Best Tents With AC Port in 2022 – Review & Buyer’s Guide

Best Tents With AC Port in 2022 – Review & Buyer’s Guide

Camping Tent With AC Port Buying Guide 

With so many competing tents on the market, it can be hard to know which ones to trust. In this guide, I’ll give you a few helpful tips, so you don’t end up making any choices that you’ll regret.

Things to Consider When Buying a Tent With AC Port

AC Flap vs. E-Port

There are two main types of AC-compatible tents: models with a dedicated AC flap and models with an E-port. You’ll notice that four out of the five tents that I recommended came with E-ports rather than AC flaps. 

This is simply because the overall quality of the E-port tents was much better. In addition to running your AC unit, you can use the port for lighting and charging. Also, the much smaller port is a better choice if you’ll be camping in the rain. 

However, both types have advantages and disadvantages, which I will touch on now.

AC Flap Tents

Tents with dedicated AC flaps have a large opening at the ground level, which you can use to house a window-style AC unit, just like what you might use at home. With this style of tent, you’ll place the AC unit outside your living area so it can draw in air from outside.

If you want to use a window-style AC unit, this is the type of tent you’ll want to buy.

Perhaps the main advantage of this style of tent is that it doesn’t take up any of your interior living space, as the AC unit is placed outside the tent. This also means that no wires will be running into your living area.

Keep in mind, however, that very few AC flap tents are on the market. These tents are the exception, not the rule. Plus, while some tents look like they have AC ports, these flaps are really just small vents, which are not large enough to accommodate an AC unit.

E-Port Tents

While AC flap tents are better for use with window-style AC units, E-port tents are better for people who want to camp with a free-standing air conditioner. This style of air conditioner is generally much more portable but also substantially more expensive.

With an E-port-style tent, a small flap is located along one of the walls. This flap is just large enough for an extension cord. You can plug the extension cord into your stand-alone AC unit to cool down the inside of your tent.

The primary benefit of E-port-style tents is that they’re easier to find, affordable, and more versatile. While many car camping tents come with an E-port these days, make sure you check the product description carefully or you may be disappointed. 

The drawback of free-standing air conditioners is that they take up space inside your tent, which can limit the amount of sleeping room available for your friends and family.

Tent Design

In addition to purchasing a tent that's compatible with your AC unit, you’ll want to consider how a tent’s design features impact your ability to cool it down on a hot summer’s day.

For example, a tent with heat-blocking or reflecting technology will be much easier to keep cool than a dark tent. The larger the tent, the more room heat has to dissipate. Ground vents really help to draw fresh air in and up through your sleeping compartment. 

You’re probably not going to want to keep your A/C on all day, as it will consume a tremendous amount of energy. You’d be better off using it during the hottest part of the day as needed, or you might have a shock when it comes time to pay the electricity bill. 

Window Panels

Windows and other ventilation systems are essential because they allow for adequate airflow on hot days. However, any tent that you plan to air-condition should also have zippered panels that you can use to close up these windows when you turn on the AC unit.

Why?

Well, if you’ve ever tried to air-condition a house whose windows are open, you’ve probably noticed that you use a whole lot of energy without doing much to improve your comfort levels. This is because all of your nice, air-conditioned air simply escapes through your open windows.

The same is true for tents with open windows. If you leave the windows open, you’ll never be able to create a comfortable sleeping environment.

Luckily, most tents with windows also come with zippered panels that can seal off the windows in the rain. These panels can do double duty when you turn on your AC unit.

FAQs

Can Portable AC Units Cause Fires?

Like any electrical device, a portable AC unit can cause a fire in exceptional circumstances. However, so long as you follow the user instructions and don’t leave your AC turned on when you’re not in the tent, the risk will be minimal. 

Can a Tent Be Air-Conditioned?

A tent can be air-conditioned to some extent, but not in the same way your insulated home can be. An A/C unit will certainly make your summer camping trip more comfortable, but you should still pitch your tent in the shade and choose a tent with heat-blocking technology when possible.

Can I Make a DIY Tent Air Conditioner Port?

You can make a DIY tent air conditioner port by cutting a perfectly measured hole into your tent wall and creating a fabric sleeve to prevent the tent from unraveling any further. If you get this wrong, though, you will have ruined a perfectly good tent. You’ve been warned! 

Final Thoughts

If you’re going to be camping in the summer months, don’t underestimate how hot your tent can get. While an AC unit isn’t essential in every climate, it may mean the difference between a restful weekend in nature and a hellish nightmare where nobody gets any sleep and, in the worst case, you get struck down by heatstroke.

In my humble opinion, the best tent on the market with an integrated A/C flap is the Bushnell Shields Instant Cabin Tent. A combination of your air conditioning and the heat-blocking technology will keep you cool in some of the hottest conditions. 

If you’re going to be using a free-standing A/C unit, you can save a load of money by going for the Coleman Montana instead. It’s a great tent for a range of climates, and it’s a brilliant value for the quality. 

I hope you found this article on the best camping tent with ac port helpful, and I wish you many happy camping adventures with your new tent!

More to read:

  • The 8 Best Camping Fans
  • The Best Ice Packs for Coolers
  • The 8 Best First Aid Kits for Camping

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