One unfortunate fact about hunting is that dealing with the elements and the cold are kind of part of the package deal. It can be fun sometimes, whereas on other occasions you’ll be sat in the cold for numerous hours being grumpy and uncomfortable.
In these kinds of situations, it can be very helpful to have access to a portable hunting blind heater so you can keep warm during the dropping temperatures, regardless of whether you’re in a duck or deer blind or if you’re seated on the ground.
Similarly to a space heater, a good heater for your deer blind is going to give you a lot of extra comfort and warmth for those days when you’re sat out in the cold, and it can make it a little easier to deal with.
These kinds of portable warmers are fantastic but you need to make sure that you have a model that will properly heat up the selected hunting space, in addition to giving good value for money.
Here are our selections for the best deer hunting blind heaters.
This is the smaller version of the Big Buddy that we’ve talked about later on. The Mr Heater Buddy is able to power from 4000 to 9000 BTU and it can heat up to 225 square feet without issue.
The heater is fuelled by propane and has high and low features, and it is able to work both with 1 lb and 20 lb cylinders, much like the Big Buddy. It’s got similar ODS and tip-over shut-off sensors.
The primary difference between this and the Big Buddy is the size, as you may have already noticed. The Buddy is much more lightweight, weighing only 9 lbs in comparison to the 17 lbs that the Big Buddy weighs.
It also has a fold down handle and it can be carried around fairly easily.
The Buddy has a similar complaint to the Big Buddy in that it has poor quality control. Some of the heaters simply do not work the way they should, and the knobs can fall off after some use.
This is a bit of a let down and is by no means acceptable. It’s not the best at higher altitudes either.
However with that being said, if you do want a light and portable deer blind heater that can be moved easily and can give a decent heat output, then you will be happy with the Mr Heater Buddy.
You may be wondering right now if there’s a companion to the Buddy and Big Buddy on a smaller spectrum. The answer is yes. The Mr Heater Little Buddy is a portable and compact heater from Mr Heater that can put out 38000 BTU’s at one time and is able to heat up to 95 square feet of space.
It measures at roughly a foot tall and weighs less than 6 pounds. You can connect it to a 1 lb propane cylinder and it will burn for up to 5.5 hours.
One particular thing to note about this heater is the unique shape. It’s made in such a way that it allows you to point it upwards at 45 degrees, so you can blast the heat straight into your face or can control the heat in whatever way you want to.
It has a round surface that’s coated in porcelain, and this will allow the heat to circulate evenly from the heater. Much like other Buddy heaters it also features as low oxygen shut off, and a tip over sensor.
So what are the negatives? You won’t get any adjustment levels or control over how much heat you get with this heater. Your options are either to put it on full blast or to turn it off. If you are trying to turn it off you may get a propane leak, so you will need to fully unscrew and remove the bottle in order to totally stop the gas flowing.
Also much like other Mr Heater variations, there are some quality control problems.
In saying that, this is most certainly one of the most easy to use and most portable heaters that we’ve used, and it’s also one of the cheapest options on the market too. If this is something that’s a priority for you then this will serve you well.
Compact and small, weighing only 5.5 pounds
Can cover up to 95 square feet and up to 38000 BTU’s
Porcelain surface is able to radiate heat sufficiently
This is by far one of the best options if you’re hunting using a blind. This is a 4000 – 18000 BTU heater that is able to heat up to 300 square feet quite easily, and it burns propane gas quite cleanly and efficiently.
The heater has various settings allowing you to modify the heat to high, medium and low temperatures, and sports an automatic low oxygen shut off system. It also has an accidental tip over safety shut off.
It’s also possible to hook it up to two 1 lb propane cylinders at one time, and it can also work with 20 lb cans and a hose is optional.
The heater covers well over 300 square feet and up to 18,000 BTU’s. As a result of this, the Mr Heater Big Buddy is definitely a heavy duty heater that’s more than capable of consistently keeping you warm all the time.
This tried and tested heater has been used by people for a range of purposes for decades.
So, what’s the caveat? Even though Mr Heater has a good reputation you can depend on, the heater has a couple of quality control issues. For example, some users have complained that the batteries don’t always fit, so you can only use it with a power cable.
This of course can be a little problematic if you don’t have a powersource local to you, which considering you’ll be hunting in the wild the chances of that are quite slim. The starter and the fan can also make a bit of noise, so you should consider this fact when you’re hunting.
Other than that, for the most part the heater is a pretty decent option that’s going to keep you nice and warm in a range of weather conditions, and it can heat a large space.
The Mr Heater is a straightforward and simple heavy duty space tank heater that will serve you well out on the field. The heater is made up of 3 burners that will then attach to the top of a 20 lb cylinder, and it can have an output of anywhere from 10,000 to 45,000 BTU’s.
It has a Hi-Med-Low regulator with three solitary tip over safety offs.
This heater will allow you to choose between using only 1 or all 3 heaters at the same time. It has a match lit ignition and all of the three heats move so your coverage can be catered to what you need.
This is particularly useful when you need to heat large areas, especially when you’re outdoors. It has a total coverage area of over 500 square feet.
What’s the problem? Much like other Mr Heater products, it’s a little bit unreliable. Some users have said that it can spontaneously spit fire, which isn’t all that safe, as you can probably guess.
Some people have said that the control and regulator failed after being used just a couple of times, which makes it inconsistent and uncontrollable.
It is suitable for what you need to use it for though, in situations where you’re going to need a lot of heat and don’t want to carry around a behemoth heater like the Big Buddy.
You can even connect it to 20 lb or much larger propane tanks, even as much as 100 lb if you want.
10,000 to 45,000 BTU’s
Some quality control issues, regulator can break after a few uses
This is the most budget friendly and straightforward heater here. The Sportsmate will just screw onto any propane cylinder. The heater is made of stainless steel, and has a pressure regulator with on and off control. It even has a maximum setting of 3000 BU’s. It also has an auto shut off valve that will turn the fuel off if the flame goes out, so it’s quite safe in that regard.
One particularly cool feature of the Sportsmade is that it comes with a molded plastic cup holder that has a large paddle foot base that will allow you to hold 16.4 ounce propane cylinders.
This really helps to make it more stable and easier to stand up, and will allow you to stand it up on a number of different surfaces.
You can even use it in a golf cart if you so wish. It’s the ideal size to use in a hunting blind, and it’s pretty powerful and warm without being excessively large. It’s quite a portable heater at only 2 pounds.
There are some issues. The heater isn’t quite strong enough to be able to hold up against heavy winds, and they can easily blow the flame out. It can also consistently and randomly shut off, which is somewhat common among heaters similar to this.
As far as portable, cheap, lightweight and easy to use blind heaters are concerned, that are also able to work with normal propane cylinders, the Sportsmate is a pretty solid option.
Light, small and portable, weighing only 2 pounds
Stainless steel construction
Plastic cup base and cup can hold propane cylinders
If you’re hunting deer or waterfowl either from a ground or a stand blind, you need to consider a few things when you’re looking to buy the correct one for your budget, so you can keep warm during the cold, harsh winter hunting excursions.
Portability and Size
You should try to look for a portable blind heater that’s going to be light, small and easy to move around. There are a number of options, from screw on heaters that only weigh around 2 pounds and can fit onto a propane cylinder, or you can get a complete heating unit that will weigh around 15 to 20 pounds.
You just need to ensure that the weight is comfortable for you and your kit, and that you’re not going to mind carrying it around with you when you’re out hunting. You also need to think about whether you want a handle on the warmer to carry it around as not every model comes with one.
Blinds and stands aren’t usually that large, but you should still make sure that you buy a heater that is able to heat the whole thing without problems. Even the smallest blind heaters will burn at roughly 3000 BTU’s, and the largest can even put out up to 45,000.
That’s more than what you need. 5000 to 10,000 BTU’s is generally enough for most any hunting blind. Have a look at how powerful some of our picks are further up in the review!
Much like with any other thing that burns gas that’s flammable, blind heaters can get dangerous if they aren’t used properly. Make sure you look for any vital safety functions, such as low oxygen sensors that will automatically turn the heater off when the oxygen levels drop to a certain degree or when gas runs short.
Auto tip over sensors can also be quite useful and help to make sure that nothing will get out of hand if the heater and gas cylinder happen to fall over when they are burning. These extra safety precautions can give a lot of extra peace of mind to the heating experience.
Controls and Settings
Some of the heaters have adjustable settings that allow you to alter the heat output, and some other models are much more basic and only have on and off switches with just one consistent heat output level. You should keep this in mind before you buy, and make a decision about whether it’s an important feature to you that you have a stand or blind warmer that has adjustable settings.
If you’re hunting game, then of course it’s important to ensure that the heater you get is quiet for your deer blind or stand. Some of the models are dead silent and don’t make any noises when they run or even when the settings are changed, while others are much more noisy and can cause problems when you’re hunting game. If you are serious about deer hunting, then ensure that you check how quiet the models are before you select one.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can you also use these warmers for deer tree stands?
Indeed you can! We’ve mainly covered the heaters to be used in a duck hunting or deer hunting blind, but they can also be used by game hunters for tree stands. Theu can be used similarly to how you would use them in an elevated or ground blind, but you may want a model that has more power and heat if you’re going to use it in an open tree stand.
You should consider that the heater could be influenced by harsh conditions and wind when it’s sat in a tree stand for a day.
Can the heaters cause safety and ventilation issues?
This is a commonly asked question by buyers that want to know whether they need a vented deer blind heater to make sure they have the best possible ventilation and so they avoid any possible safety hazards. No, you don’t need to get a vented model to not have ventilation issues.
The vast majority of propane models out on the market actually have special sensors fixed onto them so when they sense a lack of oxygen in the tent or blind they will turn themselves straight off immediately. Some of them even have sensors that can sense when the warmer will fall over and stop it from putting out heat straight away.
With that being said, you should still exercise caution and safety when you’re using a propane heater in a small enclosed space. You need to make sure that there is at least a little bit of ventilation in place in the tent or blind when you’re using it, whether it’s by having a window that’s slightly open or a small DIY vent, just so you can ensure that you will have something there to make sure you still have some fresh air circulating around the area.
A useful extra safety measure to do is to have a CO detector with you in the heated area.
Making sure that you have good ventilation means that you’re not only going to have safer and cleaner air circulation inside of the deer blind or stand, but it’s also important if you decide to use a heater as it can cause your windows to steam up and cause condensation if it is cold outside.
Just opening a window for a short time or having consistent ventilation is ideal for fighting the condensation caused by the heaters.
Whether you choose to get one of our best hunting blind heater selections or choose another alternative on the market, you always need to make sure that you have at least some degree of ventilation inside of your ground blind or elevated deer stand.
If you want to know what we think, our opinion is that the best deer blind heater on the market is the Mr Heater F232000 Buddy. This blind heater offers a perfect combination of coverage area, heat, portability and ease of use, sporting 4000 to 9000 BTU’s and 225 square feet of coverage area.
It’s very portable, coming with a durable carry handle that means you can move it around easily and it has a very sturdy build. If all of that wasn’t enough to convince you, it’s even affordable under pretty much any budget.
If you want something a little bit more portable that’s smaller, we’re also pretty keen on the Little Buddy.
This heater has a small portable size and you can point it wherever you want it to. It’s not quite as powerful or as durable as the other options on the list but it does provide good value for money if you’re in the market for a more portable deer hunting blind heater.
Regardless of your choice, get your hands on one of these quiet and portable heaters and revel in the cold depths of the wilderness next to a cosy fire. Just make sure you remember the dangers the heaters may pose and keep yourself safe!