
- LED’s can also be used as a nightlight.
- Weighs less than 4 pounds.
- It only has 2 speed settings.
- The required 4 D batteries are sold separately (as are the optional rechargeable cartridge and AC adaptor).
- Its wind power is not quite as strong as fans with plastic or metal blades.
Amacool Portable Battery Camping Fan – Best Tent Fan Overall
Described by Amacool as being “born for camping,” this tent fan is affordable, portable and multi-functional. With 3 speed settings and up to 34 hours of battery life on a single charge, this product would be great if it was just a fan… But it’s so much more. It comes with a bright LED light that has 12 settings. With the use of its built-in hook, this contraption can easily be hung from your tent’s ceiling and turned into your own camping chandelier (not the most extravagant chandelier out there, but you get the point).
My favorite thing about this fan is its built in mosquito repellent strips. The Amacool uses foam pads that absorb repellent for long periods of time to drive mosquitoes away from your tent. Talk about killing 2 mosquitos with one stone (Eh?.. Anyone?).
For what it’s worth, I think this fan has just about everything you could ask for in a product within this price range. If you’re looking for unwiltering resilience, this may not be for you; though in every other aspect, this fan kills it.
- Has built-in mosquito repellent pads!
- Comes with rechargeable, 5000 mAh batteries and a 3.3 foot USB cord.
- Allows manual, 360 degree vertical and horizontal rotation.
- Lasts up to 440 hours when using the lights only on a full charge!
- It’s affordable.
- Weighs less than a pound.
- Has a built-in, rotating hook and a stand, meaning it can be placed anywhere within your tent.
- Fan operates at 10 feet per second at high setting.
- Fan utilizes quiet operation.
- This fan is not shock or water resistant.
- When the battery level is low, the fan may not work on its highest setting.
O2COOL 5-Inch Portable Desktop Fan – Most Affordable Tent Fan
If you’re not really concerned about finding a super high-end product, you might want to go with the O2COOL 5-Inch Portable Fan. This camping fan is ultra cheap, but it still has quite a bit of functionality. Coming in a wide range of colors, this simple yet modern-looking fan is made of durable plastic and can be placed on virtually any flat surface.
With a 5 inch diameter, this is one battery powered fan that you’ll never have trouble finding room for. It might even fit in the pocket of your sweat shirt. For its small size and stature, it still packs quite a bit of wind power. If you don’t feel you need a giant fan to blow you away (pun intended), then this little contraption is great.
- It’s the cheapest fan on this list.
- Comes in black, gray, khaki, light blue and raspberry.
- It has a convenient folding design which makes it easy to store and transport.
- Weighs less than a pound.
- It’s powerful yet quiet.
- It only has 2 speed settings.
- The 2 D batteries required are not included.
- Not the most durable or water-resistant fan out there.
When you need quality brightness just as much as you need quality coolness, you should find a product that excels in both areas. This portable tent fan from Odoland doubles as a lantern and is a great tool to have on a hot, summer night. With 360 degree rotational abilities, this fan can be oriented in virtually any direction you’d like. Its sturdy hook allows you to use this product as a ceiling fan, making it easier to encourage airflow throughout the entire tent. When it’s time to pack it up and move along, this lantern-fan combo is easily collapsible and super portable.
For such a light product, this fan has a pretty decent wind speed when it’s cranked up to its high setting. Still it’s able to stay quiet and remain non bothersome. Also, with a set of fresh batteries, the fan should be able to run uninterrupted throughout an entire night of camping. If you’re looking to save some money and power on lights during your camping trip, a tent fan like this may be great for you.
- It’s SUPER lightweight.
- It’s affordable.
- Comes with 18 low-powered LED lights around the rim of the fan.
- LED lights can last up to 37 hours on their own.
- The fan can last up to 50 hours at a low setting, 30 hours at a high setting and 16 hours (at low speed) when the lights are turned on.
- The fan and light can be oriented in many different directions.
- When on high, the fan can reach a wind speed of 10 feet per second.
- It can be placed on a flat surface, or hung from above.
- It’s collapsable and easy to store.
- It only has 2 wind speed settings.
- The 2 D batteries required are not included.
- It’s not waterproof.
When it comes to a sleek and streamline design, the Treva 10-Inch Battery Fan has all the other products beat. This slender, wind-generating machine can easily slip into a backpack, suitcase or most other types of carrying bags. One of the major drawing points of this product is its advanced mobility.
It doesn’t get much more simple than this tent fan with its two-speed operation and 10 inch blades. It’s got a durable, plastic design and can survive a bit of roughing-up. This tent fan is not the most functional or multi-faceted by any means. However, in my opinion, when it comes to visual appeal, the Treva scores a few extra points.
- Provides strong airflow with minimal noise.
- Weighs less than 3 pounds.
- Comes with an AC adapter which can be used instead of batteries.
- Utilizes a flattened blade design which extends battery life and maximizes airflow.
- It’s got a sturdy structure with a built in handle.
- Cannot be hung from the ceiling.
- Requires 6 D batteries which are not included.
- Only has 2 speed settings.
What Makes For A Good Tent Fan?
The entire purpose of a tent fan is so that it’s possible to camp in the summer while staying comfortable. You wouldn’t want your house to be un-airconditioned throughout the summer, so why would you hold different standards for your tent?
However, not every tent fan on the market is going to give you the same experience. There are specific factors that signify whether a product is efficient or not. Keep an eye out for these aspects when searching for the best camping fan.
Range In Speed Settings
Portable camp fans work by using their blades to spin rapidly, thus creating a wind chill effect. Airflow is key here. The more airflow you have throughout your tent, the more sweat is being evaporated from your skin and the less your body retains heat. Simple logic suggests that fans with more wind power and faster moving blades will make your tent more cool.
Look for camping fans that are able to operate at high rates of speed. Usually, this is measured by the speed which the air flows out of the fan. The faster the airflow is (measured in feet per second), the better your fan will be for hot environments.
It’s probably unrealistic to expect to keep your fan on its highest setting at all times. Try to find a product that has multiple speed settings.
If you want maximum customization, you might need a fan that has more than just 2 speed settings. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself constantly switching between high and low, especially if your body temperature changes quickly.
I prefer fans with at least 3 speed settings for extra customization. The best and most customizable option is a fan with stepless speed control. This usually comes in the form of a nob and means that your fan’s speed operates on a spectrum. There’s an ultimate high and low setting, but you’re also free to choose any speed in between.
The Noise Level
Fans are mechanical devices, meaning their operation is not always completely quiet. If you’re someone who needs complete silence to fall asleep, then you’ll definitely want to find a fan with quiet operation. Some fans are so silent that they’re nearly undetectable.
The harder the material of your blades, the louder your fan will be. Metal blades can make for some noisy airflow.
Some people actually prefer a bit of white noise from their fan to help lull them to sleep. If that’s your preference, then steer away from fans with “whisper” operation.
It may come as a surprise to some that the shape of a fan’s blades can have a significant effect on its operation.
Flat blades are a great in the sense that they make for more efficient rotation and consume less energy. In general, this leads to longer battery life. Curved blades are a bit less efficient, but they make less noise.
The material of the blade can also be important to look at. As previously stated, hard materials like metal tend to make for a louder fan. Plastic blades don’t generate quite as much airflow, but they’re a bit less noisy. Some fans even operate using foam blades (such as the Coleman CPX 6). These generate even less airflow and noise, but they’re much safer. It’s very unlikely that anyone would injure themselves from a foam fan blade.
We can’t talk about efficiency without discussing battery life. When you’re on a multi-day camping trip, or even a single-night trip, you want to make sure that your fan is going to last throughout the entire duration of your adventure. Look for battery operated camping fans that can function for hours at a time without dying.
Remember that most fans last longer when they’re at their lowest setting than they do at their highest. If your fan comes with a battery life indicator, be sure to keep an eye on it if you like to keep your fan on high.
Some tent fans use rechargeable batteries. If this is the case, it will usually come with some kind of charger or USB. This is great because it means you don’t need to keep buying batteries. Give your fan a full charge before you embark on your trip and you should be good to go. The down side to this is that, if your rechargeable battery dies while you’re out in the wilderness and you don’t have access to power, you’re screwed.
If you’re concerned about this, consider buying a tent fan that operates with disposable batteries. This way, you can pack a couple of extra batteries with you and you’ll never be without access to airflow.
Not every person needs a tent fan that will be able to withstand a hurricane. If that is what you need, you might want to invest more in a heavy duty tent fan.
If you’re expecting rain, then try to find a fan that’s waterproof. If you plan on using your fan outside and not just in your tent, then you need something durable.
The size of your tent fan is important in more than one way. If you’re going to be camping in a small, cramped tent with multiple people, then you definitely don’t want a giant, windmill-esque product that’s going to take up a bunch of space. The smaller your fan is, the less of a burden it will be to you and your fellow campers.
You also have to consider the weight of each tent fan. If you’re going to be backpacking a long way before settling down at a campsite, you might want to find a tent fan that’s not too heavy.
Tent fans are generally made to be small and lightweight, but you still must think about your physical abilities. If you tire easily, then try and go with a fan that’s under 5 pounds. The more heavy-duty tent fans with stronger wind power tend to weigh a bit more. This is a situation in which you’re going to have to pick your battles.
Also, as far as ease of transportation goes, look for tent fans that are easily collapsible. This will make them much easier to squeeze into a tightly packed backpack.
Obviously, your fan is going to need a way to be set up within your tent. Many tent fans have a simple stand or platform, which allows them to hold themselves up. These are great if you want airflow directed near the floor of your tent.
If you prefer a hanging tent fan, look for one with a hook that attaches to the ceiling. In general, this makes for more efficient airflow throughout your tent. Some fans have both a hook and a stand. It’s great to have the option to position your fan wherever you’d like.
Other placement mechanisms found in tent fans include magnetic ceiling plates and flexible, tentacle-like tripod legs. Assess your situation and decide what works best for you.
The Bonus Features
Many campers are completely satisfied with simple tent fans that have the basic areas covered. However, there are lots of products that go above and beyond. These features set the multifunctional tent fans apart from the average ones.
While it’s not a standard for every product, it’s quite common to find a tent fan that doubles as a lantern. These can really make your camping trip easier when you have no other access to light. There are many fans out there that come equipped with multiple LED lights.
If you’re looking to go even more extravagant, look for fans with multiple light settings. Having the option of dimmed lights can help set the mood for romantic camping trips or serve as a great nightlight.
A huge concern that drives many people away from the idea of camping: insects. Nobody likes the idea of pests buzzing and swarming around the interior of your tent… or waking up with dozens of mosquito bites.
There are tent fans, such as the Amacool Portable Battery Camping Fan, that come with foam pads which you can add mosquito repellent onto. These pads absorb the repellent and allow it to remain potent for long periods of time. Hanging one of these near the entrance of your tent can make a world of difference when it comes to keeping unwanted critters out.
Rotation And Flexibility
Sometimes, it’s hard to find the best spot to place a fan within your tent. This is why it’s ideal to have a fan that’s able to rotate and be oriented in whichever direction you’d like. It’s a wonderful bonus to be able to freely change the direction of airflow without having to reposition your fan.
If you’re someone who values looks above everything, then you might base your choice of tent fan off of looks (not the best idea- but hey, I don’t judge!). There are lots of funky-looking tent fans out there that come in multiple shapes and colors. You might even be able to match your sleeping bag or tent with your fan!
Some tent fans are designed to be a bit more showy, with sleek and visually appealing structures. If you’re planning on taking some Instagram photos during your camping trip, you might want something fancy to show off the fact that you know how to camp in style.
Assess Your Circumstances
When you’re thinking about purchasing any type of product in any category, you must always consider what your needs are. Obviously, tent fans serve one major purpose: keeping you cool on a hot day inside your tent.
However, each product on this list has differing features and characteristics. The question remains, what features or aspects do you prioritize when considering your specific circumstances and personal needs?
What Kind Of Tent Are You Using?
This is a surprisingly relevant question that many people don’t consider before buying a tent fan. If you’re purchasing one of these portable fans, you’re probably planning on camping in a warm environment. Though the truth is, you shouldn’t let the fan do all the work.
To effectively stay cool, you need a tent that does well in the heat. Find a shelter that has sufficient ventilation and open air flow. This will allow your fan to draw in fresh oxygen instead of kicking around stuffy, musty, recycled tent air.
Where Are You Camping?
The hotter your environment is, the better airflow you’re going to need from your fan. If you’re camping in the desert, you’re likely going to want something heavy-duty with a wind speed of at least 10 feet per second.
If you’re camping in a damp, rainy environment, consider buying a waterproof tent fan to avoid causing water damage.
How Many People Will You Be Camping With?
The number of campers in your group can be a major determining factor for which tent fan you choose. Obviously, if you have a large group camping in a warm environment, you’re going to need some extra wind power. Ask the members of your group and see what their needs are. Do they need an extra fan? Are they okay with a small, portable tent fan? Or would they prefer something bigger and more heavy-duty?
If you have a large group of campers who will be squeezing into a small tent (not advisable), then size and space may be a concern. In this case, you might have to choose a small tent fan, or something that will be able to hang from the ceiling.
If your concern is more about comfortability and coolness than it is about space, then you may even want to consider bringing multiple tent fans with you. Be considerate about the others in your group and be sure to assess their needs as well.
As with any piece of camping equipment, choosing a tent fan takes a bit of thought and research. You must weigh the pros and cons of each product out there. Determine what the most important features are to you and make your decision based off of that.
Our Top Pick Is…
There are many great products out there, but this rechargeable camping fan well surpasses the rest of them in this price range. This product covers pretty much all the vital areas that one should look for in a fan for tent camping. It provides strong, yet quiet airflow in a tiny package that weighs less than a pound. It allows for 360 degrees of manual rotation, and it can be placed on the ground or hung from the ceiling. The phenomenal battery life, mosquito repellent pads and bright LED lights are all icing on the cake for this USB camping fan.
If you’re expecting an indestructible, heavy duty fan, then something like the Geek Air High Velocity Outdoor Fan may be a better fit for you; but as far as a product with the complete package, Amacool’s Portable Battery fan has my vote.