Whether you’re going on a camping trip or hosting a winter cookout, a propane heater can keep you comfortable in the cold. So while we’ve written about lots of ways to stay warm — including the best infrared heaters, the best outdoor heaters, and the best space heaters — here, we’ve rounded up the best propane heaters, as praised by the most enthusiastic reviewers on Amazon.
Best-rated propane heater
Over 4,000 reviewers give this commercial-slash-residential patio propane heater a five-star rating, because it’s easy to put together and even easier to use. “This is a great product. Inexpensive, easy (and actually kinda fun) to assemble, and it works better than products that cost many times more,” one reviewer writes. “Ninety minutes after pulling the parts out of the box and moving the propane tank over, it’s working like a champ, silently cranking out the BTUs. If you’re in the market for a patio heater and don’t mind spending a little time with the (included) wrench and a Phillips-head screwdriver, buy it.” Another reviewer likes it so much that they claim that “there are no drawbacks to purchasing this unit. It offers commercial grade output and construction at a reasonable price.” They keep theirs on their deck, and find that it “throws off a lot of heat. Within an eight to ten foot radius there is a comfortable elevation in temperature,” and it is exceptionally (and, for the price, surprisingly) sturdy against the elements. “We have had storms with winds in excess of 70mph and this patio heater never tips over. The metal is a thick grade of stainless that will not warp from the heat.” Overall, it’s “perfect for spring and fall afternoons and evenings in the crisp Minnesota air” and “looks beautiful sitting on our deck.”
Best-rated (less expensive) propane heater
Reviewers refer to the simplicity of this more-affordable propane heater as a main selling point. “This heater is dependable 100 percent of the time no matter how cold or windy it is,” one reviewer writes. “You simply open the valve and hear the gas, put a lighter to it, it almost immediately turns red hot and it keeps you warm.” Another who says they “wanted a bare-bones heater with the least to go wrong” admits, “Yes, I have to light it with a BBQ starter, but this I know will work every time.” Another reviewer attests that they, “Tried many others and this one can’t be beaten for simplicity, ease of use, reliability, and price.” Beyond easy, lots of reviewers also note that this propane heater works great in their golf carts. “I purchased this for our golf cart and with the handy cup holder adapter and our cover it kept us nice and toasty on those chilly evening strolls,” one writes. They add, “As a matter of fact it will cook you out if you don’t turn it down to the lowest possible setting.”
Best portable propane heater
Owing to its built-in safety features, this mini propane heater from Mr. Heater — appropriately named Little Buddy — is a favorite among Strategist editors and Amazon reviewers alike for packing on camping trips. One reviewer says that it kept their large tent “from getting too cold in 30 degree overnight temps,” and perhaps most importantly, “it has a couple of nice safety features that eased my mind while sleeping: carbon monoxide detection, and it will automatically shut off if knocked over.” And another reviewer shares that it kept them plenty warm during a campout with their 3- and 4-year-old sons. “We have a four-man tent and when it started snowing (not expected) I turned this on and let it run all night,” they write. “They slept soundly and even kicked off their sleeping bags, we were nice and toasty! Have used it multiple times since and love it every time.”
Best propane heater with wheels
The wheels on this propane patio heater make it incredibly simple to rearrange. “You can just tip [the heater] and steer it to where you want it,” one reviewer writes. “It is easy to assemble, easy to ignite and looks classy.” Many other purchasers also praise its sleek display of flames: One calls it “mesmerizing to watch,” while a third reviewer says the heater is a great way to “make your backyard sexy.” But despite those impressive flames, a fourth reviewer assures that the design is child-friendly. “I liked the fact that the grills that go on the four sides do not heat up. I have twin 10-year-olds that are already very curious about the flames, but the side grills are cool to the touch.”
Best propane fire pit
Five-star reviewers agree that this outdoor propane fire pit is excellent at simulating a real campfire, even at a real campsite. “We are in a Stage II fire ban in Colorado but propane campfires are allowed. Other campers came by thinking the amount and look of the fire was too real and large to be a propane fire bowl,” one reviewer writes, adding, “Well, they were wrong. We had a great campfire each night with no worries. Really liked that there was no smokiness like a real campfire.” Another reviewer describes this propane fire pit as “awesome. My husband and I take it camping and it is so easy to enjoy a fire without having to carry wood, smell like smoke or to worry about embers flying out somewhere.” Lots of reviewers agree this fire pit puts out a substantial amount of heat, with another Colorado camper explaining, “This definitely kept us warmer at night and will attract all the other campers within a 100 foot radius … which is great because they’ll share their whiskey with you. In short, I had whiskey and have new friends thanks to the Outland Firebowl Mega 850.”
Best portable propane fire pit
This smaller, more-portable version of the fire pit above can be used for both backyard cookouts and camping trips. “Just hook that thing up and instant warmth and fire. The amount of flame is optional, which is really handy. If you are getting too warm, but still want to have a fire, you can just turn the knob down and the flame goes down with it,” explains one reviewer who takes it camping. Another says that “this is very warm, even on medium, and starts up instantly,” adding that six hours of use only required a half tank of propane. Plus, it comes with useful additions like lava rocks and a lid strap that’s “super convenient for packing it in your car and carrying it. We used it to roast marshmallows, placed a BBQ grate and a cast iron griddle over it to cook on, and we sat around it and just talked and told stories”; they took it on a three-day camping trip. Another customer, who uses this fire pit both in her backyard and on camping trips, says that it is comfortable to sit around with a group of four, who all had “plenty of space. It also put out a lot of heat,” she says, adding that it “worked like a charm” for ambient heat and smores-making.
Best combination propane heater and stove
As long as you have a pan with you, this Campy Gear propane heater can double as a stove, making it great for whipping up a meal anytime you’re without power. One reviewer who calls it an “unbelievable find” loves that there are three settings: cook, heat, or do both at once. They write, “The unit is lightweight, comes with a detachable carry handle, [and] packs nicely in its own carrying mesh bag,” adding that it also “heats up quickly and distributes heat evenly so cooking doesn’t take forever.” Another resourceful reviewer who purchased this heater in case of a power outage in winter ended up having to indeed use it during a blackout. “I was able to fire up the heater and cook [a] meal for my family,” they write. ”I would absolutely give this to [my] friends or family as a gift because everyone should have an emergency heater.” As for its heating abilities, a third reviewer who used it “on a chilly morning in my tent” assures that it “puts out a surprising amount of warmth.”
The Strategist is designed to surface the most useful, expert recommendations for things to buy across the vast e-commerce landscape. Some of our latest conquests include the best acne treatments, rolling luggage, pillows for side sleepers, natural anxiety remedies, and bath towels. We update links when possible, but note that deals can expire and all prices are subject to change.
Every editorial product is independently selected. If you buy something through our links, New York may earn an affiliate commission.