If you’re impressed by innovators, a small shrine dedicated to Harry G. Jennings may be in order. Jennings may not have been responsible for designing the first-ever tent fan, but his ingenious patent, filed in 2001, shows creative engineering at its best.
Do you need a tent fan for your adventures? You do, says Peter whose Decide Outside blog is dedicated to like-minded thinkers, but in order to reap the most benefits from the fan you choose — be it battery-powered or you’ve got access to a generator — browse our list to see how many options are available to campers who know a great breeze when they feel it.
Geek Aire Rechargeable Outdoor Fan – Our Pick!
It may look identical to the floor fan you’ve been plugging into the wall of your home for years, but this one is ready to hit the road and do its job once you’ve pitched your tent. This 16-inch 15000mAh battery-operated industrial-grade gem has a metal blade and a power capacity that’s so efficient and versatile, there’s even a USB port for your phone.
It takes between 2.5 and 3 hours to fully charge the Lithium-ion battery at which point it can run up to 18 hours. The head’s tilt feature gives you 120-degrees of swivel, so aim it wherever you like to create the most amount of circulation. The variable speed control regulates airflow and noise, and the LED battery indicator warns you if you’re running out of juice.
Because this fan’s cabinet is made of sturdy, water-resistant materials and features a metal frame and anti-slip rubber feet, it will stay put when turned on and can withstand being tossed around, too. If you buy this fan and find that it doesn’t suit your needs, call the company immediately, and they promise to resolve your issue within 24 hours.
O2COOL Treva 10-Inch Portable Fan – Also Great!
Trim, lithe, small and lightweight, this 10-inch portable battery-operated fan offers 2 cooling speeds plus an AC adaptor, yet this Treva costs only 1/5th as much as the Geek Aire model profiled above.
If space is a problem because your tent wasn’t designed for the masses, this unit, boasting a patented fan blade design that maximizes airflow, is crafted of plastic and runs on high and low courtesy of the 6 D alkaline batteries required to keep it moving.
Hang this fan from the roof of your tent to get the most amount of circulation. The slide switch on the side of the fan gives you a choice of settings and operating the fan if you have access to AC power is as easy as hooking up the adapter.
As a safety measure, once you insert the adapter into the fan, installed batteries disconnect from the circuit. Measuring 4 x 13.06 x 12.06-inches and weighing just 2.33 pounds, this makes an ideal cooling machine for overheated folks on a budget!
You’ll need 8 AA batteries to operate this small fan, but you can afford them since the price tag on this unit is about the same as a couple of sub sandwiches with drinks.
At just 5-inches, it’s not the fan you likely seek if your tent sleeps two, but if you’re a solo camper and need a personal, quiet mini-fan, this one comes with a clip so you can install it close to your sleeping bag or cot for instant relief.
Despite its size, this unit delivers a strong airflow plus 360-degree vertical and horizontal rotation. Once batteries are installed, clip the fan into position or take advantage of the USB power source that can revive your devices. Run this fan for 5 to 6 hours before it runs out of steam.
Bring two sets of rechargeable AA batteries to re-power the fan fast. Manufactured of ABS material and enhanced by the strong portable clip that keeps the fan from roaming, this fan is made by a company that takes pride in its products so if you’re disappointed, Gazeled offers a new replacement or full refund.
If you thought that the 5-inch Gazeled battery-operated fan was as small as it gets, meet this AceMining model that’s even less expensive and smaller at 6.2 x 6.1 x 2.3 inches and weighing 9.4 ounces.
You even get your choice of colors, so if you color coordinate your gear, opt for back or white. Despite the size and lack of sophisticated features, this tidy fan gets good reviews, but be aware of this warning if you buy it: “Do not put in sunlight for a long time/avoid prolonged sun exposure for a long time.”
Owners heap praise on this dynamo, saying that they were surprised at the amount of airflow this unit delivers, and one happy customer claims his fully-charged AceMining fan ran continuously on low speed for 20 hours.
The high-quality Lithium battery 3600mAh (included) promises at least 6 hours of run time and you can also power it up via a USB port. Enjoy 3 settings (low, medium, and high) 180-degree rotation, yet you won’t complain about the noise because this fan is engineered not to surpass 20dB, even on the highest setting.
Having made your way through two affordable 5-inch minis, we return you to a reasonably sized 9 x 3.9 x 9.6 inch battery-operated rechargeable model that runs around twice the price, but you get a larger and more tricked-out 9-inch battery-operated USB fan tucked into a metal frame with 5200 mAh capacity and a respectable amount of strong airflow.
This push-button OPOLAR model is equipped with 2 rechargeable 2600 mAh batteries capable of running between 6 and 9 hours. Marketed as the fan that’s environmentally friendly because you get energy savings, you get in increased noise what you gain in size since this product can deliver up to 40dB of noise when it’s running at max speed.
If you’re looking for a tent fan offering multiple power supply options, this one delivers: run it as a battery-operated appliance, via the USB conduit or tap the wall adapter if you’ve got a wall handy. Adjust this fan 360-degrees to position it exactly where you need circulation most and when you’re ready to pack up and go home, all it takes is a wet cloth to clean the blade.
You already know to expect unique camping products from Coleman simply because it’s been around so long and it’s apparent that product designers are given carte blanche to be innovative, so you won’t be surprised to learn that this multi-feature lighted tent fan runs $5 less than the OPOLAR described above, yet it offers unique features.
This fan is compatible with most tents and the CPX 6 offers a battery cartridge (included, 4 D batteries sold separately), a rechargeable cartridge (sold separately), or A/C adaptor cartridge (sold separately).
Install this fan using either a magnetic plate or carabiner clip or use the built-in stand if you can’t hang this product within the confines of the tent. Four 5mm LED lights shine up to 99 lumens of brightness and you get a choice of 2 lighting modes (white and nightlight) and 2 fan speeds (high and low).
Uncomplicated. Versatile. And a great choice for any camper wishing to run a fan for 10 hours on high or 30 hours on low. By the way, the lights and the fan operate independently so if you just want to engage one, you can. Get a 1-year limited warranty, too!
Does this baby look like a space ship? In many ways, it qualifies – after all, it hovers overhead, but no little green men on onboard; just nice cool circulating air and enough light to illuminate your tent interiors so you can function.
Despite its’ cool look and relatively affordable price, reviews aren’t sterling, but if you don’t care about reviews and want a fan with LED light that’s a decent size (8.75 x 6.25 x 8.75 inches) and weighs just one pound, this product could be your best bet.
Basecamp delivers state of the art bulb technology and proprietary, advanced reflectors that light up the darkness Rated to just 50 Lumens, you can consider them your contribution to energy efficiency.
Featuring a 2-speed fan and foam blades, you need 4 D batteries to power up this fan (not included), but once it’s going, the company says you get up to either 48 hours or 100+ hours of runtime on low (both are cited!) and up to 24 hours on high.
At first glance, this camping lantern/ceiling fan could remind you of klieg lights that hang from riggings at rock concerts, and according to users happy with this choice, you could cast a light on anything that goes on in your tent while you’re on your next adventure.
Aside from its “show biz” look, this versatile light-fan is loaded with LED bulbs (18) and the fan offers both low and high settings so you can cool things down at two speeds and warm them up with illumination power.
Hang it and adjust it to myriad positions; they’ll all give you whisper-quiet operation even when you dial up the speed to the high setting that gives you 10 ft/s max wind speed. Because this dual product is so light, no worries about it stressing out your tent’s infrastructure.
Enjoy up to 37 hours of continuous interior light and it takes only 2 D batteries to keep the breezes coming for 5 hours on high speed and 15 hours in low-speed mode. Your light can stay on for 20 hours – but why would you need it on this long when there’s so much more fun outside to be enjoyed?
If you’re impressed by solid brand names and low pricing, who could say no to a Honeywell that is described as a “TurboForce”? The force will be with you if you bring this small, black, highly-rated plastic fan along on your next outing.
Get the breeze you crave simply by pushing a button and selecting one of 3 speeds so circulated air fills your tent courtesy of the 90-degree pivoting head. Quiet and aerodynamically contoured to maximize air movement, set on high, you can feel the wind from 27 feet away, so no need to keep your face inches away from the churning blades to enjoy a breeze.
Since this fan is not battery-driven, nor does it come with a USB port, you’re going to need an energy source to run this 10.9 x 6.3 x 10.9 inch, 2.6-pound fan, so you’d better keep your wallet open in order to buy a camping generator or battery pack capable of giving this fan the juice it needs to run.
Having gone from the high-priced Geek Aire tent camping fan profiled on our list to this OPOLAR hand-held, portable unit, you can find out how an inexpensive battery-operated and rechargeable USB fan can stand up to the big boys. This small but mighty product could surprise you by outputting 3 levels of air force plus you can adjust the angle to deliver a strong wind force.
This 3.9 x 1 x 7.8- inch fan gets higher ratings than a majority of competitor products on this list, so the fact that it’s the least expensive of all of them could make you skeptical, but you won’t be once you learn how versatile it is.
Hold it up to your face. Fold it down so it sits on the ground or use the metal clip to hang it up. Even the batteries are included! At just 6.3-ounces, you don’t have to worry about schlepping extra weight when you pack your gear in order to catch a breeze when you need one most! And when the battery runs out, plug it in and resume your cool down.
Unless you know something we don’t, there are currently 6 power sources you can tap in order to run the camping fan you intend to use to cool your brow when you’re not outdoors having a blast, according to folks at The Outdoor Authority. They are:
1. Standard batteries (as a rule, fans tend to run on 1 or more AA or D batteries). Steady and dependable, they tend to die when you can least expect their demise and if you’ve got no spares, better bring a paper fan along.
2. A 12V lead-acid batteries provide hundreds of amps of current for short periods of time and you can find relatively inexpensive ones on the market.
3. Rechargable power packs are trendy, efficient, dependable and tend to be the go-to preference of campers because they’re so reliable. If you’re sick of replacing batteries, power packs are your solution.
4. USB adapters have become the go-to port for everything under the sun and they allow you to leverage a solar-powered rechargeable battery packs.
5. AC adapters give you the power to plug a fan into the wall or into a generator and you can interface them with solar-power battery packs.
6. Solar power is attracting the approval and attention of campers eager to tap the sun’s power, so if you don’t mind waiting the time it takes to see the result of all of those rays being gathered up, you can call yourself a conservationist.
Airflow and power 101
- Battery-powered fans will run for up to 72 hours depending upon the battery type, the number of batteries required to keep the fan running and the quality of those batteries.
- D batteries are engineered to last longer than AAs and if the fan you choose has slots for more than one D, you’re going to get the most amount of power.
- 12 Volt batteries may be needed to operate large fans, but it’s a trade-off since fans with 12-volt batteries tend to be heavier and take up more space.
- The larger the battery, the longer you enjoy continual airflow.
- Blade size can impact the amount of airflow and the fan’s ability to cool down interior spaces.
- Fans operated via USB hookups can be just as powerful and offer multiple speed settings.
- None of these products will cool down a large tent, but placed in close proximity to your body, you can stay cool and comfortable within your tent.
Hangable fans v. Portable fans
While any battery-powered fan can be hung with enough ingenious engineering, buying a fan that can be suspended for operation could prove to be a double edge sword. If the tent is small and low to the ground, obvious benefits include proximity and containment, especially if flaps are closed so cool air can be contained.
That said, if there’s no way to contain the cooled air and it escapes as fast as your fan pumps it out, it would seem illogical to expect a hanging fan to do a decent job, thus you must factor in the size of the tent, how airtight it is, height and of course, the size and power output the fan in question delivers.
The future of tent fan innovation
What’s the future of tent fans? Products designed with fans already engineered into the dome. Take, for example, the OneSource 6-Person Camping Dome Tent with Airflow System & LED Lighting ( check it out here ).
You’ll drop a bundle on this and competitive models but the fan built into this tent “refreshes the air in the tent 6 times per hour to reduce humidity, and LED lighting offers warm diffused light throughout the tent. The lithium-ion battery is recharged from wall outlets, vehicles, universal power packs, or other OneSource batteries with the included USB cord.” Want one? Better start saving!