Camping is a fantastic activity we enjoy with our friends and family, and we want to relax as much as possible. Most people go camping during summer time, which makes sense because of the great weather. But summers can also be very hot, to the extent that it makes us feel uncomfortable. It’s even worse if the nights are hot too, without any wind. This can make sleeping unpleasant, because you will have trouble falling asleep and you’ll wake up sweaty.

However, if you choose to bring a good camping fan with you, you’ll have a solution to the heat problem. A dash of fresh air can feel great even if the temperature is high. Cooling fans for tents are somewhat different compared to the ones you have at home – they are made to cool you down efficiently, but still remain compact and lightweight so that you can take them with you on your trip.

There are several types available, but in order to find the best tent fan you need to think about all the options and how they will work in your camping arrangement. You’ll find excellent products on our list, but we suggest you go through the buying guide below to learn more about different features and what you should expect when you decide to buy a fan.

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How To Choose A Camping Tent Fan – Buying Guide

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As we mentioned, there are many kinds of portable tent fans. Products vary in size, weight, design, materials and general ease of use. Some even come with additional features and functions which can make your experience with them even better. Take a look.

Type

Two fan types are used for camping, and these are standing and hanging type. Standing fans are more common because they are very simple to use. They don’t require any setup – you just place them where you like and turn them on. These are versatile, because you can use them for camping but you can use them at home too. They are very stable and usually come with a large base, so you just need a flat surface to put them on, no matter if it’s the ground, a table or any other place.

In terms of camping, they are very handy, but there are also a couple of downsides. Air circulation is probably not as good as with a hanging fan, simply because of the position. Furthermore, you will need to put it on the ground inside the tent, and it will take up floor space for some other gear you wish to bring inside.

On the other hand, hanging fans bring a different solution. They are much like ceiling fans some of us have at home, since they are suspended overhead. This creates a better airflow, which is especially good for larger tents. It’s also positioned out of the way, so you can use your floor space for other things. As you’ll see later, some of these come with LED lights, and double as a lantern too.

However, be careful with hanging fans since your camping tent needs to be strong enough and able to withstand the added weight without damage. In addition, a hanging fan should have a cage (screen) so you won’t be accidentally injured if it happens to fall down.

Blades

Your camping cooling fan should be made of high quality materials, and this includes the blades too. They are responsible for good airflow, so they need to be well-made. The blades also need to be durable, and not break easily. You have three options when choosing blade material, and each has its ups and downs. These are metal, plastic and foam.

Metal blades are probably most efficient, since they move the largest amount of air. On the other hand, they are the heaviest option, and also the most dangerous one since it can easily injure your fingers if you’re not careful. On the other hand, plastic is lighter, so it’s easier for you to carry the fan around. It’s also very efficient, but the blades can break more easily.

The third option is foam, which is very popular in small fans that come without a screen. It won’t be as effective as the previous two, since the soft blades create less circulation. However, it won’t be able to injure you. Safety is something you should think about, especially if camping with kids. If you don’t get foam blades, try to choose a fan which comes with a protective screen where fingers can’t accidentally go through.

Power Source

When it comes to power, you have two options when choosing – battery or electric. Most campers choose battery fans for camping because they are more convenient. However, different types of batteries can be used to power the fan. The most common option are alkaline batteries. They are cheap, easy to replace and work very well. Pay attention to the type and number of batteries which go into your fan, since this varies from one product to another.

Alternately, you can get a fan which uses a rechargeable battery. It can recharge using a power outlet, solar power or through a USB port. This can save you money since you won’t have to replace the batteries, but can be a problem when the battery runs out and you have nowhere to charge it.

This is why solar powered tent fans are a great solution, since they use solar energy to recharge themselves. Of course, this is more efficient when it’s sunny, and won’t work as well on a cloudy day. As we mentioned, some can be charged through a USB port. If you buy this kind, you can bring a power bank with you when camping, and simply plug it in.

Electric tent fans are also available, which require you to plug them in a power outlet or an extension cord (if your camping site has access to electricity). They are often very powerful, and you don’t have to worry about batteries. If you get this type of fan, always pay attention to safety – where the cables are and avoid getting them wet.

Size

This is a factor which should be considered for all pieces of camping equipment, and fans are no exception. You should carefully consider it for a couple of reasons. First, the space inside a tent is limited and you don’t want an unnecessarily large fan occupying more than it should. If it’s too large it can cram up your tent and annoy you. On the other hand, if you have a 4-person tent you will probably want something bigger, since a small one won’t be able to create good air circulation.

However, a large fan can be bulky and heavy to carry. It can take up space for other things you want to carry, and you don’t want a fan weighing you down. If you’re going camping in your RV or car camping, this won’t be much of a problem. If not, you should take this into account – think about how you’re going to carry it and find a balance.

Weight

There are many things you need to bring on your camping trip, and when you sum everything up your gear can be quite heavy. The camping fan shouldn’t contribute to this. It should be lightweight, so it isn’t a burden for you to carry. It’s useless if you have to leave it home because it’s too heavy to add to your gear.

Additionally, if you choose to buy a hanging fan, it should be light enough so it doesn’t damage the structure of your tent – for example tear the fabric, or even worse, break the tent poles. Camping fans are designed with this in mind.  The best camping fans are lightweight, but still efficient enough to cool you down and keep the air circulating when you’re feeling hot. It’s smart to get a product like this, even if it means spending a few more dollars.

Portability

This is closely related to the weight we just discussed, and also to the size. These products are designed to be handy to take with you when you’re traveling, including camping trips. The dimensions should be adequate so you can easily put it in your backpack or trunk. You don’t want a product which is too large and awkward to pack.

We mentioned that excessive weight can be a huge downside of a product. This piece of equipment should make your experience nicer and more comfortable, instead of annoying. So don’t forget portability when choosing – think about how and where you’ll take your fan, so you don’t regret your decision later.

Noise

Camping fans are often used at night, when you sleep. For this reason, they should be quiet so they don’t disturb you. There’s no point in keeping you cool if the fan is keeping you up with loud buzzing or rattling sounds. This depends on the build quality of the fan itself. The blades can also influence the sound, so it’s good to know that metal blades create a louder noise compared to those made of plastic or foam. It helps if you get a fan with multiple speeds. Putting it on a lower speed setting will reduce the amount of air going through as well as the rotation speed of the blades, consequently reducing the sound.

On the other hand, some people enjoy it when their fan creates an almost-silent, continuous noise. It helps them fall asleep faster and makes them more relaxed. They even look to buy products which make this type of sound. However, this white noise is very different from the loud noises we mentioned at the beginning.

Additional Features

It’s not just about simply cooling you down on hot days and nights, your camping fan can have some extra features which make it even better. For example, we mentioned some come with different types of rechargeable batteries, which is more than useful.

Even though it’s something that’s included on most fans, we must mention adjustable speed settings. It allows you to control the air flow, which is a big plus whether you wish to tune it down or increase it. Lower speed settings will also prolong the battery life on your fan.

In addition, some fans double as other things too. For example, many of the best tent fans come with an LED light. This is very useful since it allows you to see clearly when moving around the tent and getting ready to get inside your sleeping bag. However, if you decide to get a fan without light, you will need to get a camping lantern or flashlight separately. Other than this, some products come with a radio. While this is not very common, it can be interesting to have something to listen to (if you can get a radio signal that is).

Some products are water-resistant, making them an excellent choice to use outside. There is always a chance some water will end up on your fan, and it’s nice if it doesn’t break down instantly or put you in a dangerous situation. Keep in mind, however, that additional features can and will raise the price of the camping fan.

FAQs

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Q: What Is A Camping Fan?

A: This is a fan which is designed to be portable and convenient. It’s compact, lightweight and suitable to take on camping trips. The size allows you to carry it easily, and the ease of use gives you the opportunity to put it inside your tent without any special installation or other requirements.

Q: Why Do I Need A Tent Fan?

A: A tent fan is the best way to make air inside circulate, and create a more pleasant stay inside the tent. While out camping, some days (and nights) can be very hot, without any sign of wind whatsoever. This isn’t something we are used to, as these conditions can be difficult – especially when it’s time to go to sleep. The air can feel very heavy which will in turn make you feel uncomfortable, sweaty and create difficulties breathing. So if you get one of these, you’ll sleep more comfortably. Of course, there are no rules that prohibit using it during the day too – it can be used to create a nice breeze while you’re relaxing in your camping chair.

While most people use fans when camping during the warmer time of the year, it can be useful during cold months too. Even though you won’t need cooling down, the circulating air can help reduce condensation on tent walls. This is a common problem that occurs because of the temperature difference inside and outside the tent, and the water beads on the walls can make your stuff wet. This way this problem can be somewhat reduced.

Q: What If I Don’t Have Electricity?

A: This isn’t a problem for most camping fans out there. Unless you already own a fan which requires a power outlet to work, the vast majority of products works on batteries. We explained how these work and which options are available to you. The manufacturers know that you probably won’t have electricity on site, so the products were adapted to these conditions.

However, you should always plan battery usage in advance, especially if your fan doesn’t have a rechargeable battery but instead uses disposable alkaline batteries. Bring a sufficient number so they will last throughout your trip – you don’t want you fan to stop working after the first day. This way you’ll be more relaxed, and you can concentrate on other things.

Q: Where Should I Place the Fan Inside the Tent?

A: If you choose to get a standing fan, you can basically place it anywhere you have space. However, it’s best if you put it neat the tent door, because that way you’ll get the best air flow with the largest amount of fresh air coming inside. With a hanging fan you don’t have much choice. It usually comes with a hook which you attach to the loop in the center of your tent.

Globo Surf Overview

Buying a camping fan can really improve your next trip. Even though it isn’t one of the essentials, it can certainly make hot days and nights more comfortable. It’s easy to bring along and use, so you should really give it a try. Selecting the best camping fan comes down to your preferences and camping style. We hope our guide helped you a bit and made your choice easier. Have fun camping!

More Camping Reviews:

Have you tried a camping tent fan that made it onto our list? Which type of fan did you get? Was it efficient in cooling you down? Please share your experience with us in the comment section below.

Globo Surf Camping Tent Fans Reviews

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5 5 1
Just what I needed. The weather in August is still pretty hot and I couldn't figure out how to keep my tent cool. Thanks.

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My name is David Hamburg. I am an avid water sports fan who enjoys paddle boarding, surfing, scuba diving, and kite surfing. Anything with a board or chance I can get in the water I love! I am such a big fan I decided to start this website to review all my favorite products and some others. Hope you enjoy!