Carl Morris
16 min readApr 11, 2024

Winter may bring cheer, but it can also bring with it freezing temperatures and unwelcome frustration when trying to start a car that just won’t warm up. Meet your new best friend in the cold — the Portable Car Heater. We’ve rounded up top-quality options that can fit in your car and save you from freezing cold mornings. Whether you need something powerful for sub-zero climates or something compact for occasional use, our roundup has got you covered. Let’s make the winter journey more pleasant, one blast of heat at a time.

The Top 10 Best Portable Car Heaters

  1. Portable 12V Car Heater with Defrosting and Cooling Function — Enjoy year-round comfort in your vehicle with the PLACHIDAY Portable Car Heater, featuring dual functionality, easy operation, and efficient defogging to keep your windshield clear.
  2. Diesel Air Heater for RVs, Trucks, and Boats — Portable, Efficient, and Convenient Heating Solution — The VEVOR 27200 BTU Diesel Air Heater, an economical and effective heating solution for trucks, RVs, and more, provides clear vision and driving security with its full accessories set and remote control convenience.
  3. Portable Automobile Heater for Rapid Car Heating — Keep your car comfortable with the Leonnn High Power Portable Car Heater or Fan, featuring rapid heating, windshield defrosting, and defogging functions for a hassle-free driving experience.
  4. Nine Bull Portable Car Defroster Heater and Fan for Cooling — Keep your car comfortable with the Nine Bull portable car heater, offering 2-in-1 heating and cooling, and adjustable angles for ultimate convenience.
  5. Kats 150 Watt Portable Car Heater — Elevate your vehicle’s comfort with the Kats 37650 portable car heater, featuring a sleek design and easy installation via the cigarette lighter outlet for efficient warm-up on the go.
  6. RoadPro Portable All Season Car Heater/Fan — RoadPro RPSL-581: A versatile 12-Volt All Season Heater/Fan with swivel base, perfect for quick warm-ups or added cool during summer drives, featuring a 6-foot cord and easy mounting options.
  7. Hft 12 Volt Car Heater/Defroster with Light — Stay comfortably warm and defrost your car’s windows with the portable, 12V Hft Heater/Defroster with built-in LED light, easily mountable with a 360-degree swivel base.
  8. 12V Diesel Air Heater — VEVOR’s 12V 2kW Diesel Air Heater provides quick heating, energy efficiency, and customizable phone and remote control options for comfortable heating in vehicles, boats, and cabins.
  9. Quiet 12V Diesel Air Heater for Car Bus RV Indoors — Experience efficient and convenient heating in your car, bus, or RV with VEVOR’s 2KW diesel air heater, featuring an LCD display, remote control, and eco-friendly fuel consumption.
  10. 12V Powerful and Compact Heater/Fan for Vehicles — Gray — RoadPro’s 12V Direct Hook-Up Ceramic Heater/Fan offers reliable heating and cooling with a swivel base, easily connecting to your vehicle battery for on-the-go comfort while driving or camping.

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Reviews

Portable 12V Car Heater with Defrosting and Cooling Function

Portable 12V Car Heater with Defrosting and Cooling Function | Image

I recently tried the PLACHIDAY Portable Car Heater, and I was impressed by its versatility and ease of use. This 2 in 1 device offers both hot air and cool fan modes, making it a convenient accessory for year-round use in my vehicle. It’s incredibly easy to operate — just plug it into the 12V cigarette socket, and you’re ready to go.

One of the best features of this heater is its ability to defog and defrost windows and windshields during the winter. In just 3 seconds, the heater effectively heats the air, keeping my windshield crystal clear and preventing any obstruction to my line of sight. Plus, since it’s suitable for various automobile types, it’s a versatile choice for many drivers like me.

I also appreciate the PLACHIDAY Portable Car Heater’s intelligent design and safety features. The heater is made with premium quality materials and features a pure copper cable for durability and reliability. It also includes automatic power-off protection, making it safer to use. Additionally, it operates with low noise levels and doesn’t damage the vehicle’s battery.

The compact size of the PLACHIDAY Portable Car Heater makes it perfect for portability and hassle-free storage. Overall, this heating device has become an essential part of my daily commute, and I highly recommend it to anyone looking for an efficient and versatile car heater.

Diesel Air Heater for RVs, Trucks, and Boats — Portable, Efficient, and Convenient Heating Solution

Diesel Air Heater for RVs, Trucks, and Boats - Portable, Efficient, and Convenient Heating Solution | Image

Hey there, I recently tried out the VEVOR 27200 BTU diesel air heater, and I must say, it’s a game-changer for those of us who dread the cold while driving. One of the things that stood out to me was its portable design — it’s perfect for those who need an all-in-one heater for their RV, truck, or even boat. The black LCD display and remote control are a nice touch, making it convenient to adjust the temperature and air flow without having to leave my seat.

The motor size of this heater is impressive, and the air quality it produces is quite clean and refreshing. Its quiet operation also makes it great for anyone who might be sensitive to noise. However, there were a couple of drawbacks I encountered. Sometimes, the temperature can be a bit hard to regulate, and it takes a bit of fiddling to get it just right. Additionally, some parts can be a bit tricky to install, but once you figure it out, you’re good to go.

Overall, the VEVOR diesel air heater is a great option for those who need a reliable and economical heating solution for their vehicles, and its portability makes it a versatile tool to have on hand during those chilly days.

Portable Automobile Heater for Rapid Car Heating

Portable Automobile Heater for Rapid Car Heating | Image

I recently tried out the Leonnn High Power Portable Car Heater, and it’s been a gamechanger for me. This little heater packs a punch, fitting conveniently in my car and providing a cozy environment when the temperature drops. The heating element not only warms up my car rapidly but also defrosts and defogs my windshield in no time.

One of the standout features is its portability — it’s so compact that I can easily take it with me wherever I go. However, it can be a bit tricky to install initially. Despite this minor hassle, I’m impressed with its efficiency and the convenience it offers. Overall, if you’re looking for a reliable and efficient portable car heater, the Leonnn High Power Portable Car Heater is definitely worth considering.

Nine Bull Portable Car Defroster Heater and Fan for Cooling

Nine Bull Portable Car Defroster Heater and Fan for Cooling | Image

Recently, my car’s windshield was frosted over during the bitter winter morning, and I realized I needed a quick solution to make my car nice and toasty. Enter the Nine Bull Portable Car Heater — the ultimate lifesaver for icy mornings. This defrosts and defogs your window in a jiffy!

What stood out in my experience with this product was its versatility. Not only did it work wonders in defrosting my windshield, but it also functioned perfectly as an air conditioner during the scorching summer months. The portable heater doesn’t require any installation, and you can simply stick it to your car’s dashboard or any convenient location.

The Nine Bull Portable Car Heater’s low-noise functioning proved particularly useful, as I drove stress-free on the road. The base that holds this little wonder features a tilt or swivel function for optimal comfort, and I particularly enjoyed the 360-degree universal rotation that ensured a balanced wind direction.

This 10-inch black gadget has a 150W power and comes with a 12V, 120W heated wire, ensuring swift heating and excellent pressure resistance. Despite being plugged into the cigarette lighter socket, it still maintained a long lifespan, thanks to the oxygen-resistant alloy built into it.

However, I found one minor downside: it is not suitable for outdoor use. Other than that minor limitation, the Nine Bull Portable Car Heater shines as the ultimate 2-in-1 solution for your car’s heating and cooling needs.

Kats 150 Watt Portable Car Heater

Kats 150 Watt Portable Car Heater | Image

Last week, I had the chance to use the Kats 37650 150 Watt 12 Volt Interior Heater during a winter adventure in my tiny camper. Not only did this little heater fit perfectly inside the vehicle, but it also added a touch of warmth that made my experience far cozier. With its plug-in cigarrete lighter feature, it couldn’t have been simpler to install and put to use.

However, the highlight of my experience was definitely the convenience of the heater’s mounting options. It was super easy to install on the dashboard or under the console, allowing me quick access to switch it on and off whenever needed. The robust 150-watt device truly offered a comfortable temperature inside my tiny camper, even during the cold chilly night.

Despite the advantages, I did face a few constraints with this portable heater. For starters, I noticed that it was rather bulky compared to other heaters I’ve used in the past. Additionally, its limited one-year warranty left me feeling slightly uneasy, considering the initial investment. Overall, although it had some drawbacks, the Kats 37650 12 Volt Interior Heater proved to be a dependable source of warmth in the frigid outdoor conditions.

RoadPro Portable All Season Car Heater/Fan

RoadPro Portable All Season Car Heater/Fan | Image

For those on the road seeking a reliable heater or fan, the RoadPro All-Season Heater & Fan offers a convenient solution. The included adhesive mount allows for quick installation, while the installation hardware provides a more permanent option. The swivel base enables easy adjustment, directing the airflow wherever you need it.

With a 12-volt power port and 6-foot cord, this portable car heater ensures seamless mobility. However, some users have reported issues with the product not heating well, drawing too much current, or causing damage to their vehicles. It’s essential to consider these potential drawbacks before making a purchase.

Hft 12 Volt Car Heater/Defroster with Light

Hft 12 Volt Car Heater/Defroster with Light | Image

As a reviewer, using the Hft 12 Volt Auto Heater/Defroster with Light in my car has been a game-changer. The smooth exterior blends perfectly with my car’s interior, and the swing-out handle allows for easy use as a defroster.

The separate switches for heater, fan, and lamp make it versatile, while the built-in LED flashlight is an added bonus. The rubberized outer housing ensures durability, but the 87" cord could be a bit longer for more convenient placement.

Overall, it’s a helpful addition to my car’s heating system, especially during colder months.

12V Diesel Air Heater

12V Diesel Air Heater | Image

Vevor’s Diesel Air Heater is a game-changer for those looking to keep their vehicle or indoor space warm without breaking the bank. This compact 12V heater boasts a heating power of 2kW, making it perfect for areas up to 15sqm. Its sandblasted aluminum heat exchanger ensures fast heat generation and transfer, providing a comfortable temperature inside your vehicle in just 10 minutes.

One of the standout features of this diesel heater is its low energy consumption and high efficiency. The stationary heater uses precision and quiet fuel pump technology, consuming less than 3.9 litres per night and reducing fuel consumption to a range of 0.12 to 0.26 L/h. With a large capacity 10L fuel tank, the heater can provide continuous heat for 38 hours, maximizing fuel efficiency and minimizing energy waste.

The Vevor Diesel Air Heater also comes with the convenience of Bluetooth control. Just download the app and control the preheating of your heater from a maximum distance of 30m. In addition, it includes a 10m remote control and LCD display, allowing you to choose the control method that suits you best. You can set the temperature between 8°C and 36°C to meet your specific needs.

Overall, the Vevor Diesel Air Heater is a reliable and efficient heating solution for car enthusiasts or anyone seeking to stay warm indoors. Its advanced features, including Bluetooth control and precise temperature settings, make it a top choice for those looking to upgrade their heating system without sacrificing quality or convenience.

Quiet 12V Diesel Air Heater for Car Bus RV Indoors

Quiet 12V Diesel Air Heater for Car Bus RV Indoors | Image

As someone who loves road trips but hates the cold weather that often comes with them, I’ve found the VEVOR diesel air heater to be my go-to solution. It’s not just for cars, though — this versatile little device can also keep your bus, RV, or indoor space warm and toasty.

The first thing that struck me about this product is how quickly it works. Within about 10 minutes of turning it on, you’ll start feeling the difference as your space warms up. It’s incredibly efficient, too. It only uses about 0.12 to 0.26 liters of fuel per hour! Plus, it can run continuously for up to 38 hours on a single tank of diesel.

One of my favorite features is the remote control. It’s 32 feet long, so you don’t even need to get out of your cozy spot to adjust the temperature. The LCD display makes checking and changing the settings super easy.

However, there are a few downsides worth mentioning. Firstly, the oil pump can be quite noisy. While it doesn’t bother me too much, I can see how it might annoy others. Secondly, despite its efficiency, the fuel consumption can add up if you’re using it frequently.

Overall, I’d highly recommend the VEVOR diesel air heater. It’s reliable, efficient, and perfect for keeping yourself and your vehicle warm during those chilly drives. Just remember to keep an ear out for the pump noise if that’s something that might bother you.

12V Powerful and Compact Heater/Fan for Vehicles — Gray

12V Powerful and Compact Heater/Fan for Vehicles - Gray | Image

Man, I recently got my hands on this little marvel, the RoadPro 12V Direct Hook-Up Ceramic Heater/Fan, and let me tell you, it has been a game-changer for my daily commute. When I first read about it, I was skeptical. A heater/fan that connects directly to my vehicle battery? That sounds like a recipe for disaster. But after trying it out, I have to say, this thing is the real deal.

The installation was a breeze, and the fact that it includes all the installation hardware made it a no-brainer. The 12 Gauge 14-Feet power cord is a godsend, especially when I’m trying to warm up my frost-bitten fingers while stuck in traffic. And the fact that I can flip a switch from heat to cool settings? Well, that’s just the icing on the cake.

However, not everything about this heater/fan is perfect. I noticed that the heating element takes a while to warm up, and when it does, it’s not as strong as you’d expect. And let’s not forget the build quality. It feels a little cheap, especially when compared to the sturdiness of my truck.

Despite these issues, I can’t deny that the RoadPro 12V Direct Hook-Up Ceramic Heater/Fan has made my daily commute a whole lot more comfortable. So, if you’re looking for a compact heating solution that won’t break the bank, this might just be the product for you. Just don’t expect it to warm up your vehicle as quickly as you’d like.

Buyer’s Guide

Portable car heaters have become increasingly popular as they provide an efficient way to keep your vehicle warm during winter months or in cold environments. These heaters are compact, lightweight, and can be easily transported from one car to another. In this buyer’s guide, we will discuss the essential features, considerations, and general advice to help you make the best choice for your portable car heater.

Important Features

When selecting a portable car heater, consider the following features to ensure it meets your needs and expectations:

  1. Heating capacity: Check the wattage and heating area of the heater to ensure it can efficiently warm up your car’s interior. 2. Fuel type: Consider whether you prefer a propane, electric, or chemical heating source. Each type has its advantages and disadvantages, such as ease of use, heating efficiency, and portability. 3. Safety features: Look for heaters with automatic shut-off mechanisms, overheat protection, and temperature control to prevent any accidents or damage to your car’s interior. 4. Power source: Determine whether you need a portable heater with a built-in battery or one that can be plugged into your car’s cigarette lighter or power outlet.

Considerations and General Advice

Here are some additional factors to consider and general advice to follow when choosing a portable car heater:

  1. Size and weight: Choose a heater that is compact, lightweight, and easy to transport, ensuring it fits comfortably in your car without taking up too much space. 2. Durability: Opt for a heater made from high-quality materials that can withstand regular use and harsh weather conditions. 3. User-friendly: Look for heaters with user-friendly controls, easy-to-read temperature displays, and clear instruction manuals. 4. Maintenance: Ensure the heater is easy to maintain and clean, with readily available replacement parts when needed.

Portable vs. Fixed Heaters

Portable car heaters offer several advantages over fixed heaters:

  1. Mobility: Portable heaters can be easily moved from one car to another, making them ideal for those who own multiple vehicles or frequently lend their car to others. 2. Versatility: Portable heaters can be used in various vehicles, such as campers, RVs, or even boats, providing a flexible solution for anyone who needs extra warmth on the go. 3. Cost-effectiveness: Portable car heaters are generally more affordable than fixed heaters, making them a cost-effective option for budget-conscious consumers.

A portable car heater can make a significant difference in keeping you and your passengers comfortable during cold weather conditions. By considering the important features, taking into account various considerations, and following our general advice, you can find the perfect portable car heater to suit your needs and preferences. Remember to choose a heater that is efficient, safe, and user-friendly, ensuring many years of trouble-free use.

FAQ

What are the benefits of using a portable car heater?

Portable car heaters offer several advantages over traditional heating systems. They are compact, lightweight, and easy to install in any vehicle. This means you can have a reliable heating solution without needing professional installation. Portable car heaters are also energy-efficient, ensuring that you save money on fuel and avoid unnecessary wear and tear on your vehicle’s battery. Additionally, they provide consistent and instant heat, making them a convenient option for those who live in colder regions or face unexpected temperature drops.

Finally, portable car heaters are suitable for people who need to keep their vehicles clean or those who don’t want to rely on unpredictable heating systems. They can be used with a variety of fuel sources, including propane, butane, and even electricity, giving users flexibility in their heating choices.

How long do portable car heaters take to heat up my vehicle?

The heating time of portable car heaters can vary depending on their make and model, as well as the outdoor temperature. Generally, most units will take a few minutes to heat up the inside of the car. High-quality portable car heaters with large heating surfaces may provide faster heating. It is essential to select a heater that can quickly warm up your vehicle, especially if you do not want to wait long.

Factors like wind chill and insulation also influence heating time. Proper insulation for your vehicle can significantly reduce heating time. It is advisable to choose a portable car heater with an adjustable temperature control feature to find the most comfortable setting for your needs and preferences.

Do I need to install a portable car heater? What is the installation process?

Most portable car heaters are designed to be easily installed and used without professional assistance. They usually come with clear installation instructions to help you mount them securely. There are different heater mounting options, such as clamp-on, strap-on, or bolt-in, which provide varying levels of stability and ease of installation. Most portable car heaters can be installed on the floor, under the seat, or on the dashboard, depending on the model.

Before installation, ensure that your chosen portable car heater has a suitable connection for fuel, power, or battery source. Different heaters can use different types of fuel, so make sure you check the compatibility with your vehicle. Once installed, portable car heaters typically require minimal maintenance, making them a convenient and hassle-free option for keeping your car warm.

What types of fuels can I use with a portable car heater?

Portable car heaters can use a range of fuel sources to generate heat. The most common fuels are propane, butane, and kerosene. Propane and butane are both conveniently available as portable tanks that can be carried around, making them an excellent choice for on-the-go heating. Kerosene can also be used for heating but has certain safety concerns, such as flammability and odor.

It is essential to select a portable car heater that works with the fuel type you prefer or is most readily available in your region. Using a heater that runs on an incompatible fuel type can pose a safety risk and make it challenging to get the heater to function properly. Moreover, different fuel types may necessitate different handling and storage protocols, so make sure you are well-informed about the chosen fuel.

How much does a portable car heater cost?

The purchasing cost of a portable car heater can vary depending on its features and heating capabilities. Generally, portable car heaters tend to cost less than permanently installed heating systems, making them an affordable alternative for many vehicle owners. While low-end portable car heaters may cost as little as $30, high-quality models with advanced features can cost upwards of $150.

Remember to consider the cost of fuel consumption, as well as potential long-term savings from energy efficiency, when assessing the overall affordability of a portable car heater. Ultimately, the most suitable heating solution will depend on individual needs and preferences, along with cost considerations.

Can a portable car heater be overheated?

Yes, it is possible to overheat a portable car heater if it is used improperly or exposed to extreme conditions. As with any heating system, it is essential to follow the manufacturer’s instructions for safe usage. These might include guidelines on ventilation, heating duration, and appropriate fuel sources.

Leaving the portable car heater running in a poorly ventilated space can also pose a risk of overheating. Ensure adequate airflow within the vehicle to prevent excessive heat buildup. Additionally, using fuel sources that are not compatible with the portable car heater increases the risk of overheating or even combustion. Always read the product label and choose a compatible fuel type. Finally, investing in a portable car heater with an adjustable temperature control feature provides greater safety and comfort by enabling you to set the ideal heat level according to your preference.

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