I used to dread the annual family camping trips, especially in the mornings, when I had to take a chilling cold shower.
The story, however, changed with the invention of portable water heaters.
Portable water heaters revolutionized modern camping.
Compact, lightweight, and water-efficient, water heaters will deliver a stream of hot water continuously.
With the best portable water heaters, a hot shower is less of a luxury but an essential.
With that said, this article aims to introduce you to the top 6 portable water heaters in the market.
Of course, we realize that a lot of people often have a hard time selecting the best water heaters.
In our guide below, we shall outline the best heaters, and in the end, we shall provide you with a comprehensive buying guide. Hopefully, by the end of the article, you'll be in a better position for your next water heater purchase.
Quick Comparison Table & Our Pick!
This as you would expect from us is an EPIC post so grab a coffee before you start and see how we cut through every product and review it with precision. IF YOU ARE SHORT ON TIME and just need to know the results of our reviews , CHECK THE RESULTS TABLE BELOW!
Water Pressure (Range PSI)
Power Output (BTU/Hour)
23 x 13.4 x 8
10 x 10 x 16
16.5 x 11.5 x 5.5
Other Great Recommendations
11.8 x 6.1 x 17.3
13 x 10 x 11.5
11.42 x 4.33x 14.8
The Top 6 Portable Water Heaters In The Market For The Money
Camp Chef HWD5 Triton Water Heater - Editors Choice
In all honesty, people looking for an outdoor portable shower are always looking for one thing- a hot shower.
While a shower with bells and whistles is great, it’s not what people are looking for, especially if they make a unit difficult to use.
And that’s why we love the Camp Chef.
For many portable water heaters, you need the expertise to assemble the water supply.
With the Camp Chef HWD5, however, you get a lightweight unit (less than 15 pounds) that is easy to use.
Sporting a self-standing unit, you don’t even have to mount it on the wall.
This steel-made water heater comes with a showerhead, and you can use it with your regular water hose from your garden.
Automatic On-Demand Ignition
The automatic on-demand ignition lets Camp Chef HWD5 automatically ignite when water flows through it.
Again, it turns off when the water is stopped either at the inlet or outlet.
The benefit of this feature is that it conserves energy and allows for water efficiency.
Flow Rate-1.5 GPM
Camp Chef HWD5 delivers 1.5 gallons of hot water per minute.
Though this is below the standard threshold of 2.5 gallons per minute, this low flow, high performing shower gives you a comfortable, warm shower.
We were pleased with the different shower head settings, which are shower, jet, mist, and off.
Sporting a 20-pound propane tank, Triton delivers a total output o 34,000BTU/hr, and this is sufficient to have approximately 11 hours of continuous use of hot water.
Triton covers an extensive temperature range of 38º F to 102º F.
- Can be mounted/self-standing
- Extensive temperature range
- Durable steel construction
- Lightweight and compact
- Requires 25PSI water pressure for a proper flow
Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater - Best Mini-tank Heater
The Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater might not have the frills and frays of the advanced water heaters, but this mini-heater will assure you of an instant supply of hot water.
It’s an ideal choice or those who do not prefer waiting too long simply to have hot water for taking a bath.
A compact unit, the Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater can be inconspicuous and can be placed pretty much anywhere in your house.
This space-saving tank from min-Bosch is both lightweight and compact.
A flexible unit, this 7-gallon water heater is designed for use either autonomously or in conjunction with the water heating system of your house.
A truly portable unit, this min-Bosch product is particularly suited for use at home and the outdoors.
Excellent Recovery Rate
Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater has a recovery rate of 6.8 GPH at 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
Using point-of-use hot water, this heater lets you receive hot water the moment you run it.
This heater promises to reduce the amount of time which you’ve to wait until the water gets hot.
However, the recovery time is dependent on the temperatures of the water.
Generally, however, this water heater delivers an excellent temperature recovery.
The Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater has an extensive temperature range between 65 to 145 degrees Fahrenheit.
Beyond the temperature range, we love how easy you can control the temperature on this unit; you simply need to turn a plastic dial at the front of the unit.
A solidly constructed unit, the Bosch Electric Mini-Tank Water Heater is designed with glass linings to prevent damages on its construction.
Further, the overall design is sturdily constructed to prevent accidental drops or any impact.
In particular, we loved the chlorofluorocarbon, free foam insulation that makes this unit highly energy efficient.
- Small and compact
- Easy temperature control
- Fast recovery rates
- Better suited for indoors
Eccotemp L5 Portable Tankless Water Heater Shower
The Eccotemp L5 is a tankless and portable water heater with a portable outdoor shower.
An ideal option for the outdoor activities, this portable unit runs off of 2 D cell batteries.
Regardless of where your outdoor experiences take you, Eccotemp L5 will allow you to have hot water.
The Eccotemp L5 is designed for use in the outdoors and is powered by 2D cell batteries.
The 2 D batteries last for a long time and will guarantee the extended use of hot water throughout the days you'll be camping.
Eccotemp L5 is a compact unit with an attractive design.
This makes it easy for users to take with it whenever you go.
You’ll be pleased to know you can bring this unit with you and still have some amount of comfort so that your camping is more enjoyable.
Heat Output and Flow
The L5goes above and beyond when it comes to temperature.
With this unit, you can enjoy showers that are anywhere from 80°F to 150°F.
Equally, this water heater is designed to support simultaneous usage.
Rated 1.5 GPM, this unit will easily fill up your tub and allow you to perform a myriad of tasks, including washing hands clothes and dishes. At the same time, you can take a shower, even when someone else is using it for a different task.
L5b offers a variety of options for your shower.
For instance, this unit comes with multiple shower settings, allowing you to choose the right water pressure for your needs.
Users can also determine the temperature rate through the conveniently-placed control buttons on the side.
And when using this unit, you don't have to worry about the water running throughout the night or when you're away because the L5 automatically shuts down after 20 minutes of use.
A complete unit, the L5 comes complete with everything you need to start it up.
From the heater body, vent shield, gas regulator to shower nozzle, this unit has all the accessories you need to use it.
- Easy to operate
- Adjustable water temperatures
- Sensitive to wind
Gasland BE158 - Best Energy Efficient Model
The Gasland BE158 is yet another solid choice and an ideal option for those looking for a heater that promises performance and quality at a reasonable price.
A compact and lightweight unit, the Gasland BE158 is portable and a popular choice among families, campers and travelers.
With a maximum power output of 41,000BTU/Hr, Gasland BE158 is capable of delivering 1.58 gallons per minute of hot water on demand.
What this means is that there's no need to wait for the water to preheat, but instead, this unit will provide you with your desired water temperatures as soon as you turn it on.
Again, the water temperature is completely adjustable, meaning you can select the ideal temperature as well as water flow as you see fit.
We were pleased with the low water pressure startup (2.5 PSI) to get the Gasland BE158 running.
Gasland BE158 does not run on electricity; instead, this unit comes with D cell batteries under the hood.
The D batteries will guarantee an extended performance of the Gasland BE158 and will allow you to enjoy a continuous flow of hot water over a long period.
The main burner and propane water hearer on this unit are engineered with state-of-the-art combustion technology.
This helps in optimizing the overall performance of the heater.
The technology on this water heater drastically reduces burning noise as well as gas consumption.
Gasland BE158 comes with a plethora of safety protection features.
Some of the safety components on this unit include a flame failure device, anti-freezing protection, and high water temperature protection.
Combined, all these safety features will go a long way in keeping your family safe.
- Compact and lightweight
- Safe to use
- Energy efficient
- Instructions are not detailed
COSTWAY Gas Water Heater - Safest Heater Model
This water heater is an incredible option from Costway that comes in an excellent value bundle package.
The Costway offers a fantastic way to get hot water, and we are pleased with the overall convenience of this unit.
Whether you’re camping, using it on your RV, or in an old-time rustic cabin, Costway will provide you with hot water at just a flick of a switch.
Compact and Lightweight
With a modest dimension of 13 x 10 x 11.5 in and weighing just 17.3 pounds, Costway is a compact unit and easy to carry around.
Costway is powered by gas, and it comes with an 11-inch WC gas pressure.
At the same time, however, this unit can equally be powered by 1.5V DC batteries.
Sporting a powerful heat input off 18,000BTU/hr, Costway will deliver a comfortable bathing experience in the outdoor.
This unit can instantly heat water up to 167℉, therefore, giving you a warm shower anytime you like.
The long water pipe alongside the long shower nozzle lets you extend your reach to the source of water and will allow you to enjoy your shower even in an open field.
If you don’t have the power to run this water heater, no need to worry, as this unit is vehicle ready.
You can use a 12V DC pump wire to mount Costway to your vehicle and thus ensure that you have a constant supply of hot water.
Regardless of the temperatures out there, Costway will always provide you with hot water.
This unit offers a generous amount of water, with an average of at least 0.8 gallons of water every minute.
Like the Gasland BE158 we reviewed above, Costway comes with a plethora of safety-enhancing features.
For instance, the anti-off-balance protection will automatically shut off the gas supply I off balance occurs.
Again, if the temperatures of the water exceed 167 degrees Fahrenheit, the heater automatically shuts off.
- Long pipe
- Compact and lightweight
- Hose snap is rigid
Camplux 5L - Best Budget Heater
Last on our list of the best portable water heaters is the Camplux 5L.
We've included it in this list because it consistently delivers incredible performance and can deliver superior water heating capabilities.
I liked this unit because it's lightweight, space-efficient, and user-friendly.
Often, a majority of the water heaters require a high flow rate for the incoming water.
On the contrary, Campflux defies this as it only needs a mere 2.5 PSI.
2.5 PSI is low water pressure, and you can use this heater anywhere without worrying about the geographical or environmental constraints.
With an output of 34,000 BTU per hour, this tankless water heater will raise your water temperature to 8 degrees at its lowest setting.
On the highest setting, the heater can raise the water temperatures to 48 degrees.
The extensive temperature range offered by this unit makes Campflux an ideal option for use in a wide range of climatic conditions, including warm and cold climates.
The inbuilt energy-saving technology allows the Campflux to emit 1.32 gallons of water per minute.
While not the most energy-efficient water heater in the market, Campflux will drastically reduce your water and energy bills.
The efficiency of this water heater is one more reason why it's an ideal option for travelers.
- Extensive temperature range
- Does not come with batteries
Best Portable Water Heater Buying Guide
There are several crucial components that you need to consider when purchasing a portable water heater.
These components include:
Source of Energy
Water heaters are run by different components.
Typically, most of them are run by propane, electricity, or battery.
Each of the power sources comes with its benefits and drawbacks.
For a portable water heater, we recommend choosing power sources that are "portable."
Or instance, the use of electricity will limit your movement to locations with electricity.
Batteries, on the other hand, are light, and highly portable, allowing you to use your heater whenever your outdooring takes you.
The capacity of the water heater is the amount of water that a water heater can hold.
Most of the water heaters have a capacity ranging from 3 to 5 liters.
If you know you'll be using your water heater for a long time; we recommend investing in a unit with a bigger capacity as it will allow you to enjoy a good amount of hot water flow over a longer time.
A majority of the portable water heaters are used for outdoor activities.
And so, they need to be transported. As such, having a compact, lightweight, and spec-intensive unit is of the essence.
This is because you might need to stash it into your RV, where space is always premium.
Water flow is the rate at which water flows from the heater within a certain period.
A higher water flow lets you finish your showering faster, and allows you to perform a myriad of tasks with ease.
When purchasing a water heater system, always pay attention to the safety features.
For instance, look for a unit with an automatic shut off to prevent loss of water if the heater is left idle.
You can also choose a unit that will automatically regulate the water temperatures once they reach a certain temperature, and this will avoid scalding you.
Depending on the brand, some of the water heaters come with a plethora of accessories.
While accessories might not affect the performance of the heater, they increase the convenience of using the heater.
Some of the crucial accessories that you might consider include a temperature gauge, a hose, or even a showerhead.
We've listed the top 6 water heaters in the market and included a guide to help you choose a unit ideal for your needs.
Which portable water heater do you think will fit your needs? Let us know in the comments section
Should I clean my portable water heater?
If you wish to maintain your water heater's flawless performance, you must clean it after a while, preferably every six months. Cleaning the heater will eliminate any lime, rust deposit buildup, and water scale in the portable water heater. If you don’t clean the water heater, you run the risk of overheating and deteriorating its effectiveness.
Do I have to take down the portable water heater?
You should take down the heater when it is not in use. The top-shield on the heater offers protection against heat, but it is not a rain shield. Leaving the heater outside may cause damages.
The portable water heaters are not meant for permanent installation, and any damages to the heater can void your warranty.
Will poor water quality affect the performance of my water heater?
Most reliable portable water heaters will perform effectively even with low-quality water. However, low-quality water will cause lime, water scale, etc. As such, you should make sure to clean your water heater after some time to enhance its effectiveness.
Originally posted 2020-04-02 12:55:00.