Camping Fan

Best Camping Fan

Written by: Dave NartinFebruary 7, 2020Updated: July 25, 2020

Guide Overview

Camping is a great way to enjoy the outdoors, but if you have ever spent a summer day or night under canvas, you will know that a tent can get pretty hot. During a hot day the sun will beat down and warm the air inside the tent. That hot air is trapped, with no breeze to move it around and no way for it to be dispersed. If you want to relax in your tent during the day, or when you want to go to sleep at night, that trapped humid air can be sticky and uncomfortable. 

A camping fan can help to cool your tent by increasing the airflow and creating a refreshing breeze. Taking a tent fan along with you when you are camping during warm weather can make your experience much more comfortable, and help you get a decent night’s sleep, ready for whatever the next day has in store.

Here we’re going to look at the different camping fans available, and which might be the best portable fan for your next trip.

Things To Consider

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Power

Camping gives you the flexibility to explore remote and hard to reach locations, but this means you’re probably going to be off the grid with no access, or limited access, to electricity. That’s why battery operated fans are the most common for camping. 

A battery powered fan might use regular or rechargeable batteries. A portable fan battery is usually a common type which can be picked up easily in a grocery store, such as a D cell battery. A rechargeable battery operated fan could be cheaper to run, as you can recharge the batteries between trips rather than needing to buy new ones. Rechargeable batteries are also a more environmentally friendly choice. Some fans can also be charged via a USB port which gives another option, as the charge can be topped up from a power bank or the USB charger in your car, or a solar charger for backpacking.

If you want to avoid using batteries altogether, you could opt for a solar powered camping fan . These harness power from sunlight during the day, and run off the stored energy. Solar powered fans can work well if you mainly want to use the fan at night, but if you also want to use it during the day you are going to limit the charge time each time you take it out of direct sunlight. If the weather is bad, the battery will get a limited charge so you might not get so much use from the fan. Some models will have a back-up power supply option such as a battery. 

Size and placement

When you’re selecting the best battery powered fan to suit you, a key factor to bear in mind is the size of your tent. If it’s a 2 person tent or 4 person tent than a small battery operated outdoor fan is probably going to do a good enough job of cooling the space. But, if you typically set out with an 8 person tent, then you’re going to need something larger. 

You’ll also need to think about the weight, and how heavy it’s going to be to carry alongside the rest of your equipment. The weight will be determined by what the fan is made from, such as metal or plastic, as well as the power supply. A large fan which uses a lot of batteries will be heavier than a small portable fan. If you are parking up at a campsite, the weight isn’t a major factor, as you’re only transporting the fan from your car to the pitched tent. But if you are hiking with an overnight kit, you might prefer that everyone has their own battery operated personal fan that they can carry themselves. 

Some fans are freestanding, so they simply sit on the floor of your tent. Others are hanging, which can be useful as the hottest air will be near the roof of the tent. However, you will need to check that your tent is stable and strong enough to take the weight of a fan hanging from the poles. A hanging tent fan needs to have the blades set behind a cage for safety. Some fans double up, and can be used on the ground and also have the option to be hung. 

Many fans are adjustable, so the airflow can be directed wherever you want it. This is a useful feature giving you more flexibility.

Noise

If you like to camp to enjoy the peace and quiet of nature, you are going to want to avoid a noisy fan whirring throughout the night. If this is a consideration, you can look for models which mention that they’re quiet to operate. 

Airflow

In general terms, the more powerful a fan, the more airflow it will create and the better job it will do of cooling the space. Some fans will have a choice of fixed speed settings, such as high and low. Others allow variable speed control.

Extra benefits

If you’re using a fan for camping, it can be helpful if it packs in a few extra benefits. Some fans have an integrated light, which is a helpful extra feature and might reduce the need to pack and carry a separate night light. A USB output port is another useful feature as this means you can use the fan to charge your phone or other devices.

Fans for on the move

A portable tent fan for your tent can also keep you cool whilst out and about. Choosing a sturdy fan that can also be used in the garden or when you are out fishing will mean you get the maximum use from your purchase. A  handheld fan, or battery powered clip on fan that attaches to a cap, buggy or inside your car, can also give some relief on a baking hot day whether you are hiking or just going about your day-to-day activities.

Best Camping Fans

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O2Cool – Treva 5-inch Portable FanO2Cool - Treva 5-inch Portable FanO2Cool - Treva 5-inch Portable FanO2Cool – Treva 5-inch Portable Fan

This is a small, portable fan which is just as useful on your desktop or bedside table as it is beside a camp bed or sleeping bag. 

The upright design can be tilted to direct air flow, and folds flat to take up minimal space in your rucksack or bag if you want to take it away with you. This 5-inch fan is available in a range of seven colours. It has two speeds, high or low, and the operation is quiet on either setting. The plastic construction is durable and lightweight.

This fan takes two D-cell batteries which are easy to install and replace.

Pros:

  • Durable construction.
  • Compact size means it can fit in a day pack to take out and about.
  • Quiet operation.
  • Good airflow even on the low setting.

Cons:

  • More suited to small spaces.
  • Durable construction.
  • Compact size means it can fit in a day pack to take out and about.
  • Quiet operation.
  • Good airflow even on the low setting.
  • More suited to small spaces.
Gazeled – Portable FanGazeled - Portable FanGazeled - Portable FanGazeled – Portable Fan

This super quiet portable fan can be used for camping as well as in your home or office, and is perfect if you are a light sleeper. 

The face of the 5-inch fan can rotate by 90 degrees, allowing you to adjust the angle to suit you, and there are three speeds to choose from. The fan can barely be heard at the lowest setting, and is quiet even at the highest. There is a timer so you can set the fan to turn off after one, two or four hours, which is perfect if you are using it when you are going to sleep.

This fan also has the benefit of being rechargeable, and the batteries are long-lasting once fully charged. There is also the option to recharge using a USB cable. Both the rechargeable batteries and USB cable are included.

Pros:

  • Extremely quiet, great for light sleepers.
  • Light and durable.
  • Timer function to turn the fan off after one, two or four hours.
  • Rechargeable with long-lasting batteries
  • Can also be charged with a USB cable

Cons:

  • Compact size.
  • Extremely quiet, great for light sleepers.
  • Light and durable.
  • Timer function to turn the fan off after one, two or four hours.
  • Rechargeable with long-lasting batteries
  • Can also be charged with a USB cable
  • Compact size.
OPOLAR – Battery Operated Rechargable FanOPOLAR - Battery Operated Rechargable FanOPOLAR - Battery Operated Rechargable FanOPOLAR – Battery Operated Rechargable Fan

This lightweight fan is both portable and versatile. It can be hung or placed upright, making it ideal for use around the home, outdoors or as a camping fan. 

The 9-inch metal frame can be easily adjusted to change the air direction. The frame is sturdy and durable, with three colours to choose from. It is powered by rechargeable batteries and can also be charged with a USB cable. Long lasting rechargeable batteries and the USB cable are both supplied with the fan.

There are two airflow settings and this fan is very quiet, which is ideal if you are looking for a fan to use at night.

Pros:

  • Versatile, can be hung or placed on a flat surface.
  • Sturdy but lightweight construction.
  • Rechargeable, with long-lasting batteries supplied.
  • Can be charged using a USB cable (provided).
  • Quiet operation.

Cons:

  • Best for small spaces.
  • Versatile, can be hung or placed on a flat surface.
  • Sturdy but lightweight construction.
  • Rechargeable, with long-lasting batteries supplied.
  • Can be charged using a USB cable (provided).
  • Quiet operation.
  • Best for small spaces.
Coleman – CPX 6 Lighted Tent FanColeman - CPX 6 Lighted Tent FanColeman - CPX 6 Lighted Tent FanColeman – CPX 6 Lighted Tent Fan

This is an ideal fan for outdoor use, whether on your deck, at a picnic or on a camping trip. 

A built in stand means this can be used as a freestanding fan, or it can be hung using a magnetic plate or carabiner clip, both of which are included. The fan blades are made of a soft foam making it safe for use around children. There are two speeds, high or low, and the fan is quiet to run. It can be powered by D cell batteries, a rechargeable battery cartridge, or an A/C adaptor cartridge (all sold separately). 

An added bonus of this fan is a handy integrated LED light, which has two modes, white or nightlight.

Pros:

  • Can be used as a freestanding or hanging fan.
  • Foam blades for safety.
  • Integrated LED light.
  • There are several power options to choose from.

Cons:

  • You’ll need to purchase your preferred power source separately.
  • Can be used as a freestanding or hanging fan.
  • Foam blades for safety.
  • Integrated LED light.
  • There are several power options to choose from.
  • You’ll need to purchase your preferred power source separately.
Geek Aire – Rechargeable High Velocity Floor FanGeek Aire - Rechargeable High Velocity Floor FanGeek Aire - Rechargeable High Velocity Floor FanGeek Aire – Rechargeable High Velocity Floor Fan

This portable but sturdy fan suits both indoor and outdoor use, with the extra benefit that it is water resistant.

The fan has anti-slip feet to keep it stable whether it is placed on a bedside table, in the garden or inside your tent. The 10-inch fan blades are designed to minimise noise and maximise airflow, and the angle can be adjusted to direct air flow where you want it. Instead of fixed speed settings, this fan has a variable speed control dial.

The built-in rechargeable battery can last up to 24 hours running at low speed. The 12V AC adaptor is supplied.

Pros:

  • Water resistant for outdoor use.
  • Variable speed control.
  • Sturdy and stable on different surfaces.
  • Rechargeable battery lasts up to 24 hours.

Cons:

  • Heavier than some portable models.
  • Water resistant for outdoor use.
  • Variable speed control.
  • Sturdy and stable on different surfaces.
  • Rechargeable battery lasts up to 24 hours.
  • Heavier than some portable models.
BluBoon – Rechargeable Clip On FanBluBoon - Rechargeable Clip On FanBluBoon - Rechargeable Clip On FanBluBoon – Rechargeable Clip On Fan

This is a small and very portable fan with a wide variety of uses. 

The design of this fan means that it can be placed on a surface, or clipped to your desk, a buggy or stroller, used in a tent or even in your car, to provide a cooling breeze. It is available in a choice of five different colours. The fan can be adjusted to direct airflow where you want it and has a dial for variable speed control, rather than stepped settings. 

There are a few extra benefits with this fan. There’s a USB outlet port, meaning you can use it to charge your phone if you’re out and about and low on battery. You can also add a few drops of essential oil to the sponge accessory to fragrance the air as it circulates. 

The fan is powered by rechargeable batteries, which are provided, or can be charged through a USB cable plugged into your laptop, USB car charger or other devices.

Pros:

  • Extremely portable.
  • Can be freestanding or clipped to surfaces.
  • Variable speed control.
  • USB outlet to charge your phone or other devices.

Cons:

  • Suitable for individual use.
  • Extremely portable.
  • Can be freestanding or clipped to surfaces.
  • Variable speed control.
  • USB outlet to charge your phone or other devices.
  • Suitable for individual use.
BaseCamp – Tent Fan with LED LightBaseCamp - Tent Fan with LED LightBaseCamp - Tent Fan with LED LightBaseCamp – Tent Fan with LED Light

This hanging fan is ideal for outdoor use, with the bonus of an integrated LED light.

The foam blades help circulate air in an enclosed space such as a tent, camper or cabin. The fan has two speeds, high or low, and is quiet to run. The LED light also has high, low and nightlight settings. 

This fan and light runs on 4 D cell batteries. Thanks to the energy efficiency of LEDs, the batteries can last for 100 hours using just the light on low. The batteries will last up to 48 hours using the fan on a low setting.

Pros:

  • Hanging fan great for use in tents or campers.
  • Integrated LED light.
  • Foam blades for safety.
  • Long lasting batteries.

Cons:

  • Two airflow settings.
  • Hanging fan great for use in tents or campers.
  • Integrated LED light.
  • Foam blades for safety.
  • Long lasting batteries.
  • Two airflow settings.

Our Best Pick

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There are some great fans on the market, and as you can see the benefits vary between each different model. Our choice of the best all-round product is the Geek Aire Rechargeable High Velocity Floor Fan, and here is what we particularly like about it:

  • This fan can be used both indoors and outdoors, giving you lots of usage.
  • The variable speed control dial gives more flexibility than fixed speed settings.
  • It’s water resistant for use outdoors, so no need to worry if there’s a sudden rainstorm.
  • The fan has been well-designed to maximise airflow.
  • The construction is sturdy and stable, to sit on a range of surfaces.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How to cool a tent without electricity?

A:

Tents become very hot because during the day the sun warms the air under the canvas, which has no way to circulate and escape. Leaving the door of your tent open to create airflow usually isn’t practical, especially if you want to stop bugs coming inside, and to keep your belongings secure.

The best way to cool a tent is by using a tent fan, which may be a freestanding tent fan that you can sit on the floor of the tent, or a hanging tent ceiling fan that suspends from one of the tent poles. Some tent fans offer both options. Tent fans are designed to be portable and compact, so they are easy to transport and can be used around the home and garden, as well as during camping trips. 

Because they are portable, outdoor fans will be designed to be used without an electricity supply. Camping fans may be battery operated or can also be solar powered. Many battery powered fans are rechargeable, and others use replaceable batteries. Recharging might be via an AC adapter or a USB cable. 

Camping fans can often have extra features such as an integral light which makes them a really useful bit of kit for your next trip. Even without access to electricity, you can still cool your tent for a relaxing and refreshing night’s sleep!

Dave Nartin
Founder at Mountain Leon
Hi. Im Dave. Mountain Lion is the name of this travel blog. It came from my love for both the English and Spanish language, my favourite animal (Lion), and my favourite activity (mountain climbing). Enjoy!