Are you looking for the best camping fan to take on your summer trip? Staying cool in a tent can be tough, and a portable fan will definitely help keep you comfortable on those hot summer nights.
The wrong tent fan, though, could be a waste of time. You don’t want a fan that keeps you awake because it’s so noisy, or a fan that needs the batteries changing constantly.
In this article, we’re going to take a look at some different types of fans to consider, then we’ll share the five best fans for tent camping.
Overview of Fan Types
There are two key types of fan you’ll want to consider:
- Battery powered fans: these will need their batteries changing or charging periodically. Most take D-cell batteries, normally either 2 or 4 at a time, depending on the size of the fan. Some battery powered fans are rechargeable, usually through a USB cable.
- Solar powered fans: these are charged up by solar power, though will often have the option to be charged using a power bank too. They tend to be more expensive than battery powered fans. Obviously, they’ll only work if the weather is sunny rather than just hot.
We analyzed lots of different options, went through Amazon reviews, and picked out the very best of the best options for you.
Best Battery Powered Fans
Are you looking for the best battery powered fan for camping? You can’t go wrong with any of these battery operated fans. We’ve chosen a top pick in several different categories, to help make your choice as easy as possible.
The Cheapest Tent Fan
The O2COOL 5” portable fan is a durable and easy-to-use fan that has both a high and a low speed. It’s incredibly good value, and makes a great budget option if you want a simple and robust fan.
- This fan was very highly rated by campers, with one Amazon reviewer saying,
We bought this for tent camping and it was perfect. Tents can get warm and this moved the air around just enough. Great value for the cost!
- The batteries last well, with several reviewers able to run the fan for longer than they expected before needing to change them: one reviewer said they lasted on high for four nights and were still going strong.
- The fan blades are covered by a safety grill, preventing little fingers from getting hurt.
- You can choose from a range of colors for the fan (black, grey, khaki, blue, and pink).
- The fan is very quiet while in use, making it a great option for sleeping soundly in your tent.
- It’s easy to get the batteries in and out, as the battery compartment has an up and down lid that snaps into place.
- It’s quite a small fan, and definitely best for personal use – so you’ll want to buy a fan for each person camping.
- A few reviewers felt the fan was a bit flimsy, with one saying that,
Also, the fan housing is so flimsy you can’t pick up the fan without the whole casing collapsing onto the fan blades it’s so flimsy.Most reviewers were happy with the fan’s quality, however.
The Longest-Lasting Tent Fan
The Coleman CPX Lighted Tent Fan is a great all-round fan that should keep going for a good length of time. It has the option to either use four D-Cell batteries, or a rechargeable power cartridge or adaptor cartridge. It has a stand so that it can go on the floor of your tent, on top of your cooler, etc or you can attach it to the top of your tent using the magnetic connector provided. It’s suitable for cooling your whole tent, too.
- Includes an LED light that has a “high” and “low” option, meaning you can light up your tent during the evening or at night time too. This saves you trying to hang both a camping fan >and a camping lamp.
- The batteries should last at least a couple of nights, according to several people who’d used it for camping. This makes it a good option if you don’t want to carry around extra batteries with you. One Amazon reviewer wrote that,
One set of batteries lasted the two night trip.
- Suitable for cooling your whole tent, so you won’t need one per person like you would with other fans. One reviewer said,
Where we camped, it was about 90 during the day and 70s at night and it helped cool down the whole tent at night.
- It’s quiet, so it shouldn’t disturb your sleep with any noise.
- This is quite a large and bulky fan, so you’ll want a sturdy tent if you’re going to attach this to the top of your tent. It’s also not a good option if you’re going to be hiking a long way before camping.
- A few reviewers felt that this fan didn’t produce much air, though others found it very effective.
The Quietest Tent Fan
If you’re looking for a really quiet option, Gazeled’s Battery Operated Fan is a great choice. It has 3 different speed options, and your batteries can last for an amazing 214 hours at the lowest speed. There’s also a timer, letting you set the fan to automatically switch off during the night.
- Powerful and lightweight fan that’s very portable. It’s a great option if you’re going to need to carry the fan for a while before getting to your campsite.
- Can take 4 D cell batteries or can be charged through the included USB cable.
- Includes one year’s warranty, so if it stops working, you can get a replacement or a full refund. The supplier was responsive to Amazon customers, too, according to one Amazon reviewer who wrote,
After a conversation with the supplier we [were] refunded everything, then on top of that, these fine folks sent us a NEW VERSION free of charge.
- It’s a very quiet fan, with an Amazon reviewer saying,
this fan is so quiet and effective it’s on my desk all the time.
- There’s a simple timer included: you can set it to one, three, or five hours, depending on how long you want the fan to run during the night.
- Comes in a choice of 2 colors (blue or yellow) for the carrying handle, so you can choose whichever you prefer or even whichever fits with your tent decor.
- A small number of reviewers had issues with the fan and said theirs didn’t work well.
- The blue LED lights that indicate the timer setting and power level could be a little bright at night time, though they’re unlikely to be bright enough to bother you.
The Best Rechargeable Tent Fan
The Amacool Portable Battery Camping Fan has a rechargeable battery. It uses a USB cable to charge, so you can plug it into your laptop, power bank, or whatever is handy. It’s a mini-sized fan with a hook, so it’s easy to hang it from the top of your tent. Plus, you can use it as a camping light.
- Has three different brightness levels and three speeds, so you can adjust the settings to your preference for a comfortable night’s sleep in your tent.
- The fan spins around 180°, meaning you can easily position it to cool you comfortably.
- One fan can cool the whole of a small tent, with one Amazon reviewer saying that,
it’s big enough to hang on the roof of a van and comfortably fan two people.
- Includes space at the back for a sponge soaked in essential oils (or ice water) so you can also use this fan as an aroma diffuser.
- May take a while to charge: one reviewer said it took 4 – 5 hours to charge up.
- A few reviewers found it a little noisy on the higher settings, though several said the fan noise helped them sleep. One reviewer explained that,
The fan makes a small humming noise but it’s not loud or obnoxious. More like white noise.
The Best Solar Fan
It can be difficult to find a reliable solar powered tent fan. We’ve selected just one solar fan to share with you as we’re confident that you’ll love it.
Multi-Function Solar Fan
This solar fan from Hereta isn’t the cheapest option out there, but it comes with a great range of functions. It includes a radio/MP3 player, plus a lamp, a torch, and a cell phone charging function too. It’ll need around 13 hours of full sunshine to fully charge, but you can also charge it using a power adaptor if you’re not going to be enjoying that much sunny weather.
- Has two different ways of lighting, with both a flashlight option and a ring of LEDs so you can use it as a lantern at night or in low light conditions.
- It should hold enough charge to run all night, making it a good option for even very hot and humid nights.
- The fan is light enough to make a great solar power fan for camping, with one Amazon reviewer writing that,
It’s small and light enough that I take it with me when we go camping as well.
- You can take just this fan rather than also taking a bunch of other gadgets, like a radio.
- The fan even lets you charge your cell phone, so you won’t need a separate solar powered charger for that.
- It doesn’t make too much noise, with one reviewer saying,
The solar fan worked well, was quiet and effective.
- One reviewer would have liked the fan to be stronger, commenting,
I was disappointed that the fan isn’t as strong as I’d hoped
- A few reviewers said that the fan was a little flimsy or fell over easily, and felt frustrated by this given the high price.
Frequently Asked Questions
How do you run a fan while camping?
Any portable fan for camping will need to run without being plugged into mains electricity. This means choosing either a battery powered fan or a solar camping fan (which is charged up by placing it in sunlight during the day).
You’ll want to take spare batteries with you, if you have a fan that takes disposable batteries. Some camping fans can be charged using a USB cable. If you have that type of fan, you’ll need a power source. This could be your car battery, an electric hookup, or an area of the campsite that lets you charge phones and other devices
Should you choose a camping fan with lights?
A camping fan that includes a torch or lamp feature helps you get more from your portable fan. It’s up to you whether you want to use a fan like this or a separate camping lamp or torch.
Some fans will also have LED indicators that show the speed level or timer settings for the fan. If you like to sleep in pitch darkness, you may want to cover these with a small piece of electrical tape.
How do you know whether a tent fan will be noisy?
Most camping fans will have a noise rating in decibels: the lower, the better! Ideally, you want a fan with a rating of no more than 50 – 52lbs, which will be about the same amount of noise as a home fridge.
It’s also worth reading reviews from other people, particularly other campers, who’ve used that particular model of fan.
There doesn’t tend to be any difference between battery operated fans and solar power tent fans when it comes to noise levels. Either type can be quiet – or noisy.
Are cheap camping fans flimsy or poor quality?
You don’t necessarily need to spend a lot to get the best camping fan. Some cheap fans are very good value. They may not have all the extra features of more expensive fans, but they could last you for a long time.
The price of a fan doesn’t necessarily determine how strong the fan is, either. Good cheap tent fans can create a strong breeze for you.
When choosing a camping fan, we strongly recommend picking from our list above. These are the best tent fans out there, and there should be at least one option on that list that will be perfect for your next summer camping trip.