What is the best portable air conditioner for outdoor camping life?

What is the best portable air conditioner for outdoor camping life?

There are many options on the market for camping air conditioners. Such as rooftop air conditioners, window air conditioners, evaporative coolers, and portable air conditioners. Today we are mainly discussing portable air conditioners.

Many people have no idea what a real portable air conditioner is. They may not know that there are portable air conditioners on the market today. The best part of portable AC is that it can take care of the temperature in a specific area without wasting too much energy. Many campers only need to cool the bed during the night. The portable air conditioner will be the best choice.

Why and how should you choose a portable air conditioner?

Why and how should you choose a portable air conditioner?

1 - Low energy consumption

We all know that energy in camping life is very limited. Usually, we can only go to the camp where electricity is provided. Most AC is 240v, it doesn't run on 12v, so you need to use an electric hookup. Power from the campground should be enough for basic use, but it may not be enough if it is crowded.

If you are not a fan of campgrounds and are looking for off-grid camp life, a low energy consumption portable AC will meet your needs.

2 - Flexibility

A portable air conditioner requires no installation and is usually designed to be lightweight.

For example, rooftops are not only expensive because of the power they use but also expensive to install and repair. In fact, its installation is difficult for most people to handle. Some of the AC units are very heavy, probably more than 100 pounds, and also have many wires and vents. Window ACs are designed for households.

Unlike rooftop or window AC, you can move it from place to place. All you need is an electricity source.

3 - Size

The portable air conditioners are usually small. You should be able to place it anywhere without taking up too much space. If you camp in a small tent, van, or trailer, your space is limited. A portable air conditioner might be just the right solution to your situation.

For example, when summer camping in a tent, it will be super hot like an oven. Placing a portable AC inside of your tent will help a lot. It's small enough not to bother you while sleeping and the noise level is low. And the next day when you pack up and leave, you just need to take your portable AC back into your vehicle.

4 - Cooling power (BTU)

Many people pay attention to BTUs when buying air conditioners. All BTU calculations you can find online are usually for room size. The ceiling is much higher than a tent or a van. So we need to consider BTU in other ways.

Normally, a person produces 500 BTU/hr. During the night, there is no sunlight to generate heat. So for a 2-person sleeping area, you need at least 1,000 BTU.

The portable air conditioner has a limited cooling capacity. This is not technically a disadvantage. The portable air conditioner is designed for small cooling areas. By directing the airflow towards the person or area, the temperature will drop very quickly.

Comparison of the portable air conditioners

The most important parameters you need to know to compare.

Features / Models


Other brand

Cooling capacity



Power consumption

240W Max

700W Max


20 x 10 x 11 in / 2200 in³

20.4 x 12.2 x 16.4 in / 4082 in³




Cooling Time

About 5hrs

About 3hrs

Battery capacity




One hand carry

Two hands carry


ac for camping

The No. 1 factor in deciding which portable air conditioner is the best is its energy efficiency.

  • Mark 2's maximum power consumption of 2,300BTU is 240 watts. Its EER rating is 9.58. This means that Mark 2 has the highest energy efficiency rating. The average power consumption in the cooling mode is about 140 watts. That means you can stay cool for 6 hours a day.

  • As you know, you need to consume more energy to get cooler air. The other brand's maximum power consumption of 4,000BTU is 700 watts. It requires twice the energy of Mark 2. Its EER rating is 5.71. The average power consumption in cooling mode is about 330 watts. That means you can only stay cool for 3 hours.


For outdoor life, it is very important that a portable air conditioner can be easily carried to the roof tent or van.

  • Since 2014, ZERO BREEZE has been a revolutionary pioneer in the portable air conditioning industry. If you are a person looking for portability in terms of product size and weight, this is your best choice in the world.

  • As a power station company, their air conditioning products continue to be more square-shaped. Not being able to carry a portable air conditioner with one hand is a loss.


portable air conditioner

More important than finding the best portable AC is finding the right one for your scenario. Mark 2 units outperform the competition thanks to their revolutionary technology, which provides exceptional cooling performance and outstanding portability.

Leave a comment

Please note, comments must be approved before they are published

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.