Gear

The Best Tent Fan for Cooler Camping – July 2020

best tent fan
Bertie
Written by Bertie

There’s nothing like a wood fire in the evening and smores before retiring to your tent on a camping trip. But nothing ruins a good trip like a hot, sleepless night in a humid tent. 

Sure, you can leave the zippers down if there’s a breeze, but if there isn’t one, you might be in for a humid night.

That is, unless you have the best tent fan to cool you off when the mercury rises. My top pick to keep you cool is the Dewalt 20V Max Cordless Fan. 

Here are my top six choices for the best tent fan for cooler camping: 

Dewalt 20V Max Cordless Fan—Best for Big Tents

Specs

This Dewalt fan weighs 6.5 pounds and uses 7-inch blades to create superior airflow. It’s 12 x 8 x 17 inches in size with a diameter of 11 inches and rotates 180 degrees. 

Depending on your preference, you can power it with a battery or extension cord. It’s versatile in placement options and can be hung on a ⅝ x 11 inch or ¼ x 20-inch tripod. 

It offers 30 speed presets, with the maximum speed allowing for 7 hours of use on a full battery, and the lowest giving 36 hours of use. 

The Verdict 

This fan has several useful features that make it easy and convenient to use.

In particular is its versatility as a freestanding fan or using the hooks to hang it in the tent. It’s easy to mount onto a tripod, too. All three of these options are viable, as the fan is very lightweight at 6.5 pounds. 

The body is made from plastic and has a carry handle on the top that allows you to move it around easily. The Dewalt has an IP54 rating, which means it’s protected from dust and water spray, so it’s safe for camping. 

The bracket allows the fan to swivel up to 180 degrees, making it easy to direct the airflow. The fan has three 11-inch blades with a 7-inch blade diameter and has an airflow of 500 cubic feet per minute. It has variable speed options, and it comes with an astounding 30 presets. 

The Dewalt offers further versatility, as you can use it with an extension cord that plugs in behind the dust guard, or you can use the fan with the battery. It’ll run at maximum speed for 7 hours when using a 4.0 AH battery. On the lower settings, it can run for up to 36 hours. 

It comes with a nifty LED battery level indicator. You don’t have to keep checking or wait for the fan to stop working before you know that you need to charge it. 

This fan is whisper soft and won’t keep you awake with its constant hum. Even on one of the lower settings, it’s effective and will create a generous amount of airflow. 

In Summary

The Dewalt is my choice for the best tent fan for big tents since powering a large area for a long time isn’t a problem. In addition to its power, it’s energy-efficient and can cool you through a seven-hour sleep on maximum power. This is decent, but other fans do last longer.

Depending on your outdoor settings, you can leave it as a freestanding fan, hang it or mount it on a tripod. This is excellent versatility, but you’d need to purchase the tripod and an extension cord separately. 

Even though it’s made from plastic, it’s strong, and the swivel “clicking” mechanism is very sturdy. This fan would be a great addition to your camping gear, and you might find yourself using it even when not camping. 

Odoland Portable LED Camping Lantern with Ceiling Fan—Best Ceiling Fan

Specs

The Odoland Portable LED Camping Lantern is made of durable plastic and is both a fan and an 18-bulb, 80 lumens lantern. It weighs just 1 pound and is 20 inches in diameter with 4-inch fan blades and full dimensions of 6.37 x 6.37 x 11.4 inches. It also offers 360-degree rotation. 

It runs on 2D batteries and has a choice of high or low speed. The battery should last around 30 hours on high speed and 50 hours on low speed. 

The Verdict 

The Odoland Portable LED Camping Lantern serves a dual purpose, as it comes with both a light and fan. Both come mounted on ratchets, which move independently of each other and rotate fully for maximum coverage. 

I like how it should light up whatever you need it to, whether in the tent or on the campsite. The fan’s two speed settings also allow some variation, making it work for most situations, but keep in mind that other fans do have many more options.

Even so, being 20 inches in diameter makes it a comfortable size to hang or carry. 

For the 2D batteries, their life is dependent on the fan speed, as well as if you’re using the fan by itself or with the light. 

  • Light only: 37 hours.

  • Fan on low speed: up to 50 hours. 

  • Fan on high speed: up to 30 hours. 

  • Light and fan on low speed: up to 16 hours. 

This little fan weighs just 1 pound, which makes it very portable. It also means there’s more space for marshmallows, and you don’t have to worry about packing two separate items into your bag. 

This product comes with a hook so you can hang it in the tent, or you can rotate it to use the LED light as a base to stand it on. If you choose to hang it, the dual purpose allows you to light your tent as well as enjoy the breeze while reading a book. 

You can use both the fan and lantern at the same time, alternate between them or use only one function at a time. 

In Summary 

There are quite a few things to love with the Odoland Portable Fan and LED Lantern, aside from its 2-in-1 functionality. For instance, it’s lightweight and you can hang it up wherever you are without having to find a power source, which is why it’s my best ceiling fan for a tent. 

You can use it to illuminate a picnic table when it starts to get darker, as it can function as both a freestanding fan and an LED lantern. With the hook design, you can hang this in a car, RV or your tent. If you just want to light up the campsite, then you can hang it on the nearest tree. 

SkyGenius Battery-Operated Desk Clip-On Fan—Smallest Tent Fan

Specs

The SkyGenius is constructed from strong plastic and weighs just 9.2 ounces. It’s 8 x 6.2 inches in size with a diameter of 6 inches and can run off a 18650 Li-ion battery or plug into a power source using the USB cable. 

It comes with two speed settings—high and low. On the highest speed, it can run for 2 hours, and on the lowest, 6 hours. The wind speed, on the highest setting, is 10.5 cubic feet per second. No matter the speed, it’s a freestanding or clippable fan.

The Verdict 

The SkyGenius’ versatility is useful, as it can clip onto anything or work as a freestanding fan. The fan’s base has four rubber feet to prevent it from slipping, and if you choose to clip it instead, the inside of the clip has soft foam pads to grip surfaces effectively and prevent marking.

The fan’s weight and dimensions make it extremely lightweight and portable. But as well as being able to take it wherever you go, the head swivels 360 degrees. This is very helpful for full coverage, even when your space is limited. 

It has variable speed options, controlled via a rotary wheel at the back of the fan. At full blast, you’ll get 2 hours out of this fan, making it best for shorter bursts of use. 

The 18650 Li-ion battery is included, but it’s readily available to purchase online if you'd like a spare. It’s important to note that when you use it with the USB cable instead of the battery, it‘ll only operate on a single speed. 

Regardless of which power source you use, it creates quite a bit of wind. Also, the battery/USB power source combination means that you don’t have to worry about being without a fan when the battery’s being charged. 

In Summary

The SkyGenius is compact and light so you can take it everywhere—including on backpacking trips—so I’ve chosen it as my smallest camping fan.

What I love the most about this fan is that it can clip onto absolutely anything and rotate into any suitable position. 

When using this fan on your camping trip, you can connect it to a power bank with the USB cable—so you could use it throughout the night without worrying about it turning off. When using the USB cable, it’ll only work at a single speed, but it’s still strong enough to keep you cool. 

O2Cool 10-Inch Battery-Operated Fan

Specs

This O2Cool fan features a sturdy plastic body with a flip-up handle, weighing in at 3.98 pounds and dimensions of 12 x 4.41 x 13 inches with a 10-inch blade diameter.

It has built-in batteries, but can also be powered using an AC adapter or six 8D batteries. 

It also has two speed settings; high will give you 37 hours on a full charge, and low should last about 56 hours. It also features a built-in USB port to charge devices. 

The Verdict 

There are several pleasant features, but I particularly like the built-in USB port to charge mobile devices on-the-go.

With built-in rechargeable batteries, a car and wall AC or DC adapter, or the option of using six 8D-cell batteries, you’ll be able to power this fan anywhere. It automatically selects the most efficient power source when there’s more than one available and has LED light indicators on the front so you can see which power source it’s adjusted to. 

You can use the AC adaptor to run the fan or simply to charge the batteries. This means that you can use the fan and charge your mobile devices through it wherever you go, even if you’re without electricity. 

I also like that the O2Cool has patented 10-inch blades, which allow for effective airflow and low ambient noise on both speed settings. Whichever speed setting you choose, the battery life is very efficient, giving you a minimum of 37 hours runtime. 

While you can’t hang this fan, you’re able to control the direction of the airflow by tilting it in any direction. With its stabilizing feet and base, you won’t have to worry about it tipping over. Also, the fan’s impressively light weight, small size and sturdy flip-up handle make it portable.

In Summary

This little fan comes prepared for anything! It has a back-up power source, and you can still add alkaline batteries to be on the safe side. Since it automatically adjusts to the best power option, it’s my best smart fan option. 

On top of this, with the flip-up handle and its lightweight and compact size, this fan is portable and easy to store. It’s also energy-efficient and can run for up to 37 hours at high speed. That’s impressive, as it’s almost a full work week! 

Treva 10-Inch Portable Fan—Best Budget Fan

Specs

The Treva is a freestanding fan that features a built-in handle and a USB charger port. You can power it using six D-cell batteries, and it’ll run for 24 hours on the highest speed and 43 hours on the lowest.

It weighs 2.3 pounds and is 4 x 13.06 x 12.06 inches, with a blade diameter of 10 inches. 

The Verdict 

This sleek-looking fan is extremely lightweight and compact for easy storage, weighing only 3.3 pounds. It’s also portable thanks to its built-in handle.

It has a USB port that allows you to charge your devices, and you can keep it close if you’re a distance away from a reliable power source.

You can choose between using battery power or connecting to electricity with the AC adapter: 120–240 VAC, 50–60 Hz. If you need to use batteries, 24 hours is a decent period until they need recharging.

The design of the fan is convenient and user-friendly since it’s constructed from long-lasting and sturdy plastic.

To control the speed, use the slide switch on the side of the fan. The placement of the switch means you won’t accidentally bump the speed of the fan up or down once you’ve set it at high speed or low speed. 

Its larger, 10-inch patented fan blades means that you get more cubic feet per minute when it comes to airflow. Despite this, the fan is very quiet, so you can leave it on while sleeping.

In Summary

This is my best tent fan for budget-conscious campers. It’s easy to move and is compact, so you’ll have plenty of space in your tent. Also, being made from highly resilient plastic with an aesthetic look, you may find yourself using it at home, work and when camping. 

One of the best things about this fan is that although it’s a budget product, it comes with a device-charging capability.  

Ryobi P3320 18-Volt Fan—Best Hanging Fan 

Specs

The Ryobi P3320 is constructed from hardy plastic and comes with a built-in handle. It’s 2.2 pounds in weight, 9.8 inches in diameter with dimensions of 12 x 10 x 10 inches, and works as a hanging or freestanding fan. 

Choose between the ONE+ battery, a compatible 4.0Ah battery or an AC extension cord. If using the battery, the fan will run for 10 hours on maximum speed, and 16 hours on low. This product also comes with a 3-year limited warranty. 

The Verdict 

This popular fan comes with a multi-directional head and is adjustable to eight different directions to create the best airflow. This multi-position setting, as well as the blade diameter of approximately 9.8 inches, will ensure you cool down quickly even on its low setting. 

There’s a switch on the back of the fan that helps you select one of the two speeds. The low setting has 1,400 revolutions per minute, while the high speed has 2,100, generating powerful airflow. With the larger fan blades, you should notice a change in temperature very quickly.

Note that this is a dual power-source fan. Using the ONE+™ battery will give you up to 16 hours of runtime, or you can use the extension cord. On a 4.0Ah battery, the runtime is 14 hours on low and around 5 hours on high. Whichever power source you prefer, the batteries and extension cables aren’t included in the purchase. 

At a weight of 2.2 pounds, you’ll find it easy to carry and move around. Its weight, in addition to the J-hook and two additional hanging options on the base, mean that you can hang it anywhere securely. You also won’t have to worry about it being a hazard, as it’s compact both when hanging and in storage. 

I also like that there’s no assembly required with this fan; however, you’d need to charge the ONE+™ battery for at least five hours before use. There’s a warning to this effect on the back of the fan, as well as to prevent draining the battery completely, which can affect battery life in the future. 

In Summary

The Ryobi P3320 is my choice for the best tent fan for hanging. With its various hanging hooks, you can mount it virtually anywhere. Also, by pivoting the head, you can get it to blow in the direction that best suits you.

The two speed settings give you some variability, but this isn’t as good as other options.

This fan works with most Ryobi ONE+ 18-volt battery systems. If you have Ryobi ONE+ tools, you already have a battery that you can use on this fan. But, if you don’t have a Ryobi battery, you can use the extension cord.

Choosing the Best Tent Fan for Cooler Camping

When I did my research for the best tent fan, these are the factors that I took into account, and I’d encourage you to do the same. 

  • Power source. 
  • Blade type. 
  • Size. 
  • Fan type.

Power Source

With dual power sources, you’ll be able to go to areas that far from civilization. This factor will also help if you’re at a large campsite without being close to an electrical outlet. 

The option to use either batteries or an extension cord is always a good way to go. But when hanging the fan in your tent, a battery-operated fan is better as there’s no cord, and you can position the fan to your preference. 

Blade Type

The number of blades and their diameter has an impact on the performance of your fan. Longer blades are always better than shorter ones for airflow. Three or four blades on a fan—with a good diameter— is the most efficient choice. 

This will allow for better air circulation as there’ll be less drag, which allows the motor to go faster. A faster motor generates better airflow, which leads to a more effective windchill effect, making your space cooler. 

The shape of the blades also makes a difference to the air dispersion in the tent. Longer, thinner blades, while still effective, will generate less airflow than wider-diameter blades.

A “clover-leaf” blade layout and blades that are raindrop-shaped create a better airflow than other shapes and layouts. 

Size

Your tent’s size will determine the ideal size of the best tent fan for you and how effectively the tent gets cooled. 

For instance, a 2-person tent can get away with a smaller choice, as it won’t need the airflow to travel a great distance to cool the tent. However, a larger tent will need a bigger fan to generate enough airflow to reach the tent’s extremeties. 

To meet this need, the larger the blade diameter, the better airflow. While it's hard to suggest a specific size, as it depends on your preference, it’s safe to say that if you have a 2-person tent, the least you should go for is a 10-inch blade size.

If you’re in a 2-person tent, having a fan that can hang directly above you will also mean you don’t have to worry about space. In this case, it may be best to go for a smaller fan so that it doesn’t weigh down your tent.

An 8- or 10-person tent will need a much bigger blade to get a good cooling effect. Here, it may be a good idea to go for 2 or 3 small fans instead, so you can place them around the tent and get air from every direction. 

Fan Type 

The two fan types you should focus on are:

  • Hanging.
  • Freestanding.

Hanging fans are versatile since you can place them in many different positions. They also take up less space than freestanding fans, which take up precious floor space in your tent. You can position a freestanding fan at the front of the tent to suck in and circulate fresh air, though. 

Also, hanging fans can usually use batteries, while freestanding fans are often only powered by electricity. If you won’t have access to electrical outlets, a battery-powered hanging fan would be the best tent fan type for you. 

Conclusion 

The Dewalt 20V Max Cordless Fan is my best tent fan. It has nifty features and versatility, with an impressive 30-setting speed range and dual power options. You can also place it almost anywhere, with freestanding, hanging and tripod placement options. Wherever you place it, it can cool a large area for up to 7 hours at maximum speed. 

My first runner-up for best tent fan is the SkyGenius Clip-On Mini Desk Fan since it’s light and compact enough to take backpacking with you. The clip allows you to mount it anywhere, and it has the versatility of the rotating fan head to ensure airflow in any direction.

My second runner-up, the O2Cool, has a sleek and innovative design. It adjusts the power automatically, choosing the most efficient power source at that moment. 

About the author

Bertie

Bertie

I’m Bertie and I’ve been enjoying the wilderness for as long as I can remember. I get out camping, hiking and backpacking whenever I can. And when I can’t, I enjoy writing about outdoor-related stuff!

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